Hitler’s Willing Executioners Hitler’s Willing Executioners This book explains why the Holocaust occured. The cause of the Holocaust is found in the beliefs of the Germans. This book tells non-Jewish Germans that the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers and was not perpetrated solely by SS officials in the death camps. He says that the persecution began in schools, at the workplace, in stores, at every street corner. Germans tortured and killed the Jews not because they were ordered to but because they wanted to. Two parts of the book analyze the specific nature of German anti-Semitism from the Reformation to the rise of Nazism. A third part of the book describes the consequences of what he defines as eliminationist antisemitism during the implementation of the so-called final solution.
In this third part, the part of the book which contains the empirical research, Goldhagen analyses three case studies connected to three different aspects of the history of the genocide. He examines the treatment of Jews in concentration camps, the behavior of Battalion 101 of the Order Police in Poland, and the story of one of the many death marches enacted in the last six months of the war. The author wrote in a remembering way, he wrote so you wouldn’t forget anything that had happened to the Jews. I thought he wrote this way so everyone that read his book would see how terrible something like the Holocaust was and not to let anything like that happen again. I would consider this book to be most useful for the general college audience because the Holocaust contained alot of graphic material and may not be understood by junior high school students. The sources used by the author are very dependable references.