By Arno J. Mayer
Was once the extermination of the Jews a part of the Nazi plan from the very begin? Arno Mayer bargains astartling and compelling solution to this query, that's a lot debated between historians today.In doing so, he offers probably the most thorough and convincing factors of ways the genocidecame approximately in Why Did the Heavens no longer Darken?, which provoked common curiosity and controversywhen first published.
Mayer demonstrates that, whereas the Nazis’ anti-Semitism used to be constantly virulent, it didn't becomegenocidal until eventually good into the second one international struggle, whilst the failure in their gigantic, all-or-nothingcampaign opposed to Russia prompted the ultimate resolution. He info the stairs best as much as thisenormity, displaying how the institutional and ideological frameworks that made it attainable evolved,and how either with regards to the debacle within the japanese theater. during this manner, the Judeocide is placedwithin the bigger context of eu historical past, displaying how comparable ‘holy factors’ some time past havetriggered analogous – if some distance much less cataclysmic – infamies.
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Extra info for Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: The Final Solution in History
Unlike all the other civilian victims of retaliatory terror, the Jews were demonized and turned into scapegoats not for real or alleged acts of hostility against specific German targets but for incar nating the nemesis of the Nazi pretense. At the same time, though Hitler proclaimed urbi et orbi that the Jews would be terribly punished, the worst of this "retribution" was carried out in secrecy. Because the torment of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and at Auschwitz was not completely secret, separate, and distinct, it was to some degree instru mental and similar to that of Gentiles.
In 1 648 the checkmate of the Habsburgs' hegemonic and centralizing pretensions was translated into the continuance of Ger many as a collection of over two hundred virtually autonomous terri torial states whose rulers wielded authority on the principle of Cuius regia, eius religia. In 1 945 the defeat of the drive for European mastery by a belatedly united Germany resulted in its being divided in two halves, each of which had its own inviolable civil religion. In every other respect, however, the consequences of the second General Crisis and Thirty Years War were more far-reaching, and the watershed was more radical.
This premise runs counter to the postulate that the violence and brutality of 1 9 1 4 to 1 945 were uniquely modern and essentially unprecedented. Appearances notwithstanding, the efficacy of advanced weapons, communications, and bureaucracies was neither the principal nor sufficient cause for the appalling destructiveness of the two world wars. Paradoxically, in 1 9 1 4 and again in 1 94 1 the latest instruments and techniques of warfare made history with their failure, not their success: the miscarriage of the Schlieffen Plan led to the gory trench warfare on the western front; the miscarriage of Operation Bar barossa resulted in the savage life-or-death struggle on the eastern front.