USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945

Nazi Terror

The central myth of the Nazi Party and its ideology was that Germany and a homogenous nation that reflected the will of the German People (racially defined) as embodied in the Führer (Hitler). This notion was no exceedingly important to the Nazi vision that deviation from this notion of homogeneity was seen as a direct threat to the state. Deviations came in many forms. Jews were a deviation because the Nazis defined them as racial enemies. Communists were deviations because they sought to divide and weaken Germany unity in pursuance of an economic and internationist agenda. The insane or the handicapped were deviations because the Nazis viewed them as threats to the racial health of the German people. Artists and writers were deviations because they were infected to ideologies or concepts that the Nazis found anathema: individualism, feminism, homosexuality, pacifism, etc. To deal with these threats to the ideological notion of social homogeneity or uniformity, the Nazis built a massive apparatus of terror. And this foundation, this terror apparatus, would be exported to devastating effects during WWII. The most prominent instrument of terror in the Nazi system was the network of SS controlled and administered concentration camps in Germany. Concentration camps were located near almost all major urban areas and could be used to imprison tens of thousands of people at once. In addition, each concentration camp was itself a planet around which orbited dozens or even hundreds of satellite locations used to terrorize the population.

This page has paths:

This page references: