“Events in Germany in 1933-1939 support the Structuralist view of the Holocaust more than the Intentionalist view.” How far do you agree with this statement?
The Intentionalists interpretation focuses on the intentions of Hitler, they view Hitler as the absolute centre of the Holocaust. The Structuralist view on the other hand view Hitler as a weak dictator, and focus on the disorganized structure of the Third Reich.
The Structuralists believed that since the rising of the Nazi Party, Hitler relied on his character to get by. They believed that Hitler didn’t try to rationally organise his party, and he had a haphazard approach to politics. The Intentionalists believe that Hitler was a cunning politician, and that he created confusion amongst his followers to defend his position as leader. The Intentionalists claim Hitler let his followers interpret his speeches as they desired. This often led to members of the Nazi government arriving at different conclusions.
According to Intentionalists, it was Hitler who decided on the mass murder of the Jews and he who worked with consciousness and calculation towards that target. They believe that Hitler definitely had plans for the Holocaust by 1924, if not earlier. There are several diary entries by Joseph Goebbels in late 1941, in which he writes that "the Führer's prophecy is coming true in a most terrible way." The impression from this is that Goebbels is quite surprised that Hitler was serious about carrying out such a threat.
Structuralists believe that the rivalry within the unstable Nazi power structure provided the major driving force behind the Holocaust. They also believe that the Nazis aimed to get rid of all of the Jews from Europe, however only after the failure of these schemes they resorted to genocide.
I think that neither Structuralists nor Intentionalists are the stronger view to support events in Germany 1933-39. I think the Holocaust was a result of both a dynamic plan and idea that...
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