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How Yehuda Bauer's critique of Holocaust thinking has changed my mind. (Explorations and Responses.).

The recent publication of Yehuda Bauer's collected essays, Rethinking the Holocaust, (1) makes possible a reexamination of difficult questions of history, historiography, ethics, and theology that rise out of that hideous event in human evil we know as the Holocaust. Reading Bauer's book forced me to modify some of my most cherished but uncritically held thoughts about the Holocaust.

For years I was influenced by the novels and essays of Elie Wiesel to think that a crime so massive in evil, so irrational in motive, so ugly and awesome in consequences was mysterious and incomprehensible. I thought that such an event had nothing to teach us that we could understand and use in our lives. While I continue to think that, at its center, the Holocaust--particularly the motives of the perpetrators--remains enigmatic, raising more questions than are answered, reading Bauer's book convinces me that to assert an enigma without qualification and without making a conscientious effort to do the research and read the primary studies is to surrender to a romantic and wrongheaded conception of evil's inherent darkness. Evil, however dark and impenetrable, can be seen, felt, touched, grasped, and understood.

Bauer's arguments have persuaded me that the Holocaust is an explicable event. If the Holocaust were totally inexplicable, it would lie outside history and be impervious to rational discourse. This also means that the attribution of absolute uniqueness to the Holocaust (so often heard among Holocaust scholars) leads to trivialization. The basis of intelligible historical writing, states Bauer, is the "comparability of human experience." There are recurring, recognizable patterns in the passing events of history that we can study and understand. With respect to the Holocaust, this "comparability" is a guide to investigation and knowledge. To suppose otherwise is to replace history with chaos in which nothing is explicable or rationally discussable. Since the Holocaust is explicable, no good is accomplished by referring to it as mysterious, as containing religious elements of transcendence. "If we argue like that," says Baner, "we may be guilty of transforming the murder of children into some sort of metaphysi cal gibberish we blasphemously call transcendence." (2)

Another uncritical assumption influencing my thinking arose in how I explained to my students the causes of the Holocaust. For many years I was led by Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem (3) to believe that the Holocaust could be explained by the personality of Eichmann himself. Of course, there is much truth in Arendt's description of Eichmann as the total bureaucrat-functionary who had no particular hatred of Jews, one who was willing to organize the deportation of Jews to their deaths out of a wish to obey orders, to do his job, to advance in rank. However, bureaucracy alone or the "banality of evil" (to use Arendt's fertile phrase), cannot explain the Holocaust.

My own uncritical use of Arendt's account tended to downplay the role of historic German disfavor of Jews in seeding the ground for the eventual appearance of a specific racial-biological form of antisemitic ideology that captured the German public and made possible the Holocaust. Bauer's essays made me realize that such an ideology and the genocidal policy that accompanied it must be explained. We can find that explanation not in German history or culture or tradition, as such, but in the emergence of the Nazi party elite. Hitler and his fellow Nazis won to their side thousands of the most educated of Germany's society: professors, university students, and professionals, including clergy, physicians, military officers, engineers, attorneys, and judges.

Now, because of Bauer's book, I stress in my classes on the Holocaust the indispensable roles played by antisemitic ideology and the Nazi elite. Yet, Bauer makes clear that Antisemitism alone will not explain the cause of the Holocaust--at least not the historic Antisemitism of the German people, which was "moderate" (Bauer's word) as compared with that of Russia and Rumania, which had longer histories of virulent Antisemitism. However, the Holocaust was conceived, planned, and executed in Germany and nowhere else. How does one explain that? Bauer answers by pointing to a national consensus produced by the genocidal ideology of a Nazi elite, popularly supported by intellectuals and professionals. Without that support the great gray mass of ordinary German people, the "lesser folk," would not have been persuaded to overcome their scruples and join in a collective effort of murder that resulted in the destruction of one third of Europe's Jews. Bauer writes:

In a society that had willingly accepted the absolute leadership of a ruling elite and especially of its head, the intelligentsia became the crucial transmitting agent of murderous orders. If the people with social and intellectual status led the way and were involved in initiating new ways of executing orders more efficiently, it became very easy to recruit ordinary murderers from the lowest ranks of society--in so far as the intelligentsia did not do the murdering themselves." (4)

Bauer, who retired recently from Hebrew University, was for a number of years director of research at Israel's Holocaust memorial center, Yad Vashem. What he offers in these essays is a lifetime of reflection on an event that has too often been the subject of emotionalism, irrationalism, and moralizing rhetoric at the cost of factual truth. Bauer's aim is to recover the truth by focusing his analysis on the motivations, causes, and consequences of the Holocaust. This is a strictly historical investigation that relies on documents, diaries, witnesses, and other firsthand accounts. The result is a lucid and probing account of the catastrophe itself; just as importantly, he has provided an invaluable critical guide to the historiography of research about the catastrophe.

Bauer makes it clear that the events leading to the Holocaust did not follow a deterministic line to a certain conclusion. At first the Nazis sought through forced emigration to rid their society of Jews. The Nuremberg laws, stripping Jews of civil rights, were promulgated in September, 1935. Kristallnacht, which followed in November, 1938, was a violent reminder that Jews had no place in Germany under the Nazi government. The evolution that moved Nazi thinking about Jews from deportation to mass murder came about through the circumstances of war. The sheer number of Jews that fell under Nazi control through the invasion of Poland and later of Russia posed a problem, whose solution, consistent with Nazi antisemitic ideology, pointed to mass murder. While no written order from Hitler authorized the mass murder of Jews, an oral instruction to that effect was probably given in about March, 1941.

As Bauer has disabused me of uncritically held assumptions about the Holocaust, so he has confirmed me in my thinking that demonism will not explain the actions of thousands who actively participated in the destruction machine and the millions of bystanders who remained passive as the machine went into operation. The equally important truth is that the people who devised plans, ran trains, guarded camps, and operated death machines were ordinary human beings, not sadists, not madmen. The German people were born of human mothers and fathers who, like Eichmann, had no particular hatred of Jews. They saw the removal of Jews from their society not as evil but as a patriotic act of benefit to Germany and of Europe. There is a lesson here. What we ought to understand is that the modern face of evil is ordinary, without horns, not satanic or Mephistophelian. Bauer reminds us that "once the Fubrer expressed a desire and once an enthusiastic class of educated people backed it, the simpler folk who did the shooting an d beating and child murdering were easily found." (5)

The argument that individual resistance against the Nazi regime was futile in the face of overwhelming opposition is shown by Bauer to be a myth. The evidence demonstrates that Nazis were actually sensitive to public opinion within Germany and internationally. For example, German women demonstrated with success for the return from prison of their Jewish husbands. The public clamor against the murderous "euthanasia" program caused such trouble that the government continued it only in secret. Further, public reaction against a government order to remove crucifixes from German hospitals and schools was rescinded after Catholics protested. It is also known that during wartime not a single soldier was punished for refusing orders to engage in murderous acts against Jews. What these cases show is that the Nazi government was well aware that its anti-Jewish policies were extreme and could stigmatize Germany, if public criticism were not heeded. So the absence of widespread criticism played not a small role in confi rming Nazi belief that the German people were indifferent to what happened to Jews.

For those who resist the term "Holocaust" and rely upon the general application of the word "genocide," Bauer provides a useful differentiation between the two words. "Genocide," he argues, is applicable in referring to the practice of mass murder of a portion of an ethnic group or nation. "Holocaust" ought to be reserved for referring to the intended destruction of all world Jewry, because the Holocaust is unprecedented in its totality. The Nazis not only built on centuries of Christian hostility toward Jews, but they went considerably farther by seeking to murder every Jew who came within reach. The Christian religion in the past demanded that Jews convert to the church. Jews might be punished for not converting, as in the Inquisition; however, the church drew the line at murder, which was viewed as a mortal sin. The Nazis exceeded traditional Christian anti-Judaic disdain by assaulting the very religiomoral values of Christianity, which were correctly seen (by the Nazis themselves) to lie in Judaism.

The Nazi target was any and all Jews with at least three Jewish grandparents. The Nazis made no secret of their intention to eliminate every Jew in the world. Hitler, who believed he was doing Christ's work in killing Jews, would have hunted down all Jews in the world had he won the war. Bauer argues that the only way to explain this extraordinary animus against Jews is to recognize the irrational fear that the Nazi leadership bore toward Jews. The fear was fed by two sources of energy. From Hitler down, the Nazis were convinced that the Jews were a supremely powerful people bent on taking over the world. The late-nineteenth-century Czarist police forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was read widely and believed in Germany, beginning with Hitler. The second source was the belief that Jews were a kind of biological virus infecting the body of the German people; unless that virus were removed, the German people would suffer irreparable harm. Thus, a murderous antisemitic ideology was justified on the basis of patriotism. Antisemitism was seen, to use Saul Friedlander's word, as "redemptive." (6) The Nazis persuaded thousands of their fellow Germans to believe that ridding the world of Jews would bring about the salvation of Germany. Given the mindset that the removal of Jews from Europe--and potentially from the world--would create a utopia, it was possible to convince a majority of Germans that anti-Jewish policies, from the Nuremberg laws to the Final Solution, were necessary.

Bauer's own understanding of the origins of the Holocaust is reinforced by a critical examination of the strengths and weaknesses of explanations of the Holocaust provided by several prominent scholars. One of the most significant of these explanations is functionalism, which is prepared to explain the causes of the Holocaust through such sociological or demographic factors as modernity, bureaucracy, or the need for lebensrauum; in other words, pragmatic considerations in solving problems account for the destruction of European Jewry. Functionalist historians will explain the murderous policies of the Nazis by referring to the efforts of bureaucrats, economists, and engineers to solve problems created by overcrowded ghettos and by the need for additional territory to resettle ethnic Germans gained in the German military advance into Russia.

The functionalist school of interpreting the Holocaust is represented by a Polish sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman, and two contemporary German historians, Jeffrey Herf and Goetz Aly. (7) They share the view that what explains the Holocaust is not Antisemitism but bureaucracy. Bauer cites Bauman to the effect that "physical extermination as the right means of 'removing'... the Jews was a product of routine, rational, bureaucratic procedures." (8)

Initially, I was drawn to the functionalist account of the Holocaust because it helped explain two important facts for me: first, that anti-Jewish policies began not with mass murder but with the effort to force Jews out of Germany; second, that the actual mass extermination of Jews through the mobile killing squads (Einsatzgruppen) did not commence until the invasion of the U.S.S.R in June, 1941, when the Nazis were confronted by millions of unwanted Jews. In both cases I saw the bureaucrats' problem of "excess population" that must be solved. I did not attach sufficient importance to the force of antisemitic ideology in Nazi thinking. Until I read Bauer's book, I thought that functionalism, which I took to be a detached, nonjudgmental analysis of facts, adequately explained the Nazi extermination policy. In this I was mistaken.

We functionalists had never stopped to ask the question of motivation: What was the actual end to which German organizational and technical energies were put? Why was the bureaucracy employed in mass murder? These are large questions. After all, there is nothing inherently evil in an organized system that relies on clerks, chemists, bankers, engineers, and train conductors. The only question is the purpose and goal. As Raul Hilberg has noted, the techniques for transporting Jews to the death camps were adapted from the plans to send German school children to summer vacation camps by train. (9)

Bauer persuades us that, in explaining the Holocaust, we must look beyond modernity, bureaucracy, even fascism itself. Had the Nazi regime been only a facismus, us, Italian-style, the Holocaust as we know it might never have occurred. Functionalists who want to ignore antisemitic ideology and explain the Holocaust on purely pragmatic-bureaucratic grounds must also explain why the Nazis went to the trouble of rounding-up and deporting to their deaths Jews from as far away as the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu.

In response to the functionalist emphases on modernity and bureaucracy, Bauer raises a set of questions that helped me reassess my own thinking about functionalism. How is it that a genocidal policy did not develop in Britain and the United States, which are exemplars of modernism? Why did not fascist Italy, which was as bureaucratic as Germany, promote genocide? How is it that Imperial Japan, Germany's wartime ally--and no stran ger to bureaucracy, social organization, and technical skills--did nothing to endanger Jews, who found refuge in Japanese-occupied China?

Bauer also counters the functionalist assumption that Jews were led silently, without fuss, like sheep to the slaughter. Until reading Bauer's book I shared the misconception of an efficient Nazi killing machine that relied on a host of compliant Jewish councils (Judenrate). The evidence proves otherwise. The Jews were not so passive; the killing machine was not so efficient; the Jewish Councils proved not so compliant In the last analysis, functionalism can account for some of the organizational methods and techniques used by the Nazis, but these factors do not explain how Hitler's regime arose in Germany and decided to murder the Jews. Only a murderous, antisemitic ideology building on the "moderate" Antisemitism of the German public could do that.

It would seem that Bauer's stress on antisemitic ideology would make him an intellectual ally of Harvard University historian Daniel Goldhagen, whose Hitler's Willing Executioners (10) strongly emphasized antisemitic ideology in explaining the Holocaust, but this is not so. Goldhagen's book caused a stir in both popular and intellectual circles and brought attention to the indispensable role played by antisemitic thinking. This is as far as it goes, however, because Goldhagen argued his point about Antisemitism in an unproved, sensationalistic thesis about a supposed trait in the German cultural character that he dubbed "eliminationist" Antisemitism.

Goidhagen argued that before the Nazis came to power this "eliminationist" Antisemitism took different forms, including at first pressure to force Jews to assimilate or to convert to Christianity. In response to Goldhagen Bauer concedes that a "moderate" form of Antisemitism has always existed among a great many Germans. Jews were not popular. They were considered strange and, despite their own self-perceptions, were not considered by others to be authentic Germans. However, the idea of an "eliminationist" Antisemitism in German culture is illogical, argues Bauer. For one thing assimilation or pressure to change one's identity is hardly the same as murder. Also, the fact that many Jews became assimilated in German culture may provide evidence not of Antisemitism but of opportunities in business and the professions open to Jews following emancipation. In addition, the fact that 50,000 Jews intermarried with non-Jews in pre-Nazi Germany suggests a fluidness and openness in a society not plagued with "eliminatio nist" Antisemitism.

In the last free election of 1932, German voters voted heavily for nonantisemitic parties. In the same year the rabidly antisemitic Nazi party actually lost 2,000,000 votes and thirty-four seats in the Bundestag. Until the compromising of the military in the Hitler years, the army was known to have an exemplary record in its treatment of Jews. Moreover, Goidhagen weakens his thesis by ignoring the all-important political, social, and economic developments in pre-Nazi Germany in relation to other European states.

It is certainty true that Germany continued to evolve throughout the Nazi period, so that by 1941-42 Germany was engaged in the mass murder of Jews. What explains the evolution? The answer, says Bauer, is not "eliminationist" Antisemitism but the emergence of a victorious Nazi elite able to capitalize on the consensus of "moderate" Antisemitism among the German people. Where Goldhagen advances a simplistic thesis about Antisemitism ingrained among ordinary Germans, Bauer argues a more complicated process that links together the critical roles played by the Nazi elite, ideology, the intellectuals, the unpopularity of Jews among the German masses, and a national consensus. Reflecting on this linkage, Bauer offers an important generalization about ideology, intellectuals, and genocide that "when an intellectual or pseudointellectual elite with a genocidal program... achieves power in a crisis-ridden society for economic, social, and political reasons that have nothing to do with the genocidal program, then, if t hat elite can draw the intellectual strata to its side, genocide will become possible." (11)

There was Jewish resistance to Nazi tyranny. I had accepted the view promoted by Hilberg and Arendt that the Holocaust shows that centuries of diaspora existence in self-enclosed ghettos had created a passive people, overly reliant on their leaders, who had largely given-up their instinct for self-defense. Contrary to the image of sheep led to the slaughter, there was a considerable amount of amidah or "standing up" to the oppressor. The resistance took many forms: the smuggling of food to keep people alive, witnessing by writing down what was happening, reciting poetry from memory, and, in the concentration camps, staging plays, drawing pictures, educating children, caring for orphans, and operating a press in three languages. In all these quiet but defiant ways amidah was shown, and the spirit was kept from despair.

Amidah was not just passive. There were numerous instances of violent Jewish opposition to Nazism. In the forests of eastern Poland, Belarus, and Northern Ukraine some 30,000 Jews fought Germans with inadequate weapons. There was armed rebellion in Warsaw, and there were other rebellions in other East European towns. If, as Hilberg contends, Jews over the centuries had lost their power of communal self-defense, how can we explain that in 1948, just a few years from the death camps, Jews somehow regained their power in establishing and defending a Jewish state? (12)

Hilberg held the view that Jews became part of the Nazi machinery of death the moment they agreed to act as Judenrat, but should not be judged morally as collaborators with the enemy, because "they were not the willful accomplices of the Germans." (13) This was true, but Bauer introduces a fresh perspective. His reasoned analysis of the Judenrate has forced me to rethink this terrible chapter in Jewish history. Where Hilberg was definite in his judgment, Bauer finds a vastly more complex and ambiguous moral dilemma posed by the Judenrate. In his view, historical judgments must include motivations as well as causes and consequences. What made people do what they did cannot be ignored if we are to be fair to the actual life context in which human beings were forced to make their own agonizing decisions.

Take the case of Chaim Rumkowski, the Jewish official who became the virtual dictator of the Lodz ghetto. As Bauer tells the story, none should doubt that Rumkowski was a morally compromised collaborator with the Nazis, even to the extent of personally selecting Jewish men, women, and children for deportation to the death camps. The inmates of the Lodz ghetto who survived did so because Jewish slave labor produced goods needed by the German military. It also must be said that, largely because of Rumkowski, the Lodz ghetto remained intact, and its inmates survived until the very last stages of the war. It was dismantled only when the Russian Army was approaching, when the order came from Berlin to liquidate the ghetto. Immediately after that, thousands were gassed at Chelmno, and others were sent as slave labor to Auschwitz. The Russians arrived too late for these last events to be averted.

Here Bauer raises the question: Had the Russian Army arrived a few days earlier to liberate the Jews from the Lodz ghetto, might Rumkowski have entered history as the person who made the survival of the Lodz ghetto possible? Had that happened, the shame attached to the name of Rumkowski, who selected Jews for death, might well have been replaced by plaques honoring his memory. So thin is the line separating shame and honor in all matters touching the Holocaust, and so, too, the terrible ambiguity in reaching any judgment about the Judenrate on the part of historians, teachers, Jews, and non-Jews--all those who did not personally experience the same life-and-death decisions confronting the Judenrate every day.

"The theology of the Holocaust is fascinating, but it is a dead end," (14) writes Bauer, deliberately passing over the post-Holocaust theology of such notable Jewish thinkers as Arthur Cohen, Emil Fackenheim, Pinchas Peli, Richard Rubenstein, and Eliezer Berkovitz. Bauer shows little interest in the various intellectual stratagems they use to define the existence or meaning of God for Jews in a post-Holocaust world. It is in discussing these and other theological reactions to the Holocaust that Bauer expresses his impatience with speculations about God that depart from historical fact. For Bauer the stated beliefs and opinions of Orthodox rabbis are even more speculative than the arguments of theologians. As an Israeli, Bauer knows that in a country where the only officially recognized Judaism is Orthodoxy, whose pronouncements are heard and heeded by the majority of the population that is not explicitly secular, nothing more dramatizes the futility of seeking to speculate about God and the Holocaust than th e expressed beliefs of Orthodox and haredi (ultraorthodox) religious thinkers.

Bauer finds these arguments to be circular, contradictory, even offensive to moral sensibility. He makes specific reference to such influential religious authorities as Yoel Teitelboym, the Satmarer Rebbe; the Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Yitzhak Halevi Herzog; the chassidic Rabbi of Piaseczna, Kalman Klonymus Shapira; Lubavitcher rebbe Shneur Zalman of Lady; and the late Menachem Mendel Shneersohn, who is regarded by his followers as the Messiah.

While they may disagree over details, the Orthodox rabbis are united in their reactions to the Holocaust. Bauer finds offensive two main responses to the Holocaust. The first is the argument dramatized by Job's final confession before the majesty and might of God: "We are too puny" to fathom the mind and will of the creator. The second argument is drawn from the Hebrew prophets, who struggled to explain how the God of Israel could allow the disasters that befell the chosen people. The answer was "because of our sins." Just as God used Nebuchadnezzar as a rod to punish Israel for its sins, so some Orthodox rabbis are prepared to argue that God used Hitler as a "rod" to punish the Jewish people with the Holocaust. The argument became even more offensive when Lubavitcher rebbe Shneersohn employed the grotesque metaphor that the Holocaust could be likened to the cutting away of the poisoned limb of the body of the Jewish people. Why poisoned? Because of sinful infractions of the ritual law (halakah).

The pattern of Orthodox thinking is such that Job's argument, "we are too puny," is never allowed to suffice. If it were, one would be left with the weak but plausible argument that the existence of evil is an impenetrable mystery. However, Orthodox thinkers will not leave it as such, for they seem to want to justify God in the presence of the Holocaust. They are prepared to argue that it was the sins of the Jewish people that brought forth the divine punishment in the form of millions of dead, including more than a million Jewish children. The absurdity of this response lies in the fact that it was not secularized, halakic-denying Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. The overwhelming majority murdered were the ritually observant Jews of Poland and Russia. One absurdity leads to another, for the highest percentages of Jews to evade the Nazi destruction were from Germany, Austria, and France, countries in which Jewish ritual tradition was least observed. What explains these absurdities, in Bauer's opinion , is a tendency in Orthodoxy to take a magical view of ritual in connection to God:

The magic explanation [of ritual] returns power to the persecuted group: They are actually more powerful than their persecutors because they can change history by their behavior, and they know perfectly well what the behavior desired by God is. Magic is real, prevents despair, and enables the minority group--the Jews, in this case--to overcame disasters. (15)

The argument from free will is also used by Orthodox thinkers. This argument assumes there is a God who wants to be loved freely. To that end God has given human beings freedom of choice in good and evil. From an Orthodox Jewish point of view, what is good is to obey the 613 commandments of the halakah. We should not be surprised if human beings use their freedom to choose evil. The Nazis also had freedom of choice, and they chose evil. The dilemma confronting Orthodox thinkers is how to make moral sense of a God who is believed to be the author of both freedom-for-evil and freedom-for-good.

Another argument is that evil as well as good comes from God, so evil is also a part of God, which means that evil is only seemingly bad and will ultimately lead to good. Yet another argument is that evil is allowed to enter the world because God has chosen to hide God's face from the world temporarily. (One recalls this argument as Martin Buber's explanation about God in the Holocaust.) That this argument makes God a virtual accomplice of evil does not seem to disturb the Orthodox.

In struggling with these dilemmas Orthodox thinkers will turn away from the vexing problems of belief in favor of the certainties of ritual practice. Bauer writes, "In the end, for traditional Judaism, belief in God is self-understood, but is of less importance than the observance of the commandments (mitzvot). What is important is what one does, not what one believes; what one declares one believes in is even less important." (16) In this regard, Bauer asks a question that Orthodox rabbis refuse to ask: What is the point of observing the commandments if the commandments lack the power of God and are relevant only from a human point of view?

Perhaps the exception in Orthodox thinking is Rabbi Irving ("Yitz") Greenberg, whom Bauer calls "a great contemporary Jewish thinker." (17) Greenberg confronts the dilemma that, if God is just and all-powerful, then the Holocaust is inexplicable. Greenberg's strategy at this point is to deny the all-powerfulness of God, thereby rescuing the Jewish God of justice and compassion, and declaring that God could not save the Jews because God is not, or is no longer, all-powerful. The problem with this explanation, says Bauer, is that, if God is weak, who then needs God in moments of crisis and danger?

Nevertheless, Bauer finds that Greenberg's is a lonely voice in the Orthodox world. Greenberg expresses his own independence of mind by asserting the brokenness of the world and of Judaism and Christianity in a post-Holocaust world. Greenberg's is indeed a lonely voice in asserting the need for openness in such a world. This openness in a post-Holocaust world imposes on Jews the task (reminiscent of kabbalistic wisdom) "to gather the pieces of light from the hard crust of the material world and reconstruct a meaningful world." (18)

In sharp contrast to theological speculations about God or the resort to magical thinking, Bauer seems to identify with the words of the rabbinical sage, Elisha ben Avuya (called Acher or "the Other"), who well understood Jewish law and ritual and found no sin in asserting that before the facts of great evil we must conclude "Leit Din Veleit Dayan" (There is no Law and there is no Judge.). This atheistic-sounding statement implies that, with regard to the Holocaust, humans alone are to be blamed. Following Acher, Bauer would have to conclude, as I would have to conclude, that at every moment, in every way, humans alone are responsible for what human beings do to each other. (19)

(1.) Yehuda Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust (New Haven, CT, and Londen: Yale University Press, 2001). For a useful summary of his views on explaining the Holocaust, see Yehuda Baua, "Explaining Holocaust," in Julius Simon, ed, History, Religion, on, and Meaning: American Reflections on the Holocaust (Wesport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 39-49.

(2.) Bauer, "Explaining the Holocaust," p. 41.

(3.) Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, rev. and enlr. (New York: Viking Press, 1964).

(4.) Bauer, "Explaining the Holocaust," p.47.

(5.) Ibid.

(6.) Saul Friedlander, Nazi Germany and the Jews, vol. 1: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 (New York: HarperCollins, 1997). pp. 86-87.

(7.) Important works of the Functionalist school of interpreting the Holocaust are: Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989); Jeffrey Herf, Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Goetz Ally and Suzanne Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung (Hamburg: Hoffman and Campe, 1995).

(8.) Zygmunt Bauman, cited in Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust, p. 70.

(9.) Raul Hilberg, cited in ibid., p. 29.

(10.) Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996).

(11.) Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust; p. 104.

(12.) Hilberg took this view in his magnum opus, The Destruction of the European Jews (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1961); it is also discussed by Bauer in Rethinking the Holocaust, p. 142.

(13.) Raul Hilberg. "The Ghetto as a Form of Government: An Analysis of Isaiah Trunk's Judenrat," in Ye-huda Bauer and Nathan Rotenstreich, eds., The Holocaust as Historical Experience: Essays and a Discussion (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1981), p. 165, his emphasis. For a detailed analysis of the Judenrat, see this article, which was first published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 450 (July, 1980): 98-112. See also Hilberg, Destruction of the European Jews.

(14.) Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust, p.212.

(15.) Ibid, p. 193.

(16.) Ibid, p. 188.

(17.) Ibid, p. 191.

(18.) Ibid, p. 192.

(19.) Ibid, p. 200.
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Author:Idinopvlos, Thomas A.
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Date:Jun 22, 2000
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