Ps141afinalpt2

Ps141afinalpt2 - Jose Revuelta PS M141A, Fall 2008...

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Jose Revuelta PS M141A, Fall 2008 Professor David Sears Part B. Question 7: The Curious Case of Heinrich Himmler In political psychology, acts of genocide or sanctioned massacres are usually analyzed through the actions of mass public. In this case, the heinous act of genocide is analyzed through the actions of a political elite. Analyzing the past experiences of Heinrich Himmler, Head of the Schutzstaffel (SS), through a psycho-biographical approach, the reasoning behind his choices and actions become more prevalent with respect to murder and genocide. Viewing psychological factors such as individual personality and cognitive biases, there looms a great understanding at how a man with anger issues became responsible for such atrocious acts on humanity. Let us first define what genocide is in order to add some background to the figure of Himmler. In Kelman and Hamilton’s Crimes of Obedience, Genocide is defined as a policy “designed to destroy all or part of a category of people defined in ethnic, national, racial, religious, or other terms,” and may be enacted to do away entirely with one group or race e.g. the Jews. Genocide is “consciously articulated and executed, and the extermination was accomplished on a mass-production basis through the literal establishment of a well-organized, efficient death industry” (Kelman and Hamilton 1990). In this sense genocide becomes a type of manual repetitive labor. Through the use of Peter’s Loewenberg’s psychobiography
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Ps141afinalpt2 - Jose Revuelta PS M141A, Fall 2008...

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