Ian Kershaw : biography

29 April 1943 -

Regarding the historical debates about Widerstand (resistance) in German society, Kershaw has argued that there are two approaches to the question, one of which he calls the fundamentalist (dealing with those committed to overthrowing the Nazi regime) and the societal (dealing with forms of dissent in "everyday life").Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 page 198 In Kershaw's viewpoint, Broszat's Resistenz (immunity) concept works well in an Alltagsgeschichte approach, but works less well in the field of high politics, and moreover by focusing only on the "effect" of one's actions, fails to consider the crucial element of the "intention" behind one's actions.Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 pages 198–199 Kershaw has argued that the term Widerstand should be used only for those working for the total overthrow of the Nazi system, and those engaging in behavior which was counter to the regime's wishes without seeking to overthrow the regime should be included under the terms opposition and dissent, depending upon their motives and actions.Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 pages 206–207. In Kershaw's opinion, there were three bands ranging from dissent to opposition to resistance.Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 page 207. Kershaw has used the Edelweiss Pirates as an example of a group whose behavior initially fell under dissent, and who advanced from there to opposition and finally to resistance.Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 page 204. In Kershaw's view, there was much dissent and opposition within German society, but outside of the working-class, very little resistance.Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 pages 207–216. Though Kershaw has argued that the Resistenz concept has much merit, he concluded that the Nazi regime had a broad basis of support and it is correct to speak of "resistance without the people".Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 pages 215–217.

Regarding the debate in the late 1980s between Martin Broszat and Saul Friedländer over Broszat's call for the "historicization" of National Socialism, Kershaw wrote that he agreed with Friedländer that the Nazi period could not be treated as a "normal" period of history, but he felt that historians should approach the Nazi period as they would any other period of history.Kershaw, Ian, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems & Perspectives of Interpretation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000 page 235 In support of Broszat, Kershaw wrote that an Alltagsgeschichte approach to German history, provided that it did not lose sight of Nazi crimes, had much to offer as a way of understanding how those crimes occurred.

During the "Goldhagen Controversy" of 1996, Kershaw took the view that his friend, Hans Mommsen, had "destroyed" Daniel Goldhagen's arguments about a culture of "eliminationist antisemitism" in Germany during their frequent debates on German TV.Kershaw, Ian, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems & Perspectives of Interpretation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000 page 254 Kershaw wrote that he agreed with Eberhard Jäckel's assessment that Hitler's Willing Executioners was "simply a bad book".Kershaw, Ian, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems & Perspectives of Interpretation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000 page 255 Though Kershaw had little positive to say about Goldhagen, he wrote that he felt that Norman Finkelstein's attack on Goldhagen had been over-the-top and did little to help historical understanding.Kershaw, Ian, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems & Perspectives of Interpretation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000 page 258 However, Kershaw later went on to recommend Norman Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn's extremely critical assessment of Goldhagen's book, A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth; stating that "Finkelstein and Birn provide a devastating critique of Daniel Goldhagen's simplistic and misleading interpretation of the Holocaust. Their contribution to the debate is, in my view, indispensable."

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine