By Norman G. Finkelstein, Ruth Bettina Birn
No contemporary paintings of historical past has generated as a lot curiosity as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's prepared Executioners. Purporting to unravel the secret of the Nazi holocaust, Goldhagen keeps that standard Germans have been pushed via fanatical anti-Semitism to homicide the Jews. a right away nationwide best-seller, the ebook went directly to create a global sensation.
Now, in A kingdom on Trial, prime critics problem Goldhagen's findings and convey that his paintings isn't really scholarship in any respect. With compelling cumulative impression, Norman G. Finkelstein meticulously records Goldhagen's distortions of secondary literature and the interior contradictions of his argument. In a complementary essay, Ruth Bettina Birn juxtaposes Goldhagen's textual content opposed to the German information he consulted. the major foreign authority on those files, Birn conclusively demonstrates that Goldhagen systematically misrepresented their contents.
The definitive assertion at the Goldhagen phenomenon, this quantity is additionally a cautionary story at the corruption of scholarship via ideological zealotry.
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Additional resources for A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth
Bankier, The Germans and the Final Solution, ch. 8; Gordon, Hitler, Germans and the 'Jewish Question', pp. ' in Walter H. , November 1938, New York 1991; Mommsen, 'The Realization of the Unthinkable', pp. 108, 128, 131 n. 12; Steinert, Hitler's War and the Germans, pp. 55, 140-5, 335. Probably only a small minority of Germans had specific knowledge of the death camps or gassings. 53. Kershaw, 'German Popular Opinion and the "Jewish Question"', pp. 366-84 (quote at pp. , Comprehending the Holocaust, New York 1988, pp.
3) 56. For Goldhagen's misrepresentation of the German archives, see Ruth Bettina Birn, 'Revising the Holocaust', The Historical Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, 1997, pp. 195-215. After submitting this manuscript for publication, I came across Birn's important review. Although our arguments occasionally overlap, her focus is Goldhagen's misuse of the archival sources, a topic I do not directly address. 57 HWE, pp. 181-5, 203-22. Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men, New York 1992, pp. 45-8, 61ff, 170-1.
The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, New York 1969, p. 721; Brustein, The Logic of Evil, p. , Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations, 1932-1945, Wauconda, IL 1990, pp. 37, 40; Saul Friedlander, Nazi Germany and the Jews, New York 1997, pp. 72, 95-7, 101-4 (Friedlander puts more stress on Hitler's public anti-Semitism throughout the 1920s but concurs that in the early 1930s 'the Jewish theme indeed became less frequent in his rhetoric'); Sarah Gordon, Hitler, Germans and the Jewish Question', pp.