"One of the continuing puzzles of twentieth-century history is how prewar Germany transitioned from a society in which anti-Semitism was pernicious and widespread, but less than lethal, to the unimaginable horror of the Holocaust. Although in the ensuing decades this matter has been much debated by a range of scholars, little in the way of a convincing consensus has emerged." "Now in this new survey, Philippe Burrin, one of the leading historians of Nazi Germany, provides a compelling and highly original contribution to the discussion. He begins by setting out three key questions: Why did the genocide take place primarily in Germany, when hostility toward Jews was widespread across much of Europe? Why did anti-Jewish prejudice become the norm in German society after 1933 in a way that allowed free rein to a Nazi regime whose anti-Semitism was far more extreme than that of the general population? And why did the regime eventually settle on a policy of extermination when other alternatives, including a system of apartheid, concentration in an outlying territory, and enforced emigration, were not only considered but were also partly adopted?" "Disagreeing with commentators such as Daniel Goldhagen, author of the widely read Hitler's Willing Executioners, who would condemn the entire German population as being inherently anti-Jewish, Burrin presents a more subtle picture of the gradual evolution of Nazi thought and policy. Already published to great acclaim in France, Nazi Anti-Semitism opens an essential new perspective on this tragic history."--Book jacket.