Essay on The Holocaust

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The Holocaust

The first research in the late 1940s and early 1950s focused on the Jewishness of the Holocaust. Called the "Final Solution" by the Germans, it was the object of two pivotal studies, both of which had the Jews at the center of their treatment. The first was The Final Solution by Gerald Reitlinger and the second The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg. Most major studies since have had the same focus: Lucy Dawidowicz (The War Against the Jews; Leni Yahil (The Holocaust); Hilberg (Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders); Daniel Goldhagen (Hitler's Willing Executioners); Martin Gilbert (The Holocaust); Arad et al (Documents on the Holocaust); Yitzak Arad (Belzec,
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In this context, two points need to be examined: the particularly Jewish aspect of the Holocaust and the fact that this neither minimizes nor trivializes the suffering of others.

The Jewishness Of The Holocaust

Faithful to Hitler, the Nazis picked out and specifically targeted the Jews, and they did this from the very beginning -- the Nazi Party Program of February 1920 to the very end Hitler's Testament of April 29, 1945. In fact, Hitler had written a letter to a Herr Gemlich in 1919 in which he called for the removal of the Jews if he ever took power.

Exactly when Hitler's eliminationist hatred of the Jews took form in his mind is still a matter of debate. Some accounts have him violently antisemitic when he still lived in Linz. Others equate it to his experiences in Vienna, or to his gassing experience at the end of World War I, still others believe the antisemitism took on its virulent form in the early 1920s under the influence of Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Dietrich Eckart. In Mein Kampf, there are dozens of passages that vilify and demonize the Jews. A couple of examples suffice.

Was there any excrement, any shamelessness in any form, above all in cultural life, in which at least one Jew would not have been involved? As soon as one

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