In a village in Poland in 1942 you, as a member of a company of middle aged Germans soldiers, are raising your rifle at a crowd of women, children and the elderly. Your commander has given leave to any soldier not to take part in the massacre. Out of 500 soldiers only fifteen choose to opt out: three percent. Are you one of them?
Would I have been one of them? I can’t tell because I have not lived in German society between the Wars. And I am aware that, notwithstanding my freewill, I am a product of my personal history, and that must be strongly influenced by the culture in which I have lived. The best picture I have read of that culture is Sebastian Haffner’s memoirs: Defying Hitler (2000).His account takes us from his schooldays in WW1 to leaving Germany in 1933. Later he was to become a leading journalist. He returned to Germany in 1954 and died in 1999.
In trying to understand their criminal behaviour over three decades I first wondered whether the German nation had particular characteristics which drew them towards their acceptance of Nazi behaviour. Haffner reminds us that Bismarck described how German moral courage, never a strong characteristic, disappeared in front of authority: “insubordination (is) altogether impossible for the German military – whoever happens to be in power.” Elsewhere, Haffner refers to the German inability to recognise “the stink” of evil social activity. They might argue and debate the Nazi system but they were not capable of standing back and simply recognising the odour of evil.
In his later summary Haffner describes Germany, with all its historical fine qualities, as destroyed by nationalism. By nationalism he means an unrealistic attitude of conceit and admiration for anything German. This creates an unquestionable vanity which assumes that the state, whatever its condition happens to be, must be defended, promoted and obeyed. Those who stand back, reflect and question are disloyal and already slipping into treachery.
Against this background the day to day circumstances of Germany, following the first war, were extraordinary. The shock of losing the war destroyed, at least at that time, all the confidence built up over the centuries. The Treaty of Versailles was seen by many as a betrayal by civilian government of the courageous army. Ordered society was replaced by factions of the left and right, all was uncertainty and fear. Add to that gross hyperinflation of the currency and you have a society which needs a saviour. And Hitler was in the wings. His first, and popular, appearance was the “Beer Hall” putsch, followed by a period of prison. And in prison he started to write Mein Kampf.
This, and its second volume, set out his racist ideology which justified any actions which promoted Aryanism, including grabbing “living room”(Lebensraum) in countries to the east. It identified Jewry as an international plot to take over countries from within. It set out a program whereby the rights of the citizen were replaced by the aims of Nazism, leaving liberals in fear of critical comment even among their friends in case they were betrayed to the authorities.
And now I have to ask myself how I would have behaved as a German in the 1930s. Would I have stood up and publicly exposed the Nazi evils? I wouldn’t have been standing up for long. And I have family. Would I have gone along quietly trying to avoid any personal guilty actions? The German Catholic Church seems to have followed such a discretionary agenda, with some success. It was fortunate in that its numbers were so large that the Nazis did not dare to destroy it – although it was suspected that, once the war was won, it would have been outlawed.
I might have looked back through my life as a young German and seen my crippled, disordered country rescued by the Nazis, under an inspirational leader, and turned once again into a nation of consequence. While recognising the evil elements, might I have thought that this was a price that had to be paid: stability versus chaos? I think back to the 1930s and the Spanish Civil War, where many good people, including the then editor of the Catholic Herald, accepted that the bloody restoration of good order under Franco’s autocratic government was preferable to the uncontrolled chaos of a republican victory.
I hope I would have been a hero but I fear I might have failed the ultimate test. At the least I have come to understand how the ordinary, good, Germans of that generation would have shouted out Heil Hitler along with their comrades.
Hypothesizing about a likely future event can be useful, so long as one tries to keep it impersonal. What *could* I do if the electricity went out in the middle of winter, rather than what *would* I do. “Would” is pure fantasy, wool gathering.
Hypothesizing about a real past event can be similarly useful as a “lessons learned” exercise, so long as one stays away from slipping into the fantastic realm of the personal “would”. What *could* I have done better when the furnace went out, rather than what *would* I have done had I been a different person.
Somehow – I’m not clear exactly how – going down the road of that personal *would* seems to me both self-indulgent and likely to lead into self-deception. I’ll leave it at that for now.
This makes me remember the old Monty Python sketch that parodied many radio panel shows of the time, where listeners sent in questions to the panel (celebs, of course). One asks “What would members of the panel do if they were Hitler?”, and one answers: “Invade the Sudetenland” (which Hitler did, of course). In other words if you WERE someone else (a German of that generation, as in Quentin’s fantasy) you WOULD behave as they did. No one can be both themselves, and of therir times/mores, AND a fantasy-character of another time. So if I was a German of that era, I would behave just as they did.
The nearest analogy is between the staffs of the gas chambers, shovelling Jews into them, and the staffs of abortion centres, today, breaking open the skulls of babies with scissors – do they sleep at night? I think so – they have their self-justfications just as the Nazis did (though having said that, an increasing number of abortion-centre staff, in the US, are apparently leaving such places, out of self-disgust (THANK GOD!).
When my new husband and I were looking for a house, we looked t areas between Oldham,his parents and Swinton, my parents. We bought on in Prestwich which is half way but also a very Jewish area, with real ‘frum’ Jews. I became a GP in that area. They were delightful but very demanding. I learned a strict family regime with all fests having its own specific celebration and food. The children learned Hebrew at 3 years but could already recite prayers before different types of food. Marriages were arranged at late teens/early twenty. Family support was guaranteed. There was no honeymoon but they were given an apartment for 2 weeks in the locality and friends held a party each evening so that the incomer, from USA, Israel or Edinburgh soon was integrated and when she went shopping she was greeted in the shops.
I appreciate the education I received from them.
I learned that the modern Catholic Sacrament of Marriage is identical to the Jewish marriage. So there is great continuity with the Blessing given to Adam and Eve on the first page of Genesis.
Also I leaned that they are Trinitarian.
Has medieval theology reduced the background of our Faith?
That’s a lovely reminiscence. Thanks.
Two questions. First, trinitarian Jews? How so?
Second, I don’t understand the question in your last sentence. Could you elaborate a bit?
I don’t need to imagine what I would do under a Nazi regime. The present-day Globalist agenda demonstrates that the worst atrocities of Nazism is still alive and kicking under the guise of respectability in global corporate business, the UN, the EU and in China and the Church. It is here in the UK too.
It is not the atrocities only, but also in the practices of the so-called New World Order.
The Nazis were masters at misinformation, control freaks, cruelty, controlling the money supply.
All this were the ideas and philosophy of the Nazi regime formulated by them and put into practice in politics.
Various huge internet search engines and other facets of Nazis, though they would not call themselves that. They are Globalists with a Globalist/Nazi agendas. Surely you have all heard about the influence and control they exert globally, removing Christian and politically conservative held views, banning them from off their platforms. Millions of them. Surely we all know the misinformation they are spreading about gender and the confusion of LGBTQ? This is taking place in pre-school dressing boys in girls clothes and girls in boys clothes.
Surely you have all heard of PC (political correctness) by Mao, a previous Chinese dictator. the biggest killer of his people this world has ever known and they are still doing it. Now the Globalist/Nazi/ Communist agendas they want to silence any dissent under their so-called ‘Hate Speech’ rules.
They are also intent on getting rid of 90% of the world population.
Oh Yes, the Nazi mindset is alive and kicking as is all their evil practices in 2018. I am doing what I can to fight this evil wickedness. So I know what I would do, and imagination in the midst of all the Globalist/ Nazi/ Communist attempt by them to world dominance and takeover. is burying one’s head in the sand.
Sadly for the moment, they seem to be winning, but people the world over are wakening up to what they are up to and beginning the fight back.
I know what I would do confronted with such a threat, what would you do?
Nektarios and John Thomas put an interesting spin on Quentin’s question. Rather than, “what might I have done had I been a resident of Nazi Germany?”, ask, instead, “what can and should I do now, in the world in which I do, in reality, live, a world just as filled with moral dilemmas as that of Germany, in Western Europe, nearly a hundred years ago?”.
Most of the West in the early twenty-first century is far more secularized, formally and officially (even, I think, as regards the institutional Catholic Church) than was the West “led by” Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Roosevelt, Churchill, and, in the Vatican, Pius XII. For reasons that largely escape me, Hitler seems to be regarded popularly in the West today as the singular arch-villain of the twentieth century, but that’s surely a caricature. Villains abounded then, as they do now, as they do in all times. And moral dilemmas are not the monopoly of societies led by clearly evil men. Far from it.
A side note, it would be hard to get more violently secular and anti-religious than Stalin. The Orthodox church in Russia has 100,000s of martyrs from the 1920s and 30s.
Yes, over 20 million souls many religious perished then with the demolition of their church buildings and sent to gulags or to the tundra to perish there.
Please tell us about the Trinitarian Jews, Olive.
Those of us who would normally be horrified at the thought of being in that Nazi firing squad that came at the start of this topic might find we would re-act against our moral judgements when faced with the consequences of failing to comply. There is evidence that some members of the SS were so effected by what they were asked to do that they had to be de-sensitized by drink and drugs to continue.
I would hope that I would have been one of those of who Churchill spoke of when Stalin proposed that all SS prisoners in allied hands should be executed when the war ended and Churchill was horrified and said that ‘The British People would not stand for it.’
So there is perhaps a difference between nationalities and the national conscience. A bigger question is at what point would the Germans have recognised that they could not continue with their policies of mass exterminations if they had won the war?
Would the Germany of 2019 be the same as the Germany of 1939-45 ( or worse!)
I’m married to a Belarusian and am writing this post in Minsk, a city the Germans more or less razed to the ground during their occupation and littered with mass graves and atrocity sites (including camps where around a million Soviet POWs were starved to death, a pit where thousands of Jewish children were buried alive and so on). This is true of a lot of cities and towns in Belarus. So in many ways it is hard to imagine becoming a Nazi.
It wouldn’t have been known at the time that there were German racial colonisation plans which envisaged eliminating 70 to 80 million Slavic people in the occupied Soviet territories, using methods similar to those used by the Soviets during the Holodomor in Ukraine. Despite that, many Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians volunteered (some likely stimulated by fear of starvation or execution by Soviet partisans) to fight in the German armed forces and police. The German army had a rule that no more than 20% of each German infantry division should be composed of ex-Soviet volunteers, which wasn’t always adhered to, for example.
The O/P mentions some reasons people would have embraced Nazism, I think the world then was quite different. Dominated in many places by European colonial empires, many people felt threatened by far-left utopian revolutionary movements and racial thought/science was more mainstream… Nazism definitely seems to have been influenced by all of these things and the German experience in World War I.
Then the course of WW2 itself, stunning and unexpected German victories turning into a drawn out battle of attrition, provided the stimulus and opportunity to run away Nazi radicalisation. Even the kind of restraints that might have persisted in peacetime Nazi society diasppeared.
I think back to the 1930s and the Spanish Civil War, where many good people, including the then editor of the Catholic Herald, accepted that the bloody restoration of good order under Franco’s autocratic government was preferable to the uncontrolled chaos of a republican victory.
I think this probably happened because of the activities of some of the Republican side in the first few months of the war, they engaged in killings and repression of ‘class enemies’, clergy and so on with the same level of intensity as the Nationalists. Even though the Republican side stopped killing on anything approaching the same scale after that period the damage to their cause was probably already done.
People also feared that something like the Russian Revolution and the Soviet regime would emerge in Spain, in hindsight it is possible to see that the Spanish right was much stronger and more resourceful than the right wing forces in the Czarist empire. And that the mobilisation of the right to fight the Civil War probably resulted in a kind of ‘overkill’.
I am sure most of us are fed up to the back teeth about Brexit. However, it adds weight to the about facing the firing squad of the EU. Negotiations, what negotiations, just a series of demands and now to lock the UK Government into losing its sovereignty to Brussels and the backstop with Ireland and Northern Ireland being separating from the rest of the UK, locked into the Customs Union perhaps permanently.
This is Nazi compelling, though they don’t call it that today, but Communist/ Globalism.
The present leader of the EU is the grandson of Nazi royalty.
Mayhem in Europe and in America with mass immigration with all the ugly problems that raises
is orchestrated by the UN unelected leader and executives dictating to Governments. All this was planned out during the Second World War first by the Nazis.
Germany is not allowed to raise an army, but now it is planning to do so via the EU umbrella. Like the UN the leaders are unelected by the countries they supposedly serve.
The lie to all these demands of the EU is its present weakness. It is acting although it was in a place of real strength when there is a growing resentment within the EU to the way it is being run and want reform. The EU is the entity, that it is incapable of reform just like its bullish Nazi past.
All this is also very dangerous like the Nazi beginnings in the past and led to WW2
The UK is in the firing line from the EU, but also from within the Westminster Parliament.
I think we should consider the attitude in the UK and USA towards racism before we think about what we would do if we were Germans. The majority of the ruling class in the UK were anti-semites. Jews were tolerated to some extent but they were not socially acceptable. I played with Jewish children in our neighbourhood but everybody knew they were different. Black people in the USA were, as we all know, were considered to be inferior beings and were treated abominably. Jews were excluded from clubs and fraternities.
I think the majority of people would have done exactly what the Germans did, until it was too late.
“I think we should consider the attitude in the UK and USA towards racism before we think about what we would do if we were Germans.“
I think we should not succumb to the temptation to hide behind politically correct thinking. “Racism”, as it’s used commonly by politicians, academics, and the media today, is merely an insult word. If one tries to deconstruct it, it falls apart into a thousand fuzzy little pieces.
when you say in your header “German moral courage, never a strong characteristic” are you merely quoting Haffner and Bismarck. If so that needs to be much more clearly indicated. If not then I have a very big problem with what you wrote.
Yes, this is Haffner describing Bismarck’s view: “As Bismarck once remarked in a famous speech, moral courage is, in any case, a rare virtue in Germany, but it deserts a German completely the moment he puts on a uniform.” p.31
So the “moral courage” or lack thereof, that is referred to is, in Bismarck’s opinion, purely that of defying military superiors. As such, it is an opinion, (expressed albeit in a famous speech) and cannot be inferred to as suggesting a national characteristic in any other context at any other time.
I hope that’s clear to anyone reading the Blog.
Alasdair, this does not seem to be quite so. Bismarck appears to be saying that moral courage is a rare virtue among Germans generally. Whether he was right or not is another question. Hassner evidently thought that it was still so in the 1930s, which was the time to which I was referring.
Not sure what i’d do as a German in those times – i hope i’d resist somehow. …. I know i do resist the elitist attitude(s) of a biased and corrupted government in this country (and most of the Western World) in my own small insignificant way. …… Doesn’t seem to be much difference to the ways Hitler started his hold on the people of his time. So maybe we are going to be given the opportunity to ‘be put to the test’ in the not so distant future?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 -1945) is a good example of a man who lived as a German citizen through the period between the wars. And one who struggled with the morality of it all.
There really was only one World War in the 20th century given the disaster that Versailles proved to be. World War I never really ended.
Bonhoeffer illustrates the development of a moral character at this time. There is no doubt that he always resisted the Nationalist socialist ideology but his moral conscience took a while in its development before he committed to putting his life on the line. A movement from the head to the heart.
He was accused of running away to minister in London, avoiding open confrontation with the Nazis. The same later for going to New York. And he struggled deeply on this avoidance.
Our moral character has its own life pattern and just does not emerge fully matured to match up to its nemesis.
Formative too were Bonhoeffer’s direct experiences of how the African Americans in the US were being treated. He too would have struggled with the dilemma of his family’s safety and later his own fiancé. All heavy and competing moral responsibilities .
He demonstrates how having a well-educated religious foundation in life is by itself not a guarantee of ethical behaviour.
The protestant villagers in Vichy France who hid 5,000 Jews right in front of the noses of their oppressors for the duration of the war are a good example of this. There were German theologians at the same time happy to rewrite theology so as to make Jesus into a sort of Aryan while ignoring or turning a blind eye to the persecution of the Jews. Notwithstanding Pius XI’s “With Burning Concern”.
Ultimately Bonhoeffer’s evolved moral fibre resulted in his being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and then finally executed in April 1945.
So as a member of your firing squad without the opportunity of my learned values become mature through practice, as in the case of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I would probably be part of your 97%. But just as likely, along with most of the same 97% I would have aimed above the heads in the crowd.
“So as a member of your firing squad without the opportunity of my learned values become mature through practice, as in the case of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I would probably be part of your 97%. But just as likely, along with most of the same 97% I would have aimed above the heads in the crowd.“
That would not have absolved you. In fact, you’d have been putting your share of the burden of murdering onto someone else. Even opting out would have done that, but opting out would, at least, have been making a statement and, thereby, taking a personal risk. By choosing to be thought to be obeying orders, you would have been exercising moral cowardice.
I don’t mean that personally. I know that you weren’t there and that you’re only indulging a fantasy for the sake of argument.
What would you have done?
I don’t understand what Quentin had in mind and expected when he asked his question. Playing this fantasy-hypothetical game seems a curious exercise, aimed perhaps at probing the psychology of the person interrogated, like a Rorschach test. I’m uncomfortable with that.
“Bismarck appears to be saying that moral courage is a rare virtue among Germans generally. Whether he was right or not is another question.”
Moral courage is rare in all people at all times. Bismarck may simply have been expressing disappointment that Germans were not an exception to that rule.
Being a ‘moral coward’ I reckon I’d have done the same as Galerimo…but mainly out of cowardice in the face of danger.
Could you expand on what you said, please. I’m not sure I get your drift. Racism in the first half of the 20th Century was more than a political insult. Lynching of black people in the USA, especially in the Southern States, was a crime that went unpunished for the most part.
“Could you expand on what you said, please. I’m not sure I get your drift. Racism in the first half of the 20th Century was more than a political insult. Lynching of black people in the USA, especially in the Southern States, was a crime that went unpunished for the most part.”
That was a hundred years ago, Ian. The history of mankind is replete with instances of violence of man on man. To what, specifically, do you refer when you speak of racism today?
The Nazi regime was doomed to failure at a huge cost to humanity for the simple reason they did not analyse the root problem and that is the problem sin in his nature. No matter what he does will end in failure. Governments have tried, armies have tried, politics have tried, outward religion has tried they all fail until the problem of our sin and its effects are dealt with.
I wasn’t speaking of racism today. I was talking about the attitudes of the UK and USA at the time of Hitler’s rise to power. I believe if we had similar circumstances as Germany after WW1, we would have welcomed someone like Hitler.
It has be said that if Hitler had died in 1939, he would have been honoured as one of the greatest Germans in history, in spite of his racist beliefs. However, it was only when he began to put those beliefs into full practice that many German people realised what a monster they had unleashed. By then it was too late.
There may be a continuum, with the kind of racist attitudes that were common in the USA and in the UK in the 1930s on it, but the Nazis belong further to the end. There were some, I don’t think that many, who would embrace the Nazi views about racial conflict as the engine of history and about the eternal conflict between the ‘Aryan’ (bearer of the highest kinds of human civilisation and culture) and the ‘Jew’ (intelligent, cunning, but ultimately egotistical and destructive, driven by jealousy and hatred of the achievements of the Aryan).
The Nazis also embraced Jewish conspiracy theories, like believing that Jews controlled both the USA and the British Empire, at the same time as being the creators and instigators of Bolshevism in the USSR. Hitler believed that ‘International Jewry’ was responsible for the outbreak of WW2, all of the resulting the German and ‘Nordic’ deaths, and in Nazi security policy there seems to have been a belief that Jews were collectively responsible for organising the partisan war and ‘terrorism’ behind German lines in Eastern Europe.
In the context of beliefs like this, executing Jewish civilians could be seen as a kind of moral duty, and participating in it an actual display of moral courage. Those who refused, because it was unpleasant and psychologically arduous, were shirking their duty to the future of humanity and the German soldiers fighting at the front.
Probably, even at the time, the majority of British and American people would have found views like this at least cranky and acting them out the way the Nazis did, insane/criminal.
The revisionist Carlo Mattogno’s book on the Einsatzgruppen (2018) gets behind some of the propaganda on the subject of shootings.
“In his later summary Haffner describes Germany, with all its historical fine qualities, as destroyed by nationalism. By nationalism he means an unrealistic attitude of conceit and admiration for anything German. This creates an unquestionable vanity which assumes that the state, whatever its condition happens to be, must be defended, promoted and obeyed. Those who stand back, reflect and question are disloyal and already slipping into treachery.”
From the American Declaration of Independence:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
in other words, you normally support your government through much disagreement, rebelling only in extremis. It’s a characteristic of these over-heated times that too many rush too quickly to rebel, choking violently on every gnat.
Are there some signs that I’ve the sort of character that would be likely to stand up to authority and peer pressure in the face of some personal risk? I can’t honestly think of any.
I’d like to think I would at least have aimed high too. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t have gone far in the Milgram experiment, but I don’t doubt that almost all the participants would have said the same prior to doing so.
I had a Polish friend who was rescued from likely death at the hands of Ukrainian militia in 1939. Her village, now in Ukrainian territory was overun and families driven out of their homes. Those that could not, or would not leave were shot. They walked for 2 days and nights in snow through fields and forests. Eventually they reached a railway station where German soldiers were embarking and disembarking. Some German soldiers, aware of the extreme danger posed to the family by the Ukrainians, pulled them into the train via a window and hid them until they reached part of Poland beyond the reach of the militias.
Since then Helena was always an admirer of Germans and deeply suspicious of many other nationalities, including some of the Allies.
“Since then Helena was always an admirer of Germans and deeply suspicious of many other nationalities, including some of the Allies.”
A nice illustration of the power of personal experience to shape our feelings and, through that, our thinking. Thinking and feeling are intertwined, but my sense is that feeling is by far the more powerful.
By all means let’s examine our own moral fibre and speculate how we might have behaved if we had been at these events. But surely we know better than to select events in the past and project conclusions onto entire nations, especially as we are more than 3 generations beyond the events in question.
Is this German-bashing week or are atrocities performed by other nationalities also open to discussion?
“Is this German-bashing week or are atrocities performed by other nationalities also open to discussion?”
German atrocities in the first half of the past century seem to have caught the imagination of the chattering classes in the West. I suspect it has not a little to do with a desire to deflect attention from some of the other mass horrors of the twentieth century, many of which were perpetrated in the names of ideologies the chatterers found then and continue to find very attractive. It may also have something to do with exculpating nations that behaved less than heroically when attacked and occupied by German forces. And it may stem partly from the fact that there’s almost certainly much more information available to Western historians about Western Europe than about, say, Russia, China, Africa, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
A recent series of TV programmes entitled “Scotland’s Shame” has sparked off a more than usual amount of controversy and soul-searching. The Scots often like to think of themselves as the most enlightened and progressive of peoples, much as the Germans now do. The reality is that all of the fine buildings, streets and squares in the country – the museums, galleries, art collections and the 4 ancient universities are largely the product of the slave trade which the Scots entered into with gusto – even by comparison with the rest of the UK.
The point I am making is that we need to fully acknowledge historical truths of our own nations and identities before shoveling more misery onto others.
Quentin, I think it’s a pity you chose to use a “Germans in second word war” example as this always drives white Anglo-Saxon protestants to a position of moral superiority not much better than the football chant “Two World Wars and one world cup”.
The multiple genocides that took place as Yugoslavia fragmented as well as the rise of extreme right wing movements in former parts of the Soviet Union all point to a common thread in human nature. Let us not forget that one of the leaders of the Serbian genocides was a university professor.
A problem is the genocide that the Nazis and their Croatian Fascist allies carried out in Yugoslavia during 1941-44 was multiple times larger than that of the 1990s Bosnian War and Ultra-Nationalist groups in Ukraine and Russia have yet to carry out any genocide at all, never mind something on the scale managed by the Nazis.
In Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, Poland etc. the far left Soviet regime carried out the only genocides/democides that are near comparable to the Nazi ones.
At Srebrenica 8000 Bosnian Muslim young men were executed by the Serb and Bosnian Serb army in spite of the proximity of UN forces and of the world’s press. It’s reasonable to assume that if the perpetrators could have hidden their operations better, as would have been the case during earlier wars, the horrors perpetrated would have been even worse.
In the (in)famous concentration camp at Jasenovac the Ustase managed to kill around 100,000 people, this is what I meant about magnitude of the killings. Total casualties in the 1990s Bosnian War, including a lot of military personnel, were around 100,000. The Ustase killed around 300,000 Serbian civilians alone (plus Jews, plus Gypsies, plus political opponents etc.)
The point about outside pressure is true though, when the Ustase were active the dominant European power was a promoter and enabler of genocide, rather than trying to discourage it.