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CricketMan79
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 4:30:15 AM
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Hi All
I have always had a keen interest in WW2, recently I helped someone with an assignment but was unable to provide an answer for this question

"Do you think Eva Braun knew about the holocaust and why would she stay with a man who was so evil"

what do you think?


Cheers!
dingdong
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 5:26:03 AM
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That's a good question. It assumes she was able to recognise evil. Is this the case? If not, then she may have thought Hitler to be perfectly normal.
If she did acknowledge what he was doing was evil, why stay with him? I, as a man, cannot answer this. It is one of life's mysteries why women stick with bad men. Only women know ...
Articulate Dreamer
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 5:58:31 AM

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dingdong wrote:
That's a good question. It assumes she was able to recognise evil. Is this the case? If not, then she may have thought Hitler to be perfectly normal.
If she did acknowledge what he was doing was evil, why stay with him? I, as a man, cannot answer this. It is one of life's mysteries why women stick with bad men. Only women know ...


good answer to a good question, Dingdong.... but i do not think that Adolf Hitler believed he was in any way evil! As for a woman staying with a man she believes to be evil, it could be fear ( Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights), the thrill of living dangerously, or sheer submission to a charismatic (even if evil) figure, that cause her to behave thus; and then there are the men who stick by evil women too......
srirr
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 6:00:37 AM

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Although no strong proof of Eva Braun's inclination towards nazism and its applications can be found, it is well known that she was Hitler's companion. It could be her personal affection or love for Hitler. Even if she knew about holocaust, it is really hard to prove logically his affection for Hitler.

mailady
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 6:29:25 AM
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He was a smooth talker.
CricketMan79
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 7:26:41 AM
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Just watched on youtube a small video clip of hitlers secretary and she said the following

"I dont know what Eva knew, we never talked about it, we talked about many things about life but nothing of hitler and what he did or didnt do, Eva was a kind generous person, she loved animals she never wanted to ask hitler much of the war. during the final months of the war Eva tried to make everyone smile"


Hard to believe they didnt know millions of people being murdered but I guess we will never know
HWNN1961
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 9:41:22 AM
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I think it is an amazingly complex psychological question. Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian, he loved his German Shepherd "Blondie", yet he tested the posion he took on his dog, and the vegetarian could sit at the dinner table and expound upon the most vile racial policies, the most brutal ideas of mass murder, and not bat an eye. Eva was there for these rantings. She knew his mind and his heart. How could she not know.

But, somehow, some way, she found something to love in the man. To cope from day to day, she must have put the evil out of her mind. Hope it wasn't true, wish it wasn't true.

Hitler inspired blind devotion. Many of his followers committed suicide with him. Josef Goerbels (spelling) and his wife poisoned their five kids then killed themeselves rather than live in the post-nazi world.

I think basically, like them, Eva had consumed the cool-aide.
chopperpilot01
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 9:42:31 AM
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mailady wrote:
He was a smooth talker.


lol nice
AJC
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 10:01:41 AM
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Maybe from Eva's point of view, other than that "Jewish problem", he was a great guy.

Or..Maybe she agreed with him. Let's not give her too much credit as an abused spouse etc. She was WITH the guy.
Susie
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 10:45:10 AM
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There is a woman that dated a man she loved more than life. She knew he had raped another woman (he told her) and figured it was just that one time. As they progressed in their relationship, he began to have feelings for her younger sister. In a matter of time he convinced the woman to drug her sister so that he could have sex with her. She obliged and it so happened the sister died (I believe drug over dose not certain on that).

She still stayed with him for several years and even let him bring other woman home that he had kidnapped and rapped in her own bed!!

When they were finally caught and she was questioned, she said she stayed with him and let it continue because she loved him and it made him happy. She wanted him to stay with her and allowing him this behavior kept him around.

So it is quite possible Eva knew of the behavior, knew it was wrong, but because of love and selfishness, allowed it and accepted it.
peterhewett
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 10:48:06 AM
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Power is an aphrodisiac
Minipisikil
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 10:51:30 AM
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That Eva Braun could stay with Hitler is not as puzzling to me as the fact that many thousands of people took part in the murders of millions. Here are a few thoughts, though no answers among them, to consider:

We know now that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day's work at Auschwitz in the morning. -George Steiner, professor and writer (b. 1929)

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

Who says that I am not under the special protection of God? -Adolf Hitler
NinjaMonkee
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:07:59 AM
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I could only guess for love or power or both. Or maybe she was just sick like him and evil minds think alike.
man in black
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:15:09 AM
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Of course she knew, or chose not to, which in any case amounts to the same thing. Birds of a feather flock together.
nooblet
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:37:58 AM
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I'm not convinced she knew. There were a LOT of Germans that didn't know that the holocaust was going on until the very end, several of them were the spouses of high-ranking officers in the military. There was a lot of propaganda being passed around in Germany, and most dissenters were silenced before they could raise awareness. The others that knew kept quiet because the SS was everywhere. There were a lot of ignorant citizens in Germany who believed the Jews were simply being relocated. The only ones that knew otherwise were oftentimes the people living nearby the concentration camps, when they could smell the burning corpses.

At the same time, the vast majority of people who actually participated in the holocaust were taken in by Hitler's propaganda (which we all know was extremelyl effective), or the fear of the SS. Hitler was very keen on crushing any hint of a rebellion, and people that refused to follow orders were often executed, hell, anyone that voiced even the slightest hint of opposition to Hitler's ideas were often executed.

For a similar situation that happened in the US, you can read about the Stanford Prison Experiment: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Stanford+prison+experiment
NinjaMonkee
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:42:01 AM
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nooblet wrote:
I'm not convinced she knew. There were a LOT of Germans that didn't know that the holocaust was going on until the very end, several of them were the spouses of high-ranking officers in the military. There was a lot of propaganda being passed around in Germany, and most dissenters were silenced before they could raise awareness. The others that knew kept quiet because the SS was everywhere. There were a lot of ignorant citizens in Germany who believed the Jews were simply being relocated. The only ones that knew otherwise were oftentimes the people living nearby the concentration camps, when they could smell the burning corpses.

At the same time, the vast majority of people who actually participated in the holocaust were taken in by Hitler's propaganda (which we all know was extremelyl effective), or the fear of the SS. Hitler was very keen on crushing any hint of a rebellion, and people that refused to follow orders were often executed, hell, anyone that voiced even the slightest hint of opposition to Hitler's ideas were often executed.

For a similar situation that happened in the US, you can read about the Stanford Prison Experiment: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Stanford+prison+experiment


So are you saying she was ignorant or fearfull of execution?
nooblet
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 12:02:31 PM
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I think that she was probably ignorant for the majority of the holocausts duration. Most of the people involved were not open with their spouses about what was really going on. When/if she did find out, I think that there are plenty of reasons why she would have stayed with him, which include all of the stuff in my post as well as the other assertions in this thread.

My post was mostly directed towards minipisikil's post that thousands of people could participate.

Here's another study that came to a very different conclusion than the Stanford Prison Experiment, but still supports how the soldiers in the concentration camps could massacre so many people: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/The+Experiment
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 4:38:22 PM
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Well, if she had known about Hitler's cruelty, then she was herself cruel. It is a disgrace to love a monster. I do not think a human being who is not extremely cruel himself/herself can truly 'love' Hitler in any way.
JayJay
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 5:18:56 PM
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How would she escape or leave a sociopath like that without being killed.Maybe it was just self-preservation that she stayed with him.
nooblet
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 5:25:31 PM
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I have to agree with JayJay. Hitler was ruthless. If she had left him, she would have likely been hunted down and killed before she made it out of the state she lived in. She may have been married to Hitler, but I don't believe she had any power.
Romany
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 5:37:08 PM
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What am I doing wrong? Went to the link provided by Ninja Monkee but all I got was the rundown on a University? So I am still ignorant of the experiment you guys mentioned.

However:- I think there is a tendency in us all to transpose events of the past into our times. Germany in the 'thirties and 'forties was a completely different world to the one we inhabit. We tend to think that the issue was polarised:- Either people knew: ergo they were evil: - or people didn't know so can't be blamed.

But anti-semitism was not just a little bug in Hitler's cap. Remember that Jewish Pogroms had occurred down through the ages in countries all over the world. There is a global history of persecution of the Jews which, ironically, only the Holocaust brought to an end. Yet, even through all of that there are still people to-day who continue to blame the Jewish people for all the world's ills.

The OP - "If Eva Braun knew about the holocaust, why would she stay with a man who was so evil" is, I think rather simplistic.

a) She wouldn't have known it was going to be called The Holocaust. Hitler's "Final solution" was intricately tied up with his entire ethos of the Aryan Master Race. Which, in its turn, was part of the intense Nationalism which united the German people. Which, in its way, was no different from the fervour which is part of what impels any nation to go and kill other human beings, be they from Vietnam, Iraq, Serbia, Georgia or whatever.

b)Hitler would not have seemed an evil man to the millions who adored and followed him. He was the Saviour of the German People. She was probably - and understandably - intensly proud of being the consort of the man who was expected to take this role to its conclusion.

c) And, surely, we are not raising that old chestnut about women being the "weaker" ones, and so more delicate and compassionate, are we? I mean, part of the reason for conjecture is surely not because Hitler was a man but she, as a woman, should have been above all that sort of thing? 'Cos that's a whole other argument completely, isn't it?

and finally, have to have a short sprint on my own hobby horse here: The Holocaust was NOT just directed at the Jewish people, but at the infirm, the insane, the deviant, the Coloured, and, of course, to my own Romany with whom he almost achieved his goal:- to wipe every one from the face of Europe. And not much sympathy, rescue, or monuments to this day, have ever been directed at the Rom!
nooblet
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 6:19:19 PM
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Romany wrote:
What am I doing wrong? Went to the link provided by Ninja Monkee but all I got was the rundown on a University? So I am still ignorant of the experiment you guys mentioned.

However:- I think there is a tendency in us all to transpose events of the past into our times. Germany in the 'thirties and 'forties was a completely different world to the one we inhabit. We tend to think that the issue was polarised:- Either people knew: ergo they were evil: - or people didn't know so can't be blamed.

But anti-semitism was not just a little bug in Hitler's cap. Remember that Jewish Pogroms had occurred down through the ages in countries all over the world. There is a global history of persecution of the Jews which, ironically, only the Holocaust brought to an end. Yet, even through all of that there are still people to-day who continue to blame the Jewish people for all the world's ills.

The OP - "If Eva Braun knew about the holocaust, why would she stay with a man who was so evil" is, I think rather simplistic.

a) She wouldn't have known it was going to be called The Holocaust. Hitler's "Final solution" was intricately tied up with his entire ethos of the Aryan Master Race. Which, in its turn, was part of the intense Nationalism which united the German people. Which, in its way, was no different from the fervour which is part of what impels any nation to go and kill other human beings, be they from Vietnam, Iraq, Serbia, Georgia or whatever.

b)Hitler would not have seemed an evil man to the millions who adored and followed him. He was the Saviour of the German People. She was probably - and understandably - intensly proud of being the consort of the man who was expected to take this role to its conclusion.

c) And, surely, we are not raising that old chestnut about women being the "weaker" ones, and so more delicate and compassionate, are we? I mean, part of the reason for conjecture is surely not because Hitler was a man but she, as a woman, should have been above all that sort of thing? 'Cos that's a whole other argument completely, isn't it?

and finally, have to have a short sprint on my own hobby horse here: The Holocaust was NOT just directed at the Jewish people, but at the infirm, the insane, the deviant, the Coloured, and, of course, to my own Romany with whom he almost achieved his goal:- to wipe every one from the face of Europe. And not much sympathy, rescue, or monuments to this day, have ever been directed at the Rom!


It's actually a link I provided. I realized that the parser that the forums use doesn't interpret plusses properly, so I fixed it by surrounding the link in url tags. If you look at my post prior to NinjaMonkee's, my link is fixed and will send you to the Stanford Prison Experiment. Alternatively, I can relink it here: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Stanford+prison+experiment.

I have more to say regarding your post, but I don't have time to respond at the moment, this will likely take me a few hours to get back to.
Tovarish
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 10:23:58 PM
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Where would she go?
Where would she live?
How would she survive?

Questions many women have asked themselves over the years.
Denial can be very powerful.
There was no one more powerful than Hitler in Europe at the time.
Cass
Posted: Saturday, March 13, 2010 3:50:04 PM
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My theory is that Eva was a simple woman and I mean simple in the sense that she wasn't sophisticated. If you look at newsreel pictures of Hitler at rallies giving speeches and look at the faces of the women there you will see what I mean. Their faces are rapturous, they think Hitler is the answer to their prayers, come to save them and their country. Think about where Germany was coming from back then. They had endured humiliation at the hands of the victorious allies after surrendering at the end of WWI. Their economy was in ruins and along comes this savior who gives them back their pride and dignity. What's not to love about him? Another consideration is the times we are talking about; in those days most women didn't talk about politics; she wouldn't have asked questions. I can picture her seated in the living room after diner with Hitler and his cohorts and their wives and talking about housefrau issues and babies. She may not have wanted to know. I think most of the wives were aware of what was going on. The families that committed suicide probably did so because they were afraid of what would happen to them if they were taken alive. I have read that Hitler was a megalomaniac - did he notice Eva was even in the room? I don't propose to know the answer to the OP's question; this is just a hypothesis. I think Tovarish sums it up neatly. By the way, have you ever been to the Eagles Nest in Berchesgarten? Just magnificent.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, March 14, 2010 12:13:24 AM
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Thank you, Nooblet: I was able to access the link this time around. I also accessed the Milford Experiemnt site and found that particular "study" - my use of quotes being a reflection of my views - much more telling in relation to the questions raised in this thread, though.

From our vantage point in a world where capital punishment has been abolished; where International agencies lay down peoples Rights; where laws concerning Cuel and Unusual punishment can be invoked; where issues like marital rape, spousal and child beating are legislated against; it does seem incredible to many that the events which took place from Krystal Nicht (sp?) until the liberation of the Camps were not performed by inhuman, evil beings.

I think it also comforts many people to take this view as the idea that ordinary people, just like ourselves, could not only allow such things to happen, but participate in behaviour we find unforgivableis is too frightening to contemplate.




Taxijack
Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:53:12 AM
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As an old and cynical friend of mine used to say, "Love is blind, but marriage is a eye-opener"
E-Minor
Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 11:01:11 AM
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I recently watched a documentary on the CBC (Love, Hate and Propaganda) regarding Hitler. An interesting element of the film followed the diary of a teacher who initially fully supported Hitler and his policies. She spoke highly of this charismatic man, who was bringing pride and prosperity to the German people. To Germany, Hitler was a celebrity first, a tyrant second, and long before people were executed for opposing him, he was their savior. However, in the case of this teacher, it was revealed that her husband had Jewish grandparents, and thus, her children were now Jews and thereby subject to all the horrors Nazi Germany became known. Suddenly, this intelligent teacher couldn't understand how all of this "was allowed to happen", how could their friends, neighbours, the world, ignore what was happening. Up to that point, the words in her diary fully supported the deportation and degeneration of the Jewish people as "necessary", and in the best interests of Germany. In my opinion, this spoke volumes of the view held by many Germans, they knew what was going on, to varying degrees, but as long as they were not personally affected, and stood to benefit, it was "necessary" and good for Germany.
In 2010, we view the horrors of WW2 from an historical context, believing that people are different today, more compassionate, less ignorant and fearful. But I disagree. I have little doubt that humans are still quite capable of instigating yet more pain and suffering on other humans...in fear and/or greed.
Ellenrita
Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 9:24:37 PM
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Eva Braun knew. She probably was the type to leave politics to the men. She was so young...a sales girl, when Hitler found her. In the beginning she was maybe just arm candy for him. I wonder why Hitler stayed with her to the very end. Surely he, in those last stages, lost trust and even reason but he kept Eva Braun
nooblet
Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 9:44:08 PM
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E-Minor wrote:
I recently watched a documentary on the CBC (Love, Hate and Propaganda) regarding Hitler. An interesting element of the film followed the diary of a teacher who initially fully supported Hitler and his policies. She spoke highly of this charismatic man, who was bringing pride and prosperity to the German people. To Germany, Hitler was a celebrity first, a tyrant second, and long before people were executed for opposing him, he was their savior. However, in the case of this teacher, it was revealed that her husband had Jewish grandparents, and thus, her children were now Jews and thereby subject to all the horrors Nazi Germany became known. Suddenly, this intelligent teacher couldn't understand how all of this "was allowed to happen", how could their friends, neighbours, the world, ignore what was happening. Up to that point, the words in her diary fully supported the deportation and degeneration of the Jewish people as "necessary", and in the best interests of Germany. In my opinion, this spoke volumes of the view held by many Germans, they knew what was going on, to varying degrees, but as long as they were not personally affected, and stood to benefit, it was "necessary" and good for Germany.
In 2010, we view the horrors of WW2 from an historical context, believing that people are different today, more compassionate, less ignorant and fearful. But I disagree. I have little doubt that humans are still quite capable of instigating yet more pain and suffering on other humans...in fear and/or greed.

People knew that Jewish people were getting deported when it first started happening, I have no doubt about that. It's that a lot of the citizens did not know (for a while, anyway) that they were being executed which is what I was saying. Some people did, and they spread rumors, but Hitler was very charismatic and likable in the beginning, so people shrugged it off as just hearsay.

As for deportation to concentration camps, something similar happened in the US during WWII. They were the internment camps for Japanese-American citizens. My grandmother was a child at the time that Pearl Harbor was bombed (she was actually only miles away from the bombing when it happened), and her entire family was forced into internment camps (along with thousands of other Japanese-American families), all of their belongings and land confiscated and sold off to "real" (read: white) American citizens at extremely discounted prices, and any funds in their bank accounts were seized by the government. After the war was over and her family was released, they had nothing but the clothes on their back, they were given no form of compensation for what was taken from them and had to start completely over from scratch. American citizens knew this was going on, but as long as they benefited from it, they didn't complain, either. And a whole lot of white American citizens did benefit from the property that was taken from Japanese-American citizens. The US only fell short of Germany in the sense that they didn't execute their prisoners, but the US still brutalized them, forced them into slums, and seized all their property.
E-Minor
Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 9:15:59 AM
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Nooblet, that is such a sad and, unfortunately, all too frequent reaction of people to our fellow humans. Our history is full of such attrocities, it makes me misanthropic. That terrible cocktail of ignorance, fear and greed turns otherwise kindly people into monsters.

On a similar note, I recently watched Snow Falling on Cedars (read the book first - way better), and it explores aspects of the Japanese-American experience in WW2.
CricketMan79
Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 11:25:31 PM
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Just missed this part of the doco.

Eva's sister was dating a jewish dentist, Eva said to her sister "If you continue as you are, I cannot help you, you both will be sent away to a concentration camp. Whether or not Eva knew of the mass killing within the camp is another story
Ellenrita
Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2010 9:42:24 PM
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Kristallnacht, 9 November 1938, Austria/Germany

"About half the estimated total of 5.1 million murders of Jews by the Nazis were committed in the year 1942...", Louise London, Whitehall and the Jews.


I and others have talked with people who knew,and to this day,worship Hitler.
nooblet
Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 8:19:22 PM
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Ellenrita, you'll find people on both sides of the issue. I'm not really sure what your post was meant to convey. Also, I have absolutely no idea why you included Louise London in that post, I don't think she was born until after WW2.

Taken from TFD's Wikipedia entry on Kristallnacht:

Quote:
"The reaction of non-Jewish Germans to Kristallnacht was varied. Martin Gilbert believes that “many non-Jews resented the round up”,[18] his opinion being supported by German witness Dr. Arthur Flehinger who recalls seeing 'people crying while watching from behind their curtains'.[19] Some even went as far as to help Jews, but the majority merely sat inside watching in horror, feeling helpless to do anything. Other non-Jewish Germans took part in the violence, as it was not just Stormtroopers rioting. Evidence of this can be established in that riots broke out on the night of November 7 and continued in some places after the pogrom was called to a halt; thus it may be surmised that these successive actions were not those of the Nazis. Also, several sources mention women and children as participating in the riots, and these were clearly not Stormtroopers but ordinary citizens. The number of German citizens involved in the riots is impossible to know, as many Stormtroopers were wearing civilian clothes and were thus indistinguishable."

18. Gilbert, op. cit., pg 70 [Which I believe is referring to: Gilbert, Martin (2006). Kristallnacht: Prelude to destruction. Hammersmith, London: Harper Collins, 23. ISBN 13 978-0-00-719240-3.].
19. Dr. Arthur Flehinger, “Flames of Fury”, Jewish Chronicle, 9 November 1979, page 27 cited in Gilbert, loc. cit.


And:

Quote:
The event nonetheless showed the public attitude was not solidly behind the perpetrators. Many Germans at the time found the pogroms troubling, as they equated them with the days of the SA street rule and lawlessness. The British Embassy at Berlin and British Consular offices throughout Germany received many protests and expressions of disquiet from members of the German public about the anti-Jewish actions of the time. The widespread cooperation of ordinary people and the desired severity of atrocities occurred primarily in Vienna and less so in Germany.

rivershin
Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 1:46:42 AM
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Back to "what Eva Braun knew" unfortunately brings to mind the incidents in Austria in which that (unspeakable) man -- I think Fritzl is his name -- who kidnapped and held his own daughter in the basement of their home for 24 years, raped her repeatedly and fathered at least seven children in this manner. My question re: Eva Braun, is how did his wife not know about this? I cannot see how it would be possible. There must have been some horrible hidden complicity on her part, perhaps even an unconscious realization. Does anyone know? It almost seems like a sort of Stockholm syndrome in both cases, Eva's and Fritzl's wife. What a torture she must have endured in her mind and then did it get less...and less...? Sociopathic denial? God, it brings the presence of evil right into the room.
nooblet
Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 7:26:25 PM
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That is a very disturbing story, rivershin.
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