Article

Nationalism

Eric D. Weitz

in The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199211869
Published online January 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199211869.003.0004

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Nationalism

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National Socialism sought a radical restructuring of the European population. The drive to assert German domination over the continent entailed not only territorial conquest and political dictatorship but also demographic engineering, in which the annihilation of the Jews was the core aspiration. This article shows that a program of this sort was one possible outcome of nationalism, since that idea and race thinking are closely linked. Both forms of understanding human diversity and defining community developed from the 15th and especially the 18th century onward in the western world. National Socialism provided particularly intertwined and vicious definitions of nation and race that reveal in stark terms how nationalism, which always carries an exclusionary component, was a necessary enabling condition for the Holocaust.

Keywords: National Socialism; nationalism; race; Holocaust; demographic engineering; Jews

Article.  6141 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Issues and Debates

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