New Histories of the Holocaust
I have read too much about the Holocaust, as you probably have too. It’s a relief to read something new on the subject – and something easy to read as well.
Note, in particular, the photo of Reinhard Heydrich, Acting Reich Protektor of Bohemia and Moravia, who was responsible, according to an order signed by Hermann Göring in July 1941, for organizing ‘a general solution of the Jewish question throughout the German sphere of influence in Europe’.
Who the article refers to as an entrepreneur of violence. A term I hadn’t heard of before. I would have called him a killing computer - logical and cold.
The article, as its title implies, shows the logical progression of the implementation of the Ultimate Solution. A logic that was fatally flawed.
Many of the historians are Polish – and Poland, as they candidly admit – was the victim and perpetrator of many atrocities.
As the article also states: Poland is a beneficiary of the globalization of the post-Communist years. But there was another globalization before that – and it was one of the causes of the Holocaust:
As Donald Bloxham suggests in his Final Solution, the Holocaust can be seen, among many other things, as the final catastrophe accompanying the breakdown of what some historians call the first globalization, the expansions of world trade of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It collapsed in three stages: World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. Its fatal flaw was its dependence upon European empire. The process of decolonization began within Europe itself, as the Balkan nation-states liberated themselves first from the Ottoman Empire and then from the dominance of their British, German, Austrian, or Russian imperial patrons. The leaders of these small, isolated, agrarian nation-states found a natural harmony between nationalist ideology and their own desperate economic situations: if only we liberate our fellow nationals beyond the next river or mountain range from foreign rule, we can expand our narrow tax base with their farmland.
I have never heard any of this before. It is my favorite kind of theory: one that explains a lot.
But we are learning all over again how fragile globalization is. And the center of this fragility is, once again – Europe.
The rest of this article is well worth reading. I think you will enjoy it too.