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Tags "Hellstorm" , war crimes , World War II history

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Old 6th June 2016, 11:47 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
It was never the Soviets goal to cleanse the world of certain ethnic groups, or create lebenstraum by letting most of the population of a country starve to death.
At least not the express purpose. They did have the goal of cleansing the country of certain classes, like kulaks from the late 1920s on. And starvation was a good tool.
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Old 6th June 2016, 12:00 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
At least not the express purpose. They did have the goal of cleansing the country of certain classes, like kulaks from the late 1920s on. And starvation was a good tool.
The "kulak" was a supposed social class though, not an ethnic group. It was kind of the socialist version of bringing down the aristocracy.

That said the definition expanded from "somewhat 'wealthy' peasant" (these were often shot on the spot) to include just about anyone the NKVD didn't like the look of. And the methods used (destroying livestock, growing cotton instead of food, etc) caused widespread and largely intentional suffering of course.
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Old 6th June 2016, 04:23 PM   #123
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I get a little tired of people on the left trying to minimize the horror of the Stalin regime.
And if you are talking about the whole death toll of Stalin's Russia,a Million is way too low. More then that died in the Ukarinian Famine alone.
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Old 6th June 2016, 05:03 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I get a little tired of people on the left trying to minimize the horror of the Stalin regime.
And if you are talking about the whole death toll of Stalin's Russia,a Million is way too low. More then that died in the Ukarinian Famine alone.
I was talking about the Great Purge period of -35 to -40 or so.

Yes, millions certainly died in the Great Famine. Probably millions also died in the Gulag camps, many executed. Hundreds of thousands of "kulaks" were executed.

I have read a fair amount of books on Stalin's rule. He was a murderous monster. But the immense crimes of the USSR do not lend themselves to easy comparison to the bulk of Nazi crimes. Just counting millions of deaths does not give a complete picture and is a disservice to the victims of any genocide. Fewer than ten thousand died at Srebrenica, but the circumstances of and motivations behind that genocide makes it a very worthy obhect of study and attention nonetheless.
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Old 6th June 2016, 11:32 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
The "kulak" was a supposed social class though, not an ethnic group.
Yeah. I suppose in principle any kulak could have renounced his social class and turned into a good little kolkhoze worker, but I don't think it really worked that way in practice. If you were hunting Enemies of the People, you had your quotas to fill.

In any case, stuff like university studies were reserved for people with a good proletariat background, so it seems like the Soviet concept of 'social class' wasn't entirely free of a hereditary component.
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Old 7th June 2016, 01:39 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Debatable, but yes, earlier high estimates by e.g. Conquest of 7-8+ million are often seen as too high today. One million may be more reasonable. It also depends on how you count Gulag prisoners.
That high figure is much too high for the 1937-38 Purge. The greatest number of Stalin's victims were people who died in the famine of 1932-33 caused by the collectivisation of agriculture, and a figure of seven million is plausible for that.
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Old 7th June 2016, 01:44 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That high figure is much too high for the 1937-38 Purge. The greatest number of Stalin's victims were people who died in the famine of 1932-33 caused by the collectivisation of agriculture, and a figure of seven million is plausible for that.
Yep, although the numbers there remain hotly debated to this day not least due to the issue of heightened infant mortality.
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Old 7th June 2016, 02:18 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Yep, although the numbers there remain hotly debated to this day not least due to the issue of heightened infant mortality.
There may be a demographic indicator in the 1937 census results.
The preliminary result of the census, reported to Stalin in the middle of March 1937, was 162,039,470 people, much lower than the "criminally decreased" registered numbers of 170-172 million or Stalin's expectation of 180 million people.
Leaving Stalin's absurd expectations out of account, that suggests a "demographic deficit" of ten millions or so.

That this is mainly attributable to the famine is indicated by the fact that the census population deficit was most significant in Ukraine, Volga Region and N Caucasus, where the famine had been most severe.

The results of the 1937 census were suppressed and the statisticians who conducted the operation were executed. Or as reported in Pravda:
... enemies of the people gave the census counters invalid instructions that led to the gross under-counting of the population, but the brave NKVD under the leadership of Nikolai Yezhov destroyed the snake's nest in the statistical bodies.
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Old 7th June 2016, 11:53 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I get a little tired of people on the left trying to minimize the horror of the Stalin regime.
And if you are talking about the whole death toll of Stalin's Russia,a Million is way too low. More then that died in the Ukarinian Famine alone.
If that was directed to me, I wasn't trying to minimize anything. Its an argument of the kind of people our OP is, that we were just as bad as Nazi Germany because we supported the USSR. Which is hogwash.

Putting Stalinist USSR on a left/right spectrum that is in any way meaningful in a 21st century western democracy is all but impossible. Take away the scapegoating of Jews and other ethnic minorities and the USSR at the time looks strikingly similar to a fascist state.

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Old 7th June 2016, 12:04 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
Putting Stalinist USSR on a left/right spectrum that is in any way meaningful in a 21st century western democracy is all but impossible. Take away the scapegoating of Jews and other ethnic minorities and the USSR at the time looks strikingly similar to a fascist state.
I would say that all totalitarian states are similar to some extent, but the differences between Nazi Germany and the USSR are as striking as the similarities. The basic glue of the Soviet state (persisting after Stalin) was allegiance to The Party - a basic tenet of Leninism. Stalin used this as leverage in purging party comrades with his Secret Police cronies. But the basic glue of Nazi Germany was really an almost universal cult of personality around Hitler. He WAS the state. The party apparatus was explicitly an extension of his personal authority, derived from genuine popularity, propaganda and the forced breakdown of the rule of law.
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Old 7th June 2016, 12:25 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I would say that all totalitarian states are similar to some extent, but the differences between Nazi Germany and the USSR are as striking as the similarities. The basic glue of the Soviet state (persisting after Stalin) was allegiance to The Party - a basic tenet of Leninism. Stalin used this as leverage in purging party comrades with his Secret Police cronies. But the basic glue of Nazi Germany was really an almost universal cult of personality around Hitler. He WAS the state. The party apparatus was explicitly an extension of his personal authority, derived from genuine popularity, propaganda and the forced breakdown of the rule of law.
They were both collectivist, nationalist, and highly authoritarian states. I see more similarities than differences between them. The USSR was dressed up as looking out for the proletariat, but didn't Stalin become almost as much a cult of personality as Hitler? Hell, he had a city named after him. And its not as if the Nazi's didn't purge their own party (night of the long knives).
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Old 7th June 2016, 12:51 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
They were both collectivist, nationalist, and highly authoritarian states. I see more similarities than differences between them. The USSR was dressed up as looking out for the proletariat, but didn't Stalin become almost as much a cult of personality as Hitler? Hell, he had a city named after him.
Stalin tried that to some extent. As he grew in power, all media, literature, stage plays, etc had to be increasingly "Stalinist", and of course his party credentials were largely falsified. I believe it took something of a zenith during the war.

But Stalin never had the kind of genuine popularity Hitler had. Well, Stalin DID have a degree of popular appeal - he had a talent when it came to formulating Marxist-Leninist theory (with his own ideas attached) in clear, easily understood and rhetorically appealing terms. This actually got him a lot of disdain from the quasi-intellectuals that made up much of the remaining party chiefs, but it was probably one reason for why his ideas were easily propagated. He was also a surprisingly skilled debater. Still, he largely had to employ coercion, and surronud himself with cronies, creating a cult forcibly.

With Hitler, it was a more organic development. The study of the Hitler cult (see e.g. The Hitler Myth by Kershaw) is an object of historical interest in its own right, as a sociological phenomenon. The Stalin cult, not so much, it's more of a subset of his general policies of torturing people who disagreed with him. Stalin used the party apparatus for leverage, rather than his personality.

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And its not as if the Nazi's didn't purge their own party (night of the long knives).
The SA was a potential rival organization more than a strict part of the Nazi party. The strict reason for the purge was placating the Wehrmacht as Hindenburg had threatened imposing martial law. Stalin was probably inspired by it, but his methods and their sheer extent were very different. He couldn't just go on a mass slaughter and then take credit for it. The scope of his purges, were, of course, also of a completely different order of magnitude.
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Old 7th June 2016, 12:58 PM   #133
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Plus, within a few months of Hitler being appointed chancellor, he had attained a nearly unlimited power of decree, his only potential rivals being the senile von Hindenburg, Ernst RŲhm, and the army. The first two were dealt with in 1934, and at this point Hitler had almost entirely consolidated his position in civil society. It would take a few more years before he made his vital moves for eliminating military opposition, but once he did, he quickly won popularity there as well (actually, the army pledged their loyalty to him personally in 1935, but he went on to purge a few top figures in 1938.) Hitler achieved essentially absolute power very quickly. For Stalin, this was a process over a decade long, where he gained control of the secret police and gradually eliminated his opposition in the party, first through bureaucratic machinations, deception, etc, and eventually he moved on to purging people through outright violence and staged trials. It took him a long time to attain power on a similar level that Hitler had. The societies were also of course massively different; the Bolsheviks couldn't exactly count on the support of the Ukrainian peasantry, never mind Stalin personally.
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Old 7th June 2016, 01:18 PM   #134
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However by his death, Stalin had achieved a pretty strong cult of personality. I recall seeing an interview with someone who was in a gulag when Stalin died, and even he said that he felf as if his father had died, so pervasive was the propaganda.
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Old 7th June 2016, 03:22 PM   #135
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Quote:
Putting Stalinist USSR on a left/right spectrum that is in any way meaningful in a 21st century western democracy is all but impossible. Take away the scapegoating of Jews and other ethnic minorities and the USSR at the time looks strikingly similar to a fascist state.
Your forgetting important ideological differences. The Nazis were biological determinists and believed that there were inherent differences and inequalities between people. This is antithetical to Soviet ideology which rejected genetics and believed that you can mold anyone the way you want.
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Old 7th June 2016, 03:26 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Your forgetting important ideological differences. The Nazis were biological determinists and believed that there were inherent differences and inequalities between people. This is antithetical to Soviet ideology which rejected genetics and believed that you can mold anyone the way you want.
That is way oversimplified, and your mixing of the Lysenko affair in there doesn't help (interestingly enough, Stalin in his famous margin scribbles, wrote one of his favourite phrases - "what nonsense!" next to at least one of Lysenko's articles). There were also significant changes over time as Russian nationalism and "Socialism in one country" came to dominate.

But yes, biological racism ran against basic socialist tenets.
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Old 7th June 2016, 06:19 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
They were both collectivist, nationalist, and highly authoritarian states.
In what way was Nazi Germany collectivist?

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The USSR was dressed up as looking out for the proletariat, but didn't Stalin become almost as much a cult of personality as Hitler?
One difference is that Stalin still had to justify his decisions by appealing to Marxism-Leninism, whereas Hitler would just declare whatever he wanted to declare.
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Old 7th June 2016, 07:42 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
That is way oversimplified, and your mixing of the Lysenko affair in there doesn't help (interestingly enough, Stalin in his famous margin scribbles, wrote one of his favourite phrases - "what nonsense!" next to at least one of Lysenko's articles). There were also significant changes over time as Russian nationalism and "Socialism in one country" came to dominate.

But yes, biological racism ran against basic socialist tenets.
The fundamental difference between Hitler and Stalin was that Stalin changed the prevailing system of ownership of the means of production, and Hitler didn't.
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Old 8th June 2016, 02:49 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The fundamental difference between Hitler and Stalin was that Stalin changed the prevailing system of ownership of the means of production, and Hitler didn't.
I'm not sure I would call that the fundamental difference, but yes, Hitler seized absolute control of a system already in place, deeply corrupting industry with cronyism and the like, whereas Stalin basically tore down much of what was in place in order to build a new society.

Of course, Greater Russia and Germany were so different, demographically, economically, geographically, etc that a straightforward comparison is very difficult indeed.

I would say though that Stalin seems to have had a somewhat genuine, comprehensive ideology and some kind of higher ideals, as dishonest as he was, in addition to his immense personal ambitions. With Hitler, the most remarkable thing to me is that his higher ideals seem to have been equivalent to his personal ambitions - to him, power was the ultimate end, rather than a means.
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Old 8th June 2016, 04:48 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I would say though that Stalin seems to have had a somewhat genuine, comprehensive ideology and some kind of higher ideals, as dishonest as he was, in addition to his immense personal ambitions.
I'm not certain of that. Stalin may well have been a complete cynic and charlatan.
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
With Hitler, the most remarkable thing to me is that his higher ideals seem to have been equivalent to his personal ambitions - to him, power was the ultimate end, rather than a means.
Hitler had at least one principle, which he would make sacrifices to fulfil: his racism, and in particular his hatred of Jews.
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Old 8th June 2016, 04:55 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I'm not certain of that. Stalin may well have been a complete cynic and charlatan.
Personally, I doubt it. While I'm sure he didn't believe every word he spouted, I do think he in general figured himself some kind of "Great Implementer" of Marxism-Leninism, the modern-day successor of the Czars. The war seems to have dulled him somewhat, though. Or maybe it was just old age.

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Hitler had at least one principle, which he would make sacrifices to fulfil: his racism, and in particular his hatred of Jews.
But even that was rooted in the notion of "power" in the "struggle". He thought that a united people under a great leader was the most powerful force on Earth. He despised the Jews because he believed them to be a parasitic, nigh-almighty force that the German people had to unite to combat.

This is actually suggested by Kershaw as a possible explanation for why Hitler seems to have insisted on being so covert with the Holocaust - he feared that the Jew might yet be more powerful than Germany, and had to be fought carefully. Of course, trying to read logic into paranoid delusions is hard. But Hitler's racism, while certainly biological, was also deeply rooted in his notions of "power" and "struggle". It's important not to mix up Hitler's personal views with the absurd racial theories propagated by Himmler and various quasi-academics.
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Old 8th June 2016, 08:35 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
In what way was Nazi Germany collectivist
"Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the significance of groupsótheir identities, goals, rights, outcomes, etc.óand tends to analyze issues in those terms. Collectivism is a basic cultural element that exists as the reverse of individualism (in the same way high context culture exists as the reverse of low context culture), and in some cases stresses the priority of group goals over individual goals and the importance of cohesion within social groups (such as an ingroup, in whichever specific context it is defined)."

In what way weren't they collectivists??
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Old 8th June 2016, 08:38 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Your forgetting important ideological differences. The Nazis were biological determinists and believed that there were inherent differences and inequalities between people. This is antithetical to Soviet ideology which rejected genetics and believed that you can mold anyone the way you want.
Yes, as I said in an earlier post. The whole genocide and racism thing is what really separates out the Nazi's and Stalinist's. Beyond that I see some striking similarities between Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR.
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Old 8th June 2016, 11:04 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
"Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the significance of groupsótheir identities, goals, rights, outcomes, etc.óand tends to analyze issues in those terms. Collectivism is a basic cultural element that exists as the reverse of individualism (in the same way high context culture exists as the reverse of low context culture), and in some cases stresses the priority of group goals over individual goals and the importance of cohesion within social groups (such as an ingroup, in whichever specific context it is defined)."

In what way weren't they collectivists??
Economically. Although it could be argued that neither was Stalin. With such a broad definition of "collectivism" almost everything falls under collectivism. The US is then collectivist too, as is any country because country = group.
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Old 8th June 2016, 12:12 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Economically. Although it could be argued that neither was Stalin. With such a broad definition of "collectivism" almost everything falls under collectivism. The US is then collectivist too, as is any country because country = group.
Even economically Nazi Germany was collectivist. I'm no expert on 1930's German economists, but its my understanding industry did as they were told when they were told by the Nazis, or the executives found themselves out of a job.

And yes, every society falls on a spectrum of individualist/collectivist. But the USA is clearly way more individualistic than Nazi Germany. Dissent and non-confirmatory were dealt with rather harshly.
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Old 8th June 2016, 01:22 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
Even economically Nazi Germany was collectivist. I'm no expert on 1930's German economists, but its my understanding industry did as they were told when they were told by the Nazis, or the executives found themselves out of a job.
The industry stayed the private property of its owners. There was nothing collectivist going on, quite the opposite.

ETA: there was a large overlap between Nazis and industry owners though. But industry wasn't collectivized, if anything it was concentrated more under private control.
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Old 9th June 2016, 08:39 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
The industry stayed the private property of its owners. There was nothing collectivist going on, quite the opposite.

ETA: there was a large overlap between Nazis and industry owners though. But industry wasn't collectivized, if anything it was concentrated more under private control.
Socialist rhetoric aside, it's not so much a question of who owns the means of production, as who controls the means of production. In Nazi Germany, control was largely in the hands of the party, and thus of the state.

Saying that German industry wasn't "collectivized" on the Soviet model is a naive reading of what actually happened when the Nazis took control of the country.
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Old 9th June 2016, 08:43 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Socialist rhetoric aside, it's not so much a question of who owns the means of production, as who controls the means of production. In Nazi Germany, control was largely in the hands of the party, and thus of the state.

Saying that German industry wasn't "collectivized" on the Soviet model is a naive reading of what actually happened when the Nazis took control of the country.
They were in control, but they never really needed to exert it. Private corporations were more than happy to build human-sized ovens and deliver absurd quantities of gas for p"est control". Profit sbove all.
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Old 9th June 2016, 08:47 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
They were in control, but they never really needed to exert it. Private corporations were more than happy to build human-sized ovens and deliver absurd quantities of gas for p"est control". Profit sbove all.
Evidence?
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Old 9th June 2016, 09:00 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Evidence?
Ah, crap, I don't have my copy of "The Nazi Dictatorship" in my apartment. It made a strong point ot the fact that private firms were willingly complicit in the Holocaust.

More well known is the fact that IG Farben and many other firms exploited the slave labour. They also produced mass quantities of Zyklon B.
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Old 9th June 2016, 10:20 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Ah, crap, I don't have my copy of "The Nazi Dictatorship" in my apartment. It made a strong point ot the fact that private firms were willingly complicit in the Holocaust.

More well known is the fact that IG Farben and many other firms exploited the slave labour. They also produced mass quantities of Zyklon B.
Evidence?

Let me be clear: I'm looking for evidence of German industrialists who a) refused to join the Nazi party, b) were permitted to retain control of their industries anyway, and c) were complicit in Nazi atrocities due to profit motive alone.
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Old 9th June 2016, 10:34 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Evidence?

Let me be clear: I'm looking for evidence of German industrialists who a) refused to join the Nazi party, b) were permitted to retain control of their industries anyway, and c) were complicit in Nazi atrocities due to profit motive alone.
Sorry, you'll have to do the indepth research yourself. I don't have a handy list of sources on that particular issue ready; I've just read a lot of scholarly works on the society and politics of the 3rd Reich and the Holocaust. It is frequently discussed though, maybe if you look at the economics of Nazi Germany? Probably IG Farben is the best place to start.

I'd be surprised if industrialists had to join the party. Hitler was careful with where to push. However, it is usually said that all corporation boards of note had party members present, so obviously there was a degree of influence.

Whethet there were other motives than profit is of course hard to say. Surely some were ideologues. But it's easy to slip into the trap of assuming ordinary people had to be under duress to comply with atrocities. Certainly this wasn't true in other contexts.
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Old 10th June 2016, 08:13 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I'd be surprised if industrialists had to join the party.
They did have to go along, though. The Nazis weren't any better in taking "I don't think so" as an answer than Stalin.
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Old 10th June 2016, 08:17 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
They did have to go along, though. The Nazis weren't any better in taking "I don't think so" as an answer than Stalin.
I'm not sure; it sounds like a variant on the "dire punishment" myth.
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Old 10th June 2016, 01:10 PM   #155
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German industries during the war weren't "collectivized", Soviet-style, but neither were they merely rapacious capitalists indifferent to the Nazi regime and merely following profit. It was a lot more complicated than that.


http://archive.adl.org/braun/dim_13_...l#.V1scPiHJQrY

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Greed drove all too many "apolitical businessmen" to engage in odious conduct. This behavior, however, was not an exclusive function of capitalism. Rather, it was the result of the social and political realities that existed in the Third Reich. Most industrialists were opportunists who saw the occupation of Europe and the Nazis' persecution of the Jews as a chance to enrich themselves and their companies. Undoubtedly, latent and overt anti-Semitism, anti-Slavic sentiments, and German nationalism also allowed some industrialists to work with the regime out of a sense of patriotism, and without ever reflecting upon the moral boundaries they were crossing. Fear and the desire for self-protection were also important factors motivating businessmen. (Indeed, few Germans demonstrated the courage to speak out against the Nazi regime. Finally, as the war escalated, the desire to merely survive into the postwar period prompted many companies to take advantage of concentration camp labor.9 The point is that industrial behavior under Nazism cannot be reduced to simple structural explanations. Even within the context of a dictatorship that demanded high levels of production for war, industrialists made choices as individuals. They approached the SS for cheap labor; they decided whether to buy a Jewish company at a fraction of its value; they determined how forced and slave laborers would be treated in their factories.
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Old 10th June 2016, 01:30 PM   #156
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Thanks, A'isha! You always seem to have the right link ready. To me, the exact ideological positions, rationalizations, etc, of the industrialists is in this context less interesting than the absence of any obvious element of coercion on behalf of the state. It doesn't really seem lilke the Nazis had to use that much force against industry. The industrialists largely did what industrialists do.

The USSR was obviously very different in this regard - its economic goals were absurd, so only force could mske people move in the desired direction.
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Old 10th June 2016, 02:32 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by A'isha View Post
German industries during the war weren't "collectivized", Soviet-style, but neither were they merely rapacious capitalists indifferent to the Nazi regime and merely following profit. It was a lot more complicated than that.


http://archive.adl.org/braun/dim_13_...l#.V1scPiHJQrY
In addition to that, directly after the war OMGUS (Office of Military Government, US) investigated against IG Farben and the three major banks - Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank.Their advice to Eisenhower was to nationalize the businesses for their complicity with the Nazi regime. Three of their reports are available, at least, in German translation.
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Old 11th June 2016, 08:35 AM   #158
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Let's also not forget that, being a far-right regime, the Nazis can not be seen as entirely separate from the interests of the capitalist class. They didn't start out by building concentration camps, they started out by destroying trade unions and abolishing worker rights.
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Old 11th June 2016, 09:07 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Let's also not forget that, being a far-right regime, the Nazis can not be seen as entirely separate from the interests of the capitalist class. They didn't start out by building concentration camps, they started out by destroying trade unions and abolishing worker rights.
They started building concentration camps as soon as they took power, for the purposes you refer to. It was extermination camps that came later.
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Old 11th June 2016, 09:30 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
They started building concentration camps as soon as they took power, for the purposes you refer to. It was extermination camps that came later.
True. I should have said "they didn't start out with the Holocaust" which was more what I meant.
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