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Goldhagen — His Critics and His Contribution

Yisrael Gutman

  1. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996) (Goldhagen, Willing Executioners).
  2. Gitta Sereny, “Spin Time for Hitler,” The Observer Review, April 21, 1996.
  3. Eberhard Jäckel, “Einfach ein schlechtes Buch,” Die Zeit, May 17, 1996; an open letter by Raul Hilberg, April 5, 1996.
  4. Goldhagen, Willing Executioners, p. 23.
  5. Hans Mommsen, “Schuld der Gleichgültigen; Die Deutschen und der Holocaust—Eine Antwort auf Daniel Goldhagens Buch ‘Hitlers Williger Vollstrecker,’ ” Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 20, 1996.
  6. Hans Buchheim, The Third Reich, Its Beginnings—Its Development—Its End (London: O. Wolff, 1961), p. 43; original German edition: Das Dritte Reich: Grundlegen und politische Entwicklung (Munich: Kösel, 1958).
  7. Jakob Wassermann, Mein Weg als Deutscher and Jude (Berlin: Fischer, 1921), p. 117.
  8. Ibid., pp. 118-119.
  9. Edmond Vermeil, “The Origin, Nature and Development of German Nationalist Ideology in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” in International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, ed., The Third Reich (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1955).
  10. A. J. P. Taylor, The Course of German History (London: Methuen, 1961), p. 7..
  11. John W. Wheeler-Bennett, The Nemesis of Power: The German Army in Politics, 1918- 1945 (London: Macmillan, 1954), pp. 701-702.
  12. Wilhelm Röpke, The German Question (London: 1946); idem, The Solution of the German Problem (New York: G. P. Putnam and Sons, 1947).
  13. Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 (London: Vallentine and Mitchell, 1953).
  14. Ernst Nolte, “Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will; Eine Rede, die geschrieben, aber nicht gehalten werden konnte,” Historikerstreit: Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse um die Einzigartigkeit der national-sozialistischen Judenvernichtung (Munich: Piper, 1987), pp. 39-47. See also his article, “Die Sache auf den Kopf gestellt,” ibid., pp. 223-231. Pursuant to the articles on this controversy, Nolte published a series of weighty tomes that give expression to his sharp radicalization, which casts doubt upon his reliability as a researcher.
  15. Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989).
  16. See, among others: Goetz Aly and Susanne Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung: Auschwitz und die deutschen Pläne fur eine neue europäische Ordnung (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1993).
  17. Franz L. Neumann, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism (London: Gollancz, 1942), pp. 85-86.
  18. Gordon A. Craig, “Hitler’s Willing Executioners,” New York Review of Books, April 18, 1996; idem, “Ein volk von Antisimiten,” Die Zeit, May 10, 1996.
  19. Volker R. Berghahn, “Der Weg in die Vernichtung,” in Ein Volk von Mördern? Die Dokumentation zu Goldhagen—Kontroverse um die Rolle der Deutschen im Holocaust, Julius H. Schoeps, ed. (Hamburg: Hoffman und Campe, 1996), pp. 56-62. The collection in this book is random and poorly edited. As we know, similar collections in other languages are in press. Berghahn’s article also appeared in The New York Times, April 14, 1996.
  20. Remarks by Leon Wieseltier in a debate on April 8, 1996, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington concerning Goldhagen’s book.
  21. From remarks by Ralph Giordano, “Nine Theses,” Gesher, Journal on Jewish Affairs (Hebrew), 134 (1997), p. 18.
  22. Fritz Fischer, Griff nach der Weltmacht; Die Kriegspolitik des Kaiserlichen Deutschlands 1914/1918 (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1961).
  23. Martin Broszat, Nach Hitler: Der schwierige Umgang mit unsere Geschichte (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1987), p. 271.
  24. Gershom Scholem, “Wissenschaft des Judentums Then and Now” (Hebrew) in: Selections in the Heritage of German Jewry, Collection of Essays, Avraham Tarshish, ed., (Jerusalem: Leo Baeck Institute, 1975).
  25. See, among others, Felix A. Theilhaber, Der Untergang der deutschen Juden: Eine volkswirtschaftliche Studie (Berlin: Jüdischer Verlag, 1921).
  26. Reinhard Rürup, Emanzipation und Amtisemitismus: Studien zur “Judenfrage” der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975), p. 95.
  27. Eleonore Sterling, Judenhass, die Anfänge des politischen Antisemitimismus (1815-1850) (Frankfurt am Main: Europäische Verlagsanstalt 1969), p. 169.
  28. Jacob Katz, “On Jewish Social History: Epochal and Supra-Epochal Historiography,” Jewish History, 7:1 (1993), pp. 89-96.
  29. Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Entsorgung der deutschen vergangenheit, Ein polemischer Essay zum “Historikerstreit” (München: Beck, 1988), p. 202.
  30. Walther Hofer, ed., Der Nationalsozialismus, Dokumente, 1933-1945 (Berlin: Fischer, 1957), p. 268.
  31. Christof Dipper, “The German Resistance and the Jews,” Yad Vashem Studies, XVI (1984), “Most of the July conspirators were actually pp. 51-93. See also Hannah Arendt’s remarks: former Nazis or had held high office in the Third Reich. What had sparked their opposition had been not the Jewish question but the fact that Hitler was preparing war, and the endless conflicts and crises of conscience under which they labored hinged almost exclusively on the problem of high treason and the violation of their loyalty oath to Hitler. Moreover, they found themselves on the horns of a dilemma which was indeed insoluble: in the days of Hitler’s successes they felt they could do nothing because the people would not understand, and in the years of German defeats they feared nothing more than another “stab-in-the-back” legend.” Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Viking, 1963), p. 98.
  32. Goldhagen, Willing Executioners, p. 454.
  33. Yitzhak Arad, Yisrael Gutman, and Avraham Margaliot, eds., Documents on the Holocaust (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1981), Document 32, p. 290.
  34. Tim Mason, Fascism and the Working Class (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1955), pp. 73-74.
  35. Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York: Harper Collins, 1992).
  36. See Browning’s articles and his remarks in a debate with Goldhagen on April 8, 1996, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington concerning Goldhagen’s book: “Böse Menschen, Böses Taten und die normale Holocaust-Forschung: der Historiker Christopher Browning über Goldhagen und Genozid,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 6, 1997; Dämonisierung erklärt nichts,” Die Zeit, April 19, 1996, “Daniel Goldhagen’s Willing Executioners,” comments at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  37. See Zygmunt Klukowski, Diary from the Years of Occupation, 1939-44 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993).
  38. Daniel J. Goldhagen, “Motives, Causes and Alibis,” New Republic, December 23, 1996.
  39. Emanuel Ringelblum, Diary and Writings from the War Period, Warsaw Ghetto, September 1939-December 1942 (Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1993), pp. 84, 153.
  40. Hugh R. Trevor-Roper, “The Phenomenon of Fascism,” in Fascism in Europe, Stuart J. Woolf, ed., (London and New York: Methuen, 1983), p. 37.
  41. Hans Mommsen, “Die dünne Patina der Zivilisation,” Die Zeit, August 30, 1996; Christopher R. Browning, “Dämonisierung erklärt nichts,” Die Zeit, April 19, 1996.
  42. Hans Frank, Das Diensttagebuch des deutschen Generalgouverneur in Polen, 1939-1945, Werner Präg and Wolfgang Jacobmeyer, eds. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1975), pp. 457-458.
  43. Ibid., p. 588.
  44. See details on this matter in my writings on the Warsaw ghetto: Yisrael Gutman, The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943, Ghetto, Underground, Revolt (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982), pp. 324-328.
  45. Dieter Pohl, “Die Holocaust Forschung und Goldhagens Thesen,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Heft 1 (January 1997), pp. 1-48; idem, Die Nationalsozialistische Judenverfolgung in Ostgalizien, 1941-1944: Organisation und Durchfuhrung eines staatlichen Massenverbrechens (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1996).