Kauders, AD (2022) From Particularism to Mass Murder: Nazi Morality, Antisemitism, and Cognitive Dissonance. Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 36 (1). pp. 46-59. ISSN 8756-6583

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Scholars of the Third Reich have recently begun to study the ethical standards of National Socialist antisemites. Literature on Nazi morality frames German antisemitism as an attempt to reshape the country's mores, but it pays insufficient attention to the psychological processes at work in replacing universalism with particularism. The author argues that cognitive dissonance theory could account for the uses and abuses of morality after 1933. He addresses three inter-related questions: did the regime utilize morality primarily to reduce cognitive dissonance?; did Germans invoke morality mainly to reduce cognitive dissonance?; and how successful was the appeal to morality in cognitive dissonance reduction? The first question makes us think about how morality can pre-empt feelings of cognitive dissonance prior to the implementation of certain policies or actions; the second explores how morality decreases dissonance afterward; and the third suggests that new moral frameworks replace older ones, eliminating cognitive dissonance altogether.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 16:36
Last Modified: 17 May 2022 12:27
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/9101

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