Why the Germans? Why the Jews? by Götz Aly

March 9, 2014

Aly addresses one of the most troubling and enduring questions of the 20th century: How could the German nation kill 6 million Jews? Aly’s explanation points more toward class and ethnic resentment than religious difference. Jews took much better advantage than gentiles did of the economic opportunities provided by the Industrial Revolution. Jews were more committed to the education of their young than were non-Jews. Growing resentment of their advancement in society came to a head after the German defeat in World War I and the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Powerless to get back at their external enemies, Germans looked for a scapegoat.