“I would like to state that I in no way support or believe in Nazism and the ideology that was prevalent in Nazi Germany.”
You obviously would not want to agree with The Title. But I believe this is the objective truth. Without having any knowledge of The World outside their own Country except through what was allowed in through propaganda, you would most likely be swayed to JOIN. I would also like to add that I believe that most of the people reading this would not be Hardcore Nazis, but probably just keep our heads down during this time period and ignore it all while carrying on with their mundane lives.
This applies to pretty much Every Social Movementor System that we condemn today. The Caste System in India, Untouchability, Slavery, The Crusades, The Feudal system, Religious Persecution, etc.
We like to think that not only would we be morally outraged by these things if we lived back then, the reality is most of us would go along with the Status Quo. And even amongst those opposing or offended by these systems, most would object privately and do nothing to actually stand up to the societal norm and try to bring about any sort of change around them.
The people living at the times of these movements were Humans just like us. And if you grew up during that time there, you would most likely be one of them. When the option is Join or be labelled as an Enemy with the threats of death, or be completely socially boycotted from the society People will join in with the majority and continue living their lives.
I believe that most of us just aren’t brave/capable/selfless enough to fight for our beliefs when our lives and livelihoods are on the line. And to be completely honest, for many of us our beliefs are shaped by the circumstances we live in, not some inherent ethical imperative.
Most people won’t challenge the Status Quo, because the reality is Status Quo benefits most people or at least allows them to live safely if they follow the rules.For most of us, self-preservation is a much more urgent need than integrity.
Talking specifically about the Case of Nazi Germany, Nationalism is a hell of a motivator too. Especially in a country that had been Humiliated less than 20 years ago (The First World War), was in an Economic Freefall(The Treaty Of Versailles), and basically Festering under Foreign Oppression (Post World War 1). If I told you that I’d have opposed the Nazis if I was an 19 year old in Germany in 1939 and someone charismatic was finally rallying us to retake our place on the world stage, I’d be completely and absolutely lying.
The Nazi Plan was sold as a reaction against what the Germans felt was an unjust burden to pay reparations for World War-I, and was seen as a way to restore Germany to power and status. We look with hindsight now, but even the Allies at the time had no idea what was happening in the camps until they discovered and liberated them.
Most Germans had no idea what was really happening to Jews, homosexuals, the “gypsies”, the Catholics, the disabled, and many others. As Allied forces began liberating the camps, they often rounded up The Locals who denied anything sinister was happening and showed them what really went on there.
People tend to be very willing to turn a blind eye to things they do not like or do not suite them. You had a charismatic and powerful leader who claimed to be a Christian and was going Make Germany Great Again. People easily overlooked the street violence and rounding up of the Jews.
This just goes to show how truly amazing and admirable the Individuals that fought for what’s right and moral in order to bring change around them actually are, even in the face of great opposition and ordeals. This also shows the bravery of people who left their lives to move away from the homes and risked everything to stop, or change people’s views on the Nazis.