By: Adam Paquin
The readings for this week bring up many interesting insights into Germany after the second world war. And although we see from the Fullbrook article that many of the German citizens during the war were simply bystanders that did not stand up for fear of being prosecuted themselves. This would bring up many questions about the everyday German citizen and one of the ways in which the west attempted to find the ones that did in fact participate with Hitler’s regime was shown in the Sollors article about the Nazi Questionnaire. Although it may have not been one hundred percent accurate, it showed that the western countries did in fact want to prosecute those in charge of any Nazi crimes committed during the war.
As to be expected not everyone was actually innocent in Germany and although many people did not agree with many of the Nazi regime and its laws. There was in fact a large portion that did and were now trying to hide in plain sight. In the Moeller article he goes in depth on many of the Nuremberg trials and explains how several of the former Nazi leaders now faced the American court system and the death penalty for their crimes. It was a particularly insightful article as it showed us the post war ramifications that would occur for the known leaders of the Nazi regime. And one part that surprised me when reading this was how the media even went out of their way to prevent any ads being sent over the airways. Ones specifically for the sale of gas stoves, as this could potentially trigger remind the country about the atrocities that happened in Germany during the war.
One Reply to “Denazification”
We always forget that while inside the Nazi regime there were some that were opposing the Nazi ideology behind the curtains, many German were riding the “wave.” Propaganda and rewarding good Nazi behavior was enough to live well with the regime rather than suffering from it. Whether they like it or not, they become apart of the movement and do what they are ordered to in the name of the Third Reich. But when Nazi Germany collapsed and it was time to endure the consequences of the fallen regime, they have to hide from their past and forever live with their actions. While most of the population could rebuild their life in silence as well as rebuilding their society, the higher graded Nazi officers would pay the price with their life instead. But, with all the bad weed out of the way, repentance for the common German people was underway.