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Was it right to punish nazis?
#1
About 15 years after the second world war, the atrocities of the holocaust were not widely known in Germany. In fact, no one really knew about Auschwitz. Eventually, people in the German justice system started investigating the events of WW2, as portrayed in the movie Labyrinth of Lies.

The trials began and thousands of people who served in Auschwitz were prosecuted. Do you think it was right of the Germans to do this. After all, they were just doing their job, and defying the dictatorship would put themselves in danger. Sure, there were a lot of sadists who literally wouldn't start their breakfast without killing a person (such as Amon Göth), but how many people didn't really want to? They were not necessarily members of the Nazi Party either.

It's a thought-provoking subject for me, but in the end, I would have to say it was right to prosecute them. Firstly, it honors the memories of the victims of the holocaust. Secondly, it sets an example for the future that anyone who takes part in such acts may have consequences later.

It is quite an interesting case, overall. It's the only time German militants have been punished for doing what they were meant to. They probably never expected to get in trouble later.

What do you think? Also, who do you think is most at fault? The people that gave orders (Hitler/Himmler) or the ones that executed them? (no pun intended)
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#2
I think they should still be punished but you do bring an interesting point up. There's quite a bit of room for debate on whether or not most of the Nazis were responsible for their actions. There was an interesting experiment done in which people were ordered to shock people at extremely high voltages and most people would go all the way even after the victim was (seemingly) unconscious. People seem to do very obviously immoral things when ordered to by figures of authority - even if that figure of authority is a random person.

I also remember hearing from a lecturer that the Nazis were a lot like most people and that if you and I had been in Germany at the time, we'd be just as likely to be Nazis as anyone else. He recommended the book Ordinary Men which documents exactly how ordinary people like us were turned into Nazis, haven't read it yet but it seems intriguing (and terrifying).
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#3
By the end of the regime, 35% of the population of Germany had enrolled in the Nazi party. It was mostly regular people, as you say.

Which is why only the leaders were convicted.
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#4
all people who voted for hitler before 1933 should have been punished
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My government killed a man for no reason. They had no proof he was involved in 9/11 no one even charged him with it. He was never indicted, arrested or tried for the 1998 bombings but was gunned down like a dog in the street. One day we will find out the truth about 9/11.
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#5
(2018-05-15 00:39:01)Ali Wrote: I think they should still be punished but you do bring an interesting point up. There's quite a bit of room for debate on whether or not most of the Nazis were responsible for their actions. There was an interesting experiment done in which people were ordered to shock people at extremely high voltages and most people would go all the way even after the victim was (seemingly) unconscious. People seem to do very obviously immoral things when ordered to by figures of authority - even if that figure of authority is a random person.

I also remember hearing from a lecturer that the Nazis were a lot like most people and that if you and I had been in Germany at the time, we'd be just as likely to be Nazis as anyone else. He recommended the book Ordinary Men which documents exactly how ordinary people like us were turned into Nazis, haven't read it yet but it seems intriguing (and terrifying).

Ordinary Men, holy shit. I was reading that book just today, what a coincidence. It's a decent read if you're into this kind of stuff (I'm not that much personally but the concept was enticing). It talks about the Ordnungspolizei (Order Police) who were a German police force which were mostly made up of middle-aged German men. However, due to the threat of wartime and the need to fulfill the Final Solution, one battalion, Reserve Police Battalion 101, was ordered by higher authority to round up and gun down Jews and other targeted groups. They ended up killing around 38,000 through just being ordered to.

Wilhelm Trapp, commander of this battalion, eventually was executed post-war in late 1948. Reserve Police Battalion 101's first order of killing was in a small Polish village, Józefów. He had received orders that his battalion would need to mass murder the town's Jewish population, and gave the order to his men with tears in his eyes. Later on, he went on record saying that "If this Jewish business is ever avenged on earth, then have mercy on us Germans...but orders are orders."

The book drives in the point that these ordinary bunch of Germans were forced to commit genocide, just going along with orders and feeling quite guilty about doing so but they would probably face a greater punishment if they didn't. It's rather unfortunate that they were executed, but killing thousands of innocents still is a serious and punishable war crime.
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