Yehuda Bauer

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Yehuda Bauer (1926-) is Professor Emeritus of History and Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem. He is part of the relatively recent reexamination of the question of whether Adolf Hitler explicitly ordered the physical extermination of the Jews, the Final Solution, or rather set the conditions for them but was insufficiently managerial to make it an order. Bauer does not, in any way, suggest that Hitler was not responsible for the Holocaust, but the question is how it was directed. [1]

His 2002 book, Rethinking the Holocaust, with respect to the intentionalist versus functionist views of Hitler historiography, says that " calls the Final Solution the result of a "stage by stage development during 1941." [2] The functionalists do not believe central ideology or decision was essential, although the murder could not have happened without the approval of Hitler and his inner circle. [3]

He is critical of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's theory that the root of the Holocaust was nineteenth-century German eliminationist antisemitism. Bauer rejected that there was something uniquely German about the nineteenth century rhhetoric, but rather saw the cause in the susceptibility of the Germans to the authoritarianism of the Nazi Party and to Hitler.[4]


  1. Ian Kershaw (2008), Hitler, the Germans and the Final Solution, Yale University Press & Yad Vashem, ISBN 978-0-300-12427-9, p. 04}}
  2. Yehuda Bauer (2002), Rethinking the Holocaust, Yale University Press, p. 176
  3. Bauer 2002, pp. 4-5
  4. Ron Rosenbaum (1998), Explaining Hitler: the Search for Origins of His Evil, Random House, ISBN 0-679-43151-9, pp. 344-345