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Goldhagen - His Critics and His Contribution
Gutman sums up the contribution made by Goldhagen’s book, and posits that the reactions it aroused among its many readers demonstrate “the confusion and persistent need to plumb the roots of the phenomenon that has rocked twentieth-century human consciousness.” He reflects on the controversy aroused by the work, presents in essence the claims of noted historians such as Raul Hilberg, Eberhard Jäckel and Hans Mommsen, and briefly outlines the changes that have taken place in Holocaust historiography since the end of World War II. Gutman analyses Goldhagen’s principal hypotheses and compares his book to Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men, which also deals with Police Battalion 101. With regard to the fundamental question arising from Goldhagen’s work, i.e., the relative importance of German antisemitism in comparison to other factors, Gutman, who accepts Goldhagen’s viewpoint in principle, states: "the ideological factor must be treated not as one factor among many, but as an empowering and decisive fundamental with respect to the Jews and the ‘Final Solution.’”
Christopher R. Browning and Yisrael Gutman
Christopher R. Browning
Sarit Shavit and Dan Michman