UCSB Hist 133D
The Holocaust in German History

Prof. Marcuse
Nov. 8, 2001

Lecture 14: Mentalities of the Murderers

  1. Zachor event tonight, 5:30pm, UCSB Hillel
  2. The Warsaw Ghetto (see reader no. 11)



open-air shootings


extermination centers


concentration camps


death marches/other




  1. The Warsaw ghetto uprising: 350,000 inhabitants initially
  1. The Mentalities of the Murderers (who did readings 11=Dawidowicz, 12=Markle, 13=Heck?)
    my term: "brown-collar criminals" (as in "white, blue collar workers")
    1. shooters
    2. administrative
    3. doctors (hands-on=administering injections, distanced=evaluating index cards)
    4. officers (top-level commanders; officers in the field at shootings)
    5. factory CEOs
    6. engineers, architects
    7. intellectuals
    1. bureaucratic "desk" murderers (administrators and technical specialists; ideologues)
    2. organizers in the field (like Kommandant Höss in Auschwitz; Major Trapp [Markle])
    3. participants in "assembly line" murder (loading trains, dumping cyclon B)
    4. hands-on shooters, guards in camps
    1. ideology: antisemitism; social Darwinism; master race
    2. crude prejudice: the "justification" for mass murder (antisemitism)
    3. dehumanized victims: (ghettoization, excrutiating train journeys)
    4. professional, scientific attitude: cold cult of professionalism: medical "experimenters"
    5. "ethical universe"
      the moral blindness of leadership (Himmler, "Papa" Trapp)
      opportunism/careerism: a question of values
    6. obedience to authority: (Höss, Milgram experiments)