Lecture # 7
February 26, 2014
Nazi Gas Van (lateth930s)
January 20 , 1942 – Senior Nazis gather at the Wansee conference
o Creating the final solution for the problem of the Jews
o List of Jews and Jewish populations in neutral countries such as Sweden and Ireland
o Systematic approach to murder Jews
o Rational people
o Einsatzgruppen = Nazi death squads
o Develop the gas van
Problems from Nazi perspective:
Not fast enough – load onto truck, drive around block, hope they die
Causes a lot of stress for soldiers – shrieks of people, etc
Nazis did not enjoy killing people
Take off clothes – say we don’t want infectious diseases, but really because clothes might hold
Experience takes approx. 15 minutes
At the height of their use, 30 vans were in use, utility was problematic, profound stress for Nazis
Only killed 50-60 Jews at a time, would take years to kill the millions of Jews
o Himmler goes on a Jew hunt – he was so moved by a small massacre of Jews (200 Jews), he witnesses
what the Nazis are doing and gets visibly upset about what the Nazis are doing
o Himmler speech – these people (Nazi) who have done these war crimes, could not be brought back into
society, war creating savages
Christian Wirth/Sonderkommando (atAuschwitz)
Hitler sentenced death to Jews, communists, Jehovah’s witnesses, gypsies, homosexuals – sent to concentration
Difference between concentration camp and death camp
Concentration camps created economy – forced labor (slavery)
Many Nazis died due to intense labor
Poland is where a death camp is created – sole purpose to kill people
Death camp = factory of death
Wirths first major job is to gas undesirables (developmentally delayed, deformities, and anyone who does not
conform to ideal standards of Nazi ideology)
Hitler gets Wirth to oversea the creation of death camps
The Wirth Method: gassing people in specially designed rooms
Try to find an efficient way to deal with the Jewish problem
AGerman pharmaceutical company called IG Farben manufactured a killing program in the form of a chemical
gas called Zyklon B
Zyklon B could be mechanically delivered into shower heads – the powder reacts with water to produce fumes
Jews would get off trains and the Nazis would tell them they are dirty from a long trip so they should take a
shower – a couple minutes later, everyone is sterile and killed
This form of killing spared the Nazi soldiers the trauma of killing people
This was completely RATIONAL
The Holocaust was a complete perversion of industrialization and the enlightenment – IMPORTANT
Medicine is one of the features of the modern world however Nazis perverted the idea of medicine and doctors
being used to better people Nazi doctors performed experiments on Jews
o Josef Mengele (doctor atAuschwitz) – highly influential doctor
o Mengele developed sterilization techniques
Doctors under Mengele would compete to see who could perform the most sterilizations in a day
o Since the Germans were fighting war, they needed to test military weapons so they tested weapons on
poor defenseless bodies
How many people can this one bullet shoot through?
Experiments done in extreme cold, extreme heat, and high altitudes (how high up until an oxygen
mask is needed)
o Injected diseases into Jews
How long until tuberculosis kills a person?
o The experiments were all rational - scientific experiments done by specialists
Nazis were not insane, actually extraordinarily rational
o Mengele was interested in woman particularly how to increase pregnancies in GermanAryan women
He cut open the bodies of women who were mothers of twins to see what is physically different
about them than women producing one baby
o Also cut up bodies of genetically different Jews to see what’s different
Nazi ideology of the superior GermanAryan race
o Eliminate anyone who is not purebred and perfect German
o Ideology backed by Pseudoscience
o Physicians develop criteria to determine between the superior and inferior
o Contrast to diversity in Canada – we celebrate difference
Nazi doctors stood at railway stations and played God – determined whether each Jew was fit for labour or should
go straight to death in the gas chambers
The final stage in the vast assembly line of murder
Industrialization is based on reason and making peoples lives better – in Nazi death camps, we see
industrialization and rationality used for mass murder – equally implicated in modernity itself
Normal everyday people used their reason and rationality in viewing the holocaust and the result was to not
confront it because the enormity of it was so vast
Trains started in 1942 to convey the Jewish victims to death camps
o Nazis would go to Jewish ghettos and round up Jews to take them to railway stations
o Trains are a symbol of modernity
o Individuals were either selected for extermination or for work
o They were packed into railway cars
100 people per car – so crowded that some died in transit
Deprived of food/water/hardly any air – no purpose of eating when they were going to be killed
o Vast majority sent to shower – once they were killed – Jewish slaves (Sonderkommando) removed the
bodies from the showers to the crematorium
Outsourced labour b/c no Nazi soldier wanted to be apart of it
Once the Jews removed the bodies/cleaned and sterilized cattle cars/told arrivers where to go, they
themselves were put to death
o Created an assembly line of death – little interaction between the Nazis and Jews – factory assembly line
Auschwitz logo translated to “only work will set you free” but really they only achieved freedom through death
Auschwitz was surrounded by barbed wire fences, guards with machine guns (lured over people to keep anxiety
levels high and randomly shot to keep people alert and fearful), trained dogs also kept
March 5, 2014 Post WWII Proletarianization in the Eastern Bloc
Holocaust was solution to Jewish Problem
Perversion of industrial modernity
Nazis were logical; they knew exactly what they were doing. They kept records
Develop gas vans and Jews are screaming in pain. Traumatic for Nazis to kill
Jewish men and women
19451989, a brave new world. Two conferences created a bipolar world.
Fact of the matter is no particular treaty ended the war. Parts of Euro andAsia devastated.
US and SU become the two main powers.
Start to create rival blocs of power. US allies with Western Europe (West Germ, Eng, France). SU with East
Europe (Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia). Development of the Cold War.
Clash of ideologies, capitalism and communism.
Communism is a top down economic system. Economic theories are based on Karl Marx and Lenin. Capitalism
based on Adam Smith.
Comm is centrally run
Party runs the show, there may be some elections, but there’s gonnna be one guy on the ballot.
The difference between these ideologies is Cap believes in open mindedness and freedom, individuality, will lead
to a better society. promotes a lot of social inequality. Marx sees this development of class structure and the
discrepancies. His solution is make everybody equal, take away the differences between them.
Is the world going to be characterized by democracy or communism. What is the good life and how do we obtain
War was devastating for Russia, large portion was killed. They paid dearly. 17%.
Russians were the ones who defeated the Nazis, if it wasn’t for them, Nazis would have run Europe.
Russia’s catastrophic war time losses made them want to claim those places in Europe.
Poland’s urban population: 7.5 (1945) to 14.4 (1960). Massive industrialization in Eastern Europe.
Bulgaria: 26% in 1948 to 36% in 1960.
Population in Belgrade 368,000 (1950)585,000 (1960).
Conquering Eastern Europe
SU send in the advisors and negotiate to get their people into power.
If that does not work... send in the military
“Purge” government of Nazi sympathizers
Create coalitions of procommunist supporters in government with people that agree with them.
Then they rig the system so that the pro-Russia coalition dominates the key political positions
US particularly in LA will also do the same tihngs
Rise of Communist Governments in East Europe
1947 Hungary: there is a coalition party that had ousted the commnists in a democratic election. The communists
forcible remove the coalition government and put their own people in power
1947 Romania: the monarch, King Michael was forced out of power by coms
1947 Bulgaria: Bulgarian comms win a plebiscite that creates a communist government. In the next few years
they repress all other political parties but their own.
1940s Poland: the comms push out the socialist party and create their own single party system.
The Marshall Plan 1947
How US helped rebuild Europe. $13 billion.
The USArebuilds Euro after WWII, 13 billion (1 trillion now).
US counters expansion of USSR through programs of military and economic aid.
Truman doctrine, support resistance of “free peoples” to communism. Self determinism
The Marshall plan provides $ for the industrial development of Euro Encourages coordination between Euro countries. E. Euro doesn’t participate in the Marshall plan. They have the
Creation of NATO, 1949
Amultinational consortium of nations. If one nation is attacked... they’ll go to war. Did it to counter Warsaw
Eisenhower was the first commander of NATO. NATO is anAmerican organization... anticommunism
West Germany is rearmed and is quickly integrated back into Euro.
USSR is not part of NATO nor are any E. Euro nations.
BerlinAirlift (Berlin Blockade)
Starts in June 1948, end in June 1949
One of the first conflicts between East and West. Germany divided between east and west.
Berlin is inside the Russian part of Germany. Split into West Berlin and East Berlin.
Supposed to be temporary, supposed to structure a peace settlement and then Germ would be united, but they
Whether Germ would be Cap or Comm, what sphere of influence would it be under, whether it will be
democratic or authoritarian.
Berlin wall is put up, and new forms of government are created. Stalin blocks all roads to East Berlin. Stalin cuts
off access to West Berlin. Starve that part of the city into submission.
So they start to fly planes into West Berlin and parachute supplies. 12 tons of supplies
Blockade ends with a formal creation of Eastern and Western Germany. GDR and West Germany
Eisenhower R, 19531961 and John Foster Dulles SoS 19531959
Think of ways to contain Communism
It becomes the foreign policy of US
First principle, Comms should not expand, that’s why they go to war with Vietnam
Second, is capitalism must not go bankrupt trying to contain communism
Eisenhower obsessed with not being bankrupt to fight communism. Doesn’t want to ruin the national treasury by
spending too much on military
Eis realizes that capitalists are greedy; arms companies will suckAmerica’s tax revenue and bankrupt US.Arms
manufacturers will destroyAmerican economic system in the long run.
US manufactures threats to use military
George Kennan (19042005)
Russian Ambassador, waiting to tell US the terror of the Comm state. Hes intelligent.
Hates Comms and see the growing police state of Stalin. Saw US made a mistake aligning with SU in WWII.
Says going to war with SU is nuts
Says they have to contain communism and limit their sphere of influence
See this will be a long and drawn out struggle. This struggle is going to take decades.
Writes this all in a telegraph, famous
Former Yugoslavia/Joseph Tito
Doesn’t take crap from Soviets or US
After WWII, it becomes part of the Soviet Bloc.
Tito is a full fledged Comm, but doesn’t want Stalin’s help.
Wants Yugo to be Comm, but independent.
Imprisoned for antigovernment and pro union activities before.
Goes to Moscow to learn how to be a good cOMM
Assigned to construct a Comm party in Yugo
Makes a name for himself in WWII as a guy who goes after Nazis Creates guerilla factions to ambush Nazis. Plays down his revolutionary zeal
Tito promises brotherhood and unity
Tito establishes the first Soviet regime after WWII in Yugo
Under Soviet regime, they are supposed to exploit peasantry to become the breadbasket of the USSR
Once theres an industrial base in Russia, everyone will rise.
SU are telling Yugo what to do. Tito uses propaganda.
SU wants to control Soviet bloc, but Tito says hes not a puppet, so Stalin gets upset. Tito wants to create a
federation of Comm states to create a counter power to the Soviet.
1948, Stalin denounces Tito as a heretic of the Comm party. Calls on Yugo party leaders to oust him. First Tito is
shaken that Stalin turns on him, SU wants to make Tito accountable for what hes done. But Tito still maintains
control, imprisons those who speak against him. Proclaims his state is the only state that tries to follow the true
principles of MarxistLeninism. Went to create a Comm state by himself. Realizes it’s a bad idea, os he begins to
change, allows his workers to have selfmanagement which goes against Soviet ideology of only having party
people. Let the market dictate prices. Tito even starts to each out to Western Euro and US. But then calls upon
nonaligned states like Turkey and Iran. Trying to create his own center of power in the Balkans.
It becomes an influential power in world politics. He negotiates with US for military equipment against the SU,
but also manages to have good relations with the Soviets especially in the later years of his reign.
Before WWII, people still believe in progress, reason, and enlightenment ideals
People saw progress before 1945 in every aspect of their lives, like rising standard
of living, industrialized cities,
According to the enlightenment, the world is a rational place
Holocaust is going to question beliefs of modern civilization
Nietzsche calls God dead. Interested in the ancient Greeks.
With the rise of Christianity, their morals dominate the world; slaves religion, morality, culture and humanity
became corrupt. Its weak. These values corrupted humanity.
He thinks theAncients had superior values because they strove for greatness.
Christianity advocates weakness. God is dead because modern Christians have killed him who don’t really
Calls for new values based on theAncient Greeks.Accept the meaninglessness of existence and making that
meaninglessness a part of self liberation. Meaning of life is what we give to it.
Calls for a superman that will be able to recreate society on new lines and create new values that wil lead to
Nietzsche’s belief is there will be 1 in 1 million who will be superman.
March 12, 2014
Friedreich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Wrote the Genealogy of Morality – historical account asking where our morals come from and how we get them
Nietzsche argues that we get our morals through Christianity
Nietzsche is highly critical of Christianity
With the rise of Christianity – culture and humanity became corrupt – Christianity stresses “crazy” things
according to Nietzsche (turn the other cheek, etc.)
Christianity corrupts humanity because it takes away the drive for human greatness – makes us weak –
compassion associated with Christianity stifles human creativity – Christianity glorifies mediocrity
Christian values, were values of the slave, they were the underclass of the Roman Empire – embodies the slave
Christianity stresses humility, compassion, to Nietzsche, these corrupted Man, because man no longer strives to
be great anymore Looks back atAncient Rome and Greece and things they h