Against Goldhagen?

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sun Oct 8 00:38:24 MDT 2000

>Louis and list,
>Interesting essay. What I puzzled over while reading it is the assumption
>that there has been a general belief that the German people did not resist
>the Nazis. This is news to me (I guess the Times really does make the news).
>They beat it into us in school that the Nazis deceived the German people,
>that the Holocaust was generally unknown to Germans at the time, that
>anti-Semitism was a backwards view held by only a handful of people, and
>that had ordinary Germans only known the truth they would never have gone
>along with Hitler. Allied propaganda following WWII immediately set about
>writing the history of WWII and the Holocaust as if the German people had
>been oblivious to everything that had gone on, that they were victims, too.
>The ideological importance of the story that I learned is three-fold: first,
>fascism is a bizarre cult that can only occur through deception (neither the
>Republican nor the Democratic Party possesses fascist characteristics);
>second, racism is an irrational ideology that only either ignoramuses or
>fanatic atavistic political leaders hold and impose on ordinary people
>(Neither Germans nor Americans are racist); third, while other peoples are
>capable of genocide (Rwandans, Cambodians, etc.), Western Europeans are too
>civilized to willingly engage in genocide. Only recently have a handful of
>scholars challenged this story and its ideological functions. Their heresy
>has brought them infamy.
>Andrew Austin
>Green Bay, WI

I forwarded the article posted by Lou to LBO-talk and received the
following in reply:

*****   [For an elaboration on the German working class's role in the
check out:
The intro as a teaser:]


by John Spritzler (Part 1 of 2)

A popular course for middle and high school students about the
Holocaust gives a false account of antisemitism and related events in
Nazi-era Germany carefully designed to drive home the lesson that
most people are prone to bigotry and are a dangerous force. The
course, called "Facing History and Ourselves" (FHAO), is funded by
liberal foundations and corporations (and in the past, grants from
the U.S. Department of Education) and wealthy individuals. It reaches
one million students a year in schools across the country.
Foundations and corporate leaders support "Facing History and
Ourselves" because it helps discredit the central idea of democracy
-- that ordinary people are fit to rule society.

FHAO's main resource book, Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust
and Human Behavior, is a 576-page collection of short readings and
questions carefully selected to convey a negative view of people by
lying about the facts. Contrary to the views promoted by FHAO, the
true facts about Germany during the Holocaust show that 1) working
class Germans fought the Nazis; 2) antisemitism did not come from
ordinary people; and 3) anti-semitism was a weapon used by Germany's
industrial and aristocratic elite to attack not only the Jewish
minority but the entire working class....   *****

John Spritzler's view may be too simplistic, but I think it is true
that the theory of "collective guilt" has been infused with liberal
fears of the masses and that it helped to minimize the guilt of the


More information about the Marxism mailing list