By Thomas Kühne
Not anyone has ever posed a passable reason for the intense inhumanity of the Holocaust. What enabled hundreds of thousands of Germans to perpetrate or condone the homicide of the Jews? during this illuminating publication, Thomas Kühne deals a provocative resolution. as well as the hatred of Jews or coercion that created a genocidal society, he contends, the will for a united “people’s community” made Germans conform and subscribe to jointly in mass crime.
Exploring inner most letters, diaries, memoirs, mystery studies, trial files, and different records, the writer indicates how the Nazis used such universal human wishes as group, belonging, and harmony to forge a country accomplishing the worst crime in historical past.
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Extra info for Belonging and Genocide: Hitler's Community, 1918-1945
Enjoy killing in battle. The future will be nothing but horrible war, and thus the future belongs to a revolutionary new morality. Only the true warrior will share it. He is a man of steel who has no scruples about killing. He comes into being only by killing. In the 1920s, this type of warrior was still seen as a cold and lonely hero who despised the social warmth of comradeship. At that time, none of the radical apologists of brutality preached comradeship. Comradeship came with a human touch, which the elitist martial circles despised—exactly the human touch that attracted major parts of German society still in need of reconciling the horrors of war with a normal life.
Of course, adults were upset about their male and female children off hiking together and even camping together overnight. The middle class had always strictly separated girls and boys except when supervised by parents. Many of the youths, though, rejected their parents’ anxieties about premarital sex (which certainly did not happen very often) and even homoerotic excursions. Because of adult disapproval, they could feel rebellious. These young people also longed for community. Community in the early 1900s, however, still allowed for a good deal of individualism—not the individualism of lone wolves but that of like-minded friends who also were looking for alter egos.
2 Even Catholics, though opposing the Nazi movement, were swept along by the “feeling of national and German emotion” that “has seized our people,” as the Catholic Teachers Organization exulted. ”3 The term comradeship was ubiquitous in the Third Reich. All Hitler Youth and Labor Service units were called “comradeships,” or Kameradschaften. College students would meet in comradeships instead of in fraternities. Apprentices for all kinds of occupations were to be trained in comradeships. Even artists would come together no longer in art colonies but rather in comradeships.