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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte

Ed. by Altrichter, Helmut / Möller, Horst / Szöllösi-Janze, Margit / Wirsching, Andreas


CiteScore 2017: 0.14

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.104
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.940

Online
ISSN
2196-7121
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Volume 59, Issue 4

Issues

Akteure, Verbrechen und Kontinuitäten. Das Auswärtige Amt im Dritten Reich — Eine Binnendifferenzierung

Michael Mayer
Published Online: 2011-10-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/vfzg.2011.0027

Vorspann

Die verstörende publizistische Begleitmusik zum „Amt“ ist fast verstummt. Nun haben die Fachleute das Wort. Einer davon ist Michael Mayer, der die Debatte zum Anlass nimmt, sich intensiv mit der Personalstruktur des Außenministeriums im Dritten Reich und ihrem tiefgreifenden Wandel nach 1938 zu befassen. Sein Befund ist eindeutig: Es waren vor allem die neu geschaffenen, von überzeugten Nationalsozialisten geleiteten Sonderreferate, die im Auswärtigen Amt die Judenpolitik bestimmten und bereitwillig mit dem Reichssicherheitshauptamt kooperierten. Der Einfluss der alten Diplomaten in den traditionellen Abteilungen hingegen blieb in dieser Frage – trotz aller, mitunter bestürzender Anpassungsleistungen – gering.

Abstract

The final report of the Commission of Historians Dealing with the History of the German Foreign Office during the Nazi Dictatorship and the Federal Republic has kindled a heated debate. Here the results of the commission are checked by systematic research. Mostly the article focuses on the question as to which new insights can be gained by engaging in an internal differentiation within the Foreign Office. The Commission of Historians has disputed that such a differentiation leads to an increase in understanding. For the first time, the staff of the various desks which were (among other things) responsible for the persecution of the Jews and the Political Department are compared. Here it becomes clear that fundamental differences existed within the Foreign Office on a hitherto unrecognised scale. What were the consequences? To answer this question, the positions espoused by the Judenreferat [Jewish desk] as well as the Political and Legal Departments during the Holocaust are examined. In this manner it is possible to determine a balanced internal differentiation within the Foreign Office which takes the existing internal commonalities and differences into account without downplaying its extensive participation in Nazi crimes. The results of the Commission can thus be corrected and supplemented comprehensively.

Keywords: Das Auswärtige Amt im Dritten Reich; Der Holocaust und das Dritte Reich; Ribbentrop und der Umbruch im Auswärtigen Amt

About the article

Published Online: 2011-10-12

Published in Print: 2011-10-15


Citation Information: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Volume 59, Issue 4, Pages 509–532, ISSN (Online) 2196-7121, ISSN (Print) 0042-5702, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/vfzg.2011.0027.

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