In 1996, Daniel Goldhagen unleashed a fury of controversy when he published the book Hitler’s Willing Executioners, in which he argued that the Holocaust took place not because Germans were especially obedient to authority, or because a few bad apples came into power, but because an eliminationist prejudice against Jews was woven into the very fabric of German culture. Germans “considered the slaughter to be just,” Goldhagen wrote. His book hit a nerve—critics called Goldhagen out for using overly broad generalizations to indict an entire country—but that criticism didn’t hurt the book’s reception; it was a phenomenal success in Germany and around the world.
Nearly 20 years later, Goldhagen has broadened his scope in a new work. The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism offers an in-depth look at anti-Semitism around the world. He argues that it’s an almost pathological prejudice that spans centuries and cultures and therefore is a uniquely destructive force that has redoubled its strength thanks to a new age of globalization and information-sharing. Goldhagen joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss why anti-Semitism is distinct from other forms of prejudice, how globalization has contributed to its resurgence, and what we can do to combat this scourge. [Running time: 29:40.]