German Historians Confront Goldhagen
Barkai presents an in-depth survey of the controversy aroused by Daniel Goldhagen’s book in Germany. Many distinguished and well-known historians – including some belonging to the “grandchildren’s generation” – joined the fray, side by side with journalists and publicists. Participants in the debate were divided into those who rejected the book and its author outright, and those who endeavored to grapple with Goldhagen's claims exhaustively and objectively. The discussion centered primarily around the question of antisemitism and its role in the Holocaust, which was examined from anew. Even a veteran historian of the caliber of Hans Mommsen expressed ideas that he had never voiced during the 1970s or 1980s. The author also surveys the state of mind of the German public during Goldhagen’s visit to Germany in September 1996, and his public appearances and their repercussions.