ListMoto - Yehuda Bauer

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YEHUDA BAUER (Hebrew : יהודה באואר; born 1926) is an Israeli historian and scholar of the Holocaust
. He is a professor of Holocaust
Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


* 1 Biography * 2 Awards and honours


* 3.1 Holocaust

* 3.1.1 The initiation of the Holocaust
* 3.1.2 The Holocaust
was not just another genocide * 3.1.3 The Holocaust
as a mystical experience * 3.1.4 Criticizing Goldhagen\'s "eliminationist" antisemitism

* 3.2 Conquest of Canaan
* 3.3 Purim * 3.4 Possibility of genocide in Palestine-Israel * 3.5 Could any Jews have been rescued by America? * 3.6 Christian-Jewish relations

* 4 Published works

* 4.1 Authored books * 4.2 Book chapters * 4.3 Edited conference papers

* 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links


As a native citizen of Prague
, Czechoslovakia
, Bauer was fluent at an early age in Czech , Slovak and German , later learning Hebrew , Yiddish , English , French and Polish . His father had strong Zionist convictions and during the 1930s tried to raise money to get his family to the British Mandate of Palestine
British Mandate of Palestine
. On the day Nazi Germany annexed Czezhoslovakia, March 15, 1939, the family migrated to Palestine , managing to get past Nazi officials on a train which slipped them over the border into Poland, from which they moved, via Romania, to Palestine.

Bauer attended high school in Haifa and at sixteen, inspired by his history teacher, Rachel Krulik, decided to dedicate himself to studying history. Upon completing high school, he joined the Palmach
. He attended Cardiff University
Cardiff University
in Wales
on a British scholarship, interrupting his studies to fight in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
, after which he completed his degree.

Bauer returned to Israel to join Kibbutz
Shoval and began his graduate work in history at Hebrew University . He received his doctorate in 1960 for a thesis on the British Mandate of Palestine
British Mandate of Palestine
. The following year, he began teaching at the Institute for Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University.

He served on the central committee of Mapam , then the junior partner party of Israel's ruling Mapai
(Israel Labour Party), and was a visiting professor at Brandeis University
Brandeis University
, Yale University
Yale University
, Richard Stockton College , and Clark University
Clark University
. He was the founding editor of the journal Holocaust
and Genocide
Studies , and served on the editorial board of the Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust
, published by Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
in 1990.


Play media International Dimensions of Holocaust
Education, UNESCO 31 January 2012.

In recent years, Bauer has received recognition for his work in the field of Holocaust
studies and the prevention of genocide .

* In 1998, he was awarded the Israel Prize , for "history of the Jewish people", primarily in connection with his Holocaust
studies. * In 2001, he was elected a Member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities . * In 2008, he received the Yakir Yerushalayim (Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem) award from the city of Jerusalem

In addition, he currently serves as academic adviser to Yad Vashem, academic adviser to the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust
Education, Remembrance, and Research , and senior adviser to the Swedish Government on the International Forum on Genocide Prevention.



Bauer is a respected authority on the subjects of the Holocaust, antisemitism —a word he insists be written unhyphenated —and the Jewish resistance movement during the Holocaust, and has argued for a wider definition of the term. In Bauer's view, resistance to the Nazis comprised not only physical opposition, but any activity that gave the Jewish people dignity and humanity in the most humiliating and inhumane conditions. Furthermore, Bauer has disputed the popular view that most Jews went to their deaths passively—"like sheep to the slaughter." He argues that, given the conditions in which the Jews of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
had to live under and endure, what is surprising is not how little resistance there was, but rather how much.

Bauer is also known for defending Rudolf Kastner 's decision to not publicize the Vrba-Wetzler report
Vrba-Wetzler report
to the Hungarian Jews being deported to Auschwitz

The Initiation Of The Holocaust

With regard to the functionalism versus intentionalism question, Bauer started out as an Intentionalist, but is now the leading proponent of a synthesis of the two schools. Bauer argues that on the basis of Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
's memorandum of May 25, 1940 to Adolf Hitler regarding the " Final Solution of the Jewish Question "—in which Himmler states his rejection of "the Bolshevik method of physical annihilation of a people out of inner conviction as un-German and impossible," and goes on to recommend the Madagascar Plan as the desired "territorial solution" of the "Jewish Question"—proves that there was no master plan for genocide going back to the days when Hitler wrote Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf
. However, Bauer takes issue with Functionalist historians, such as Hans Mommsen
Hans Mommsen
, who argue that the lead in the Holocaust
was taken entirely by lower level officials with little involvement by the leadership in Berlin

Bauer believes that Hitler was the key figure in causing the Holocaust
, and that at some point in the later half of 1941, he gave a series of orders for the genocide of the entire Jewish people. Bauer has pointed to the discovery of an entry in Himmler’s notebook from December 18, 1941 where Himmler wrote down the question "What to do with the Jews of Russia?". According to the same notebook, Hitler’s response to the question was "Exterminate them as partisans." In Bauer’s view, this is as close as historians will ever get to a definitive order from Hitler ordering the Holocaust. Bauer believes that, at about the same time, Hitler gave further verbal orders for the Holocaust, but that unfortunately for historians, nobody bothered to write them down. What the Nazis called the " Final Solution
Final Solution
of the Jewish Question" was formalized at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942.

The Holocaust
Was Not Just Another Genocide

Bauer has often criticized what he considers to be deleterious trends in writing about the Holocaust. He has often taken exception to those who argue that the Holocaust
was just another genocide. Though he agrees that there have been other genocides in history that have targeted groups other than Jews, he argues that the Holocaust
was the worst single case of genocide in history, in which every member of a nation was selected for annihilation, and that it therefore holds a special place in human history. These views have caused clashes between Bauer and the American historian Henry Friedlander who argues that Romani and the disabled were just as much victims of the Holocaust
as Jews were. However, Bauer has said that the Romani were subject to genocide (just not "the Holocaust") and has supported the demands of Romani for reparations from Germany.

The Holocaust
As A Mystical Experience

Another trend Bauer has denounced is the representation of the Holocaust
as a mystical experience outside the normal range of human understanding. He has argued against the work of some Orthodox rabbis and theologians who say that the Holocaust
was the work of God and part of a mysterious master plan for the Jewish people. In Bauer’s view, those who seek to promote this line of thinking argue that God is just and good, while simultaneously bringing down the Holocaust
on the Jewish people. Bauer has argued that a God who inflicts the Shoah on his Chosen People is neither good nor just. Moreover, Bauer has argued that this line of reasoning robs Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
of his evil : if Hitler was just fulfilling God’s will regarding the Jews, then he was merely an instrument of divine wrath and did not choose to be evil.

Criticizing Goldhagen\'s "eliminationist" Antisemitism

Bauer has criticized the work of the American political scientist Daniel Goldhagen , who writes that the Holocaust
was the result of the allegedly unique “eliminationist” antisemitic culture of the Germans. He has accused Goldhagen of Germanophobic racism, and of selecting only evidence favorable to his thesis. For example, Bauer has written that, according to the 1931 German census, about 50,000 German Jews were living in mixed marriages with Christians, giving Germany one of the highest rates of mixed marriages in the world at the time. In Bauer’s opinion, if the average German had been full of murderous “eliminationist" antisemitism, as Goldhagen argues, there would have been fewer mixed marriages. Goldhagen in his turn has accused Bauer of not understanding his arguments properly and of being jealous of what Goldhagen considers to be his discovery of the “key” that explains the entire Holocaust.


In reference to the conquest of Canaan
by the ancient Israelites
, which resulted in the massacre of the Amalekites
and Midianites , genocide historian Adam Jones has quoted Bauer: "As a Jew, I must live with the fact that the civilization I inherited ... encompasses the call for genocide in its canon."


Professor Bauer was a featured speaker at the 2013 Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism, now a major international event in Jerusalem organized by Israel's Foreign Ministry. He stated that many nations have myths similar to Purim.


While speaking to a group of visitors to Israel in 2003, Bauer stated that "What we have here between the Israelis and the Palestinians is an armed conflict - if one side becomes stronger there is a chance of genocide." When one of the visitors asked, "Am I to understand that you think Israel could commit genocide on the Palestinian people?," Bauer answered "Yes," and added, "Just two days ago, extremist settlers passed out flyers to rid Arabs from this land. Ethnic cleansing results in mass killing." Bauer also noted opinion polls showing a high percentage of Palestinians want to get rid of Jews.


In January 2012, Bauer's article in the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs entitled "The Holocaust, America and American Jewry" precipitated a bitter debate between himself, Rafael Medoff (Wyman Institute) and Alexander J. Groth (University of California, Davis), on what the US Government and the Jews of America could and could not have done to rescue the Jews of Europe.

Professor Bauer stated at Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
that Hillel Kook (Peter Bergson ), founder and director of the New York based Emergency Committee for the Rescue of European Jewry (a.k.a. Bergson Group ), did not save anyone.


Concerning Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
's pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan, Bauer argued that the Pope meant well and tried to walk the tightrope between Arab-Palestinian-Muslim and Palestinian-Christian enmity to Israel and the Jews on the one hand, and the collective trauma of Jews in Israel and elsewhere regarding the Holocaust
on the other.



* The initial organization of the Holocaust
survivors in Bavaria, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1970 * From diplomacy to Resistance: A history of Jewish Palestine. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1970. Translated from Hebrew by Alton M. Winters. * Flight and rescue: Brichah. New York: Random House, c1970 * They chose life: Jewish resistance in the Holocaust. New York: The American Jewish Committee, c1973 * Rescue operations through Vilna , Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1973 * My brother's keeper: A history of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee . Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, c1974 * The Holocaust
and the struggle of the Yishuv
as factors in the establishment of the State of Israel. : * Trends in Holocaust
research, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1977 * The Holocaust
in historical perspective. Seattle: University of Washington Press, c1978 * The Judenraete : some conclusions. : * The Jewish emergence from powerlessness. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, c1979 * The Holocaust
as historical experience: Essays and a discussion, New York: Holmes -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ Dalia Karpel \'History professor Yehuda Bauer: \'Netanyahu doesn\'t know history\' at Haaretz
21 February 2013. * ^ " Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1998 (in Hebrew)". * ^ "Recipients of Yakir Yerushalayim award (in Hebrew)". Archived from the original on 2011-06-17. City of Jerusalem
official website * ^ "Problems of Contemporary Antisemitism" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2003. Retrieved 2003-07-05. . Lecture by Yehuda Bauer, 2003. Jewish Studies at UC Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz
* ^ Bauer, Yehuda. Interview with Amos Goldberg. 18 January 1998. 22 July 2007 * ^ Bauer, Yehuda. Jews for Sale? Nazi–Jewish Negotiations 1933–1945. Yale University
Yale University
Press, 1994, p. 72. * ^ Vrba, Rudolf. I Escaped from Auschwitz, Barricade Books, 2002, p. 406. * ^ A B Bauer, Yehuda Rethinking the Holocaust
Yale University Press, 2000, page 5 * ^ http://www1.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%203856.pdf, pp.45-46, 55 * ^ Adam Jones References p. 4, note 6, citing Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust, (New Haven, CT: Yale University
Yale University
Press, 2001), p. 41 * ^ Halpern, Orly, "Bauer: It could happen here," Haaretz, 26 February 2003 * ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2015-04-20. * ^ Maybe Roosevelt couldn\'t have saved the Jews from the Nazis, Haaretz * ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2015-05-26. . Holocaust
Rescue Revisited, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs VII:3, 127-142 * ^ The Pope meant well


* Marrus, Michael (1987). The Holocaust
In History. Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys. * Rosenbaum, Ron (1998). Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil
. New York: Random House.


* Bio at ADL * interview