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Role played by "Jewish Policemen"

Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 12:01:04 CDT

With reference to the ongoing discussion about the role played by "Jewish Policemen" I would like to state the following:

The Jews in the Holocaust were subjected to various forms of violence:

1. State ordered violence, committed mostly by Germans, most willingly, some reluctantly.

2. Culturally induced violence, committed willingly (only) by bystander nations like Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, Croats, Serbs, Slovaks, and others.

3. Fear induced violence, committed by victim upon victim. It is a little known fact that the SS seldom entered the concentration camps. Most of the dirty work was done bye the prisoners themselves: the Kapos, the camp functionaries, etc. Similarly in the ghettos the Jewish Police helped the Germans starve the ghetto, catch and load the people to the death trains, etc.

Although it is natural to condemn those people, we have to understand the following:

1. Gradualism, in which the German slowly converted decent people int killers.

2. Fear. A policemen that refused to cooperate was condemned to death on the spot.

3. Terror and hunger, do destroy the personality of people. Only people that experienced this can understand this.

4. It was Heydrich devilish plan to use extensively the victims manpower in the process of self-destruction. For example – all the crematoria were manned by Jewish Sondercommando.

I do believe that an average person, facing the terror of hunger and death, will cooperate with his oppressor. Only people of very high integrity, sacrificed their lives and refused to cooperate.

In my opinion all those policemen are victims and not killers. They were caught in the web and could not help it.

5. Powerful psychological forces that affected the behavior of the victims, were never explored.

I tried to broach this subject in one of my pages entitled - The Holocaust Syndrome

The URL is users.systec.com/kimel/syndrome.html

Alexander Kimel - Holocaust Survivor