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A clear picture of the casaulties of the Jewish people under the Third Reich

A clear picture of the casaulties of the Jewish people under the Third Reich

I know this is a pretty sensitive question, but I would like to get an objective answer. It is widely known that the Jewish people were persecuted by Hitler's regime, and many of them died in the concentration camps. But I never feel like the numbers are exact, from time to time I see people's documentation about the Holocaust and the numbers are changing in wide range.

My problem is:
- first of all, there are the neo-nazis, who claim that the Holocaust never happened. Ok, that seems totally false.
- second of all, there are some Soviet-era and even some American claims about the numbers which are also looking falsified. I wouldn't wonder since there was a war which was won, and the winner always try to support their views. Especially the Soviet data is not really reliable.

I see some attempts to get a clear picture, for example David Cole's interviews in Auschwitz. He made a low-cost documentary on this subject in 1992. He seems to me a little bit more reliable than some Soviet-era officiers or the neo-nazi sources. He claims that - and it is pretty believable to me - the Germans mostly forced the Jews to work and more of the Jews died in poor conditions than in the gas chambers. But since I am not an Historian I can't really judge it.

So the point of the question is: Is there any normal objective source on this subject?


Does this page answer your question?

UPDT: You might also want to gave a good look at this book. Specifically, search for "David Cole" in it.

UPDT 2: Thanks to Eugene Seidel, we know what is David Cole up to these days.


I recommend going to Wikipedia's page on the Holocaust. You have two options. One is to read the article, which is a bit tedious. That is inevitable when you crowdsource the writing of an encyclopedia. On the other hand, that article is among the most watched of all articles on the Wikipedia, so it is unlikely for misinformation to remain in there for long.

The other option would be to skip the entire article body, go straight to its bibliography. Then spend two weeks working through the sources, making sure you also hit the library for paper sources that are not online. If you can find a concentration camp survivor to tell you of their experiences in person, very good: after all, it was not columns of numbers but living, breathing people who were shoved into the cattle cars. But there aren't many left. If not, watch some survivor videos recorded by the Shoah Foundation.

Read the pre-eminent scholars: Hilberg, Broszat, Browning, Evans, Friedländer, Kershaw, Lipstadt… Pay attention to where they agree and where they disagree. For contrast, briefly descend into evil/insanity/stupidity by reading David Irving and others of his ilk. If after that you still have doubts that Nazi Germany, together with collaborators in allied nations, waged a campaign of extermination against the Jews and managed to kill more than two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population, then I don't know what more to say to you.


In "The War Against the Jews," Lucy Dawidowitz provides estimates of Jewish casualty rates by country. The book has been challenged by others such as Raul Hilberg, but is still a useful reference.


Translated into English from its original form, the Holocaust has the literal meaning of “the catastrophe” or “the destruction.” What does this ambiguous term entail? Which groups were involved in this event in history? The traditional teaching of the Holocaust typically associates this term with the mass murder and systematic killing of Jewish peoples by the Nazis in Hitler’s Germany. While students typically learn about the state-sponsored execution of six million Jews during this particular genocide in several social studies courses during their high school career, their knowledge does not extend to the more focused groups who were targeted by the Nazi Party and housed or killed in crematoriums and concentration camps throughout Europe.

Students are usually aware that the philosophies of eugenics and social Darwinism are related to the Holocaust, but tend not to receive a detailed picture of how these concepts really factored into this period of genocide. Social Darwinism and eugenics, which originated in the mid to late nineteenth century and gained popularity in the early to mid twentieth century, came to dominate and determine many of the actions of the Nazi regime in Germany. With the intent of improving the genetic quality of the population through the promotion of desired traits, which they hoped would become dominant in society, the Nazis began intentionally murdering those civilians whose genetic traits were viewed as inferior or undesired. In order to conceive of the severity with which Hitler’s regime desired to stimulate strength in its population, students must explore the intricacies of the other targeted groups who faced persecution during the 1930s and early 1940s. Several of these groups specifically sought out by Hitler’s regime included the mentally and physically disabled, oftentimes which included persons of German descent, Sinti and Roma gypsies and homosexuals.

Running simultaneously to the targeting and decimation of Jews in Europe, the Nazi Party had a policy of euthanasia, which became officially known as Action T4 following World War II. The high numbers of people exterminated by gas chambers, intentional misuse of medication and deliberate starvation occurred for those people who were deemed “incurably sick.” The destruction of Germans at the hands of other Germans is an injustice with many motivations, to which few students are truly given knowledge in their academic career.

To purify and then destroy was the aim of those who persecuted and executed gypsies in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Though gypsy condemnation began in Europe prior to this time period, the work of doctors, medical personnel and students in this time period was previously unparalleled. The work of Nazi-appointed Dr. Robert Ritter and doctoral student Eva Justin with gypsy children in various gypsy orphanages is simply one example of the studies conducted to determine the genetic difference between the ideal Aryan race promoted by Hitler and the reality of particular Germans’ blood status. Once tested, gypsies were subject to the treatment that students are most familiar with in association with the Holocaust- starvation, death via gas chamber and forced labor in concentration camps until their expiration.

Homosexuals were targeted during the Third Reich as “enemies” of the “disciplined masculinity” that Hitler sought to promote in his master German race. Also fearing their inability to reproduce, Hitler and the Nazi state chose to imprison and terrorize homosexual men into sexual and social conformity. By the end of the Second World War, 50,000 homosexuals had been imprisoned and many of the 15,000 that were sent to concentration camps were killed. However, because of the general intolerance towards homosexuality across the globe, it wasn’t until the mid-1980’s that their sufferings under the Third Reich began to be recognized.

It is our duty as citizens of an ever-increasing globally-minded society to foster a knowledge of the historical events of the Holocaust and to develop an understanding of the contemporary implications and relevance of this genocide. There are several essential questions to be considered when analyzing the resources regarding Nazi practices in relation to the gypsies, homosexuals and disabled persons during the Holocaust. What series of events cause a people to develop this state of anti-Semitic, anti-gypsy, anti-homosexual and anti-disabled hysteria? How do these prejudices and discriminatory practices escalate into a widespread state of violence?


Ethnic Minorities and Foreigners in Hitler s Reich

How and why did this happen and why are historians still so reluctant to acknowledge this?Kuzniar answers these questions, and many more!This book is a crucial addition to any revisionist or orthodox Third Reich library.

Author: Weronika Kuzniar

Publisher: CreateSpace

Military Historian Weronika Kuzniar has "dared" to challenge the absurdly one-sided version of the Third Reich! This book, unlike so many, challenges the usual Third Reich history. Primary evidence, foreign language material, Hitler speeches, and dozens of photos that have either been missed or ignored have finally been brought forth in this amazing, unbiased analysis of Hitler's Reich. German and French-language eyewitness accounts, Hitler speeches and private monologues, German and foreign officer statements, interviews with several POWs (including the Tuskegee airmen), rare photographs and overlooked secondary works: all of this is included and assessed in this highly focused study. A refreshing read for anyone interested in all the facts and both sides of the story! Within just six years of war the Nazis established the most ethnically, religiously, nationally, politically, and culturally diverse military force in Western history. How and why did this happen and why are historians still so reluctant to acknowledge this? Kuzniar answers these questions, and many more! This book is a crucial addition to any revisionist or orthodox Third Reich library. Kuzniar has combed a wide range of source material to bring you a genuinely unbiased view of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, and the German Armed Forces. You will come away from this war and society study with a deeper understanding of: racial dynamics in all Western societies before and since World War II Axis history in general Allied war criminality non-German Wehrmacht and SS service Adolf Hitler's ambivalent racial views racial changes that occurred despite the official Nazi race ethos as a result of the war the tolerant, arbitrary or inconsistent treatment of Jews, black people, Roma, non-Germans and mixed-race people in Nazi Germany and in the Greater Reich."


Hitler, Christianity, and the Third Reich

THE PLACE OF CHRISTIANITY under National Socialism has been a matter of contention, as with all else connected with that philosophy. Hitler has been damned as the devil incarnate by his Christian opponents, and heralded as a Jesus-like messiah by his Christian proponents. The 24th point of the NSDAP’s political programme even describes National Socialism as standing for “positive Christianity.” In order to access the real relationship of Christianity to National Socialism it is necessary to go beyond the propaganda of both pro- and anti-National Socialist Christians. (ILLUSTRATION: Adolf Hitler)

To do this the private pronouncements of the National Socialist leaders must receive greater attention than their public statements. An additional consideration is the actual practice of the National Socialist regime towards the churches. Hitler’s private conversations with his inner circle between 1941 and 1944, as recorded by Reichleiter Bormann, himself one of the National Socialist Party’s most avid anti-Christians as we shall see, provide the most insightful of sources in determining the real attitude of Hitler towards Christianity.

Hitler commented on Minister of Religion Kerrl’s effort to identify National Socialism with “positive Christianity,” that it was “the noblest of intentions, but I don’t believe the thing’s possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.” “As for the men close to me,” he stated, “who, like me, have escaped from the clutches of dogma, I’ve no reason to fear that the church will get its hands on them. We’ll see to it that the church cannot spread abroad teachings that conflict with the interests of the State. We shall continue to preach the doctrine of National Socialism, and the young will no longer be taught anything but the truth. In the long run National Socialism and religion will no longer be able to exist together. The ideal solution would be to leave the religions to devour themselves, without persecutions. The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion has to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble.”

During the first years of the regime, and just prior to it, Hermann Rauschning recorded Hitler’s conversations with his inner circle. According to Rauschning, a conservative in the ranks of the National Socialist party who became the president of Danzig, Hitler said of Christianity, “Leave the hair-splitting to others. Whether it’s the Old Testament or the New, or simply the sayings of Jesus, it’s all the same old Jewish swindle. It will not make us free. A German church, a German Christianity, is a distortion. One is either a German or a Christian. You cannot be both…. We don’t want people to keep one eye on the hereafter. We need free men who know that God is in themselves.”

Hitler made it clear that he was not interested in an “Aryanized Christianity” or the “Aryan Jesus” myth promoted by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Von Liebenfels, and certain party members. “You cannot make an Aryan out of Jesus, that’s nonsense,” he stated. Rather, the festivals of the church, hijacked by Christianity from the heathens in the first place, would be re-heathenized. “Easter is no longer resurrection, but the eternal renewal of our people. Christmas is the birth of our saviour: the spirit of heroism and the freedom of our people.” If the priests put up resistance the regime would expose them before the people. “We shall brand them as ordinary criminals. I shall tear the mask of honesty off their faces. And if that is not enough, I shall make them appear ridiculous and contemptible. I shall order films to be made about them. We shall show the history of the monks on the cinema.”

Indeed, in 1937 a trial was held of 337 monks, “for abusing pupils or patients” committed to their care. A few monks escaped with millions of marks of German money, while the vast majority were imprisoned. The English ex-monk Joseph McCabe commented that they went to court “on the vilest of charges.” Of a chaplain named Father Leogivill, he said: “Once when he was on night duty he raped a sick youth of 17 who was asleep in the ward, and could not defend himself because his right arm was in a sling.” This situation was not unique, nor is it today uncommon. What is unique are the effective measures the Third Reich took.

FOLK RELIGION

A folk religion would arise that would replace Christianity. “The peasant will be told what the church has destroyed for him: the whole of the secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the shapeless, the daemonic. The peasant shall learn to hate the church on that basis. Gradually he shall be taught by what wiles the soul of the German people has been raped. We shall wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion peculiar to our race. And this is where we must begin, not in the big cities……”

Rauschning remarks in his Hitler Speaks that the old folks customs were being used by the regime to de-Christianize the peasantry. Agriculture Minister Walter Darre, the original proponent of the famous Blood and Soil doctrine and the real father of the “Green Movement,” was one of the regime’s most avid anti-Christians. Agricultural exhibitions had themes of the old peasant revolts against the church. Peasant calendars were produced which replaced Christian festivals with Germanic heathen ones.

COMMUNISM AND CHRISTIANITY: REVOLTS AGAINST NATURE

The very doctrines of National Socialism and Christianity are antithetical. Christianity was held to be the forerunner of Bolshevism, and both were revolts against Nature herself, with the Jews to be behind each. Bormann records Hitler as stating: “Christianity is a religion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.” “Pure Christianity — the Christianity of the catacombs — is concerned with translating the Christian doctrine into fact. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely wholehearted Bolshevism under a tinsel of metaphysics.”

“The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child…. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practices a lie of the same nature when it claims to bring liberation to mankind. In the ancient world the relations between men and Gods were founded on an instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened by the idea of tolerance. Christianity was the first creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of love. Its keynote is intolerance.”

THE POX OF CHRISTIANITY

Hitler’s analysis of Christianity is Nietzschean: “The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.” “Christianity is a prototype of Bolshevism: the mobilization by the Jews of the masses of slaves with the object of undermining society. Thus one understands that the healthy elements of the Roman world were proof against the doctrine. Yet Rome (i.e. Fascist Italy) allows itself today to reproach Bolshevism with having destroyed the churches. As if Christianity itself hadn’t behaved in the same way towards the pagan temples.”

THE DEPLORABLE BIBLE

“It is deplorable that the Bible should have been translated into German, and the whole of the German people should have thus become exposed to the whole of this Jewish mumbo-jumbo. As a sane German, one is flabbergasted to think that the German folk could have led themselves to such a pass by Jewish filth and priestly twaddle.”

“What a happy inspiration to have kept the clergy out of the party. On 21 March 1933 at Potsdam, the question was raised: with the Church or without the Church? I conquered the State despite the malediction pronounced on us by both creeds [i.e. Catholic and Protestant]. On that day, we went to the tomb of the kings, whilst the others were attending religious services. Suppose that at that period I’d made a pact with the churches, I’d today be sharing the lot of the Duce [Mussolini]. By nature the Duce is a free thinker, but he decided to choose the path of concessions. For my part, in his place I’d have decided to choose the path of revolution. I’d have entered the Vatican and thrown everybody out.”

As with many other matters, Hitler intended postponing a final reckoning with the priests until after the war. “The evil that’s gnawing at our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. After the war, I’ll take the necessary steps to make the recruiting of priests extraordinarily difficult. In particular, I’ll no longer allow children from the age of 10 upward, to devote their lives to the church when they’ve absolutely no notion what they’re undertaking — in accepting celibacy for example.”

CHURCH AND STATE

Political interference from the clergy was not tolerated. Hitler stated: “If one once allows the church to exercise the slightest influence on the governing of the people and the upbringing of the younger generation, it will strive to become omnipotent, and one makes a great mistake if one thinks that one can make a collaborator of the church by accepting compromise.” From the earliest days of the regime, the National Socialists had come into conflict with the churches. The 1933 sterilization law of the congenitally retarded was particularly offensive to the Catholic Church, with its doctrine of the sanctity of all human life, in contradistinction to the eugenic outlook of the National Socialists. In 1937 Pius XI accused the regime of “secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and his church.” Towards the end, in 1945, Pope Pius XII described National Socialism as, “the arrogant apostasy from Jesus Christ, the denial of his doctrine and of his work of redemption, the cult of violence, the idolatry of race and blood, the overthrow of human liberty and dignity.”

One point of irritation to Hitler was that while the churches had declared themselves enemies of the German State, the people were expected to subsidize them. Subsidies were actually extracted from the wage packet much like union levies, and to contract out meant to endure considerable antagonism. This paradox was never resolved. Hitler commented that, “Once we cease handing out millions of marks a year to the church, the damn parsons will very quickly change their tune and, instead of having the impudence to revile us and to attack us in the most shameful manner, will very soon be eating out of our hands. Once the war is over I will put a swift end to the Concodat [diplomatic agreement between the State and the Vatican]. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close co-operation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich [Security Chief].” “Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

“I don’t interfere with matters of belief, therefore I can’t allow churchmen to interfere with temporal affairs. The organized lie must be smashed.The State must remain the absolute master.”

“When I was younger, I thought it was necessary to set about matters with dynamite. I’ve since recognized there’s room for a little subtlety. The rotten branch falls of itself. The final state must be: in St. Peter’s chair, a senile officiate facing him, a few old women, as gaga and as poor in spirit as anyone could be. The young and healthy are on our side. Against a church that identifies itself with the State, as in England, I have nothing to say. But even so, it’s impossible to hold humanity eternally in bondage to lies. After all, it was only between the 6th and 8th centuries that Christianity was imposed on our people by princes who had an alliance of interest with the shavelings. Our people had previously succeeded in living all right without this religion. I have six divisions of the SS composed of men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion. It doesn’t prevent them going to their deaths with serenity in their souls.”

“That the Fascists were spared a second civil war is due to the fact that the movement succeeded in uniting the Italian nation in spite of the opposition from the church. Further, Fascism clearly defined the position as regards what things fell within the sphere of the church and what things fell within the sphere of the State. When the church refused to recognize the law for the formation of the Fascist Youth Organization, the Fascists retaliated by ruthlessly breaking up every religious procession from Rome to the south of Italy. The result was that within three days the church had come to heel.”

JOY OF LIFE

The heathen character of National Socialism was contrasted to the otherworldly preoccupation of the church. Hitler states: “To deserve its place in history our people must be above all a people of warriors. This implies both privileges and obligations, the obligation of submitting to a most vigorous upbringing and the privilege of the healthy enjoyment of life. If a German soldier is expected to be ready to sacrifice his life with demur, then he is entitled to love freely and without restriction. In life, love and battle go hand in hand, and the inhibited little bourgeois must be content with the crumbs which remain. But if the warrior is to be kept in fighting trim, he must not be pestered with religious precepts which ordain abstinence of the flesh. A healthy-minded man simply smiles when a Saint of the Church like St. Anthony bids him eschew the greatest joy that life has to give, and offers him the solace of self-mortification and castigation in its place.”

HIMMLER AND THE SS

The SS epitomizes the contradistinction between Christianity and the philosophy of the Third Reich. It was a Black Order in its own right, and Himmler envisaged the creation of an autonomous SS State which would be an example to the world of National Socialism. In 1937 Himmler instructed his chiefs to plan a counter-culture to replace Christianity, and it was declared, “the age of the final showdown with Christianity” had dawned, and one of the objectives of the SS was to provide Germans with “the proper ideological foundation” to replace it.

An SS porcelain factory manufactured pagan cult objects to replace Christian symbols. The Summer and Winter Solstices were revived to replace Christian festivals. There were SS birth and marriage ceremonies of heathen character. The underlying conception behind such ceremonies was the SS perspective of birth and marriage as aspects of an eternal cycle of life and death. Himmler’s right-hand man, Heydrich, Reich Security chief, declared of Christianity and heathenism: “Who is there among us who does not, deep in his heart, provided he can still think with his blood, have a profound, strangely haunting sense of shame, when, walking through the countryside, before the panorama perhaps of snow-covered Alpine mountain tops or in the midst of a somber Westphalian heath, comes across an image of the crucified Jesus? The Gods of our ancestors looked different they were men, and each had a weapon in his hand, symbolizing the attitude to life that is inherent in our race: that of action, that of a man’s responsibility to himself. How different the pale crucified one, expressing — by his decided look of suffering, humility and extreme surrender — qualities which contradict the fundamental heroic attitude of our race.”

Himmler’s idea of God was a major influence on SS philosophy. This Got was spelled with only one ‘t’ in archaic German, to distinguish it from the Christian “Gott.” At an SS birth ceremony it was declared: “From Got your knowledge, your tasks, your life-purpose, all life’s perceptions flow. Each who drink from this tankard be witness to the fact that you are Got-united.” SS newlyweds were betrothed before the SS Wedding Altar and presented with a wooden bread dish by Himmler. This bore the carved legend: “Be worthy of the bread of your soil, then your kin will live forever.” Himmler, in his 1935 publication The SS as an Anti-Bolshevik Battle Organization, rejected atheism and propounded a belief in a god or first principle responsible for cosmic ordering of “this whole earth, the entire plant and animal world.” Amongst his trusted aides he referred to this god as Uralten — “the original or ancient one,” an old Germanic conception. Christianity had placed women in a position of subjection to enforce their destruction. The priesthood was seen as a homoerotic and even homosexual institution, anti-woman by its nature.

“The whole tenor of the priesthood and the whole of Christianity [was that of] an erotic male fraternity for the formation and maintenance of this Bolshevism.” “I have the conviction that the Roman emperors, who exterminated the first Christians, did precisely what we are doing with the communists. These Christians were at the time the vilest scum, which the city accommodated, the vilest Jewish people, the vilest Bolsheviks there were. The Bolshevism at that time had the power to grow large on the dying body of Rome. The priesthood of this Christian church, which later in unending battle subjugated the Aryan Church, was engaged from the fourth to the fifth century in demanding the celibacy of the priesthood. They based themselves on St. Paul and the original apostles who presented the woman as something sinful and tolerated or recommended marriage as a legal way out of whoredom — that is in the Bible — and represented the procreation of children as a ‘necessary evil’. This priesthood pursued this path consistently through those centuries until in the year 1139 the celibacy of priests was put into effect. Further, I have the conviction that merely for the few who do not wish to reconcile themselves to this homosexuality — especially for the parish priests who in my estimation are to an overwhelming extent over 50% not homosexual, while I assume that in the monasteries homosexuality amounts to 90-95-100% — there is a way out created for them to procure the necessary women and females in the oral confession box.”

Himmler hoped that within a few years judicial proceedings would show the church leadership up as a homosexual fraternity which “has been terrorizing people for 1800 years, claiming from them the greatest blood sacrifices, sadistically perverse in its manifestations.” As we have seen, several years later, the judicial system did begin to address this matter with the trial of monks for molestation. Himmler emphasized the anti-woman nature of the Medieval witch and heresy trials. It is an interesting sidelight that he expected particular attention to be paid to interaction between his SS men and young women socially, to combat the “exaggerated masculinizing” of society.

Addressing SS at Posen in 1942 on their numerous tasks, Himmler zeroed in on Christianity, saying that it would have to be dealt with more vigorously than hitherto. “This Christendom, this greatest pestilence which could have befallen us in history, which has weakened us for every conflict, we must finish with.” Himmler attacked the Christian idea of Man as above or apart from Nature, and explained his cyclic conception of Eternity, that Man must be anchored in his ancestors and in his grandchildren.

MARTIN BORMANN ON CHRISTIANITY

Martin Bormann, who became Hitler’s secretary and deputy after Hess’ abortive peace mission to England, like Himmler, Rosenberg, Heydrich, Hitler and most of the others at the top of the Reich hierarchy, also had a clear perspective on Christianity. The following is taken from Kirchliches Jahrbuch fur die evangelische Kirche in Deutschland: “National Socialist and Christian concepts are incompatible. The Christian churches build upon the ignorance of the men and strive to keep large portions of the people in ignorance because only in this way can the Christian churches maintain their power. On the other hand, National Socialism is based on scientific foundations. Christianity’s immutable principles, which were laid down almost two thousand years ago by Jews, have increasingly stiffened into life-alien dogmas. National Socialism however, if it wants to fulfill its task further, must always guide itself according to the newest data of scientific researchers.”

“When in the future our youth no longer hear anything about this Christianity, whose doctrine is far below our own, Christianity will automatically disappear.” “When we National Socialists speak of God, by God we do not understand, as do naive Christians and their clerical beneficiaries, a manlike being who is sitting around in some corner of the spheres. Rather, we must open the eyes of mankind to the fact that in addition to our unimportant earth there exist countless other bodies in the universe, many of them surrounded, like the sun, by smaller bodies, the moons. The force which moves all those bodies in the universe, in accordance with Natural Law, is what we call the Eternal, the Allfather or God. The assertion that this world- force can worry about the fate of every individual, every bacillus on earth, and that it can be influenced by so-called prayer or other astonishing things, is based either on a suitable dose of naiveté or on outright commercial effrontery.”

“In contrast, we National Socialists call upon ourselves to live as naturally as possible — that is, in keeping with the Laws of Life. The more thoroughly we know and attend to the Laws of Nature and Life, the more we adhere to them, the more do we correspond to the will of the Eternal the deeper our insight into the will of the Eternal, the greater will be our success.” “It follows from the incompatibility of National Socialist and Christian concepts that we must oppose any strengthening of existing Christian denominations and must refuse to give them any assistance. We can make no differentiation between the various Christian confessions. Any strengthening of the Christian concepts would merely work against us.”

“To an ever-increasing degree the Folk must be wrested from Christianity and their agents, the pastors. Obviously, the Christians, from their standpoint, will and must defend themselves against this loss of power. But never again must Christianity regain an influence in the leadership of our folk. This must absolutely and finally be broken.”

CHRISTIANITY IN THE THIRD REICH

Despite the pragmatic and relatively cautious approach the times required, the regime did begin preliminary measures against Christianity. One means was to heathenize the churches from within. A National-Socialist-oriented German Christian Faith Movement was formed in opposition to the mainline Protestant churches. Hundreds of pastors of the Confessional Church were arrested in 1937. Catholics were removed from the Civil Service. In 1937 over 100,000 Germans formally left the Catholic Church. According to the reliable British historian David Irving (The War Path), “The Nazis discouraged Catholic education in schools, the convents and monasteries were dissolved and their property confiscated, and the Jesuits were driven out of influence everywhere.” The Hitler Youth sung such verses as, “I am neither Christian nor Catholic, I am for the SA through thin and thick.”

Something of what the regime had in mind for eventually replacing Christianity with after the war can be deduced from the proposals drawn up in 1942 for the creation of a National Reich Church by leading National Socialist philosopher Alfred Rosenberg. Indeed his own magnum opus The Myth of the Twentieth Century had met such condemnation by the churches since its first publication in 1930. Among the points for a Reich Church were: 󈫽. The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany.” 󈫾. The Führer’s Mein Kampf is the greatest of all documents……embodies the purest and truest ethics for the present and future life of our nation.” 󈬂. The National Church will clear away from its altars all crucifixes, Bibles and pictures of the saints.” 󈬃. On the altars there must be nothing but Mein Kampf and to the left on the altar a sword.” 󈬎. On the day of its foundation the Christian cross must be removed from all churches, cathedrals and chapels, and it must be superseded by the Swastika.”

The priesthoods were to be replaced by orators. Also see The German Religion — Deutsche Glaubensbewegung — (German Faith Movement): Three years after Adolf Hitler assumed the seat of power in Germany, in 1936 the National Reich Church was established, and in it only national orators of the Reich were allowed to speak. Reich Church Bishop Ludwig Müeller: “The National Reich Church demands an immediate stop to the printing and sale of the Bible in Germany. The National Reich Church will remove from the altars of all churches the Bible, the cross, and religious objects. Mercy is an un-German conception. The word mercy is one of the numerous terms of the Bible with which we can have nothing to do. On the altars there must be nothing but My Struggle (Mein Kampf), and to the left of this a sword.”

David Irving The War Path NY 1978
William Shirer Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich
Hitler’s Secret Conversations 1941-1944
Herman Rauschning Hitler Speaks
Peter Padfield Himmler: Reichsfuhrer SS Macmillan London 1991


The lie that Slavs were non-Aryan under the Third Reich? They were Aryan!

From time to time I've came across this sort of attitude in books I've read and from websites that I have read, especially on the ignorant Wikipedia.

Slavs were regarded as Aryan under the Third Reich, there were no anti-Slavic race law and sexual relations between Germans and Slavs was not forbid. After the invasion of Poland yes relations was banned but this was to all foreign people (non-German) not just Slavs. The myth does not seem to die yet there is clear evidence that debunks this myth.

According to the Nuremberg race laws all non-Jewish White Europeans were regarded as racially the same and belonged to the Aryan race.

Albert Gorter, a prominent minister official gave the definition of Aryan as: The Aryans (also Indo-Germans, Japhetiten) are one of the three branches of the Caucasian (white race)they are divided into the western (European), that is the German, Roman, Greek, Slav, Lett, Celt [and] Albanesen, and the eastern (Asiatic) Aryans, that is the Indian (Hindu) and Iranian (Persian, Afghan, Armenian, Georgian, Kurd). Non-Aryans are therefore: 1. the members of two other races, namely the Mongolian (yellow) and the Negroid (black) races 2. the members of the two other branches of the Caucasian race, namely the Semites (Jews, Arabs) and Hamites (Berbers). The Finns and the Hungarians belong to the Mongoloid race but it is hardly the intention of the law to treat them as non-Aryans. Thus . . . the non-Jewish members of the European Volk are Aryans. . . .

The Nazi Ancestral Proof: Genealogy, Racial Science, and the Final Solution. by Eric Ehrenreich.

According to National Socialist racial doctrine, all European peoples belonged to the family of the Aryans and were thus fundamentally "racially equivalent", that is, recognized as equal before the law.

"Non-Germans" Under the Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany and Occupied Eastern Europe with Special Regard to Occupied Poland, 1939-1945. by Diemut Majer.

Aus dem Ahnenpaß im Dritten Reich "From the Third Reich".

Aryan ("German blood") is thus the one man who looked free from, the German people, strange racial impact is blood. Deemed to be a stranger here, especially the blood of the living room and in the European settlement of Jews and Gypsies, the Asian and African breeds, and the aborigines of Australia and America (Indians), while, for example, a Swede or an Englishman, a Frenchman or Czech, a Pole or Italian, if he is free of such, even that is foreign blood strikes, when used, must therefore be considered severally liable, he may now live in his home, in East Asia or in America or he likes a U.S. citizen or a South American Free State be."

German: "Arischer Abstammung (= „deutschblütig“) ist demnach derjenige Mensch, der frei von einem, vom deutschen Volk ausgesehen, fremdrassischen Bluteinschlag ist. Als fremd gilt hier vor allem das Blut der auch im europäischen Siedlungsraum lebenden Juden und Zigeuner, das der asiatischen und afrikanischen Rassen und der Ureinwohner Australiens und Amerikas (Indianer), während z. B. ein Engländer oder ein Schwede, ein Franzose oder Tscheche, ein Pole oder Italiener, wenn er selbst frei von solchen, auch ihm fremden Blutseinschlägen ist, als verwandt, also als arisch gelten muß, mag er nun in seiner Heimat, in Ostasien oder in Amerika wohnen oder mag er Bürger der USA oder eines südamerikanischen Freistaates sein.

Vokabular des Nationalsozialismus by Cornelia Schmitz-Berning.

Note: Two Slavic ethnic groups are used as examples of Aryans, the Czechs and the Poles.

He (Himmler) then singled out those nations which he regarded as belonging to the German family of nations and they were: the Germans, the Dutch, the Flemish, the Anglo-Saxons, the Scandinavians and the Baltic people. 'To combine all of these nations into one big family is the most important task at the present time' (Himmler said). 'This unification has to take place on the principle of equality and at that same time has to secure the identity of each nation and its economical independence, of course, adjusting the latter to the interests of the whole German living space. . . After the unification of all the German nations into one family, this family. . . has to take over the mission to include, in the family, all the Roman nations whose living space is favored by nature with a milder climate. I am convinced that after the unification, the Roman nations will be able to persevere as the Germans. This enlarged family of the White race will then have the mission to include the Slavic nations into the family also because they too are of the White race . . . it is only with such a unification of the White race that the Western culture could be saved from the Yellow race . . . At the present time, the Waffen-SS is leading in this respect because its organization is based on the principle of equality. The Waffen-SS comprises not only German, Roman and Slavic, but even Islamic units and at the same time has proven that every unit has maintained its national identity while fighting in close togetherness . . . I know quite well my Germans. The German always likes to think himself better but I would like to avert this. It is important that every Waffen-SS officer obeys the order of another officer of another nationality, as the officer of the other nationality obeys the order of the German officer.

Latvian Legion. by Arturs Silgailis

Himmler in his publication the "The SS as an Anti-Bolshevik Fighting Organization" he called Russians "Aryans" - "in diesem gepeinigten arischen Volk".

German blood does not form their own race. The German people is composed of representatives of different races. But all of these races is peculiar that their blood are mutually compatible and blend these strains as opposed to blood, which is unrelated to them, does not create obstacles and stresses. It can be of German blood, without a doubt, then let the blood of the nations, which are related to the racial composition of the German people. This applies to all the peoples inhabiting the space of Europe. Blood related German, equally considered in all directions. Therefore, the citizens of the Empire may be representatives of minorities living in Germany, for example, the Poles, Danes, etc.

- Reich Citizenship Law and the Law on the Protection of German Blood and German Honor of September 15, 1935

Notice, Poles again used examples of Aryans.

After the invasion of Poland, the Poles were put into the "Aryan side" of the ghettos.

Why do many books and websites lie that Slavs were regarded as non-Aryan? All Europeans were Aryan not just Germans or Germanic people. The Herrenvolk "master race" was for Germanic people only but the "Aryan race" was all non-Jewish Europeans.

Many also claim Slavs were seen as subhumans yet I've yet to find any Nazis describe Slavs as "untermenschen" in any speeches or documents.

Numerous Nazis had Slavic ancestry too. One of Hitler's secretaries was of Polish descent and so was his chauffeur. Hitler had great admiration for the Polish leader Piłsudski and repeatedly wanted a German-Polish alliance against the Soviet Union.


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Watch Rarely Seen Footage of Life in Nazi Austria, Thanks to a New Video Archive

It’s 1938 in Vienna, Austria, and ecstatic men, women and children assemble on the sidewalks. They watch a procession of military vehicles drive down the cobblestone streets, raising their arms in the Nazi salute as Adolf Hitler passes by in the motorcade, saluting them back. They eagerly accept flags decorated with the swastika, the symbol of the Third Reich, from Nazi soldiers who have come to greet them. In other parts of the city the swastika’s presence is inescapable it can be seen on banners hanging on every type of landmark from cafés and hotels to the Josefsplatz, a monument at the palace formerly occupied by the Hapsburg dynasty. 

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Though these chilling images set the ideal opening scene for a Hollywood-produced drama, they were actually shot in 1938 by an amateur cameraman. This film and the others embedded here are just a selection of the 50 movies that make up the “Ephemeral Films Project: National Socialism in Austria”, a collaboration of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Austrian Film Museum and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute. The project is pulling together films that focus on the rise of Nazism and its role in Jewish and non-Jewish life in Austria. Some of the 50 films were home movies, others were donated by families of the filmmakers who were curious to know what was on the film, but lacked the resources to actually watch it.

These raw movies aren’t called ephemeral because they may soon not exist (though without proper conservation, they won’t). They are given that name because they weren’t created to be entertainment, art or propaganda – they were never meant to stand the test of time. The project includes footage from home movies, advertisements, newsreels and other unofficial films. And the filmmakers included in this collection represent several nationalities, including Americans.

Lindsay Zarwell, archivist at the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the Holocaust museum, led the charge here in the United States. 

“The idea was to represent the subjects of the time period and challenge the perception of what it was like to be in Nazi Austria,” says Zarwell.

As a part of the project, the archival team repaired each film to its original state, then transferred them to a machine that scanned and photographed individual frames of each film, finally stitching them all together in a single digital video file that lives on the project’s website. Rather than just being a staid archive, the site offers detailed information about each frame, including the precise location and an approximate date of the scene. By cross-checking what is known about the period from newspapers and official documents, the archivists were able to add great detail and expand what viewers can glean from watching the historical footage.

Beyond that, the project team made it possible for users to overlay photos of what the locations look like today, giving an added relevancy to the films. Anyone looking for footage of a specific person or a particular location can search all the films with one click.

Ross Baker was an American professor on sabbatical at the University of Vienna when the Nazis occupied the city. In between shots of his family, he filmed marching Nazi soldiers and buildings defaced with the word “Jude,” German for Jew. In one scene a Nazi soldier questions Baker’s wife, who was not Jewish, as she tries to enter a building.

Though the focus of the project is the Holocaust and the World War II period, some of the films depict Jewish life before the war and some, though not any of the ones embedded here, show the liberation of concentration camps in Austria. Many of these films, such as the one from the Baker family, were already part of online and accessible film archives, but this project unites them with films from other institutions’ archives and independent individuals in a way that focuses and contextualizes them in a more complete story. And because several of these films show similar scenes from different perspectives, this collection opens the door to new analysis of Austria’s history to supplement current knowledge.

In a sense this collection of amateur films, some of which have never been viewed by the public, offers a window into an evolving Austria from the perspective of everyday people.

“We do have quite a number of films that represent, chronologically, the period so we can really examine just this particular location over time. And part of the tool that we built is a way to look into these films with a contemporary perspective, says Zarwell.”

In the late 1930s, despite several attempts by some leaders to maintain Austrian independence, Nazi influence within the Austrian government and among the populace was too strong. The Nazis entered Austria on March 12, 1938 and absorbed the country into Germany the following day the annexation was known as the Anschluss. A manipulated plebiscite administered a month later indicated that over 99 percent of Austrians were in favor of the situation. And though questions persist about the Austrians’ willingness to be a part of Nazi Germany, the raw footage in these films presents at least one side of the story.

The Monson Collection, captured by Dr. Lafayette P. Monson, a physician from San Francisco, is full of images of buildings defaced with the crude drawings of the Star of David and “Jude” graffiti, reveals the brewing anti-Semitic attitude in Austria. 

“It’s pretty controversial. Austrians have for the most part perceived themselves as Hitler’s first victims, and as you can see through a lot of these films it was really not entirely that way. There was a lot of immediate sort of acceptance of the Nazi philosophy,” says Zarwell. “And so we are in that sense contradicting the idea that Austrians themselves were not willing to be taken over by the Nazis.”

The acceptance of the anti-Semitic Nazi philosophy is clear in one of the scenes from the first video shown above in which two Jewish people are forced to kneel on their knees and scrub the streets (about 6:46 in). Holocaust researchers had photographs, documents and oral histories about the oppressive street scrubbing practice, but this ephemeral film is the only known moving image evidence of the act.

These films, although ephemeral because they were not intended to be preserved for historical study, have the potential to not only supplement but also challenge our knowledge of this horrific event.

“The films are really offering us a view into Vienna and Austria that counters what we had perceived beforehand,” says Zarwell. 


Reserve Police Battalion 101: How Did Ordinary Citizens Become Killers Under the Third Reich?

In the preface to his book, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, Christopher R. Browning makes it abundantly clear that “Explaining is not excusing understanding is not forgiving.” [1]

Throughout this aptly titled book, this account of Germany’s Reserve Police Battalion 101 supports Browning’s position that these predominantly working-class men from Hamburg were transformed into killers most reluctantly, yet some eager. No single event changed them, the transformation was multi-causal in nature. As is true with all individuals, one responds to crisis according to his abilities. The men of the 101st were no different. Some became avid———even sadistic———in their killing while most became obedient killers. The ten to twenty percent of the group who did not kill became courageous. Regardless of the results of the changes in the men, each individual had to become something foreign to his fundamental nature. Browning supports this thesis throughout his work and is convincing in his opinion that the ordinary men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 became killers as a result of deflection, the weight of conformity and obedience, and most significantly through desensitization.

Life Before the 101

Heinz Buchmann, the proprietor of a lumber business in Hamburg, was drafted into the order police in 1939. [2] He did not volunteer for service in the battalion nor did he have aspirations to become an officer. He was selected for officer training as he was well educated and considered middle-class, as opposed to the 63 percent of the battalion who were deemed working-class. [3] This middle-aged group of civilians had jobs, homes, families, and friends. Their societal participation was conducted in relative anonymity as they undertook no exceptional acts they were average men. Though he was ranked in the middle-class, Buchmann was no different. Browning clearly notes that Buchmann was described as a “‘typical civilian’ who had no desire to be a soldier.” [4] This became evident in the summer of 1940 when he asked to be discharged after serving as a driver in Poland less than a year after the German invasion on September 1, 1939.

By utilizing the timeframe noticeably provided by Browning, it can be extrapolated that Buchmann witnessed a great amount of violence and carnage that was incompatible with his moral composition. It is illogical to conclude that Buchmann wanted to be discharged if he was innately inclined to kill. His discharge was summarily denied, thereby placing him in a situation where he had to become either a killer or one courageous enough to adhere to his humanity as the Order Police, Einsatzgruppen, or any other killing squad was not an environment conducive to stagnation. Men such as Buchmann were the exceptions, whereas 80-90 percent of the battalion committed murder. Without employing their own forms of psychological tools, they may not have possessed the ability to kill. One method utilized as a form of rationalization was to deflect the act of execution onto a higher authority.

In contrast to Buchmann, First Company commander Captain Julius Wohlauf, having spent his pre-war years joining Hitler's National Socialist Party, SA, and SS, was an established soldier prior to the onset of the Final Solution. The inculcation of Hitler's ideology combined with the SS doctrine of strength and obedience determined Wohlauf’s existence as a soldier and fostered a sense of loathing toward weakness. He refused to entertain the idea of excusing his subordinates from the duty to which they were assigned killing Jews. He responded to any such request by indicating that those who wished to be excused, “could lie down alongside the victims.” [5]

Policemen under Wohlauf’s command who were opposed to the idea of killing innocent victims, yet very well aware of their commander’s intolerance of “cowards,” were thus faced with a moral dilemma. Executing civilians, regardless of ethnicity, political agenda, or religion, did not coincide with the humane composition of certain individuals, yet the alternative, implied by officers such as Wohlauf, was to face corporal punishment, imprisonment, or even death. In order to appease these concurrently existing opposing ideas, reservists of this ilk deflected their actions and subsequent consequences onto their superiors, thereby alleviating their sense of guilt over murdering unoffending civilians. A stark example of this is put forth by Browning when discussing the actions of Major Wilhelm Trapp after the conclusion of the massacre at Jozefow.

Jozefow Massacre

Reserve Police Battalion 101 executed 1500 Jewish civilians in the woods outside of Jozefow, Poland in July 1942. [6] It was not until the night before the shootings were to begin that Major Trapp reluctantly conveyed the orders to his policemen. A veteran of the Great War and recipient of the Iron Cross First Class, Trapp was nonetheless not considered to be an appropriate SS candidate. Customarily, SS men were career oriented, professional soldiers who accepted authority without question and held an unwavering belief in Hitler's ideology and the wisdom of their führer. Participating in the First World War provided Trapp with experience in killing: however, the lives he took during military operations were those of enemy soldiers. Jozefow was an event for which an ordinary soldier could not prepare.

Trapp’s voice cracked with emotion while giving the order to round up and kill Jewish women and children and he even went so far as to offer his men the opportunity to excuse themselves from the imminent slaughter. By doing this, Trapp tacitly asserted his opposition to the killings, thereby deflecting the responsibility to his superiors and cleverly disallowing his men of deflecting the burden onto him. Those who did not excuse themselves due to haste and pressure (all but a dozen men) no longer had the ability to assert they were forced into killing as Trapp did indeed give them a choice. However, at the end of the day when his policemen were numbing themselves with alcohol in their barracks, Trapp walked amongst his men and in an attempt at consolation placed “responsibility on higher authorities.” [7] He was witnessed crying throughout the day. While his men were in the woods committing murder, Trapp was seen weeping “bitterly.” [8] Tears and excuses were not the normative traits of willing murderers. Browning emphasizes that German society was filled with individuals no different than any other society.

For seventeen hours the Reserve Police Battalion 101 participated in mass murder in July 1942. The inexperienced marksmen, performing under surreal circumstances, turned what was expected to be a “routine” execution into a gruesome nightmare. One account provided by Browning is from policeman August Zorn* who remembered shooting “‘too high,’” with his first victim so that the “entire back of the skull of [this] Jew was torn off and the brain exposed.” [9] This was not the only such case as the novice shooters were given improper instruction, thus mutilating their victims and causing the men to emerge from the woods “gruesomely besmirched with blood, brains, and bone splinters.” [10]

Psychological Effects

The horrors of July, along with a steady stream of alcohol, desensitized the men of the 101st for future tasks. Whereas Major Trapp gave his men an opportunity to avoid killing Jews at Jozefow, subsequent participation in the Final Solution was mandatory, thus removing the factor of choice. Once the onus of making a decision was removed, the policemen were then able to utilize deflection and become obedient participants in the genocide of the European Jewish population. Murder became more palatable for some after Jozefow as they no longer were forced to confront their victims in a face-to-face manner, which afforded the reservists the opportunity to dehumanize the Jews and distance themselves through fragmentation. Working as part of the deportation process, the men of the 101st no longer had a direct hand in the killings thereby providing these civilian reservists a chance to depersonalize their involvement and detach themselves from the children they killed. Without the employment of these psychological tools, these people may not have been able to carry out such atrocities what they had done at Jozefow provided the desensitization.

For most, Jozefow was the first occasion wherein these men had to kill and the procedure devolved into such a gruesome catastrophe that it forever altered the perpetrators. After such an indoctrination it is easy to understand that future endeavors of the like seemed easier to perform, both in method and conscience. After murdering for almost a full calendar day, the men retired to the barracks without speaking a word of what had just transpired and plunged quickly into the act of psychological repression. After successfully hiding the magnitude of their participation at Jozefow, subsequent killings in and around Serokomla became routine. In stark contrast to the somber mood after their first killings, the event in Serokomla was treated by most as just another day of work. Regardless of the fact that “bodies of dead Jews were simply left lying in the gravel pits,” the men seemed unfazed as they “stopped in Kock, where they had an afternoon meal.” [11]

Repression apparently worked towards desensitization in the immediate aftermath however, long term psychological consequences were not to be avoided. The men suffered what we today refer to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which manifests in various forms including physical symptoms, nightmares, and outright psychosis. Commander of the HSSPF Central Division, Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski was diagnosed with an “‘incapacitating illness’” and also suffered from “‘visions in connection with the shootings of the Jews…and from other difficult experiences in the east.’” [12]

Browning provides examples such as these as a means by which the reader can equate PTSD and other psychological ramifications to modern, non-Fascist societies, thereby magnifying his position that most men of the 101st were in fact ordinary and common to us all. For example, American veterans of the Vietnam “conflict” still exhibit symptoms of PTSD more than four decades after experiencing combat and killing. Like the Hamburg men in Poland, the Americans in Southeast Asia became killers of varying degrees eager, obedient, and empathetic. The becoming of an identity costs the individual the previous assumed identity he once held, thereby producing an essentially new person at the expense of the old. For example, Lieutenant Buchmann was once the owner of a lumber yard in Hamburg, Germany prior to 1939. Once drafted into the Order Police he was no longer capable of defining himself as a civilian as he was forced to become a militant operative. Major Wilhelm Trapp was once a decorated and honorable soldier, yet in 1942 it was ordered that he become the leader of a squad that murdered innocent and helpless civilians. Perhaps some of the tears he shed that day in Jozefow were a sign of mourning for the loss of his identity and the picture he painted of the actions of an honorable soldier.

Different Types of Killers

At the conclusion of World War I, Germany was effectively in a state of reconstruction. National morale was at its lowest and hunger and poverty were widespread and in some instances, devastating. The triumph of the National Socialist Party and the ensuing war rejuvenated German national spirit. In the eyes of many civilians, this was to due Adolph Hitler and his minions, thus prompting those in society who benefitted from Hitler's regime to succumb to the preponderance of ideological propaganda. As is posited by Browning, “more Germans voted National Socialist for reasons other than anti-Semitism.” [13] However, after being conscripted and exposed to the ultimate mission of the Party, some of the reservists from Hamburg became something other than being Hitler supporters. After learning the true nature of the battalion’s mission in Jozefow, Heinz Buchmann stated he “would in no case participate in such an action, in which defenseless women and children are shot.” [14] He was in the vast minority of men who did not shoot, whereas some who did kill once were then unable to continue, as is evidenced by the recollection of a policeman who had “become so sick that I [he] simply couldn’t anymore.” [15]

In contrast to men that became both physically and mentally ill due to killing another human being, a small percentage of men devolved into sadists. For instance, while rounding up Jews to be killed in Lomazy, Lieutenant Gnade forced the elderly Jewish men to “‘crawl on the ground in the area before the grave’” and forced his non-commissioned officers to retrieve clubs and beat the victims before they were killed. [16] Prior to this, Gnade had been so loathsome at the prospect of having to witness the actions taken against the prisoners he and his men assisted in deporting, he took a midnight train from Minsk back to Hamburg so as to avoid witnessing their execution. This is but one example Browning utilizes to support his thesis that the men of the 101st were not eager to assume the role of unfeeling murderers, but rather they had to become killers.

Conclusion

Reservists in Police Battalion 101 were ordinary citizens before they became killers for the Reich. They were initiated into the world of murder via the most horrific means imaginable, resulting in a stoic resolution for most to continue with their duties. The primary subgroup of killers was comprised of men who “did whatever they were asked to do, without ever risking the onus of confronting authority.” [17] Nor did these men wish to suffer the detrimental judgment of their peers who confused courage with conformity. Men such as Buchmann, who refused to kill without sound justification, became courageous, whereas men akin to Gnade became sadistic and unfortunately were used as models of stereotypical Germans during World War II.

The men of the 101st who were killers, on any level, had to become killers through self-enacted psychological manipulation and other numbing agents such as alcohol, as “such a life was intolerable sober.” [18] Conversely, those who did not kill became something contrary to the Reich's ideology they became courageous, as it takes some modicum of valor to adhere to one’s innate humanity and fundamental moral code under such inhumane and immoral circumstances.


Women Under the Third Reich : A Biographical Dictionary

Traditionally, the story of the Third Reich has been a story of men, yet women participated in all aspects of the war and on both sides of the Nazi flag. This dictionary, with entries on more than 100 women, shows the diversity of their roles in this turbulent and disturbing period. It includes entries on resistance fighters, nurses, entertainers, writers, filmmakers, spies, and prisoners with exceptional spirit and courage. The women represented here came from all the countries involved with the Third Reich and from many different occupations before their involvement in the war--housewives, secretaries, singers, film stars, pilots, and athletes. This volume reveals the women's perspective on the history of the Third Reich.

Despite the vast number of women who supported or fought against the Third Reich, historians have often neglected them and their contributions. Researchers checking the index of a book on the Third Reich might see one or two female names--usually Anne Frank or Eva Braun. This book is the first to provide biographical information on the vast number of women who helped shape the era. It offers an opportunity to reclaim a small sampling of the women who fought against or supported the Third Reich.


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