An Examination of:
Hitlerís Willing Executioners:
Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust

by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

reviewed by Alexander Tietjen, November 2003


Introductory Page

This project was created by Alexander Tietjen. It contains a review of the controversial book Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust by Daniel Goldhagen (1995) (link to review page). This book is about the perpetrators of the horrific deeds of the Holocaust, and specifically Reserve Battalion 101. It is a book that examines why this group of seemingly normal men directly participated in killing thousands of Jews in the lands conquered in the east, especially Poland. It is Mr. Goldhagen's belief that there is something uniquely German about the Holocaust and that it was only because of deeply rooted cultural phenomena it was even possible. In contrast to this view are the ideas of Christopher Browning as stated in his book, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. He believes that Goldhagen's arguments are fundamentally flawed and the events of the ability to create a "Holocaust" are not peculiar to Germany.


About the Author

My name is Alexander Tietjen. I am a sophomore at the University of California, Santa Barbara. During the fall quarter of 2003 I have been enrolled in a history course on the Holocaust. As a final project I was assigned the task of creating a web page about a certain aspect of the Holocaust. I decided to research perpetrators and read the book by Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. The page I created is a review of the book including criticism by another author, Christopher Browning, who used similar material in his own book, but came to much different conclusions (link to review page). I have enjoyed the project and hope that this information will prove useful.