Christopher Browning's The Origins Of The Final Solution

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I. Introduction On January 20, 1942 in a suburb of Berlin known as Gross Wannsee, Reinhardt Heydrich, Head of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), following the written orders of Hermann Goring Marshall of the German Empire, hosted a meeting with fourteen high level officials of the Nazi Party and Reich government. This event became known as the Wannsee Conference and its written record detailed the organization and planning for the extermination of European Jews. Although the Third Reich did not reach the decision to exterminate the Jews at this conference, the participants at Wannsee blended extreme anti-Semitism with bureaucratic routines and detailed planning to facilitate genocide on a massive scale. After reviewing the historiography…show more content…
His book, The Origins of the Final Solution focuses on Nazi policy towards the Jews from September 1939-March 1942. Browning agrees with Hilberg and ads, that the combination of anti-Semitism with a power struggle among middle-level bureaucrats within the Nazi hierarchy caused immense pressure for an escalation of Nazi policy toward the Jews leading to the “Final Solution.” In addition to the seemingly endless debate, some historians argue about the timing of the “Final Solution” or the exact moment the Nazis made the decision. One of these historians is Professor Richard Breitman. Breitman teaches at Harvard University and also currently works as Director of Historical Research for the federally funded Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group. Breitman contends that it is crucial for the historian to accurately determine the chronology of events leading to the decision in order to narrow whatever disagreements exists over its causes and motivations. His book The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution, attempts to determine this chronology of events by tracking Himmler’s movements while he served as commander general of the SS. Breitman places the planning to exterminate the Jews after the Madagascar Plan fell apart in 1940 and Germany’s preparation to invade Russia…show more content…
The plan helped ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Jews in the occupied territories of Western Europe, and the millions that Germany expected to gain, with further military conquest, would no longer have to be deported to Germany sphere. The expectation of a Germany free of Jews was expanded to a free Europe as well. During the summer 1940, Rademacher was busy coordinating the cooperation of the various Nazi ministries, as well as collecting as much data as possible, to determine the amount of Jews involved in the Madagascar Plan. According to the most realistic estimate, issued by the Bavarian State Office of Statistics, excluding the Jews from Russia, six point five million Jews were to be deported from all over

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