Summary of the Source
The genocide in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler did not just target the Jew. Other minority groups such as Armenians and Christians were also targeted for various socio-economic and political reasons. However, the political class in the country has often refused to accept the fact that genocide indeed took place. While one section of society has accepted that the holocaust was a reality, many still believe the minority groups in the country did not suffer. Some have even come up with explanations that seek to justify genocide (Giorgos et al. 31). It took pressure from the international community for the political class in Germany to accept the fact that genocide occurred in the country and that other minority groups besides Jews were also targeted. Ter-Matevosyan notes that “in June 2016 the German Parliament adopted a resolution declaring the killing of Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915 a genocide” (106). It is important to note that it took over 100 years for the political class in the country to have a consensus about these mass murders.
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Evaluation of the Source
German society has always been considered a perfect representation of what the impact of racism and intolerance can be in modern society. In most cases, events that happened during the Nazi rule tend to be more conspicuous. However, this article demonstrates that the intolerance in this society did not start with Adolf Hitler and probably it did not end when he was forced out of power. In 1915, about 28 years before the onset of the holocaust, there was a mass murder of Armenians by the German authorities (Kahn 22). This part of German history is always clouded by the events of the First and Second World Wars, especially the gruesome murder of Jews in that society. However, the truth is that the minority Armenians, who were Christians just as the majority of the population, were targeted by German authorities. They were considered outcasts and traitors who could easily betray Germans during the First World War. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians and other minority groups were murdered.
The article by Ter-Matevosyan “traces parallels and paradigmatic continuities between the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust by looking at the former through the lenses of Nazi Germany” (107). Events before the holocaust indicate that Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party only furthered a concept that was already popular in the country. In 1915 when the genocide occurred in the country, Adolf Hitler and many of his close associates were not in leadership. The intolerance in German society was already strong and minority groups were considered outcasts and outsiders (Shaw 184). The article makes it easy to understand how Nazi was able to gain power through the democratic process even though it strongly championed anti-Semitism policies. Society considered it the right instrument through which national policies could be championed.
Relationship to Other Sources
This source is closely related to Genocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina’s Military Juntas by Shaw (184). They both focus on the injustices committed by the German authorities against other minority groups in the country, especially Armenians. The two sources explain that the German and global society has forgotten about these injustices because of the emphasis often placed on the holocaust.
Possible Use of the Source
The source will be important in the coming essay. It will be part of materials that will help in explaining the pain and sufferings that the minority groups went through in Germany. It will help in explaining that the torture and mass murder of Jews in Germany was not an isolated case. Other minority groups, some of whom were Christians, also suffered in the country. It will help in explaining that the problem that the German majority had with Jews was not entirely based on religion.
Giorgos, Antoniou, et al. “Collective Victimhood and Social Prejudice: A Post-Holocaust Theory of Anti-Semitism.” Working Paper, vol. 10, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-36.
Kahn, Rob. “The Overlapping of Fools: Drawing the Line between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism in the Wake of the 2014 Gaza Protests.” Legal Studies Research Paper, vol. 15. no. 11, 2015, pp. 1-29.
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Shaw, Martin. “Book Review: Genocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina’s Military Juntas.” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, vol. 9, no. 3, 2016, pp. 183-187.
Ter-Matevosyan, Vahram. “Book Review: Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler.” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, 2017, pp. 106-108.