Trends in Holocaust Research
Historiography of the Holocaust was really only set in motion after the Eichmann Trial. Until then, in general, little had been studied about the Jews in Germany during the Holocaust, information was inadequate about hundreds of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, and knowledge of the history of Jews in many mid-European communities was lacking. Mentally unbalanced or not, Hitler set the tone which the antisemitic German nation, suffering from severe unemployment, readily accepted. Moral questions need to be answered regarding the murderers and the reaction of the German nation to the Nazis’ pseudo-religious crimes. The victims’ will to live and their motives need to be revealed. The activities of the various Judenräte — some cooperating with the Germans and some protecting children, helping ghetto fighters, and providing early warnings about Aktions — require further study. Armed resistance was not uncommon and should be delved into, as should ransom agreements. “…like sheep to the slaughter.” This witless remark is often directed at Jews by Jews. Yet, Nazi victims of other nations went to their deaths in similar fashion. An evaluation needs to be undertaken regarding help proffered to Jews by Gentiles in order to rescue them. In general, the Jews could do nothing at the time to prevent the Holocaust. Today, Jewish reaction would be quite different.