© 2016

The Holocaust and European Societies

Social Processes and Social Dynamics

  • Frank Bajohr
  • Andrea Löw
  • Seeks to further our understanding of the Holocaust as a wider social process

  • Analyses developments across European socities that contributed to the persecution of Jews

  • Questions Raul Hilberg´s category of the 'bystander' within such societies


Part of the The Holocaust and its Contexts book series (HOLC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

  3. Jews in the German Reich After 1933

  4. Case Studies from Eastern, South- Eastern and Central Europe

  5. Jewish Leadership and Jewish Councils

  6. Relations Between Jews and Non-Jews at a Local/Regional Level

About this book


This book explores the Holocaust as a social process. Although the mass murder of European Jews was essentially the result of political-ideological decisions made by the Nazi state leadership, the events of the Holocaust were also part of a social dynamic. All European societies experienced developments that led to the social exclusion, persecution and murder of the continent’s Jews. This volume therefore questions Raul Hilberg´s category of the ‘bystander’. In societies where the political order expects citizens to endorse the exclusion of particular groups in the population, there cannot be any completely uninvolved bystanders. Instead, this book examines the multifarious forms of social action and behaviour connected with the Holocaust. It focuses on institutions and persons, helpers, co-perpetrators, facilitators and spectators, beneficiaries and profiteers, as well as Jewish victims and Jewish organisations trying to cope with the dynamics of exclusion and persecution. 


Final solution Antisemitism Shoah Third Reich 'Bystander' dynamics Europe history Holocaust society World War II

Editors and affiliations

  • Frank Bajohr
    • 1
  • Andrea Löw
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Contemporary HistoryMunichGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Contemporary HistoryMunichGermany

About the editors

Andrea Löw is Deputy Director of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, Germany.

Frank Bajohr is Director of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, Germany and Professor at Ludwig Maximilians University.

Bibliographic information