I had a chance to see the Berlin's landmark exhibit, "Hitler and the Germans" (at the German Historical Museum) during this past weekend . This show clearly portrays how most of the Germans were the willing partners of Hitler in carrying out his agenda of terror and extermination.
As a person who had his paternal grandparents, aunts, cousins, uncles, and many other relatives killed in what was going to be the final solution, and growing up surrounded by many survivors with the Nazi prisoner tattoo on their arms (not to speak about the three orphanages in my close neighborhood consisting solely of surviving orphans), these 2 visits to the exhibit were quite emotional for me. I shed my tears there many times.
Still shaken, I wrote in the exhibit's guest book that in spite of the good intentions of the organizers of this well-designed show, I cannot understand the title, "Hitler and the Germans". It sounds to me like Hitler and the Dutch, or Hitler and the British. At that time after all, Hitler WAS Germany and the Germans WERE Hitlers!! At least most of them.
As a semi-professional photographer and due to being directly affected by these atrocities, I wanted to take photos of some parts of the exhibit without flash. When I told a staff member my personal history and asked about granting me permission to take a few photos, he told me that it is not allowed. I asked to speak with the supervisor who gave me the same answer. I asked the supervisor to talk with his supervisors which he did. The same answer came back - verboten!!
I bring up this issue because this rigidity of the exhibit's staff members in "blindly" sticking with the rule even when there are exceptional circumstances, portrays to me a trait that I believe made it easier for Hitler to accomplish his agenda. The Germans at that time saw their Jewish neighbors harassed, killed, or taken away, and some or even many of them participated in this horror (see photo below). Most guards and commanders of concentration camps were Germans who just "followed" the Fuehrer's rules. But, it was not appropriate to resist or even to question the rules even when they are wrong.
At the end, I decided to disobey this rule and took some photos not with my professional camera but rather with my iPhone without being "discovered"...
To sum up - unfortunately, an authoritarian rule ist ueber Alles! Still.