From server Sun Jun 23 20:53:16 1996 Return-Path:
Received: by nizkor.almanac.bc.ca.almanac.bc.ca (8.6.9/SMI-4.1) id UAA12391; Sun, 23 Jun 1996 20:53:08 GMT Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 20:53:08 GMT Message-Id: <960623202914_71061.773_JHC71-1@CompuServe.COM> Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk From: Forrest Johnson <71061.773@CompuServe.COM> To: kmcvay Subject: Re: NIZKOR digest 144 X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0 -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas X-Comment: The Nizkor Project: Holocaust Discussion List Status: RO >>Hilberg's comments were for public consumption, I take it. Do you mind if we archive them? Were they printed, or how should we cite them? Hillberg's comments were public. You can cite them from the "Ethics After the Holocaust" conference, May, 1996, at the University of Oregon. >>However, I do not believe for a minute that the final solution could have gone as far as it did without the complicity of a large number of German people themselves. Goldhagen has done an admirable job of documenting this. No one doubts that anti-Semitism was widespread in Germany before the Nazis. What one may question is Goldhagen's claim of a particular German "eliminationism", which I believe is based on a selective reading of the evidence. Even among Hitler's supporters, few supported an "eliminationist" policy toward the Jews. _The "Hitler Myth"_, by Ian Kernshaw: There was, it seems, much deliberate or subliminal exclusion of the treatment of the Jews from popular consciousness -- a more or less studied lack of interest or cultivated disinterest, going hand in hand with an accentuated "retreat into the private sphere" and increased self-centeredness in difficult and worrying wartime conditions. As has been aptly stated, the fate of the Jews "was an unpleasant topic, speculation was unprofitable, discussions of the fate of the Jews were discouraged. Consideration of this question was pushed aside, blotted out for the duration." [Quoted from _The Terrible Secret_.] This conclusion is supported by the replies which Michael Mueller-Claudius, formerly a psychologist, received to his unique, camouflaged small sample of opinion of sixty-one Party members (all of whome had joined either the NSDAP or the Hitler Youth before 1933) in 1942. In response to his prompting remark that "the Jewish problem still hasn't been cleared up" and "we hear nothing at all about what sort of solution is imagined", only three Party members (5 per cent) expressed open approval of the right to exterminate the Jews, with comments such as: "The Fuehrer has decided upon the extermination of Jewry and promised it. He will carry it out." Thirteen persons (21 per cent) showed some signs of ethical and moral sense, though accepting much of the Nazi claim that the Jews had caused Germany harm. Their replies also revealed resigned attitudes -- washing of the hands for whatever brutalities were taking place. Three persons (5 per cent) revealed what he called a "clear detachment from anti-Semitism". Finally, 42 of the Nazis (69 per cent of the "sample") provided responses which could be classed as "indifference of conscience", and pointed to disinterest or internal suppression of knowledge and responsibility for the fate of the Jews. Characteristic replies included: "There's no point in thinking about it. The decision lies with Hitler alone." "I prefer not to speak of it. It's simply not possible to form an opinion on it." "Have a cigarette instead. I'm busy twelve hours a day, and can't be concerned with that as well . . . " And "I'm just about up to here with the war. I want a regulated situation. What part the Jews play in that isn't my concern."
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