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Ethics in an Age of Terror and GenocideIdentity and Moral Choice$
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Kristen Renwick Monroe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151373

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151373.001.0001

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Kurt: Soldier for the Nazis

Kurt: Soldier for the Nazis

Chapter:
(p.114) Chapter 5 Kurt: Soldier for the Nazis
Source:
Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide
Author(s):

Kristen Renwick Monroe

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151373.003.0005

This chapter turns to “Kurt,” a German soldier whose interview contains fascinating insights on how identity constrains choice. Kurt matched Tony in many background characteristics. Both Tony and Kurt were the only children of affluence, both were in the military, and both saw heavy fighting. Although he was never asked directly, and he never volunteered information about his personal participation in Nazi activities, he did express what seemed to be clearly racist views. Though Kurt is classified here only as a soldier who fought for the Nazis, his interview reflects so much ambiguity, dissembling, and perhaps even self-deception. This chapter is thus presented as reflective of the moral psychology of many Europeans whose support—implicit or militarily—kept the Nazis in power.

Keywords:   German soldier, Nazis, identity, racism, moral psychology, racist views

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