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The first stage was the mass murder of Polish Jews and Polish intellectuals as well as psychiatric patients in Germany in the autumn of 1939. Second was the murder of Soviet Jews in the summer of 1941 and third was the murder of Polish Jews in the fall of 1941. The last phase was the transit and murder upon arrival of Western Europe Jews in the spring of 1942 (Stargardt, 2001).
Hitler, Heydrich, and Himmler are the primary players in the war. Hitler and his men were the catalysts for a people already radicalized and ready to commit murder. The Germans who executed the Jews acted not merely on orders but from an ambition to carry out mass murder. Historian Michael Wildt noted the police became more radical and anti-Semitic in the years leading to the war (Stargardt, 2001). The SS felt nostalgia for the World War One where Germany lost, thus resulted to extreme anti-Semitism based on race.
During the Nazi war against the Jews, most Germans collaborated in the killings as evidenced by doctors and nurses participation in killing psychiatric patients. Elsewhere, men from cities with least Nazi influence participated in large numbers in the pre-industrial killings in Germany. The men faced their targets before killing them on the edge of the forest. The inexperienced part-time reservist police had been given the option to take night guard but decided to participate in the mass killing turning them into bloodthirsty murderers. Goldhagen notes that peer pressure was not enough to instigate the national wide drive for murders. There is an insight of the emotional detachment of the killers owing to the industrial technology of the death camps and divisions of labor.
Germany did not make public its acts of genocide. The population was ignorant and silent thus approved the governments actions by willful ignorance and collusion. The Germans did not want to revisit the Jewish mass murder cases. Therefore, when Goebbels decided to shot a movie of unearthing Polands mass
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