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Claudia Koonz

Autor(a) de The Nazi Conscience

3+ Works 417 Membros 5 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Claudia Koonz received her doctorate from Rutgers University and is currently a history professor at Duke University. She is also the President of the Eleventh Berkshire Conference on the History of Women in Rochester, New York in 1999. Koonz combined her many interests in history to write Mothers mostrar mais in Fatherland: Women, Family, and the Nazi Party, which examines female participation in the Third Reich. Koonz has won the 1993 Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from the Center for Teaching, Learning and Writing at Duke University. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Includes the name: Клаудиа Кунц

Obras por Claudia Koonz

Associated Works

Becoming Visible: Women in European History (1977) — Contribuidor; Editor, algumas edições230 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



The holocaust when considered seems to invariably lead one to question how such terrible things could have been done to the Jews in Germany and Europe. Many people who have studied the age or perhaps lived through the persecution have endeavored to provide some answers. And yet, invariably every answer seems to come up short. Like there must be something more, some additional explanation that we could learn that could let us wrap our minds around what happened and finally grasp how and why millions of people could be despised, persecuted, and slaughtered for their race. But the more you learn the more complex and horrifying the holocaust becomes and you begin to be convinced there are no easy answers. Just terribly ugly unsatisfying answers that remind you that there are dark parts of the human soul we don't like to acknowledge. And if we do acknowledge this depth of evil in the hearts of mankind, surely this evil only lurks in the hearts of other people, evil people, not people like me, or my family, or friends, or countrymen, not ordinary people. But, ordinary people created, supported, executed, and looked the other way so the holocaust could happen. And so writers, historians, students, both the average person and the intellectual keep reaching out for more answers and understanding to try to find some sense, some reason, that so many could deal in such insanity.

This book analyzes the years leading up to the holocaust. How did Germany go from a country where Jews were usually fully integrated in the nation to a country where all civil rights of any Jewish person were extinguished and most people were ok with this state of affairs? This is an excellent question and one that deserves be answered and understood by educated people so society can be guarded from slipping down a path where the little things that were done to position society for the holocaust cannot be countenanced in modern civilized society. The change was not abrupt. While Hitler wrote his racist views into his book once he came to power for several years he said very little in public about the subject, content to have others speak and build enough consensus on the subject so when he finally spoke out against the Jews his views would be heard by a nation that already was predisposed to view the Jews as a lesser race scientifically and a threat to the German community. Towards the end of the book as Professor Koonz was summing up, she wrote: "Germans' readiness to expel Jews from their universe of moral obligation evolved as a consequence of their acceptance of knowledge disseminated by institutions they respected. Like citizens in other modern societies, residents of the Reich believed the facts conveyed by experts, documentary films, educational materials, and exhibitions. What haunts us is not only the ease with which soldiers slaughtered helpless civilians in occupied territories, but the specter of a state so popular that that it could mobilize the individual consciences of a broad cross-section of citizens in the service of moral catastrophe. This persuasive process has little in common with brain washing, which aims at turning it's subjects into mindless automatons. In Nazi Germany, faith in a virtuous Fuhrer and joy at belonging to a virtuous Volk (community) cultivated grassroots initiative and allowed for a margin of choice." "Despite having been raised to believe in the Golden Rule and probably more or less honoring it in their private lives, citizens of the Third Reich were shaped by a public culture so compelling that even those that who objected to one or more aspect of National Socialism came to accept the existence of a hierarchy of racially based human worth, the cult of the Fuhrer, and the desirability of territorial conquest. The Final Solution did not develop as evil incarnate, but rather as the dark side of ethnic righteousness. Conscience, originally seen to protect the integrity of the individual from the inhumane demands of the group, in the Third Reich became a means of underwriting the attack by the strong against the weak. To Germans caught up in a simulacrum of high moral purpose, purification of racial aliens became a difficult but necessary duty."
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1 vote
Chris_El | 4 outras críticas | Mar 19, 2015 |
I read hundreds of books connected to the Holocaust when studying for a PhD on Holocaust representation. This is one of the best academic works. It shows how the spread of Nazi racist ideology throughout German society created new moral norms and enabled the Holocaust to happen.
evertonian | 4 outras críticas | May 21, 2008 |
An examination of how, in the process of downplaying their most raucous displays of racism, Hitler and the Nazi Party managed to achieve a wider spread of their implicit principles of racial combat then they might otherwise have done. Much of this being due to playing up positive messages of social unification in tandem with apparently authoritative justifications of strong action against "The Other." In the end, Koonz argues that the Nazi experience needs to be regarded not as being a bizarre throwback to a more tribalistic time, but as an exercise in the politics of ethnic fundamentalism that is still grimly relevant. That I don't rate this book higher is due to a somewhat scatter-shot feel in places.… (mais)
Shrike58 | 4 outras críticas | Nov 27, 2007 |
A well conceived look at the Third Reich from a much forgotten but crucial angle: that Nazism, particularly in its early years, was a movement that attracted members through its call for moral purity and renewal.
roblong | 4 outras críticas | Nov 8, 2007 |



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