When discussing the Holocaust, the terms “factories of death,” “white-collar murderer,” and “bureaucratic efficiency” are frequently used, leading to a distorted idea of what really happened. This work contends that far from being an impersonal and purely systematic process the Holocaust was often a rather chaotic labor. Where the horrors it perpetrated in some sense “modern”? Was the Holocaust an expression or outgrowth of the terrible powers implicit in modernity? New empirical findings are shifting our attention away from what made the Third Reich emblematic of general patterns of modern society and remind us of the ways in which that regime was profoundly aberrant and atavistic. Although this swing of the interpretive pendulum hardly represents the last word, it deserves a careful consideration that shows how the primitivism of the Nazi project exceeds by far its modern attributes.
- Third Reich
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies