Why the Holocaust? And why the Germans? The classic answer is that Jew-hatred was as German as beer and bratwurst. “From Luther to Hitler,” runs a pat phrase. The Holocaust was embedded in Teutonic DNA, as a classic cliché had it.
But this tale does not withstand scrutiny.
Anti-Semitism was a fixture all over Europe. The ghetto dates back to antiquity. England was judenrein for 400 years. In Spain, the Jews were expelled in 1492. Pogroms were the European routine.
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