Ken McVay OBC writes.
> I find the attacks upon Goldhagen’s thesis interesting, if,
> for no other reason, most of those attacking him haven’t read
> his book.
I have observed the same phenomenon.
> I confess that I have not completed the work, having finished
> but a fourth of it. Having said that, I would have to ask the
> obvious question: What is it in Goldhagen’s thesis that “does
> not help reasonable dialog?”
> I would have to conclude, having read those first 110 pages,
> that he has made the beginnings of a very strong, well
> documented, case.
> I would also have to conclude, from reading criticisms of his
> work, that most of the critics haven’t read the book.
> Put simply, if I read him correctly, Goldhagen is saying that
> the Holocaust was not aided and abetted by the German people
> simply because the Nazis managed to brainwash them all, but
> because antisemitism had been widespread in Germany for over
> 100 years, and what he calls “eliminationist antisemitism”
> common since just before the turn of the century.
You are correct.
Their antisemitism can be seen in the posture of Adolf Eichmann, who
maintained that the extermination of the Jewish people is something that
ought to be done.
What Goldhagen did is reject the notion that such an attitude was held
by a mere handful of zealots. Instead, he insisted that such a form of
Jew-hatred was necessary in the German people themselves for the Holocaust
to have happened.
> He does _not_ say that this condition was limited to Germans
> and Germany, contrary to what many critics claim. He simply
> concentrates on Germany, because that is where his thesis
> takes him.
Again, this is an accurate depiction of his position.
> (I read a book last fall that documented precisely the same
> type of antisemitism in France – the author’s comment being
> “The only thing that surprises me about the Holocaust is that
> it didn’t happen in France first.” I note that no-one has
> taken issue with this as they have with Goldhagen.)
I could not agree more.
Furthermore, I have not seen any criticism of Goldhagen’s book which
has focused on the book’s content.
Having read the book in its entirety, I can say that the truths contained
in this book are painfully self-evident. Perhaps their disquieting nature
is the reason that nearly all criticism has sidestepped his assertions and
instead fixated on a methodology which is alleged to be unacademic and
The criticism, all of which is directed at his methodology, is especially
absurd when one notes the origin of the book.
>From the book jacket:
His doctoral dissertation, which is the basis for this book,
was awarded the American Political Science Association’s 1994
Gabriel A. Almond award for the best dissertation in the field
of comparative politics.
This hardly suggests sloppy research methods.
I urge all of you to do something that most of Goldhagen’s critics have not
I urge you to read the book and decide for yourself.
From [email protected] Mon Jun 10 11:34:27 PDT 1996
Article: 42465 of alt.revisionism
From: [email protected] (Mark Ira Kaufman)
Subject: Re: GOLDHAGEN slanders Germans
Date: 10 Jun 1996 16:24:05 GMT
Organization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
References: <[email protected]> <[email protected]>
Reply-To: [email protected] (Mark Ira Kaufman)