One of the most controversial questions about the Holocaust is whether it should be seen as a universal human problem, or a unique horror perpetrated by Germans on Jews. At the heart of this question lies the work of Christopher Browning, author of numerous books on the history of the Holocaust, survivors, the Final Solution, and the story of a German auxiliary police battalion – Ordinary Men – who became killers.
This season of the Tel Aviv Review is made possible by The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, which promotes humanistic, democratic, and liberal values in the social discourse in Israel.
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4 comments on “Creating Killers”
The denouement of this outstanding conversation is so important: “If any government wants to commit genocide they won’t find any lack of willing executioners.” (Browning) Given growing ethno-nationalism in any number of states across the globe this should send shivers down all our spines. “Can we look at how societies can pull themselves back from the brink?…tell us how not to commit genocide (Scheindlin). “The earlier it stops the better…the best defense is to create and preserve a democratic culture…” (Browning). The Konrad-Adenauer Institute is dedicated to civic education and is one of your sponsors; your other sponsors have related commitments. So let’s ask the practical question: Generally what is being undertaken in Israel to this end? in Germany? in Ukraine? And specifically, to what extent are we (Americans, Israelis, Russians, Ukrainians) relating to the generation that came of age in the immediate “aftermath” of Hitler’s genocide and Stalin’s annihilation campaigns as an educational asset for those that have followed with more attenuated memories?
Looking forward to listening on my long drive from Oklahoma City to Chicago today. In the meantime, you may want to correct the following: “a unique horror perpetrated by Germans and Jews”.
Thank you for that correction – yes.
It’s still wrong in the description on the apple podcast app and I still can’t believe my eyes. Other than that love your podcast