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What makes the systematic extermination of human groups unique in the Nazi Germany is that it was the aberrant core of the Nazi state. The Nazi state simply made permanent a body of laws known as the laws of exception a norm of governance. Laws of exception entail the creation of zones where law does not apply, now referred to as concentration camps, where humans may be killed without the executioners being subject to law. Germany was the first modern state to create laws of exception in the 1860's but was not the only nation to do so. Laws of exception are usually evoked in a period of grave state crisis, whether internal or external, and should be, as their name implies, temporary.

The Weimar Republic had already decreed the state of exception before the Nazi power seizure. The fundamental force and consequent horror of the Nazi regime is that it could only exist in a permanent state of siege and exclusion. It could not have ended in any other way but with the systematic slaughter of tens of millions of humans.

That is precisely why the Nazi regime is a stark mirror for all modern states, an admonition to "know thyself" as was written on the temple walls of Delphos.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:54:41 PM EST

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