The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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It seems to us that it would be inaccurate to suppose that this indifference covered a tacit opposition. The citizen participates in an event as something inevitable because the one in whom he has confidence energetically proclaims it necessary.

This state of mind characterizes, too, with slight differences, the personalities profoundly engaged in the Hitlerian movement. Speer, Minister of the War Economy, and one of the principal figures of the Third Reich, wrote in his memoirs:
"I have always been surprised by the slight trace which Hitler's anti-Semitic remarks have left on me... The hatred which Hitler professed for the Jews seemed so natural to me at the time that it did not make much of an impression on me."
In another passage he wrote that he did not feel
"personally concerned by the hunt for Jews, Free-Masons, Social-Democrats and Jehovah's Witnesses about whom I heard in my entourage."
He thought that it was sufficient for him "not to get mixed up in that." (12)

Such an attitude explains that those who executed the Hitlerian action against the Jews had not to feel marked by the horror of their task. They were attached with the other artisans of the Third Reich to a single and unique work, albeit strictly compartmentalized, a work which the Reich created. An Eichmann would certainly not have succeeded in the gigantic task of Speer. Speer would probably have been neither able nor willing to support the vision of horror with which Eichmann's activity was impregnated. But both of them knew that the person who commanded the ensemble and in whom they had confidence saw the necessity for the work of each of them. There was no passion for the object of the mission, but only for its accomplishment. Speer expressed this in his memoirs:
"I have the impression that this desperate race that I was running with time, this look of a madman that I kept perpetually fixed on the figures of production and on efficiency curves, had smothered all consideration and all human sentiments in me... What bothers me much more is rather that I did not see in the faces of the internees (in the concentration camps) the reflection of the physionomy [sic] of the regime, whose existence I was striving with the rage of a maniac to prolong during these weeks and these months." (13)
In contrast to the case of Speer, master of Hitler's war economy, the passion of zeal was in the case of the chiefs of the "final solution" inseparable from the direct and constant vision of this physionomy [sic] of the regime, given that it was in themselves that the expression of the atrocity of Hitlerism culminated.
    
   

 
The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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