The Political Effects of Witnessing State Atrocities: Evidence from the Nazi Death Marches

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorDe Juan, Alexander
dc.contributor.authorGläßel, Christian
dc.contributor.authorHaass, Felix
dc.contributor.authorScharpf, Adam
dc.date.accessioned2023-07-12T06:59:22Z-
dc.date.available2023-07-12T06:59:22Z-
dc.date.issued2023
dc.identifier.issn0010-4140
dc.identifier.urihttp://osnascholar.ub.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/unios/72052-
dc.descriptionCited by: 0
dc.description.abstractHow does witnessing regime atrocities influence the political attitudes of bystanders? We argue that observing regime violence against innocent civilians triggers psychological dissonance between beliefs about the regime and the witnessed moral transgression. As a result, regime support should decrease among bystanders of state atrocities. We analyze original, highly disaggregated archival data from the Nazi death marches at the end of World War II, which confronted ordinary German citizens with the regime's crimes. We find that locations with higher victim numbers had lower vote shares for right-wing nationalist parties after the war. Supporting our proposed mechanism, we show that (1) this effect was strongest when Nazi crimes were at the center of public discourse and (2) that witnessing Nazi atrocities was associated with individuals' rejection of Hitler 20years later. The findings have implications for understanding democratization prospects and people's nostalgia for fallen autocrats. © The Author(s) 2023.
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherSAGE Publications Inc.
dc.relation.ispartofComparative Political Studies
dc.subjectauthoritarian legacy
dc.subjectdemocratization
dc.subjectextremism
dc.subjectregime breakdown
dc.subjectrepression
dc.subjectvoting
dc.titleThe Political Effects of Witnessing State Atrocities: Evidence from the Nazi Death Marches
dc.typejournal article
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/00104140231178736
dc.identifier.scopus2-s2.0-85163009659
dc.identifier.urlhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85163009659&doi=10.1177%2f00104140231178736&partnerID=40&md5=4e630756ce55677cbe9ec044d77fd3f4
dcterms.isPartOf.abbreviationComp. Polit. Stud.
local.import.remainsaffiliations : University of Osnabrück, Institute of Social Sciences, Osnabrück, Germany; Hertie School, Berlin, Germany; University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
local.import.remainscorrespondence_address : A. De Juan; University of Osnabrück, Institute of Social Sciences, Osnabrück, Germany; email: alexander.dejuan@uni-osnabrueck.de
local.import.remainspublication_stage : Article in press
crisitem.author.deptFB 01 - Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften-
crisitem.author.deptidfb01-
crisitem.author.parentorgUniversität Osnabrück-
crisitem.author.netidDeAl304-
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