- Ernst Nolte
Ernst Nolte (born
11 January 1923) is a German historianand philosopher, whose primary interest is the comparative study of Nazism, Fascismand Communism. His nationalisticviews of German historyhave often proved controversial. [http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2003-03-28-roman-fr.html Eurozine - Questions a Ernst Nolte - Ernst Nolte, Thomas Roman ] ]
Witten, Westphalia to a Roman Catholicfamily, Nolte's father was a school rector.Strute, Karl and Doelken, Theodor (editors) "Who's Who In Germany 1982-1983" Volume 2 N-Z, Verlag AG: Zurich, 1983 page 1194.] Nolte's parents were Heinrich and Anna (nee Bruns) Nolte. According to Nolte in a 2002 interview with a French newspaper, his first encounter with Communism occurred when he was 7 years old in 1930, when he read in a doctor's office a German translation of a Soviet children's book attacking the Roman Catholic Church, which very much angered Nolte. In 1941, Nolte was excused from military service because of a deformed hand, and he studied Philosophy, Philologyand Greek at the Universities of Münster, Berlin, and Freiburg. At Freiburg, Nolte was a student of Martin Heidegger, who was a major influence on Nolte [Maier, Charles "The Unmasterable Past", Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988 pages 26 & 42; Maier, Charles "Immoral Equivalence" from the "New Republic", December 1, 1986 page 38.] . From 1944 onwards, Nolte has been a close friend of the Heidegger family, and when in 1945, Heidegger feared arrest by the French, Nolte provided Heidegger with food and laundry when Heidegger attempted to escapehttp://www.stanford.edu/dept/relstud/faculty/sheehan/pdf/NormalNa.pdf] . Another professor who influenced Nolte was Eugen Fink. After 1945 when Nolte received his BA in philosophy at Freiburg, Nolte worked as an "Gymnasium" (high school) teacher. In 1952, he received a PhD in philosophy at Freiburg for his thesis "Selbstentfremdung und Dialektik im deutschen Idealismus und bei Marx" ("Self Alienation and Dialectic in German idealism and Marx"). Subsequently, Nolte began studies in "Zeitgeschichte" (contemporary history), and published his "Habilitationsschrift" awarded at the University of Cologne, "Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche" as a book in 1963. Between 1965–1973, Nolte worked as a professor at the University of Marburg, and from 1973–1991 at the Free University of Berlin. Nolte's wife is Annedore Mortier and their son, Georg Nolteis a professor of international law at the University of Munich.
"Fascism In Its Epoch"
Nolte first rose to fame with his 1963 book "Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche" ("Fascism In Its Epoch"; translated into English in 1965 as "The Three Faces Of Fascism"), in which Nolte argued that fascism arose as a form of resistance to and a reaction against
modernity. Nolte's basic hypothesis and methodology were deeply rooted in the German " Philosophy of history" tradition, a form of Intellectual historywhich seeks to discover the "metapolitical dimension" of history.Griffin, Roger "International Fascism" Arnold: London, 1998 page 47-8] The "metapolitical dimension" is considered to be the history of those grand ideas, which function as a profound spiritual power, infusing every aspect of the multi-layered levels of society with their force.
In Nolte's opinion, only those with training in
philosophycan discover the "metapolitical dimension", and those who use normal historical methods miss this dimension of time. Using the methods of phenomenology, Nolte subjected German Nazism, Italian fascismand the French Action Françaisemovements to a comparative analysis. Nolte’s conclusion was that fascism was the great anti-movement; namely it was anti-liberal, anti-communist, anti-capitalist, and anti-bourgeois. In Nolte’s view, fascismwas the rejection of everything the modern world had to offer and was an essentially negative phenomenon. In an Hegelian dialectic, Nolte argued that the "Action Française" was the thesis, Italian Fascism was the antithesis, and German National Socialism the synthesis of the two earlier fascist movements.Maier, Charles "The Unmasterable Past" Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusettes, 1988 pages 85-87.] Nolte argued that fascism functioned at three levels: in the world of politics as a form of opposition to Marxism, at the sociological level as opposition to the values of bourgeois society, and finally in the “metapolitical” world, where fascism functioned as “resistance to transcendence” ("Transcendence" in German can be translated as the "spirit of modernity").
Nolte defined "transcendence" as a "metapolitical" force comprising two types of changeKershaw, Ian The "Nazi Dictatorship", London: Arnold 1989 page 27.] . The first type being "practical transcendence" as manifested in material progress, technological change, political equality, social advancement, and comprises the process, in which humanity liberates itself from traditional, hierarchical societies in favor of societies where all men and all women are equal. The second type is "theoretical transcendence", which is the attainment of the mind to go further than what exists in the world today towards what can exist in the future, and comprises the process in which humanity removes all of the traditional fetters imposed on the human mind by poverty, backwardness, ignorance, and class. Drawing upon the work of
Max Weber, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Karl Marx, Nolte argued that as both types of "transcendence" advance, this progress generates fear as the older world is swept aside by a new world, and that it was these fears that led to fascism [Epstein, Klaus "A New Study of Fascism" pages 2-25 from "Reappraisals of Fascism" edited by Henry A. Turner, New York: Franklin Watts, 1976 pages 19-22.] . In regards to the Holocaust, Nolte contended that because Adolf Hitleridentified Jews with modernity, the basic thrust of Nazi policies towards Jews had always aimed at genocide[Marrus, Michael "The Holocaust In History", Toronto : Lester & Orpen Dennys : Hanover : University Press of New England, 1987 pages 38-39.] . In Nolte's famous phrase, "Auschwitz was contained in the principles of Nazi racist theory like the seed in the fruit" [Bauer, Yehuda "Rethinking the Holocaust" New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001 page 104] . "The Three Faces of Fascism" was much praised at the time and since as a seminal contribution to the creation of a theory of generic fascismbased on a history of ideas, as opposed to the previous class-based analyses (especially the "Rage of the Lower Middle Class" thesis) that had characterized both Marxist and liberal interpretations of fascism. Roger Griffinobserved that although written in obscure language, Nolte's theory of fascism as a “form of resistance to transcendence” marked an important step in the understanding of fascism, and helped to spur scholars into new avenues of research on fascism.
Other historians were more hostile in their assessment of "The Three Faces of Fascism". Criticism from the left centered on Nolte's focus on ideas as opposed to social and economic conditions as a motivating force for fascism, and that Nolte depended too much on fascist writings to support his thesis. From the right, historians such as
Karl Dietrich Brachercriticized the entire notion of generic fascism as intellectually invalid and argued that it was individual choice on the part of Germans as opposed to Nolte's philosophical view of the "metapolitical" that produced National Socialism [Maier, Charles "The Unmasterable Past" Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusettes, 1988 pages 84-85, 87 & 100-101.] . Bracher's "magnum opus", his 1969 book "Die deutsche Diktatur" ("The German Dictatorship") was partly written to rebut Nolte's theory of generic fascism, and instead presented a picture of the National Socialist dictatorshipas a totalitarian regime created and sustained by human actions. Together with the work of Eugen Weber, "The Three Faces of Fascism" was one of the first books that devoted an extensive study of the ultra-nationalist and anti-Semitic "Action Française" movement of France, but many have questioned Nolte’s claim that the "Action Française" was a fascist movement, or in the case of John Lukacs, whatever such a thing as generic fascism ever existed [Lukacs, John "The Hitler of History" New York: Vintage Books, 1997, 1998 page 118.] .
As a professor at the
University of Marburgin the late 1960s, Nolte was the target of student protesters, an experience that left him with a strong distaste for the West German left.Maier, Charles "The Unmasterable Past", Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988 pages 27-30] For a time in the 1960s, all of Nolte's classes were boycotted by radical students, who demanded Nolte's dismissal, an experience that some such as John Lukacs and Charles Maier have credited with Nolte's radical change of views about the National Socialist period [Lukacs, John "The Hitler of History" New York: Vintage Books, 1997, 1998 page 35; Maier, Charles "Immoral Equivalence"from the "New Republic", December 1, 1986 page 38.] . Later in the 1970s, Nolte was to reject the theory of generic fascism that he had championed in "The Three Faces of Fascism" and instead embraced totalitariantheory as a way of explaining both Nazi Germanyand the Soviet Union. In Nolte's opinion, Nazi Germany was a "mirror image" of the Soviet Union and with the exception of the “technical detail” of mass gassing, everything the Nazis in Germanydid, the Communists in Russiadid first.Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 27-8.]
All of Nolte’s historical work has been heavily influenced by German traditions of
philosophy.Baldwin, Peter "Reworking The Past", Boston : Beacon Press, 1990 page 7-9.] In particular, Nolte seeks to find the total essences of the “metapolitical phenomenon” of history, to discover the grand ideas which motivated all of history, and as such, Nolte’s work has been oriented towards the general as opposed to the specific attributes of a particular period of time. In his 1974 book, "Deutschland und der kalte Krieg" ("Germany and the Cold War"), Nolte examined the partition of Germany after 1945 less by looking at the specific history of the Cold Warand Germany, and more by examining other divided states throughout history, and treated the German partition as the supreme culmination of the "metapolitical" idea of partition caused by rival ideologies. In Nolte's view, the division of Germany made that nation the world's central battlefield between Soviet Communismand American democracy, both of which were rival streams of the "transcendence" that had vanquished the Third Reich, the ultimate enemy of "transcendence".
As such, Nolte treats the history of ideas with little interest to the specific historical context of the ideas, and more by seeking what
Carl Schmittlabelled the abstract "final" or "ultimate" end of an idea, which for Nolte are the most extreme conclusions which can be drawn from an idea, and represents the "ultima terminus" of the "metapolitical". For Nolte, ideas have a force of their own, and once a new idea is introduced into the world, except for the total destruction of society, it can not longer be ignored any more than the invention of nuclear weapons and the discovery of how to make fire can be rolled back. In Nolte's view, Communismby introducing the idea of a total destruction of a particular group was the most important idea of the 20th century. Together with such historians as François Furetand Renzo De Felice, both of whom Nolte sometimes corresponded with, Nolte has sought to develop a wide-ranging paradigm capable of explaining (or in Nolte’s words “understanding”) the 20th century.
The books "Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche", "Deutschland und der kalte Krieg" and "Marxismus und industrielle Revolution" ("Marxism and the Industrial Revolution") formed a trilogy in which Nolte seeks to explain what he considered to be the most important developments of the 20th century. According to Nolte during the
Industrial Revolutionin Britain, the shock of the replacement of the old craft economy by an industrialized, mechanized economy led to various radicals starting to advocate what Nolte calls “annihilation therapy” as the solution to social problems.Nolte, Ernst “Between Myth and Revisionism?’ from "Aspects of the Third Reich" edited by H.W. Koch page 30-4.] In Nolte’s views, the roots of Communism can be traced back to 18th and 19th century radicals like Thomas Spence, John Gray, William Benbow, Bronterre O’Brian, and François-Noël Babeuf. Nolte has argued that the French Revolutionbegan the practice of “group annihilation” as state policy, but not until the Russian Revolution did the theory of “annihilation therapy” reach its logical conclusion and culmination.
In the opinion of Nolte, much of the European Left saw social problems as being caused by “diseased” social groups, and sought “annihilation therapy” as the solution, thus leading naturally to the
Red Terrorand the " Yezhovshchina" in the Soviet Union. In response, Nolte has argued that on the Right, “annihilation therapy” was argued by such figures as John Robison, abbé Barruel and Joseph de Maistre, and merged with Malthusianismand the Prussian strategy of utter destruction of one’s enemies during the Napoleonic Warsinformed the roots of National Socialism. Ultimately, in Nolte’s view, the Holocaustwas just a “copy” of Communist “annihilation therapy”, albeit one that was more terrible and sickening than the “original” [Nolte, Ernst “Between Myth and Revisionism?’ from "Aspects of the Third Reich" edited by H.W. Koch page 36.] .
Nolte is best known for his role in launching the "
Historikerstreit" (Historians' Dispute) of 1986–1987. On June 6, 1986Nolte published an "feuilleton" (opinion piece) entitled "Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will: Eine Rede, die geschrieben, aber nicht mehr gehalten werden konnte" ("The Past That Will Not Go Away: A Speech That Could Be Written but Not Delivered") in the " Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". His "feuilleton" was a distillation of ideas that Nolte had first introduced in lectures that he delivered in 1976 and in 1980. Earlier in 1986, Nolte had planned to deliver a speech before the Frankfurt Römerberg Conversations, but the organizers of the event withdrew their invitation. In response, the editor of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", Joachim Fest, allowed Nolte to have his speech printed as a "feulliton" in his newspaper. In his article, Nolte advanced the view that the crimes of the Nazis were only a defensive reaction against the crimes of the Soviets.
In Nolte’s view, National Socialism had only arisen in response to the “class genocide” of the
Bolsheviks. [Nolte, Ernst “Between Myth and Revisionism” pages 17-38 from "Aspects of the Third Reich", edited by H.W. Koch, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985 pages 35-36.] Nolte, Ernst "The Past That Will Not Pass" pages 18-23 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 page 21-2.] Nolte cited the example of the early Nazi Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, who during World War Ihad been the German consul in Erzerum, Turkeyand was appalled by the genocide of the Armenians. In Nolte's view, the fact that Scheuber-Richter later on became a Nazi shows that something must have changed his values, and in Nolte's opinion, it was the Russian Revolution and such alleged Bolshevik practices as the "rat cage" torture(said by Russian émigré authors to be a favorite torture by Chinese serving in the Chekaduring the Russian Civil War) that led to the change. [Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 disputes Nolte's evidence for the "rat cage" torture being a common Bolshevik practice pages 37-38.] Nolte cited a statement by Hitler after the Battle of Stalingradthat Field Marshal Friedrich Pauluswould soon be sent to the “rat cage” in the Lubyanka as proof that Hitler had an specially vivid fear of the “rat cage” torture. [Ernst "The Past That Will Not Pass" pages 18-23 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 page 21.]
Along the same lines, Nolte argued that the
Holocaust, or "racial genocide" as Nolte prefers to call it, was an understandable if excessive response on the part of Adolf Hitlerto the Soviet threat. In Nolte's view, Soviet mass murder was "Vorbild" (the example that inspired the Nazis) and "Schreckbild" (the horrific model)Baldwin, Peter "Reworking The Past", Boston : Beacon Press, 1990 page 5.] . Nolte labeled the Holocaustan "überschießende Reaktion" (overshooting reaction) to Bolshevik crimes, and to alleged Jewish actions in support of Germany's enemies. Finally, Nolte concluded that there was excessive contemporary interest in the Holocaustbecause it served the concerns of those descended from the victims of Nazism, and placed them in a “privileged” position [Muller, Jerry "German Historians At War" pages 33-42 from "Commentary", Volume 87, Issue #5, May 1989 pages 37-38] .
As proof of this argument of the Holocaust as a defensive reaction, Nolte presented a letter written by
Chaim Weizmann, the President of the World Zionist Organizationon September 3, 1939to the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlainpledging full and unconditional support to the British war effort. Nolte has called Weizmann's letter to Chamberlain a "Jewish declaration of war” against Germany"Nolte, Ernst “Between Myth and Revisionism” pages 17-38 from "Aspects of the Third Reich", edited by H.W. Koch, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985 pages 27-28.] (see also " Judea Declares War on Germany"). The second piece of evidence Nolte presented was a book written in 1940 by the American author Theodore N. Kaufman called " Germany Must Perish!" that appealed to have all German men sterilized, which Nolte regarded as proof of the alleged Jewish desire to "annihilate" Germans before the Holocaust. In addition, Nolte mentioned an appeal sent out in August 1941 by a group of Soviet Jews to the world asking for support for their country in the struggle with Germany as proof of what Nolte sees as the Jewish determination to support the enemies of the "Reich". [Kershaw, Ian "The Nazi Dictatorship" London: Arnold, 1989 page 176.] Nolte argued that the Nazis felt forced to stage the Holocaust because Hitler concluded that the entire Jewish population of the world had declared war on Germany. From Nolte’s point of view, the Holocaust was the product of German fear of Joseph Stalin, whom Nolte believed had significant Jewish support. Nolte has argued that after the Japanese attack on the United Statesin 1941, the U.S. authorities interned Japanese-Americans, so by the same logic, the Germans were within their rights to "intern" the Jewish population of Europe in concentration camps".
Nolte expanded upon these views in his 1987 book "Der europäische Bürgerkrieg, 1917-1945" ("The European Civil War, 1917-1945") in which he claimed that the entire 20th century was an age of
genocide, totalitarianism, and tyranny, and that the Holocausthad been merely one chapter in the age of violence, terror and population displacement. Nolte claimed that this age had started with the genocide of the Armenians during World War I, and also included the Stalinist terror in the Soviet Union, the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe, Maoist terror in Chinaas manifested in such events as the Great Leap Forwardand the Cultural Revolution, compulsory population exchanges between Greeceand Turkeyin 1922–1923, and the Khmer Rougegenocide in Cambodia.
Since in Nolte’s view the "Shoah" was not a unique crime, there is no reason to single out Germans for special criticism for the Holocaust. In Nolte's view, the decisive event of the 20th century had been the
Russian Revolution of 1917, which plunged all of Europe into a long-simmering civil warthat lasted until 1945. In Nolte's opinion, fascism, which was Communism's twin, arose as a desperate response by the threatened middle classes of Europeto what Nolte has often called the “Bolshevik peril”. In a marked change from the views expressed in "The Three Faces of Fascism", in which Communism was a stream of “transcendence”, Nolte now classified communism together with fascism as both rival streams of the “resistance to transcendence”. The “metapolitical phenomenon” of Communism led to, in an Hegelian dialectic, the “metapolitical phenomenon” of fascism, which was both a copy of and the most ardent opponent of Marxism [Baldwin, Peter "Reworking The Past", Boston : Beacon Press, 1990 pages 9-10.] . As an example of his thesis, Nolte cited an article written in 1927 by Kurt Tucholskycalling for middle-class Germans to be gassed, which in Nolte's view was much more deplorable than the celebratory comments made by some right-wing newspapers about the assassination of the German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenauin 1922 (Richard Evans claims that Nolte has taken Tucholsky's sardonic remark about chemical warfarein the future out of context). [Nolte, Ernst "Standing Things On Their Heads: Against Negative Nationalism In Interpreting History" pages 149-154 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 page 152; both Kershaw, Ian "The Nazi Dictatorship", London: Arnold, 1989 page 176 & Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 37.]
These views ignited a firestorm of controversy. Most historians in
West Germanyand virtually all historians outside Germany condemned Nolte’s interpretation as factually incorrect, and as coming dangerously close to justifying the Holocaust [Kershaw, Ian "The Nazi Dictatorship", London: Arnold, 1989 page 173.] . Many historians such as Steven T. Katzclaimed that Nolte’s “Age of Genocide” concept “trivialized” the Holocaust by reducing it down to one of just many genocides of the 20th century [Katz, Steven "The Holocaust in Historical Context" Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994 pages 23-24] . A common line of criticism was that Nazi crimes, above all the Holocaust, were singularly and uniquely evil, and could not be compared to the crimes of others. Some historians such as Hans-Ulrich Wehlerwere forceful in arguing that the sufferings of the “kulaks” deported during the Soviet “dekulakization” campaign of the early 1930s were in no way analogous to the sufferings of the Jews deported during the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” of the early 1940s. Many were angered by Nolte's description of the Holocaust as "...the so-called annihilation of the Jews during the Third Reich..." [Kershaw, Ian"The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretations", London: Arnold, 1989 page 173.] .
Further adding to the controversy was a statement by Nolte in June 1987 that Adolf Hitler "created the state of Israel", and that "…the Jews would eventually come to appreciate Hitler as the individual who contributed more than anyone else to the creation of the state of Israel".http://www.codoh.com/thoughtcrimes/8706nolt.html.] As a result of that remark, Nolte was sacked from his position as chief editor of the German language edition of
Theodore Herzl's letters by the "Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft" (German Research Community), the group that was responsible for the financing of the Herzl papers project. Another controversial claim by Nolte was that massacres of the " Volksdeutsch" minority in Polandafter the German invasion of 1939 was an act of genocide by the Polish government, and thereby justified the German aggression as part of an effort to save the German minority.Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 56] Another contentious set of claims by Nolte was his argument that the film "Shoah" showed that it was "probable" that the SS were just as much victims of the Holocaust as were the Jews, and the Polish victims of the Germans were just as much anti-Semitics as the Nazis, thereby proving it was unjust to single out Germans for criticism. [Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 31] Likewise, Nolte has implied that the atrocities committed by the Germans in Poland and the Soviet Union were justified by earlier Polish and Soviet atrocities. Nolte’s critics responded that though there were massacres of ethnic Germans in Poland in 1939 (4,000 to 6,000 killed after the German invasion), they were not part of a genocidal program on the part of Warsaw, but were rather the "ad hoc" reaction of panic-stricken Polish troops to (sometimes justified) rumors of fifth columnactivities on the part of the "volksdeutsch", not in any way comparable to the systematic brutality of German occupiers towards Poles, which caused a 25% population reduction in Poland over the course of the war.
Much controversy centered on an argument that Nolte made in his earlier 1985 essay “Between Myth and Revisionism” from the book "Aspects of the Third Reich", first published in German as "Die negative Lebendigkeit des Dritten Reiches" ("The Negative Legend of the Third Reich") as an opinion piece in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" on
July 24, 1980; it had not attracted widespread attention until 1986 when Jürgen Habermascriticized it in a "feuilleton" piece [Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 pages 152-153] . In his essay, Nolte argued that if the PLO were to destroy Israel, then the subsequent history written in the new Palestinian state would portray the former Israeli state in the blackest of colors with no references to any of the positive features of the defunct state. In Nolte’s opinion, a similar situation with history written only by the victors exists in regards to the history of Nazi Germany. Many historians, such as British historian Richard J. Evans, have claimed that by making this argument Nolte is attempting to claim that the only reason why Nazismis seen is evilis because Germanylost World War II, rather than because of the Holocaust[Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 pages 32-33.] . Another controversy arose from "Der europäische Bürgerkrieg", in which Nolte appeared to flirt with Holocaust denialas a serious historical argument".Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 83.] In "Der europäische Bürgerkrieg", Nolte claimed that the intentions of Holocaust deniers are "often honorable", and that some of their claims are "not obviously without foundation"
Jürgen Habermasin an article in the "Die Zeit" newspaper on July 11, 1986entitled “A Kind of Settlement of Damages” strongly criticized Nolte together with Andreas Hillgruberand Michael Stürmerfor engaging in what Habermas called “apologetic” historiography in regards to the Nazi era, and for seeking to “close Germany’s opening to the West” that in Habermas’s view had existed since 1945. [Habermas, Jürgen “A Kind of Settlement of Damages On Apologetic Tendencies In German History Writing” pages 34-44 from "Forever In the Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1993 page 43.] . In particular, Habermas took Nolte to task for suggesting a moral equivalence between the Holocaust and the Khmer Rougegenocide. In Habermas’s opinion, since Cambodiawas a backward, Third World agrarian state and Germanya modern, First World industrial state, there was no comparison between the two genocides.Low, Alfred "Historikerstreit" page 474 from "Modern Germany", Volume 1 A-K, edited by Dieter Buse and Jürgen Doerr, Garland Publishing, New York, United States of America, 1998] In response, Fest, who was one of Nolte’s leading defenders, called Habermas a racist for suggesting that it was “natural” for Cambodians to engage in genocide, and “unnatural” for Germans to engage in genocide.
Historians who denounced Nolte’s views included
Hans Mommsen, Jürgen Kocka, Detlev Peukert, Martin Broszat, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Michael Wolffsohn, Heinrich August Winkler, Wolfgang Mommsen, Karl Dietrich Bracherand Eberhard Jäckel. Nolte also faced criticism from Rudolf Augstein, the publisher of " Der Spiegel", who referred to Nolte's writings as the "New Auschwitz Lie" [Augstein, Rudolf "The New Auschwitz Lie" pages 131-134 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 133-134.] . Much criticism of Nolte came from historians who favored either the " Sonderweg" ("Special Way") and/or Functionalism versus intentionalisminterpretations of German history. From the advocates of the "Sonderweg" approach came the criticism that Nolte’s views had totally externalized the origins of the National Socialist dictatorship to the post-1917 period, whereas in their view, the roots of the Nazi dictatorship can be traced back to the 19th century Second Reich. It was argued that within the virulently anti-Semitic Völkisch movement, which first arose in the latter half of the 19th century, the ideological seeds of the "Shoah" were already planted. From both functionalist and intentionalist historians came the criticism that the motives and momentum for the "Final Solution" came primarily from within Germany, not as the result of external events. Intentionalists argued that Hitler did not need the Russian Revolution to provide him with a genocidal mindset, while functionalists argued it was the unstable power structure and bureaucratic rivalries of the Third Reich which led to genocide of the Jews.
Another line of criticism centered on Nolte's refusal to say just precisely when he believes the Nazis decided upon genocide; Nolte had variously implied the decision for genocide was taken in the early 1920s, the early 1930s, or the 1940s.
Eberhard Jäckelargued that Nolte's theory was ahistorical under the grounds that Hitler held the Soviet Union in contempt, and could not have felt threatened as Nolte claimed [Jäckel, Eberhard "The Impoverished Practice of Insinuation: The Singular Aspect of National-Socialist Crimes Cannot Be Denied" pages 74-78 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1993 pages 77-78.] . Jäckel later described Nolte's methods as a "game of confusion", dressing hypotheses up as questions and then attacking critics who demanded evidence for his assertions as seeking to block one from asking questions [Hirschfeld, Gerhard "Erasing the Past?" pages 8–10 from "History Today" Volume 37, Issue 8, August 1987 page 9] . Hans Mommsenaccused Nolte of attempting to "relativize" Nazi crimes [Mommsen, Hans "Search for the 'Lost History'?" pages 101-113 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1993 page 108.] while his brother Wolfgang charged that Nolte was attempting to whitewash the German past [Mommsen, Wolfgang J. "Neither Denial nor Forgetfulness Will Free Us" pages 202-215 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1993 pages 208-209.] . Martin Broszatlabelled Nolte an obnoxious crank [Broszat, Martin "Where the Roads Part" pages 125-129 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1993 page 126.] . Richard Löwenthalcriticized Nolte on the grounds that the news of the Soviet dekulakization campaign of the early 1930s and the " Holodomor" did not reach Germany until 1941, making it impossible that they could have influenced the Germans [Baldwin, Peter "Reworking the Past" page 9] . Hans-Ulrich Wehlerwas so enraged by Nolte's views that he wrote a book "Entsorgung der deutschen Vergangenheit?: ein polemischer Essay zum "Historikerstreit" ("Exoneration of the German Past?: A Polemical Essay about the 'Historikerstreit"') in 1988, which attacked every aspect of Nolte's views. Wehler described the "Historikerstreit" as a "political struggle" for the historical understanding of the German past between "a cartel devoted to repressing and excusing" the memory of the Nazi years, of which Nolte was the chief member, against "the representatives of a liberal-democratic politics, of an enlightened, self-critical position, of a rationality which is critical of ideology" [Muller, Jerry "German Historians At War" from "Commentary" page 40] . Perhaps the most extreme response to Nolte's thesis occurred on February 9, 1988when his car was burned by a group of extreme leftists in Berlin[Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 177] . Criticism from abroad came from Ian Kershaw, Gordon A. Craig, Richard J. Evans, Saul Friedländer, John Lukacs, Michael Marrus, and Timothy Mason. Elie Wieselcalled Nolte together with Klaus Hildebrand, Andreas Hillgruberand Michael Stürmer, one of the “four bandits” of German historiography[Lukacs, John "The Hitler of History" page 238] .
Coming to Nolte's defense were the journalist
Joachim Fest, and the historians Klaus Hildebrand, Rainer Zitelmann, Hagen Schulzeand Imanuel Geiss. The latter was unusual amongst Nolte’s defenders as Geiss was normally identified with the left, while the rest of Nolte’s supporters were seen as either on the right or holding centrist views. In response to Wehler’s book, Geiss later published a book entitled "Der Hysterikerstreit. Ein unpolemischer Essay" ("The Hysterical Dispute. An Unpolemical Essay") in which he defended Nolte against Wehler’s criticisms. Hildebrand praised Nolte for daring to open up new questions for research [Hildebrand, Klaus "The Age of Tyrants: History and Politics" pages 50-55 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 54-55.] . Fest claimed that Nolte's argument that Nazi crimes were not singular was correct [Fest, Joachim "Encumbered Remembrance: The Controversy about the Incomparability of National-Socialist Mass Crimes" pages 63-71 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 64-65.] . The Anglo-German historian H.W. Koch accepted Nolte’s argument that Weizmann’s letter to Chamberlain was indeed a “Jewish declaration of war”, with the implication that since all Jews were enemies of the "Reich" the Germans were entitled to treat the Jews however they pleased [Koch, H.W. “Introduction” from "Aspects of the Third Reich" pages 378-379] . From abroad came support from Norberto Ceresole.
Nolte for his part, started to write a series of letters to various newspapers such as "
Die Zeit" and " Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" attacking his critics. For example, in a letter to "Die Zeit" on August 1, 1986, Nolte complained that Jürgen Habermaswas attempting to censor his views [Nolte, Ernst "Letter to the Editor of "Die Zeit" August 1, 1986" pages 56-57 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 page 57.] . One of Nolte's letters created another controversy in late 1987, when the Israeli historian Otto Dov Kulka complained that a letter he wrote to Nolte criticizing his views was edited by Nolte to make him appear rather sympathetic to Nolte's arguments, and then released to the press.Kershaw, Ian "The Nazi Dictatorship", London: Arnold, 1989 page 171.] . In 1987, Nolte wrote an entire book responding to his critics both German and abroad, "Das Vergehen der Vergangenheit : Antwort an meine Kritiker im sogenannten Historikerstreit" ("The Offense of the Past: Answer at My Critics in the So-Called Historians' Dispute"), which again attracted controversy because Nolte reprinted the edited version of Kulka's letters, despite the latter's objections.
The "Historikerstreit" attracted much media attention in
West Germany, and as a result, both Nolte and his opponents became frequent guests on West German radioand television. The "Historikerstreit" was characterized by a highly vitriolic tone, with both Nolte's supporters and opponents often resorting to personal attacks [Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 pages 116-117] . Abroad, the "Historikerstreit" brought a degree of fame to Nolte. In 1988, an entire edition of "Yad Vashem Studies", the journal of the Yad VashemInstitute in Jerusalem, was devoted to the "Historikerstreit".
A year earlier, in 1987, concerns about some of the claims being made by both sides in the "Historikerstreit" led to a conference being called in
Londonthat was attended by some of the leading British, American, Israeli, and German specialists in both Soviet and German history. Among those who attended included Sir Ralf Dahrendorf, Sir Isaiah Berlin, Lord Weidenfeld, Harold James, Carol Gluck, Lord Annan, Fritz Stern, Gordon A. Craig, Robert Conquest, Samuel Ettinger, Jürgen Kocka, Sir Nicholas Henderson, Eberhard Jäckel, Hans Mommsen, Michael Stürmer, Joachim Fest, Hagen Schulze, Christian Maier, Wolfgang Mommsen, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Saul Friedländer, Felix Gilbert, Norman Stone, Julius Schoeps, and Charles Maier [Thomas, Gina (editor) "The Unresolved Past", New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990 pages vii-viii.] . Nolte was invited to the conference, but declined, citing scheduling conflicts.
Nolte’s opponents have intensely disagreed with his belief in a Jewish "war" on
Germany. They argue that Weizmann’s letter to Chamberlain was written in his capacity as head of the World Zionist Organization, not on behalf of the entire Jewish people of the world,Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 38-9.] and that Nolte’s views are based on the spurious idea that all Jews comprised a distinct "nationality" who take orders from the organization. There is no evidence that Hitler was aware of Weizmann’s letter to Chamberlain [Lukacs, John "The Hitler of History" New York: Vintage Books, 1997, 1998 pages 180-181.] .
As for Kaufman’s book, the Nazis were certainly aware of it; during the war, "Germany Must Perish!" was translated into German and widely promoted as an example of what Jews thought about Germans. But most historians contended that the radical views of one American Jew in no way typified European-Jewish thought, and to put the call for the forced sterilization of Germans that was never carried out as Allied policy in the same league as the Holocaust shows a profound moral insensitivity [Vidal-Naquet, Pierre "Assassins of Memory", New York: Columbia University Press, 1992 page 126. ] . Moreover, it has been shown that there is no indication that Kaufman's book ever played any role in the decision-making progress that led to the Holocaust [Kershaw, Ian "The Nazi Dictatorship", London: Arnold, 1989 page 176.] . Finally, it has been contended that Nolte's comparison of the Holocaust with the internment of the Japanese-Americans is false, because the Jews of Europe were sent to
death campsrather than concentration camps in an analogous sense.
Nolte’s critics have frequently charged him with having
neo-Naziand anti-Semiticsympathies. An American journalist called Nolte the "spiritus rector" of the German "new right"Heilbrunn, Jacob "Germany's New Right" pages 80-98 from "Foreign Affairs", Volume 75, Issue #6, November-December 1996 page 85.] . Nolte has always vehemently denied these charges, and has insisted that he is a neo-liberal in his politics. Nolte is by his own admission an intense German nationalist, whose stated goal is to restore the sense of pride in their history that he feels the Germans have been missing since 1945.
Above all, Nolte is opposed to any sort of "
Sonderweg" interpretation of German history [Nolte, Ernst "Between Myth and Revisionism?" from "Aspects of the Third Reich" edited by H.W. Koch pages 19-20.] . In Nolte's view, the roots of National Socialism are only to be understood as a "reaction born out of the anxiety of the annihilating occurrence of the Russian Revolution" [Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 page 31; Nolte, Ernst "Between Myth and Revisionism?" from "Aspects of the Third Reich" edited by H.W. Koch page 36.] , and lacked any connection with pre-1917 German history. Nolte has criticized those who sought, like William L. Shirerand A. J. P. Taylor, to equate "Deutschum" (Germanism) with National Socialism; he believes the assertion is a product of anti-German racism [Nolte, Ernst "Between Myth and Revisionism?" from "Aspects of the Third Reich" edited by H.W. Koch pages 20 & 22] .
Nolte’s defenders have pointed to numerous statements on his part condemning
Nazi Germanyand the Holocaust. Nolte’s critics have acknowledged these statements, but go on to claim that Nolte makes arguments that can be construed as being sympathetic to the Nazis, as in his defence of the Commissar Orderas a legitimate military order, his argument that the " Einsatzgruppen" massacres of Soviet Jews were a reasonable "preventive security" response to partisan attacks, his statements citing Viktor Suvorovthat Operation Barbarossawas a "preventive war" forced on Hitler by an alleged impeding Soviet attack, his claim that too much scholarship on the "Shoah" has been done by "biased" Jewish historians or his use of Nazi-era language, as in his practice of referring to Red Armysoldiers in World War IIas “Asiatic hordes” [Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 pages 33-34, 42-43, 56, 82-83, 184-185; Kershaw, Ian "The Nazi Dictatorship", London: Arnold, 1989 pages 175-177.] . Many British and American historians have been angered by Nolte's statements that there was no moral difference between British "area bombing" of German cities in World War II, American war crimes in the Vietnam Warand Nazi war crimes[Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 pages 85-87] . Nolte called the destruction of Hamburgby the RAF an example of the British determination to obliterate the German population [Nolte, Ernst "Between Myth and Revisionism?" from "Aspects of the Third Reich" edited by H.W. Koch page 28] . Many have charged that Nolte’s argument was meant to create a moral equivalence between British “area bombing”, American war crimes in Vietnamsuch as the My Lai Massacreand the " Shoah" as a way of diminishing the significance of the Holocaust. Others have complained about Nolte's argument in his 1993 book "Streitpunkte" that after the Second World War the American occupation authorities in their zone mistakenly brought the idea of multiculturalismto Germany [Nolte, Ernst "Streitpunkte", Berlin: Propyäen page 428; Heilbrunn, Jacob "Germany's New Right" pages 80-98 from "Foreign Affairs", Volume 75, Issue #6, November-December 1996 page 85.] . Another line of criticism has centered around Nolte's frequent and heavy use of the work of controversial British revisionist historian David Irvingto support his arguments [Lukacs, John "The Hitler of History" New York: Vintage Books, 1997, 1998 page 229; Evans, Richard J. "In Hitler's Shadow" New York: Pantheon Books, 1989 pages 166-167.] . Nolte has always denied allegations of Nazi sympathies, and pointed out that he always refused frequent offers to speak at the gatherings of the Institute for Historical Review; Nolte's critics such as Deborah Lipstadthave charged that the nature of Nolte's arguments about the Holocaust such as his suggestion in "Der europäische Bürgerkrieg" that the Wannsee Conferencemay not have occurred has led to these frequent invitations to speak at the I.H.R. [Lipstadt, Deborah "Denying the Holocaust" New York: Free Press, 1993 pages 214-215.] . Nolte has often vehemently criticized the laws banning Holocaust denialin Germany as a violation of free speech, and has called for their repeal. Lipstadt has argued that in her view the nature of Nolte's work is a more insidious and dangerous form of revisionism than the work of David Irving. In a 2003 interview, Lipstadt was quoted as saying "Historians such as the German Ernst Nolte are, in some ways, even more dangerous than the deniers. Nolte is an anti-Semite of the first order, who attempts to rehabilitate Hitler by saying that he was no worse than Stalin; but he is careful not to deny the Holocaust. Holocaust deniers make Nolte's life more comfortable. They have, with their radical argumentation, pulled the center a little more to their side. Consequently, a less radical extremist, such as Nolte, finds himself closer to the middle ground, which makes him more dangerous" [ [http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-11.htm Denial of the Holocaust and Immoral Equivalence - An Interview with Deborah Lipstadt ] ] . Ward Churchillhas defended Nolte against Lipstadt’s charges on the grounds that Nolte is correct that the Holocaust is just one of many genocides and therefore not singularly evil [http://zena.secureforum.com/znet/ZMag/articles/cot96church.htm.] . Though Nolte has never denied the Holocaust, he has often praised the work of David Irving, David Hoggan, Fred Leuchter, Arthur Butz, Paul Rassinierand other Holocaust deniers as superior to the work of "mainstream" scholars; in 1993 Nolte wrote that "radical revisionists have presented research which, if one is familiar with the source material and the critique of the sources, is probably superior to that of the established historians of Germany" [Wistrich, Robert S. "Holocaust Denial" pages 293-301 from "The Holocaust Encyclopedia" edited by Walter Laqueur, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001 page 299; Lukacs, John "The Hitler of History" New York: Vintage Books, 1997, 1998 page 233.] .
In 1992, Nolte attracted controversy with a biography of his mentor,
Martin Heidegger, whose turn to Nazismwas justified by Nolte on the grounds that in the context of the early 1930s, support for Nazis was a "rational" choice for a German to make. Nolte argued that Heidegger was "gerechtfertiger" (justified) in joining the N.S.D.A.P. because the only other alternative was the K.P.D. [Nolte, Ernst "Martin Heidegger", Frankfurt: Propyläen, 1992 page 152.] . In April 1993, an exchange took place on the pages of the " New York Review of Books" between Thomas Sheehan and Nolte over the former’s hostile review of Nolte’s biographyof Heidegger. Nolte protested that Sheehan misquoted and misinterpreted some of his statements [http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2618 Heidegger and Nazism: An Exchange - The New York Review of Books ] ] . Sheehan responded that Nolte had engaged in selective misquotation of his review. In jest, Nolte described himself in his letter of protest as a “wicked revisionist”.
Another controversy around Nolte was caused in 1994 when Nolte made a speech that maintained that there was much that was “positive” about
Nazism, that many historians had neglected the "positive" aspects of Nazism ["Ein historisches Recht Hitlers"? Der Faschismus-Interpret Ernst Nolte über den Nationalsozialismus, Auschwitz und die Neue Rechte' pages 83-103 from "Der Spiegel" , Volume 40, 1994.] . The last statement caused a public war of words in 1994 between Nolte and his old antagonist from the "Historikerstreit", Rudolf Augstein, who used the pages of " Der Spiegel" to attack Nolte as a Nazi apologist. Ultimately, in the interest of public decorum, several politicians called for both Augstein and Nolte to cease their attacks on one another.
In a 1996 interview, Nolte argued that attempts by neo-Nazi skinheads to burn down buildings housing foreign refugee seekers should not be regarded as attempted murder, but rather as an expression of frustration. In the same interview, Nolte criticized those officials who sought to prosecute skinheads for attempted murder as making a “highly questionable” decision.
Since the "Historikerstreit", Nolte has become an increasing marginalized figure within the German historical profession. Even those in favor of German nationalism such as
Michael Wolffsohnand Michael Stürmerhave sought distance from Nolte [Wolffsohn, Michael "Falsely Accused" page 158 & Stürmer, Michael "Witch Hunt" page 159 from "Foreign Affairs", Volume 76, Issue #2, March-April 1997.] . The reception on the part of most historians to Nolte's 1991 book "Geschichtsdenken im 20. Jahrhundert" ("Historical Thinking In the 20th Century") was hostile. In the latter work, Nolte asserted that the 20th century produced three “extraordinary states”, namely Germany, the Soviet Union, and Israel. Nolte claimed that all three were “abnormal once”, but whereas the Soviet Union and Germany were now “normal” states, Israel was still an “abnormal” state and was in danger of becoming a fascist, genocidal state. Many criticized Nolte’s book as both anti-Semiticand anti-Israeli, with its implied conclusion that there is a moral equivalence between Soviet Communism, German National Socialism and Israeli democracy. The book was criticized for equating a hypothetical act of mass murder with the actual historical cases of German and Soviet mass murder.
Nolte's 1998 "Historische Existenz" ("Historical Existence") featured as a prominent theme a restatement of Nolte's view that because a disproportionate number of Soviet partisans were Jews, the "
Einsatzgruppen" massacres, which saw about 2.2 million Soviet Jews shot in 1941–1942, were an acceptable "preventive security" tactic that should not be regarded as either a war crimeor a crime against humanity. In the same book, Nolte argued that in 1939 Hitler had “serious reasons” to rightfully consider all Jews as an enemy, and had the right to take “appropriate measures” against the Jews. Quoting passages in the " Tanakh" where God orders the Israelites to kill all of their enemies, Nolte argues that this was proof of what he claims to be the alleged Jewish genocidal mentality that Hitler had to deal with.
Between 1995–1997, Nolte via a series of letters had a debate with French historian
François Furetover the relationship between fascismand Communism. The debate had been started by a footnote in Furet's book, "Le Passé d'une illusion" ("The Passing of an Illusion"), in which Furet had expressed his disagreement with Nolte's theories about Communism and fascism, leading Nolte to write a letter of protest to Furet. Furet argued that both ideologies were Totalitarian twinsthat shared the same origins, while Nolte repeated his views of there having been a "kausale Nexus" (causal nexus) with fascism as a response to Communism. After Furet's death, the letters were subsequently published in a book in Francein 1998 as "Fascisme et Communisme: échange épistolaire avec l'historien allemand Ernst Nolte prolongeant la Historikerstreit" ("Fascism and Communism: Epistolary Exchanges With The German Historian Ernst Nolte Extending The Historikerstreit"), which was translated into English as "Fascism and Communism" in 2001.
Nolte often contributes "Feuilleton" (opinion) pieces to German newspapers such as "
Die Welt" and the " Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". In a "feulliton" published in "Die Welt" entitled “"Auschwitz als Argument in der Geschichtstheorie"” ("Auschwitz As Argument In Historical Theory") on January 2, 1999, Nolte criticized his old enemy Richard J. Evans’s book "In The Defence of History", on the grounds that aspects of the Holocaust are open to revision, and that therefore, Evans’s attacks on Nolte during the "Historikerstreit" were unwarranted [http://www.history.ac.uk/discourse/moevans.html Discourse on postmodernism: Evans' reply (4) ] ] . Citing American political scientist Daniel Goldhagen, Nolte argued that the effectiveness of the gas chambers as killing instruments was exaggerated, that more Jews were killed by mass shooting than by mass gassing, that the number of people killed at Auschwitz was inflated after 1945 (with about 1 million rather than 4 million being killed at Auschwitz), that Binjamin Wilkomirski's memoir of Auschwitz was a forgery, and that the history of the Holocaust is open to reinterpretation.
In August 2000, Nolte wrote a favorable review in the "Die Woche" newspaper of
Norman Finkelstein’s book " The Holocaust Industry", claiming Finkelstein’s book buttressed his claim that the memory of the Holocaust had been used by Jewish groups for their own reasons. Most recently, in a 2006 interview, Nolte in a partial return to the theories he first expressed in "The Three Faces of Fascism", has written that Islamic fundamentalismis the third variant, after Communism and National Socialism, of the “resistance to transcendence”, and has expressed regret that he will not have enough time to fully study Islamic fascism [http://www.welt.de/print-welt/article225060/Religion_vom_absoluten_Boesen.html.] . In a 2004 book review of Richard Overy's monograph "The Dictators", the American historian Anne Applebaumargued that it was a valid intellectual exercise to compare the German and Soviet dictatorships, but complained that Nolte’s arguments had needlessly discredited the comparative approach [http://www.anneapplebaum.com/communism/2004/nr_evil_12_27_04.pdf..] . In response, in 2005, Nolte was defended against Applelbaum's charge of attempting to justify the Holocaust by Paul Gottfried, who contended that Nolte had merely argued that he Nazis had made a link in their own minds between Jews and Communists, and the Holocaust was an attempt by the Nazis to eliminate the most likely supporters of Communism [ [http://www.lewrockwell.com/gottfried/gottfried69.html Letter to The New Republic by Paul Gottfried ] ] .
June 4, 2000, Nolte was awarded the Konrad Adenauer Prize for Literature. The award attracted widespread protests and controversy. The man who delivered Nolte his award, Dr. Horst Möller, of the " Institut für Zeitgeschichte" (Institute for Contemporary History), praised Nolte’s scholarship while trying to steer clear of Nolte’s more controversial claims [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406E4D61331F932A15755C0A9669C8B63&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fN%2fNazi%20Policies%20Toward%20Jews%20and%20Minorities The New York Time, June 21, 2000] ] . In response, Heinrich August Winklerargued that Möller should have resigned as the director of the Institute rather than having "allowed himself to become party to an intellectual political offensive aimed at integrating rightist and revisionist positions in the conservative mainstream.". Benjamin Meed, the president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors called the award a “repugnant insult to memory”. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE0DB1131F931A15755C0A9669C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/N/Nazi%20Policies%20Toward%20Jews%20and%20Minorities The New York Time, June 22, 2000] ] .In his acceptance speech, Nolte commented that "We should leave behind the view that the opposite of National Socialist goals is always good and right" and that because of what, in his view, was "wide" Jewish support for Communism, the Nazis might have had "rational reasons" for their anti-Semitism[ [http://www.osborne-conant.org/nolte.htm Email Template ] ] .
Currently, Nolte is a professor emeritus of contemporary history at the
Free University of Berlin.
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*Eley, Geoff "Nazism, Politics and the Image of the Past: Thoughts on the West German "Historikerstreit" pages 171-288 from "Past and Present", Volume 121, 1988.
*Epstein, Klaus "A New Study of Fascism" pages 2-25 from "Reappraisals of Fascism" edited by
Henry Ashby Turner, New York: Franklin Watts, 1976, ISBN 0-531-05372-5.
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*Friedländer, Saul "Memory, History, And The Extermination Of The Jews Of Europe", Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1993 ISBN 0-253-32483-1.
*Grab, Walter “German Historians And The Trivialization Of Nazi Criminality: Critical Remarks On The Apologetics Of Joachim Fest, Ernst Nolte And Andreas Hillgruber” pages 273-278 from "Australian Journal of Politics and History", Volume 33, Issue #3 , 1987.
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*Gutman, Yisreal "Nolte and Revisionism" pages 115-150 from "Yad Vashem Studies", Volume 19, 1988.
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*Hirschfeld, Gerhard "Erasing the Past?" pages 8–10 from "History Today" Volume 37, Issue 8, August 1987.
*Kershaw, Sir Ian "The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretations", London: Arnold, 1989 ISBN 0-340-49008-X.
*Kitchen, Martin "Ernst Nolte And The Phenomenology Of Fascism" pages 130-149 from "Science & Society", Volume 38, Issue #2 1974.
*Kulka, Otto Dov "Singularity and Its Relativization: Changing Views in German Historiography on National Socialism and the `Final Solution'" pages 151-186 from "Yad Vashem Studies", Volume 19, 1988.
*LaCapra, Dominick "Revisiting The Historians’ Debate: Mourning And Genocide" pages 80-112 from "History & Memory", Volume 9, Issue #1-2 1997.
*Lipstadt, Deborah "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory", New York : Free Press ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York ; Oxford : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993, ISBN 0-02-919235-8.
*Low, Alfred "Historikerstreit" page 474 from "Modern Germany An Encyclopedia of History, People, and Culture", Volume 1 A-K, edited by Dieter Buse and Jürgen Doerr, Garland Publishing, New York, New York, United States of America, 1998 ISBN 0-8153-0503-6.
*Lukacs, John "The Hitler of History", New York : A. A. Knopf, 1997 ISBN 0-679-44649-4.
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*Maier, Charles "Immoral Equivalence" pages 36-41 from "
The New Republic", Volume 195, Number 22, Issue 3, 750, December 1, 1986.
*Marrus, Michael "The Holocaust In History", Toronto : Lester & Orpen Dennys : Hanover : University Press of New England, 1987 ISBN 0-88619-155-6.
*Mosse, George Review of "Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian Fascism, National Socialism" pages 621-625 from "Journal of the History of Ideas", Volume 27, Issue #4, October 1966.
*Muller, Jerry "German Historians At War" pages 33-42 from "Commentary" Volume 87, Issue #5, May 1989.
*Peacock, Mark S. "The Desire To Understand And The Politics Of "Wissenschaft": An Analysis Of The "Historikerstreit" pages 87-110 from "History of the Human Sciences", Volume 14, Issue #4, 2001
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**Augstein, Rudolf "The New Auschwitz Lie" pages 131-134.
**Broszat, Martin "Where the Roads Part" pages 125-129.
**Fest, Joachim "Encumbered Remembrance: The Controversy about the Incomparability of National-Socialist Mass Crimes" pages 63-71.
**Habermas, Jürgen “A Kind of Settlement of Damages On Apologetic Tendencies In German History Writing” pages 34-44.
**Hildebrand, Klaus "The Age of Tyrants: History and Politics" pages 50-55.
**Jäckel, Eberhard "The Impoverished Practice of Insinuation: The Singular Aspect of National-Socialist Crimes Cannot Be Denied" pages 74-78.
**Mommsen, Hans "Search for the 'Lost History'?" pages 101-113.
**Mommsen, Wolfgang "Neither Denial nor Forgetfulness Will Free Us" pages 202-215.
*Sauer, Wolfgang "National Socialism: Totalitarianism or Fascism?" pages 404-424 from "The American Historical Review", Volume 73, Issue #2, December 1967.
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*Strute, Karl and Doelken, Theodor (editors) "Who's Who In Germany 1982-1983" Volume 2 N-Z, Verlag AG: Zurich, 1983, ISBN 0510-4009.
*Thomas, Gina (editor) "The Unresolved Past A Debate In German History", New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990, ISBN 0-312-057996-2.
*Vidal-Naquet, Pierre "Assassins of Memory Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust", New York: Columbia University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-231-07457-1.
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* Wyden, Peter "The Hitler Virus: The Insidious Legacy of Adolf Hitler", Arcade Publishing, 2002, ISBN 1-55970-616-3.German
*Kronenberg, Volker "Ernst Nolte und das totalitare Zeitalter: Versuch einer Verst andigung", Bouvier, Bonn, 1999 ISBN 3416028740.
*Nipperdey, Thomas, Doering-Manteuffel, Anselm & Thamer, Hans-Ulrich (editors) "Weltburgerkrieg der Ideologien: Antworten an Ernst Nolte : Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag", Berlin: Propyläen Verlag, 1993 ISBN 3549053266.
*Schneider, Michael "Volkspadagogik" von rechts: Ernst Nolte, die Bemuhungen um die "Historisierung" des Nationalsozialismus und die "selbstbewusste Nation", Forschungsinstitut der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Historisches Forschungszentrum, 1995, ISBN 3860774638.French
*Jäckel, Eberhard “Une Querelle D'Allemandes? La Miserable Pratique Des Sous-Entendus” pages 95-98 from "Documents", Volume 2, 1987.
*Soutou, Georges-Henri “La "Querelle Des Historiens" Allemands: Polemique, Histoire Et Identite Nationale” pages 61-81 from "Relations Internationales", Volume 65, 1991.
*Groppo, Bruno “"Revisionnisme" Historique Et Changement Des Paradigmes En Italie Et En Allemagne” pages 7-13 from "Matériaux pour l'Histoire de Notre Temps", Volume 68, 2002.Czech
*Moravcová, Dagmar "Interpretace Fasisum v Západonemecé Historiografil v 60. a 70. Letech" pages 657-675 from "Ceskoslovenský Casopis Historický", Volume 26, Issue #5, 1978.Russian
*Galkin, I. S "Velikaia Oktiabr'Skaia Sotsialisicheskaia Revoliutsiia i Bor'ba Idei v Istoricheskoi Nauke Na Soveremennom Etape" pages 14-25 from V"estnik Moskovskogo Universiteta, Seriia 8: Istoriia", Volume 5, 1977.
* [http://www.ernst-nolte.de/ Ernst Nolte] - personal website (in German)
* [http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/histreview/vol6/weber.html Shades of Revisionism: Holocaust Denial and the Conservative Call to Reinterpret German History]
* [http://www.osborne-conant.org/nolt_comment.htm Ernst Nolte and Holocaust Revisionism]
* [http://www.osborne-conant.org/nolte.htm Hitler Apologist Wins German Honor, and a Storm Breaks Out]
* [http://www.signandsight.com/features/800.html The Logic of Horror] by
* [http://www.stanford.edu/dept/relstud/faculty/sheehan/pdf/NormalNa.pdf A Normal Nazi Review of Martin Heidegger by Ernst Nolte]
* [http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2618 Heidegger and Nazism: An Exchange]
* [http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2003-03-28-roman-fr.html Interview with Ernst Nolte] in French
* [http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=388&PID=867&IID=1714 Ernst Nolte and the Memory of the Shoah]
* [http://www.lewrockwell.com/gottfried/gottfried69.html Letter to The New Republic Defending Nolte by Paul Gottfried]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406E4D61331F932A15755C0A9669C8B63&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fN%2fNazi%20Policies%20Toward%20Jews%20and%20Minorities New York Times Report On Nolte Being Awarded the Konrad Adenauer Prize]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE0DB1131F931A15755C0A9669C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/N/Nazi%20Policies%20Toward%20Jews%20and%20Minorities Award in Germany: An Insult to Memory]
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