A Brief Note On Victim Or Victimizer?

1972 Words Feb 19th, 2015 8 Pages
Victim or Victimizer? Germany was an anti-Semitic culture before Hitler came to power and remained anti-Semitic even after the war. Much of the German population actively supported the persecution and murder of Jews, while the rest with few expectations, remained indifferent towards their plight. The Victim or Victimizer discourse has retained such prominence in Germany is a direct result of the Nazis unprecedented brutality and use of modern technology with which they tried to annihilate the Jewish people and the Jewish culture. Confronted with the evidence of the systematic and institutionalized killing of Jews, Germans after the war could not escape the persuasiveness of the victim or victimizer dichotomy, no withstanding the adoption of various strategies of denial and avoidance. In the 1950s, Germans tried to construct a collective memory of themselves as innocent victims of Nazism and the Second World War, while eliding the role many of them had played in bringing suffering to millions of other Europeans. A number of scholars have discussed the exculpatory war stories that post-war Germans developed their claim of innocence and why German war criminals and active Nazis retold those tales was just to divert attention from their culpability by highlighting German suffering and downplaying German crimes. While less obvious is why millions of West Germans who were not directly complicit in Nazi genocide made that collective memory possible by…
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