Europe, the Final Solution and the dynamics of intent

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Abstract

The scale and scope of the 'final solution' of the 'Jewish question' were extreme even in the horrific annals of genocide. Bloxham attempts to shed light on the pattern of mass murder in its expansion and contraction by viewing the Holocaust in a set of temporally and culturally specific contexts. It places the Holocaust into a broader European framework of violent ethnopolitics and geopolitics from the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. The Holocaust is depicted as an only partially discrete part of a continental process of traumatic flux, and a part, furthermore, that can itself be partially disaggregated into national and regional components. Bloxham moves from a general consideration of patterns of ethnic violence in the period to a closer causal explanation that shows the different valences of Nazi policy towards Jews in the lands directly ruled by Germany and those of Germany's allies respectively. He shows that the peculiarly extensive ambitions of the 'final solution' at its most expansive can only be explained when wider geopolitical and strategic contextual terms are factored in along with consideration of Nazi ideology and the internal dynamics of some of the key institutions of the perpetrator state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-335
Number of pages19
JournalPatterns of Prejudice
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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