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Sample text

He could have become hardened or brutalized. Or, short of this, taken comfort in the thought that, even if sealing the border was a bit cruel, preventing “excessive Jewish influence” from tainting Switzerland made it necessary. Why didn’t he? The answer is that preventing this was not a priority of his, owing to a trait that was not so normal. In a part of Switzerland where nearly everyone was either Catholic or Protestant and the token Jewish presence had sparked its share of bigotry—in the 1920s, a Christian defense group waged an anti-Semitic campaign against Jews on the St.

By this point, Grüninger had obtained a teaching diploma and moved to the neighboring town of Au, where he’d joined the staff of a primary school and met Alice Federer, a colleague to whom he’d gotten engaged. Alice didn’t want to live in St. Gallen, but at the urging of his mother, Grüninger applied for the opening in the police department and beat out seventy other candidates for the post. Shortly after they’d settled in St. Gallen, the newly married couple’s first daughter, Ruth, was born. A few years later, in 1925, Grüninger was promoted to police captain, which elevated his stature and responsibilities.

They saw them as members of a dehumanized minority group that had to be eliminated for the good of the Fatherland. Daniel Goldhagen’s theory that Germans were gripped by a uniquely virulent brand of “eliminationist” anti-Semitism, which predated Hitler’s rise to power and led them to kill Jews with exuberant joy, has rightly been criticized as simplistic and crude. ” “The men of Reserve Battalion 101, like the rest of German society, were immersed in a deluge of racist and anti-Semitic propaganda,” observed Browning.

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