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Murderous Intellectuals: German Elites and the Nazi SS Paperback – November 2, 2009
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Though it's difficult for any one book to fully attempt to explain such a complicated topic, Maxwell's book does a pretty good job of highlighting many of the reasons that may have been behind why many of Germany's intellectuals and elites went along with and participated in the Holocaust. It's a very good book I'd recommend to anyone who likes to read about history and who has always wondered what could have caused an entire nation to seem to have fallen under Hitler's spell.
I won't go into great detail about the book - I don't want to spoil the enjoyment of reading it for others - but I'll touch on some of the reasons the author mentions which others have come up with over the years as possible explanations for Germany's elites and intellectuals, by and large, to become Nazis and support Hitler, Nazism, and the Holocaust. The author gives an overview of the various possible reasons in some of the book's chapters, which have titles like: "Personal Reasons," "Sadism," "Racism and Ethnic Hatred," "The Autocratic Nature of German Society" ("I was only following orders"), and "Human Genetics.Read more ›
When doctors would give up their practice and abandon their Hippocratic oath to "do no harm" and actually kill people that they termed as "subhuman", it is beyond reproachable behavior. Included in this group were other madmen, and members of society, who would murder a whole populace of people; many of whom were considered intellectuals by their peers. In many instances a one degree difference in your skull index size would determine if you were of the "master race" or "subhuman". If you came out on the wrong end of the measurement you were sent to your death in a gas chamber or other form of eradication to satisfy the "German question" and Hitler's "Final Solution". Even the common citizens of Germany met a terrible fate if they happened to be disabled. If they were, they were labeled as "worthless" and were either killed or made sterile- to preserve the master race. Babies were taken and thrown into rivers and told to "boil there, you offspring of the devil!"
Jonathan Maxwell presents another interesting look at the Holocaust- where he looks into the mindset of the murderous intellectuals and attempts to make some sense of it all by examining the behavioral histories of those involved. In this book you will learn that Hitler, as a young boy, was an introvert and a poor student and we are given insight into what may have influenced him to become one of the evilest men in history.
The author also gives us pause to consider that we are still living in times of great human suffering- at the hands of world leaders- and that history, in the case of the Nazi's and the Holocaust, may well someday repeat itself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
MURDEROUS INTELLECTUALS - GERMAN ELITES AND THE NAZI SS is a book that makes you think, makes you take a second look at the atrocity--the holocaust. Read morePublished on January 28, 2011 by Yolanda Renee
I read Jonathan Maxwell's book MURDEROUS INTELLECTUALS with little expectation, but left it feeling like I had just been reminded of an important chapter in humanity's history. Read morePublished on December 5, 2010 by Cyrus Webb
As a former Jewish activist and teacher of Holocaust studies, I have read dozens of books on the subject of the Holocaust history. Read morePublished on March 21, 2010 by Bonnie Kaye
The United States unflinchingly carries on a sickening love affair between World War II and the brutality of the Holocaust, and there is very little that has not been overly... Read morePublished on January 19, 2010 by F. G. Stapleton
Disclaimer: John Maxwell is a former student of mine. When he asked me to read "Murderous Intellectuals," I was hesitant at first. Read morePublished on January 18, 2010 by Aunt Jo