Holocaust Sociology

Gevorg Petrosyan Professor Wonser Intro to Sociology 23 June 2012 Final Project, Assignment 2: Nazi Germany and Holocaust The Holocaust was the genocide of around six million European Jews during World War II. (Holocaust History) Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler had targeted every single Jew to be perished. Unfortunately Nazi Germany succeeded to murder two-thirds of the nine million Jews who were stationed in Europe. (Holocaust History) The Holocaust can be viewed at in many sociological perspectives of the sociologists mind. Adolf Hitler used everything in his power to exterminate any non-German ethnic that lived in Germany. Hitler) Authority played a key point in the Holocaust against the Jews. The following are the many perspectives of this horrific act against humanity. One of the main sociological perspectives that fall into Nazi Germany and how Holocaust was looked at was social stratification. The Aryan race was supreme; anybody else was lower then they. (Nazi SS) Jews, homosexuals, handicapped, prisoners of war, and minority groups were all prosecuted. As talked about in lecture, Max Weber’s theory of social class portrayed Adolf Hitler’s wealth, power, and prestige. Hitler used these components to his advantage and started an empire.

Brainwashing Germans to hate and murder humans that are not in their “social class”, as said the Aryan race. Social class and inequality played a big role for the non-Aryan. Everything was stripped away from them such as cars, money, children, clothes, food, and eventually their hope. The people of culture of poverty had strong feeling of not belonging, helplessness, no faith, and all hope was gone. Jews and others were treated as aliens or non-humans. Adolf Hitler was a functionalist in my point of view because in that way he would think social stratification was both natural and beneficial to society.

He promoted deviance in the way of the labeling theory. If you are not Aryan or German you are not welcome and also considered as a threat. (Nazi SS) In that case you are labeled through judgment and that changes the way others respond to you. Another labeling theory in the Holocaust was the yellow Star of David patch. This patch often put against right side of the chest, implemented and labeled the person as a “Jude”. Nazi persecutions used this to label to their prosecutors in an organized way. (Nazi SS) With this patch you had implanted in your mind that you are going to die.

It was intended to be the badge of shame and now the public knew you as a Jew. The Jude community was treated like dogs; they were given a name and badge similar to dog tag or collar, and looked upon as animals. Erving Goffman’s term of stigma was given to the Jewish because of their social attribute. Nazi Germany used all three types of stigma in their society such as physical for the impaired or handicapped, moral for mentally challenged, and tribal for Jewish and other non-Aryan or German. The Erving Goffman’s term of stigma was lectured in class. Nazi Germany was big in-group created by Adolf Hitler.

They felt loyalty and brotherhood towards each other. Anyone besides them was a major out-group, such as the Jews. The rivalry and hatred they had for the Jews was a usual thing by other fellow Nazi. Such a big in-group had and influence on any Nazi to believe what they were doing is right. Group cohesion strongly powered the Nazi for the loyalty and solidarity. All the members felt strongly tied to each other as family in a way. Any one else was not like them and was to be treated differently. Adolf Hitler’s social influence was the image to all Nazi.

His social influence gave them their individual attitudes and behaviors towards others. This became ideal for a dictator, because the group norms made the members want to gain acceptance to their own country. Any negative sanctions were looked down upon and so Germans followed one after another into agreement. Weber’s idea of charismatic authority fell into the category of Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler served in the army and soon enough became known as the “Furher” of Germany. (Hitler 1) Hitler’s demanding voice and humorless speeches dominated audiences.

He had all the qualities of a leader from the minute he was born. He didn’t like taking orders from his own strict father. (Hitler 1) Hitler also had many bureaucracies under him, such as the SS. The Schutzstaffel translated to Protection Squad was responsible for many of the crimes towards humanity during World War II. Heinrich Himmler was in charge of a vast bureaucratic empire. He was responsible for the SS, as well as the municipal police. (Nazi SS 4) The SS was feared amongst all Jews because of their deadly rules and punishments.

These bureaucracies were so useful to the empire because they ran all the operations needed for power. Hitler used them to keep order and organization between the country, plus not to get his hands dirty. The Nazi Empire and Holocaust was made up of many total institutions. First one would be the military; Hitler knew he had to get the military on his side and soon will obey any command. Soon the military had a mortification of self in which they were brainwashed to dehumanize Jews. They were taught to have “racially pure” Germany and life. (Chronicle 2) The Holocaust wasn’t carried out by crazy or unusually violent people.

The SS deliberately tried to ensure that those responsible for the actual killings were not especially eager, or emotional. They wanted the task to be as business-like and impersonal as possible. (Nazi SS 4) People stop worrying about what the ‘right’ thing to do is because the right thing is always to do what you’re told, and that was because of discipline and authority. Another total institution would be the death camps or also known as concentration camps. Which norms or laws were among the prisoners society? The prisoners had a whole new social life.

Resocialization took an impact on them to which fighting for survival was needed and communications between prisoners and officers. Some type of achieved status controlled the whole environment of the prisoners and changed their outlook on life, which soon enough became a mortification of self. Prisoners under hunger, extreme working conditions, and terror of death mortified one to go toe extreme lengths of survival by obeying every rule given or going slowly insane to the point of no return. (Chronicle 2) One of the most disastrous theories for the Holocaust would be dehumanization.

What people failed to realize why the Holocaust happened was because what the people were enabling each other to do. (Holocaust History 3) All they did was gather statistics and data and didn’t realize that it was human beings for those stats. The order is different from the act because the person who gave the order doesn’t interpret in their head what kind of order they just gave and the action part of it. The generals and Nazi didn’t focus on the fact that they were committing mass murder to a great amount of human beings with families and connections.

There actions weren’t “bad” at the time so no problem in doing it but when later on in life they realize what they’ve done is very different outlook. The Holocaust would have been impossible without the advancements of modern society. The slaughtering of Jews and other was just like a factory but instead of producing goods, it was producing death. Without modern industrialization and technology they would have never killed mass amounts of people that fast. Gas chambers, trains importing prisoners, concentration camps, not much food source for prisoners, and workload were all components to modern society. Chronicle 3) This is what moved the genocide to speed up its movement of extermination. Letting Adolf Hitler get to his achieved status brought up to Holocaust idea. Without letting him get to this status of “Furher”. He would not turn a great country into a mass murdering empire of bureaucracies. His speeches, authority, leadership skills, and discipline is what made the Nazi Empire what it was. His authority and discipline is what made the soldiers make the choice they made. Why did Hitler target the Jews mostly?

Why not another race? He blamed Jews for everything that happened within the country such as lost of World War I, and for the Great Depression. (Hitler 1) He also hated Jews because he regarded them as mostly Communist. (Hitler 1) Society killed the Jews because of their statuses and way of life. Jews were the most significantly affected by the Holocaust but others were targeted too. These included political opponents, soviet prisoners of war, communists, homosexuals, mentally challenged, non-Aryan, and gypsies. Holocaust History 3) They labeled it as “people that were killed in Holocaust” and didn’t seem to realize how it affected those peoples families and friendships. To this day Jews still mourn over the six million that died. Germany also takes in the guilt of what their country has done in the past. The Holocaust affected such large numbers and was one of the most mass killing genocides. It is taught all around the world in textbooks and classes. Society revolves under it because now Jews are looked at differently even if they deny someone doesn’t.

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