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I guess I read it just the other way around.  Not that we should STOP talking about the genocide of the Jews, but acknowledge that systematic genocides have occured throughout history and that no one group of victims deserves attention/sympathy/studying more than others.

I actually commend the way the Jewish people have been able to keep their history alive as a constant reminder, as a narrative we can all use to learn some valuable lessons.  So I don't think we should just move along now from their story.  No way.  From a purely psychological point of view, they have accomplished an amazing service to us all by telling their story over and over, forcing the rest of us to listen to them rather than move along to the next news story, making their plight not just an unfortunate chapter in human history, but crucial to our understanding of ourselves, what we are capable of both at our very worst (genocide) and our very best (survivors).  The process they have gone through in trying to heal has, I hope, made us all better people.

So, if I say that my people were also victims & survivors of systematic state-sponsored genocide, that doesn't make the Holocaust any less important.

It's not like we have a quota of sympathy, lessons to learn, history to be told and that the Holocaust leaves no room for the rest.  Or that all genocides are bad but the Holocaust is extraspecial bad.  They are all equally horrific for those who experience them.  And everyone who has been on the receiving end of them deserves our attention, sympathy, and our help to ensure it never happens again.  

The Jewish people have been remarkably successfull in getting their story told, no small feat.  But there are those whose stories have been relegated to the history books or burried deep in the newspaper.  That says more about the people who write our history than the people who've been victims of it.

(Full disclosure: My great grandmother was Cherokee.  My boyfriend is Jewish.)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 01:19:50 PM EST
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My original post was not trying to play down the Nazi led holocaust or to deny it. The ost was aimed at trying to awaken some awareness of other holocausts, which it seems most in the world are happy to deny.
When was the last time when spent a minute remembering the 11.6 million africans of the Belgian Congo? There are many other examples.  
by observer393 on Fri Jan 20th, 2006 at 08:59:57 AM EST
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Thanks for making your intentions clearer.

The point about denying genocides, imho, is that (though we may be forgetful, and in some cases countries and peoples may be happy to forget), the principal case where there is an outright, organized effort to deny, or reduce, or relativize, a genocide concerns that of the European Jews. I'm referring to the movement known as "revisionism" or more properly "negationism". The overall tendency of negationism is antisemitic in that it promotes the notion of a Jewish plot to publicize, exaggerate, or (for the extremos) downright fabricate the history of the genocide. Secondly, it's a movement which favours the racist extreme right by inducing a state of confusion in people's minds as to the ultra-right's past crimes, thus disculpating the racist/fascist elements today and encouraging them to be more extremist and have the "courage" of their "convictions".

Europeans may be sensitive to this because we see the emergence of extreme-right parties and groups, of skinheads and neo-Nazis, things we thought we would never see again. And to be sensitive to how the genocide of the Jews is discussed does not imply insensitivity to other genocides and massacres, including those perpetrated by the Nazis on other groups than the Jews.

On the Congo, though the topic was not specifically genocide, here's a comment I made in a diary by Richard Drayton some time back.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 20th, 2006 at 09:39:16 AM EST
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I think we more or less agree on this one ;)
by observer393 on Fri Jan 20th, 2006 at 08:38:19 PM EST
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