By Thomas Kühne
Nobody has ever posed a passable reason behind the intense inhumanity of the Holocaust. What enabled thousands of Germans to perpetrate or condone the homicide of the Jews? during this illuminating ebook, Thomas Kühne bargains a provocative resolution. as well as the hatred of Jews or coercion that created a genocidal society, he contends, the need for a united “people’s community” made Germans conform and sign up for jointly in mass crime.
Exploring inner most letters, diaries, memoirs, mystery experiences, trial documents, and different files, the writer indicates how the Nazis used such universal human wishes as group, belonging, and unity to forge a country accomplishing the worst crime in heritage.
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Additional info for Belonging and Genocide: Hitler's Community, 1918-1945
After the war, the legend of the stab in the back further propelled anti-Semitism. 39 In fact, veterans’ meetings often anticipated a racially puriﬁed Volksgemeinschaft. Rightist veterans’ associations didn’t welcome Social Democratic bluecollar workers either. Unlike Jews, they were not excluded axiomatically but were pressured to abandon their party afﬁliations. The Stahlhelm offered beneﬁts through its social security system, and some employers told their socialist employees to join the Stahlhelm if they did not want to lose their jobs.
Hundreds of thousands of Germans committed themselves to helping. “With the aid of this tremendous society,” Hitler said in 1937, “countless people are . . ” Such charity would not drop from heaven. ” Winter Aid served as not only a shelter for those in need, but also an “insurance against lack of common sense,” Hitler announced. 9 Donating to Winter Aid was mandatory. “you too must sacriﬁce,” propaganda posters reminded Germans continuously. Pressure and control were omnipresent. Landlords issued forms to make householders report what they had donated, and teachers encouraged students to collect contributions from their parents, so as not to be listed on a classroom display board as a black sheep.
45 And Paul does more than fulﬁll his duty; he pressures his fellow soldiers to abide by the code. His former drill sergeant Himmelstoß is eventually ordered to the front and becomes Paul’s trainee. ’ I spit. . ’ . . ”46 The right-wing novelist Hans Zöberlein was more vehement. The hero of his best-selling war novel Belief in Germany (1931) warned against “the idea of the shame of falling behind, of being called a shirker,” and so he ran into battle again and again, even with a high fever and close to physical breakdown.
Belonging and Genocide: Hitler's Community, 1918-1945 by Thomas Kühne