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Why did ordinary people commit atrocities in the Holocaust?

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All first-year criminology students need to read this.  It is about how ordinary people in extraordinary times can commit or assist with mass murder. It is also about the power of the state, the dominant culture and the general zeitgeist in whipping up a kind of collective lunacy that enables normal people to behave like mad butchers. I know because my late stepfather, John Szymanski, told me many a story - he believed he had lost one half of his family to the Germans and the other half to the Russians. When I asked how could people do the atrocities he witnessed himself, he said there was a kind of madness in the air that gripped everybody. I dedicate this to John.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zsshhyc

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