Austria, Goldhagen Daniel Jonah

“The antisemitically derived ideological impulse to force Jews
to ‘work’ for its own sake was given expression throughout the
German dominion. Nowhere, however, was it more striking than
in Austria in March 1938, where it welled up spontaneously
during the euphoria accompanying its annexation by Germany.
The Austrians’ hearty celebrations included immediate symbolic
acts of revenge upon the Jews, who in Austria, no less than in
Germany, were believed to have exploited and injured the
larger society. As seen here, again and again, the circus of
Jewish men, women, and children — commanded to don their
finest clothes, being forced to wash streets, sidewalks, and
buildings of Vienna (frequently with small brushes and water
mixed with burning acid) — was met by the cheers and jeers of
crowds of Austrian onlookers. ‘In Waehring, one of Vienna’s
wealthier sections, Nazis, after ordering Jewish women to
scrub streets in their fur coats, then stood over them and
urinated on their heads,'<18> This was the purest form of
‘non-instrumental’ labor, and the purest expression of its
ideational and psychological sources.” (Goldhagen, 286-7)

Work Cited

Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. Hitler’s Willing Executioners. New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996

Last-Modified: 1996/05/29