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Functionalist Case

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"The Final Solution to the Jewish Question," starting in 1933, was not an operation that had an immediate and concise goal. Nazis Germany went from expulsion and ghettoization of European Jews to concluding with physical extermination not meticulously but as function evolving and changing over time. The spurring of the Holocaust was not a clear intent that Hitler set out with a plan to eradicate certain groups of people and more that the out come was emergent from the actions necessary to achieve Lebensraum.

This idea of the "evolution of regime" forces one to depict Adolf Hitler in a less straightforward and simple way. Hitler was a scheming opportunist, and built a messy chaotic Nazis system full of conflicting ideas. In order for Hitler to remain in power he maintains chaos without any clear goals or any unified government. Instead he builds it around many individual sections of power. As well as the war, "[because] nothing helped the Nazis to wage a race war so much as the war itself. In wartime, when it was all too usual to exclude the enemy from the community of human obligation, it was also all too easy to subsume the Jews into the "image of the enemy (Browning 186)."

When faced with three million Jews in July of 1940, Hitler considered relocating the Jews to Madagascar. This is consistent with Hitler's goal in Mein Kampf, in which he explicitly explains Lebensraum. "Probably the Aryan was also first a nomad, settling in the course of time, but for that very reason he was never a Jew! No, the Jew is no nomad; for the nomad had also a definite attitude toward the concept of work... in the Jew, however, this attitude is not at all present; for reason he was never a nomad, but only and always a parasite in the body of other peoples. That he sometimes left his previous living space has nothing to do with his own purpose, but results from the fact that from time to time he was thrown out by the host nations he had misused... he seeks a new feeding ground for his race." Eastward expansion is necessary for the continued growth and survival of the German State (Coogan 9/20). This is clearly explained in the passage above but in Hitler's Mein Kampf he does not explicitly explain what he intends to do with the Jews.

Christopher Browning's book Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland was a unit made up of mostly typical, lower middle class, non-Nazis men. If the Holocaust only takes ordinary men, such as those in Browning's book, then should the focus be solely on Hitler, when these men could have said no. Browning writes, " If the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 could become killers under such circumstance, what group of men could not (Browning 189)?"

When implying that the Holocaust was an intentional procedure carried out



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