ARCHITECTS OF ANNIHILATION follows the activities of the demographers, economists, geographers and planners in the period between the disorderly excesses of the November 1938 pogrom and the fully-effective operation of the gas chambers at Auschwitz in summer 1942. The authors, both journalists and historians, argue that this group of intellectuals, often combining academic, civil service and Party functions, made an indispensable contribution to the planning and execution of the Final Solution. More than that, in the economic and demographic rationale of these experts, the Final Solution was only one element in a far-reaching programme of self-sufficiency which privileged the German Aryan population.
Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim are young journalists and historians living in Germany. Susanne Heim is Deputy Research Director of the Max Plank Society in Berlin. She has edited various political journals and is currently preparing a major study on Jewish emigration and refugee policy in the 1930s.