A population of people was destroyed because of two events of Scapegoating. Scapegoating is when a problem happens and people find it easier to blame someone else than to blame themselves. (Straker, 2009) The Jewish population was scapegoated by Germany for her economic dilemma. This could have been avoided had some other nations not scapegoated Germany for World War I.
Yes, Germany held a major role in starting the Great War, BUT Germany wasn’t the only country to fight. There were ten nations involved in the Great War, three of which fought alongside Germany. Yet, Germany was the only nation to be “attacked” in the Versailles Treaty as the sole country who caused all the trouble. They were made admit responsibility, return land, weaken their military, and pay reparations. (Trueman, 2009) None of the other nations involved had to follow these requirements. Germany saw herself as being squashed down. Germany was given little choice but to sign the treaty as they risked invasion by the allies if they refused. (Trueman, 2009) As a result, Germany was left virtually bankrupt.
Before and during World War II, Germany scapegoated the Jewish people, among others, for the economic problems. The German people refused to admit that their economic issues were consequences of THEIR involvement in World War I.
World War I left Germany devastated. Germany was left to pay war reparations in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles. Traditional trading could not be reinstated as those nations involved in trade with Germany had added protective tariffs to their home markets. ("The Impact of," 2004) Also, the German Mark had fallen so much in value that it made German exports cheap; causing issue because of the rising costs of raw materials. ("The Impact of," 2004) Inflation rose at a staggering rate in Germany.
Germans blamed their economic troubles on the loss of the war, but they refused to blame themselves for the loss. There were multiple scapegoats; the Kaiser, the new government, the communist, and the Jews. ("The Impact of," 2004) The Jews became the major scapegoat, suffering discrimination leading to the deaths of nearly 2 of every 3 Jews in Europe.
Had these events of scapegoating not occurred, two populations could’ve been spared devastation. The German population could’ve quickly recovered their economic status, people would not have been suffering hardships, and they would not have been looking for anyone to blame. The Jewish population would not have suffered the annihilation of their people in Europe.
(2004, June 4). The Impact of the first world war on germany. Retrieved from http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk/ASLevel_History/week3_impactofwar.htm.
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Straker, D. (2009). Scapegoat Theory. Available from
<http://changingminds.org/students.htm>. (Accessed 10 November, 2009).
Trueman, C. (2009). The treaty of versailles. Retrieved from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/treaty_of_versailles.htm.
(Accessed 10 November, 2009)