The study reveals that giving voice to the German nobility paradoxically begins with an investigation of rupture and silence. As interviews with respondents from every generation show, a continuous effort has been made by this group to recuperate lost narratives, and various strategies have been used to repair their narrative, including dialogue, self-examination, historical erasures, and even simple denial. When questioned, subjects tend to focus on their own sense of victimhood and powerlessness rather than on their sense of responsibility or complicity. To move beyond their own sense of victimhood, the nobility as a whole seeks empathy and acknowledgment of their disempowerment and loss. Without this recognition, they will not be able to develop a capacity to feel empathy for others. We can see throughout the study that subjects cannot be made to feel responsible by outside pressure. Those respondents who are capable of reconciliation simultaneously create dialogue, not only with the victims of the Holocaust but also with their own pasts. They recognize their complicity with the genocide, but empathize with their own actions rather than justifying them.
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in the Kraków area; and the history of the Polish nobility from ca. 1300 to ca
nobility : a phenomenological study / by Alexandervon Pachelbel