Moving Away From Nazism and Modern Parallels

By Cyrus Hutnyk

This week’s discussion primarily concerned Nazism, moreover the lasting impacts and aftermath that the ultimately devastating ideology had. The authors of this week’s readings each touched on Germany’s experience in this post-war environment and how they had a serious mess to clean up, having to do the the terrible consequences of their former leader’s actions, the massive debts placed on the nation post-war, as well as simply addressing the many atrocities committed. The process of “denazification” as Werner Sollers described it, garnered international attention. Alongside this experience for the Germans was the experience for the tremendously traumatized Jews. Mary Fulbrook describes how Holocaust survivors moved from extreme scrutiny to empathy. These two perspectives offer a valuable insight into either side of this move away from Nazism and how it impacted different groups who were ultimately part of the experience.

This highlight on victim’s testimonies is one that is very interesting and holds modern parallels, both obvious ones with the ongoing presence of Nazi behaviours and far right sentiment in the United States, but equally with the scrutiny of already marginalized communities globally, whether on a basis of sex, race, gender, etc. Perhaps we will continue to see this sort of transformation into societies that value empathy and trust of those victimized in the future, the positive change and strictness that we see in modern Germany can be mirrored elsewhere without a doubt.

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