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4.2 Who to blame

Browning developed his work on Police Battalion 101 into a book, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (1992b). The same material was subsequently used, and reinterpreted, by Daniel J. Goldhagen for Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (1996). Goldhagen points the finger of blame for the Holocaust precisely at Germany. The Holocaust was, he stresses, a German phenomenon, and he argues that it built on what he det
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3.4 The mass production of death

Mass shootings by soldiers and Einsatzgruppen and the use of the mobile gas vans took time and energy. There was concern about the effects on the morale of the men involved. Towards the end of 1941, even before the Wannsee Conference, the Nazis had begun building camps in Poland that incorporated large gas chambers for the mass production of death. Belzec was the first to come into operation in February 1942, killing people with carbon monoxide first released from bottles and subsequen
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3.2 Plans for ‘resettlement’ of the Jews

The occupation of western Poland after the brief campaign of 1939 gave the Nazis Lebensraum to colonise with ethnic Germans, some of whom were soon to be repatriated to the Reich (and thence, often reluctantly, to the newly annexed provinces of the Warthgau and Danzig) by new conquests. But the preparation of these provinces for the colonists necessitated the expulsion of a million Poles and Jews, who were driven east to the Nazi-controlled satellite of Poland known as the Ge
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3.1 Terminology used during the ‘Final Solution’

The term ‘Final Solution’ (Die Endlösung) was a euphemism. Himmler was fully prepared to talk about killing to his immediate subordinates, but much of the Nazi killing machine was shrouded in bureaucratic euphemism. The doctors and administrators charged with murdering ‘incurables’ were the ‘Public Ambulance Service Ltd’ (Gemeinnützige Krankentransport GmbH); the motorised death squads which first went into action in Poland in 1939 were ‘task forces’ (Einsat
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1.3 Eugenics

Just as anti-Semitism was not unique to Nazi Germany, neither were ideas of racial superiority or attempts to create a society peopled by ‘better’ human beings. Politicians, scientists and social commentators in many European countries expressed concern about the ‘degeneracy’ of their respective ‘national stock’ in the years before World War I. Sir Francis Galton – scientist, anthropologist, cousin of Charles Darwin and inspired by his work – had coined the word ‘eugenics’
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1.2 Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism was not an invention of the twentieth century, nor was it simply a German phenomenon. In the years before 1914 violent pogroms were directed against Jews, who were made scapegoats for the problems of the Russian Empire. The flight of Jews from the east, first to escape the violent prejudices unleashed periodically in Tsarist Russia and then to escape the upheavals in the aftermath of World War I, sharpened the anti-Semitism which was already to be found in the west of Europe. Th
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should have:

  • a perception of the enormity of the events under discussion;

  • a recognition of the kinds of ideas and incidents which may have prompted them;

  • an awareness of the historical arguments surrounding the Holocaust;

  • an awareness of the relationship between the Holocaust and the war.


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Glossary

Alliteration repetition of sounds, usually the first letters of successive words, or words that are close together. Alliteration usually applies only to consonants.
Anapest see under foot.
Assonance repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds.
<
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10 Comparing and contrasting

Often you will find that an assignment asks you to ‘compare and contrast’ poems. There's a very good reason for this, for often it is only by considering different treatments of similar subjects that we become aware of a range of possibilities, and begin to understand why particular choices have been made. You will have realised that often in the previous discussions I've used a similar strategy, showing, for example, how we can describe the rhyme scheme of ‘Love From the North’ as si
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9 Line lengths and line endings

Read the following prose extract taken from Walter Pater's discussion of the Mona Lisa, written in 1893, and then complete the activity:

She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants: and, as L
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8 Voice

Is the speaker in a poem one and the same as the writer? Stop and consider this for a few moments. Can you think of any poems you have read where a writer has created a character, or persona, whose voice we hear when we read?

Wordsworth's The Prelude was written as an autobiographical poem, but there are many instances where it is obvious that poet and persona are different. Charlotte Mew's poem, ‘The Farmer's Bride’ (1916) begins like this:

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • have an awareness of the role of analysis to inform appreciation and understanding of poetry;

  • be able to identify and discuss the main analytical concepts used in analysing poetry.


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References

A.B. Chace (tr. and ed.), The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, Mathematical Association of America, 1927.
A. Erman, The Literature of the Ancient Egyptians, Mathematical Association of America, 1927.
A. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, Oxford, 1957 (third edition), pp. 196-197.
Aristotle, Metaphysics 981b 2
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1.1.2 Egyptian calculation

Box 1 A note on Egyptian scripts and numerals

The earliest Egyptian script was hieroglyphic, used from before 3000 BC until the early centuries AD. Initially an all-purpose script, it was eventually used only for monumental stone-carving and formal inscriptions. It had been superseded (by abou
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1 Babylonian mathematics

In Mesopotamia, the scribes of Babylon and the other big cities were impressing on clay tablets economic and administrative records, literary, religious and scientific works, word-lists, and mathematical problems and tables. Nearly all of the texts that give us our fullest understanding of Babylonian mathematics—indeed, of any mathematics before the Greeks—date from about 1800—1600 BC. During this period, King Hammurabi unified Mesopotamia out of a rabble of small city-states into an em
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Introduction

William Wilberforce, the politician and religious writer, was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1807. This unit explores Wilberforce’s career and writings and assesses their historical significance. In particular it examines the contribution that Evangelicalism, the religious tradition to which Wilberforce belonged, made in the transitions between the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Throughout it relates Wilberforce’s career and writings to wider social and cultural de
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4.3 Birth of the republic: war, civil war and terror

After the church and monarchy, ‘war was the third great polarizing issue of the Revolution’ (Doyle, 2001, p. 50). With a declaration by the Assembly in July 1792 of la patrie en danger (the fatherland in danger), Prussian troops on French soil in August, and the fall of the border fortress of Verdun in September, there was mass panic in Paris, with accusations of treachery against the king and queen, Lafayette (who fled abroad), ‘aristocrats’ and priests. In the ‘September ma
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2.6 Enlightenment, revolution and reform – the departments

Old Regime France was a confused welter of overlapping administrative, judicial and fiscal divisions and authorities (see Figure 2).

Figure 2
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2.5.1 Imagery of the Declaration

The decree on the abolition of nobility drew the line at damage to property, ownership of property having been proclaimed a natural right in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. (The decree is evidence that, as is known from other sources, the crowd was taking the law into its own hands by ransacking chateaux, destroying records of seigneurial dues, etc.)

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2.1 The sensible body

For centuries, and well into the early modern period, sense experience, including seeing, hearing and touching, as well as bodily movement, had been explained according to the precepts of Galenic physiology – that is, as the result of the action of animal spirits flowing along the nerves between the brain and the periphery. Nerves were understood as hollow ducts that distributed animal spirits to sustain sensation and motion. In his groundbreaking model of the body as a machine, Descartes r
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