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This is probably one of the MOST IMPORTANT books to be written on the REAL reasons that propelled Germany
to murder its own citizens. In all of the historical accounts and scholarship that I have studied, no other author
has dared to call the psychological impetus for murder and complicity to murder for what it was: JEALOUSY,
jealousy of fruits of labor and intelligence and hard work, beginning with a pronounced emphasis on education
in Jewish culture and the absence thereof in German culture. With the shift from agrarian, monarchist society to modern capitalism, the Germans simply could not compete at the university or in the marketplace with their savvier and more energetic compatriots, the Jews.
I am not Jewish and I am not German. I was an American scholarship student at the University of Freiburg in the
Black Forest for one year. My German is impeccable. I was of course well received due to my near-native fluency and my inquiring mind and my status as an American abroad. I have searched and pondered and discussed the reasons why the cold blooded killings could take place without a peep from the population, with some exceptions like Sophie Scholl and her brothers, young and crazy enough and some others like Bonhoeffer who was a true Christian. Until picking this book up at the Harvard Coop earlier this week where I found it sitting next to the latest publication of my old professor in Freiburg Juergen Osterhammel, I have never read a more convincing account as this one of the concrete, real-world sensibilities, thoughts and mentalities of the Germans for the several hundred years prior to the mass murder, exposing for all to see the ugly and long-growing roots of the eventual explosion of rage. The Aryan ideology was really a cover for an inferiority complex, as a belated nation-state and as a people without much experience with culture, knowledge and scholarship. Obviously, there are many exceptions and Germany history is replete with master composers and literary artists. This book takes us into the mind of the average person and it is the average person's sensibilities which drove the higher ups into action, since they shared those sensibilities, being one generation and one degree from the social status of the mass horde of uncouth and uneducated minds that prevailed. It was not only the elites who were responsible, that is factually incorrect. Hitler was not elite and many of his cohorts were not either. The Germans were of one mind for the most part about the Jews and a class distinction about who was responsible between them does not carry. The masses provided ripe raw material that the elites shaped and organized to achieve their unGodly aims. The Germans always need a leader. They long ago rejected the individualist, self referencing internal guide (liberalism) and preferred an external authority to guide their thoughts and behavior (collectivism).
In my mind, the anti-Americanism that I found in Germany last summer is really just another substitute for Jew-hatred.
And to underscore how true it is that it was lack of self esteem, a sense of inferiority and their own shortcomings that permitted the atrocities to happen, to this day, the Jews or half-Jews that did survive will NOT own up to their ethnic heritage publicly, but only in private among their closest friends, and that is because they are afraid of the hostility, the fear and the ostracism that would ensue. I went back to Germany last year, 20 years after my original year as a young girl of 21 years old, and I saw and perceived as an American attuned to ethnicities, that my best friend's father is Jewish, my old friend Ute is probably 100%Jewish and my old housemate Michael is half Jewish or more and they will own up to that fact to me when I let them know the unmistakable nature of my perception, but they will NOT disclose it to their neighbors and friends to this day.
And that is because to this day, the German have never held an internal accounting for their actions, they are still seeking an outside target for their own shame and sense of inferiority. To my mind, this is evidenced by the grotesque distortions regarding the US that I encountered (18 year old Charlotte and her highly educated parents said they "understood New York and Boston were growing into each other") including an unhealthy emphasis on capital punishment in America for certified criminals as a focus away from their own murder of MILLIONS of INNOCENTS. They are teaching young Germans every detail of American capital punishment and how wrong it is WITHOUT EVER introducing a discussion of their OWN recent past. The projection is unmistakable and it is very unhealthy. There are more examples which are alarming for the evidence they indicate of another round of blame, responsibility, shame and inferiority being projected onto another people, the Americans now, instead of the Jews of the past.
In fact, it is amazing how many people one will encounter in Germany with very strong opinions of America, her cities, her culture and her people without EVER having stepped a foot in the country!!!
Finally, this book is the BEST, the most HONEST and the most COMPELLING account of the REAL reasons for the inexplicable acts of a civilized people. Germans, with all of their talents and promise, would do well to heed the causes that this author exposes to the healthy light of the 21st century with the hope that the tendency to blame others, to calcify opinions without any experience will dissolve slowly over time in the minds of a habit forming people. If it does not, and Germany does not do that painful internal accounting that is long overdue, it is inevitable that they will cause trouble again in the world, and right now, I would say America is the enemy in their mind, America makes them feel inferior again, America was the victor, America is watching with its spies, America has all the inventions, America is dominant. They take no greater glee than putting America down and that is a result of their own internal unease, their own jealousy, hidden as it is under cover of (different) political opinions.