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Wed Jan 27, 2016, 04:48 AM

Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity In The Holocaust (Interactive online source)

Millions of ordinary people witnessed the crimes of the Holocaust—in the countryside and city squares, in stores and schools, in homes and workplaces. Across Europe, the Nazis found countless willing helpers who collaborated or were complicit in their crimes. What motives and pressures led so many individuals to abandon their fellow human beings? Why did others make the choice to help?

Some Were Neighbors, Workers, Teenagers, Policemen, Religious Leaders, Teachers, Friends

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Reply Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity In The Holocaust (Interactive online source) (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Jan 2016 OP
NanceGreggs Jan 2016 #1
Name removed Jan 2016 #2
JustAnotherGen Jan 2016 #3
JudyM Jan 2016 #4
proverbialwisdom Jan 2016 #5

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Wed Jan 27, 2016, 05:24 AM

1. You are asking questions …

… that will never be answered.

“What motives and pressures led so many individuals to abandon their fellow human beings? Why did others make the choice to help?”

We’ll never know.

What we DO know is this: Asking those questions causes all of us to do a little soul-searching. They prompt us to ask ourselves what we would have done – will do should such a circumstance present itself again in our lifetime.

I believe that ultimately, a lesson has been learned here. I believe that there are people the world over who have learned how easily they can be persuaded to abandon their humanity. I believe that when we ask ourselves “would I choose to help”, most of us say we would – and in the saying, we have already made our choice before the need to choose has even presented itself.

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” Anne Frank.

I’m with Anne on this one. The lessons of the Holocaust have been brutal, unflinching in their reality, unimaginable in their horror – but they have been learned by many nonetheless. What remains is the need to continue teaching those lessons, so that the phrase “never again” actually becomes the reality of NEVER AGAIN .


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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Wed Jan 27, 2016, 05:42 AM

3. Kick

For the question and the source itself!

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Wed Jan 27, 2016, 12:39 PM

4. Cognitive/social framing, IMO.

It's similar to when the circumstances and culture of an organization lead employees to go along with unethical business practices, essentially making unethical decisions themselves. Like the price calculus of deciding vs reengineering the Ford Pinto in favor of paying off the wrongful death claims that would result from future gas tank explosions that were estimated to be likely.

It takes real awareness to step back and realize our mental framing is too narrow in strong cultural contexts. This is why mindfulness training and hotlines and whistleblower protection are so important...

Remember also the "shocking" results of the Milgram experiments in post-WWII US and replicated by other researchers in other countries as well ... Most (>60%) subjects universally are willing to really hurt (they were led to believe their actions were causing extreme pain) others simply because an "authority figure" in a lab coat coaxed them.

Very interesting, deeper discussion on the wiki page: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

It would be fascinating to understand more about those ~40% of people who refused. What can science find out about them and try to teach the rest of us? And while there were certainly many, many more unknown Righteous during Nazi control, certainly they didn't account for 40% of the occupied populace. Certainly this was also much, much more oppressively powerful framing. But what do we as a species take away from this as a principle of behavior for ourselves and larger society? How much suffering do we allow?

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