A bold new exploration of the Holocaust by a pre-eminent scholar in the field. Why? challenges conventional, popular views and debunks prevailing myths surrounding this shocking period of history.Peter Hayes has been teaching Holocaust studies for decades and Why? grows out of the questions hes encountered from his students. Despite the outpouring of books, films, memorials, museums and courses devoted to the subject, a coherent explanation of why such a ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilised Europe in the 20th Century seems still to elude people. Numerous myths have sprouted, many designed to console us that things could have gone differently if only some person or entity had acted more bravely or wisely, others intended to cast new blame on favourite or surprising villains or even on historians. Why? dispels many such legends - from the notion that antisemitism brought Hitler to power to the belief that a large number of major perpetrators escaped punishment - and debunks the most prevalent ones, including the loud and recurrent claim that the Holocaust never happened. Hayes challenges some of the most prominent recent interpretations and argues that convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment in time resulted in this tragic catastrophe.