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Oberammergau in the Nazi EraThe Fate of a Catholic Village in Hitler's Germany$
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Helena Waddy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371277

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371277.001.0001

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(p.253) Conclusion
Oberammergau in the Nazi Era

Helena Waddy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Conclusion explores the author’s acquired understanding of how the Nazis’ dictatorial intrusions were refracted through the special lens of Oberammergau’s Passion Play culture; both Nazis and their Catholic opponents thought from the play out. Waddy’s intensive community study led to struggles with two possible extreme reactions. Revulsion against the Holocaust could reach beyond outright condemnation of perpetrators to harsh judgments about ordinary citizens who carved out room for dissent to protect their own interests yet responded weakly to the many atrocities of the Third Reich. But apologism could also grow out of understanding locals as complex actors facing a myriad of personal and communal concerns. Waddy concludes that no true resisters like the Kreisau Circle’s von Moltke couple emerged in Oberammergau, so when even Freya von Moltke condemns her own attempts to survive, she indicts other Germans like Oberammergau’s villagers.

Keywords:   Oberammergau, Passion Play, Nazis, Catholic, holocaust, perpetrators, Third Reich, apologism, Germans, Freya von Moltke

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