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Reasons for the Holocaust

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I have sometimes before mined Yahoo!Answers for posts here when I've been lazy. So I am lazy today.

Someone on YA asked for the "reasons for the Holocaust." I said the following:

It's a complicated question. Contra some of the others who have answered, I don't believe one should focus too much on Hitler personally in responding to this question, to  "what happened at Linz" as Auden said. My strong suspicion is that if Hitler had died of some childhood disease, the whole thing would have happened in much the same way with some other front man, and we'd be talking about that other guy's childhood!

I think you have to start by taking Hegel seriously. Hegel was the figure in the history of thought who most clearly represented a wrong turn, and a specifically German wrong turn at that.  Hegelians who prefer the color red became one sort of totalitarian and Hegelians who preferred the color brown became another. And Jews became the victims of them both, because for various (as I said, complicated) reasons, Jews are easy to scapegoat.


  1. Regarding the first italicized paragraph, I question whether another front man could have existed. Hitler's abilities may have been unique. Regarding the second italicized paragraph, I question whether Hegel or any philosopher could have had that much influence.

  2. I side in this with John Maynard Keynes, who wrote, "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” I see the distillers are interchangeable, the scribblers as the movers and shakers.

    1. Yes. Here's a humorous take on the P o V of us scribblers.


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