The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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From: Forrest Johnson <71061.773@CompuServe.COM>
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>>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

>>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 

        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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