Answer to Question #146919 in History for Liana

Question #146919
Why did many Nazis agree to take part in the genocide?
1
Expert's answer
2020-12-01T08:45:21-0500

The Participation of The Nazi In the Genocide of Jews

Events that occur in the world are unpredictable, one day it will be an event that spreads so much happiness while other days it might be an event that will cause not only harm but sorrow and sadness. Genocide is a term that refers to the killing of a certain group based on either on their nationality, ethnicity, race or religion with the intention of making them extinct. There are many underlying reasons why a person might participate in such an atrocious activity that is so inhuman. The genocide of European Jews that occurred during world War II is referred to as the Holocaust.  The death that occurred during this time is approximately over 11 million. Thus, the question that arises is how and why so many soldiers participated in the mass killing of their fellow human beings.

The years 1941 to 1945 were dark years in the history of mankind as there was systematic killing of people who identified as Jews (Hilberg, 2003). The Nazi Germany murdered two third of the European Jewish population through various methods; there was use of mass shootings, gas chambers and gas vans; murders were done in programs and a policy of extermination in concentrated camps was in place. A series of events led to the segregation of Jews; it all started with the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor on January 30th in 1933. Hitler was the man who led the persecution of many Jews; thus, he is the man who also influenced many soldiers to fight beside him and his cause.

The participation of many Germanys in the genocide of the holocaust era is still controversial to date. There are two sides of the coin in this situation, one side says that the men who carried out Hitlers’ order was due to force or duress. On the other side of the coin, the claim is that these soldiers were dedicated to Hitlers cause and were brutal in the execution of Hitlers' plans. It is logical to conclude that most Germans were aware of what their government was doing to Jews and other people even if they did not know to what extent their government went to ensure their plans came to fruition. It is a sad state the German population, acts of intimidation and violence was part of the normalcy during the world war II era.

To participate in such an inhuman activity, then focus has to be based on the sociological, psychological and biological or environmental nature of human behavior which subconsciously allows them to be either passive or active participants in such events. predisposing people to participate actively or passively in such atrocities. As with many wars and battles, most of those who obey and participate do this as a way of protecting their way of life and their families. Ancient or past societies had hierarchal systems that most people not only deferred to but also respected, thus the Nazi soldiers might have participated simply because they were doing their duty as a deference to superior powers and authority (Goldhagen, 1997). Also, during this time, the economic conditions in Germany were dire, hence a leader like Hitler could easily manipulate the population he would be the salvation to the challenges they faced.

All in all, the exact reasons why so many Nazi Soldier participated in the Holocaust cannot be clearly defined, as they may have been influenced by external and internal factors. The line between reason to participate in a genocide or not is wide and clear, however during the world war II era, society had limited options that mankind can only understand by vising this era with the political economic and social conditions that were in place back then.


References

Goldhagen, D. J. (1997). Hitler's willing executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Vintage.

Hilberg, R. (2003). The destruction of the European Jews (Vol. 2). Google Print Common Library.


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