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Hitler's Death Squads: The Logic of Mass…
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Hitler's Death Squads: The Logic of Mass Murder (Eastern European Studies…

by Helmut Langerbein

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Through the lens of German judicial records, Langerbein's examination of the "atypical" men who led the Nazi einsatzgruppen has several ends. Besides providing an indepth examination of the motivations of these leaders, Langerbein offers a critique of Daniel Goldhagen's thesis that deeply inbedded anti-Semetism was the main explanation for the Final Solution. Langerbein's counter-explanation owes more to Omer Bartov and Stanley Milgram, in that he sees a lethal mixture of the human reluctance to challenge authority and rampant careerism being supercharged by the imperatives of Nazi ideology and the demands of war on the Eastern Front. Langerbein also spends some time musing over the functionalist/intentionalist debate, mostly in regards to how the West German courty system metted out justice to the men involved, a justice that the author finds somewhat lacking in rigor compared to the crimes of the accused. ( )
  Shrike58 | Jul 7, 2008 |
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