Is death a Master of Germany?
After 1933 when Hitler came to power Germany’s path changed. Adolf Hitler had convinced the German society that change was needed and that someone was guilty of what happened in Germany. This was one of the reasons why the Second World War had started. As he stated in his book Mein Kampf he believed that the Jews were sub humans but besides that he wanted to create the 1000-year empire, the “Third Reich”. Nonetheless he knew that it was not going to be this easy. He started slowly to ignore the Treaty of Versailles and increased his military power under the name of “police”. Not only did he stop paying the debt Germany owed the world from the First World War but also he decreased the amount he has to pay. When it was time, he attacked starting the Second World War. In the Second World War about 6 million Jews were killed under the name of “Holocaust”. This the burning of the “whole” directed towards the European Jews (and Sinti and Romanies), which was exactly what happened in the Second World War. First the Jews in Germany were collected and sent to concentration camps from which, if they survived, they were sent to death camps. In the death camps they were first gassed to death and then they were burnt in the ovens the Germans had. This after the war received the name “Holocaust” i, which raised a question in the minds of many people: “Is death a Master of Germany?” This question was raised because of the incredible number of Germans participating in the Holocaust regardless of the fact that they were killing Human beings. The Germans would specify themselves on top of the race pyramid they had created. On the bottom of this pyramid Jews and Russians were placed, which showed their cruelty. Not only have they made people suffer and work until they passed away, but if those did not pass away they were killed in the cruellest ways one could possibly imagine. Many people including the Germans themselves were worried about the idea of Germans being the Master of death. The question has raised many authors’ attention, which led to many articles or even books written about this topic. Was this going to solve the problem and give this question an answer? It is not pointless to think about this but it seems as if the act of many authors writing about this caused even more trouble since they all had different opinions about the topic itself. Some authors stated that the Holocaust was the conclusion of Germany being the Master of death, but many others have also stated that this could have happened everywhere else and that this only could be the result of our nature as human beings. Today this issue is still unclear due to the fact that one cannot question every individual German that had participated; and the bystanders, it is not as if they were any less guilty. It is impossible for one to go back in time and take a primary source proof to answer this question. However this does not mean one cannot infer about the answer. For example, Goldhagen Claims that many of the Germans wanted to carry the genocide plans of the "Third Reich" into execution because he believed that the Germans were anti-Semites already but on the other hand,
In his book Hitler‘s Willing Executioners Goldhagen clearly stated his side. His opinion was that many Germans were responsible for the execution of the Jews and that many Germans would have done the same (The Goldhagen Debate). His book eventually raised this debate in Germany in 1996. The Goldhagen Debate, which was something that put a punch in Germany’s mind about whether Goldhagen was right or wrong. He states himself that he did not want to raise any racism towards Germans but he wanted them to question themselves of what they have done. Moreover, he states that when looked at facts from 100,000 - 500,000 Germans were involved in the act of killing Jews even if they were not involved directly. He claims that if millions of Germans had the choice of doing what 100,000’s of Germans did, they would have acted in the exact same way (The Goldhagen Debate). This proves one more time that he is against Germany’s innocence of killing the Jews under the reason of being brainwashed by Adolf Hitler. Even though he claims that he believes that not every German would have done the same, he states that millions would have, which then he finishes by saying that it did not matter how many Germans these were (The Goldhagen Debate). The matter was the fact that these Germans did it and they did not feel guilt by doing so. Even if they did what would they think to themselves? “Most other ant-Semites only wanted to drive the Jews out of their country; for the Germans, Jews were metaphysical enemies” (Wolffsohn 75). This quote raises the argument of how Anti-Semitic Germans were. “In such an approach, anti- Semitism would certainly not be absent, but it would also not be sufficient” (Browning 59). Even in Brownings text one is able to see this. Goldhagen questions the idea of cruelty of Germans by saying, If Germans were not murderers and they did not want to kill people but they were forced against their will to kill, why would they be this cruel (The Goldhagen Debate)?
i Name originated from Greek “holókaustos”. The Jews gave the name to this kind of genocide after the Second World War.
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- Görkem Ercan (Autor), 2011, Germans - Masters of Death?, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/229471