Scholars for example Macmaster (2004), argue that perpetrators of Shoa genocide were ideologically motivated, in the sense that “eliminationist anti-Semitism” was common to all Germans.
Such argument fall short in giving a more meaningful and a more compelling explanation for crime perpetration in the extent that it’s true and factual that many perpetrators were not German and many victims were not Jews only. Also the explanation begs the question of “ordinariness” of Nazi perpetrators. However, in this context various explanations stipulate that the majority of perpetrators acted either ideologically or strategically intention geared towards self benefit. Macmaster (2004) assert that mass violence is as a result of elites acting strategically, rather than a popular enterprise in which neighbor turns against neighbor. Although Levi (1973) cautions that a small group of central planners can coexist with the presence of ordinary killers. But, leaders usually play a central and critical role in inducing participation of others into the criminal activities since mass violence is rarely spontaneous. The genocide case therefore can be explained in two broad perspectives of: engaging in violence and sustaining participation in violence. Therefore, the explanation offered in these two broad perspectives shall be evaluated.
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