"It's difficult to admit the obvious"
political world

Holocaust and Crisis of Human behavior

Jan Paczkis|Thursday, July 16, 2009

This work presents many topics, and I can only discuss a few. Elie Monk, the rabbi of Ansbacher, had believed that Judaism and Nazism could be compatible: "'I reject the teachings of Marxism from a Jewish standpoint and commit myself to National Socialism without its anti-Semitic components. Without anti-Semitism National Socialism would find in the tradition-bound Jews its most loyal followers.'" (p. 97). However, it is fallacious to consider Nazism as simply extreme conservatism. In fact, many German conservatives opposed Nazism. (p. 31, 57, 60).

Against German Guilt-Dilution for the Holocaust: The Irrelevance of Locals' Anti-Semitism,
July 7, 2009


Some Christians believed that the Holocaust was God's will, as punishment for Jewish sins. (p. 171). Then again, so did some rabbis (p. 219), even to this day. (p. 5, 171).

Polonophobic innuendoes lace this work. The authors show abysmal ignorance about such things as the social situation of prewar Polish Jews (p. 99) and the policies of the Polish-Government in exile. (p. 104). They cast slurs against the Polish Home Army (AK)(p. 104, 204, 219), and parrot unsubstantiated allegations about Poles being mostly indifferent, if not gleeful, to the fate of the Jews. (p. 103, 219). Their knowledge of Christianity is little better, and they misrepresent it as teaching the eternal coexistence of God and Satan (actually, see Rev. 20:10).

The authors identify the Holocaust as a uniquely German invention (pp. 30-on), and reject the premise that it was an outgrowth or culmination of previous European anti-Semitism, or that it was something irrational and beyond comprehension. If one dichotomizes the Nazis and Germans, this begs the question why the Nazis were Germans.

Apart from the usual-cited factors in the emergence of Nazism, one of the most important factors that led to the Holocaust was the German mentality that separated private from public morality. (p. 35-on). Considering the subsequent dominance of this tendency in modern western thinking, it is a frightening portent for the future.

Most interesting of all, Kren and Rappaport debunk the widespread belief that indigenous anti-Semitism, the attitude of the local Church, and collaboration by locals were decisive (or even significant) factors in the percentage of local Jews successfully destroyed by the Germans. (pp. 101-103). Actually, the decisive factor was the degree of control by the SS. In German-occupied Poland, SS control was extreme, and 88-98% of Polish Jews perished. Romania was exceptionally anti-Semitic and had a high rate of Jew-killing local collaboration (p. 102, 217), yet only 46-50% of Romanian Jews perished. This was because SS involvement came late.

Notwithstanding the philo-Semitic Dutch population, 70-86% of Dutch Jews perished--all the result of strong SS control. Countries such as Italy, Belgium, and even Vichy-collaborating France had relatively low Jewish death rates as a result of the mildness of the German occupation, where influential locals were free to offer opposition to German policies or the SS. Finally, the German occupation of Denmark was largely nominal. In fact, the authors explicitly reject the usual unfavorable but fallacious comparison of Polish vs. Danish Jews saved. (p. 103).

For some time, there has been a tendency to dilute German guilt for causing the Holocaust by partly shifting the blame to non-Germans, and this was egregiously manifested in a recent article in DER SPIEGEL magazine. For this reason, the present book is very relevant.
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