Belonging and Genocide by Thomas Kühne
Call Number: Lamson Library (Lower Level) DD67.3 .K84 2010
Publication Date: 2010-10-26
No one has ever posed a satisfactory explanation for the extreme inhumanity of the Holocaust What was going on in the heads and hearts of the millions of Germans who either participated in or condoned the murder of the jews? In this provocative book, Thomas Kuhne offers a new answer. A genocidal society was created not only by the hatred of Jews or by coercion, Kuhne contends, but also by the love of Germans for one another, their desire for a united "people's community," the Volksgemeinschaft. During the Third Reich, Germans learned to connect with one another by becoming brother and sisters in mass crime.
Exploring a huge range of private letters, diaries, memoirs, secret reports, trial records, and other documents, the author traces developments that led to Germany's violent social dynamic of inclusion through exclision from the post-World War I years through the downfall of the Third Reich. By elevating the value of social unity and by awarding compliance with belonging, Hitler's regime made ordinary people complicit. The Nazis used such common human needs as community, belonging, and solidarity to forge a nation; they misused those same values to incite participation in the worst crimes in history. --Book Jacket.