Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
What distinguishes the Holocaust from any other mass slaughter in the history of mankind is not, that it was against the Jews, not that so many people were killed, not that it was racist.

It is the systematic side of the holocaust that make it so unique. The indiscriminate, bureaucratic and therefore predicatable, factory killing of people that were deemed unworthy of living by the democratically elected Governance of the country (this includes: Gays, Roma and Sinti, Jews, to name the three biggest groups).

People knew why they were being procecuted, because they had been classed as subhuman, there was nothing random about it, it was state philosophy, all machine cogs of the apparatus worked towards it. Independently, maybe, without order, maybe, but with the clear understanding and blessing from the hierarchie.

Thank you Marek for making it clear that Holocaust denier don;t have to be rascists, but very often are - since their motivation is to denigrade the experience and existance of suffering among people that they couldn't care less about.

by PeWi on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:23:53 PM EST
I forgot one group: not able-bodied persons.
by PeWi on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:26:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the case of the Jews any possible independence of action among the different branches of state power ended at Wannsee.  

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:28:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it is not very clear - even at Wannsee, there is no single piece of paper that says, our five year target is to eliminate all Jews, or somthing similar.
You have to read between the lines of their planning instructions and railway building plans. Albert Speer plays a much bigger role in this, and his real role is only now really becoming obvious.

But how soon it was know in German municipal bureaucracies that there was violent solution to the "Question about the Jews" I know from a story in my family. Apparently my Grandmother, who was working as office manager for the major in her hometown, was able to warn jewish families in the town of the impending deportation, and this story, which I have never been able to verify with my gran, must have happened before 1936, since she stopped working there, when she had my mother.

by PeWi on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:39:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Systematic was unique?


Those nice warm blankets given out by Hudson's Bay Company were not clean. They were diseased.

And that's a fact - well at least in my history - what I have read. And what my grandparents told me.

Atlantic Free Press

by ghandi (expatforums@gmail.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:30:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Call it industrial.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a snark?

Sorry, I just don't get it. I just don't like to see barbs out at SOJ. She's an analyist - a brilliant one. My first reaction is to defend her - because I have been reading her for a year now and there's not trail of anti-semitic behaviour at all.

And I did my time in the Native Press in the N.W.T. in Canada - not not Chris Floyd... his Injun webmaster. Me.

Yeah as a 'cub' reporter. Up north. Way up North.

Atlantic Free Press

by ghandi (expatforums@gmail.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:37:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not writing this against soj. I am simply describing what I understand is the unique character of the holocaust.

Yes, they gave the blankets systematically. But was that Government policy? Where the people distributing it majors and other elected officials, or where they done systematically by a company, maybe with the blessing of the governance?

I want to make one thing very clear here!

The slaughter of the native americans is dreadful as the holocaust is dreadful. But that does not mean the memory of all people involved suffers when you compare it.

They were unique in their ways, one might have killed more people, one less. But in each case the slaughter was of innocent people and ought to be condempt on that ground alone. That is all.

People that compare the suffering of people in the Gulag and in the extermination camps with American Indians tend to say, you see, that is not that bad, he killed 3.000.001 person 2 people less then he. So it cannot be that bad and anyway they were just ... (put in what ever group you want)

People that compare numbers forgett want you to forget the suffering of the individual.
That is racist, what ever the group is.

by PeWi on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:48:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's not a snark. Something that is absolutely shocking about the Nazi Holocaust is the assembly-line quality of it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 12:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
one other thing regarding soj, Marek is writing about the perceived(?), apparent(?), missunderstanding of European law. and makes the point that it is no problem to discuss figures and say maybe there were 6.31 that died in concentration camps and the other researcher says, no my calculation gives 6.32 million. That is not the problem. The problem is that very often, those that discuss these numbers only do it to minimise them in regard to the impact and to distract from the underlying factors that lead to the extermination, namely racism.
In my experience, those that get agitated about the numbers are always revisionists and to some extend in favour of the general policies displayed in the holocaust.
by PeWi on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 01:04:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Racism is to say that 6.000.000 jews were killed while we do not include the other 6.000.000 or so, non-jews that ere exterminated.

I am sick and tiered of hearing:6 million jews were killed. The holocaust was not a jew thing. It was an aberration against humanity.So please, lets stop that discrimination against non-jews!!!

If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your corporations to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

by cruz del sur (chenicodk@sbcglobal.net) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 03:34:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually. According to the reserch I made on the subject. The Hudson bay company never did that.

The Blanket myth was indeed based on fact. There was an attempt to use smallpox infected blankets during the 18th century in Virginia. Nobody was hurt except the perpetrator, who was hanged.

by messy on Sat Feb 4th, 2006 at 06:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to add, the blanket thing happened a grand total of ONCE.
by messy on Sat Feb 4th, 2006 at 06:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with everything you said except...

I´m just a tiny bit uncomfortable with the phrase "the democratically elected Governance of the country".

Note that the Nazi party "NSDAP" in free elections never got a majority. For an overview of the election results look here:

I consider "32 II" the last free elections just to be clear. Hitler came to power in January 1933 because the then German President Hindenburg made him Chancellor (The Weimar Republic constitution gave a lot of power to the President). In fact Hitler still needed the help of the (stupid) nationalist and conservative DNVP even in the last (April) 1933 elections just to get a majority. And that elections weren´t free anymore because:

  1. then the Nazi SA could intimidate people without fear of police action and
  2. soon after the elections the communist "KPD" party was forbidden.

Likewise in the last free Presidential elections 1932 Hitler lost to Hindenburg by a wide margin (53%-37%).
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 02:37:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, cannot find the discussion where I was discussing this with Marek some time back. Of course Hitler never got the majority seats in the German parliament under non-Ermaechtigungsgesetz conditions, as you rightly pointed out. But that's not what I said. On January 30th 1933 Hitler was democratically elected by the parliament to become Kanzler. My point was more, there was no revolution there or military putsch that swept him to power, but he stayed within the existing German election law, once in power he changed all the laws necessary to stay in power. But his government was accepted, and there has never (as far as I can tell) been any doubt over his legitimacy as a Kanzler on the 30th of January 1933.

Of course he exercised powers of suppression towards the social democrats and he excluded the communists and the DVNP, were willing grooms (in the Steigbuegelhalter meaning).

I was so careful in parsing the words, because I get equally annoyed about the statements, that go: All Germans voted for Hitler.

by PeWi on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 08:40:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series