- The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1914–1945
- List of contributors
- Introduction: Europe’s Age of Catastrophe in Context
- Belle Époque: Europe before 1914
- Societies at War, 1914–1918
- Total War: Family, Community, and Identity during the First World War
- The Left and the Revolutions
- The Economics of Total War and Reconstruction, 1914–1922
- The New Diplomacy and the New Europe, 1916–1922
- Nation States, Minorities, and Refugees, 1914–1923
- Remaking Europe after the First World War
- The Great Depression in Europe
- ‘A Low Dishonest Decade’?: War and Peace in the 1930s
- Interwar Crises and Europe’s Unfinished Empires
- Rural Society in Crisis
- Interwar Democracy and the League of Nations
- The Political ‘Left’ in the Interwar Period, 1924–1939
- Fascism and the Right in Interwar Europe: Interaction, Entanglement, Hybridity
- Social Policy, Welfare, and Social Identities, 1900–1950
- Discipline, Terror, and the State
- The Nationalization of the Masses
- Political Violence and Mass Society: A European Civil War?
- European Sexualities in the Age of Total War
- ‘America’ and Europe, 1914–1945
- European Integration, Human Rights, and Romantic Internationalism
- Wartime Economies, 1939–1945: Large and Small European States at War
- Axis Imperialism in the Second World War
- Everyday Life in Wartime Europe
- The Holocaust in European History
- Europe’s Civil Wars, 1941–1949
- Nation-Building and Moving People
- Europe, the War, and the Colonial World
- Power Relations during the Transition from Nazi to Post-Nazi Rule
- The Memory of Europe’s Age of Catastrophe, 1914–2014
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter outlines some of the Holocaust’s fundamental causes and characteristics, and its parallels and contrasts with other genocides. It begins by reminding readers of the profound questioning and uncertainty about human progress that emerged in the wake of the experience of National Socialism and the Holocaust, as a result of which our relationship to the modern world has changed. It notes the continuing difficulty historians, social scientists, and others face in applying general models or frameworks to explain the Holocaust, despite a growing consensus that it is neither uniquely mysterious nor a unique event. It then identifies a series of causal moments—crisis, ideology and specifically anti-Semitism, participation, total war, imperialism, and collaboration—that provide entry points to understanding the Holocaust, and at the same time illustrate the ways it mirrors and diverges from other genocides and mega-murders. It concludes with one of the Holocaust’s most distinctive features—the scale and sophistication of victim chronicles of the event.
Mark Roseman, Indiana University.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.