Hitler and the Holocaust: Intentionalism vs. Functionalism
A detailed historiographical analysis of the theories of intentionalism and functionalism as they relate to the Final Solution and the Holocaust.
# 27135 | 2,985 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2002 |
Published on May 25, 2003 in History (European - 20th Century) , History (European - World Wars) , Holocaust Studies (General)
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This paper examines the theories of intentionalism and functionalism in relation to the development and implementation of Hitler's Final Solution. The first theory holds that the Final Solution was the direct result of Hitler's anti-Semitic ideology and his orders to that effect. The second theory of functionalism asserts that the Final Solution developed haphazardly as a result of external pressures. The paper draws upon a wealth of historiographical evidence to support its findings. The writer weighs the merits of both theories and ultimately finds in favor of the theory of intentionalism.
From the Paper:"The Holocaust was the deliberate and bureaucratic annihilation of eleven million people, six million of whom were Jews, by Hitler and his Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. The Holocaust was the greatest genocidal attempt ever made and arguably the greatest demonstration of man's inhumanity to man that the world has ever seen. Even now, the Holocaust's legacy of death and destruction strikes fear and sorrow into the hearts of people around the world. Perhaps one of the greatest and most pressing questions of modern civilization is just how and why the horrible atrocities of the Holocaust occurred. There are two modern theories as to the origin of Hitler's Final Solution, the final plan for the extermination of all Jews and other "inferior" peoples. These two theories are known simply as intentionalism and functionalism. The traditional theory of intentionalism holds that there is a clear linear relation between Hitler's anti-Semitic ideology and the Final Solution."
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