Stanley Milgram's The Atrocity Of Obedience

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The Atrocity of Obedience
The Holocaust included the most heinous acts ever recorded in history. Under the leadership of Nazi-Germany president Adolf, Hitler over six million Jews were systematically captured, imprisoned, and murdered. But the Holocaust could not have been carried out by government alone, it required a unilateral effort from all segments of German society. How could the murderous, anti-Semitic ideals of a government compel so many everyday citizens to be complicit with such horrendous acts? Milgram’s experiment, in conclusion, revealed most people cannot resist authority because the Nazi-regime utilized indoctrination, legislations, and the German society to acquire participation from all facets of German society.
The Holocaust
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Stanley Milgram, author of “The Perils of Obedience,” conducted an experiment that could help explain the Nazis, in their mind, were merely following orders and doing a job. In contrast with humanist Milgram points out most conservative thinking philosophers believe the core of society is compromised by disobedience (Milgram 692). The reason the Holocaust occurred was because the Germans thought all the Jews were evil and needed to die. During Hitler’s eight year reign of power millions of men, women, and children, most of Jewish descent were killed in concentration camps. Hitler issued directives, and the Germans obeyed his authority. Based on Milgram’s experiment he uncovered that “For many people, obedience is a deeply ingrained behavior tendency, indeed a potent impulse overriding training in ethics, sympathy, and moral conduct” (691). Most Germans carried out the …show more content…
In Milgram’s essay “The Perils of Obedience,” he states “the real focus of the experiment is the teacher” (692). During the process there was a teacher, student, and experimenter, the students were hired actors. The experiment consisted of the teacher giving the student words in which the learner had to repeat them back, and if they got them wrong they would be shocked and the voltage would elevate with each wrong answer. Throughout the process and various teachers, Milgram saw different reactions, only one stood up for the learner refusing to proceed based on the learner’s reactions, another laughed uncontrollably, and the rest followed orders with no remorse regardless of how the student reacted (Milgram 695). Milgram’s point was “to extricate himself from this plight, the subject must make a clear break with authority” (693). During the Holocaust the Germans believed what they were doing by killing the Jews was right because they were led by Hitler to believe they were evil and needed to die. In the article the “Price of Obedience” by authors William Henry III, James O. Jackson, and Kanta Stanchina a guardsman was tired in 1989 for following “shoot to kill” orders when a man attempted to flee and escape West Germany. The authors state “in the eyes of Heinrich’s supervisors his actions were not merely legal but commendable”

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