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Book Reviews 127 advertisement of Hegel's lecture course wanders from the third essay ("Schwan und Gans," pp. 85-86), to the fifth ("Eduard Gans und die Wissenschaft von der Gesetzgebung ," p. 141), to be embroidered and revised in the seventh ("Jurisprudenz und Philosophie als Berufund Passion," pp. 185-186). Many other instances of repetition could be cited, and the reader will probably learn to skip passages here and there. No cross-references are given, and, unfortunately, there is no index to the book at large. Indeed, Braun calls his work a "Zwischenbilanz," indicating the interim status of his book. But for anybody who would not like to wait for the more sustained account of Gans's life and times on which Braun is apparently working, the present volume will already provide a most rewarding reading experience. Liliane Weissberg Comparative Literature & Literary Theory Program University of Pennsylvania Nazi Germany and the Jews. Volume I: The Years oCPersecution, 1933-1939, by Saul Friedlander. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. 436 pp. $30.00. In the first ofthis two-volume series, Saul Friedlander examines the Holocaust from the perspective of perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and "ordinary" Germans. The work draws upon the impressive body ofsecondary scholarship on the Holocaust, as well as Friedlander's own careful reading ofprimary sources. Friedlander's book is accessible in style, and it is persuasively argued. Friedlander provides his reader with a compelling description of the historical context in which Nazi anti-Jewish policies evolved from 1933 to 1939. While many factors shaped the events in Germany leading from persecution to extermination, for Friedlander Hitler's role is of central importance. Hitler's "redemptive anti-Semitism," a volatile synthesis of murderous rage toward Jews and a mythic obsession with the sacredness of Aryan blood, differentiated Nazi hatred of Jews from other types of antisemitism common to Christian Europe. In this important respect, Friedlander aligns himself with scholars described as "intentionalists," i.e., those who emphasize the role of Hitler and his closest associates in initiating the murder ofEuropean Jewry. In terms oflong-term goals (if not concrete goals or precise objectives), intentionalists believe that the Nazi leadership planned the physical annihilation of Germany's, and later Europe's, Jews from very early on. Friedlander cites Hitler's letter on the "Jewish Question," addressed September 16, 1919, the February 24, 1920 25-point party program, the second volume of Mein Kampf, published in 1927, and, most important, Hitler's Reichstag speech of January 128 SHOFAR Summer 1999 Vol. 17, No.4 30, 1939, in which he prophesied the extennination of the Jews in the event of another European war, as evidence of the Nazis' unwavering desire to view the world in tenns of an apocalyptic battle against Jews. In contrast to some intentionalists, however, Friedlander does not view Nazi antiJewish policy as an orderly sequence from the seizure ofpower to mass murder. Instead, Friedlander shows how Hitler's initiatives, especially in the period before the Olympic Games of 1936, met with resistance from various levels of Gennan society and especially the bureaucracy. Internal bureaucratic dynamics did not, as "functionalists" Hans Mommsen, G6tz Aly, and Susanne Heim have argued, drive racist policy. On the contrary, outside of the party elite, bureaucracy slowed the pace of anti-Jewish measures. Until early 1938, when Hitler took concrete steps to launch Gennany on the course of major military confrontation, "conservative" antisemites, particularly in the Ministry of the Economy, offered protection against full-scale anti-Jewish radicalization . Bureaucracy was not the only constraint on Nazi fanaticism. International opinion, especially through the foreign press, also influenced Nazi decision-makers. Even individuals on occasion were able to exploit bureaucratic loopholes to gain reprieve from anti-Jewish measures. Redemptive antisemitism, for most of the period under consideration, thus had tangible limits. Among the most important checks on the Nazi leadership, in Friedlander's estimation, was popular opinion. Disenfranchisement and segregation of Jews was largely acceptable; acts of violence, on the other hand, were not. "It seems, however, that the majority of Gennans,',' Friedlander sunnises, "shied away from widespread violence against them [the Jews], urging neither their expulsion from the Reich nor their physical annihilation" (p. 4). The populace, Friedlander...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 127-129
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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