Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany
|Date||Wed, Dec 2, 12:00pm - 1:00pm|
Join Yahad-in Unum for their sixth installment of their Autumn Online Conference Program as they have a discussion with THGC Commissioner Edward B. Westermann, PhD about his latest book, Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany.
During the Third Reich, alcohol served as both a literal and metaphorical lubricant for acts of violence and atrocity by the men of the Storm Troopers (SA), the SS, and the police, and its use and abuse was widespread among the perpetrators. Among the SA, the SS, and the police, the consumption of alcohol was part of a ritual that bound the perpetrators together and became a facilitator of acts of “performative masculinity,” a type of masculinity expressly linked to physical or sexual violence. Over the course of the Third Reich, scenes involving alcohol consumption and revelry among the SS and police would become a routine part of rituals of humiliation in the camps, ghettos, and killing fields of Eastern Europe. Such celebrations were not anomalous events and extended from meetings of top SS and police leaders to the rank and file celebrating at the grave sites of the victims. The role of alcohol and celebratory ritual in the Nazi genocide of European Jews offers an important perspective on the intersection between masculinity, drinking ritual, and mass murder and it provides an important insight for evaluating the mindset, motivation, mentality of the killers as they prepared for and participated in acts of mass murder and ultimately genocide.
This event is free and open to the public. It will take place on the platform Zoom.
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