History in the Making

Document Type



This article aims to examine the nuances of both the Intentionalist and Functionalist perspectives as they relate to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.While acknowledging the ongoing debate between the two ideological camps, a new perspective is suggested as being a more appropriate means to understanding the event. This new perspective is heavily influenced by the research done by authors such as Timothy Snyder, Donald Bloxham and Christopher Browning. The research conducted suggests that instead of the two perspectives competing for prominence, a synthetic approach is more effective in analyzing Nazi Germany and the resulting atrocities. The new perspective is labeled as modified Intentionalist in the article, a perspective which asserts that the intentions of leadership created a society of functionaries, and with this realization, a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter can be gained. Secondary to the examination of the perspectives, the article also offers commentary on what implications Nazi Germany has had on humanity’s progression through modernity.