A Democratic German Feminist’s Response to the Catastrophe of National Socialism
Chapter 6: False Ideals: Master Race, Religious Mission, Faith in the Führer, Tainted Healthcare and Perverted Justice
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False Ideals: Master Race, Religious Mission, Faith in the Führer, Tainted Healthcare and Perverted Justice
In a thoughtful New Year’s reflection, dated 6 January 1942, Anna Haag reviewed the state of the nation:
The collective moral deterioration of the German people, their voracious gulping-down of false ideals (the concept of race, the claim to be racially superior, to have a world mission, etc) with all their appalling consequences, prove just how submissive a nation can become whose members have been deprived of all scope for thinking for themselves. A single individual, a single party apparatus thinks for everyone. All ideas are filtered and poured into the brains of the masses. And since at the same time arrangements have been made for anyone who repudiates this ‘wealth of ideas’ to starve or to die a miserable death in a concentration camp or prison, the result is that the overwhelming majority obediently switch off their own thinking apparatus, for after all everyone wants to live and love and eat and drink.1
Such passages take us back to the question with which this book began: How was it possible for a highly educated people with outstanding intellectual achievements to endorse an ideology that made it a crime to think ← 107 | 108 → for yourself? Anna’s answer anticipates the judgment of modern historians: that National Socialism derived its power from perverted ideals, backed by an apparatus of coercion that reduced the...
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