The Holocaust and the Four Roots of Evil
The Holocaust was one of the most shocking and disgraceful events of the twentieth century. It is widely estimated that the genocide led to 11 million civilian deaths, including 6 million Jews. Nazi Germany's mass executions of millions of defenseless civilians who had not been convicted of any crime and who for the most part were guilty of nothing more than belonging to a disfavored ethnic category has captured the imagination as an extreme example of human evil. Above all, it has challenged many assumptions about human nature, especially insofar as the cooperative effort of perhaps hundreds of thousands of seemingly ordinary, decent citizens was required to achieve the grisly toll. This chapter deals with the psychology of evil and looks at four roots of evil and how they can be applied to the Holocaust. These are idealism, threatened egotism, instrumental pursuit of selfish gain, and sadism.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.