Why it proved capable of conducting a second total war' (german empire, p 7 see also wehler, deatsche gesellschaftsgeschichte, p 461) i use the term ' exceptionalism' thesis rather than 'exceptionalisrn' theory deliberately in this paper to refer to the subset of sonderweg discourse that tries to account for nazism on the. 225–40 smith critiques this post-sonderweg continuity thesis for its lack of temporal depth and national specificity he argues for a deeper line of continuity, but does not address the continuity thesis discussed in this article about germany's peculiar relationship with eastern europe, a relationship that stretches deep into the. The sonderweg thesis was a conventional theory before 1940 according to which it separated favorably the differences of germany from the western nations this is a principle every nation follows, showing to the world what's best about them and why their country is the finest why are they unique and different from all other. In support of his thesis, goldhagen attacks a number of assumptions that are auxilliary to the commonly held scholarly opinions according to this view, germany had long developed separately from western democracies and in the course of this sonderweg had embraced a vicious kind of antisemitism which accounts for. This is an essay i wrote for a directed readings course in fall 2009, with marion deshmukh the sonderweg of german history before 1940s there was a positive sonderweg thesis that promoted favorably the differences of germany from other western nations this is similar to what every nation does,. The weakness of german liberalism usually figures prominently in anything written about modern german history it is also central to the thesis of a german sonderweg (separate path), that german history, from at least the nineteenth century onwards, deviated significantly from more benign developments in western.
Germany's 'old elites' working together in a close 'alliance' this perspec- tive was anchored in the sonderweg thesis, which, positing a 'western' norm of modernisation, held germany to have been an aberrant excep- tion detlev peukert challenged this approach at its roots in a seminal study first published in 1987 under. Sonderweg keywords: european history, prussia, holy roman empire, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century europe i introduction he concept of a german sonderweg is one that needs a certain degree of unraveling before assessing its validity, for it has been used in various contexts to explain a variety of theses it is thus. In that work and now in the “prologue” of the third reich in power, evans weighs the relative strengths and weaknesses of the sonderweg thesis (the argument that germany traveled down a “special” or deviant path from a “ normative” western european model) evans does not believe that national socialism was a.
Some historians argue that these experiences led germany on a special path ( sonderweg) of incomplete social and political modernization that destined the nation to follow an authoritarian course the evidence supporting the sonderweg thesis comes from germany's subsequent political history once national. Of all master-narratives, the 'sonderweg' thesis is particularly enigmatic the problem it addresses is simple, on the face of it: “why did germany – unlike comparable countries in the west and north – turn to fascist and/or totalitarian perversion” (kocka, 1999: 41) yet that, aside from already curtailing the.
In the opinion of the proponents of the sonderweg thesis, the crucial turning point was the revolution of 1848, when german liberals failed to seize power and consequently either emigrated or chose to resign themselves to being ruled by a reactionary elite, living in a society that taught its children obedience, glorification of. When discussing german antisemitism, most scholars agree that before the first world war one can speak in terms of the rise and fall of political, organized antisemitism in germany contrary to daniel j goldhagen's controversial thesis german 'special path' (sonderweg) which began in the nineteenth century and. It is goldhagen's thesis that the central causal agent of the holocaust was the german people's enduring pathological hatred of the jews (hitler's willing goldhagen approvingly cites the sonderweg argument that germany developed along a singular path, setting it apart from other western countries (hwe: 419.
The most infamous conceptualization of this thesis is found in hitler's willing executioners: ordinary germans and the holocaust, by daniel jonah goldhagen goldhagen is the wrong-headed son of a holocaust survivor, and the best-selling initiator of the modern version of the sonderweg controversy he is rightfully one. In this view, which i shall refer to as the 'structural continuity thesis', german history differed sharply from that of other nations which underwent a full bourgeois revolution, such as england or france or holland or the scandinavian countries the rise of capitalism and the emergence of the bourgeoisie led in germany as.