History-Nazis Roots (SOCIO)
GERMAN EARLY GENOCIDES The roots of Nazis German Colonial Southwest Africa and The Late Era Ottoman Empire Connections to the Nazi Holocaust See also: Faces of Fascists (separate page) See also Ottoman Empire Genocides (in System Abuse) TERMS A few terms the Germans used early on which set the stage for a mind frame for wide-scale genocides and cruel treatment of prisoners in enclosed spaces are listed below. The critical issue about terminology is that it provides a conceptual map so that a word can summon a set of ideas which bypass critical thinking. It is as if a word is in a spider web linked to other words, and each word is connected to a button that, once pressed, lights up something in the brain. The words are like small chests containing a mixed collection of feelings, visual images, memories and factual data. Another issue is that a host of terms creates a mini-world of reality, so that when used together a certain slant or orientation is operant. A small town can become an island to itself based on the words it uses to describe its experiences and objects. We become and operate from our words and their associated meanings. For example, the word lebensraum (defined below) reflected a German-specific view about specialness, expansion-based needs and a people with an important destiny to unfold. A Few Key Terms Lebensraum: term created during German colonial era of Southwest Africa (per Madley). Definition: “The main reason for the Nazi expansion into its neighboring western countries was built upon the principle of lebensraum. Even though it translates literally to mean only “living space,” lebensraum carried with it the desire for the Nazis to expand into other countries to provide living space for the growing German race.” Konzentrationslager. term created during German colonial era of Southwest Africa (per Madley). Concentration camp. Vernichtung (per Madley). Annihilation Sources of terms Benjamin Madley, From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe, (European History Quarterly, Vol 35-3, 2005). Holocaust Teacher Resource Center. http://www.holocaust-trc.org/the-holocaust-education-program-resource-guide/lebensraum/ (Accessed 03/26/2016) NAZI ROOTS Although we can ask ourselves if some of these ideas originated with earlier conquerors of the Germans, we have to assume there is a German core behind the atrocities because Germans were in fact seen leading The Holocaust. Conspiracy theories suggest additional hidden hands, like American businesses, Zionists and colonial imperialists; there do seem to be evidence for each of these concerns, but we cannot discount that Germans (including an Austrian German Hitler) were seen actually doing the bad deeds. Not discounting additional invisible fingers, we still must hold that era of Germans who participated in Nazi atrocities accountable. As such, we can look for influences in Germanic roots which might have lead to such behavior. For example, nearby German-related people like the Austrians and Hungarians had been subsumed and influenced by both the Mongolians in earlier centuries and the Ottoman Empire much more recently. Americans tend to lump Germans in with the rest of Western Europe, but the German-Austrian situationwas and is more complex than that. Multiple ethnic manifestations were present in Hitler’s neck of the woods right before and during his growing up years and early adulthood. For those not part of that era or location, it can be difficult to untangle the various cultures, religions, languages, races and genetic mixes that covered vast geographic areas and highly variegated terrain. As Americans, we need to be on alert to the subtleties and nuanced strains of that area and time period. On top of that, we need to be sensitive to any Asian influences, both from the time of Ghengis Khan and coming in through the Asian parts of the Ottoman Empire. On top of this complexity, there is the additional complex issue of the German-Bolshevik connection. The Bolssheviks were funded by the Germans early on, and although later Nazis and Soviets fought, there is even to this day an underlying connection there running through the military and secret services. There is no denying that no matter the actual origins, the Germans by the turn of the 20th century carried with them a pack of terms and concepts which fueled anti-racism, expansionism, a sense of race-based importance and destiny, earthy ruggedness (going back to nature and one’s roots) combined with state-of-art science and more. The terms used connect with emotion and driving pulse, for one thing. Words evoke feelings. Words also narrow ideas to a certain range, so that other ideas are not let in. They also divide or separate the world into this or that, us and them. This is where the concept of the other comes in, because the Germans early on used colonialist concepts of white superiority to justify coming in on other homelands often inhabited by persons of color living differently. If others can be withered down to the notion they are less evolved, ugly, simpletons and near-apes, it is easier to justify being thieves who are cruel and violent. Terms go along with world views which justify taking land, resources, murder and take-overs. Other Sources - Brief Smithsonian Magazine: Brutal Genocide Colonial Africa Finally Gets Its Deserved Recognition http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/brutal-genocide-colonial-africa-finally-gets-its-deserved-recognition- 180957073/?no-ist Daily Mail UK: Hitlers Holocaust Blueprint Africa Concentration Camps http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314399/Hitlers-Holocaust-blueprint-Africa-concentration-camps-used-advance- racial-theories.html Race and History: Concentration Camps Were Used by The Germans in Southwest Africa http://raceandhistory.com/selfnews/viewnews.cgi?newsid1005964774,9800,.shtml FASEBJ: German Science and Black Racism - Roots of the Nazi Holocaust http://www.fasebj.org/content/22/2/332.full Sources in More Detail Bonnell, Andrew G., ed. American Witness in Nazi Frankfurt: The Diaries of Robert W. Heingartner, 1928-1937. Berne, IN, USA: Peter Lang AG, 2011. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/apus/detail.action?docID=10589214 (accessed February 26, 2016). The insights gleaned from reading yet another firsthand account of the early Nazi years cannot be overestimated because each voice offers an additional perspective and provides details that might be lacking elsewhere. Robert Heingartner was an American consular in Frankfurt who gave insightful information about the background for the growing Nazi presence, including the Depression. He describes the growing tensions against the Jews, the sense of shortages and uncertainties on the part of Germans, and the general sense of how an apparently unlikely fringe radical group can rise to power. Caplan, Jane, and Wachsmann, Nikolaus, eds. “The dynamics of destruction 1933-1945.” Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories. Florence, KY: Routledge, 2009. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/apus/detail.action?docID=10361783 (accessed February 26, 2016). This is a scholarly secondary resource, and offers a good introduction to both the development and mixed typologies of concentration camps in Nazi Germany. It divides the camps into eras including the early 1930s at the time of Nazi take- over. It provides needed background information as to the hard realities of concentration camps to contrast Nazi era ones from earlier ones in colonial Germany in South West Africa. Gross, Daniel A. “A Brutal Genocide in Africa Finally Gets Its Deserved Recognition.” http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/brutal-genocide-colonial-africa-finally-gets-its-deserved-recognition- 180957073/?no-ist (Accessed March 23, 2016) Although the article cannot be used as a scholarly item as it is popular literature, there are excellent directly applicable primary source photographs with the headings adjoining the photos listed below – see the article for the photos. Primary Sources - Historic photos and early era artwork from the German Colonial Phase in South West Africa of direct interest to this work: Historic Photo #1: “Images of survivors of the Herero genocide foreshadowed similar scenes from the liberation of Nazi death camps. Wikipedia Commons.” Historic Era Artwork #1: “This illustration depicting a German woman being attacked by black men was typical of what Germans would have been told about the Herero genocide: that white citizens, women particularly, were in danger of attack (Wikimedia Commons).” Historic Era Artwork #2 about Native Uprisings - “Another example of the misinformation fed to the public. (Wikimedia Commons)” Williams, Michael. Hitlers Holocaust Blueprint Africa Concentration Camps Used Advanced Racial [Discrimination] Theories, 2010. Book Review of The Kaiser's Holocaust David Olusaga and Caspar W. Erichsen. Germany's Forgotten Genocide And The Colonial Roots Of Nazism http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314399/Hitlers-Holocaust-blueprint-Africa-concentration-camps-used-advance- racial-theories.html (Accessed March 23, 2016) A non-scholarly book review source used here for its historic primary source inclusions of photo material and eyewitness quotes on the German Colonial South West Africa concentration camp issue. These era pieces directly expose the hardships the Africans faced at the hands of German brutality. We learn of harsh whippings and shootings at women and their children on Shark’s Island, the site of the concentration camp. There are also good primary source photos of the later Nazi era concentration camps like Auschwitz which contrast with the precursor ones in South West Africa. Langbehn, Volker, and Salama, Mohammad, eds. German Colonialism: Race, the Holocaust and Postwar Germany. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press, 2011. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 19 March 2016 Kater, Michael H. Hitler Youth. Cambridge: Harvard, 2004. A well-rounded book on the development of a programmed youth organization throughout its term during the Nazi period, the parts of interest here are the background information provided for both Hitler young people, but also the overall growing mindset that helped give energy to the movement early on. The progression is shown from an earlier youth group somewhat comparable to the young hippies of the 1960s who wanted a break from materialism and staid lifestyles built on the growing industrialism. From the seeds of some of the lost aspects of that youth culture, a new one developed reliant on mind controlled order. Children were drawn in as early as ten into programs that replaced earlier innocuous playtime into military-oriented preparations. Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: 1889-1936, Hubris. New York: Norton & Company, 1999. Good background material for the early days of Hitler’s growing regime. Solid information about the Viennese mentors of Georg Ritter von Schonerer and Karl Lueger. We learn a good deal about how Hitler developed his antisemitism and national socialist leanings from Schonerer and from the general tone of things in Vienna before he left for Germany under duress for dodging the Viennese military. We also get a feeling for the sense of Prussian and Bohemian connections in Vienna for both Hitler and Schonerer. We also see a growing number of Jews, including poor ghetto oriented ones, coming in from Russian and other Eastern European provinces into Vienna furthering racial tensions. There is also a rift between the upper crust German Austrian half as a minority and the growing Slavs in terms of language and political power causing the Germanic types to long for a more pure racial setup. Kirsch, Adam. The System: Two New Histories Show How the Nazi Concentration Camps worked. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/04/06/the-system-books-kirsch (Accesed March 24, 2016) Book review only. This provides an excellent background of the buildup to usage of concentration camps and their actual manning and usage under Himmler by reviewing two books of history, one We are given a good feeling that Himmler was more directly linked to the concentration camps one by Nikolaus Wachsmann titled KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps than Hitler although Hitler seems to have had the beginning of ideas to put Jews in them even as far back as 1921. Discussed are terms (like Konzentrationlager, , K.L.) and how things operated under Hitler, Himmler and the S.S.: “The K.L. was defined from the beginning by its legal ambiguity. The camps were outside ordinary law, answerable not to judges and courts but to the S.S. and Himmler.” Sarah Helm, in the new book, “Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women” discusses erratic concentration camp life, the strange kind of rules for getting helpful supplies into the camps from outside people and other things. This review does a good job of breaking out the difference between death camps (like where Jews were gassed) and concentration camps, pointing out that the former were not holding areas like concentration camps because people who were sent there often were only there a few hours before death. The distinction is Auschwitz which started in 1940 as a K.L. but later became a death camp for gassing Jews and others, as well. Kiffner, John. “Armenian Genocide of 1915: An Overview.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/ref/timestopics/topics_armeniangenocide.html (Accessed March 24, 2016) Turkish massacres of Armenians: concentration camps, labor camps, massive numbers of deaths. 1915-1917 largest death tolls, giving this “genocide” rating but things were happening against the Armenians across several years starting near the turn of the 19th century also in the early 1920s. “The University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has compiled figures by province and district that show there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the empire in 1914 and only about 387,800 by 1922.” “The New York Times covered the issue extensively — 145 articles in 1915 alone by one count — with headlines like “Appeal to Turkey to Stop Massacres.” The Times described the actions against the Armenians as “systematic,” “authorized, and “organized by the government.” Significant German link? “Following the surrender of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the Three Pashas fled to Germany, where they were given protection.” One of these was killed by an underground Armenian movement in Berlin in 1921. Pappas, Gregory. “Nazis, Turks Connected in their Respective Holocausts.” 06/01/2015. http://www.pappaspost.com/nazis-turks-connected-in-their-respective-holocausts/ (Accessed March 24, 2016) This review brings up the connection between the Ottoman Turks and the Nazis. Of note are the German training officers who observed “death marches and atrocities” and later became widespread higher level Wehrmacht military personnel. In addition to actual people linked between Turkey’s most pronounced Armenian Genocide period in 1915 and German World War II efforts, there are parallels in operations and structures. For examples: buildings and other structures, victim transport modes, mass number killing styles. Rail deportation, primitive gas chambers using caves. Key is the German Deutsche Bank which was physically present in the area funding a railway system. Primary source historic photos have come from this bank’s archive. One of the photos provides an important shot of German Kaiserreichsheer officers next to Turkish officers in front of skulls of the killed Armenians in 1915. Through Uranek’s book The Great Fire we learn of three ways Germany in World War I had an interest in or started developing a relationship with Turkey are: 1. Turkeys oil and minerals 2. Berlin-to-Baghdad rail 3. Germany’s military bolstering of the Ottoman army through education. Twenty-five concentration camps were created to contain primarily Christian groups. Of significance also is the creation of fake “labor camps” which unsuspecting victims were to be sent, but instead they were taken to another location where many thousands died through hunger or direct murder. (This without question brings to mind the “vacation spots” Jews were deceived about as they were transferred by train to labor, concentration or death camps by the Nazis later in World War II.) Hitler, Ataturk, and German-Turkish Book Review of Stefan Ihrig. http://armenianweekly.com/2015/10/30/hitler- ataturk/ (Accessed March 24, 2016) Book Review Only out of Armenian Weekly about Stefan Ihrig, author of Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler. This book review offers some primary source quotes which are used for the purposes of this report in lieu of the actual book because of time constraints in getting hold of the book in time. Notice there is also a book review listed elsewhere in this bibliography on the same book. Between the two reviews, it is possible to extract some usable material of the book’s contents. Hurriyet Daily News. “Ataturk In the Nazi Nation – Book Review of Stefan Ihrig’s Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler.” http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ataturk-in-the-nazi-imagination.aspx?PageID=238&NID=75743&NewsCatID=474 25, 2016) Hachtmann, R. (2010). Fordism and unfree labour: Aspects of the work deployment of concentration camp prisoners in german industry between 1941 and 1944. International Review of Social History, 55(3), 485-513. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020859010000416Lepage, Jean-Denis G.G. Hitler Youth, 1922-1945: An Illustrated History. London: Mcfarland, 2009. This book does more than just talk about youth during the Nazi era. It gives a brief but solid background into the state of affairs or seeding ground for Hitler and his supporters. Listed are the temporary false hope after World War I (the frolicking 1920s) followed by the Great Depression of the early 1930s. People were looking for economic relief, but also someone who could take hold and convert the welfare states and homelessness surrounding people. It was as if more order, more control, would make things feel safer. We need to understand seeds for developing youth as mind controlled subjects feeding into the Nazi system started as early as 1922 and did not rise up suddenly when Hitler took over in 1933. For example, the author describes “Tusk” as a nickname for Eberhard Kobel who introduced highly militaristic ideas to his own controlled youth groups, but he was not as focused on wiping out Jews or taking over as Hitler was later. He was part of a budding movement of various youth leaders and followers which acted as the fuel and idea base for Nazis later. Ihrig, Stefan. Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler. MA: Harvard College, 2016. Olusaga, David and Caspar W. Erichsen. The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and The Colonial Roots of Nazism. UK: Faber. 2010 Shirer,William. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941. Baltimore: John Hopkins, 2002. Originally published in 1941, this book was written as a diary by an American CBS radio broadcaster in the 1930s during a time when things were building up in Nazi Germany. Both Shirer and his diary notes at the time are so important other sources reference him either as of central importance or as one of several key observers at the time. Smith, Roger W., Erik Markusen, and Robert J. Lufton. “Professional Ethics and the Denial of Armenian Genocide.” (Oxford Journal, Holocaust Genocide Studies (1995)9 (1): 1-22,1995). Smith, Roger W., Erik Markusen, and Robert J. Lufton. “Professional Ethics and the Denial of Armenian Genocide.” (Oxford Journal, Holocaust Genocide Studies (1995)9 (1): 1-22,1995). This article discusses how the Turkish government used a historian in an American university to cover up the Armenian genocide. It then goes on and offers a useful history of it. One of the important uses is a quoted primary source who sent a telegram revealing his awareness of a focused mass killing, but also showing he was not one hundred percent certain it was going to be fully implemented. He was part of a secret organization aimed against the Armenians. There was a centralized sense of order to the vendetta in many parts of Turkey against Christians. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. National Days of Remembrance. “Early warning signs.” http://www.ushmm.org/m/pdfs/20141010-dor-posterset-warningsigns.pdf (accessed February 23, 2016). This website provides clear information with poignant visual information showing the various kinds of disturbing hints as well as more overt signs that something was up with Hitler before his take-over. It covers the Austrian anti-Semitic policy Anschluss, the Hungarian adoption of anti-Semitic laws, the lack of open door responses from the international community to let Jews emigrate out of the growing troubled areas, increasingly broadening legal restrictions, and ways to make Jews self-identify (like badges) and more. The web pages are set up rather like posters which accounts for the name in the title, and there is an anchored time-line on the top of each page so no matter where you are on a page, it is visible. Urenek, Lou. The Great Fire: One American’s Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide. HarperCollins, 2015. A relatively known account of American involvement in rescuing Greeks and Armenians from the invading Turks in 1922. Wachsmann, Nikolaus. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015 Wick, Steve. The long night: William L. Shirer and the rise and fall of the Third Reich. New York: Palgrave, 2011. Steve Wick provides a third party view with some additional background information beyond the first hand diary account by William Shirer (listed above). He started work for the Hearst owned CBS in 1934 and provided live radio coverage about Germany and other connected countries during some of the most dramatic early events of the Nazi take-over, like the annexation of Austria and the domination of Paris. Shirer saw to the heart of the situation immediately and was one of the first to warn of the upcoming danger of Hitler. Zimmerer, Jurgen. Colonialism and the Holocaust.
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