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Hannah Arendt's Ghosts: Reflections on the Disputable Path from Windhoek to Auschwitz

  • Robert Gerwarth (a1) and Stephan Malinowski (a2)

Extract

Historians on both sides of the Atlantic are currently engaged in a controversy about the allegedly genocidal nature of western colonialism and its connections with the mass violence unleashed by Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1945. The debate touches upon some of the most “sensitive” issues of twentieth-century history: the violent “dark side” of modern western civilization, the impact of colonial massacres on the European societies that generated this violence and, perhaps most controversially, the origins and uniqueness of the Holocaust.

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1 Arendt, Hannah, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 4th ed. (New York: Harcourt, 1973), 158.

2 Nolte, Ernst, “Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will. Eine Rede, die geschrieben, aber nicht gehalten werden konnte,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 6, 1986.

3 Furet, François, Le passé d'une illusion: Essai sur l'idée du communisme au XXe siècle (Paris: Laffont/Calman-Lévy, 1996).

4 Courtois, Stéphane et al. , Livre noir du communisme: Crimes, terreur, repression (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1997).

5 Maier, Charles A., “Conseigning the Twentieth Century to History: Alternative Narratives for the Modern Era,” American Historical Review 105 (2000): 807831, here 825–829.

6 Traverso, Enzo, La violence nazie: une généalogie européenne (Paris: La Fabrique, 2002), and Lindqvist, Sven, Exterminate All the Brutes (London: New Press, 1997); Levene, Mark, Genocide in the Age of the Nation-State, vols. 1 and 2 (London and New York: Tauris, 2005); Weitz, Eric D., A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003); Moses, A. Dirk, “Conceptual Blockages and Definitional Dilemmas in the ‘Racial Century’: Genocides of Indigenous Peoples and the Holocaust,” Patterns of Prejudice 36 (2002): 736, and Moses, A. Dirk, ed., Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History (Oxford: Berghahn, 2008); Stone, Dan, ed., The Historiography of Genocide (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

7 Moses, “Conceptual Blockages,” 34.

8 Fanon, Frantz, Les Damnés de la terre (Paris: François Maspero, 1961), with a foreword by Jean-Paul Sartre; Césaire, Aimé, Discours sur le colonialisme (Paris: Réclame, 1950); Mannoni, Octave, Psychologie de la colonisation (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1950).

9 Césaire, Discours, 10 f.

10 As quoted in King, Richard H., Race, Culture, and the Intellectuals, 1940–1970 (Washington, D.C., and Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2004), 47.

11 See Sartre's foreword to Fanon, Les Damnés.

12 See, for example, the essays printed in King, Richard H. and Stone, Dan, eds., Hannah Arendt and the Uses of History: Imperialism, Nation, Race, and Genocide (Oxford and New York: Berghahn, 2007). See, too, Gilroy, Paul, Between Camps: Nations, Culture, and the Allure of Race (London: Allen Lane: 2000), and Gilroy, Paul, After Empire: Multiculture or Postcolonial Melancholia (London: Routledge, 2004).

13 This idea was first formulated by Bley, Helmut, Kolonialherrschaft und Sozialstruktur in Deutsch-Südwestafrika 1894–1914 (Hamburg: Leipniz Verlag, 1968). More recently, see Zimmerer, Jürgen, “Krieg, KZ und Völkermord in Südwestafrika. Der erste deutsche Genozid,” in Völkermord in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Der Kolonialkrieg (1904 - 1908) in Namibia und seine Folgen, ed. Zimmerer, Jürgen and Zeller, Joachim (Berlin: Christoph Links, 2003); Zimmerer, Jürgen, “Holocaust und Kolonialismus. Beitrag zu einer Archäologie des genozidalen Gedankens,” Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 51 (2003): 10981119; Zimmerer, Jürgen, “Die Geburt des ‘Ostlandes’ aus dem Geiste des Kolonialismus. Ein postkolonialer Blick auf die NS-Eroberungs- und Vernichtungspolitik,” Sozial. Geschichte. Zeitschrift für die historische Analyse des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts (2004): 1043; Zimmerer, Jürgen, Von Windhuk nach Auschwitz. Beiträge zum Verhältnis von Kolonialismus und Holocaust (Münster: LIT, 2007); Madley, Benjamin, “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Included Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe,” European History Quarterly 33 (2005): 429464; Böhlke-Itzen, Janntje, Kolonialschuld und Entschädigung. Der deutsche Völkermord an den Hereros 1904–1907 (Frankfurt: Brandes und Apsel, 2004). See, too, Plumelle-Uribe, Rosa Amelie, Weisse Barbarei. Vom Kolonialrassismus zur Rassenpolitik (Zurich: Rotpunktverlag, 2004). von Trotha, Trutz, “Genozidaler Pazifizierungskrieg. Soziologische Anmerkungen zum Konzept des Genozids am Beispiel des Kolonialkrieges in Deutsch-Südwestafrika 1904–1907,” Zeitschrift für Genozidforschung 4 (2003): 3057. Zimmerer, Jürgen, Deutsche Herrschaft über Afrikaner. Staatlicher Machtanspruch und Wirklichkeit im kolonialen Namibia, 2nd ed. (Münster and Hamburg: LIT, 2002). Gewald, Jan-Bart, Herero Heroes: A Socio-Political History of the Herero of Namibia 1890–1923 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Among others, they reject the interpretations put forward in Gründer, Horst and Graichen, Gisela, eds., Deutsche Kolonien. Traum und Trauma, 5th ed. (Berlin: Ullstein, 2007). With respect to continuities between the violent suppression of the Chinese Boxers' Rising and the Third Reich, see Kuß, Susanne, “Deutsche Soldaten während des Boxeraufstandes in China. Elemente und Ursprünge des Vernichtungskrieges,” in Das Deutsche Reich und der Boxeraufstand, ed. Kuß, Susanne and Martin, Bernd (Munich: Iudicium, 2002), 165181.

14 Zimmerer, Jürgen, “Colonial Genocide and the Holocaust: Towards an Archeology of Genocide,” in Genocide and Settler Society: Frontier Violence and Stolen Indigenous Children in Australian History, ed. Moses, A. Dirk (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004), 4976, 68; Zimmerer, Jürgen, “The Birth of the ‘Ostland’ out of the Spirit of Colonialism: A Postcolonial Perspective on Nazi Policy of Conquest and Extermination,” Patterns of Prejudice 39, no. 2 (June 2005): 197219.

15 Zimmerer, “Holocaust und Kolonialismus,” 1116, 1119; Zimmerer, “Krieg, KZ,” 62f.; Zimmerer, Jürgen, “Rassenkrieg und Völkermord. Der Kolonialkrieg in Deutsch-Südwestafrika und die Globalgeschichte des Genozids,” in Genozid und Gedenken. Namibisch-deutsche Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. Melber, Henning (Frankfurt am Main: Brandes & Apsel, 2005), 48; Zimmerer, “Die Geburt des ‘Ostlandes,’” 29.

16 Zimmerer, Von Windhuk nach Auschwitz. For a similar line of argument, see Madley, “From Africa to Auschwitz,” 429.

17 See, for example, Longerich, Peter, Policy of Destruction: Nazi Anti-Jewish Policy and the Genesis of the “Final Solution” (Washington, D.C.: United States Holocaust Museum, 2001). Browning, Christopher R., The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, 1939–1942 (London: Heinemann, 2004); Friedländer, Saul, Nazi Germany and the Jews, 2 vols. (London and New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1997 and 2007).

18 Melber, Henning, “Kontinuitäten totaler Herrschaft: Völkermord und Apartheid in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Zur kolonialen Herrschaftspraxis im Deutschen Kaiserreich,” Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung 1 (1992): 91114.

19 Madley, “From Africa to Auschwitz,” 458.

20 Strangely enough, the much more large-scale violence inflicted on the indigenous population during Maji-Maji war is not mentioned in this context although the death figures are significantly higher than during the Herero uprising. See Becker, Feliticas and Beez, Jigal, eds., Der Maji-Maji-Krieg in Deutsch-Ostafrika 1905–1907 (Berlin: Christoph Links, 2005).

21 Zimmerer, “Rassenkrieg und Völkermord,” 48.

22 Brumlik, Michael, “Das Jahrhundert der Extreme,” in Völkermord und Kriegsverbrechen in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. Wojak, Irmtrud and Meinl, Susanne (Frankfurt and New York: Campus, 2004), 1936, here 28. For a similar view, see Poiger, Uta G., “Imperialism and Empire in Twentieth-Century Germany,” History & Memory 17 (2005): 117143, particularly 122.

23 Grosse, Pascal, “What Does German Colonialism Have to Do with National Socialism? A Conceptual Framework,” in Germany's Colonial Pasts, ed. Ames, Eric, Klotz, Marcia, and Wildenthal, Lora (Lincoln, NE, and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2005), 115134, here 118–9. Grosse, Pascal, “From Colonialism to National Socialism to Postcolonialism: Hannah Arendt's ‘Origins of Totalitarianism,’Postcolonial Studies 9 (2006): 3552. See, too, van Laak, Dirk, “Afrika vor den Toren. Deutsche Raum- und Ordnungsvorstellungen nach der erzwungenen ‘Dekolonisation,’” in Ordnungen in der Krise. Zur politischen Kulturgeschichte Deutschlands 1900–1933, ed. Hardtwig, Wolfgang (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2007), 95114.

24 Kundrus, Birthe, “Kontinuitäten, Parallelen, Rezeptionen. Überlegungen zur ‘Kolonialisierung’ des Nationalsozialismus,” Werkstatt Geschichte 43 (2006): 4562. Kundrus, Birthe, “Von den Herero zum Holocaust? Einige Bemerkungen zur aktuellen Debatte,” Mittelweg (2005): 8291. Kundrus, Birthe, “Von Windhoek nach Nürnberg? Koloniale ‘Mischehenverbote’ und die nationalsozialistische Rassengesetzgebung,” in “Phantasiereiche.” Der deutsche Kolonialismus aus kulturgeschichtlicher Perspektive, ed. Kundrus, Birthe (Frankfurt and New York: Campus, 2003), 110131.

25 Zimmerer, “Krieg, KZ,” 62.

26 Arendt, Origins, 341.

27 Lefeuvre, Daniel, Chère Algérie: La France et sa colonie (1930–1962), (Paris: Flammarion, 2005); Lefeuvre, Daniel, Pour en finir avec la repentance coloniale (Paris: Flammarion, 2007). For Britain, see the otherwise “Empire-friendly” book by Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (London: Allen Lane, 2002) as well as the most recent survey of British imperial history by Brendon, Piers, The Decline and Fall of the British Empire 1781–1997 (London: Random House, 2007).

28 For further cases of colonial mass murder, see Barth, Boris, Genozid: Völkermord im 20. Jahrhundert. Geschichte, Theorien, Kontroversen (Munich: Beck, 2006); Levene, Mark, The Rise of the West and the Coming of Genocide (London and New York: Tauris, 2005). See, too, Ferro, Marc, ed., Le livre noir du colonialisme—XVIe-XXIe siècle (Paris: Seuil, 2003).

29 Friedman, Leon, ed., The Law of War: A Documentary History, vol. 1 (New York: Random House, 1972), 804809; May, Glenn Anthony, “Was the Philippine-American War a Total War?,” in Anticipating Total War: The German and American Experiences, 1871–1914, ed. Boemeke, Manfred, Chickering, Roger, and Forster, Stig (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 446 f.

30 Fritz, David L., “Before the ‘Howling Wilderness’: The Military Career of Jacob Hurd Smith, 1862–1902,” Military Affairs 43 (1979): 186190. Jacob “Howling Wilderness” Smith, as he was later called, was put on trial for war crimes in 1902, but was subsequently dismissed from the army without a conviction. As in the case of von Trotha, the civil institutions intervened too late.

31 Kipling's poem was first published in McClure's Magazine (February 1899) with the subtitle, “The United States and the Philippine Islands.”

32 Miller, Stuart Creighton, “Benevolent Assimilation”: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899–1903 (London and New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982); Linn, Brian McAllister, The Philippine War, 1899–1902 (Lawrence, KS: Kansas University Press, 2000); Gates, John M., “War-Related Deaths in the Philippines, 1898–1902,” Pacific Historical Review 53 (1984): 367378; Schumacher, Frank, ‘“Niederbrennen, plündern und töten sollt ihr.’ Der Kolonialkrieg der USA auf den Philippinen (1899–1913),” in Kolonialkriege. Militärische Gewalt im Zeichen des Imperialismus, ed. Schumacher, Frank and Klein, Thoralf (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2006), 114 f. These figures are highly disputed, but they refer only to the number of victims up until 1902 (not until 1913) and do not include the “casualties” of the Moro Wars.

33 Miller, “Benevolent Assimilation, 189.

34 See the usage of the term “settler archive” by Lorenzo Veracini in “Colonialism and Genocides: Notes for the Analysis of the Settler Archive,” in Empire, Colony, Genocide, ed. Moses, 148–161. On Lothar von Trotha's transnational “learning process,” see the highly original study by Christoph Kamissek, “Lernorte des Völkermordes? Die Kolonialerfahrungen des Generals Lothar von Trotha in Ostafrika, China und Südwestafrika (1894–1907)” (unpublished MA thesis, Humboldt University Berlin, 2007). A recent study has further demonstrated that the “colonial lessons” learned during the counterinsurgency campaigns in Malaya and Vietnam continue to influence U.S. military strategies. See Nagl, John A., Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 2002).

35 Boot, Max, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 127.

36 MacArthur as quoted in Smith, Helmut Walser, “The Logic of Colonial Violence: Germany in Southwest Africa (1904–1907), the United States in the Philippines (1899–1902),” in German and American Nationalism: A Comparative Perspective, ed. Lehmann, Hartmut and Wellenreuther, Hermann (Oxford: Berg, 1999), 205231, here 220.

37 Tone, John Lawrence, War and Genocide in Cuba, 1895–1898 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina University Press, 2006), 153179 and 193–225.

38 See, for example, Judd, Denis and Surridge, Keith, The Boer War (New York: Palgrave, 2003). A recent attempt at writing a bibliography of the vast literature on the Boer War was undertaken by van Hartesveldt, Fred, The Boer War: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography (London: Greenwood Press, 2000).

39 May, Glenn Anthony, Battle for Batangas: A Philippine Province at War (London and New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991), 262267.

40 Kotek, Joel and Rigoulot, Pierre, Le Siècle des Camps: Emprisonnement, Detention, Extermination—cent ans de mal absolu (Paris: Lattès, 2006).

41 As in practically all colonial wars, the numbers of victims in this case are uncertain and highly disputed. For the highest estimates, see Kateb, Kamel, Européens, “Indigènes” et Juifs en Algérie (1830–1962): Représentations et réalités des populations (Paris: INED, 2001), 47; see, too, Le Cour Grandmaison, Olivier, Coloniser, Exterminer: Sur la guerre et l'état colonial (Paris: Fayard, 2005), 188192. For the lowest estimates, see Lefeuvre, Pour en finir, 65.

42 As quoted in Maspero, François, L'Honneur de Saint-Arnaud (Paris: Éditions Points Seuil, 1993), 177 f.

43 See Bluhm, Harald, “Tocqueville—Der klassische Analytiker der modernen Demokratie,” in Alexis de Tocqueville. Kleine Politische Schriften, ed. Bluhm, Harald (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2006), 111–47, here 33.

44 Schumann, Dirk, “Europa, der erste Weltkrieg und die Nachkriegszeit. Eine Kontinuität der Gewalt?,” Journal of Modern European History 1 (2003): 2343.

45 Grosse, “German Colonialism,” 118–119.

46 Hirschfeld, Gerhard, Krumeich, Gerd, and Renz, Irina, eds., “Keiner fühlt sich hier mehr als Mensch.” Erlebnis und Wirkung des Ersten Weltkrieges (Essen: Klartext, 1993); Hirschfeld, Gerhard et al. , eds., Kriegserfahrungen. Studien zur Sozial- und Mentalitätsgeschichte des Ersten Weltkrieges (Essen: Klartext, 1997).

47 Gerwarth, Robert, “The Central European Counterrevolution: Paramilitary Violence in Germany, Austria, and Hungary after the Great War,” Past & Present 200 (2008): 175209.

48 Madley, “From Africa to Auschwitz,” 450–457.

49 Zimmerer, “The Birth of the ‘Ostland,’” 213–218.

50 Hull, Isabel V., Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005), 21, assumes that 1,500 German soldiers participated in the Battle of Waterberg.

51 Wächter, Katja-Maria, Die Macht der Ohnmacht. Leben und Politik des Franz Xaver Ritter von Epp (1868–1946) (Frankfurt: Europäische Hochschulschriften, 1999); Hildebrand, Klaus, Vom Reich zum Weltreich. Hitler, NSDAP und koloniale Frage 1919–1945 (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1969), 774; Dirk van Laak, “‘Ist je ein Reich, das es nicht gab, so gut verwaltet worden?’ Der imaginäre Ausbau der imperialen Infrastruktur in Deutschland nach 1918,” in Phantasiereiche, ed. Kundrus, 71–90; van Laak, Dirk, Imperiale Infrastruktur. Deutsche Planungen für eine Erschließung Afrikas 1880 bis 1960 (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2004), 301331. See, too, the recent study by Metzger, Chantal, L'Empire Colonial Français dans la Stratégie du Troisième Reich (1936–1945), 2 vols. (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2002).

52 Wildt, Michael, Generation des Unbedingten. Das Führungskorps des Reichssicherungshauptamtes (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2002), and Wildt, Michael, ed., Nachrichtendienst, politische Elite, Mordeinheit. Der Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers SS (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2003); Browning, Christopher, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York: Harper Perennial, 1992); Heinemann, Isabel, “Rasse, Siedlung, deutsches Blut.” Das Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt der SS und die rassenpolitische Neuordnung Europas (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2003); Hürter, Johannes, Hitlers Heerführer. Die deutschen Oberbefehlshaber im Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion 1941/42 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2006); Bartov, Omer, Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994); Angrick, Andrej, Besatzungspolitik und Massenmord. Die Einsatzgruppe D in der südlichen Sowjetunion 1941–1943 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2003); Welzer, Harald, Täter. Wie aus ganz normalen Menschen Massenmörder werden (Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 2005); Paul, Gerhard, ed., Die Täter der Shoah. Fanatische Nationalsozialisten oder ganz normale Deutsche? (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2002).

53 Hitler on September 17, 1941, as quoted in Hitler, Adolf, Monologe im Führerhauptquartier 1941–1944. Die Aufzeichnungen Heinrich Heims, ed. Jochmann, Werner (Hamburg: Orbis, 1980), 6263; see, too, 193 and 361.

54 On the ambivalent nature of colonial “westernization,” see Cooper, Frederick, Decolonization and African Society: The Labor Question in French and British Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Conklin, Alice L., A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895–1930 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997).

55 As suggested, for example, by Dussel, Enrique, The Invention of the Americas: Eclipse of “The Other” and the Myth of Modernity (New York: Continuum, 1995).

56 Osterhammel, Jürgen, Kolonialismus. Geschichte—Formen—Folgen (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1995), 58 and 70. For Kenya and Rhodesia, see Kennedy, Dane, Islands of White: Settler Society and Culture in Kenya and Southern Rhodesia, 1890–1939 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1987); see, too, Crowder, Michael, “The White Chiefs of Tropical Africa,” in Colonialism in Africa 1870–1960, ed. Gann, Lewis H. and Duignan, Peter, vol. II (Cambridge and London: Cambridge University Press, 1970), 329. For the post-1945 period, see Springhall, John, Decolonization since 1945: The Collapse of European Empires Overseas (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2001), 146185. Kirk-Greene, Anthony H. M., “The Thin White Line,” African Affairs 79 (1980): 2544; Cell, John W., “Colonial Rule,” Oxford History of the British Empire, vol. 5 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 232–25; Stephen Constantine, “Migrants and Settlers,” Oxford History of the British Empire, vol. 5, 163–187; Krüger, Gesine, Kriegsbewältigung und Geschichtsbewusstsein. Realität, Deutung und Verarbeitung des deutschen Kolonialkriegs in Namibia 1904 bis 1907 (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1999), 69.

57 On Walther Darré's concept of the “Wehrbauernhöfe,” see Darré, Richard Walther, Neuadel aus Blut und Boden (Munich: Lehmanns Verlag, 1930); Mai, Uwe, Rasse und Raum. Agrarpolitik, Sozial- und Raumplanung im NS-Staat (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2002); Schulte, Jan Erik, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung: Das Wirtschaftsimperium der SS. Oswald Pohl und das SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt 1933–1945 (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2001).

58 Zimmerer, “Holocaust und Kolonialismus,” 1114 f., Zimmerer, “Rassenkrieg und Völkermord,” 47.

59 Fraenkel, Ernst, The Dual State: A Contribution to the Theory of Dictatorship (New York: Oxford University Press, 1941). See, too, Essner, Cornelia, Die “Nürnberger Gesetze” oder Die Verwaltung des Rassenwahns 1933–1945 (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2002); Gerlach, Christian, Kalkulierte Morde. Die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolitik in Weißrußland 1941–1944 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999); Wachsmann, Nikolaus, Hitler's Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany (London and New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004).

60 Vidal-Naquet, Pierre, Les assassins de la mémoire: “un Eichmann de papier” et autres essais sur le révisionnisme (Paris: Seuil, 1987), 168180.

61 Hull, Absolute Destruction.

62 The vast existing literature on German anti-Semitism has thus far not acknowledged any influences of colonial racism on anti-Semitism. See, for example, Friedländer, Nazi Germany and the Jews; Pulzer, Peter, The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria (rev. ed., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988); Laqueur, Walter, The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Herf, Jeffrey, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006).

63 Bartov, Omer, “Defining Enemies, Making Victims: Germans, Jews, and the Holocaust,” American Historical Review 103 (1998): 771816, here 779 and 780.

64 An important contribution to this debate was made by Semelin, Jacques, Purifier et détruire: Usages politiques des massacres et des génocides (Paris: Seuil, 2005) and in the essays of David El Kenz and Éric Wenzel in El Kenz, David, ed., Le massacre: objet d'histoire (Paris: Gallimard, 2005), 745.

65 Todorov, Tzvetan, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other (New York: Harper & Row, 1998).

66 Cocker, Mark, Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold: Europe's Conflict with Tribal Peoples (London: Jonathan Cape, 1998).

67 Shenfield, Stephen D., “The Circassians: a Forgotten Genocide?,” in The Massacre in History, ed. Levene, Mark and Roberts, Penny (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 1999), 149163; Lieven, Anatol, Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power (London and New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998).

68 Arendt, Origins, 12. See the critical engagement with the “laboratory of modernity” idea by van Laak, Dirk, “Kolonien als “Laboratorien der Moderne?,” in Das Kaiserreich transnational. Deutschland in der Welt 1871–1914, ed. Conrad, Sebastian and Osterhammel, Jürgen (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004), 257279.

69 Important pioneering studies in this field have been presented by Grosse, Pascal, Kolonialismus, Eugenik und bürgerliche Gesellschaft in Deutschland 1850–1914 (Frankfurt and New York: Campus, 2001), 2631; Niemann-Findeisen, Sören, Weeding the Garden. Die Eugenik-Rezeption der frühen Fabian Society (Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot, 2004); Geulen, Christian, Wahlverwandte. Rassendiskurs und Nationalismus im späten 19. Jahrhundert (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2004). On “scientific racism,” eugenics, and the Nazis' obsession with public health, see, too, Peukert, Detlev, “The Genesis of the Final Solution from the Spirit of Science,” in Reevaluating the Third Reich, ed. Childers, Thomas and Caplan, Jane (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1994), and Weindling, Paul, Health, Race, and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism, 1870–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

70 Dirk Moses, “Colonialism,” in The Oxford Handbook on the Holocaust, ed. Peter Hayes and John Roth (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

71 Among the growing literature on this subject, see, for example, Phillip Ther, “Deutsche Geschichte als imperiale Geschichte. Polen, slawophone Minderheiten und das Kaiserreich als kontinentales Empire,” in Das Kaiserreich transnational, ed. Conrad and Osterhammel, 129–148. Thum, Gregor, ed., Traumland Osten. Deutsche Bilder vom östlichen Europa im 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006); Wippermann, Wolfgang, Die Deutschen und der Osten. Feindbild und Traumland (Darmstadt: Primus, 2007). Koenen, Gerd, Der Russland-Komplex. Die Deutschen und der Osten 1900–1945 (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2005).

72 Osterhammel, Jürgen, “Imperien,” in Transnationale Geschichte. Themen, Tendenzen und Theorien, ed. Budde, Gunilla, Conrad, Sebastian, and Janz, Oliver (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006), 5667; Grosse, “From Colonialism to National Socialism to Postcolonialism,” 35–52.

73 Arendt, Origins, 37.

The authors would like to thank the numerous readers of preliminary versions of this article for their constructive criticism and the Guggenheim Foundation and the British Academy for their financial support which enabled us to write this essay.

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