An excerpt of Lucy Dawidowicz's book The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945, describing her main argument:
"It has been my view-now widely shared-that hatred of the Jews was Hitler's central and most compelling belief and that it dominated his thoughts and his actions all his life. That obsession led him, very early in his life, to latch on to the mad notion that the "solution to the Jewish problem" could be achieved only by radical means, literally by 'eliminating,' that is, murdering, the Jews. It became his fixed idea, one to which he remained steadfast all his life...Hitler planned to murder the Jews in coordination with his plans to go to war for Lebensraum (living space) and to establish the Thousand Year Reich. The conventional war of conquest was to be waged parallel to, and was also to camouflage, the ideological war against the Jew" (xxi).
"A rich body of primary documentary sources exists to support the hypothesis, to which most historians subscribe, that Hitler had a general plan-as distinct from an order-for the murder of the Jews. There is ample evidence to prove, as this book does, that Hitler implemented his plan in stages, seizing whatever opportunities offered themselves to advance its execution. This interpretation...establishes how his ideas became intentions, how those intentions were converted into plans, how those plans were embodied into the Hitler state's policy, and how that policy was executed by the 'structures' of the National Socialist state and party"
The structuralist interpretation fails to convince because it takes no account of ideas and intentions, even such monstrous ones as Hitler's. For history begins in the minds of men and women, in the ideas they hold and in the decisions they make (xxxi).
THE WAR AGAINST THE JEWS 1933-1945, BY LUCY S. DAWIDOWICZ - COMMENTARY
Lucy Dawidowicz’s meticulous historical study is an indispensable book for understanding both the peculiar nature of Nazism and the behavior of European Jewry under Nazi domination. On the simplest level of indispensability, this “historical narrative,” based on a vast literature of documentary and secondary materials in German, Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, French, and English, manages to make consecutive sense out of a series of events which in their sheer...
THE WAR AGAINST THE JEWS 1933-1945
On October 4, 1943, Heinrich HimToler, head of the Nazi SS troops, spoke in confidence to his Gruppenführer (lieutenant generals). The plan for “the extermination of the Jews,” as he frankly labeled it, was well advanced, and despite some soft‐hearted Germans who claimed to know an “A‐1 Jew” who ought to be spared, the Nazi elite forces would not be deflected from their course. They alone, he said, knew what it meant “to see a hundred corpses lie side...