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September 02, 2012

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Harvey Morrell

You might also be interested in Bloodlands; Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder.

Zyme

very well written Dave, interesting read.

This reinforces my perception why they could live on perfectly afterwards and not be tempted to become violent again - in strong contrast to murderers who are aware of wrong-doing.

However I do believe there is a fundamental difference between Germanic people and other civilized peoples: As Germans take most pride in efficiency, it overlaps and suppresses awareness of wrong-doing. By focusing on perfection it becomes more easy to neglect the moral side of things.

And this I say as a person who fully neglects the moral side :-)

Hattie

I would like to mention Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning. Chilling.

Steve

"Welzer has brief sections on the My Lai Massacre carried out by American troops in Vietnam (total toll in the millions), on the Rwanda genocide, and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, to demonstrate that any society can produce mass murderers. He also analyzes the findings ot Milgram experiment at Yale University which demonstrated how students could be persuaded to perform harmful acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. But these atrocities pale in comparison to the scale of mass murder carried out by "completely normal" German citizens."

No.Rwanda was a massive slaughter, an estimated 800,000 in a few months, comparable to the worst phase of the Holocaust. Nick Turse has recently documented (some of) the scale of US atrocities in Vietnam, along with earlier books by Jonathan Schell, Bertrand Russel and others. And even in Yugoslavia the scale of mass murder during ww2 (on the part of Yugoslavs of various nationalities) and even before ww1 (the Serbs against the Albanians) were quite considerable for their day. And of course the Soviets killed many millions, especially under Stalin. And genocide was advocated and sometimes carried out against the native Americans and others. The Romanians also killed many Jews themselves, as had the Whites especially in the Russian Civil War, and many Poles collaborated or turned a blind eye to the Nazis, and even praised them for the Holocaust.

As for German unification by arms, France provoked and declared the war of 1870, and many nations including the US have won independence (and further territory) through war. Nothing much distinguished the Germans (or more particularly Nazis) in ww2 from many other episodes in history other than better organisation and efficiency, but mass killing of one sort or another is so common in history as to be almost routine. The racial criterion is not always foremost, but the result is much the same for the victims.

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