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With all respect to Ester, I must disagree with the judgement that "I doubt whether it will ever be possible to find out the exact details, among other things they differed from place to place." Nazi laws were clear -- certainly within the Altreich -- regarding the Jews, and adhered to systematically. Again, I cite the case of Mischlinge. Even if a local Nazi "satrap" may have had the ability to get away with the murder of half-Jews, the fact remains that all Nazi "satraps" adhered to the Nuremberg Laws and left half-Jews alone, no matter how badly that particular Nazi would have liked even those with a fraction of "Jewish blood" to be killed. There was no such thing as local variation on the issue of the Jews. It is not the case that Gauleiter made up their own minds from Gau to Gau as to the fate of Jews or Mischlinge, except in some very limited cases where the national authority specifically relegated certain decisions to the regional authorities. Similarly, your statement that "conflicting interpretation as well as ambivalence within the Nazi ideology were of lesser concern than to get on with the job before too many people might ask too many questions" is problematic. In issuing the Nuremberg Laws, the Nazis spent a great deal of time hashing out policy, ironing out any possible inconsistencies. Addenda were added to the laws, officials wrote books about the laws, and a great deal of time was devoted to a precise definition of who exactly was Jewish and who wasn't. This doesn't mean that SA men didn't take it upon themselves to beat up all kinds of people on the street. Nor does it mean that Nazi policy was bereft of incongruities. But Nazis eager to "get on with the job" nonetheless took it upon themselves to hammer out the details of their laws, at least when it came to the Nuremberg Laws. I also would argue that this issue of "Aryan" converts to Judaism, while appearing hair-splitting and not especially relevant, is indeed quite important. Whatever the answer is -- and I believe it is quite possible, with a little digging, to arrive at an answer -- it should shed a considerable amount of light on the nature of Nazi antisemitism. It would help us to determine, for instance, the degree to which Nazi antisemitism was "racial" -- that is, predicated on the discourse of science -- or "religious" in nature. Afterall, the very fact that Christians who had four Jewish grandparents were still considered Jewish (witness the latest thread about "Auschwitz missionaries") is usually provided as evidence that the Nazis' antisemitism was non-, or anti-Christian, since it obviously disregarded the sanctity of baptism. In other respects, however, Nazi antisemitism looks quite related to its Christian counterpart. Hence my point about ambivalence. You may disagree with me, but I think an attempt to determine how much Nazi antisemitism was related to Christian antisemitism is a useful undertaking. This is, afterall, an on-going debate among historians. You in fact CAN "have your cake and eat it too", if you undertake a little investigation. If the answer is not immediately apparent, that doesn't mean an answer can't be found. You point out that "ideology was good when it suited somebody's purpose". Let me argue that the Nazis' purpose was supremely ideological in the first place. Again, to explain Hitler or his actions as "opportunistic" is to drastically underestimate the drive towards the Holocaust. As scholars are now aware, the problem with Marxist historiography on the Nazis was precisely its inability to explain genocide: the Nazis, according to this school, were simply the "cronies" of big business, their ideology a smoke-screen to dupe the public. In fact, had big business been listened to more, the Nazis wouldn't have invaded the USSR, they would have done business with it. They wouldn't have killed Jews, they would have continued employing them in factories. That doesn't mean there weren't opportunitsts in the Nazi movement. Even if there were many Nazis who were simple careerists, the way they furthered their career was to prove their adherence to Nazi goals. And no matter how much Nazis bickered with eachother, they all recognized the essentials of their ideology, most centrally antisemitism. Richard Steigmann-Gall University of Toronto