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Economic Entjudung in Nazi Europe 
aspect as essential for the understanding of the Holocaust: in both Léon 
Poliakov’s Harvest of Hate (first published in 1951) and Gerald 
Reitlinger’s The Final Solution (1953) economic issues were mentioned 
only as by-products of other major developments (such as ghettoization 
in the case of Reitlinger).” Since the 1960s the economic aspect contin- 
ued to lose its central place in overall conceptualizations of the Holo- 
caust (as in the books by Nora Levin, Lucy Dawidowicz, Nathan Eck, 
Martin Gilbert and Yehuda Bauer)? In the so-called “intentionalism / 
functionalism” controversy, which dominated much of perpetrator his- 
toriography (Tdterforschung) from the 1960s through the 1980s, Nazi 
antisemitic economic policies were tackled by the functionalists, yet not 
as an essential issue by itself. As the controversy focused on the question 
in what mode anti-Jewish policies culminating in the Final Solution were 
shaped in general, the stances were generalizing and structural: Was ide- 
ology the motivating factor that shaped anti-Jewish policies (the inten- 
tionalist stance)? or did these escalate due to ad-hoc decisions resulting 
from the need to cope with practical issues (the functionalists stance)? 
Was the decision-making process goal-oriented and top-down, originat- 
ing in an omnipotent and omniscient single person — Hitler (as the inten- 
tionalists claimed); or was it an unplanned result of “totalitarian anar- 
chy” (or “organized chaos”) characterized by fights over competences 
within the bureaucracy,? which caused the process to escalate (Hitler 
being a “weak dictator”, as Hans Mommsen argued®)?* Within this 
context, the economic domain (exclusion of the Jews, the Four Year 
Plan) was interpreted as Hermann Goring’s power basis that competed 
20 Poliakov, Harvest of Hate; Reitlinger, Final Solution. For an analysis of Poliakov’s and 
Reitlinger’s conceptualizations see Michman, Holocaust Historiography, pp. 11-16. 
21 This is apparent in comprehensive studies published from the second half of the 
1960s through the 1980s. See Levin, The Holocaust; Dawidowicz, The War Against 
the Jews 1933-1945; Eck, The Holocaust of the Jewish People in Europe; Gilbert, 
The Holocaust; Bauer, A History of the Holocaust. 
22 On this controversy see: Kershaw, The Nazi Dictatorship, pp. 82-106 (and in later 
editions). The terms “intentionalism” and “functionalism” were coined by Mason, 
Intention and Explanation. 
23 Jackel, Hitlers Herrschaft. 
24 Adam, Judenpolitik im Dritten Reich, pp. 94-108. 
25  Mommsen, National Socialism. 
26 Michman, Holocaust Historiography, pp. 91-96. 


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