Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
writes from Singapore Tuesday, December 21, 1999
Historians should now concentrate on the "Why?"
I WOULD like to congratulate you on creating a truly fascinating and well constructed website. I have spent many hours reading through it, finding it both highly entertaining and informative. I hope you continue to develop it for those of us who still feel there are many questions about the Third Reich that have not been answered or even asked. I have been a supporter of yours ever since I first read your book 'Hitler's War' during the completion of my I.B. Diploma at United World College in Singapore, where I graduated in history along with five other subjects. I have since read it three times as well as 'Churchill's War' and 'Göring'.
Following my I.B. Diploma I completed a degree at York University in Politics and Philosophy, completing a two term unit in Fascism. My end of year essay was on "The Philosophical Origins of the Third Reich".
This is a question I am still pursuing to answer in my free time. I feel that the "How", "When" and "Who" topics concerning the Third Reich, although still fascinating, have been thoroughly explored. There are still some unanswered questions but I feel that by-and-large they have been well covered, particularly by yourself. It is the "Why" question that historians should now be concentrating on. I feel there is a distinct lack of academic work being done on the origins of Nazi philosophy.
We should stop trying to point fingers at peoples and nations. We know who did it and how, but why, is far more compelling.
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
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The why question is the one which matters. When I confronted Daniel Goldhagen during a talk he gave two years ago, I said to him: "If I were a Jew, I would be interested not in who pulled the trigger -- the subject of your book -- but why they did it." No answer.