"World War II was only twenty years earlier. Those in charge of the police, the schools, the government --- they were the same people who'd been in charge under Nazism. The chancellor, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, had been a Nazi. People started discussing this only in the 60s. We were the first generation since the war, and we were asking our parents questions. Due to the Nazi past, everything bad was compared to the Third Reich. If you heard about police brutality, that was said to be just like the SS. The moment you see your own country as the continuation of a fascist state, you give yourself permission to do almost anything against it. You see your action as the resistance that your parents did not put up."
"Diese bürgerliche Schizophrenie, dauernd zu tun, was man nicht meint, geht so weit, daß man eine demokratische Gesellschaft will und gleichzeitig eine faschistische Gesellschaft zimmert." (p.75 Gudrun Ensslin)
See more source material in: The Baader Meinhof Gang/Red Army Faction
"The Germans, even the most anti-Nazi of them, are never likely to become instinctive democrats or truly liberal thinkers until at some far distant date they learn that every individual has certain moral responsibilities both for what he does and for what is done in his name. Aside from a handful of Germans, there is no evidence at present that any number sense this, much less think along these lines. There is furthermore no evidence that our program of Information Control has so far impressed any considerable number of Germans with their guilt. It has impressed them with the guilt of the Nazis, especially the Nazi leaders. But in the view of the German people, the German people remain guiltless. Since democracy is by nature an acceptance by the people of their own responsibilities in local, state, and world affairs, it is useless to speak of German democrats until there are sizeable numbers of Germans who accept this premise." (p. 258)
"There are some men whose crimes surpass comprehension and therefore forgiveness, and here is the real failure. For they are still among us, walking through the cities, working in the offices, lunching in the canteens, smiling and shaking hands and calling decent men "Kamerad". That they should live on, not as outcasts but as cherished citizens, to smear a whole nation in perpetuity with their individual evil, this is the true failure." (p. 28)
"In England gibt es seit 1679 die Habeas-Corpus-Akte, das Gesetz gegen willkürliche Verhaftung. In Deutschland aber wird im Jahr 1933 der Grundsatz der persönlichen Freiheit des Menschen noch immer nicht zur Kenntnis genommen. Menschen werden eingekerkert, und Polizeibeamte finden keine Zeit zu untersuchen, warum man sie festhält." (p. 52)
"Die Schutzhaft ist eine reine Verwaltungsmaßregel, keine gerichtliche Haft, unterliegt also nicht den Bestimmungen der Strafprozeßordnung über die unverzügliche Vorführung der Festgenommenen bei einem Richter, der den Festgenommenen entweder freizulassen hat oder gegen ihn einen richterlichen Haftbefehl zu erlassen hat." (p. 59)
"Democratic procedures are not something people have, like automobiles or hot-dog stands or a way of building roads. Democracy is not something which can be added or subtracted; it is not one of an array of items found on closet shelves, in stores or text-books, not just one more detail in a hodgepodge of furniture models, written laws, and grammar books. The way in which people behave is all of a piece, their virtues and their sins, the way they slap the baby, handle their court cases, and bury their dead. It would be impossible suddenly to introduce 'democracy', which is a word for a type of behavior and an attitude of mind which runs through our whole culture, through our selection of candidates for office, our behavior in street cars, our schools and our newspapers, into an undemocratic society -- as it would suddenly to introduce feudalism into a modern American city." (p. 20)
"Generally speaking, one can say that the increased penalties for most crimes [created in the Nazi era] have been retained up to the present day, and the maximum sentences for many of them are still two to three times as severe as they were under the Reich Criminal Code of 1871. Dr. Fritz Hartung, a former member of both the Federal Supreme Court and the Reichsgericht, was thus able to comment approvingly in 1971: 'In the field of law, particularly criminal law, the National Socialist regime ... brought advances of a fundamental kind ..., improvements which have been maintained until the present day, so that criminal law has become unimaginable without them" (p. 230)
"Law professors continued to teach the same doctrine they had during the Nazi era; only their terminology had been de-Nazified. Walter Hamel, for example, the Third Reich's leading authority on police law, ..., in 1957 now reinstated as a law professor and undaunted by the downfall of the Fascist dictatorship and the establishment of a liberal constitution - continued to proclaim: 'A legal person in the German view is not identical with the individual as defined by the French Revolution. He does not have the freedom to do anything that does not harm another person or infringe upon that other person's rights. He has the responsibility to serve others and social values; values of the community have priority ... limiting an individual's autonomy and imposing communal obligations.' Using terminology only slightly different from that which he had used twenty years previously, Hamel had once again managed to transform basic individual rights into obligations." (p.237)
"The extent to which legal norms from the Third Reich were carried over to the Federal Republic was enormous. The usual procedure was merely to delete the most offensive phrases and to present the remainder as a 'democratic' or 'liberal' law. In this manner, for instance, the 'German Civil Service Law of January 26, 1937, edited and adapted for the current situation by Dr. Walter Jellinek' and published in November 1945, became the model for all laws pertaining to civil servants in the Federal Republic. Jellinek, a respected and unincriminated professor of constitutional law at the University of Heidelberg, simply took a red pen and a copy of the 1937 law, which the Nazis themselves had regarded as a cornerstone of their platform, and crossed out the phrases giving the Nazi party a voice in appointments of the civil service, establishing discrimination on the basis of race, and requiring an oath of loyalty to the Führer. He pronounced the result to be a 'piece of legislation in the very best German legal tradition'. The required 'loyalty to the Führer' was replaced by the phrase 'loyalty to the constitution,' and the prerequisite for appointment, namely that the civil servant 'can be relied upon to support the National Socialist state unconditionally,' was changed to 'can be relied upon at all times to support the liberal democratic order as established by the constitution.'" (p.227)
Erna Putz: [Austrian theologian]
Ernst von Salomon:
Harald Welzer, Sabine Moller: [The ways Germans wriggle out of their Nazi past and present themselves as victim instead]
"In den letzten Jahren sind zahlreiche Studien erschienen. Das Außen-, das Justiz- und zuletzt das Innenministerium wurden auf ihre Geschichte hin durchleuchtet, und überall fanden sich, o Wunder: Nazis. Nazis saßen im Bundestag, in den Länderparlamenten, in sämtlichen Behörden und Ministerien, in der Polizei, in der Justiz, sie saßen in der Regierung und sie saßen zu Gericht, in manchen Fällen sogar über ihre ehemaligen Opfer. Die frühe Bundesrepublik war ein einziger Skandal."
"Das ist die Geschichte des SS-Hauptsturmführers Dr. Hans Schneider, aber es ist nicht seine allein, sondern beispielhaft für eine Gesellschaft, die gezwungen war, von einem Tag auf den anderen dem geliebten Führer zu entsagen, dem man Treue bis in den Tod geschworen hatte. Auch wenn am 23. Mai 1949 das Grundgesetz in Kraft trat, auch wenn schon im August in den drei Westzonen zum ersten Mal seit 1932 wieder allgemeine, gleiche und geheime Wahlen stattfanden, auch wenn ein Bundestag zusammentrat und in geheimer Abstimmung den Bundeskanzler wählte, auch wenn zivile Ministerien entstanden und Gerichte wieder Recht sprachen -- der Abschied von gestern fiel nicht so leicht. Es ging nur mit den Leuten von gestern, die wie gestern dachten, redeten, schrieben und handelten, es sei denn, sie verstellten sich, sie hatten es ebenfalls mit einer Maske versucht, die diesmal Demokratie hieß und die sich am Ende als so erfolgreich erwies, dass man sich im Rückblick und im Zweifel schon immer für demokratisch gehalten hat." (p.256)
Thomas Wolfe: [visited Germany in 1926-1936]
[The German Terrorist Andreas Baader liked this book very much, read it repeatedly in prison. This snippet could have very well inspired Andreas Baader's violence or at least confirmed his violent terrorist intentions in the 1970s as member of the RAF.]
"'But zese fools - zese dret-ful people!' he said with deep disgust. 'Some day, my dear Chorge, you must write a bitter book. You must tell all zese people just how horrible zey are. Myself -- I haf no talent. I cannot write a book. I can do nozzing but admire vhat ozzers do and know if it is good. But you must tell zese dret-ful people vhat Zey are ... I haf a little fantasy,' he went on with a look of impish glee. 'Ven I feel bad -- ven I see all zese dret-ful people valking up and down in ze Kurfürstendamm and sitting at ze tables and putting food into zeir faces -- Zen I imagine zat I haf a little ma-chine gun. So I take zis little ma-chine gun and go up and down, and ven I see one of zese dret-ful people I go -- ping-ping-ping-ping-ping!' As he uttered these words in a rapid, childish key, he took aim with his hand and hooked his finger rapidly. 'O Gott!' he cried ecstatically. 'I should so enchoy it if I could go around wiz zis little ma-chine gun and use it on all zese stupid fools! But I cannot. My ma-chine gun is only in imagination. Wiz you it is different. You haf a ma-chine gun zat you can truly use. And you must use it,' he said earnestly. 'Some day you must write zis bitter book, and you must tell zese fools vhere zey belong. " (p.609)
Howard K. Smith:
Berliners have always been notorious grousers. They always complained about anything and everything. But it was a good-natured kind of grousing you could laugh at. What has happened in the past year is something new and different. It is not funny; it is downright morbid, the way people with pale, weary, deadpan faces which a moment ago were in expressionless stupor can flash in an instant into flaming, apoplectic fury, and scream insults at one another over some triviality or an imaginary wrong. You could watch people's natures change as the war proceeded; you could clearly watch bitterness grow as the end of the war appeared to recede from sight just as you watch a weed grow. It has been depressing to watch and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth."
I tried to shrug it off, not to let it get me, pretend that it didn't bother me. When something threatened to bother me I wouldn't let my feelings get the upper hand. My parents had a sixth sense for it. They only had to suspect that they had touched a raw nerve and they moved in. They smelled every wound and delighted in finding my weak spot. When I was little I thought the only way I could survive was to hide from them, because all they had to do was see a wound and they'd pour salt into it. If I came home with scraped knees they beat me because I'd dirtied my pants. And if I cried they hit me because I didn't behave like a man. And if I tried to get help they laughed at me. They wore out their shoe leather stepping on me.
There's all that talk about you Jews being the victims of the war. But for those of you who survived, the suffering ended with Hitler's death. But for us, the children of the Nazis, it didn't end. When their world collapsed in ruins and ashes, the heroes of the Third Reich staked out another battleground - the family." (p. 137)
Robert G.L. Waite:
Thomas Wolfe: [visited Germany in 1926-1936]
"George began to realize now the tragedy that lay behind such things. There was nothing political in any of it. The roots of it were much more sinister and deep and evil than politics or even racial prejudice could ever be. For the first time in his life he had come upon something full of horror that he had never known before -- something that made all the swift violence and passion of America, the gangster compacts, the sudden killings, the harshness and corruption that infested portions of American business and public life, seem innocent beside it. What George began to see was a picture of a great people who had been psychically wounded and were now desperately ill with some dread malady of the soul. Here was an entire nation, he now realized, that was infested with the contagion of an ever-present fear. It was a kind of creeping paralysis which twisted and blighted all human relations. The pressures of a constant and infamous compulsion had silenced this whole people into a sweltering and malignant secrecy until they had become spiritually septic with the distillations of their own self-poisons, for which now there was no medicine or release." (p.405)
"So the weeks, the months, the summer passed, and everywhere about him George saw the evidences of this dissolution, this shipwreck of a great spirit. The poisonous emanations of suppression, persecution, and fear permeated the air like miasmic and pestilential vapors, tainting, sickening, and blighting the lives of everyone he met. It was a plague of the spirit—invisible, but as unmistakable as death. Little by little it sank in on him through all the golden singing of that summer, until at last he felt it, breathed it, lived it, and knew it for the thing it was." (p.406)
" And now it seemed to me, who had so often gone a stranger and unknown to the great cities of the world, that Berlin was mine. For weeks there was a round of pleasure and celebration, and the wonderful thrill of meeting in a foreign land and in a foreign tongue a hundred friends, now for the first time known and captured. There was the sapphire sparkle in the air, the enchanted brevity of northern darkness, the glorious wine in slender bottles, and morning, and green fields, and pretty women -- all of these were mine now, they seemed to have been created for me, to have been waiting for me, and to exist now in all their loveliness just for my possession.
The weeks passed so -- and then it happened. Little by little the world came in. At first it sifted in almost unnoticed, like dark down dropped in passing from some avenging angel's wing. Sometimes it came to me in the desperate pleading of an eye, the naked terror of a startled look, the swift concealment of a sudden fear. Sometimes it just came and went as light comes, just soaked in, just soaked in -- in fleeting words and speech and actions.
After a while, however, in the midwatches of the night, behind thick walls and bolted doors and shuttered windows, it came to me full flood at last in confessions of unutterable despair. I don't know why it was that people so unburdened themselves to me, a stranger unless it was because they knew the love I bore them and their land. They seemed to feel a desperate need to talk to someone who would understand. The thing was pent up in them, and my sympathy for all things German had burst the dam of their reserve and caution. Their tales of woe and fear unspeakable gushed forth and beat upon my ears. They told me stories of their friends and relatives who had said unguarded things in public and disappeared without a trace, stories of the Gestapo, stories of neighbors' quarrels and petty personal spite turned into political persecution, stories of concentration camps and pogroms, stories of rich Jews stripped and beaten and robbed of everything they had and then denied the right to earn a pauper's wage, stories of well-bred Jewesses despoiled and turned out of their homes and forced to kneel and scrub off anti-Nazi slogans scribbled on the sidewalks while young barbarians dressed like soldiers formed a ring and prodded them with bayonets and made the quiet places echo with the shameless laughter of their mockery. It was a picture of the Dark Ages come again -- shocking beyond belief, but true as the hell that man forever creates for himself.
Thus it was that the corruption of man's living faith and the inferno of his buried anguish came to me -- and I recognized at last, in all its frightful aspects, the spiritual disease which was poisoning unto death a noble and a mighty people.
But even as I saw it and knew it for what it was, there came to me, most strangely, another thing as well. For while I sat the night through in the darkened rooms of German friends, behind the bolted doors and shuttered windows -- while their whispered voices spoke to me of the anguish in their hearts, and I listened, stricken in my chair to see the tears and the graven lines of mortal sorrow form on faces which only a short time before, in the presence of others, had been masked in expressions of carefree unconcern ..." (p.688-689)
2011: Tulia Tenenbom, I Sleep in Hitler's Room - An American Jew Visits Germany - The Uncensored Version
2002: Anna Rosmus, Against the Stream: Growing Up Where Hitler Used to Live
2004: Anna Rosmus, Out of Passau: Leaving a City Hitler Called Home
1946: Saul K. Padover, Experiment in Germany
Karl, the limping messenger boy who hauled our "clients" to the Town Hall, was amused. "You'll never find any Nazis, not in this town," he grinned. "Ever since the Americans came they all became muss [obligatory] Nazis; they all had to join the party. Muss - what a joke! You should have seen them before - how they strutted, how they boasted about the Fuehrer! Muss - ha, ha! Like my old teacher, Frau Ferwents. Did you talk to her? I bet she is a muss too, ha, ha!" The kid was really quite exasperating sometimes in his cynicism, but when it came to the burghers of Roetgen he knew what he was talking about.
It gave him special pleasure to summon his teacher, Frau Ferwents. As he ushered her into the room, he gave us a broad wink behind her back and a sideways inclination of his head in her direction, as if to say, "Well, well, well, it's quite a fish I landed for you, see what you can make of it."
Frau Agnes Ferwents was a grandmotherly woman, smiling, bespectacled, and thoroughly at ease as she sailed into the room under her wide-brimmed straw hat which was trimmed with a cluster of artificial red cherries. She sat down with a sigh of comfort, adjusted her dress, placed her gloves on the table, put on her best smile, and seemed just on the verge of saying, "Now then, Kinder [children]... ," when she remembered where she was and her face broke into a really genial smile. "Ach," she said, "when one gets to be my age one sometimes forgets and one thinks oneself in the classroom, especially when in the presence of young men." The flattery had the subtlety of a bazooka shell, but one could not help smiling at her aplomb.
She had been an elementary school teacher for forty years and she was unpolitisch [apolitical]. "About politics," she said with a broad smile, "I am a child, a veritable infant. All I know about such deep things is what my husband told me." Her husband, she explained, was a man without a profession; he could not do heavy work because he suffered from anemia. So she, Frau Agnes, earned a living and he, Herr Ferwents, kept house. He had joined the Nazi Party many years ago - muss, you know - and he attended Party meetings regularly, and when he came home he gave his wife a full account of everything that happened. She herself, she said brightly, was "not a Nazi."
Natuerlich! [Of course!]
It was a delight to interrogate Frau Ferwents, mainly because she took such obvious pleasure in telling what she knew. She liked to pour out her mind, to sort out her thoughts in simple sentences. Her language was clear and she spoke in a pedagogical tone, like one accustomed to explaining simple things to simple children. Used to the classroom habit of expecting answers to questions, Frau Ferwents herself would not dream of withholding replies. She was more than obliging. Every question elicited a full, comprehensive, not to say opulent, reply in rounded sentences. She made mental punctuations; when she came to the end of a thought one could almost hear her say, "Period. Paragraph."
In some ways she proved to be the most rewarding of our "clients," for she was a storehouse of Nazism, a depot of assorted Nazi cliches and arguments and viewpoints. She seemed to have absorbed Nazi political lore through her skin, without any conscious awareness. Not realizing that she was prickly with Nazism, it never occurred to her to conceal anything that was on her mind. She was a blotter which we simply copied and the result was a peerless mental picture of a teacher in the Third Reich.
Did she ever teach political subjects or tell her pupils political stories? "Heavens, no!" Frau Ferwents exclaimed, as if shocked by the very thought, "I only taught reading and arithmetic. What did I read to them? I read them simple, unpolitical children's stories, such as the life of our Fuehrer. You want to know what I told them about the Fuehrer?" Frau Ferwents grew enthusiastic at the recollection, her voice took on a note of genuine eloquence. "I told them about the Fuehrer's childhood and his early life. I recounted to them how the Fuehrer was born in a small town in Austria, how even as a wee little boy he interested himself in our German history, how he dreamt a noble dream of becoming an artist, a painter, and how his stern father did not permit him to study art for which his soul craved so. I told them how after the Fuehrer's father died his loving mother helped him to become a painter, how he found that his genius did not lie in painting after all, how the death of his mother forced him to give up his studies and to become a housepainter, and how destiny made him come to Germany."
Frau Ferwents' eyes were soft at the memories of the Fuehrer's childhood. Throughout the whole interview the word Hitler never crossed her lips; it was always der Fuehrer [the leader], uttered with reverence and rapture.
Did the Nazi Party ever interfere with the school in which she taught. "Ach, nein [oh, no], never. There was absolute freedom of teaching. Naturally all the textbooks were changed after der Fuehrer became the ruler of the Reich, but there was no interference with us teachers. We could read from any textbook that was issued to us and nobody ever bothered us."
We asked Frau Ferwents whether she was familiar with the textbooks of history and if so, could she tell us something of what was in them. "Oh, yes," she said cheerfully, "I read them all. Would you like me to tell you about our recent history?" We said we would, indeed we would; and she began to recite fluently.
"Wilson did not keep the Fourteen Points. So Germany had to find deliverance [Rettung]. Then came Ebert; he was a Socialist, and times got worse. Then came the inflation and conditions became worse than ever. The German people yearned for better times and so came Marshal Hindenburg. The Marshal grew old and older and suddenly there appeared der Fuehrer who brought a New Idea. He promised the workers improvement [Besserung]. So Hindenburg made him Chancellor of the Reich, and when Hindenburg died the Chancellor became Fuehrer. He won over the laborers because he gave them work, vacations, and Kraft durch Freude [strength through joy].
So the mass of the German people became attracted to the Fuehrer. And when industry saw how the Fuehrer brought deliverance to the working people, industry also joined the ranks of the workers and embraced the New Idea. So in the end everybody was back of the Fuehrer."
We were silent, and she added with a soft sigh, "Well, of course, I don't know whether it's so or not, but that's what they say ..." This was her favorite explanatory remark. They meant the Nazis, the books, her husband - in short, the authorities.
Since Frau Ferwents seemed so well informed about history, we asked her to continue with her discourse and to give us the background of the present war. "Gladly," she beamed, "gladly. In the year 1935 the Fuehrer started to build up the Wehrmacht. He did it in order to make Germany great. This idea appealed to the German working people because it abolished the class fights that existed before. If you want my personal opinion, I do not believe in class fights; I am of the opinion that although all men should be considered as fellow men, there must be some distinctions. In this I did not agree with the Fuehrer. He wanted to eliminate all distinctions, but I am afraid this was too lofty an ideal to succeed.
"Anyhow, the war came and we were disappointed. We feared that it might not end in victory and that it would turn out to be terrible for us. Some people said: 'Der Fuehrer konnte den Hals nicht voll kriegen [The Fuehrer could never get enough].' But still most people were enthusiastic about the war at first. We had great successes. Then came Stalingrad. We started to lose confidence. We began to think that maybe the war would not end in our favor. That made us angry at the Italians because they should have helped us and they did not. The front was too big for Germany alone. Poor Germany, always alone!"
She seemed distressed about the raw deal that poor Germany was getting from everybody and she was searching our faces for sympathy. We nodded and encouraged her to go on. What we were particularly interested in was knowing the causes of the war. "That," Frau Ferwents said, "is very simple. The war was started by England. The English did not allow Germany her rightful place in Europe. They have a big empire but they always put obstacles in the way when Germany tries to acquire Lebensraum [living space]."
How did the war with Russia start? "The Russians," she said darkly, "began to arm a long time ago in order to invade Germany. So we defended ourselves by attacking them. We did not like the Bolsheviks and we did not want them to come to our country; therefore we attacked them before they were ready to attack us."
How about Poland? "That was a pure Verteidigungskrieg [defensive war]. Germany had to defend herself against the Poles."
She shook her head sadly. "Jetzt ist alles verloren [now everything is lost]. I believe that the war is lost for us." We asked her to explain why she was so pessimistic. She said with a gentle smile, "We Germans have a saying: Viele Hunde sind des Hasen Tod [Many dogs cause the death of the hare]."
"Ah, ja [yes], it is just an expression. It does not really mean dogs, it means enemies. You see, Germany has too many enemies to cope with. The biggest of them is America. America is too big and too rich for us to overcome. When America entered the war we lost all hope for victory."
She was so sad that we switched the subject to matters less unpleasant for her. Atrocities, for example. Did she ever hear what the Germans did to the Jews? "Oh, you mean how they were murdered in Poland? I am quite sure that the SS was capable of such extremism. But I was not in favor of that." She said that she was in Aachen a few years ago when the Nazis burned the historic Jewish synagogue and it upset her. "It was unjust to destroy the Heiligtum [sanctuary] of the Jews. Moreover, one has no right to destroy what does not belong to one."
What did she think of the Jews?
"They are the enemies of the German people and of mankind," she replied promptly. Then she added as an afterthought: "I don't know whether it is true or not. It is said so."
Did she ever know any Jews?
"Oh, ja [yes]. I once had a Jewish friend, Selma Bloch, the daughter of an orchestra conductor. She was eine patente Dame [a fine lady]. The Jews did a lot of good for the German people, but the Party did not like them and so they destroyed them."
What did Frau Ferwents do about it?
"Why, I did not think it was right to treat them like that. I believe what it says in the Bible: Thou shalt not kill, except in battle. The Jews were not at war with us, so we had no right to kill them."
Did she ever express these opinions to her pupils?
"But no. I am unpolitical. I never discuss politics, especially in the classroom."
What did Frau Ferwents think of the future?
"I think that we must change leaders. We have been belogen und betrogen [lied to and deceived] by our present leaders. They deceived us with their promises of victory. I do not think we will win. Therefore, I believe that the German people should change leaders."
What, even Hitler?
She looked unhappy. "Jawohl [yessir], even the Fuehrer should be asked to resign and make place for a leader who would be more successful in conducting the war. He is very obstinate, our Fuehrer. Once he made up his mind, 'Wir kapitulieren nie [we never capitulate],' he sticks to it. That is the kind of a man he is, a man of iron will. But now that he sees he cannot win, why does he not sacrifice himself for the German nation? Such stubbornness!"
Frau Ferwents was convinced that she had made a deep impression on us, and as she was leaving she stretched out her right hand and asked with a genial smile: "May I clasp your hand in friendship?"
1946: Julian Bach, America's Germany - An Account of the Occupation
"Germany in 1946: The Guilty Plead "Not Guilty"
Picturing a future German war with England, Bismarck once prophesied that the English would be left "with only their eyes to cry." Today the lachrymal tendencies are all on the German side. There is a general moaning and groaning. This German wail is strictly on behalf of themselves. So far few German tears have been shed for the people of Warsaw, Oslo, Rotterdam, Coventry, Athens, Leningrad or a goodly number of other points.
The Germans are frankly puzzled that they should be regarded by the rest of the world as guilty for what they have done. They are simply an immoral (or at best amoral) people in the most terrible sense of the word. They can look at pictures of the concentration camps, and shake their heads in disgust, and then blame "the SS." They can accept the fact that Germany started the terror raids against cities, and shake their heads in disapproval, and then blame "the Luftwaffe." They can learn from returning veterans what their sons and nephews and third cousins did in Russia, and again shake their heads in disgust, and then blame "the Wehrmacht." The only thing they never do is shake their heads and say "that's us." The only exceptions are some individual anti-Nazis and, as a group, the Communists. Otherwise the single most common trait that Germans possess is a lack of moral responsibility as individuals. A survey on the attitudes of German POWs concludes: "It remains just as clear now as it was in the closing days of the German campaign that moral considerations are conspicuous by their absence from the ordinary prisoner's thinking about the causes of the war - and even more so from his thinking about the results of the four-year occupation of Europe by German troops." Civilian attitudes are no different. Every German knows that he was unsuccessful; few realize that they were also wrong. " (p. 253)
1989: Ervin Staub, The Roots of Evil - The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence
1999: David H. Jones, Moral Responsibility in the Holocaust - A Study in the Ethics of Character