The Nazi Conscience
The Nazi conscience is not an oxymoron. In fact, the perpetrators of genocide had a powerful sense of right and wrong, based on civic values that exalted the moral righteousness of the ethnic community and denounced outsiders.
Claudia Koonz's latest work reveals how racial popularizers developed the infrastructure and rationale for genocide during the so-called normal ye...more
Yes, that's right: the Nazi 'conscience." Koonz's thesis is that the holocaust can only be understood by taking into account the constant campaign of indoctrination that--by stressing the necessity of racial purity--endeavored to inculcate in the soul of every good German the belief that "not everything that wears a human face is human." In terms of legal statutes enacted or the tone of much popular culture, pre-Hitler Germany was no more antisemitic than many other European countries (Great Bri ...more
In short, The Nazi Conscience can be described as a detailed, informative account of some of the aforementioned techniques. It is an attempt to ...more
Instead, Koonz is almost exclusively interested in how the Nazis artfully manufactured a mass consensus for their racial policies through manipulation of elite and popular opinion. Initially, Nazi racial thuggery tended to alienate rather than persuade, so Hitler largely suppressed public discussion of his agenda for long periods, w ...more
My favorite part in the book is when it is describing the arrest of a Jewish man described by his German friend/neighbor. The German didn't think "How terrible it is that the Nazis are taking him away!". H ...more