The Holocaust ' Holocaust

2312 Words Apr 12th, 2015 10 Pages
When referring to the ‘Holocaust’ – defined by (Oxford Dictionary) as ‘Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war:’ – we have to take into account the global awareness and knowledge of that time. We, as a planet, have come to acknowledge the ‘Holocaust’ not as the aforementioned and defined, but as the time in which, between 1939 and 1945, Nazi Germany, lead by Adolf Hitler, persecuted and massacred approximately six million Jews, as well as a plethora of other individuals, including the mentally handicapped, communists, poles, gypsies, homosexuals (just to name a few), as well as attempting to conquer the world. It is estimated that no less than ten million casualties were a result of the Nazi agenda, out of combat (The History Place). Giving reference to the question, in this essay I will outline and counterpoint two keys questions when regarding the approaches of functionalists and intenationalists, firmly rooting them as the crux as my debate, which are: Did Adolf Hitler have a so-called ‘master plan’ in bringing about the Holocaust, and where did the initiative come from? I will now proceed to open the debate, by first giving a brief outline as both approaches and what they encompass.

Arguably the best Historian to define what exactly functionalism and intentionalism is as a concept relating to the Holocaust is that of the man who first used the terms ‘functionalist’ and ‘intentionalist’; Timothy Mason. In 1981, (Mason) wrote…

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