Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monograph #9 Robin George Collingwood

The Holocaust

We find ourselves obliged to imagine it as having occupied intermediate positions when we were not looking. That is already an example of historical thinking

-Robin George Collingwood (1946)

Throughout History, the most terrible slaughter, “the Holocaust” was genocide of approximately 6 million European Jews during the Second World War, a program of systematic state-sponsored extermination by Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler. (Wikipedia)

This systematic killing of people is something that has never been before. It was not a war. It was killing of people done by one state against powerless people. Some of people say that the Holocaust was the result of personal hatred of Hitler against Jews which came from scar he got from Jewish people when he was young. This is somehow possible assumption. However could we kill like 6 million of people just because we hate that race? Can we generalize the Holocaust just as the event that occurred because of one’s hatred against Jewish people? It is quite obvious that there was hidden intention and factor made Hitler conceived this terrible extermination aside from his personal hatred of Jews. And the hidden intention and factor can be drawn from his life and experiences.

There was a reserved man whose dream was to be a painter. He was an ordinary man. No, he was not ordinary because his life was full of failures. In everything he did, he experienced failure. He was Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany who raised his nation up from ashes to the position of one of the strongest nations in Europe.

It was during the First World War when his life began to change. During the war, He was a runner, one of the most dangerous jobs on the Western Front, and was often exposed to enemy fire. He participated in a number of major battles on the Western Front, including the First Battle of Ypres, the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras and the Battle of Passchendaele. He was twice awarded for his bravery. He received the Iron Cross, Second Class, in 1914 and Iron Cross, First Class, in 1918, an hoor rarely given to a Gefreiter. On 15 October 1918, Hitler temporarily blinded by a mustard gas attack. It was as Hitler has said this experience that he became convinced the purpose of his life was to “save Germany”. However, Germany was completely defeated by America, Great Britain and France in this war. Germany was imposed huge amount of reparation and forbidden to arm herself in treaty of Versailles. The articles signed in treaty of Versailles were designed to make Germany powerless. Germany had no choice but to accept the treaty of Versailles. German defeat was great shock to Hitler as much as his loyalty to his nation.

Hitler saw how the defeat in the First World War made Germans frustrated, discouraged, and hopeless. They lost their self-esteem as a German. Hitler, in his book “Mein Kampf” discuss two important things- criticism against accepting of Government the Treaty of Versailles and emphasis superiority of German race and vulgarness of Jews.

He already knew that the key to German recovery from frustration after defeat was recovery of self-esteem of German people as a German. And the means he chose to recover racial self-esteem of German people was the persecution of Jewish people who at the time had achieved economic dominance and the ability to control and manipulate the mass media to their own advantage.

Hitler was trying to make German people recognize that German race was quite better than any other races specially Jews. Actually, his method was quite effective to convince German people. Under Hitler’s leadership, the German people quickly recovered their self-esteem and it enabled Germany overcome the hardships she faced as the result of the war.

The Holocaust was incentive to German people. Hitler succeeded to brainwash German people that German was the best in the world through persecuting other races. It was actually great driving force which led German to recovery and to once again become super power in Europe.

So what was his hidden intention behind the Holocaust? For Hitler, the holocaust was not simply for satisfaction of his hatred against Jews but the key of recovery of German self-esteem which would lead Germany to be the one of the strongest nations in Europe once again.


Adolf Hitler.(September 20, 2009). In Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:09 September 20, 2009 from

Holocaust (September 19, 2009). In Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia Retrieved 10:23 September 19, 2009 from

The Holocaust, Retrieved from Encarta Encyclopedia (1993-2003): Microsoft Corporation

Tony Mcaleavy (2004). Twentieth Century History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Collingwood, R. G. (1946). The idea of history. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Pp.

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