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exnihilo
601064.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:54 am Reply with quote

Proximity? Nothing to do with ideology then? Nothing to do with blaming Jews for the capitulation in the Great War and complicity in the Depression? The Jews were a specific target, not because they were nearby but because they were the focus of the Nazi leaders' especial animus. Certainly there were other groups involved, but the Nazi propaganda machine focused on the "Jewish Problem" from the outset and specifically targeted them - as had so many other regimes before that. Nobody is suggesting it was only Jews, but the suggestion that more died because they happened to be local is offensively wrong - the Nazis expended vast effort on rounding up Jews from every country under their influence to be sure they got them all.

 
Curious Danny
601158.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:34 am Reply with quote

The nazis were able to link the jews and slavs through the ostjuden - jews who fled to Germany from Russia due to persecution - and his belief that bolshevism was a jewish conspiracy. All of it nonsense of course, as he also accused jews of profiteering in business at others expense.
Quote:
“The heaviest blow which ever struck humanity was Christianity; Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew.”

Quote:
“The struggle for world domination will be fought entirely between us, between Germans and Jews. All else is facade and illusion. Behind England stands Israel, and behind France, and behind the United States. Even when we have driven the Jew out of Germany, he remains our world enemy."

Source - www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/quotes

The Jew as an anti-aryan had already been expoused in books such as "The foundations of the 19th century" by Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Hitler didn't set out to kill jews originally, he wanted to purge Germany of them, so encouraged them to emigrate by passing oppresive measures (although german jews didn't have to wear stars or live in Ghettos until after WW2 began). The war is a major factor in the holocaust as it stopped emigration and conquest bought lots of Jews under German rule when they were trying to get rid of them. Slavs, Gypsies, the mentally ill etc. were all to be purgued from the Volksgemeinschaft, but the Jews were considered the worse of the lot.

 
Celebaelin
601180.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:28 am Reply with quote

Q. I say I say I say what do you get if you drop a piano down a Volksgemeinschaft?

A. A flat people's community.

Hmmmm, needs work I feel.

 
Curious Danny
601216.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:02 am Reply with quote

Curious Danny wrote:
I believe that it was common knowledge that prison camps existed in Germany, even in the 30s. I belive Goebbels admitted as much in a early 30s speech at the disarmament conference or just prior to leaving the League of Nations. I belive he even invited foreign powers to come and see them.

P.S as of yet, am looking for a source.

Have now found a source - the snappy sounding "Dr. Goebbels on National-Socialist Germany and Her Contribution Towards World Peace" - a speech to the representatives of the international press at Geneva on September 28th 1933. The National Archives has a copy of it - a transcript from the German League of Nations Union News Service.
http://www.learningcurve.gov.uk/workshops/speech.pdf

I draw your attention to this line on page 9:
Quote:
It is now trying to reconvert (communists) in concentration camps (into) useful members of human society ... Any foreigner may visit German concentration camps to find out for himself that anything but cruelty and brutality prevail in the camps.

Therefore, the presence of concentration camps in Germany was no secret.

 
dr.bob
601231.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:48 am Reply with quote

Curious Danny wrote:
Therefore, the presence of concentration camps in Germany was no secret.


I don't think the presence of concentration camps was ever in doubt. What was less well known, as I understand it, was the wholesale slaughter that went on in some of them.

Though you'd've thought it wouldn't have been too hard to notice that an awful lot of people kept going in and very few came out again.

 
CB27
601241.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:09 am Reply with quote

You can't deny that people knew about the concentration camps existing. However, what many people weren't aware of was that some of these camps had turned into extermination camps.

There is evidence to show that knowledge of the extermination camps reached London as early as December 1941, but they were originally considered as "Bolshevik propaganda" as it seemed such an extreme idea.

By late 1942 more information had come through and was by now considered "possibly credible" and in April 1943 the Bermuda Conference discussed the situation. The inaction of the conference, coupled with the disastrous uprising in Warsaw, even led to the suicide of Szmul Zygielbojm.

The full extent of the horros of the camps did not become fully known until early 1944, when Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler managed to escape from Auschwitz and dictated a 32 page report which was passed on to the Allies. Parts of this report were made public by the BBC and New York Times in June, and this promptde political pressure on the Hungarian Government to stop deportation of Jews, which came into effect from early July and is estimated to have saved as many as 200,000 Jews.

 
Neotenic
601251.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:03 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Have now found a source - the snappy sounding "Dr. Goebbels on National-Socialist Germany and Her Contribution Towards World Peace" - a speech to the representatives of the international press at Geneva on September 28th 1933. The National Archives has a copy of it - a transcript from the German League of Nations Union News Service.


I think that qualifies for some kind of Source Of The Month award, Danny.

 
Curious Danny
601290.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:30 pm Reply with quote

Thank you, Thank you but i can't take the credit. I first became aware of it on a visit to the National Archives, thank them.

 
Jenny
601311.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:55 pm Reply with quote

Nazi attitudes towards Jews were not unconnected with attitudes towards Jews held throughout Europe over the last fifteen hundred years or so. I think bobwilson's point about Nazi ideology is sound though:

bobwilson wrote:
The fundamental principle of Nazism was (and is) that there is an identifiable group which is naturally superior to all other groups - and that those other groups had to be neutralised/exterminated/subjugated.

 
bobwilson
601489.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:22 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Jenny. But to go back to exnihilo's point. I didn't say that the Nazi attitude towards Jews had nothing to do with ideology - in fact, quite the contrary. What I said was that the disproportionate effect on Jews was due to the proximity of Jews as available targets for their ire.

Quote:
The Jews were a specific target, not because they were nearby but because they were the focus of the Nazi leaders' especial animus.


Yes and no. The Jews were a specific target because they were a (not the) focus of the Nazi leaders' especial animus. The large number of Jewish victims was because of their geographical proximity.

Quote:
Certainly there were other groups involved, but the Nazi propaganda machine focused on the "Jewish Problem" from the outset and specifically targeted them


Yes it did - again because from a Germanic perspective the Jews were the immediate problem. They were, after all, inside Germany - whereas the slavs (another focus of Nazi ire) were mostly not.

Quote:
Nobody is suggesting it was only Jews, but the suggestion that more died because they happened to be local is offensively wrong - the Nazis expended vast effort on rounding up Jews from every country under their influence to be sure they got them all.

I can't see why it is offensive to suggest that the sheer numbers was due to the logistics of the situation. The Nazi's intended to dispose of the untermensch - the Jews (along with others) were untermensch. Yes, they did expend vast effort on rounding up Jews - they also expended vast effort on rounding up the mentally ill, and they expended enormous effort on waging total war against the slavs in Russia.

And finally -
Quote:
Nobody is suggesting it was only Jews


Unfortunately, in popular imagination the Holocaust is exclusively about the extermination of Jews. It may not be overtly stated or even suggested but there is a tacit understanding that the term Holocaust applies exclusively to the attempt to eradicate European Jewry

 
Curious Danny
601522.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:52 am Reply with quote

There is a bit of debate on that point - many consider the Holocaust to just be the jews specifically, but the extermination of jews was the worst aspect (by sheer numbers) of a wider aim to purge Germany of all undesirables.
I also believe many Jews actually prefer the phrase "The Shoah" - which means calamity - rather than "burnt/sacrificied"

 
exnihilo
601552.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:04 am Reply with quote

Yes, Jews use Shoah, and commemorate Yom Ha'Shoah on an entirely other day to when the UN and the UK Government commemorate the Holocaust. If "people" (and I'd be interested to know which ones) use Holocaust to mean only the Jews, I can't think why: Israel and Yad Vashem don't, my school didn't teach it that way, I don't teach it that way now - and I have no reason to believe my education/experience to be wildly at variance with everyone else's. Certainly nowadays when every group is at pains to remind people of their suffering whenever Holocaust Memorial Day comes around - even those not affected at all.

 
Neotenic
601557.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:38 am Reply with quote

Quote:
If "people" (and I'd be interested to know which ones) use Holocaust to mean only the Jews....


I'd be interested too.

Special bonus points for anyone who can find a document that purports to be a reputable source that makes such a claim.

 
soup
601592.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:49 am Reply with quote

From
The Colombia guide to the holocaust. ISBN 0-231-11200-9

The Holocaust is commonly defined as the mass murder of more than 5,000,000 Jews by the Germans during World War II. (my bolding)

then it talks about some 'people' not being content with this definition and including gypsies,mentally deficients etc etc.

I know the holocaust involved lots of groups, but whenever the holocaust is mentioned I immediately think of its impact on Jews. I don't know if this is caused by my upbringing or the 'atmosphere' I am in.


Last edited by soup on Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:53 am; edited 1 time in total

 
CB27
601595.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:51 am Reply with quote

I have to admit that I also find it a little offensive that people will contend the Jews only suffered in WW2 because fo tehir proximity.

It's easy to take certain passages from a speech here or a couple of lines written in a book there, but that doesn't give you the whole picture.

The Nazi treatment of Jews wasn't entirely Hitler's fault, he led the party and may have spoken out against the Jews, but he was merely tapping into the hatred many people had for Jews, and both he and his regime were certainly not beneath dealing with certain non Aryan groups when it came to dealing with Jews abroad.

That other groups suffered is not in question, that other groups faced extreme persecution in various areas is not in question either, but one group suffered more than others when it came to active deportation from all areas and widespread persecution, not only from Nazis, but from many other groups at the time.

I think it's far too easy for us to accept today that it could have only been extremists who had such attitudes, but you need to remember that majority of people today have gained their education after 1962 and therefore did not live with the accepted "truth" that the Vatican and others taught up till then, which was that all Jews are responsible for the death of Christ. For many Europeans in the early half of the 20th century, Jews were a much vilified group of people.

 

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