The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/program.07

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Bach, Beethoven & Bedlam - Nazi Schizophrenia
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA

Archive/File: places/germany/program.07
Last-Modified: 1994/12/10

"Perhaps it is for the psychiatrist rather than the historian to fathom the
schizophrenic behavior of Nazi leaders and their menials, who could
dispassionately participate in the systematic murder of men, women, and
children, discharge their grisly tasks mechanically, and then return home
to a devoted family, to spend the evening listening to the recordings of
Bach or Beethoven without a further thought to the lives that they had just
destroyed. The mystery of such behavior, endlessly repeated, has
bewildered the world. If, when defeat was imminent, the officials made
efforts to eliminate evidence of the brutality and the mass killing, they
were not motivated by any sense of guilt or shame. Their paramount concern
was to avoid the physical proof of crime. In Renaissance England, the
headsman who wielded the ax on Tower Hill was always masked, unknown to
victim or spectator. He customarily lived across the English Channel under
an assumed name, and was sent for on occasions that demanded his
professional skill. In the Nazi heyday, not only misfits but men and women
who belonged to a people renowned for preeminence in science and in the
arts reacted with righteous indignation when they found themselves in the
prisoner's dock.

In an interview with Professor Yehuda Bauer of the Institute of
Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I discussed the
Nazi rationale for the Final Solution. I asked for his reaction to the
explanation most commonly offered, that the Nazi ideologues did not think
of themselves as executioners. They were not killing human beings; rather
they looked upon Jews with the detachment of butchers who slaughtered

Bauer agreed that many of the Nazis had indeed come to equate Jews with
expendable beasts of the field. But he added that many of the Nazi policy
makers were obsessed by a devil theory. To them the Jews were not merely
non-human: they were anti-human. Their very existence threatened the
healthy growth of the human species, particularly the supreme Aryan model.
Hitler's ruthless war on them was intended, once and for all, to rid the
world of the sinister force that had threatened and corrupted every
generation. Compassion for Jews was a fatal weakness. The grace of a
twenty-year-old girl, outwardly lovely, intelligent, was really a snare to
lull and divert. The infant, curled up in a mother's arms, was a cunning
disguise. When a child's head was smashed against the wall of a gas
chamber, it was like stepping on a cockroach. On this premise, Bauer noted,
there was no evil in the teachings of the notorious anti-Semites of
history.  In Nazi eyes, Luther, Voltaire, Houston Chamberlain, the authors
of the forged `Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' to identify only a few,
were performing the highest kind of public service when they warned the
world about the mortal danger of tolerating the Jews. They were exposing
the lethal presence of mankind's most destructive enemy.<24>

Such views carry stunning implications for the future. They emphasize that
there were fanatics loose in our nuclear world whose monomania could
threaten all civilized values. Such men may never again have the
opportunity to enslave and liquidate whole peoples. But in the eternity of
their twelve-year Reich, the swastika came within a millimeter of blocking
out the sun. In little more than a decade of Nazi domination, they created
scores of Auschwitzes and Treblinkas and Maidaneks. Who could believe that
Hitler, the Voice of Destruction, would have stopped after the elimination
of the Jews, that he would not have continued with his attacks to extend
the Final Solution to other "subhumans" whom he regarded as cattle or

<24> Interviewed at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, November 29, 1979


Polish-Soviet area               4,565,000
Germany                            125,000
Austria                             65,000
Czechoslovakia                     277,000
Hungary                            402,000 *
France                              83,000
Belgium and Luxemburg               24,700
Holland                            106,000
Italy                                7,500 *
Norway                                 760
Rumania (excluding Bessarabia, 
 Northern Bukovina and Northern
 Transylvania)                      40,000
Yugoslavia                          60,000 *
Greece                              65,000

Statistics Compiled by Yehuda Bauer of Yad Vashem

* May be underestimated

Extracted from--------------------------------------------------- 
"THE REDEMPTION OF THE UNWANTED", Abram L.  Sachar (New York: St.
Martin's/Marek, 1983.

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