40 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. One Berliner “watched his fellow passengers as he trav-eled past the burning Fasenenstrasse synagogue between the S-Bahnstations Savignyplatz and Zoologischer Garten the next morning:‘only a few looked up to see out the window, shrugged their shoul-ders, and went back to their paper.
    2. certainly indicated outrage at the brutality of theNazis but also astonishing unawareness of the generally depress-ing conditions in which Jews lived in the Third Reich. Gossiperswere basically passive, telling about but not intervening in dramaticevents.
    3. Neighbors in Wedding who remarkedthat “the Jews haven’t done anything to us” despised antisemitismbut upheld the separation between “us” and “them” at which itaimed.85 Custom and habit gave way to self-conscious and inhib-ited interactions structured by the unambiguous knowledge of race
    4. The startling events of the spring of 1933, when more andmore Germans realized that they were not supposed to shop inJewish stores and when German companies felt compelled to fireJewish employees and remove Jewish businessmen from corporateboards, moved Germany quite some distance toward the ultimategoal of “Aryanizing” the German economy.
    5. Public humiliations such as these depended on bystanders willing totake part in the spectacle. They accelerated the division of neigh-borhoods into “us” and “them.
    6. the Nazis considered theJewish threat to be “lethal” and active, a perspective that gavetheir assault on the Jews a sense of urgency and necessity that madeGerman citizens more willing to go along
    7. Millions of people acquired new vocabularies, joined Nazi organi-zations, and struggled to become better National Socialists. Whatthe diaries and letters report on is not simply the large numberof conversions among friends and relatives but the individual en-deavor to become a Nazi.
    8. Hermann Aue “(very Left),” thoughtthe Nazis would be gone within a year, so he was inclined to stickwith the Social Democrats. But several Communists who had re-portedly joined a local SA group suspected that the Nazis would bearound for some time.
    9. The euthanasia “actions” anticipated the Holocaust. Figuringout by trial and error the various stages of the killing process, fromthe identification of patients to the arrangement of special trans-ports to the murder sites to the killings by gas in special chambersto the disposal of the bodies, and mobilizing medical experts whoworked in secret with a variety of misleading euphemisms to con-ceal their work
    10. In Berchtesgarden, in southern Germany, schoolteachers an-notated the tables of ancestors prepared by schoolchildren andhanded them over to public-health officials
    11. “the police have theresponsibility to safeguard the organic unity of the German people,its vital energies, and its facilities from destruction and disintegra-tion.” This definition gave the police extremely wide latitude. Any-thing that did not fit the normative standards of the people’s com-munity or could be construed as an agent of social dissolutiontheoretically fell under the purview of the police.
    12. Did shesympathize a little bit with people who were not considered wor-thy? Perhaps so, because Gisela recalled the incident in postwar in-terviews; but other Germans continued to improve themselves bygrooming themselves as Aryans, sitting up straighter, filling out thetable of ancestors, and fitting in at the camps, which gave legiti-macy to the selection process that had created Gisela’s anxiety inthe first place
    13. We have to go with the times, even if thereare many, many things that we do not agree with. To swim againstthe current just makes matters worse.”
    14. vast network of Gemeinschaftslager or com-munity camps was established across Germany; at one point or an-other, most Germans passed through them. Alongside concentra-tion camps and killing camps, the training camps were fundamentalparts of the Nazi racial project.

      gemeinschaftslager - community / training camps to educate germans on racial ideology

    15. But it also made demands on ordinary Germans, who neededto visualize the Volk as a vital racial subject, to choose appropriatemarriage partners, and to accept “limits to empathy.”
    16. A wide rangeof public health-care professionals from doctors to nurses to social-welfare officers were enlisted in the effort to locate undesirables.
    17. The journalistSebastian Haffner noted that people in his circle in Berlin suddenlyfelt authorized to express an opinion on the “Jewish question,”speaking fluently about quotas on Jews, percentages of Jews, anddegrees of Jewish influence
    18. a domestic-sounding vocabulary; a rhetoric of “cleaning,” “sweeping clean,”“housecleaning” strengthened the tendency to see politics in thedrastic terms of friends and foes
    19. thousands of“ethnocrats” and other professionals mobilized to build the newbiomedical structures of the Third Reich. They oriented their ca-reers and ambitions toward the wide spaces that Nazi Germany’sracial vision had opened up.
    20. As parents, educators, volunteers, and soldiers, millions of Ger-mans played new parts in cultivating Aryan identities and segregat-ing out unworthy lives. They did not always do so willingly, andthey certainly did not anticipate the final outcomes of total war andmass murder.
    21. most Germans had little reason tothink of the Third Reich as particularly sinister. “It was possible tolive in Germany throughout the whole period of the dictatorship,”
    22. More than ten mil-lion Germans obtained a certificate of genetic health, which wasnecessary in order to claim entitlements such as marriage loans.
    23. the sheerforce of the imagery and the busy schedules of national acclamationmade dissent politically risky; but even more: dissent also appearedto be futile.
    24. He believed Germans feltthat “it’s just us now” when they lived without Jews. “Just us” alsoexpressed the closed circle in which Germans could see and experi-ence “ourselves” as “we are” and as “we have become.”
    25. The eventfulness of the Day of Potsdam was the reason “all three,father, mother, and Emma” Dürkefälden, had gone to Kaune’s tav-ern, but it was also what they themselves produced by going there

      self perpetuating / self fulfilling cycle-- by drawing in crowds, nazis could pass off the illusion of unanimous support and community among germans, national unity

    26. Germans even went to warwith preprinted diaries that left space for snapshots. All this was anacknowledgment of the desire to be part of and to share the Ger-man history that was being made.
    27. but even then nothing made the “com-munity of fate” more compelling than “the conviction that therewill no longer be future for Germany after a lost war.”

      sunk-cost fallacy-- they put so much investment into this, they can't back out

    28. “Ifonly the good old days would come back again, just one more time.Why do we have to have this dreadful war, which has disrupted ourpeaceful lives, broken our happiness, and dissolved all our big andlittle hopes for a new house into nothing?”
    29. On the eve of the war, in 1939, most Germans ex-perienced the Third Reich as a cherished period of economic andpolitical stability. These were achievements that the population wasdetermined to hold on to.
    30. One-potmeals on the first Sunday of every month provided opportunitiesfor party representatives to go from door to door in the evening asthey collected the pfennigs that had been “saved,” and to snoop.

      volunteer activity as a PR cover for nazis, an opportunity to see who might be a subversive, and to create atmosphere of fear among people who didn't contribute to the cause. very red-scare "snitch on your neighbor"-esque

    31. these auxiliary organiza-tions gave Germans semiofficial responsibilities as they collecteddonations, distributed coal, or trained as air-raid wardens.

      ordinary civilians take on leadership positions -- social mobility, chances to move up the ladder. even if not personally aligned w nazi ideology, pretty good choice to work under them in order to boost your standing. plus boosts patriotism

    32. The SA, Hitler Youth, and Reich LaborFront worked the same way, striving to identify a new generationof leaders drawn from all social classes;

      more social climb opportunities esp from younger gen-- ppl who grow up w the regime are easier to influence

    33. Coordination was a process of disso-lution and affiliation.
    34. Working-classchoirs had a better chance of survival if they rewrote club statutesto exclude Social Democratic activists from leadership posts.
    35. The ubiquitous fundraising made it possible for poorer peo-ple like the Dürkefäldens to participate more fully in public life:dinner or snacks were served at party events and entry fees lifted atsport competitions.
    36. National Socialism offered acomprehensive vision of renewal, which many Germans found ap-pealing, but they combined it with the alarming specter of nationaldisintegration.
    37. He repeatedly described Ger-many as a nation that had come home to itself. While Erich hatedthe Nazis, he loved the Third Reich.
    38. the desire to be part ofnational unity was so strong that it pulled even an anti-Nazi such asErich into the new political community
    39. The strong presence of the police,who tended to sympathize with the National Socialists, restrictedthe mobility of opponents, while Nazi toughs broke into SocialDemocratic or trade union offices and Nazi officials banned so-cialist newspapers.
    40. “I was overcomewith a burning desire to belong to these people for whom it was amatter of life and death.” Maschmann herself was drawn to the“socialist tendency” of the Nazi movement, the idea of the people’scommunity,