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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Holocaust, Then and Now



Friends, you can't miss this week's Newsmaker Show.  Me and Brian talk over all the pressing issues of the day, including Trump's alleged advice to Americans to drink bleach (as if!), Mitch McConnell and the question of aid to the states, and when and how to restart the economy and normal life.

In addition, historically, Brian and I cover Nixon's odd decision to install a taping system in the Oval Office, the liberation of the concentration camps in 1945 and their legacy as (largely post mortem) justifications for World War II, the death of Mussolini and Hitler's marriage, the dangers of media conglomerations, and the tragic fate of Joan of Arc.  Man, oh man!  Is there any topic we didn't cover?

Tune in today!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O6jhZZ9bBQ&feature=youtu.be

23 comments:

  1. Don't forget that the killing part of The Holocaust began in broad daylight with mass shootings of the Jewish communities after the German Invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. These shootings were conducted throughout the war mostly by the Security Service of the SS (the SD). In 1942, it was decided to murder Jews in Death Camps set up in Nazi occupied Poland. That was when and where the gas chambers and crematoria were set up. These Death Camps were "liberated" by the Soviet Red Army in 1945. Allied Forces (British and American) did NOT liberate any Death Camps. They liberated regular German Concentration Camps such as Buchenwald, Dachau, Belsen and so on, which had been part of the KL System since Hitler took power in 1933 almost exclusively for non Jewish political and other prisoners. They were not Death Camps as such. My point is, that The Final Solution was conducted entirely in Poland and The Soviet Union. The only camp that Jewish people could survive in Poland was Auschwitz which was half extermination camp and half slave labor camp. What is so evil about The Holocaust was that it was carried out by men who were not sadists and common criminals, but regular SS Personnel who were true believers in the Nazi cause. This is was Arendt refers to as "the banality of evil".

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  2. NO, I did not copy my previous statement from some article on the Holocaust. I did it from memory, since my focus area in graduate school was The Holocaust, taught to me by the way by a Jewish professor who was a Holocaust survivor.

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  3. A key point on the Holocaust, was that extremely little was done by the allies in World War 2 to save the Jewish population of Europe. Consequently, the Nazis were able to murder almost the entire Jewish population of Europe, which was a priority of the Nazis above and beyond winning the war as such.

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  4. Another very important thing to remember about The Holocaust is that the Nazis had plenty of cooperation in countries they occupied during World War 2. This cooperation was not forced, but was provided by already existing pro Nazi groups in countries such as Belgium, Netherlands, Rumania and so on. Such evil!

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  5. Regrettably, the SS (and other Nazi organizations and personnel, plus the German Army) were never really punished for The Holocaust. Some big shots were executed, but most of the people who were active and willing participants in it simply "melted back" into the post-war populations of Europe. Generally speaking, the Nazis got away with mass murder.

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  6. Just for the record, anyone interested in Holocaust studies should begin with the late Raul Hilberg, who is the Dean of ALL Holocaust historians. RAUL HILBERG.

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  7. Dr.Waddy and Ray: Ray: Thank you for your specially informed view on the differences between the Nazi hell holes. I read in Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich of the first hand methods used by the SS in the wake of the Wehrmacht in Russia and I came as close to nausea as I have ever in reading words alone. Apparently even some of those subhumans couldn't take it and it contributed to the resolution of such as Eichmann and Himmler to employ more "efficient" methods ? Correct me if I'm wrong. I will seek writings by Raul Hilberg. The incomprehensible ferocity of objectively prosecuted anti-semitism has always astounded me; I've read much on it and I still cannot fathom it. By the way, I think the series Band of Brothers also contains a striking depiction of the discovery of Dachau and Judgement at Nuremberg contains footage that Nazi sociopaths themselves found unendurable to behold at their trials. May those images have been among their last thoughts as they mounted the gallows and embarked on their journey, perhaps, to an ultimate judgement all imperceptable to us.

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  8. Dr. Waddy; Yes I agree in that our society as now ordered can endure only a limited amount of this unprecedented restraint. In saying that I think we specify, that beyond that is promised chaos. But,I think the far left may see this as (well, for them, not God given surely)but nevertheless an unimpeachable stroke of luck. They have always sought to sew decisive discord, leading to societal dissolution opening the door to their very, very, remedial totalitarianism. The attenuation of these economically disastrous sanctions (and the opportunity it gives Commies like Pelosi and Cuomo to demand previously unthinkable levels of government intervention and spending) affords them a chance they must not reject, to do the destruction they intend and to leave all powerful leftist government in charge.

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  9. Ray, thank you for the master class in Holocaust Studies! I've read up quite a bit on the Holocaust too, and everything you say tracks with my understanding. Excellent point that the camps we liberated weren't death camps, and the conditions in them weren't typical, but extraordinary given the deterioration of the supply chain at the end of the war. Of course, that doesn't make the Holocaust any less deadly or vicious. The death camps were singular manifestations of the human capacity for inhumanity. And great point that the Nazis had plenty of help from non-Germans...and I might add many Americans at the time were not fans of the Jews.

    Jack, I share your revulsion at mass murder, but I think it's important to keep it on a rational plane. What I mean by that is: sure, the images of emaciated corpses at Dachau are awful, but what nation that has been at war can't offer us images of mangled, charred, or bloodied bodies? Women and children, you say? No problem! War produces casualties of all descriptions by the boatload. And remember -- the Soviets were chalking up innocent victims by the millions at the same time. My view is that the Holocaust really was SPECIAL, but it wasn't special because the Germans were mean and people died. There's nothing special about meanness, and there's nothing special about death. The Nazis used bureaucracy, detached "science", and modern industrial organization to engage in mass murder -- and, as Ray pointed out, they crafted a system that used very "ordinary men" to produce the end result of genocide. That puts them in a class all of their own, if you ask me.

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  10. Dr. Waddy: Too, now to be considered, within the last few days,is the moral doubt directed towards Biden. If he is run out thereby, to whom will the Dem moderates, who, I must admit, proved their power in Biden's recent rise, to whom will they resort? Cuomo? That is what I fear most, but also Hillary who (I'm sure totally coincidentally, announced today her support for Biden). Would a path be cleared for Bernie or even Warren? We must of course hope for this because the real America WOULD enthusiastically rally against them. And so would the real America, had it our first hand experience in NY, of Cuomo's dismissiveness. But does it have that? If he is nominated we must be dedicated to proving to our country his elite and sneering disdain for anything which counters his New Yawk City beliefs. We must be careful; Cuomo could be depicted thus but we must drive home the reality that he has PROVEN his disrespect and sneering understanding of and for our country's essence. Cuomo's visceral disdain for anything inside the East and Left coasts will be obvious in the campaign. We must rally the real America to this certainty.

    We in the America already commanded by this incipient dictator will do our part, should he be nominated, by disseminating the humiliating experience we have of his disdainful rule. Bernie and Warren? Everybody knows about them. Bring 'em on.

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  11. Dr. Waddy: The great interior of America must embrace not doubt of this REALITY!. The American left despises us and seeks only our destruction! Do not doubt this!

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  12. Dr. : DeGualle: (Try as I may, I cannot confidently spell his name). My understanding is this of him. He was a decorated WWI vet and a perceptive tank commander. But between the wars he was was a relatively Junior and consequently uninfluential officer.It is obvious , I think, that the French Army ,between the wars, rejected its pre WWI conviction that the offense was all and that this was manifested in the massive and expensive Maginot Line. I think DeGaulle was doubtful of this and that his doubts were confirmed by the Nazi onslaught in 1940.But he had not decisive influence then.

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  13. Dr. Waddy: Sorry, to say "do not doubt this!" is presumptuous and crude. Better for me to have said "we doubt this at hazard"?

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  14. Jack, there were a lot of officers between the world wars who felt that tanks and a war of movement were where the future lay, but we have to credit the Germans for finding a formula that worked and hazarding their country's fate on its execution. The Allies tried playing for lower stakes, and as a consequence almost lost the whole pot.

    I wouldn't get too nervous about a coup against Biden. That would be a truly wrenching experience for the Dems, and remember -- they've nominated a lot worse previously! Even if everything Tara Reade says about Biden is true, she can't prove it, and that being so I expect Biden to dig in his heels. He'll know that these stories come in waves, and all he has to do is sit tight and this too shall pass. I rate it as highly unlikely that anyone but Biden will carry the Dem banner this Fall. And that's good news, because senility, moderation, and lingering doubts about his treatment of women will ALL hold Biden back. Justin Amash would be a nice touch too!

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  15. Dr. Waddy: Your view on this encourages me very much. This has been a consummately astonishing year already, much more so than 1968. A Cuomo Presidency after all this would be devastating. I think you are probably right and I'm hopeful thereby; Biden would be a terribly flawed candidate and I don't think Trump nation will abandon him, not one bit.

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  16. Dr. Waddy: Jeanne D'Arc; I hope I got that right. Churchill celebrated her story and her person. A medieval knight was a product of several years of very demanding physical and mental challenges. They had to be immensely strong and unimaginably tough(just consider the pain filled world they lived in). That a slip of a young woman ( and she is not described otherwise) could have stood against anyone of them in single combat is incredible; unless, unless she really did have the backing of angels and I do not discount that possibility. What could God's intent in that have been? Perhaps to set the English back a notch? French civilization is not dismissable: the Durants featured it in their "Story of Civilization" with several volumes.

    But sans Divine backing your evaluation of her life as an inspiring symbol for France is very plausible. Of course one may argue the pros and cons of French assertion. Napoleonic political and legal reforms? Yes. French (and maybe even assumption of French invincibility thereby on the part of much of the world before the Germans discredited it)dominance on the battlefield was eventually disproved. But it had a profound effect; witness the very apparent influence it had on many of our Civil War commanders, through West Point but also the fetid reaches of the deep South .

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  17. Dr. Waddy: I too think that the Holocaust was unique. Antisemitism found the most fertile ground for its damned seed in Germany, for reasons well documented by John Weiss's Ideology of Death. For actual murderous destruction it was exceeded by Lenin and Stalin's monstrous regime, I think. I suppose though that just as we know of but cannot fathom astronomical distances, evil on this scale is
    virtually incomprehensible.

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  18. Dr. Waddy: In reviewing your comments I see I may have missed your main point: that German technological aptitude made their atrocities special. I agree. The crude Stalinists destroyed more lives but via atavistic mass brutality, whereas the Boche lent a modern and even more appalling timbre to their fiendishness.

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  19. Well put, Jack!

    I've always thought one of the amazing things about the Holocaust is that arguably Germany WASN'T "the most fertile ground" for anti-Semitism. Russia, say, had a much worse record of virulent, violent anti-Semitism than Germany did, as of the 1930s. And yet it was Germany that tried to annihilate the Jews. What that tells me is that convincing a segment of the population that genocide is a good idea just isn't that hard. I see shades of it in the Left's attitudes towards you and me!

    I don't have the foggiest idea what Joan of Arc did or didn't do on the battlefield, but my educated guess is: something very different from what her sponsors claimed!

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  20. Dr. Waddy: In casually dismissing the views of all who oppose them, I do see in the far left the sociopathic dismissiveness expressed and empowered both by the Nazis and the Commies and I do not doubt that the American left would reprise it, in FULL, should it acquire the power to do so.

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  21. Dr. Waddy: I also see that, lauding the positive aspects of French civilization I forgot the Enlightenment and Voltaire. Rousseau? Would that he had never lived!

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  22. Well said, Jack. Rousseau was a man who thought along dangerous, but seductive, lines. He was in good company in the 18th century. This helps to prove that the cancer that eats away at Western Civilization has been stewing inside us for a very long time.

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  23. Dr. Waddy: You make a very plausible argument in this and it makes me doubt that the Enlightenment was at all an ultimately positive development. Perhaps though, the divergent positive and negative wings of the phenomenom met in mortal combat in the 20th century and the humane view won ?

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