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Hilter’s Willing Executioners Essay, Research Paper

Hitler’s Willing Executioners

This book explains why the Holocaust occured. The cause of the Holocaust is

found in the beliefs of the Germans. This book tells non-Jewish Germans that the

Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers and was not perpetrated solely by SS officials

in the death camps. He says that the persecution began in schools, at the workplace, in

stores, at every street corner. Germans tortured and killed the Jews not because they were

ordered to but because they wanted to. Two parts of the book analyze the specific nature

of German anti-Semitism from the Reformation to the rise of Nazism. A third part of the

book describes the consequences of what he defines as “eliminationist antisemitism”

during the implementation of the so-called “final solution”. In this third part, the part of

the book which contains the empirical research, Goldhagen analyses three “case studies”

connected to three different aspects of the history of the genocide. He examines the

treatment of Jews in concentration camps, the behavior of Battalion 101 of the Order

Police in Poland, and the story of one of the many “death marches” enacted in the last six

months of the war.

The author wrote in a remembering way, he wrote so you wouldn’t forget anything

that had happened to the Jews. I thought he wrote this way so everyone that read his

book would see how terrible something like the Holocaust was and not to let anything like

that happen again. I would consider this book to be most useful for the general college

audience because the Holocaust contained alot of graphic material and may not be

understood by junior high school students. The sources used by the author are very

dependable references.