Today marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It is estimated that 1.5 million people died there. CNN.com has a special page marking the event.
A friend of my dad's was amongst the troops who liberated some of the camps, although I don't think he was at Auschwitz. Even as a little boy, I was taken aback by his stories.
Few things make me more angry than those who would argue that the Holocaust was a hoax.
We should never, ever, forget. But for some people, it seems far too easy to forget rather than confront the reality.
Agreed. The moon hoax people are annoying enough, but the Holocaust Deniers are orders of magnitude worse.Originally Posted by Krevel
There will always be someone, somewhere, who wants to pick a fight with people about something. The important thing is that there are people who do not deny the holocaust, and they outnumber the holocause deniers.
It's a bit daft to deny an event with the historical significance of the holocaust, though I think most of the argument is not whether it actually happened or not, rather the scale at which is happened - whether the numbers were exaggerated or not.
I guess, but by that argument, why do we fuss about the Moon landing HBs and the PXers? We outnumber them, we win, case closed. I suspect, that's not quite correct.Originally Posted by Kristophe
Maybe more than a bit daft, but most of the stuff I've seen or heard is actually an outright claim that it never happened, not some argument over how many died. I've always suspected that such claims are mostly motivated by "political" views and making history match those views, rather than a careful analysis of historic evidence.Originally Posted by Tranquility
A toast to liberty!
We should never forget, but it is worth remembering that the victims were not only jews, disabled people, those with mental illness, homosexuals, gypsy's and negro's were also victims (maybe others as well).
The victimisation of the jews was not a sudden thing, it was a steady stream of little things which gradualy built up, (one day they were not permited bicycles, then they were not allowed to own a business etc.) This is one reason why I am alarmed by the british government deciding that it is ok to put people under the equivilant of house arrest because they are suspected terrorists. If you have evidence - take it to court and then lock them up, if there is no evidence leave them alone. What happened to "Innocent until proved guilty"? I fear it may be the start of a slippery slope - deeply worrying.
Perhaps in the US, but there are parts of the world where it is "common knowledge" that the Holocaust is as "Zionist Lie". Look here, here, and especially here. More links can be found (if you can stomach them) here.Originally Posted by Kristophe
BTW, the site I've linked to (the Middle East Media Research Institute) is an extremely interesting site. Very educational.
Originally Posted by zebo-the-fat
Something similar has been in effect in the US with high profile cases. Trial By Media. Basically, the media gets their hands on a hot case and slant it any which way but loose. Particularly celebrity and sex abuse.
One co-worker of my mother's spent time in prison in one locally hyped case where his daughter accused him. A year or so later, it came out that she was lying and made the accusation to get back at her father for some punishment or another. His reputation and credentials are still in shambles.
Another guy I know lost his security clearance because of false accusations that got hyped because of their nature. He never did get that back, even after the accusation was investigated and found to be so blatantly false that the woman ended up being charged with purjury.
Presumption of innocence is something of an oxymoron in my eyes anymore.
That's what I don't like, you're dragging 21st century politics into it.Originally Posted by Laser Jock
MEMRI are a 'hasbara' site, i.e. basically an Israeli propaganda site. There are much better groups for the study of worldwide antisemtism that are not poltically motivated, for example the Vidal Sassoon Inetrnational Centre.
More OT, while remembering these places and the nightmares that took place, uttering the words "Never Forget" as a mantra, one must remember that this isn't the only place the nightmare of genocide occurred, and that even today, there are places that are being "forgotten".
If "Never Again" is going to be more than a platitude, it has to reach farther than Europe, because it is happening again, and its approaching that same horrible level again.
I was just about to post on MEMRI. They're biased towards the Israeli side of Middle Eastern politics, quoting mostly articles that contain the worst possible quotes on the Arab/Muslim side. I won't delve too much into this since it's politics, but here's an article from The Guardian by Brian Whitaker regarding MEMRI, along with a rebuttal from the organization itself:
We all feel bad for the Holocaust victims, but let's not turn this into a political argument, by quoting articles from a biased source. Also, people who question the story of the Holocaust are not only Muslims or Arabs. You said "parts of the world", but you only quoted a Middle Eastern news source.
I'm sorry if you took it that way. I will look into it more closely, but I would never have considered them a "propaganda site". They just translate things in the Middle East press. Now whether what they choose to translate is representative of the entire Middle East press, well, that's a separate question that I'm not really able to answer (Although I have been to Egypt briefly, and what I read on MEMRI is not all that different than what I saw in English-written Egyptian papers while I was there).Originally Posted by Bad jcsd
My point still stands (even if you don't like the source): anti-Semitism and holocaust denial is still a very real current problem in the Middle East. I do not have exact numbers, but I would guess that in many countries in that region, a majority of the citizens would deny the truth of the Holocaust. I find that very troubling.
You are correct; there are many besides these who would deny the holocaust. However, I was responding to Kristophe's assertion that the HD's are out numbered. I know of no other countries besides possibly ones in the middle-east where this may not be true. Thanks for the link, I will look into it more closely.Originally Posted by Tranquility
Absolutely. Genocides happened before WWII and happened after. That is what makes it so important, our species must constantly work to end this, IMHO.Originally Posted by Doodler
This website lists and links many during the 20th century
This website lists this:Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995 - 200,000 Deaths
Rwanda: 1994 - 800,000 Deaths
Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 - 2,000,000 Deaths
Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 - 6,000,000 Deaths
Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 - 300,000 Deaths
Stalin's Forced Famine: 1932-1933 - 7,000,000 Deaths
Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 - 1,500,000 Deaths
I really wonder about our species sometimes.1.5 million Armenians. 3 million Ukrainians. 6 million Jews. 250,000 Gypsies. 6 million Slavs. 25 million Russians. 25 million Chinese. 1 million Ibos. 1.5 million Bengalis. 200,000 Guatemalans. 1.7 million Cambodians. 500,000 Indonesians. 200,000 East Timorese. 250,000 Burundians. 500,000 Ugandans. 2 million Sudanese. 800,000 Rwandans. 2 million North Koreans. 10,000 Kosovars. Genocides and other mass murders killed more people in the twentieth century than all the wars combined.
/bowOriginally Posted by Swift
You read my intented message perfectly.
MEMRI aren't outright dishonest however they do have a poltical agenda (one that they originally stated, but they no longer do) and they have in the past robbed aritcle of thir context (for example a News story about Egypt trying to sue 'the Jews' for the theft of the cup in the bibilical story of Joseph, the story was a MEMRI translation of a spoof artcile in a ME paper howvere this context was not included and the sotry was reported in the western media as fact).
Certainly antisemtism is a probelm in the Middle east, I just don't think MEMRI is the best place to go to try to gauge the actual problem.
Anti-semitism is a problem indeed in the Middle East, but it's also present in Europe. I can't remember how many times I read about racist chants in European stadiums against either blacks or Africans or Jews, etc.
OTOH anger towards Jews in the Middle East is an inability to differentiate between Jews and Israelis. I mean I expect there to be some sort of animosity between certain Arabs (particularly Palestinians) against Israelis because of the ongoing problems in Palestine, but the problem is the lack of understanding that Israel, being a state, is not a wholesome representation of Judaism. As a result, animosity towards Israel mutates into general anti-semitism which can lead to beliefs such as the denial of the Holocaust (which as mentioned was not only against Jews).
Sad stuff. I wish I could do something to prevent genocide and anti-Semitism from happening again. How do I change the nations that are doing such things into loving, caring, kind nations? What is the exact process by which hatred is turned into love in this world.
Anybody have any ideas?
- Maha " " Vailo
Of course we should never ever forget, but we will.Originally Posted by Krevel
We've already forgotten the Russian Great Purges, which killed SIX TIMES the number which the Holocaust killed.
Plus the genocide last century in China.
Plus the American murder victims of the year 2001 which accounted for TEN TIMES the number of those killed in 911.
Never forget? :^o
Those are the big questions. I don't suspect we'll come up with the answers. All we can do are our little parts. Support organizations that promote understanding, support political leaders who do the same, and in your daily life act accordingly to your fellow humans. Even this board is a little of that - here are people from around the world, discussing all kinds of things, and keeping it polite. Maybe its a start.Originally Posted by Maha Vailo
Richard of Chelmsford, I don't think "Never forget" is a lie(you used the :^o ). You are right, we will forget. Or we will never even learn of some of the terrible things. But as I said to Maha, we can do our parts to see that such things are not repeated. Will they.... of course, I've lived among my fellow humans for too long to think otherwise. But I like the alternative to trying (not trying) even less. :-?
I'm not sure there is a solution; worse yet, I don't think we've even figured out the problem. Best I've seen yet are descriptions of the symptoms. It seems that every party, faction, nation, state, etc. that has ever come to a station that allows them to abuse power for the sake of material or political gain, . . . has done so. Not to be overly dark, ominous, or pessimistic; but it could be a flaw in our species. Perhaps a genetic mutation in the process of our speciation. How else can it be that we have ascended to a position that allows us, more than any other creature & perhaps as the only creature, to contemplate our existence, to think totally in the abstract, to vision far into the future; and yet we can not seem to halt mass murder stemming from racial hatred and greed for resources. There might not be a solution.
I knew this number was going to appear. this is an inaccurate number--no, it's not too high. it's too low.Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 - 6,000,000 Deaths
this number only counts Jews. and yes, it is a horrible thing that 6,000,000 of one ethnic/religious group was slaughtered, and a mere 100,000 Gypsies doesn't approach it. but my research, and I did a lot of research (I did a speech on Gentiles in the concentration camps for Academic Decathlon when I was in hs), indicates that as many as 6,500,000 Gentiles were killed in the Holocaust--and no, that figure doesn't include deaths due to the war itself.
yes, okay, I'm really touchy on this subject. my great-grandmother was a Gypsy. (Romany, if you want to be precise, and, if I've located her home region properly, from Transylvania.) this means that I almost certainly have relatives killed in the woods and buried in mass graves. Gypsies didn't usually make it into the camps.
"Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"
"You can't erase icing."
"I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"
I am beginning to see Anti-Muslim propaganda in schools. Innocent people are being made fun of as terrorists and the such.Originally Posted by zebo-the-fat
And the conflict between Jews and Muslims has seen no improvement, and Anti-Americanism is everywhere.
It's distressing how much hate there still is. I sincerely hope that Bush's policies will alleviate the problems. I don't want my children growing up in a world full of hate and anger. The past generations have paid enough blood for that.
I don't see how the Bush administration can possibly be seen as contributing to world peace, or a more peaceful world. And it is not just him. Those in power in our country practice situational ethics, always have. Whatever is best for them at the moment, which usually means whatever will generate the most short to mid-term profits, is deemed as the best thing to do.
We have brought down governments, assassinated leaders, installed puppet regimes, replaced them when they disobeyed orders, and in general behaved like every other world power in past history. Our leaders are either so short-sighted they don't see the pattern (making them grossly incompetent as leaders), or they just figure why shouldn't we have our turn? Every other powerhouse in history got to take their turn at stomping on everybody before they were eventually brought in line. Why not the U.S.? Just consider it part of the natural cycle of one of our species predominant behavioral characteristics.
Funny that so many think we will be indefinitely invincible. For how many centuries did some of our predecessors think they too were invulnerable? We've only been around for 2 centuries, and only ascended to the top of the heap in the last 50 to 70 years. But we are following the same pattern. We are the most wasteful, most greedy, most susceptble society to the flavor-of-the-day / throw-away / I want it now - I want it cheap - I want it perfect propoganda that come out of Madison Avenue yet. (Was that a sentence?).
We are repeating the past on an unprecedented scale and with unprecedented efficiency. Nothing is too sacred and nothing will be left unprofited from. I hope when the ride is over, someone has learned something. It will be such a waste if it just leads into the next ring of the spiral.
I don't know.... I could have backed this effort...Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. Now the trumpet summons us again... not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need. . .
not as a call to battle... though embattled we are. . .but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle. . .year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation. . .a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny. . .poverty. . .disease. . .and war itself.
-- John F. Kennedy
I don't see the point of all the hate though...
Well then, why do people hate? How can hate be turned to love, both between individuals and between ethnic groups? What is the exact process by which hatred becomes love? How can I become a more loving person myself, and how I can I spread it to others? How do I know which organizations and politicians work to promote understanding?
All these questions are important to the story I'm writing, so please answer them thoroughly (and preferably optimisticallly).
I'm afraid that if we cannot put and end to hatred, hatred will put an end to us, so please help me in any way you can. The world can't wait.
- Maha Vailo
Hate and anger are just manifestations of fear. Racial hatred is all based on fear. It may truly be fear of the unknown, or it may be based on some perception, accurate or not. Again, I believe it may be part of our genetic survival make-up. How else do you explain the incredible greed and gluttony demonstrated by so many different cultures over the course of history. And the ease with which we justify killing each other if it means access to cheap resources. Does anyone think we are involved in the Middle Eaast for anything other than cheap oil? We are so willing to invade countries and do dastardly things to anybody that threatens our supply lines. Does anybody else see the hypocrisy? We ignore genocide on the scale of hundreds of thousands or even millions, then invade Iraq to knock off a 2-bit dictator like Hussein, who just happens to be sitting on top of the world's 2nd largest reserve of oil. All the while making up some convoluted and ever-changing pack of lies about why we did it. Despicable. And it appears at least a majority of Americans are buying it. Yeah, sometimes I worry about our species too.