This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Anti Semitism In Nazi Germany: How Far Were The German People Responsible For The Holocaust?

2175 words - 9 pages

As we may never know the exact details of the Holocaust, one of the most horrifying events in human history, it is left to theorise on the identity of the perpetrators guilty of such an atrocity. A great deal of the evidence assembled points in various directions. It is clear that the blame cannot rest fully on Nazi leaders and officials, as it is probable that the common German citizen was also a part of the attempted genocide enforced by those who served under Hitler. If the question is why or how, an answer must be based on how you perceive the information obtained from those who had every opportunity to avoid their involvement in the atrocity. Your conclusion should reflect the indisputable connection between the average German's actions and the staggering number of executed Jews.It is my conviction that most people understand the nature of the Holocaust, but fail to hold Germany in its entirety responsible. It is unfeasible to think, in my mind, that such a crime could have centred exclusively within one particular movement. Daniel J. Goldhagen, in his book Hitler's Willing Executioners argues that the Holocaust perpetrators "were not primarily SS men or Nazi Party members, but perfectly ordinary Germans from all walks of life, men (and women) who brutalised and murdered Jews both willingly and zealously". Natalie Weinstein states that the "average Germans gladly, almost gleefully, participated in the torture and mass murder of Jews during World War II". These quotes perfectly highlight my line of argument: that a significant number of ordinary German people willingly supported and agreed with the mass killings of the Holocaust. It is apparent from the quotes and my own research that the "everyday" citizens delivered just as much pain and suffering as any Nazi associate, and it is the purpose of this investigation to identify just how far the 'ordinary Germans' were to blame for the mass genocide of Hitler's 'final solution.'Some may argue that the strict and authoritative fascist government in Germany influenced the acts of the common people. As most Germans were not directly associated with the Nazi party, it is believed they "were coerced into killing, followed orders blindly, succumbed to peer pressure, or simply were unaware of the ongoing genocide" (Weinstein). Researchers such as Christopher Browning and Daniel J. Goldhagen describe the voluntary nature of those involved in the executions, to support the theory that some actually excused themselves as the acts were being committed. He also claims that the existence of "mere 'negative stereotypes' contributed to these men's willingness voluntarily to hunt Jewish mothers and their infants". This specific view encourages the use of a sympathetic opinion toward those who were indirectly immersed in the killings.The very core of Browning's argument reflects the fear and constraint of many Germans with little or no ties to the Nazi party. "The social-psychological conditions, the objective...

Find Another Essay On Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany: How Far Were the German People Responsible for the Holocaust?

The German People did “Nazi” Hitler Coming

1338 words - 5 pages , the autobiography that Hitler wrote while in jail, Hitler states numerous times throughout his book that Jews are behind a conspiracy to take over the world and destroy the German people. Many Germans who were not anti-Semitic ignored Hitler’s hate speech and voted for him solely because of his promises to fix the economy. Before Hitler came to power, Jews were respectable members of German society. Many Jewish Germans fought for Germany in WWI

How did the Nazi's rule affect young people in Nazi Germany?

1298 words - 5 pages the Nazi's used schools as a major source to put ideas of Nazi racial theories into their minds. The girls learnt about their country every morning to give them a head start to the day ahead of them. They were not taught mathematics; the only maths they learnt was for measurements in cooking class. They were taught about Nazi ideas secretly in German class, History class and Race studies. The girls were being taught about how bad the Jews were, and

Were the African People Partially Responsible for Colonialism?

1157 words - 5 pages protesting the German decree. However, once again, this rebellion was suppressed. There was some marginal return, nevertheless; the German governor began allowing East Africans to sell their cotton to the open markets. In both rebellions discussed so far, each band of rebels was relatively quickly and quietly suppressed or defeated. Although Fanon promoted a collective uprising of the African people, and blamed the perpetuation of the colonial state

5(b): How far were the roles of Bismarck and Cavour decisive in the unification of Germany and Italy?

2071 words - 8 pages simply say that it was a Marxist revolution of the working classagainst the wealthy would be wrong. As Figes and Kolonitskii put it, "there were too manyother self-identities which could not be simply subsumed under class". By this, they meanthat other divisions such as those between rival towns and cultures appeared far moreimportant. These people were revolting against a number of things such as the aristocracywith its embarrassments such as the

How Nazi Ideology Was Entrancehd Into German People. Description Of The Methods Used By The Nazi's To Control The People

833 words - 4 pages The Nazi party seized control in Germany in 1933 and began to implement a series of changes which would revolutionise German social and cultural life. The Nazi ideology focused around the principles of Volksgemeinschaft (the people's community), lebensraum (gain more living space), totalitarianism, anti-Semitism and the supremacy of the Aryan race. The application of Nazi ideas and ideology depended on two types of force against individuals. One

"The most important reason why there was little opposition in Germany towards the Nazi regime was its use of Propaganda" How far do you agree with this statement?

1207 words - 5 pages in Theresienstadt. It showed how well the Jews lived under the "benevolent" protection of the Third Reich. When the film was completed, almost the entire "cast" was deported to the Auschwitz extermination camp.The best propaganda coup for Hitler probably happened in 1936. This occurred when the Olympic Games were held in Berlin, Germany. The German's had a brand new stadium built which showed off the excellence of the German facilities. Not only

'The most important reason why there was little opposition in Germany towards the Nazi regime was its use of propaganda' Explain how far you agree with this statement?

3809 words - 15 pages 'The most important reason why there was little opposition in Germany towards the Nazi regime was its use of propaganda' Explain how far you agree with this statement?Hitler's use of propaganda was very effective. It was in important factor to why there was little or no position in Nazi Germany from 1933-45; however it wasn't the only reason. Propaganda was a very powerful tool; Hitler used it to indoctrinate the German people with his Nazi

Anti-Semitism and Lack of Concern Among Non-jews During the Holocaust

996 words - 4 pages would violate the Jew's rights it was easy for non-Jews to ignore. It's also important to keep in mind what a slow process this was. These antisemitic ideas and laws were introduced very slowly and made them that much easier to accept.      As the Holocaust began it was easy for the average non-Jewish German to look the other way because they were pretty much unaffected by the new laws and degrees. When the Nazis

How far did the lives of German people improve under Stresseman?

1230 words - 5 pages Rebecca CrittenHow far did the lives of ordinary people improve under Stresemann?After Kaiser Wilhelm fled following the loss of the war, Germany was in tatters. Someone had to take control so the Weimar Republic was created with a Democratic government with Gustav Stresemann as the president. There were many changes under his rule.Firstly, the economy improved vastly. Stresemann introduced a new currency called the Retenmark and reduced

Did the German people benefit from Nazi rule in the 1930's?

2497 words - 10 pages there, they did some things that were great for the German people; they also did some things that were not so great for the German people.Firstly, after using the Enabling Law to allow him to do anything he wanted for the next four years he made an anti-communist law that banned all 81 members of the communist party from the Reichstag. Then he made the law against the formation of new parties, this got rid of all parties other than the Nazi party

To what extent did Nazi anti-Semitism stem from historical European anti-Semitism

3552 words - 14 pages intercourse with anyone of Jewish descent. These laws were intended to better highlight the distinctions between the Jews and the Aryan Germans. The Nuremburg trials even went so far as to seek a scientific definition for “Jew” as supported by evidence. Methodology: The novels “Nazi Germany and the Jews” by Friedländer and “Anti-Semitism before the Holocaust” by Lindemann were largely used in the research of this subject. To answer his question of

Similar Essays

Was German ‘Eliminationist Anti Semitism” Responsible For The Holocaust?

976 words - 4 pages “Was German ‘Eliminationist Anti-Semitism” Responsible for the Holocaust?” is a fascinating and somewhat discouraging debate that explores the question of whether German anti-Semitism, instilled within citizens outside of the Nazi Party, played a vast role in the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust . Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of “The Paradigm Challenged,” believes that it did; and argues quite convincingly that ordinary German

Use Of Propaganda To Spread Anti Semitism In Nazi Germany During The 1930’s And 1940’s

2473 words - 10 pages . This angered the Germans, but they were inevitably forced to sign. When Hitler and the Nazis grew as a political group, they claimed Jews responsible for losing World War 1 as well as for the economic crisis (McDougal Littell). Many German people believed in the Nazi claims that Jews were responsible for their suffering. Anti-semitism was, however, already an existing issue before the Nazi Party expanded it. When the Nazis came to power in 1933

The Holocaust And Nazi Germany Essay

1892 words - 8 pages , Poland had over 3 million Jews, and of those 3 million, 2 million Jews came directly under Nazi rule, meaning Germany could relocate those Jews, freeing up many houses for the relocated of the “Volksdeutsche” . Thus, it is evident that the Nazis’ foreign policy had multiple incentives and were significant facets of Hitler’s ultimate goal. Paragraph 3: How they are linked in relation to Poland invasion: Initally treatment of Jews (300 words) In this

What Were The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Nazi Rule For The German People Up To 1939?

927 words - 4 pages What were the Advantages and Disadvantages of Nazi Rule for the German People up to 1939?Nazism seemed to end the effects of the great depression. The German economy had been devastated in 1929 when the great depression happened, but surprisingly, it was looking more prosperous afterwards! In 1938 national income was the highest Germany had seen, which was higher than what Germany had before the great depression by eight billion marks! Although