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Who is to blame for the Holocaust?  What did you do in reaction to the stages of...

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helwa | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:10 PM via web

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Who is to blame for the Holocaust?  What did you do in reaction to the stages of isolation as you lived in Germany during the Third Reich?    

Who is to blame for the Holocaust?  What did you do in reaction to the stages of isolation as you lived in Germany during the Third Reich?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:20 PM (Answer #2)

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There are any number of people and organizations you can blame for such an event, but you might also blame human nature.  The willingness of people to follow orders and carry out the barbaric actions necessary for such an action is a sad as well as horrifying thing.

You can also blame the leaders of the SS and Hitler as well as others who helped design the programs of killing and slave labor that made up the holocaust.

You can blame the leaders of other countries for looking the other way, preventing large scale emigration, not doing more to stop Hitler earlier.

It would be very difficult to feel anything other than rage and helplessness had I been living in Germany as a Jew at that time.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM (Answer #3)

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Here is one theory that has been given regarding the Holocaust (for whatever it is worth):

There are religious authorities who feel that the Holocaust has some Biblical significance. Knowledge of the Old Testament documents that the Jews of the Old Testament refused to follow God's laws as prescribed by Moses. And, every time that they failed to follow God's laws, they were punished.  So, after having been scattered across the world because of their disobedience, the Jews in Germany disobedied because they were not going to the Temple and not following their rituals and commandments and rejecting God and embracing money as their god.  Therefore--the theory goes --as in similar Biblical times, the Jews were punished.  Hitler, like the Pharoahs and other rulers of the past was their punishment since in many instances in the Bible, the Jews were punished through servitude and death.  However, as always God  forsook the Jews only for so long, and they were restored in Israel in 1948.

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blakers | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:53 AM (Answer #4)

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@kapokidd, I hardly believe that human nature is to blame. You say "The willingness of people to follow orders and carry out the barbaric actions necessary for such an action is a sad as well as horrifying thing." but you're wrong. It was not a willingness to participate in these acts. Most SS soldiers and other authorities were willing to participate, but they were forced to. If they stand up to their superiors, they might as well ask to be sent to a concentration camp, along with their family. It comes down to basic survival instincts, if your life (and your family's life) is threatened, you do whatever you need to prevent your death. Yes it's twisted, but when you look at it, those poor officers had no choice in the end. The ones that happily participated and enjoyed in the genocide of Jews were either victims of propoganda or actual anti-semites themselves.

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blakers | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:54 AM (Answer #5)

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weren't willing to participate*

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 17, 2011 at 12:17 AM (Answer #6)

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It's hard to blame any particular group. Hitler obviously takes full responsibility, but he was a sociopath and anyone should have been able to see that. The real people to blame are the ones who rode his coattails to power, using the wholesale genocide as a way to gain for themselves.
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lyssaxoxo17 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2013 at 6:58 PM (Answer #7)

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Everyone that voted and supported Hitler should be the one's to blame. And the other countries who let them invade Poland.

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