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Mastering Marxism with Rhonda, Lisa and David, Part 4: Complexities of Finding Truth

Posted on July 10 2010 8:00 am
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.

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Dear Rhonda and David,

Rhonda mentioned a passage that intrigued her in Leszek Kołakowski’s Introduction from Main Currents of Marxism. Interestingly, the passage referring to Thomas Mann’s examination of Nazism leapt out to me in much the same way.

Many people still grapple with the idea of how a nation of “regular people” could participate in the destruction of millions of people. Kołakowski’s reference to Mann was a fitting reminder of the complexities involved in studying cultures in hindsight, particularly when that culture has undertaken horrors which many of us consider to be inconceivable.

It seems important at this point to note that there has been much research on Nazism since the writing of Kołakowski’s book which seeks to examine the involvement and awareness of the average German citizen. Daniel Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners comes to mind. Also, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has exhibits, some of which are readily available online, which shed light on the subject for those interested in seeking answers to these questions.

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