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Article by Ruth-Maria Birn

"Neue" oder alte Täterforschung? Einige Überlegungen am Beispiel von Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

TD: volume 7, issue 2010, 2, page 189–212

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Es folgt die Zusammenfassung in englischer Sprache following the article short description

Is a new approach on research on Nazi perpetrators ( Neue Täterforschung ) warranted, to allow a deeper insight into their minds ? This article argues no, because the availability of sources, not the historian’s intentions, defines what can be done. In most cases, particularly with low - level perpetrators, the source material is very limited, often consisting only of tombstone - data, which offer little insight in the mentality of perpetrators. However, problems in analysis exist, even when a great amount of person - related information is available. A good example is the case of an important SS - perpetrator, Erich von dem Bach - Zelewski. His rendering of facts, as well as his interpretations of them, vary greatly according to time and personal circumstances. This case study shows that a comparative evaluation of documents is indispensable, and caution against an unreflected use of the attribute “authentic”, too.

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