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Essay on Ordinary Masculinity: Gender Analysis and Holocaust Scholarship

2 pages
521 words
Sewanee University of the South
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
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The paper mainly tackles the unenthusiastic nature of the scholars who prefer studying Holocaust as a profession, to recognize the main issues from the upcoming and growing field of mens studies. It is an irrefutable fact that in the recent past, there has been an increased urge to study masculinity especially among sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and even people study religion. As Haynes reports: Yet now that the salience of gender analysis for interpreting female experience in the Holocaust has been established, it is curious that the door has not opened more widely to considerations of masculinity (Haynes, 2002). But really do people know what gives life to mens studies? It is in records that study of women has existed for quite a long period, and there was a need to incorporate mens studies as well, hence womens study seems to animate the study of men.

There are some questions which still can be raised about the masculinity and the Holocaust studies in general. Although the paper attempts to address these questions by exhibiting the importance of gender analysis, much still need to be achieved especially with regards to understanding gender biases in Holocaust studies.

Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust

One great thing which comes out from the beginning of the text is that Daniel Goldhagen, the author, believes that the German politics had some fundamentally different before and even after the Nazi rule, from ours and ours here refer to the non-Germans. According to him, the German people were anti-Semitists and the issues to do with the Jewish people had existed even before Nazism. Additionally, the text also eliminator anti-Semitism and how it had been a bulging occurrence which was already a problem immediately after the World War I. among other things touched in the book are how the Jews were handled during the Nazi rule and the perpetrators of Semitism, the Police Battalion 101.

Although Goldhagen makes these claims, they seem controversial hence the author appears not to have robbed the confidence of people in his work. It cannot be assumed for example that the whole of German society was behind Hitlers deeds as the text claims. The perpetrators, for instance, were not under any stiff orders to kill the Jews and failure would mean suffering for them; Never in the history of the Holocaust was a German ever killed, sent to concentration camp, jailed, or punished in any serious way for refusing to kill Jews (Goldhagen & Wohlgelernter, 1997). Secondly, the author appears to only concentrate on the Jews as the main victims of Hitlers brutality yet there were some other minority groups, for example, the Blacks who suffered under his rule.


Why has the study of masculinity compared to femininity achieved less scholarly recognition in Holocaust Studies?

Why do scholars appear unenthusiastic with mens study?

Were all the Germans in support of Nazism?

Was exterminatonist approach the only viable solution as Hitler believed?

Are Historian scholars contributing to the degradation of Holocaust Studies?


Goldhagen, D. J., & Wohlgelernter, M. (1997). Hitlers willing executioners. Society, 34(2), 32-37.

Haynes, S. R. (2002). Ordinary masculinity: gender analysis and holocaust scholarship. The Journal of Mens Studies, 10(2), 143-163.

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