The Sources 8 and 9 show some of the German people’s reactions to the concentration camps. Source 8 shows some extreme reactions such as screaming, fainting and crying. Also it clearly says “All swore that during the past years they had no idea… “. Source 9 tells the story of one woman’s reaction to seeing the concentration camps for the first time, she was someone who supported the Nazi’s but suffered a nervous breakdown at seeing the camp.
These sources tell us, to some extent, how some people would have reacted to seeing the concentration camps and the full horror of the Nazi atrocities. It would be safe to assume that many people would ry, faint, scream, have a nervous breakdown or simply be indifferent to the suffering but to categorize the entire population of Germany to these limited reactions is highly inaccurate. First of all the reaction the people would have would be probably related to the amount of knowledge they had prior to seeing the camps.
There are certain ways the ordinary Germans could have discovered this, obviously the people who knew first hand about the camps (railway personnel, workers at the camps or local people) would react differently than those who knew absolutely nothing about the camps. There were also those that ere told directly by someone who had seen it first hand or else heard rumours. These people would probably be extremely shocked to see rumours confirmed in such a brutal fashion. The reaction of the people when presented with the knowledge is also relevant to how accurate these sources are.
Source 8 says “… men and women screamed and fainted. Others were led away crying hysterically” There is a possibility that they could have faked these reactions or in fact when shown proof of what they already knew could be overwhelming enough to create these reactions. Source 9 is much more interesting as this woman had been convinced that “everything he Nazis did was right and essential” when presented with actual evidence of what they had done she had a nervous breakdown.
The woman’s beliefs had been dashed as she realised that she had been lied to for so long. Overall these two sources only show a reaction of a select group of people, not the entire population of Germany. People react differently to the same things just depending on their personality and beliefs. Therefore these sources are relevant to some extent but just apply to the particular people they mention as it’s safe to assume that people who did not see the camps would have reacted in a completely different way.