UCSB Hist 133D
The Holocaust in German History

Prof. Marcuse
Oct. 4, 2001

Lecture 4: Germany’s "Special Path:" Economic vs. Cultural Causes

  1. Film clip (14 mins): US Army Signal Corps, "Here is Germany" (1945)
  1. EIEIO: Prof. Marcuse’s "Old MacDonald’s Categories of Causation in History"
    1. Economics
    2. International factors
    3. Elites
    4. Ideology/Information (culture, education)
    5. "Opposition" (human agency)
  1. How do these categories help us to understand the power structure models from last lecture?
    1. This was a planned event, long in the minds of Hitler and the top Nazis
      • intentionalism: Hitler's preformed plan (coherent ideology)
    2. This was a calculated power-maximizing strategy by high-level Nazi elites
      • structuralism: jockeying and vying for power at the highest levels radicalized policy
      • always seeking economic advantage
    3. There was a spontaneous taking-advantage of an opportunity by low-level Nazi activists
      • functionalism: widespread economically opportunistic behaviors radicalized policy
      • or were those behaviors due to idealism?
      • human agency of the "grass roots"
    4. International factors: legacies of World War I, "toleration" of Hitler’s expansionism during 1930s

Note: we will return to the concept of Germany’s "special path" in a later lecture