Functionalism And Intentionalism Essay

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The debate between the functionalisms and intentionalism was considered as the historiographical debate about the origins of the Holocaust. Timothy Mason was most commonly considered as the person who developed these two terms. As a functionalist himself, these two terms came from one of his papers which was about drawing focus away from Hitler as the sole explanation of the Holocaust. In our class, two papers were assigned and discussed regarding to the Holocaust origin and this intentionalist and functionalist debate. One paper was Geraid Fleming’s “It is the Führer's wish” and another one was Arno J. Mayer’s “Product of a War gone Awry”. Geraid Fleming explained his point of view as the intentionalist while the Arno J. Mayer was from the …show more content…
Some functionalist argued that the Holocaust was carried out under the pressure of the military and political circumstances Hitler and his officials were involved. While some other functionalist argued that Hitler’s main purpose of persecuting Jews was majorly focused on the economics. Arno J. Mayer explained in his paper “Product of a War gone Awry” that the Holocaust was more likely a result of the “way in which the Nazi leadership conceived of political” (Mayer, 1988). Arno J. Mayer illustrated Holocaust as the result of a multiple steps process of a non-predictable historical event. The beginning of this process was Hitler raised into power and took control of Germany. Next step was the political approaches caused by Hitler’s weakness and his subsequent manipulation by other Nazi leaders. Then the last step was the achievement of the Nazi party’s “National Socialist” goal. Arno J. Mayer mentioned in his article that Nazi brought up several plans on how to treat the Jewish people at the beginning such as deporting Jews away to Madagascar or far interior of Russia. This strongly approved that Hitler and his officials did not intentionally aim on the

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