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A boy is forced by SS members to view his murdered family and pose for a photograph before being murdered in Zboriv, Ukraine, 1941 [800×500](r/HistoryPorn)
The early executions of Jews were carried out by the regular army (i.e. neither the SS nor the Einsatzgruppen) and the Wehrmacht’s readiness suffered as a result: officers quit, some members of the rank-and-file deserted, and there was a sharp uptick in the number of psychological maladies reported.
That led the Nazi Regime to essentially outsource the Final Solution to super fucked up paramilitaries and ideologues and keep the regular army fighting the conventional war.
If you’re sincerely interested in this part of WWII history, I’d recommend reading Neighbors and Ordinary Men. It’s fascinating and challenging reading, and reckoning with the human capacity for evil should be an essential part of our education.
It’s easy to point at something and call it evil, but I think we do the concept of evil a disservice when we make it unique and towering. [As Hannah Arendt famously observed] (www.newyorker.com/magazine/1963/02/16/eichmann-in-…), evil is often disappointing. Eichmann proved to be less Sauron and more Willy Loman.