The Origins of the Final Solution is the most detailed, careful, and comprehensive analysis to date of the descent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews into mass murder: the Holocaust. Arguing that genocide was not a preconceived plan but rather a discovered possibility, Christopher Browning explains how Hitler's decision to murder the Jews en masse emerged in stages and by a process of elimination that gradually foreclosed plans for their expulsion from Europe. Only in the interval between late September and late October 1941 did the desire to "remove" the Jews intersect with the discovery of acceptable means of killing them on a large scale and with the euphoria of expected victory in Russia, all of which followed on from two years of 'race war' and 'racial imperialism' in eastern Europe that prepared 'ordinary Germans' for this fateful task.
Christopher Browning is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written a number of modern history books, including Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (1992); The Path to Genocide (1992); The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office (1978) and Nazi Policy, Jewish Labour, German Killers (2000).