HST 270 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Rudolf Höss, Zyklon, Killing Machine

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20 Mar 2017
Department
Course
Professor
Rudolf Hoss
Concentration camps were created to destroy all human qualities on both sides
Not well known except in a small circle
Surrendered his independence to total servitude
Renounced individual self-determination for totalitarian training in
obedience
Felt at home in a world of commands, even at a young age
At the beginning of his service he believed that he was not suited for
concentration camp service; he said it was extremely difficult to watch executions
and to be harsh
Who was Hoss?
The commandant of the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz
Had to go through a process of hardening until he was good enough to be
a leader in the regime
Said he never personally hated the Jews
Personally satisfied by his genius killing machine
Developed the various phases of extermination process
Gassing, disposal of the body's, utilization of things left
behind
Zyklon B was his invention
Never recognized the contradictions of his own behaviors
Hated that those in the camps weren’t treated like people, but he was in
charge of making sure they weren’t treated like people
Schizophrenic
Enabled Hoss to keep his sentimental reserves even in a brutal, murder
filled world
Outstanding characteristic of Hoss
Strict attention to duty
Unselfish
Simple
Why Hoss was drawn to the regime?
Simple formulas, uncomplicated schema of good and evil, hierarchy of normal
standard
For him it was utopia
Himmler’s Influence
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