CES: A Nation of ‘Bystanders’? A Topography of Complicity and Capitulation in Nazi Germany and Beyond


Thursday, September 29, 2016, 4:15pm to 6:00pm


Adolphus Busch Hall, Hoffmann Room, 27 Kirkland St. Cambridge
This presentation explores the significance of personal and social relationships for the development of persecution in the Third Reich, as well as reverberations in postwar societies, using a wide range of ego-documents and other sources. Exploring a range of topics that are usually held to be the preserve of ‘the history of everyday life’ - including intimacy, family relationships, friendships, privacy and social life - the paper develops a theory of the 'social self’ and the role of personal relationships in the genesis of genocide. It concludes by exploring the long-term and wider significance of willing or unwilling capitulation to new norms, and questions around complicity, collusion, and the diffuse burden of guilt across generations.
Mary Fulbrook Dean, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences; Professor of German History and Director, UCL European Institute, University College London
Contact: Devin Pendas, devin.pendas.1@bc.edu