In 2003, Goldhagen quit his Harvard academic job to focus on writing.His work synthesizes four historical elements, kept distinct for analysis; as presented in the books A Moral Reckoning: the Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair (2002) and Worse Than War (2009): (i) description (what happens), (ii) explanation (why it happens), (iii) moral evaluation (judgement), and (iv) prescription (what is to be done? According to Goldhagen, his Holocaust studies address questions about the political, social, and cultural particulars behind other genocides: “Who did the killing?
Hitler's Willing Executioners (1996) posits that the vast majority of ordinary Germans were as the title indicates "willing executioners" in the Holocaust because of a unique and virulent "eliminationist antisemitism" in the German identity, which had developed in the preceding centuries.
Goldhagen argued that this "eliminationist antisemitism" was the cornerstone of German national identity, that this type of antisemitism was unique to Germany and because "eliminationist antisemitism", ordinary Germans killed Jews willingly and happily.
Access to society journal content varies across our titles.
If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box.
” “What, despite temporal and cultural differences, do mass killings have in common?
”, which yielded Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity, about the global nature of genocide, and averting such crimes against humanity.
Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (born 1959) is an American author and former Associate Professor of Political Science and Social Studies at Harvard University.
In 1989, Lucy Dawidowicz reviewed Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?
(1988) in Commentary magazine, and praised Goldhagen’s “False Witness” review, identifying him as a rising Holocaust historian who formally rebutted “Mayer’s falsification” of history.