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  • Titill er á ensku How the ideology and political structures of Nazi Germany enabled the Holocaust : a study in ideology and political structures
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This thesis presents an analysis of the political and social structures of the Third Reich and how, informed by the ideology of Nazism, they enabled the Holocaust, from the two different political-scientific approaches of interpretivism and structuralism. The argument is that Nazi ideology informed the structures of the Third Reich in such a way, primarily through the concepts of ‘cumulative radicalization’ and ‘working towards the Führer,’ that the Holocaust unfolded in a haphazard ‘functionalist’ process, through ever fluctuating Nazi anti-Jewish policy, as to emerge in three primary stages and a further two phases. The final stage was the so-called ‘Final Solution’ as we know it – which unfolded in two phases, firstly the Shoah by bullets and secondly the Shoah by gas. This process is referred to by scholars as the ‘twisted road to Auschwitz.’
    In this essay, the two primary historiographical approaches to the Holocaust, intentionalism and functionalism, will be synthesized and reconciled with the political-scientific approaches of interpretivism and structuralism. I argue that intentionalism is essentially synonymous with interpretivism, as an approach that looks at ideas as a primary motivating factor; and the same applies to functionalism and structuralism, as an approach that looks at the dynamic of the political/social structures of society, how they function and compete among each other to produce outcomes.
    I argue that adopting only one of these approaches is insufficient. They have to be applied in unison to sufficiently explain the functioning of the Nazi Regime, and how the greatest genocide in all of human history unfolded.

  • 7.3.2019

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