American Book Publishing (2009)
Reviewed by for Reader Views
"Murderous Intellectuals: German Elites and the Nazi SS" is written as the result of Jonathan Maxwell's keen interest in the history and background of World War II. Extensive reading from the writings of acclaimed authors like William Shirer, Simon Wiesenthal, and Ian Robertson fed his interest and influenced his conclusions regarding the desensitized values and actions of the social and political climate of the days preceding World War II in the world and of the Nazi SS in particular.
Holocaust writers Yehuda Bauer, Wofgang Benz, Deborah Dwork, and Jan Van Pelt alerted him to the dangers of another Holocaust. His book is a wake-up call to world leaders and conscientious citizens to take proactive steps to break the cycle of neo-Nazism, the Ku Klux Klan, and other terrorist groups. His work is unique in that he addresses the corrupt rancorous personalities, and the vicious actions of the German elites and intellectuals, their influence in leadership and their role behind the scenes in the Nazi SS.
I found the chapter dealing with murderous intellectuals throughout history particularly disturbing. Stories of the Spanish conquest depict carnage of horrific sadism, genocide, and atrocities of torture on a parallel with the Nazi SS during in the years leading up to and during World War II. Can we afford another Holocaust?
Theories of the motivation behind the diabolical programs of death, destruction, and the barbaric behavior of these men and women of intellect take into account ten theories for consideration. They include a discussion looking at personal reasons, sadism, genetics, and Nationalism. Other Germans did nothing to combat the Nazi regime because of fear.
Maxwell draws from the writings of Ian Robertson in his discussion of Nazi idealism, and the nature of German society, authoritarian government, and totalitarianism. He concludes: "The Nazi elites were motivated by simple evil, seduced by the desire of stature and as of personal fear." He also maintains that: "Today's Germans thoroughly repudiate both anti-Semitism and Fascism." Maxwell provides an important analysis of the danger of a modern technology, stockpiling weapons, and the influence of the media in an atmosphere fired by hatred, deception and conspiracy. He talks about the conflicted and dual personalities of Nazi military leaders, scientists, lawyers, doctors, and educators of the SS their unsavory reputations, and their vindictiveness.
Maxwell provides a comprehensive list of the resources he used in his research. He documented his quotes, and also provided an extensive index to assist the reader in additional study, reference, or review of the material covered within the book.
"Murderous Intellectuals" by Jonathan Maxwell has a wide-reaching appeal, is convincing, compelling and highly readable. The book is packed with insight into the minds, personalities, and the moral compass of the German elites and the Nazi SS. Maxwell's writing graphically details the results of bigotry, morbid sadism, and the seductive nature of an evil influenced by ethnic hatred, dysfunction, greed, and a hunger for power.
Listen to interview with Jonathan Maxwell on Inside Scoop Live