Humanness, dehumanization and acts of rescue in Nazi occupied Europe

Flint, Sarah (2015) Humanness, dehumanization and acts of rescue in Nazi occupied Europe. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Rescue studies fail to acknowledge the historical context in which they take place. Rescue research tends to focus on individual motivations and personality traits in the pursuit of a 'rescuer personality'. In this dissertation I use conceptions of humanity and dehumanization to explore the historical context in which two cases of rescue take place. These are the case of the Pianist were a German wehrmacht officer rescues a Jewish man (Szpilman, 1999) and a Higher Call were a German bf-109 fighter pilot rescues the crew of a B-17 bomber (Makos & Alexander, 2012). In each case membership to humanity and the resulting dehumanization differs in how the Jewish people and the opposing military forces were socially constructed as enemies of the Third Reich. A reversal of Grossman's (2009) factors for killing are applied to the cases in an attempt to understand the rescue behaviour in terms of the situational factors instead of individual motivations and personality traits. Evidence from both cases and other well known cases of rescue provide evidence for situational factors as being important in determining rescue behaviour.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2015 14:31
    Last Modified: 04 Aug 2015 14:31

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