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This volume in the Problems in European Civilization series features a collection of secondary-source essays focusing on aspects of the Holocaust. The essays in this book debate the origins of the Holocaust, the motivations of the killers, the experience of the victims, and the various possibilities for intervention or rescue.
- This edition reflects new directions in Holocaust scholarship and also incorporates some classic interpretations not previously included in this anthology.
- Part I begins with an essay by John Weiss that locates the origins of Nazi genocide in the long history of European and German anti-Semitism, inviting debate on the relative importance of Hitler and Nazi racism, more broadly conceived, in bringing on the Holocaust.
- Part II replaces the now somewhat discredited Goldhagen thesis with Omer Bartov’s assessment of German Army involvement in genocide on the Eastern Front.
- Part III tests the rival views of Bettelheim and Des Pres concerning Holocaust survival with material drawn from Primo Levi’s exploration of prisoner functionary “gray zones” and Zoe Waxman’s recent rethinking of women in the Holocaust.
- Part IV provides a nuanced reappraisal by Dan Diner of the impossible position of the Jewish Councils under German rule.
Reference Map: Poland, 1939-1945, with Locations of Concentration and Extermination Camps.
Tables: Estimated Jewish and Gypsy Deaths in the Holocaust.
Part I: ORIGINS OF THE HOLOCAUST.
John Weiss: "Anti-Semitism Through the Ages". Ian Kershaw: "Hitler's Decisive Role". Henry Friedlander: "The Opening Act of Nazi Genocide".
Part II: THE MOTIVATIONS OF THE KILLERS.
Robert Jay Lifton: "The Nazi Doctors". Omer Bartov: Hitler's Army". Christopher Browning: "Ordinary Men".
Part III: THE VICTIMS' EXPERIENCE.
Bruno Bettelheim: "Helpless Victims". Terrence Des Pres: "The Will to Survive". Primo Levi: "The Gray Zone". Zoe Vania Waxman: "Women and the Holocaust".
Part IV: THE PROBLEM OF JEWISH RESISTANCE.
Raul Hilberg: "Two Thousand Years of Jewish Appeasement". Yehuda Bauer: "Forms of Jewish Resistance". Dan Diner: "Why the Jewish Councils Cooperated".
Part V: BYSTANDER REACTIONS.
Yisrael Gutman and Shmuel Krakowski: "The Poles Helped Persecute the Jews". Richard C. Lukas: "The Poles Were Fellow Victims". Michael R. Marrus and Robert O. Paxton: "Western Europeans and the Jews". Nechama Tec: "Righteous Gentiles."
Part VI: POSSIBILITIES OF RESCUE.
David S. Wyman: "The Abandonment of the Jews". William D. Rubinstein: "The Myth of Rescue". Michael Phayer: "The Silence of Pope Pius XII". Walter Laqueur: "The Failure to Comprehend".
Suggestions for Additional Reading.