By John Spritzler


The New Democracy articles about Facing History (Parts I, II and III) are based on the following histories and academic sources.


The Facing History And Ourselves resource book is Facing History And Ourselves: Holocaust And Human Behavior, published by the Facing History And Ourselves National Foundation, Inc., Brookline, Massachusetts, 1994. The quotations cited are, in the order they were cited, pages 363 (Einstein quote), 152 ("He had the popularity they lacked..."), 171 ("Although the [Nazi] storm troopers..."), 364 ("[T]he German people as a whole..."), 172-3 ("Will there be more money..."), 373 ("Although the Nazis..."), 282-3 ("How do you account..."), 13 ("[W]e tend to see others...').

William L. Shirer, The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich, Fawcett Crest, New York, 1950, 30th Anniversary Edition, paperback version is the main source for election results, accounts of what politicians, generals, bankers, and Nazi officials did and said leading up to Hitler's appointment as Chancellor, violence against Nazis in Prussia, and descriptions of Hitler's suppression of Communists and trade unions. The pages that cover this period are 219-282, and the specific pages cited are, in the order they were cited, pages 222-3 (Presidential election results), 233 (Reichstag election results), 231 (461 pitched battles against Nazis), 241 (Reichstag election results), 246 (Nazi party bankrupt), 247 (top Nazi Gregor Strasser sure Nazis would never obtain office by ballot), 249 (Baron Kurt von Schroeder would take over the Nazi's debts), 257 (President Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor), 244 ( General Schleicher tells Chancellor he fears general strike, civil war), 245 (President Hindenburg fears civil war), 246 (Schleicher lasts only 57 days in office), 251 (Goebbels reports Nazis no longer bankrupt), 249-251 (Baron Kurt von Schroeder says bankers will take over Nazi debts), 271 and 282 (Nazi occupation of trade unions), 259 (SDP only bargained for concessions).

John Weiss, Ideology Of Death: Why The Holocaust Happened In Germany, Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 1996, is the main source for accounts of resistance to the Nazis and descriptions of how Nazi antisemitic propaganda was carried out. The specific pages cited are, in the order they were cited, pages 145 (SDP's refusal to join with antisemitic parties), 302 (elite pressure on Hindenburg to appoint Hitler), 303 (Schliecher's 57 day tenure), 284 and 362-3 (worker resistance to the Nazis after Hitler came to power), 350 (demonstrations against Nazi euthanasia), 279 and 283 (Nazi claims that Jewish Bolsheviks exploited Christian workers), 274 and 276 and 283 (Nazi propaganda about "grain Jews" etc.), 284 (Nazi poster), 284, 294, 307 (elite support of Nazis and antisemitism), 273 (SDP food price policy), 297-8 and 356-8 (racial theories of eugenics.)

Peter Fritzsche, Germans Into Nazis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999, paperback edition, is the source for statements about German voting patterns. Page 206 cites Richard F. Hamilton's "Who Voted for Hitler?" that voting records show that the richer the precinct, the higher the Nazi vote. Page 40 argues that "Germans do not appear to have voted for the Nazis because they blamed the Jews for their troubles..."

William Sheridan Allen, The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town 1930-1935, Quadrangle Books, Chicago 1965, paperback edition, is the source of facts from a specific rural town. The pages cited are, in the order they were cited, pages 115 (homeless people pelting Nazis with stones), 251 (students refusing to sing the Nazi Horst Wessel Song), 77 (Social discrimination against Jews was practically non-existent), 48-49 (conservative role of Social Democratic Party), 180 (SDP rank and file wanted to launch a revolt against the Nazis).

Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996, p 348-9. It is particularly telling that incidents of rural Germans in town after town risking their lives to help Jews who were being marched to death should be reported by this author, since his thesis is that virtually all Germans were eager to kill the Jews. Goldhagen needed to mention the townspeople who came to the aid of the Jews in order to highlight the antisemitism of the SS guards who threatened the townspeople. He seems unaware of the fact that he inadvertently undermines his own thesis. (In "A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth" Norman Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn thoroughly refute Goldhagen's thesis.)

Norman G. Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn, A Nation On Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis And Historical Truth, "Hitler knew how little support there was for the genocide, which is why he shrouded the Final Solution in secrecy and banned public discussion of it." pg. 53, also Finkelstein supports this by citing Bankier, The Germans and the Final Solution, chapter 8; Gordon, Hitler, Germans and the 'Jewish Question, 182-6; Hans Mommsen, What Did the Germans Know About the Genocide of the Jews? in Walter H. Pehle (ed.), November 1938 (New York, 1991); Mommsen, The Realization of the Unthinkable, 108, 128, 131 n12; Steinert, Hitler's War and the Germans, 55, 140-5 passim, 335

Robert Gellately, The Gestapo and German Society, Oxford, 1990, cited in A Nation On Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis And Historical Truth, by Norman G. Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn, pages 38-9 discusses the wrath of the Gestapo when it came to enforcing racial policies destined to isolate Jews.

Leonard Gross, The Last Jews in Berlin, Carroll & Graf, New York, 1992 describes the way Jews in Berlin managed to escape the Nazis by relying on the help of non-Jews. It includes an anecdote about how the sister of the fallen German WWI soldier, Horst Wessel, aided Jews to escape the Nazis, which is especially interesting because the unofficial Nazi anthem was the "Horst Wessel Song."



FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES (RESOURCE BOOK). Regarding the Milgram experiment: "the majority of normal, average subjects behave in evil (felonious) ways..." pg. 211. "How do average even admirable people become dehumanized..." pg. 210. "What, Facing History asks,  is blind obedience?...What encourages obedience? Is it fear of punishment?... " pg. 212. Regarding the Zimbardo experiment: "the ugliest, most base, pathological side of human nature surfaced." pg 211-212; reference to Societies is note 4 pg. 251.

Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority, Harper and Row, New York, 1974. "A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do,..." pg. 189. "Ideological justification is vital in obtaining willing [his emphasis] obedience..." pg. 142. "The experiment is presented to our subjects in a way that stresses its positive human values..." pg. 176. Milgram's next sentence, interestingly, is "By contrast, the objectives that Nazi Germany pursued were themselves morally reprehensible, and were recognized as such by many Germans."

Zimbardo prison experiment web site: http://www.prisonexp.org/

Philip G. Zimbardo, Michael R. Leippe , The Psychology of Attitude Change and Social Influence, McGraw-Hill, c1991., see the section called "Some Origins of Prejudiced Attitudes" for his explanation of prejudice.

Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon, The Death of an American Jewish Community", The Free Press, New York, 1992, pg. 3, 8, 108, 166, 167, 272, 273, 282 for a discussion of 'redlining' as referred to in: "It is especially audacious for Boston bankers to preach 'tolerance' to teenagers since it is well known that it was Boston's bankers who used discriminatory mortgage policies (the notorious 'redlining' of neighborhoods) in the 1960's to create black residential ghettos."


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