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Drunk on GenocideAlcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany$
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Edward B. Westermann

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501754197

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501754197.001.0001

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Alcohol and the Masculine Ideal

Alcohol and the Masculine Ideal

Chapter:
(p.24) 1 Alcohol and the Masculine Ideal
Source:
Drunk on Genocide
Author(s):

Edward B. Westermann

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501754197.003.0002

This chapter explores the connections between the perpetrators' consumption of alcohol, their acts of violence, and the use of celebratory ritual as expressions of camaraderie and manifestations of masculinity. It investigates how membership in paramilitary organizations like the SS, the SA, and the police shaped and informed masculinity constructs. The chapter also discusses how the relationship between alcohol, martial identity, and entry into manhood was anchored in “leave-taking rituals.” The glorification of martial virtues and violence as “the highest manifestation of manhood” emerged as defining characteristics of the National Socialist ideal of hypermasculinity, especially within the SS and the police complex. For this reason, the chapter highlights the linkage between hypermasculinity and militarism. It analyses the concept of martial masculinity or an exaggerated belief in the necessity for merciless brutality against one's enemies, and it defines the concept of radicalized hypermasculinity by the practice of racial war. Ultimately, the chapter discusses the importance of masculinity as a cultural ideal within political and social organizations.

Keywords:   alcohol consumption, perpetrators, masculinity, paramilitary organizations, manhood, National Socialist, hypermasculinity, militarism, genocide

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