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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Sun Jun 28, 2015, 07:41 PM

42. We Need Truth and Reconciliation

We need truth and reconciliation on the civil war. We need to remove the symbols of racism and American apartheid and have a frank and open dialogue on what hundreds of years of slavery and oppression have gotten us to where we are now as a nation.

Many factors inhibited bringing about the social changes needed in the post-Civil War period. Lack of leadership on the national level didn't help and neither did widely held views about African Americans inferiority. If you look at the period before and after the Civil War, it seemed that there was little consensus on what to do with freed slaves. Even some abolitionists supported policies of repatriating African Americans to Africa. When Jim Crow laws began to sprout in the 1880s and 1890s, the courts could have stopped it, but did not.

De-nazification wasn't the panacea either. It didn't work because a large part of the population - for one reason or another - was left untouched There were many obstacles that complicated the process. Membership in the Nazi party comprised maybe 7% of the German population or roughly about 6 million members. The sheer number of Germans and Austrians subject to de-nazification was overwhelming to the various Allies. The bulk of Nazi party members lost voting or other privileges for 3 or fewer years.
Some who weren't classified major offenders spent less than a decade in jail. There's a reason it's taken 70 years for some people working in concentration camps to be brought to trial. The formerly West German criminal justice system required proof that a person killed specific people. That requirement was only lifted about a decade ago. "Former" nazis played a role in the West German criminal justice system and didn't make it easy to bring people to justice.

There were also tens of thousands of ordinary Germans engaged in the mass murder of European Jewry and others Nazi ideology deemed unacceptable. Daniel Goldhagen's book, Hitler's Willing Executioners, basically destroys the myth that Hitler and his SS henchmen murdered millions of people all on their own.

Sexism also played a role. Some female guards were apprehended and prosecuted, but the vast majority of women who were complicit in carrying out war crimes were never brought to justice because of their gender. You know because women are genetically incapable of committing atrocities. Insert eye roll. Insert eye roll There's an excellent treatment of female nazis by Wendy Lower called Hitler's Furies. You can read a synopsis here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2432620/Hitlers-Furies-The-Nazi-women-bit-evil-men.html



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