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in the Third Reich,” Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany, eds. Robert Gellately and Nathan
Stoltzfuss (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 165“91.
Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (Chicago: Quadrangle Press, 1961), 642“3.
94

The two most detailed and invaluable studies of the Nazi persecution of the “Gypsies” are
95

Guenter Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000),
¨
and Michael Zimmerman, Rassenutopie und Genozid: Die nationalsozialistische “Losung der
Zigeunerfrage” (Hamburg: Christians, 1996). For a short summary, see Sybil Milton, “˜Gypsies™
Frameworks for Social Engineering 257

The victims of widespread prejudice and discrimination before 1933, the Sinti
and Roma were stereotypically characterized as parasitical, criminal, lazy, and
rootless. After 1933 in Germany they were disproportionately subjected to
the Nazi regime™s measures against “asocial” habitual criminals, vagrants, and
beggars. In fact, one category of asocial behavior subject to “preventive deten-
tion” was simply exhibiting a “Gypsy-like” lifestyle, even when those involved
were not “Gypsies.” The Sinti and Roma were likewise disproportionately
subjected to compulsory sterilization on the grounds of feeblemindedness. For
cases when the victims were obviously too bright for such a pretext, several
public health of¬cials developed the concept of “disguised mental retarda-
tion,” in which indifference and nonconformity to societal norms, on the one
hand, and cleverness and cunning, on the other, were declared to be the very
symptoms that con¬rmed an alleged hereditary mental retardation justifying
sterilization.96 The Nuremberg Laws did not mention Zigeuner, but subsequent
commentaries declared them to be of “alien blood” and subject to the same
prohibitions that affected Jews. Himmler in turn set up a Central Of¬ce for the
Fight against the Gypsy Nuisance and declared the “Gypsy problem” to be a
“matter of race.” Thereafter the Sinti and Roma were pulled inexorably into
the vortex of persecution modeled on the regime™s anti-Jewish measures.
As Robert Gellately has shown, Nazi self-representation proclaimed and
German popular memory acknowledged that the regime™s war on crime was
one of its most successful accomplishments.97 Thus, the identi¬cation of crim-
inality with those excluded from the Volksgemeinschaft was both pervasive
and intentional. Jews were not spared in this regard. For example, Heydrich
ordered the arrest of all Jewish males with any past criminal conviction resulting
in at least one month™s detention as part of a major arrest wave of “asocials,”
especially the “work-shy,” that he initiated in June 1938. (This particular
razzia bore striking similarity to two notorious aspects of Stalinist practice,
in that each police district was assigned a minimum quota of two hundred
arrests, and one explicit goal was to swell the labor force in the concentration
camps.)98 The popular “preventive war” on crime both appropriated pre-Nazi
conceptions about the biological determinants of habitual criminals and pro-
vided yet another gloss that invoked support for the Nazi construction of the


as Social Outsiders in Germany,” Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany, eds. Robert Gellately and
Nathan Stoltzfuss (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 212“32. Three studies that
place the persecution and murder of the “Gypsies” within the wider context of Nazi racism and
genocide are Friedlander, The Origins of Nazi Genocide; Burleigh and Wippermann, The Racial
State: Germany 1933“1945; and Wolfgang Wippermann, “Wie Die Zigeuner”: Antisemitismus
und Antiziganismus im Vergleich (Berlin: Elefanten Press, 1997).
Friedlander, The Origins of Nazi Genocide, 254“5; Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies,
96

20“3.
Robert Gellately, Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany (New York: Oxford
97

University Press, 2001).
Ayass, “˜Ein Gebot der nationalen Arbeitsdisziplin,™” 53“5.
98
Christopher R. Browning and Lewis H. Siegelbaum
258

Volksgemeinschaft as well as the commensurate exclusion and persecution of
marginal, stigmatized groups.99
Even with the expansion of Nazi exclusion to encompass the “asocials,” the
potential number of victims in German society was still minuscule in compar-
ison to the “mass” and “national operations” in the Soviet Union. The vast
majority of Germans had little reason to fear the police, who were celebrated
as “friends and helpers” and were helped by a “self-policing” ethos in German
society, especially in the form of denunciations.100 This did not, of course, pre-
clude Germans from grumbling or dissenting from the regime on single issues.
As Eric Johnson has argued, a tacit agreement seemed to exist whereby Ger-
mans were free to complain about and criticize minor matters as long as they
gave the regime autonomy to pursue ferociously its racial agenda.101 There was
police terror, but its social impact was utterly asymmetrical. It did not weaken
support for the regime; if anything, by targeting clearly delineated outcasts
from the Volksgemeinschaft, it strengthened it.


war as the apotheosis of identity
After the Nazi invasion, as Soviet territories fell under occupation, were liber-
ated, and were seized and liberated again, the meaning of Soviet patriotism “
and identity “ changed irrevocably. Class meant little as all who passed the
test of loyalty were inscribed into “the toiling sons and daughters” of the
constituent nations of the Union. Stalin could thank the “Russian people” in
May 1945 for not having cast their government aside during the war, and the
“great Russian people” continued to play the central unifying role within the
friendship of the peoples after the war. But the maintenance of that friendship
dictated that space be provided for (most but not all) other Soviet nations to
share in the retrospective communities of heroism and suffering.102
Wartime service in the Red Army could expunge the stain of prewar stigma-
tization. In the course of the war, former kulaks were subject to the draft,
and if they were inducted, their spouses and children received passports that
enabled them to leave the special settlements. In 1946, all restrictions on those
who had served or had children who served in the Red Army were removed.103

Patrick Wagner, Volksgemeinschaft ohne Verbrecher: Konzeptionen und Praxis der Krimi-
99

nalpolizei in der Zeit der Weimarer Republik und des Nationalsozialismus (Hamburg: Chris-
tians, 1996).
Robert Gellately, Backing Hitler and The Gestapo and German Society: Enforcing Racial
100

Policy, 1933“1945.
Eric Johnson, Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews, and Ordinary Germans (New York: Basic
101

Books, 1999).
We are following here the formulation and argument of Amir Weiner, Making Sense of War:
102

The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 2001).
Amir Weiner, “Nature, Nurture, and Memory in a Socialist Utopia: Delineating the Soviet
103

Socio-Ethnic Body in the Age of Socialism,” American Historical Review, 104, no. 4 (1999):
1132“3.
Frameworks for Social Engineering 259

The return of these “formers” to their native villages must have revived old
tensions, but the war and the of¬cially sponsored myths surrounding it permit-
ted them and others with prewar blemishes on their records, in effect, to start
over. They could now rewrite their biographies, for they were identi¬ed as, and
therefore could assume the identities of, fully ¬‚edged Soviet citizens. Referring
to Red Army veterans, former partisans, and their families in Vinnytsia oblast™
(Ukraine), Amir Weiner noted that they made up “hundreds of thousands of
peasants de¬ning their political and social identity on the basis of their sacri¬ce
for the Soviet motherland and in juxtaposition to those who had not gone
through the same ordeal of war or did not identify themselves with the Soviet
cause.”104 This undoubtedly was true of many other parts of the Soviet Union.
Redemption was not so clearly at hand for those who had lived passively
under Nazi occupation or had withdrawn to the Soviet interior out of harm™s
way. Still less could repatriated former Ostarbeiter and soldiers who had sur-
vived the horrors of Nazi POW camps expect to share in the bene¬ts of Soviet
victory or avoid incarceration upon their return.105 Those who had collabo-
rated with the enemy while under occupation generally were denied the possi-
bility of political or social rehabilitation, even if they subsequently had enlisted
in the Red Army and performed acts of bravery. Moreover, as in the case
of collectivization-era kulaks and purge-era enemies of the people, their pun-
ishment was transferable to blood relatives. Deportations to Kazakhstan and
Siberia awaited “kulaks” along with members of their families from western
Ukraine and the Baltic republics; in the case of an order from April 1949 refer-
ring to the inhabitants of the reabsorbed Moldavian republic, the categories
of deportees represented a virtual recapitulation of enemies from throughout
Soviet history: former landowners, large merchants, members of profascist par-
ties, former White Guardists, members of illegal religious sects, supporters of
Nazi occupiers.106
Finally, those who actively had fought against the Soviet cause and continued
to do so in the name of their “nation” after the Nazis™ surrender were faced
with extermination at the hands of the Red Army and the NKVD. This was
not only a matter of collective retribution for atrocities committed against
loyal Soviet citizens, but because such organizations as the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists, its Ukrainian Insurgent Army, and the various Baltic
home guards embodied the kind of anti-Soviet nationalism against which Soviet
nationality policies had been constructed and pursued since the early 1920s.
Weiner contends that the ideologically induced mania for puri¬cation of the
political and social bodies drove both postwar veri¬cation campaigns within the


Weiner, Making Sense of War, 325.
104

Robert W. Thurston, “Cauldrons of Loyalty and Betrayal: Soviet Soldiers™ Behavior, 1941 and
105

1945,” in The People™s War: Responses to World War II in the Soviet Union, eds. Robert
W. Thurston and Bernd Bonwetsch (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000),
245“50.
Mironenko and Vert, Massovye repressii, 515“16, 522“4.
106
Christopher R. Browning and Lewis H. Siegelbaum
260

Communist Party and the war against remnants of nationalist-guerrilla groups.
This may be so, but at least at the local level “ “in the intimate environment of
the village” and the towns “ personal score settling and an unquenched thirst
for vengeance were much in evidence as well.107 Rather than stemming from a
single source, wartime and postwar Soviet schemas of identi¬cation arose out of
a combination of deeply rooted prejudices and fears, the differential treatment
by Nazi occupation forces of Soviet citizens according to their nationality or
“race,” the Soviet state™s anxieties with respect to its place in the postwar
international arena, and its propensity to interpret internal security risks in
ethnonational terms and, where convenient or possible, to subject all members
of such national groups to collective punishment.
All these factors seem to have been involved in the deportations to Kaza-
khstan, Uzbekistan, and Kirgizia of virtually all Chechens, Ingush, Crimean
Tatars, Kalmyks, and other north Caucasus and Transcaucasian national
groups in 1944.108 These deportations evidently were intended to eradicate
the territorial if not the ethnocultural identities of the affected nations. That
they did nothing of the kind must be acknowledged to have been one of Stalin™s
more spectacular failures. Yet, whether eventually permitted to return to their
homelands or not, the vast majority among these “punished peoples” were
hardly less Soviet in their self-identities than those whose place within the
communities of heroism and suffering was secure.
This brings us ¬nally to the identi¬cation of Jews and their perilous situ-
ation in the postwar era. Jews, it seems, represented the obverse case of the
punished peoples of the north Caucasus and Transcaucasia. Their “crime” was
not collaboration with the enemy (though some postwar depictions of Jews in
popular literature implied this), but rather attempts after the war by prominent
Jews to commemorate the uniqueness of Jewish suffering combined with Jews™
brazenly unauthorized celebration of Israeli independence in 1948. Even as
individual Jews were decorated for their wartime bravery and achieved promi-
nence in various walks of postwar life, the Jewish people were “excised” from
the friendship of peoples that composed the USSR.109 In another interpretation,
Jews became vulnerable after the war (or at least after 1948) to two distinct
if not contradictory claims of disloyalty. First, the creation of Israel and the
Cold War made Jews a diaspora nationality analogous to those subjected to
the national operations during the Great Purges. The Jewish “national form”
thus “had become the symptom of a hostile bourgeois content.” Second, the
very lack of ethnic transparency on the part of those who dominated science,
education, medicine, and other professions meant that “every Russian in high


Weiner, Making Sense of War, 171“82.
107

Aleksandr M. Nekrich, The Punished Peoples: The Deportation and Fate of Soviet Minorities
108

at the End of the Second World War (New York: W. W. Norton, 1978); Norman M. Naimark,
Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth“Century Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 2001), 89“107.
Weiner, Making Sense of War, 191“235, 375“7.
109
Frameworks for Social Engineering 261

position was a potential Jew, and every Jew without exception was a potential
enemy.”110 The analogy with (if not adaptation of) Nazism™s extensive practice
of “investigative genealogy” is fairly obvious.
In Nazi Germany the war led not to a reshuf¬‚ing of identity, with new
priority given to loyalty, military service, and sacri¬ce, but rather to an expo-
nential increase in both the number of victims “ now millions of Jews, Slavs,
and others in the conquered territories “ and the severity of persecution “ now
“ethnic cleansing,” enslavement, and extermination.111 For Hitler the Volks-
gemeinschaft as racial community was both the means and end of politics.
Creating a uni¬ed racial community in which alien and inferior elements were
eliminated and individuals renounced other ties and loyalties and were pre-
pared to sacri¬ce themselves for the community would produce an irresistible
instrument of expansion and conquest. The attainment of Lebensraum through
expansion and conquest was in turn essential for the maintenance and growth
of the racial community. Stalin might conceive of “socialism in one country,”
but Hitler never conceived of a uni¬ed German racial community surviving and
prospering within the con¬nes of the state boundaries bequeathed by Versailles
or indeed any ¬xed boundaries.
Alongside policies of exclusion and destruction, policies of inclusion were
central to the adaptation of the Volksgemeinschaft to its expanding Leben-
sraum. Within Germany and among the German-speaking peoples of Austria,
the Sudetenland, Luxembourg, and Alsace-Lorraine, membership in the Volks-
gemeinschaft was open to virtually anyone who was not deemed racially alien
or biologically defective. The requirement of certifying one™s racial background
was built into any number of ordinary bureaucratic procedures to which all
Germans were subjected. It threatened so few that repeated compliance became
a normal part of life as well as a ritual through which the population accepted
and internalized “race” as a de¬ning reality. But policies of inclusion became
much more complex and contested with German conquests in the east. A great
irony quickly emerged. Conquest of empire had been justi¬ed by portraying
Germans as a Volk ohne Raum, a people without land. Now the Germans
confronted the reality of having Raum ohne Volk, vast conquered territories
without Germans to inhabit them. It was Himmler™s dictum that “one only


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