Words Power Over Armies.
Indeed. Though it’s worse than this I’d argue.
One of the most vehement justifications for the holocaust was the drive of the Eugenics movement and apparently Psychiatry intertwined with a horrific extreme of social Darwinism. That ethnic cleansing was justified using the principles of genetic purity. It was all rubbish! Total rubbish! It was given a legitimacy because crackpot “doctors”, themselves prone to using violent treatments against patients, drew a wider grip over the general population.
Coupled with an intense nationalistic bias after the German crippling economic difficulties of the first world war, it led to the invasion of Poland, that plagues our history even today. Using precisely the “them” and “us” rhetoric to create an artificial barrier between people unrelated to the conflict. Appealing to the emotions of the disillusioned, looking for someone to blame. Demonising the Jews was their way of getting that caricature.
Making them less than human over time, through precisely the gradual introduction of more malicious and genocidal rhetoric into normal, everyday speech, lows it to become accepted and normal. When we cease to treat others or define others as human beings, we treat “them” like rats. However, the real rats, as history has taught some of us, are us, not them.