L 9: Höss and Eichmann
by Prof. H. Marcuse, UCSB, Oct. 21, 2003
Why did some Germans work so hard to commit mass murder?
(Can applying the EIEIO model help? [Does it work for individuals as well as
- Q2 on Höss and Anna Fest
- Roundup of preconditions/motivations/causes
- Wannsee Conference: dates & aspects
- Admin: field trip cars; project proposals groups
Midterm Question 2
- How did Höss characterize his SS staff?
-helpful -obedient -difficult
How did he characterize the Jews in the Sonderkommandos?
-violent -difficult -helpful -________
- What product (color) did Anna Fest's inmates produce in Allendorf (the first camp)?
How did Anna Fest characterize the prisoners she guarded?
-angry -subhuman -protective -______
Höss Quotations (straight from the reader!)
123: "I became a different person in Auschwitz because in general I could not rely on my staff. Until then I always saw the good in people, …"
163: "I had many detailed discussions concerning every phase of the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question' with Eichmann without ever letting him know what was going on inside me. I tried everything possible to get Eichmann to open up about what his deepest convictions were about the 'F.S.' But, even when we were alone and the wine and schnapps were flowing so that he was in the most talkative mood, he revealed that he was totally obsessed with the idea of destroying every Jew he could get his hands on. Ice cold and without mercy, we had to carry out this annihilation …"
Rudolf Höss (1900-1947)
- Catholic father: son should become priest
"respectful and obedient"
- age 15: secretly joined WWI, went to front
multiple woundings and medals
- demobilized; joined "free corps"
- 1923 arrested (w/ Martin Bormann) for murder of teacher
- 1928 release, farm worker, SS
- 1934: Dachau, "block leader" under Loritz
- 1938: Sachsenhausen, "camp leader"
- 1940: commandant, job: create Auschwitz
did Höss do? image from Art Spiegelman's Maus showing
how the Birkenau gas chamber-crematoria buildings worked
Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)
- "lonely, moody and withdrawn" boyhood
teased "the little Jew" b/c of dark complexion
- electrical engineering school,
ended abruptly b/c of 1923 inflation
- traveling salesman in Vienna
- 1927 Veterans' youth org., 1932 Aust. Nazi
- probs. w/ police, to Berlin
- knew Hebrew, Gestapo Jewish affairs div.
- 1937 to Palestine; 1938 headed emigration
- 1939: SS Jewish affairs under Heydrich
Roundup of (individual) motivations
- racism (race-based antisemitism)
- ideological indoctrination
- obedience to orders
- deference to authority
- special selection of perpetrators
- wartime brutalization
- segmentation and routinization of task
- Economic / Int'l / Elite
/ Ideology / peOple
Wannsee Conference (Jan.20, 1942)
Info & questions for film tonight (NOT the 2002 English version, but the
1984 German one, which is MUCH better)
- June 22, 1941: invasion of Soviet Union
- July 31, 1941: Göring order to Heydrich
- Sept. 29-30, 1941 at Babi Yar, Ukraine: 33,771 massacred
- Heydrich planned mtg for Dec. 9, 1941
- Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941->postponement
- evidence about Hitler's intention / decision
- Who was invited: state gov't AND SS gov't
(structuralism!). Note different behaviors
- How did the men behave/compete? (functionalism)
- Auschwitz & camps
- Auschwitz, doctors, medical expts
- US public "in denial" back then
- non-Jewish victims (e.g. homosexuals)
- Women: general, perps, Anne Frank
- pre-Hitler (1920s), Hitler
- justice / trials
prepared for web by H. Marcuse, Oct. 22, 2003
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