Psychological motives for participating in the Holocaust: an educator’s workshop

Gray, Heather Lynne
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Southern New Hampshire University
The research conducted for the educator’s workshop will look at the psychological motives that common citizens had for following Adolf Hitler and allow him to rise to power. The workshop will teach educators to translate it in a way that allows students to better understand the complex nature of how people behave in times such as the Holocaust. The information these educators will garner from the workshops will better allow their students to recognize certain behaviors such as racism. Previous workshops have been successfully completed with, however, those workshops have not looked at the same arguments as this workshop and have primarily focused on the West coast. Previous research has quoted scientific experiments to explain the ways that people behaved during this time. The primary focus of the research is on the motives. One motive was nationalism; however, this can be broken into two different motives – one being blind nationalism to the point that the people were naïve as to what was going on and nationalism itself where people just believed that their leader was doing the right thing no matter what. The third motive is fear; German people were very fearful during the time leading up to and during the Holocaust. (Author abstract)