Assess the View That the Holocaust Was the Result of a Predetermined Plan by the Nazi Regime

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Joshua Murgatroyd Assess the view that the holocaust was the result of a predetermined plan by the Nazi regime When discussing the Holocaust we must first define what is meant by the term holocaust. Traditionally the Holocaust usually refers to the period of the final solution, were millions of people were killed, roughly between 1942-1945 but to understand the question of whether the Holocaust was a predetermined plan one must consider anti-Semitism across the whole Nazi era, this essay will focus on the treatment of the Jewish population. There are two main schools of thought on the question which are the intentionalist who believe the Nazi’s fostered an intention to kill the Jews from an early point in time with their being a straight road to Auschwitz, this school includes historians such as Gerald Felming and Lucy Dawidowicz. The other main school is the functionalist view that there was a twisted path to Auschwitz and that the war was a key turning point in starting the Daniel Goldhagen takes the view that elimination of the Jews was a long term plan he says that “Hitler and the Nazi’s eliminationist desire was clear.” and “Nazi policy towards the Jews was eminently coherent and goal directed.”{1}The opposite view is taken by VR Berghahn who cites the circumstances of the war as the main cause for the final solution. He says “The military victories in the east and west suddenly added several millions of Jews to the number who had been unable to leave the Reich before September 1939. Any resettlement plans had now become a major logistical and bureaucratic operation, the size of which helped to tip the scales in favour of physical annihilation.”{2} The lack of a plan which Berghahn hints at is backed

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