At the heart of the present work is the matter of the date and path which lead to the ultimate decision to destroy European Jews (to paraphrase the title of the masterpiece written by Raul Hilberg, the first great historian on the Shoah). The author intends to introduce the topic in the clearest possible way with regards to language and arguments and to deal with the topic from the perspective of an intellectual historian, not that of a contemporary historian (which he is not). He presents it as an exemplary case for the comparison of ideas on contemporary history, society, and politics. Starting with an examination into the Nazi as an individual, he continues with an analysis and various portraits of intellectuals turned exterminators. A key item is the year 1941 as the turning point toward the Shoah. The final chapter is dedicated to the comparison between Intention and Function in the history of the Shoah.

Ruggero D’Alessandro (1962, Palermo, Italy) has lived in Switzerland since 1994. With an MA in Law, MA in Political Science (Palermo University), and PhD in Sociology from Lausanne University, (Switzerland), D’Alessandro is editor in a cultural office and conducts seminars in various universities. He is the author of thirty non-fiction books, six novels, sixty articles in journals, and two books of poetry. His works are translated into English, French and German.