Who Is Most Responsible for the Holocaust?

Topics: Nazi Germany, The Holocaust, Germany Pages: 2 (664 words) Published: October 23, 2008
Many humans have been discriminated against and have been treated poorly because of their race, religion and background. During World War II, one of the most terrible catastrophes in modern day history occurred; the Holocaust. This brutal event left about six million Jewish people dead by the end of the war and left many people in despair.

Jewish people were not the only ones receiving this torture thought. Many other groups such as Gypsies, handicaps, homosexuals, and others were also being attacked. German scientist, businesspeople, industrialists and civil servants contributed to the killing efforts of these groups of human beings. Many people and organizations are responsible for the Holocaust, but the actions of Hitler and his Nazis are most responsible for the Holocaust events.

Many people do recognize the history of the Holocaust, but fail to hold almost the entire country of Germany responsible. Most Germans were not associated with the Nazi party and it is believed they "were coerced into killing, followed orders blindly, succumbed to peer pressure, or simply were unaware of the ongoing genocide" (Weinstein). Many people believe that only Nazi affiliate’s were the ones to eliminate Jews. Most people may not know that many German citizens who lived and everyday normal life did take part in exterminating Jewish people as well. It appears "they were not primarily SS men or Nazi Party members, but perfectly ordinary Germans from all walks of life, men and women who brutalized and murdered Jews both willingly and zealously" (Goldhagen 1). These German people committed just as many terrible acts as any Nazi ever did.

However, some people may argue that a harsh and demanding government influenced the acts of the German society. In his article, "Goldhagen, Browning and Expertise." Paul Kern states "The social-psychological conditions, the objective and keenly felt pressures of the group, the fear of being held in contempt by one’s comrades: these were...
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