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The problems related to the killing by the Einsatzgruppen - Term Paper Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Einsatzgruppen Einsatzgruppen were the operational, mobile killing units of the Security Service of the Nazi regime that were employed in German-occupied territories. They were primarily in charge for mass executions, mostly through cold blood shootings (Macmillan Publishing Co, 1990)…
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The problems related to the killing by the Einsatzgruppen
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Download file to see previous pages An example was police battalion 101 that was charged with extermination of the polish Jewry, and ‘pacifying’ their regions (Goldhagen, 1996, 239). Einsatzgruppen original role is that they often accompanied the military, with instruction to combat anyone behind the frontline, hostile, or bent to sabotage the Reich. However, what they actually did is that they were involved in the deportation, persecution and torture of the Jews in the most despicable manner .In addition, they were often employed in retributive killings whenever Germany lost a soldier in the occupied territory (Goldhagen, 1996, 240). According to Goldhagen (1996, 247) the method employed was shooting their victims in huge trenches, abandoned quarries, ravines and ditches. However, problems developed with this mode of execution. Not all members of these squads were comfortable on the cruelty meted out on their victims. Cold blood executions, especially of women and children were taking a toll on the mental state of the executioners. Some committed suicide, some went mad, and others resulted to massive drinking to combat the memories (Hoss, 1996, 197). For instance, according to Goldhagen (1996, 240), commander of Battalion 101, major Trapp was shaken and wept, following the retributive killing of 200 poles. ...
He suffered emotionally and mentally but could not show emotion openly. He became dissatisfied with himself and his main responsibility. This negates the theory advanced by Goldhagen (1996) that all Germans willfully participated in the killing to quench their cruelty and their hate for the Jews. Goldhagen (1996, 246) argues that the Germans wanted to publicly humiliate the Jews, by example shaving their beards which was a symbol of their manhood. Therefore, they deemed their role as that of obeying orders given by Hitler without questioning the morality of the orders. According to Hoss (1996, 161), many people secretly doubted Hitler’s decisions but he could not reveal this. This tally with Browning’s (1995, 99) account, who depicts one Major Trapp as crying the whole day, after he gave an order for the mass killing of innocent Jews. However, according to Goldhagen (1996, 249), all those who participated in the killings could walk away or withdraw from the assignment without any ramifications. In fact, he gives account of an officer who was promoted, even after he had withdrawn from killing assignments. This is contradicted by Browning (1995) adds that those who participated in the killings did not know the specifics of their assignments until it was very late. In fact, Hoss (1996, 163) narrates that after held discussions with Eichmann, realized that there was no escaping the conflict at all. However, according to Borowski (1995, 24) those who participated in the killing viewed themselves to be killing under duress. They were forced to do so. For instance, he narrates a case where an SS officer threatened to shoot him for failure to carry a dead child. In addition, Browning (1996, 29) argues that participation was out of fear of being labeled ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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