Browning Vs. Goldhagen on the Holocaust Argumentative Essay by Nicky

Browning Vs. Goldhagen on the Holocaust
An examination of the psychology of the Holocaust as seen by Christopher Browning in "Ordinary Men" and by D.J. Goldhagen in "Hitler's Willing Executioner's".
# 144834 | 1,630 words | 3 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Oct 12, 2010 in Literature (American) , Holocaust Studies (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper considers Christopher Browning's view, that the Holocaust was demonstrative of the ordinary possibilities of evil resident in all men, in contrast to D.J. Goldhagen's view that the Nazis represented something uniquely terrible and attributable to their time, place and leadership. The paper argues with the way Browning explains the behavior of the German people and supports Goldhagen's perspective that there was something extraordinary in the mentality of the Germans. The paper contends that we cannot consider the Nazi psychology as ordinary, rather, we must accept that the Germans were vulnerable to the hate-fueled exploitation of a profoundly anti-Semitic, violent and depraved leadership. The paper emphasizes that failing to recognize the signs of a society influenced by the lunacy of fascism could ultimately render the lessons of the Holocaust unlearned.

From the Paper:

"It is very easy to regard the Holocaust as an anomaly on human history. Amid the backdrop of the global struggle that would evolve into World War II, Germany's unwieldy dictator Adolph Hitler had already begun to initiate his persecution of various groups that he had classified as outliers to the pure Aryan nation he had envisioned. What at first was a broad-based social, legal and economic persecution of groups such as the gypsies, blacks, gays and the handicapped, would soon take precedence in Hitler's pursuit of world domination as the Final Solution. Most central to the plot of this heinous pretense was the thorough and worldwide extermination of the Jews. History tends with some difficulty to examine this moment with respect to the psychology that allowed the perpetrators of this extermination to act without critical or meaningful reflection on the extraordinary depravity of that which they were doing."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Browning, C. (1992). Ordinary Men. Harper Perennial.
  • Dawidowicz, L.S. (1976). A Holocaust Reader. Behrman House, Inc.
  • Goldhagen, D.J. (1997). Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Vintage.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Browning Vs. Goldhagen on the Holocaust (2010, October 12) Retrieved February 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Browning Vs. Goldhagen on the Holocaust" 12 October 2010. Web. 07 February. 2023. <>