How we remember Shoa and other atrocities

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by romafan, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    Oh, I see people are already talking about Hitler's Willing Executioners. I've read it, and I agree with the prevailing sentiment that it's pretty much crap, and Goldhagen doesn't have any idea what he's talking about. His work is in large part based on Browning's Ordinary Germans which is a much more fascinating (and historically tenable) examination of the role of "Ordinary Germans" in the Holocaust.

    The part I've found so terrifying about the Holocaust is the acceptance. I understand that it's unreasonable to expect Jews to rise up when they first were brought to the camps, but how about in the East when they're digging their own graves or being marched to the ravine at Babi Yar? Same with Russian soldiers -- you have a group of trained young men who passively submit to being murdered.

    Edit: Has anyone here read Kershaw's The End? I haven't yet, but even though his book isn't primarily about the Holocaust, he does get into the phenomenon of the continued executions to very end: that, as it collapsed, the Nazi regime expressed itself in one last paroxysm of violence, shooting Jews and execution prisoners while the Russians and the Americans were ten feet from the gates.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012


  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I haven't, but in the "third riech" series you see a lot of that. it is amazing what the germans were throwing their resources into during the time of war. it was as though killing jews was more important than winning the war.
     


  3. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    It's really amazing... it just goes to show the consequences of ideology run amok. Personally, I've always been part of the functionalist school -- that there was no master plan behind the Holocaust and it was a consequence of radicalization, the war in the East and the Nazi's pervasive anti-Semitism - but when you read Mein Kamp or Hitler's 1930s policy documents, it's scary.

    I'm always afraid as the survivors die off, the Holocaust is going to be forgotten, but I feel like it has an inherent... magnitude? that will always generate interest in it.
     


  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I'm not a historian, but I am torn on this. I don't think that anybody had a plan in the early 30's that intended to wipe out the jews, but I think that a concept started to run that the very existance of jews in the world was a bad thing, and that less jews was better, and that killing jews was a perfectly good system for having less jews....and there you go to a logical conclusion.

    yeah, when I was a kid, I knew a lot of survivors. it becomes harder to teach kids, and a lot of people just don't care any more.

    there have been discussions on this forum where younger people basically denied facts of the holocust - like you said, not that it happened, but that it was aimed at killing jews (a lot of people like to say that they jews just died like others as civillian casulties in the war) and so on.
     


  5. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    sorry, but i think this is an abhorrent over simplification. the mental and emotional state those people were in at that time is not something that i think any of us could possibly understand. at that point their spirits and hopes were so crushed, and they were so degraded beyond comprehension. not to mention, once a person feels entirely under the power of another, resistance can often be almost impossible. i would not simply refer to that as passively submitting to being murdered, like oh well i guess ill be murdered now, ho hum.

    as to the book i mentioned, i honestly did not read it most of it. just skimmed, and i dont recall his stance exactly. i was just wondering if it was book people were familiar with.
     


  6. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    Of course it's an oversimplification, but at he same time it's one of the 'unanswered' questions about the Holocaust, and it's part of the reason why there's so much interest in stories of defiance and resistance. There's been hundreds of books and articles written asking that question, and there's been dozens of possible answers - psychological, behavioral, religious, etc., but none are entirely satisfying.

    Goldhagen's thesis is that there was a fundamental, historical difference between the anti-semitism of Germany and the rest of the World. He argues that the unique German anti-semitism was an 'eliminationist anti-setimism' that was predicated on the physical destruction of the Jews. Because of this, the average German not only was aware of the Holocaust, but actively encouraged and supported it. Unfortunately his book is full of serious factual mistakes, and if you look at his 'evidence' you find nothing there but equivocation and academic buzzwords.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012


  7. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    this is something that scares me as well. when my father was in school, he had teachers that were survivors that told their stories, first hand. as much as i internalize the holocaust, i know he has a much deeper understanding and feeling of it, due to that exposure. i fear for the knowledge and feeling of coming generations regarding the holocaust, and im not sue there is much we can do, but try our best to pass on what happened.


    i agree to this.
     


  8. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    .

    nor do i think any anser ever will be. its not something i think anyone outside of those experiences can possibly understand. i would even doubt if those people, at that time, even fully understood what and why there doing what they were doing. that is in no way meant to be derogatory to them, it just means that what was going inside them was so unfathomably complex, i cant imagine they were able to hash it out sensibly in the moment of that horor and pain.


    interesting, thank you for the quick breakdown. hard to form an opinion just off one paragraph.

    well, as engaging as this all is, and i will miss this conversation. i must get ready for shabbos. stay well everybody, catch you later.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012


  9. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    again, as a non-historian, my take on this is that the germans embraced a neo-barbarism as a philosophy. sort of like a nerdy kid trying to overcompensate and be a bully, the german people embraced blood and guts a little too much, and it went overboard. the anti-semitism might not have been different, but the feeling that you could solve problems by killing people was hugely exagurated.
     


  10. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    They are becoming scapegoats like the Jews were for centuries...

    It is what I meant..

    Islamophobia is like antisemitism in that sense..
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012


  11. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    The Jews were not the first ones to be in camps...

    Extermination methods were tested on Gypsies and Russian war prisoners...

    They also had an irational hatred of the Slavs..

    The Third Reich started his ethnic cleansing on mental disabled, homosexuals, Jehovah witnesses and other political prisoners...

    In the case of Babi Yar , I have read documents showing how the locals collaborated to the events...

    The role of the Wermacht is also very interesting to study ...

    They were far from being the noble warriors opposed to the evil of the Nazis..
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012


  12. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    Yes, the Wehrmacht was at best complicit, and at worst actively participated in many of the atrocities.
     


  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    no, nothing at all like it.
     


  14. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan White Hispanic

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    What the fuck are you talking about? Who is using the Arabs as a scapegoat? What countries are rounding Arabs up and/or exterminating them? And why the hell are are you equating "Arab" with "Muslim"? In what way is Islamaphobia equivalent to Antisemitism?
     


  15. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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    Fuck me you're not a Biblical literalist are you?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012


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