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Germans Were Not Victims of Nazism! Poles and Not Only Jews Were Racial Enemies of the Third Reich, and Were Treated Accordingly. Letter P. Nazism Radicalized Not Only Against Jews. Gellately


Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, by Robert Gellately. 2001. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York

Germans Were Not Victims of Nazism: The German People Allowed Adolph Hitler to Persuade Them, and To Do So Using Minimal Force

Author Robert Gellately is a Canadian historian. This work largely relies on an analysis of the relatively few Gestapo records that were not destroyed at the end of the war. Gellately also provides good insights into the treatment of Poles that had been deported into the Reich for forced labor.

THE MYTH OF THE GERMANS TERRORIZED INTO OBEYING HITLER

Were the Germans victims of Nazism just like those they conquered? Hardly! Gellately challenges the popular notion that the Nazis relied solely, or even primarily, on fear, in getting the German people to back them. He writes, “Contrary to what has been passed down, the Germans did not just accept the ‘good’ that Nazism brought (the economy, for example), and reject the evil institutions. Instead, Hitler was largely successful in getting the backing, one way or another, of the great majority of citizens….Hitler and his henchmen did not want to cower the German people as a whole into submission, but to win them over by building on popular images, cherished ideals, and long-held phobias in the country. Even as the Nazis ‘cleansed’ the body politic in the name of the future and a perfect race, even as they grew more radical and brutal in the war years, they also aimed to create and maintain the broadest possible level of popular backing. They expended an enormous amount of energy and resources to track public opinion and to win over the people.” (p. vii).

He also specifies that, “Coercion and terror were highly selective, and certainly did not rain down universally on the heads of the German people…By and large, terror was not needed to force the majority or even significant minorities into line.” (p. 2).

THE NAZI GERMAN TREATMENT OF POLES RIVALLED THAT OF THE JEWS

Gellately juxtaposes Poles and Jews, as in the following remarks, “Denunciations aimed at the main race ‘enemies’ of the regime inside Germany (in this book, Jews and Poles are the two examples that were studied) pertained to very serious crimes that could easily lead to the death of some or all of the accused.” (p. 190).

The author concludes that, “Particular attention is devoted in what follows to the Polish workers, because they were the first Slavs, and were subjected to terror unlike anything experienced by most other Europeans, with the exception of the Jews.” (p. 152).

POLES FORCED TO WEAR THE LETTER “P”: APARTHEID FROM GERMANS

Gellately continues, “Follow-up orders made Poles vulnerable to the arbitrary acts of the police, and even endangered Germans who might wish to socialize or be friendly towards the foreigners. In order to underline these points, Poles were given a set of nine rules about the ‘duties of male and female civilian workers of Polish nationality during their stay in Germany’. They were confined to their workplace and to their billets after curfew, and excluded from using public transport except with special permission. The Poles were the first in Germany to be forced to wear a badge–a purple ‘P’–sewn to all their clothing. In addition, ‘all social contact with the German people’ was expressly prohibited, including visits to theatres, cinemas, dances, bars, and churches in their company. Regulations stipulated that any Pole ‘who has sexual relations with a German man or woman, or approaches them in any other improper manner, will be punished by death’.” (p. 155).

Poles, like Jews, were unambiguously treated as racial enemies of the Germans, “How did the Gestapo function on an everyday basis in enforcing the apartheid system against Polish foreign workers?…Taken together, these files provide evidence of the official effort, led by the Gestapo, to enforce the apartheid system in all of Lower Franconia.” (p. 155).

The punishment of Poles was draconian, “Poles and other foreign workers who were reported even for minor discipline infractions ended up in concentration camps where many died.” (p. 182).

POLES IN NAZI GERMANY: UNKNOWN DEATH TOLL

Gellately concludes that, “We do not know how many Poles were executed in Nazi Germany.” (p. 179). “Exactly how many men and women lost their lives while working for German industries has never been established.” (p. 223).

“ORDINARY” GERMANS SNITCH ON POLES AS WELL AS JEWS

The author writes, “It is reasonable to conclude that the national pattern was that about half the Gestapo cases dealing with the social isolation of the Poles originated from identifiable denunciations. The extent of this social collaboration in the enforcement of anti-Polish policies was nearly the same as we saw in the last chapter in the enforcement of Nazi antisemitism. The differences were not as great as might be expected, and as often asserted in the literature. A study of all the cases involving racial discrimination and persecution leaves no doubt that ordinary (non-official) Germans were heavily involved. Anonymous letters of denunciation are found in all the samples, including the one from the Palatinate.” (p. 170).

Elsewhere, he adds that, “If we add to this picture the important role of denunciations in the enforcement of measures aimed to isolate both the Jews and the Poles, as studied in the last two chapters, then there are grounds to call into question many of the images of how the Gestapo operated. In fact, the Gestapo tended to be reactive and waited for information to come from the outside. Most of it came from ‘ordinary’ Germans, that is, civilians who were not even members of the Nazi Party.” (p. 188).

A large number of denunciations arose from vendettas, “In this sample, like those dealing with the Jews, denunciations and false accusations were used for instrumental or selfish purposes that often had nothing explicitly to do with supporting Nazi racism.” (p. 158; See also p. 164).

GERMAN “LYNCH JUSTICE” APPLIED TO POLES

Gellately comments, “The difference between the Nazi form of ‘lynch justice’ and the kinds of events we usually associate with the term was that the lynching was not carried out by a mob in a moment of inflamed passions. In Nazi Germany, ‘lynch justice’ was premeditated killing designed for maximum terroristic effect on both the downtrodden Polish workers and on any German who contemplated sleeping with or comforting the enemy. (p. 172).

NAZISM COULD RADICALIZE AGAINST NON-JEWS AS WELL AS JEWS

We often hear of the cumulative radicalization of Nazism against the Jews, but seldom about the same escalating Nazi radical evil when targeting non-Jews. Gellately comments, “Hitler’s will to destruction, at least if the post-war testimony of Hermann Göring is to be believed, went so far as to consider the extermination of all Allied prisoners of war, including more than 200,000 from the West (American, British, Canadians, and others), as well as some one million Soviet prisoners. At least that particular Hitler wish was subverted by subordinates.” (pp. 241-242).

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Original article here: https://www.jewsandpolesdatabase.org/2021/05/06/germans-were-not-victims-of-nazism-poles-and-not-only-jews-were-racial-enemies-of-the-third-reich-and-were-treated-accordingly-letter-p-nazism-radicalized-not-only-against-jews-gellately/

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Related:

Unknowable Scale of German Murder of Poles. Poles and Not Only Jews Were Cremated en Masse. IPN. Zarnowski

SCALE OF THE POLOCAUST

SECRET KILLINGS: UNKNOWN (UNKNOWABLE?) SCALE OF THE POLOCAUST

Pointedly, what is known about the German genocidal murder of Poles should not be conflated with the actual German genocidal murder of Poles. Consider just Warsaw. Tarnowski comments, “In total, 901 mass executions were recorded in the capital (within the present boundaries of the city) and in the so-called ‘Warsaw ring of death’, where Varsovians and the captives of Warsaw prisons were murdered. The list is still growing and most probably there were many more places of executions we do not know about.” (p. 18).

HIGHER OVERALL POLISH DEATH TOLL SUPPORTED

Holocaust museums, for reasons that are not difficult to deduce, typically degrade the total number of Poles murdered by the Germans to 2 million or less. In contrast, Zarnowski affirms the traditional, higher number of 3 million. He writes, “The system of concentration, extermination, penal and forced labor camps played a major role in the realization of Nazi policy in Poland. There were more than 2,000 German camps in Poland, in which approximately 5,000,000 people were imprisoned. We do not know the exact number of victims of the German terror regime aimed at the Polish nation, but it can be assumed that during World War II around 5,700,000 Polish citizens were killed by the Germans, including 2,700,000 people of Jewish origin.” (pp. 16-17).

Much more here: https://www.jewsandpolesdatabase.org/2021/04/14/polish-guerrillas-assassinate-top-nazi-german-officials-efficacy-of-polish-guerrilla-warfare-unknown-unknowable-scale-of-german-murder-of-poles-poles-and-not-only-jews-were-cremated-en-masse-ip/

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