ly based on the pioneering research donernby others (such as the American historianrnChristopher Browning).rnRudolf Augstein, the highly opinionatedrneditor of Germany’s most influentialrnweekly, Der Spiegel, dismissed Goldhagenrnout of hand as a “nonhistorian,”rnadding that “the end result is meager,rnone can even say, it is simply ‘Nil.'” Inrnthe Berliner Morgenpost, ProfessorrnMichael Wolffsohn (who was born in Israel)rnwas no less withering, remarking:rnDeja vu, Dejd lu. . . . The doors, whichrnwere supposed to be wrenched open, arerngaping wide. . . . The wheel once againrnhas been invented and America rediscovered.”rnThis may seem a trifle harsh. But inrnan article dramatically entitled “Ein Volkrnvon ‘Endlosern'” (“A People of ‘Final Solutionists'”),rnpublished in Munich’s SiiddeutschernZeitung, the Berlin historianrnNorbert Frei was certainly on target inrnpointing out that “Whoever wishes tornobtain a hearing in the hotly contestedrnmedia market of the 1990’s needs detonatingrntheses.”rnThe question of just how original andrn”trail-blazing” Goldhagen’s explosive researchrnreally is, is one I shall have to leavernto the specialists. What is certain is thatrnhe has put together a formidable indictment,rnbased on the simple principle thatrnsince most Germans failed to speak outrnopenly in protest, they were de facto accomplicesrnwho bear the burden of proofrnof their innocence. As Frank Schirrmacherrnnoted in the Frankfurter AllgemmeinernZeitung, in criticizing Goldhagen’srn”mechanistic” psychology, “Onernoften has the impression that here it isrnnot a historian who is speaking but arncomputer operator who has poredrnthrough legal proceedings and documentsrnas though they were componentsrnin a giant software program.”rnWhat most surprised me about thisrnbook is the almost mystical conceptionrnGoldhagen has of its key element, anti-rnSemitism. He describes it as a kind ofrnundulating force, waxing and waningrnover the centuries and ever ready tornerupt from the depths of the Germans’rncollective consciousness according tornmysterious circumstances he makes nornattempt to elucidate. His thesis, thoughrnhe does not formulate it that succinctly,rnis essentially that “Ugliness lies in the eyernof the beholder.” The beholders in thisrncase were the “ordinary Germans” mentionedrnin the subtitle of this book, whilernthe ugliness lay in the preconceivedrnstereotypes of the “scheming” or “money-rngrubbing Jew,” “the instrument of Satan,”rnand so on, which were harbored byrnaverage Germans who often had neverrndealt or met with flesh-and-blood Jews.rnThis thesis is not one Goldhagen himselfrninvented; it is based, as repeated sourcernreferences make clear, on a book writtenrnby Bernard Glassman, Anti-SemiticrnStereotypes without ]ews: Images ofrnthe Jews in England, 1290-1700—arnstudy of the anti-Semitic sentimentsrnthat were rife in that country at a timernwhen there were practically no Jews livingrnthere.rnFar be it from me to belittle the influencernof stereotypes and primitive dislikesrnon human behavior. A great deal of whatrnpasses for “thinking” (in fact mere opinion-rnholding) in daily life is nothing morernthan stereotypic image-forming aboutrn”others” based on superficial contacts.rnAs Dostoyevsky had one of his charactersrnexclaim, “What a stench would spreadrnout over the world if each person saidrnwhat he really thinks!”rnAnti-Semitism, as Goldhagen knowsrnwell, is no new phenomenon. Nor isrnit something absolutely unique and suirngeneris; it is merely a particulariy vicious,rnand often pathological, form of a morerngeneral phenomenon we call “xenophobia”rn—which, as the Greeks clearly realized,rnwas not simply a “hatred” but a fearrnof everything that is strange, foreign,rnalien. Not the least curious aspect ofrnGoldhagen’s book is that, whereas thernwords “anti-Semitism and “anti-rnSemitic” appear on almost every page,rnthere is virtually no discussion anywherernof the larger phenomenon of Germanrnxenophobia.rnI write as one whose father in 1900 wasrnsent to a boarding school in Berlin, wherernfor the first few days he was brutally attackedrnand beaten up by groups of arrogantrnyoung Prussians until he, his olderrnbrother, and another American decided,rnfor their own welfare, to move around everywhererna trois. None of this embattledrntrio was Jewish.rnYears later, when I had to prepare arnuniversity paper on the German GeneralrnStaff, I began to understand what hadrnhappened at this Berlin boarding school.rnThose young Prussian bullies were givingrnvent to what might be called the “Tirpitzrncomplex”: a deep, simmering, rancorousrnfeeling of national inferiority and resentmentrndirected against all Anglo-Saxonsrnbecause the British had not only thernworld’s greatest navy but also the world’srnlargest empire, whereas, thanks to its previousrndivisions, the recently united GermanicrnReich had been cheated out ofrnmost of its “rightful spoils” in Africa.rnShortly after the end of the Great Warrnof I9I4-I9I8, Marshal Foch remarkedrnthat “Bolshevism is a disease of defeatedrncountries.” The same could, I think, bernsaid without too much exaggeration ofrnthe most vicious forms of modern anti-rnSemitism in Europe. The bacillus—thernmythical image of the omnipresent, basicallyrndisloyal Jew as the scapegoat explanationrnfor a country’s decline—firstrnmade its fateful appearance in Viennarn(where Adolf Hitler caught the “bug”),rnshortly after Austria’s defeat by Prussia inrnthe war of 1866. The disease then spreadrnto France, after that country’s humiliationrnduring the brief Franco-PrussianrnWar of 1870 (with Drumont’s vitriolicrnpamphleteering and the bitterly contestedrnchmax of the Dreyfus case). Afterrnwhich, the epidemic infected the postwarrnGerman Reich, which had lost itsrnemperor, which had been stripped of itsrncolonies in Africa, and had been reducedrnto the modest dimensions of the WeimarrnRepublic.rnWhat I miss in Daniel Goldhagen’srnbook is the kind of intellectual subtletyrnthat Peter Viereck demonstrated yearsrnago in Metapolitics, which, though writtenrnin 1941 before the “final solution”rnhad been carried out in all of its gruesomernhorror, remains one of the bestrnbooks ever written about Nazism. In itrnhe cites the case of a wounded Germanrnsoldier who, taken prisoner by the Frenchrnduring the campaign of 1940, needed arnblood transfusion. “When approachedrnby the doctor and blood donor, the prisonerrninsisted: ‘I will not have my bloodrnpolluted with French blood. I wouldrnmuch rather die!’ So the French racialrninferiors could only shrug their un-rnNordic shoulders with very Gaelic shrugsrnand—soon after—bury the prisoner, arnmartyr to the new religion of racism.”rnHere is another, equally illuminatingrnquotation from the same book, whichrnshows to what grotesque heights of lunacyrnNazism’s racist xenophobia could berncarried:rnAfter the Worid War, General Ludendorffrnformed a nordic group torncombat everything Christian. Hisrnmotto: “War is the highest expressionrnof the racial life.” Ludendorffrnrecognized that a religion of warrn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn