ABSTRACT

Very often, genocide is conducted by peoples and groups that can be considered foreign or alien to each other. Holocaust scholars made the famous observation that if the peoples can divide a genocidal project into discrete tasks so that only a tiny number of people are actually doing the killing, but much larger numbers are running railways that get the victims to the camps, or doing the paperwork, psychologically it's easier to cope with than if all the burden of moral responsibility rests on our shoulders. Think of the Germans and the whole cult of the Versailles treaty, how Germany was humiliated after the first world war, reduced to minor-power status, emasculated – all the psychological themes that resonate deeply at an individual as well as a collective level. That constant reflection a constructive critical approach to the multifaceted messages goes a long way towards grounding the individual with the kind of posture that can be effective [in confronting genocide].