40 years of faulty wiring

Religion, Superstition, Language and the Holocaust: The Reframing of Evil into The Final Solution

There is no doubt in sane people’s minds that the tortures, confinement in concentration camps and murders of millions of Jews (and non-Jews) were “crimes against humanity.” Just consider that term for a moment. Crimes against humanity, meaning to fail to be human and to behave in a humane manner towards others. As hard as it is to believe the Third Reich and its followers truly believed they were destined by fate and God to destroy Jews and establish a “pure” Aryan race. The horrendous evils that were carried out were reframed in their minds so as to be tolerated, rather than rejected.

Reframing is an odd but simple concept: a person who would otherwise view a particular act as evil, reframes the act within his or her mind when provided a new context, and as a result the person does not view it as evil any longer. The Reich demonstrated this behaviour in their quest to destroy all Jews on the planet. They believed they had a mission from God to exterminate Jews and thus they easily and proudly starved and tortured millions of people inside Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Dachau and other camps. This doesn’t excuse the behaviour or suggest the Nazis were unaware of the evil of their acts, but the belief that a higher power ordained them to slaughter millions of Jews buoyed their sense of self-righteousness while eliminating guilt and empathy. Watch war of the century part 9/20

Even better, no one was responsible for The Final Solution, only for its maintenance and increased speed. The Final Solution was to be managed with precision and economy. It was company policy. The plans discussed between Hitler and his high-ranking officers were matter-of-fact. A machine was set in motion that would not be stopped until Hitler and his Reich achieved their goal of extermination. However the code words used to define the plan were extremely important and were used at all times throughout the war. After he was arrested, Adolph Eichmann described the initial meeting about The Final Solution as eliciting enthusiasm. Everyone wanted to participate. When asked if it was difficult to kill so many people, Eichmann responded, “To tell you the truth, it was easy. Our language made it easy.”

There are four possible reasons why code words used to describe the extermination of Jews served their purpose:

  1. exoneration from guilt
  2. using banal language to make the extraordinary seem ordinary
  3. uniting a political body to perform atrocities
  4. excluding those outside of the Reich from understanding the implications of the language

Hitler held superstitious beliefs about his destiny that evolved into an obsession with the occult. He commissioned a facet of the SS to travel Europe searching for evidence that one race was meant for world domination. Hitler insisted the SS offer scientific proof that their ancient past would one day unite with their destiny. Heinrich Himmler viewed his army as the reincarnation of Teutonic knights and kings, particularly those of King Arthur’s round table. In the quest to establish new world order, Himmler sent out his army in search of the Holy Grail as it was the chalice from which Christ drank wine during the Last Supper. Believing that blessings from Christ enveloped them, the Nazis felt justified to conduct a massive killing spree. Theirs was a holy mission and nothing they did was wrong. What the world deemed as one of the greatest evils known to mankind, the Nazis upheld as a divine path. Killing those deemed inferior was mandatory to achieve the ultimate glory: purification of the planet. Hence the successful reframing of evil without empathy or remorse, leading to the staggering number of deaths during the most despicable World War in history.

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June 19, 2011 - Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Crime and Punishment, Human psychology | , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] At first I was prepared to despise Suchomel, expecting him to declare that he was guiltless and to this day believed his role as a Nazi was unquestionably correct. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that was not the case. Suchomel talked of how often he and other SS officers sat and wept at the sight and smell of the bodies. Watch Cremation Process Suchomel must be guilt-ridden: he answers questions about the role of SS officers in the third person. Never does he include himself and his own actions unless he expresses remorse. You could argue he is putting on an act so as not to incur hatred but there are any number of former SS officers who have been interviewed for movies and who insist to this day they do not regret their actions and indeed some claim that extermination of the Jews was for a noble purpose. Suchomel is not one of them. (see my blog Religion, Superstitions, Language and the Holocaust: The Reframing of Evil into the Final Solution…) […]

    Pingback by The Stench of Death « 40 years of faulty wiring | June 22, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] I find this article enlightening to try to understand this: Religion, Superstition, Language and the Holocaust: The Reframing of Evil into The Final Solution […]

    Pingback by The Nuremberg Interviews | RuminationsRuminations | May 19, 2013 | Reply

    • cool…. to think that men who brutalized and murdered millions of people actually felt they were spiritual, religious people….its all in the perspective, I suppose.

      Comment by gothrules | May 21, 2013 | Reply


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