Modernism and the Holocaust Essay

1932 WordsApr 7, 20078 Pages
The emergence of the Holocaust and the Nazi party views can largely be determined as a result of modernity, as a reaction against the times. Yet, at the same time it can be argued that the National Socialist party can be characterized as a modern development. Modris Eksteins, George Mosse, and Zygmundt Bauman offer an in-depth look into both the anti-modern and modern aspects of the Nazi movement and the resulting Holocaust. Ekstein's work proves to be the most thorough of the three works in following the growth and progress of the Nazi party and Hitler's rise to power. Bauman covers more of the political side of the National Socialists, and especially appeals to morality and ethics, or rejection thereof, to portray his very…show more content…
He believes that a culture "has a soul, whereas Civilization is ‘the most external and artificial state of which humanity is capable," (Mosse, 6). If a country's people accept their culture and reject the civilization it means for many the end to alienation from their society. This theory parallels Ekstein's explanation of ‘The Spirit of Aust' among the German people who felt unified and devoted to their country. Mosse explains how these feelings were contrived as a response to the "complacent bourgeois society, which was satisfied with Germany as it was and gave little thought to Germany as it should be," (Mosse 7). Germany had always yearned for a feeling of national unity, but in 1918 Germany lost the first World War and was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, a peace treaty between the warring nations that officially ended the war. The treaty, however, forced Germany to take full responsibility for the war and it's aftermath and pay reparations to particular countries. This forced Germany to fall into a state of economic instability and despair and they fell into a state of depression. This time of political and economic turmoil and grief forced the Germanic people to look for some kind of national unity. They looked to form a system of cultural cohesion among their people instead of some kind of political unity because "it seemed that political unification had not brought with it the
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