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Understanding Genocide – The Social Psychology of the Holocaust - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Understanding Genocide: The Social Psychology of the Holocaust

Leonard S. Newman and Ralph Erber


When and why do groups target each other for extermination? How do seemingly normal people become participants in genocide? Why do some individuals come to the rescue of members of targeted groups, while others just passively observe their victimization? And how do perpetrators and bystanders later come to terms with the choices that they made? In this book — the first collection of essays representing social psychological perspectives on genocide and the Holocaust — prominent social psychologists use the principles derived from contemporary research in their field to try to shed light on the ... More

Keywords: genocide, victimization, Holocaust, conformity, scapegoats, social psychology, mass killing, intergroup conflict

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780195133622
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195133622.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Leonard S. Newman, editor
University of Illinois, Chicago

Ralph Erber, editor
DePaul University

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Christopher R. Browning

Part I Becoming a Perpetrator

3 Authoritarianism and the Holocaust

Peter Suedfeld, and Mark Schaller

Part II Beyond the Individual: Groups and Collectives

6 Group Processes and the Holocaust

R. Scott Tindale, Catherine Munier, Michelle Wasserman, and Christine M. Smith

8 Population and Perpetrators

Dieter Frey, and Helmut Rez

Part III Dealing with Evil

11 Instigators of Genocide

David R. Mandel

13 Explaining the Holocaust

Arthur G. Miller, Amy M. Buddie, and Jeffrey Kretschmar

14 Epilogue

Leonard S. Newman, and Ralph Erber