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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Lecture talks Nazi ideology, Holocaust history

A lecture Wednesday delved into Nazi ideology and the history of the Holocaust.

As part of the series of lectures called “World War II and its Global Legacies,” Wednesday’s lecture was programmed by Glasscock Center for Humanities Research in collaboration with the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs.

The lecture was presented by Timothy Snyder, a world-renowned historian and author. His books are included in the best-selling categories around the world, and his lecture was largely based on his latest book titled “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.”

In the lecture, Snyder developed a theory that the Holocaust came about as an ecological struggle for improvement of German livelihood. In the race for resources, Snyder said the Nazi regime eliminated any entity they regarded as an obstacle to get there, whether a state or class, or to the Nazi ideology — race.

Snyder said it is important to have a state in an environment of crisis. In an environment of statelessness, Snyder said, the world is a finite place with limited resources and survival becomes a racial and murderous competition for people like Adolf Hitler.

One of Snyder’s ideas shined light on the reasons why Estonia, a decimated state that had been invaded by the Soviets then later by the Germans, killed off most of its Jews but Denmark saved most of its Jewish citizens: because they were citizens of a state.

“When Hitler invaded the West, he left the forms of government intact,even with elections still taking place” Snyder said. “In the end, the reason why Jews survived more in certain areas of Europe than in others is because the state stepped in.”

Noah White is an international studies senior who attended the lecture. White said the lecture inspired a new perspective

“I just hadn’t thought about those aspects before — the examples about how a passport could save someone,” White said.

Richard Golsan, director of the Glasscock, was in charge of inviting Snyder to speak at the lecture.

“I read both books in question and the lecture was as concise and clear as the books,” Golsan said. “He is one of the most brilliant historians I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been around a long time.”

Golsan said attempts will be made at bringing Snyder back to speak again.

“He at this very point is very sought after,” Golsan said. “We managed to catch him when he wanted to visit Texas for a number of reasons. I hope to be able to get him back but I don’t know if that’s a possibility.”

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