German Reactions to Nazi Persecution of the Jews

by Donald L. Niewryk

Sarah Gordon, Hitler, Germans, and the "Jewish Question." Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984. xiv, 412 pages.

Historians who write for general audiences hope for, but rarely get, accolades from fellow scholars, just as those who write scholarly monographs usually yearn in vain for wide readership. To capture both, one must have a gripping subject, a lucid style, and some new revelations. Sarah Gordon combines these elements with varying degrees of success in her recent book about the Germans and Nazi antisemitism.1 The variability results in part from the division of her book into two sections of almost equal length, each with its distinct scope and methodology. The first half synthesizes and evaluates previous scholarship on the German Jews, antisemitism, and Hitler's role in initiating and directing racial persecution. The second half, based partially on impressive archival research, analyzes the reactions of ordinary Germans and various organs of state and party to Nazi antisernitic policies.

Scholars will read the former primarily to see how Gordon copes with thorny issues related to the origins of the Holocaust. She emerges largely unscathed in the initial chapters on the position of Jews in Germany and the rise of Nazism. Deftly avoiding the lachrymose and the roseate, Gordon reminds us that the Jews' undeniable economic and political progress after 1870 left them exposed and on tricky ground. Conspicuous in certain businesses, professions, and left-wing political parties, they were vulnerable to forms of antisernitism that were ubiquitous in Europe and North America in the first decades of this century. She is properly suspicious of cultural explanations of anti-Jewish thought in Germany as too narrowly based on the traditions of a single country. She also insists that we be as conscious of the "failures" of German antisemitism as we are of its "successes." Not only did it founder as an independent political issue, but it also stimulated countercurrents in liberal, Catholic, and socialist circles. This is very much in line with current scholarship that rejects the view of Nazism and the Holocaust as logical and necessary results of German history before Hitler. "[P]rejudice," Gordon writes, "can explain the slaughter only to a limited extent . . ." (p. 48), which leads directly to her central theme: blame for the Holocaust must be laid primarily at the door of Hitler and the small minority of radical antisemites among his followers. Without dismissing the effects of Judeophobia in German society, the acquiescence of ordinary Germans in persecution, and the complicity of the military and the bureaucracy in extermination, she concludes that genocide was possible principally because Hitler controlled a ruthlessly totalitarian system and acted under cover of war. Detracting only momentarily from this extremely compelling argument is the dubious contention that Gerhart Hauptmann's vote for Hitler illustrates at least some Jewish support for Nazism (Hauptmann was, in any case, not Jewish) and the equally misleading assertion that some moderate political parties and the Communists "occasionally campaigned on anti-Semitic platforms" (p. 45).

If Hitler's murderous brand of antisernitism was uncommon in Germany, just what part did Judeophobia play in bringing him a mass following? In searching for an answer, Gordon draws heavily on the roughly 600 autobiographies of early Nazi party members solicited by Theodore Abel in the 1930s and reassessed more recently by Peter Merkl.2 These data show that fully one-third of the early Nazis gave no evidence whatever of hating Jews, while only about 13 percent showed themselves to be "paranoid" Judeophobes. The rest displayed varying degrees of "moderate" antisernitism and, like their unprejudiced party comrades, probably joined for reasons that had less to do with the Jews than with other issues: the depression, the Communist threat, and the breakdown of parliamentary government. If this was the case with party members, how much more must it have been true of ordinary Nazi voters.

Not content with the autobiographical data alone, Gordon compares them with profiles of Nazi voters in hopes of nailing down the appeal of Nazi antisernitism more precisely. The autobiographies reveal that. older, female, urban, middle-class, and Protestant Nazi party members were most likely to hate Jews. Recent studies of Nazi voters by Thomas Childers and Richard Hamilton,3 on the other hand, indicate that of these groups only the middle-class and Protestant elements were consistently overrepresented. Little comes of it, though, and the analysis turns into a speculative muddle that is not saved by tables and statistics. Studying Nazi voters may tell us something about their occupations and incomes, but not whether antisernitism led them to Hitler. Nor is it possible to generalize about Nazi voters as a whole on the basis of what is known about Nazi party members. Hence Gordon's somewhat lame deduction: "At best we can speculate that a minority of Protestants and the middle classes were paranoid anti-Semites who may have voted for the Nazi Party primarily because of its anti-Semitism" (p. 87). In the end, it is largely on the basis of the party members' autobiographies and a general sense of political issues in Germany between 1930 and 1933 that Gordon reaches the perfectly sensible conclusion that while antisemitism was only one, and not the most important, Nazi attraction for German voters, it did not prevent them from supporting Hitler.

With Hitler at the center of this account of persecution and genocide, it is sad to find the chapters devoted to him the weakest in the book. Here Gordon seems to strain for new and shocking insights. She quite properly relegates the dictator's obsession with Jews to the realm of abnormal psychology and firmly places antisemitism within the context of his larger ethnic theory, reminding us that Slavs and Gypsies, too, would have to die to make the world safe for Aryans. But why employ the Kren and Rappoport analysis of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust 4 to elucidate Hitler's paranoid vision of saving Germany from an international Jewish conspiracy? Quite apart from matters of taste, it should be enough to say that both Hitler and the Jews arrived by different routes at their deadly confrontation. Since the differences are anything but incidental, we ought at least to learn Hitler's route, but Gordon does not trace it. Rather, she treats Hitler's ethnic theory in its more or less full- fledged form of the late 1920s and after. Sebastian Haffner's rather trivial argument about Hitler's separate ethnic and antisernitic theories 5 serves as a foil for the argument that they are really one and the same. This would present no problem had Gordon not replaced Haffner's version of Hitlerian dualism with her own: Hitler alternately thought of the Jews as an inferior race of human beings (a Volk, and hence a race, nation, or people) and as subhuman bacteria or parasites, and he resolved this contradiction in favor of the latter view only in 1941 when he gave the order to exterminate the Russian Jews. This is plausible, but no more so than to argue that Hitler's occasional use of the word Volk to describe the Jews was careless, sarcastic, or a conscious effort to camouflage his true beliefs and intentions. The last of these possibilities would accord well with Gordon's point that the Nazis deliberately underplayed their most radical anti- Jewish rhetoric both before and after they came to power. It is not a trivial issue, for the exact nature of Hitler's prejudice must necessarily affect the way we view the timing of his decision to exterminate the Jews, to which subject we now turn.

The much-debated issue of Hitler's role in the Holocaust has pitted traditionalists like Bracher, Jackel, and Fleming against revisionists like Adam, Broszat, and Mommsen.6 The former, usually referred to as intentionalists, trace a straight line from Hitler's youthful antisemitism to the Holocaust and see his personal imprint on every step in between. The revisionists, also known as "structuralists" or "functionalists," acknowledge Hitler's obsession with the Jews and his ultimate responsibility for mass murder, but they attribute the timing and direction of persecution primarily to power struggles between competing party and state organs. In this view, Hitler knew of and approved the mass murder of the Jews, but he gave a specific command to commit genocide only after the process had begun, or else not at all. Since the evidence is incomplete and difficult to evaluate, the controversy promises to drag on indefinitely.7

Without addressing this debate directly, Gordon attempts what amounts to a partial synthesis of the two schools by arguing that Hitler's intentions were usually decisive but that they were not always genocidal. Together with traditional historians, she sees the dictator's hand in shaping Nazi antisernitism virtually from beginning to end. It is Hitler who orders the economic boycott of Jews and their exclusion from the civil service in 1933, formulates the "legal" strategy embodied in the Nuremberg Laws, prompts Goring to drive Jews from their businesses in 1938 and 1939, and considers sending the Jews to Madagascar as late as 1940. Only in the KristalInacht pogroms of 1938 does Hitler's directing figure fade from Gordon's picture. He returns again decisively in 1941 to initiate and implement the Final Solution. Throughout the first eight years of his dictatorship he encourages various agencies to compete for influence over Jewish affairs, but they are never in charge. He is.

In this view, Hitler dissembled about his plans to murder the Jews, for Gordon believes be decided to do it long before 1941. However, unlike most intentionalists, she is not at all sure that he planned on it all along, at least not as far back as his entry into politics after World War 1. Although she admits that he might have decided on genocide at any time between 1924 and 1936, she favors the latter year, stating that it was then that Hitler told Hermann Rauschning that "of course" he intended to "eradicate whole races" (p. 129). She is mistaken, and not just about the date, which was 1934 and not two years later. Hitler's statement was made about the Slavic populations of East Central Europe, which he proposed slowly to "eradicate" (beseitigen) by imposing some unspecified form of contraception. Rauschning goes on to quote the dictator as saying: "There are many methods by which an undesirable race can be brought to the point of extinction (zum Aussterben zu bringen), systematically and comparatively painlessly, in any case without much shedding of blood."8 In other words, Hitler was talking neither about violent extermination nor about the Jews. When, according to Rauschning, Hitler did speak to him of the Jews, he explicitly repudiated the notion of extermination:

I asked if perhaps that meant that the Jews really ought to be destroyed (vernichtet).
"No," answered Hitler. "Then we would have to invent them. One needs a visible enemy, not merely an invisible one"9

The misapprehended Rauschning quotation of Hitler is the most important, but not the only, source of Gordon's conviction that the dictator must have reached his murderous decision about the Jews before his war began. Before then-so Gordon argues-he may have used extremist rhetoric about the Jews in order to hasten their emigration, to frighten foreign countries into giving him his way, or simply to indulge in commonplace Nazi hyperbole. "But to overlook the accumulated evidence in his speeches and conversations and to conclude that he made the abstract decision later than 1939 would require incredible gullibility" (p. 136). Yet Gordon offers no convincing rationale for her conclusion. If Hitler may not have meant what he said before 1939 (or 1936, or 1924), what made him mean it thereafter? The evidence does not permit her or anyone else to say with certainty what Hitler would have done with the Jews had the war taken a more favorable turn for him. However, once he was "forced" to fight a war on two fronts in 1941 under conditions considerably less than optimal for Germany, he made good his threat of January 1939, to hold the Jews responsible for plunging the world into yet another conflagration. Moreover, placing Hitler's decision in 1941 would have had the advantage of consonance with Gordon's view that it was then that he ceased entertaining the possibility that Jews were humans of another race, as well as with her argument that Hitler was still prepared to send the Jews to Madagascar in 1940.

The timing of Hitler's decision to kill the Jews is critical for Gordon's conviction that he was the prime mover of genocide. It has little effect on her view of prewar Nazi antisemitism, since she believes that Hitler was forced by the unpopularity of antisernitic violence to dissimulate about his decision once he made it. As a result, Gordon assigns almost as great a role to the organs of party and state in quickening the pace of pre-1939 persecution as any revisionist. Radical Nazis in the SA are shown pushing for increasingly harsh measures, both before and after the June 1934 purge of their leaders. Egging them on are such radical Nazi bosses as Goebbels and Streicher. The SS is portrayed as pressing for authoritative action to control radical chaos. Each step in the escalation of Nazi antisemitism has Hitler responding to these pressures by attempting to limit the radicals' actions and rechannel their energies, a view not substantially different from that of the revisionists. But Gordon's analysis gives less weight to the "authoritarian anarchy" that generated persecutory pressures than to Hitler's motives in meeting them. In addition to fulfilling the dictator's personal desires, antisemitism served to unite his party by redirecting anti-establishment radicalism against the Jews. For Germans as a whole it served to direct attention from his social and economic failures toward common domestic and foreign enemies. The focus having been returned to Hitler, Gordon reveals her affinity with the intentionalist camp, notwithstanding her concession of a few points to the revisionists.

Having adopted a strictly intentionalist point of view for the years after 1939, Gordon martials a good deal of evidence, all of it important but circumstantial, fixing Hitler's direct responsibility for initiating the Final Solution. Nowhere do the institutions of party and state that revisionists view as immediate sources of the Holocaust make a decisive appearance. Everything happens at Hitler's behest. There are no Nazi bosses in the East trying frantically to deal with hundreds of thousands of Jews being dumped in their territories, no independent initiatives taken by SS, police, and Gauleiter to solve the overcrowding of ghettos. In fact, the whole revisionist argument about the genesis of the Holocaust is ignored. That would make better sense if the facts were clear-cut and undisputed. Few scholars would say that they are.

Gordon earns higher praise when she turns from inquiring broadly into the nature and origins of Nazi antisemitism to presenting the results of her own research on popular responses to official Judeophobia. Among her most important sources are Gestapo files from the Government District Dusseldorf that permit a fairly detailed local analysis of Germans arrested for violating various racial laws and regulations. Other sources include digests of reports from the socialist underground to the exiled Social Democratic party executive, and SD (Sicherheitsdienst) situation reports on public opinion in the Third Reich. Each might be suspected of exaggerating the presence of dissent, the socialists to keep the hope of revolution alive, the SS in order to justify still greater repression. But Gordon makes a convincing case for compensatory pressures: the Social Democrats could scarcely afford to entertain unrealistic expectations for change, whereas the SS had to provide evidence that it had successfully stifled dissent. However, the postwar OMGUS surveys of German attitudes conducted by American occupation authorities are quite another matter. Gordon uses them cautiously, but they are so deeply flawed by their timing, if by nothing else, that they scarcely enhance her argument.

The best of these sources say a good bit about the minority of Germans that clearly opposed antisemitism, or that at least opposed antisernitic violence. Some confirm what is already fairly common knowledge, such as the failure of the April 1933 boycott and the shame felt by ordinary Germans over the brutalities of Kristallnacht. What is new and extremely interesting is Gordon's finding that popular opposition to Nazi racism in and near Dusseldorf actually grew as official Judeophobia intensified. That arrests of Germans for "racial crimes" were 13 times higher in 1938-1939 than in 1933 cannot be explained by increased police terror and efficiency alone. Nor did such opposition fade away during the war years, when there were fewer Jews and tighter reins. On the contrary, there actually was an increase in the ratio between arrests of opponents and the numbers of Jews in the district. Even then, at considerable risk to themselves, a small minority of Germans continued to assist Jews in various ways or to flout bans on relations with them. The cases presented in evidence make for fascinating reading. Unfortunately, Gordon does not distinguish carefully between principled foes of antisemitism and people who were merely outraged over acts of anti-Jewish hooliganism, lumping all of them together as "opponents of racial persecution."

Was there any connection between rising levels of popular opposition to antisemitism and knowledge of the Holocaust? Gordon is clearly unsympathetic to those who assert that Germans knew about the Final Solution or else inferred it from public statements by Nazi leaders.10 Her evidence, rather thin on this issue, is more in line with the arguments advanced by Lawrence Stokes 11 and others that many Germans heard rumors about the mistreatment of Jews in the East but had no way of calculating their verity. Few if any ordinary Germans had the slightest inkling of the death camps.

Gordon's analysis of those brave (or foolhardy) Germans who opposed Nazi racism reveals that they tended to come from two groups that were also overrepresented among antisemites, middleclass and older (50-59) Germans. Underrepresented were younger Germans, especially those under 30, and farmers and blue-collar workers. At the very least these findings ought to help still some of the glib generalizing about the susceptibility of the German bourgeoisie to antisemitism and about the society and culture of Imperial Germany acting as seedbeds of racism. On the other hand, the apparent success of Judeophobia among German youth raises some interesting questions about its future in the Third Reich and the capacity of totalitarian governments slowly to change minds by influencing the young. If the Nazis met with only limited success in turning Germans against Jews, it has to be kept in mind that they had but a short time in which to do it.

Gordon's data reveal a particularly striking gender imbalance, with men making up the vast majority of those identified as resisting racial persecution. She attributes this primarily to women's greater susceptibility to both antisemitism and intimidation. The clear underrepresentation of blue-collar workers, however, gives her some interpretive difficulties. Casting doubt on the workers' relative freedom from antisemitism, she underestimates the full extent of their repression in Nazi Germany. They were watched far more carefully than any other group, suspected for their Marxist background and their resistance to Nazi appeals. Unlike the Jews, they were known to have formed a potentially dangerous underground movement, and the fact that they were "racial comrades" rendered their subversion all the less tolerable. Hence, when the Jews were being boycotted, union functionaries were being carted off to concentration camps; when the Jews were being deprived of their livelihoods, unrepentant Social Democrats and Communists were being tortured to death in Gestapo prisons. Workers who resisted risked much, and the only risk worth taking was one that kept what remained of the Left alive and held out the hope of liberation for all Germans, Jews and Gentiles alike. In this desperate situation, the dangerous business of helping Jews was mostly beside the point, a view encouraged by the traditional Marxist assumption that antisemitism was not aimed at the Jews at all but rather at diverting the workers from their true enemies. Gordon's conclusions, which are critical of the workers, betray her inclination to treat antisemitism as if it were the centerpiece of Nazi policy and opposition to it the touchstone of resistance. Hence, too, her far more favorable findings on middle-class Germans who helped Jewish friends and neighbors. But how many of them did so in the belief that they were shielding Jews from the "mistaken" policies of a few party radicals who did not reflect the fundamentally "healthy" core of National Socialism? Working-class opponents could not afford the luxury of such illusions.

Two institutions, the churches and the army, deserve and receive special scrutiny in view of their partial immunity from Nazi controls. Gordon joins previous scholars in faulting the Protestant and Catholic churches for their failure to take an official stand against antisemitism, although she presents some highly interesting evidence of opposition to it by a few ordinary clergymen of both persuasions. Further research may confirm the need to modify impressions of nearly total acquiescence in Judeophobia by the churches, but in the end she underlines the silence of their leaders. "Because the Nazis feared the propaganda or political power of the churches, it is almost certain that church leaders could have spoken out more vehemently against racial persecution" (p. 261). At first Gordon seems even more critical of the Wehrmacht for its deep complicity in the work of extermination, but then she advances the opinion that there was nothing else the generals could have done, given Hitler's determination to replace officers who refused to toe the line and the capacity of his SS to assure absolute army submission. This is a persuasive argument, but if the generals were in no position to stand up for the Jews, it is difficult to imagine what church leaders could have done, even if one does not consider the fact that most of them were ignorant of the Final Solution.

Many readers will be surprised to learn that opposition to antisemitism was present even within the Nazi party itself. For some time scholars have been familiar with the Muller-Claudius small-scale surveys of opinions among party members, showing that in 1938 and again in 1942 only five percent of them expressed unqualified approval of the treatment of Jews in Germany whereas much larger percentages reacted to it with "extreme indignation," the rest being noncommittal or indicating indifference.12 Gordon confirms this phenomenon by showing that more than 14 percent of her Dusseldorf cases were brought against party members, a percentage that was not dramatically different from that of party members in the German population. Aside from party membership, there was little that set them apart from other opponents of racial persecution, most being older males in independent and white-collar positions. They were understandably less likely to be arrested for having had sexual relations with Jews. More commonly the charge was aiding them or criticizing their persecution.

If even some Nazi party members dissented from their leaders' racism, how then the Holocaust? The obvious danger in assigning most of the responsibility for Nazi racial crimes to Hitler and the small coterie of his most rabid disciples is that of appearing to pass over or explain away the involvement of ordinary Germans in persecution and genocide. Gordon is fully conscious of it, and she reminds us from time to time that the Nazis were not unsuccessful in spreading and intensifying their brand of radical antisernitism. She also acknowledges Hitler's talent for exploiting personal careerism and interagency rivalries within party and state bureaucracies to assure their participation in anti-Jewish measures. It is not easy, however, to determine the extent to which propaganda and opportunism affected the vast majority of ordinary Germans. Gordon describes their attitudes as "indifferent," arriving at this conclusion by a process of elimination: on the one hand, most Germans did not participate in-and in all likelihood disapproved of-anti-Jewish measures that were churlish, illegal, or violent; on the other hand, they appeared unconcerned about legal measures against the Jews and did nothing to help the persecuted minority. Hence the great mass of Germans must not have cared much one way or the other. Her conclusion: "Apparently anti-Semites and determined opponents of anti-Semitism were polarized around an indifferent or apathetic majority, yet one that was increasingly sympathetic to Jews during and after Kristallnacht" (p. 301).

Was the majority indeed -indifferent or apathetic"? To say so strains the evidence, since the sources say little about marginal penetrations of Nazi antisernitism into German public opinion. Gordon does point out that the socialist underground reported the positive effects of incessant Nazi propaganda against the Jews. This cumulative impact no doubt helps explain why Germans put up virtually no resistance to legal measures against the Jews. At one point Gordon even maintains that "a majority of Germans supported elimination of Jews from the civil service; quotas on Jews in professions, academic institutions and commercial fields; restrictions on intermarriage; and voluntary emigration of Jews" (pp. 207-208, emphasis added). That hardly suggests apathy. The contradiction might have been avoided by viewing majority opinions on racial persecution as running along a continuum from concurrence through acquiescence and indifference to passive disgust. Silence is never easy to interpret; we have no reliable way of measuring moderate antisernitism among Germans under Hitler and hence cannot precisely characterize the attitudes of the silent majority. We probably should not rule out the possibility that there was as much undemonstrative approval of Nazi efforts to force the Jews out of Germany as there was apathy.

Gordon's book invites comparison with Ian Kershaw's excellent study of public opinion in Bavaria during the Third Reich.13 Kershaw, too, draws on Nazi and socialist underground situation reports, and his findings often parallel Gordon's. Bavarians accepted legal discrimination against Jews but condemned antisernitic boycotts and hooligarusm and resisted the aggressive, dynamic racism that radical Nazis sought to instill, although less so in Protestant Middle Franconia than elsewhere. Some clergymen of both denominations spoke out against the persecution of the Jews, but most agreed with it, ignored it as political and hence outside their jurisdiction, or bowed to the intimidation of the police state. Although Kershaw finds less opposition and more indifference to antisernitism during the war years than does Gordon, he, too, doubts that concrete knowledge of the Final Solution was widespread. In contrast to Gordon, who takes full advantage of her highly focussed investigation to quantify her dissenters according to age, gender, and occupation, Kershaw eschews cliometrics on principle. What is striking here is the fact that two scholars, working in different parts of Germany and employing different methodologies, one almost obsessively devoted to quantification, the other unblushingly impressionistic, arrive at remarkably similar overall conclusions.

Studies such as these by Gordon and Kershaw ought to strengthen the trend of recent years among Holocaust historians to avoid assuming widespread radical hatred for Jews among the German people before and after 1933. Yet standard works still either portray the Holocaust as the logical culmination of long-held and deeply-felt mass antisemitism in Germany or else ignore the issue altogether.14 Scholars at large still commonly explain Nazi racial persecution by referring to the displacement, or "scapegoat" theory of antisernitism; much loved by social scientists and historians alike, it encourages an undifferentiated view of a whole nation unloading its frustrations at the doorstep of the Jews. Insofar as that theory has validity, it applies to only a part of the German population, and probably not the largest. We are now in a far better position to understand how a fairly small minority of racist fanatics could control and manipulate an atomized nation, depersonalize the Jews, and exploit the most banal of human aspirations- advancement, security, survival-to drag many others into passive or active complicity in persecution.


1. Based on her "German Opposition to Nazi Anti-Semitic Measures between 1933 and 1945, with Particular Reference to the Rhine-Ruhr Area," Ph.D. diss., SUNY Buffalo, 1979.

2. Theodore Abel, Why Hitler Came to Power: An Answer Based on the Original Life Stories of Six Hundred of his Followers (New York, 1938); Peter Merkl, Political Violence under the Swastika: 581 Early Nazis (Princeton, 1975).

3. Thomas Childers, The Nazi Voter: The Social Foundations of Fascism in Germany, 1919-1933 (Chapel Hill, 1983); Richard Hamilton, Who Voted for Hitler? (Princeton, 1982).

4. George Kren and Leon Rappoport, "Resistance to the Holocaust: Reflections on the Idea and the Act," in The Holocaust as Historical Experience, ed. Yehuda Bauer and Nathan Rothenstreitch (New York, 1981), pp. 196-217.

5. Sebastian Haffner, The Meaning of Hitler, trans. Ewald Osers (New York, 1979), pp. 80-85.

6. Karl Dietrich Bracher, The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism, trans. Jean Steinberg (New York, 1970); Eberhard Jackel, Hitler's "Weltanschauung": A Blueprint for Power, trans. Herbert Arnold (Middletown, CT, 1972); Gerald Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution (Berkeley, 1984); Uwe Dietrich Adam, Die Judenpolitik im Dritten Reich (Dusseldorf, 1972); Martin Broszat, "Hitler und die Genesis der 'Endlosung.' Aus Anlass der Thesen von David Irving," Vierteljahrshefte ffir Zeitgeschichte 25 (1977): 739-75; Hans Mommsen, "Die Realisierung des Utopischen. Die 'Endlosung.' der Judenfrage' im 'Dritten Reich'," Geschichte und Gesellschaft 9 (1983): 381-420.

7. For recent historiographical essays on the debate, see Ian Kershaw, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation (London, 1985), pp. 82- 105; Otto D. Kulka, "Major Trends in German Historiography on National Socialism and the 'Jewish Question' (1924-1984)," Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 30 (1985): 215-42.

8. Hermann Rauschning, Gesprdche mit Hitler (New York, 1940), p. 129. Evidently Gordon did not consult the Rauschning volume, but instead employed Robert G. L. Waite's (The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler [New York, 1972], p. 41) somewhat curious fusion of two quite different quotations of Hitler by Rauschning (see ibid., p. 81) and substituted 11 exterminate" for "eradicate" the first time she did so (p. 119).

9. Rauschning, Gesprdche, p. 223. The discussion leaves open the question of whether Rauschning's book is an authentic representation of statements made by Hitler. The Swiss scholar Wolfgang Hanel has raised serious doubts about Rauschning's having had more than a few brief meetings with Hitler and about the likelihood that the dictator shared any intimate thoughts with him. Karl-Heinz Janssen, "Kumerhche Notizen: Rauschnings 'Gesprache mit Hitler'-wie ein Schweizer Lehrer nach 45 Jahren einen Schwindel auffliegen liess," Die Zeit, 26 July 1985, p. 14. A more favorable assessment of the value of the Rauschning volume is to be found in Theodor Schieder, Hermann Rauschnings "Gesprdche mit Hitler" als Geschichtsquelle (Opladen, 1972).

10. Otto D. Kulka, " 'Public Opinion' in National Socialist Germany and the 'Jewish Question'," Zion 40 (1975): 44; Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm, "Wie geheim war die 'Endlosung.' in Miscellanea-Festschrift ffir Helmut Krausnick zum 75. Geburtstag, ed. Wolfgang Benz and others (Stuttgart, 1980), pp. 131-48.

11. Lawrence D. Stokes, "The German People and the Destruction of the European Jews," Central European History 6 (1973): 167-191.

12. Michael Muller Claudius, Der Antisemitismus und das deutsche Verhangnis (Frankfurt, 1948), pp. 76-77, 175-176.

13. Ian Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich: Bavaria 1933-1945 (Oxford, 1983), esp. chapters 6 and 9.

14. An example of the former approach is Lucy S. Dawidowicz's otherwise incisive The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 (New York, 1975), esp. pp. 46-47; of the latter, Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 2d rev. ed., 3 vols. (New York, 1985). A study that is refreshingly free from such flaws is Yehuda Bauer, A History of the Holocaust (New York, 1982).

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