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The following question may seem controversial, and if it would be removed from site I guess it would be fine and understandable, however, it has a particualr view point I think have not been researched thoroughly to date;

My history teacher has suggested, based on several recent articles on biology and psychology, that the reason the Germans are so profoundly anti-Semitic and warmongering (conducting the Holocaust, etc.) is due to murderous tendencies inherited and widespread in the genotype which many Germanic tribes had, and Germans have today, which allowed them to outlive, vanquish, and absorb nearby tribes in ancient Europe, and thus survive to this day, giving them the particular ruthlessness and pathological tendency for atrocious deeds which nearby nations don't seem to have. Is this true? Also based on that he speaks of the genocydal tednecy of the German people which cant be found else where in europe

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closed as off-topic by Mark C. Wallace, Semaphore, Pieter Geerkens, Kobunite, Tom Au Jun 27 at 1:13

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The Germans were not notably ruthless compared to the Celts or Slavs at equivalent stages of development. When the Celts were more pastoral and feudal in Caesar's time, the Germans could mobilize more warriors and were slowly encroaching, just as the Celts had done a few hundred years earlier and Slavs would do to the old German lands in East Europe in the 700-1000 AD timeframe. –  Oldcat Jun 26 at 22:25
@Joe: I agree with you, and cast my vote on "opinion based." –  Tom Au Jun 27 at 1:14
To me it sounds like your "teacher" has an agenda. Also, why do you ask a question only to battle those who give an answer? You've obviously never been to Germany and met the people there, they are the most needlessly apologetic people on the planet - and it has little to do with international standards. Ever heard of the Hun? Vlad the Impaler? African tribal wars? You do know the Russians committed just as many (and possibly more brutal) war crimes than the SS and Einsatzgruppen. I think your view is very naive and historically ignorant. –  Lee Jun 27 at 11:42
@Bak1139, let's keep it civil. One of the great things about SE is that if you don't like what someone's saying, you can just write a better question or answer yourself. –  Joe Jun 27 at 18:03
Note that Germans, Icelanders, Dutch, Scandanavians, and English are all essentially derived from the same original genetic and cultural stock. So any theory that relies on inherent genetic predisposition will have to account for all those other peoples as well. –  T.E.D. Jun 30 at 16:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Your question presupposes a few key points:

  1. that Germans are more anti-Semitic than other groups,
  2. that Germans are more warmongering than other groups,
  3. and that the early Germanic tribes were more murderous than other groups,

then asks if points 1 and 2 lead to point 3.

Almost certainly, the answer is no, that modern-day Germans have not inherited these sorts of bad attributes from their ancestors. I'll try to address a few of the reasons why.

Anti-Semitism is not a particularly German attribute.

The Holocaust, while larger in scope than previous actions against the Jewish people, was not an entirely unique event in history. Many countries have a very long history of attacks and discrimination against Jews, including centuries of pogroms, expulsions, wholesale murder, arson, and discrimination of many kinds.

Warmongering is not a particularly German attribute.

Germany, over the course of centuries, is not necessarily more warlike than other regions. In the 20th century alone, you have Japan and the USSR conquering large swaths of territory, and massive wars in the Congo and other parts of Africa that are rarely remarked on. Germany's prominence in the history of war is largely due to the recency and technological level of its last two wars. Looking at the entire period from ancient Germania to the present day (as your question does), Germany has only been a small part of the total warmongering going on.

The early Germanic tribes were not necessarily any more murderous than other tribes.

Were the early Germans more warlike than the Celts, Romans, Huns, or any other groups of their day? They were certainly successful in a certain region, for a certain period of time, and they certainly had to use warfare to be so, but the same could be said for many of their neighbors. Hard data will be hard to come by, this far removed in time, but plenty of stories of the viciousness of many groups can still be found.

Bad behavior is not known to be heritable over thousands of years.

Even if the three points above were proven, the connection between them would still be tenuous at best. The behavior of a group can change wildly over thousands of years. Consider modern Mongols versus those in the days of Genghis Khan. Consider groups like ISIS in present-day Iraq versus Baghdad at the height of the Caliphate.

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once agin capmaring nazi germany and germans and arabs is complete nonsense since the difrence is huge...the ansers here lack in dpeth and wide historic comprehension –  Bak1139 Jun 27 at 6:59
@Bak1139, which of these points do you disagree with me on? –  Joe Jun 27 at 8:32
you ignore the patholpgcial long going unique antsemtisam in gemrany whihc is also coupled with particlualt aggresion since the times of 900 ad at least, which is unappearnt in near by tribes / nations –  Bak1139 Jun 27 at 12:15
900 AD? Are you sure we're even talking about the same tribes? –  Joe Jun 27 at 15:22

your assumption that the Germans are "so profoundly antisemitic and war eagring" is wrong.

You need only look at modern Germany, where Denying or approving of the holocaust can land you in jail, to determine that they aren't that "profoundly" antisemitic at all.

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conforming to internationl stadnarts doesnt mean erasing social nazism –  Bak1139 Jun 27 at 7:05
@Bak1139 the Germans aren't merely conforming to international standards in that regard. They're leading the way –  Sam I am Jun 27 at 14:03
have fun freerepublic.com/focus/news/734384/posts –  Bak1139 Jun 27 at 17:50

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