11 Sep

The horrors of Nazi Germany were the result of:

1. The consequences of WWI and its aftermath?
2. The economic authoritarianism introduced by Bismark?
3. The cultural and economic rise of Jewish people?
4. Militant socialism?
5. Capitalism reacting under crisis?
6. The weakness of liberal-democracy in central Europe?
7. Herd instinct?
8. The criminal lunacy of Adolf Hitler?
9. None of the above, please list…


7 Responses to “NAZI QUIZ”

  1. Iain Hall September 11, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Dare I Invoke Godwin???

  2. AC Stewart September 11, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    Invoke anything and anyone. There’s no law in this arena. ‘Cept against spamming.

  3. THR September 15, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Short answer – 1, 7, and a hefty dash of 5.

    Long answer – it’s probably easier to define these things in the negative (i.e. work out what weren’t causes).

    ‘Economic authoritarianism’ had nothing to do with it. Much of the early appeal of Nazism had little to do with economics in any case. Even when depression and hyper-inflaton kicked in, radicalising the populace, the Nazis were only peripherally concerned with economic matters, which they thought could be subordinated to ‘national pride’, etc.

    The ‘rise’ of the Jewish people is a complete misnomer. Plenty of Jews lived in poverty in Central Europe. This is quite apart from the fact that one doesn’t blame the victims from the crimes of their murderers. Moreover, Nazis defined who was a ‘Jew’, not the Jews themselves. Families who had long converted to Christianity and had been assimilated for generations suffered the fate of their Orthodox cousins.

  4. AC Stewart September 16, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    I have no opinion on the economic authoritarianism aspect of it. Jews in central Europe had become disproportionately successful. This was one of the causes of anti-Semitism. Hitler came of age in an era where Jews dominated Vienna’s cultural industries. He wanted to be an artist and he had no talent. So he did what so many such people do, he blamed someone else.

  5. THR September 16, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    Well, it depends on how you define success. I recently read an interesting history of psychoanalysis, and in the Vienna of Freud (which overlapped with Hitler’s time there), Jews dominated medicine more than any other profession – 48% of medicine students were Jewish. Other areas with lots of Jews were law (about 20%), academia, and the arts. Jews were most definitely not the upper crust of society – many were self-employed or state-dependent professionals, eking out a living. Politically, they tended to vote Social Democrat. Moreover, the artists among the Jews were not exactly orthodox guys, and, to a certain extent, were defined as Jewish not by themselves, but by anti-semites.

  6. Adrien September 16, 2010 at 5:18 am #

    No they were definitely not upper crust. They were successful, as you say, in medicine (as always). The arts I think, tho’, was the crux. Schnitzler, Mendelssohn etc. The domination of the arts in your country by a ‘foreign people’ tends to create resentment in a certain kind of mind.

    Perhaps it was in The Origins of Totalitarianism on Napoleon’s emancipation of the Jews, that the remark is made that the trouble with equality is that it embosses inequalities. Jewish people are quite good at being remarkable. This pisses people like Hitler and Eichmann off as they were mediocrities.

    The ruling class of Europe has long been accustomed to using the Jewish intelligentsia for various reasons. The scapegoating of them in the first decades of the 20th century and the use of Nazism to redirect the hostile energies of the mob away from them was jest the latest example.

    That National Socialism is defined by the Right as a left-wing movement is another example of the conservative tendency to rewrite history to suit them. But I think the resemblance between the style of the Nazis and the Bolsheviks is something of significance that the radical Left still has to absorb.

    I look forward to a 21st century socialism which has learned these lessons. BTW Have you read Memoirs of an Anti-Semite?

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