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The Gentile Holocaust
Foundation for Catholic Reform ^ | 1998 | Thomas Craughwell

Posted on 07/24/2003 3:00:19 PM PDT by As you well know...

The Gentile Holocaust

By Thomas J. Craughwell

Remembering the Millions of Gentiles Murdered by the Nazis

There is no disputing the simple fact that the Jews were the principal victims of the Third Reich. It was an essential tenet of the Nazi creed that the New Europe could not be born until every Jew on the continent had been exterminated. And the Nazis went about their task with inhuman efficiency.

Yet Nazi hatred was expansive, even ambitious. It embraced Slavs and Gypsies; pacifists and Communists; Soviet POWs; Catholic priests, monks, nuns, lay brothers and seminarians; Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestant pastors; and anyone with a physical or mental impairment. Nazi hatred knew no limits, and by 1945 at least five million gentiles had fallen victim to it.

Nazism's Natural Law

The Nazis' first victims were the weakest members of society: disabled children. Officially, they were known as "life unworthy of life"; a cruder term was Ausschusskinder—"garbage children." Physicians administered overdoses of sedatives which "put them to sleep," as one physician who participated in the euthanasia of children put it.

When the Nazis turned to adults, they found overdose by morphine derivatives unreliable and developed a carbon monoxide gas chamber. The chamber could be stationary, with the carbon monoxide pumped in; or it could be mobile, with the gas channeled into the airtight rear compartment rather than released into the atmosphere. It is impossible to say how often a sealed van drove unobtrusively along the streets of German towns and cities while its unseen passengers were asphyxiated.

Nazi theorists such as Konrad Lorenz argued that in order to preserve the strength of the Aryan race, weak and feeble members had to be eliminated. Compassion, Lorenz asserted, was unnatural. In nature, he said, weak members of a species simply died. Encouraging the strong to care for the feeble and the infirm, therefore, was a perversion of nature's law. The Third Reich policy of weeding out its disabled members was a welcome restoration of the natural order, which would create a stronger Aryan society.

The Nazis' early euthanasia policy extended to anyone who was physically or mentally impaired. By the time of the war, the elderly, epileptics, and people with cancer, tuberculosis and even arteriosclerosis were being exterminated, most of them at the Gross-Rosen death camp.

A war of annihilation in Poland

The Nazis held that the Slavs, like the Jews, were subhuman. "All Poles," Hitler swore, "will disappear from the world." On August 22, 1939, one week before the Nazi invasion of Poland, Hitler gave the Wehrmacht their instructions: "Kill without pity or mercy all men, women and children of Polish descent or language.... Be merciless. Be brutal. It is necessary to proceed with maximum severity. The war is to be a war of annihilation."

And in many respects it was precisely that. Approximately 6,028,000 Poles—22 percent of the country's population—perished during World War II. Of these victims, 5,384,000 died in prison, death camps, raids, executions, the obliteration of ghettoes, epidemics, starvation, overwork or ill treatment. The extermination of Polish Jews remained the first priority. In the meantime, those Polish Christians who were not herded into the death camps could be used as slave labor. Once the Third Reich's victory was complete, the Poles themselves would be eliminated.

The accounts of those first days of the invasion of Poland make chilling reading. In the western provinces, 531 villages and towns were burned and 16,376 civilians, most of them Christians, were murdered.

The first victims in the town of Bydgoszcz were a group of Boy Scouts, aged 12 to 16. They were lined up against a wall in the market square and shot. When a priest rushed forward to give them last rites, he was shot, too.

Another hundred boys were rounded up on the streets of Bydgoszcz and massacred before the town's Jesuit church. The Jesuits were herded into a stable with the town's Jews, where they were all beaten and humiliated by the Nazis.

At Leczyca, the Jesuits were expelled from their residence and forced to watch as their church was looted of sacred vessels, vestments, reliquaries and works of art. The priests were not even allowed into the church to save the Blessed Sacrament.

Although much of the violence in Poland during the last months of 1939 was erratic, there was a well-orchestrated campaign against the country's political, military, cultural and intellectual elite. Heinrich Himmler told his SS officers, "You should hear this but also forget it again—shoot thousands of leading Poles." Teachers, physicians, priests, military officers, businessmen, landowners and writers fell into this category. So did any Pole who possessed a high-school education.

In November 1939, nearly 200 professors from Cracow's ancient Jagiellonian University and the Polytechnic were arrested and shipped to Sachsenhausen, where most of them died. Perhaps because some of the professors survived, Hans Frank, administrator of the General Government (the Nazi designation for a Polish ethnic enclave in Central Poland), issued an order that all Polish intellectuals be dealt with "on the spot and we shall do so in the simplest way possible."

To that end, Frank's office developed a program known as A-B, Ausserordentliche-Befreidungsaktion (Extraordinary Pacification Action). Under this program, 6,000 Poles were shot where they stood; thousands more were shipped to Auschwitz and murdered. Among the dead were Jan Poholski, deputy mayor of Warsaw; Jan Belcikowski, a distinguished writer; Maria Witkowska, a renowned artist; and Janusz Kusocinski, an Olympic champion.

Through the Nazis' grim efficiency, Poland lost 57 percent of its attorneys, 45 percent of its physicians and dentists, 40 percent of its university professors, 30 percent of its technicians, 18 percent of its clergy and 15 percent of its schoolteachers. All scientific, cultural and literary institutions were shut down. Universities and secondary schools were closed, and their libraries and laboratories pillaged. Even grammar schools were closed if instruction was carried out in the Polish language. In Warsaw, the number of functioning elementary schools dropped from 350 in 1938 to 175 in 1941.

Food rations in Nazi-occupied Warsaw were allotted by race: 2,613 calories per day for a German, 699 for a Pole and 184 for a Jew. Only a flourishing black market kept the Poles alive.

Yet amidst the chaos, the Nazis kept an eye out for Polish children who possessed Aryan racial characteristics. Promising children were separated from their parents and sent to Lodz for further examination. If they passed the battery of racial, physical and psychological tests, they were sent on to Germany for "Germanization." If they were rejected, they were shipped to Auschwitz where they were killed, most often by intercardiac injections.

The Polish Martyrology

The Catholic Church in Poland was especially hard hit by the Nazis. In 1939, 80 percent of the Catholic clergy and five of the bishops of the Warthegau region had been deported to concentration camps. In Wroclaw, 49.2 percent of the clergy were dead; in Chelmno, 47.8 percent; in Lodz, 36.8 percent; in Poznan, 31.1. In the Warsaw diocese, 212 priests were killed; 92 were murdered in Wilno, 81 in Lwow, 30 in Cracow, thirteen in Kielce. Seminarians who were not killed were shipped off to Germany as forced labor.

Of 690 priests in the Polish province of West Prussia, at least 460 were arrested. The remaining priests of the region fled their parishes. Of the arrested priests, 214 were executed, including the entire cathedral chapter of Pelplin. The rest were deported to the newly created General Government district in Central Poland. By 1940, only 20 priests were still serving their parishes in West Prussia.

Of the city of Poznan's 30 churches and 47 chapels, the Nazis left two open to serve some 200,000 souls. Thirteen churches were simply locked and abandoned; six became warehouses; four, including the cathedral, were used as furniture storage centers. In Lodz, only four churches were allowed to remain open to serve 700,000 Catholics.

Cardinal Augustine Hlond, Archbishop of Gniezno-Poznan, wrote to the Holy See on December 10, 1939: "The Cathedral has been turned into a garage at Pelplin; the Bishop's palace into a restaurant; the chapel into a ballroom. Hundreds of churches have been closed. The whole patrimony of the Church has been confiscated, and the most eminent Catholics executed."

Throughout the country, monasteries, convents, seminaries, schools and other religious institutions were shut down.

Many nuns shared the same fate as priests. Some 400 nuns were imprisoned at Bojanowo concentration camp. Many were later sent to Germany as slave labor.

Without warning, on July 31, 1943, the Nazis entered the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth at Nowogrodek. They arrested the superior, Sr. Maria Stella, and ten other nuns. The next day the sisters were loaded into a van, driven outside the town and shot. Their bodies were thrown into a mass grave. In Silesia, Bishop Stanislaw Adamski ordered his clergy and laity to declare themselves Volkdeutsch (German nationals), hoping that this ruse would keep his people, priests and religious from harm and his churches open. The effort was futile. Sixty convents and monasteries in Silesia were closed; 43 priests died in concentration camps and thirteen priests were deported, including Bishop Adamski. To his credit, the Bishop never tried to save his own life by declaring himself Volkdeutsch.

No exception was made for Poland's higher clergy. Bishop Michael Kozal of Wladislava died in Dachau; Bishop Nowowiejski of Plock and his suffragan Bishop Wetmanski both died in prison in Poland; Bishop Fulman of Lublin and his suffragan Bishop Goral were sent to a concentration camp in Germany.

Nor were the small Evangelical churches of Poland spared. All the Protestant clergy of the Cieszyn region of Silesia were arrested and sent to the death camps at Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Dachau and Oranienburg.

Among the Protestant martyrs were Karol Kulisz, director of the Evangelical Church's largest charitable organization, who died in Buchenwald in November 1939; Professor Edmund Bursche, a member of the Evangelical Faculty of Theology at the University of Warsaw, who died in the stone quarries of Mauthausen; and the 79-year-old Bishop of the Evangelical Church, Juliusz Bursche, who died in solitary confinement in Berlin.

In this dark time, one archbishop deserted his flock. Cardinal Hlond, whose Gniezno-Poznan archdiocese lay in the afflicted Warthegau region, simply disappeared. When he showed up in Rome, Pope Pius XII manifested his displeasure by refusing to grant the Cardinal an immediate audience.

After his humiliating visit to Rome, Cardinal Hlond went to France to join Poland's government-in-exile. When France fell to the Nazis, the Cardinal was stranded. In 1943, as he was trying to return to Poland, the Nazis arrested and interned him. They offered Cardinal Hlond his freedom if he would send a message to Polish Catholics urging them to join the Germans in the fight against the invading Soviet army, but he refused.

A Polish Martyrology for 1939-45 lists six bishops, 2,030 priests, 127 seminarians, 173 lay brothers and 243 nuns murdered by the Nazis.

The Drive to the East

The Third Reich's Drang nach Osten, the Drive to the East, did not stop in Poland. In Hitler's vision of the New Europe, the Ukraine, too, would be re-populated by the Aryan superman. To clear the land, the Nazis burned, shot, starved and worked to death three million Ukrainian Christians. Another 2.4 million Ukrainians were shipped off to Germany as forced labor.

Hitler sent one of his closest henchmen, Erich Koch, to administer the Ukraine. At his inauguration in September 1941, Koch told his men: "I am known as a brutal dog. Because of this I was appointed as Reichkommisar of the Ukraine. Our task is to suck from the Ukraine all the goods we can get hold of, without consideration of the feelings or the property of the Ukrainians.... I am expecting from you the utmost severity towards the population."

Under Koch's direction, hundreds of villages throughout the Ukraine and Belorus were obliterated from the map, and tens of thousands of innocents annihilated. Especially horrible was the fate of 8,000 Ukrainian children who were murdered in the Ianiv death camp.

With Christ in Dachau

Dachau is a paradox among the Nazi concentration camps. It was the Calvary of at least 2,600 Catholic priests from 24 nations. Yet it was also the only concentration camp to have a Catholic chapel where Mass was celebrated regularly and where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved.

In December 1940, Berlin ordered the commandants of all the concentration camps to send their priest prisoners to Dachau in Bavaria. The priests were assigned to a barracks separate from the camp's other prisoners. Inexplicably, the priests were to have a chapel in Dachau where Mass could be celebrated every day. To this day, no one can say for certain what prompted the Nazis to make this extraordinary concession to their priest prisoners.

The first Mass in Dachau was offered on January 22, 1941. Father Paul Prabutzky of Poland was the celebrant for the nearly 1,000 priests in attendance. (Father Prabutzky died a year later of starvation.) When the Mass concluded, the priests sang the hymn which became their anthem in Dachau, Christus vincit!

A complete account of the sufferings of the Catholic priests in Dachau would fill volumes. A few stories will have to suffice.

Camp guards saw Fr. Johann Schroffner greet a Polish priest, Fr. Schulcz, with a blessing on Easter morning 1940. They were both brutally beaten and then left in Dachau's punishment bunker without food. Several days later, a meal was brought to Fr. Schulcz in his cell. The poor man wolfed down the food. It was poisoned.

Father Schulcz died within minutes. Not long afterward, the camp doctor killed Fr. Schroffner with a lethal injection.

Monsignor Karl Lampert, Pro-Vicar of Innsbruck, was arrested for publishing an announcement of Fr. Otto Neururer's death in Buchenwald. The Gestapo interpreted the obituary as "inciting the people." Monsignor Lampert was incarcerated in Dachau before being executed in Torgau on November 13,1944.

On October 29, 1941, about 530 Polish priests, most of them elderly, arrived in Dachau. Although the weather was already bitterly cold, the priests were given no coats or hats. They worked outdoors in light summer clothing with open wooden clogs as their only footwear. Only eight of the 530 survived that winter.

On November 10, 1942, Heinrich Himmler visited Dachau. He selected 20 young, relatively fit Polish priests for medical experiments. Another 120 were selected later for experiments in which they were deliberately infected with malaria. One of these victims was Fr. Leo Miechalowski. He survived and testified at the Nuremberg Trials in December 1946. As part of the malaria experiment, he was given injections of a drug called perifer. "All of a sudden my heart felt like it was going to be torn out," Fr. Miechalowski said. "I became insane. I completely lost my language—my ability to speak."

A small sample of other Catholic priests martyred in Dachau:

* Dom Ernst Vykoukal, Czech, Abbot of Emmaus Monastery in Prague, starved to death

* Msgr. Heinrich Feuerstein, German, writer and art historian, starved to death

* Agnello von der Bosch, OFM, Belgian, founder and director of the Belgian association for the blind, died of ill treatment

* Giuseppe Girotti, OP, Italian, biblical scholar, died of ill treatment

* Henrik Zwaans, SJ, Dutch, schoolteacher and chaplain in the Dutch Army, died of dysentery

* Joseph Regout, SJ, Dutch, professor of international law, starved to death

* Stanislaw Bednarski, SJ, Pole, editor of Cracow's The Sacred Heart Messenger, tortured to death

* Jacques Magnee, SJ, Belgian, teacher, died of ill treatment.

The Society of Jesus was the religious order with the largest number of prisoners in Dachau. There were 26 Jesuit priests in the camp, not counting Jesuit lay brothers and seminarians. Because they were so numerous, the Jesuits formed their own community and elected a superior, Fr. Leo DeConinck, SJ, of Belgium. After the war, Fr. DeConinck described his jailers and tormentors: "Never before Dachau had I seen real hatred: eyes aflame with wickedness, mouths twisted in anger at the mere sight of a priest. "

Elie Wiesel, who was a child when he was sent to Auschwitz, has said: "Not all victims [of the Nazis] were Jews, but all Jews were victims.... They were doomed not because of something they had done or proclaimed or acquired but because of who they were." This statement is equally true of the Slavs and the Gypsies whom the Nazis had also marked for extermination. In time, if the Third Reich had triumphed, it might have become true for all Christians, since Hitler saw the Church as an implacable enemy.

If we must rank the Nazis' victims, it is only right to place the Jews first. They were the primary target of the Nazis. For as long as the Third Reich endured, they bore the full brunt of Nazi hatred. And when the Third Reich collapsed, six million Jews were dead, over one million of them children. The slaughter inflicted on the Slavs, the Gypsies and the other designated victims of the Third Reich was haphazard compared to the systematic annihilation of the Jews. Even the Nazis, those twentieth-century paragons of ruthless efficiency, could not fight a global war, administer occupied territory that covered almost the entire continent of Europe, operate a campaign of genocide against the Jews and cleanse Europe of the tens of millions of other "undesirables."

It diminishes the Jewish Holocaust not at all, however, to remember the millions of others who were also victims of the Nazis. On the contrary, it reminds us of the staggering power of evil in the world.

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Additional Reading

A. Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis, edited by Michael Berenbaum, New York University Press, 1990.

The Jesuits and the Third Reich, by Vincent A. Lapomarda, The Edwin Mellen Press, 1989.

Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944, by Richard C. Lukas, Hippocrene Books, 1997.

Consult your library for a copy of the out-of-print Christ in Dachau by John M. Lenz, an Austrian Jesuit priest who was imprisoned there between 1939 and 1945. It remains the most detailed account of the persecution of Catholic priests in one of the Nazis' most notorious concentration camps.

Thomas J. Craughwell consults for Book of the Month Club and is the author of the forthcoming book. The Wisdom of the Popes.

© Sursum Corda!, 1331 Red Cedar Circle, Ft. Collins, CO 80524.

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Catholic martyrs whose case for canonization is under examination

The Eleven Nuns of Nowogrodek: Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, they were seized at random by a Nazi death squad and shot on August 1, 1943.

Rosa Stein (1883-1942): Blessed Edith Stein's sister, fellow convert, and fellow Carmelite. The Stein sisters perished together at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.

The Loeb family: The children of a Dutch Catholic mother and Jewish father, Lina, Louisa and Theodora were ail Trappist nuns; Ernest and George were Trappist priests; Robert was a Trappist brother. All were murdered in Auschwitz the same day as Blessed Edith Stein.

George Kaszyra and Anthony Leszczewicz were among 1,500 victims burned alive by the Nazis in Roscia, Belorus on February 17-18, 1943.

Wladyslaw Deszca (1915-1941) was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He returned to Poland and became a priest of the Diocese of Tarnow. The Nazis learned that Fr. Deszca was rescuing Jews by supplying them with false birth certificates. He was murdered in Bieogonice on August 21, 1941.

The Martyrs of the Apostolate: These 46 Frenchmen—nine priests, three seminarians, twenty adult men and fourteen Catholic Scouts—were all affiliated with the Young Christian Workers Organization. They were murdered by the Nazis in various death camps on various dates.

Victor Dillard, a Jesuit priest, condemned the Nazi persecution of the Jews. He died in Dachau on January 12, 1945.

CATHOLIC MARTYRS OF THE THIRD REICH

Saint Maximilian Kolbe's (1894-1941) story, although well known, bears repeating. He was a Franciscan, a seminary professor and a publisher of religious materials. When the Nazis invaded Poland, he sheltered 1,500 Jewish refugees in Niepokatanow, a community he had established twelve years before. Early in 1941, Fr. Kolbe was arrested and sent to Auschwitz.

To deter potential escapees, whenever a prisoner escaped the camp commandant would select ten prisoners at random and sentence them to death. Franciszek Gajowniczek, who had a wife and children, was one of ten prisoners so condemned. Father Kolbe volunteered to take Gajowniczek's place. Kolbe endured two weeks in a punishment cell without food or water until he was killed by lethal injection on August 14, 1941. Gajowniczek survived Auschwitz and lived to attend Fr. Kolbe's canonization in Rome in 1982.

Blessed Otto Neururer (1882-1940) served the village of Gotzens in Austria. When a woman in his congregation came to him to arrange her marriage to a notorious Nazi, Fr. Neururer dissuaded her. He was arrested for the crime of "obstructing a German marriage" and sent to Buchenwald. There, an informer presented himself to the priest as a potential convert, and then betrayed Fr. Neururer to the camp authorities. For the crime of giving religious instruction, Fr. Neururer was sent to Buchenwald's punishment bunker, where he was hung upside down until he died 36 hours later.

Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881-1942), a Dutch Carmelite priest and rector of the Catholic University in Nijmegen, was arrested by the Gestapo for urging Dutch newspapers to refuse to print Nazi propaganda. He was tortured and sent to Dachau, where he was subjected to medical experiments. A month after his arrival in Dachau, Fr. Brandsma was killed by lethal injection.

Blessed Edith Stein (1891-1942) was the youngest of eleven children in a Jewish family in Poland. She held a doctorate in philosophy when she converted to Catholicism in 1916. In 1933, she entered the Carmelite convent in Cologne and took the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In 1938, the Order, concerned about her safety, sent her to their convent in Echt, Holland. She was arrested there with her sister, Rosa Stein, also a Carmelite nun, on August 2, 1942, in retaliation for a letter published by the Catholic bishops of Holland condemning the Nazis' persecution of Dutch Jews. One week later, the Stein sisters and some 300 other Catholics of Jewish descent were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Blessed Jakob Gapp (1897-1943), an Austrian Marianist priest, preached that Catholicism and Nazism were completely incompatible. Gestapo harassment forced Fr. Gapp to flee, first to France, then to neutral Spain. He was abducted by Nazi agents and returned to Germany where he was tried for treason, condemned and beheaded.

Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg (1875-1943), a monsignor at St. Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin, was a vocal opponent of the Nazis and a defender of the persecuted Jews. Harassment and imprisonment did not silence him. In 1943, Msgr. Lichtenberg was handed over to the Gestapo for "re-education." Once they were finished with him, the Gestapo sent Msgr. Lichtenberg on to Dachau. But the abuse he had suffered in Berlin was too much. He died before he reached the camp.

Blessed Michael Kozal (1893-1943), Bishop of Wloclawek in Poland, was seized by the Nazis as part of their campaign against the Church in Poland. He was brutally mistreated by the Gestapo and arrived at Dachau a physical wreck. To the more than 2,000 priests at the camp he said, "I am only a number here, too, and I am determined to carry my cross along with the rest of you." Bishop Kozal contracted typhus and was killed by lethal injection.

Blessed Karl Leisner (1915-1945), a German deacon, was seized by the Nazis for making a few unguarded remarks about the Third Reich. He was sent to Dachau, where he contracted tuberculosis. On December 17, 1944, Deacon Leisner was the recipient of a remarkable privilege: his fellow prisoner, Bishop Gabriel Piguet of Clermont-Ferrand, ordained him a priest in a clandestine ceremony in Dachau's Catholic chapel. Nine days later, Fr. Leisner celebrated his first and only Mass. He survived until the Americans liberated Dachau, when he was taken to the convent hospital in Planegg outside Munich. He died there in the summer of 1945. The last words in his diary read, "O God, bless my enemies!"

Blessed Marcel Callo (1921-1945) was an active member of France's Young Christian Workers apostolate. A few days after his sister was killed in an air raid, Marcel was ordered to report for forced tabor in Germany. He left behind his parents, his seven surviving brothers and sisters and his fiancee. At a factory in Zella-Mehlis, Germany, he organized a chapter of Young Christian Workers and arranged for Mass to be said for them. He was arrested by the Gestapo for instigating unlawful religious activities. Marcel was sent to Mauthausen, where he died three months later of starvation, bronchitis and dysentery.

Blessed Rupert Mayer (1876-1945) was a Jesuit priest who served in Munich. For his fearless attacks on Nazism, he was arrested and sent to the Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen concentration camp. When his health failed, the Nazis took the singular step of sending Fr. Mayer to the Benedictine Abbey of Ettal, where he was kept under house arrest for the duration of the war. Although he was liberated by an American army in May 1945 and able to return to his people in Munich, Fr. Mayer never recovered from his mistreatment in the camp. White preaching on All Saints' Day 1945, he suffered a massive stroke and died.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; gentileholocaust; holocaust; martyr
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1 posted on 07/24/2003 3:00:19 PM PDT by As you well know...
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To: As you well know...
The way history is taught you would think only Jews died in Germany. I do not agree with revisionism on any side, or downgrading one group's role to build up someone else's.
2 posted on 07/24/2003 3:08:09 PM PDT by cyborg (i'm a mutt american)
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To: cyborg
But the simple fact remains: Jews by race, focus and number were the largest single group targeted and killed by the Nazis.
3 posted on 07/24/2003 3:13:08 PM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: txzman
I am going to disagree with you respecfully. There were many holocausts in the last 20th century. What makes the Jewish holocaust so special? I remember hearing 'never again' repeated ad nauseum but we all know that's crap. How many people have been killed in wars in Africa? What about what the Japanese did to the Chinese? Armenian holocaust...on and on.
4 posted on 07/24/2003 3:21:05 PM PDT by cyborg (i'm a mutt american)
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To: cyborg
I think the key issue is that the Jewish Holocaust was the first one that we SAW the results of in something approximating real life (photographic records, bureucratic records, et cetera), the sheer senselessness of it, the fact that many Americans were descended from RECENT immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe (and could say, "Holy cow, how could my kith and kin do or abide something as evil as THAT?"), the ONLY one where we actually managed to punish the perps, and that it set the tone for later Holocausts.

Just my humble opinion.

5 posted on 07/24/2003 3:26:51 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: As you well know...
SPOTREP
6 posted on 07/24/2003 3:31:43 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Poohbah
You are right. It is in recent memory. I suppose the reason why people do not pay more attention to things going on in Africa is because Africans do not have the same presence in this country. When I was visiting England, the BBC covered African news extensively while the American coverage is paltry. You can watch BET channel but you only get the liberal POV.

I just wonder why there is not the same zeal for other causes. Maybe it's because there are not any films, pictures, or extensive in your face coverage.
7 posted on 07/24/2003 3:35:11 PM PDT by cyborg (i'm a mutt american)
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To: cyborg
Perhaps the difference is that the jews were the first targets of INDUSTRIAL extermination.
8 posted on 07/24/2003 3:43:05 PM PDT by tet68
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To: cyborg
The only books I ever saw on the Rwandan holocaust were (a) a short policy-wonk book of essays by a journalist who'd been there that maybe sold ten copies nationwide, and (b) the novel Peacemaker by Gordon Kent (a naval techno/espionage thriller written by a father/son writing team--they've published four novels under the "Gordon Kent pseudonym, I've read three, they're all DAMN good writing) used it as one of the important settings.

The former did not sell. The latter sold respectably well, but not Tom Clancy levels.

IIRC, Bruce Willis' movie Tears of the Sun featured Rwanda as its setting.

I think a LOT of why the Holocaust remained big was that GI Joe saw the remains with his own eyes and said, in a very somber anticipation of mhking, "Just damn." When GI Joe came home, he wanted to understand it.

9 posted on 07/24/2003 3:49:15 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: tet68
Another fine point. Germany--the home of such great thinkers as Schiller, Kant, and Goethe--actually set out to industrialize the killing of their fellows. It's not just that Hitler said, "Make it happen," it's that a bunch of industrial engineers said, "Okey-dokey."
10 posted on 07/24/2003 3:50:50 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: tet68
That is what I was taught in temple classes, but I wonder if we have really learned much. Maybe I am just having a cynical day, or PMS.
11 posted on 07/24/2003 3:51:15 PM PDT by cyborg (i'm a mutt american)
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To: Poohbah
Even Tears of the Sun got criticized because Bruce Willis was protrayed as the great white savior of Africa. I did not see the movie, but that never occured to me. I've read many holocaust biographies of German Jews seeing black people (US soldiers) for the first time. I doubt that the soldiers' color mattered much then. Doesn't it make you wonder what the effect did seeing the camps have on soldiers returning home? Especially with Americans own racial issues... I wonder if that's why segregation and racism disappeared so fast after thar WW2 generation.
12 posted on 07/24/2003 3:57:18 PM PDT by cyborg (i'm a mutt american)
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To: As you well know...; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; ...
When the Mass concluded, the priests sang the hymn which became their anthem in Dachau, Christus vincit!

Thank you for a most fascinating history lesson. Interesting to note that the Jews have established Holocaust museums and memorials, determined that "we must never forget!". Christians, it would seem, have chosen to put this brutal period of history behind them and move on.

CHRISTUS VINCIT
Christ King of Glory

Acclamations VIII Cent.
Ambrosian Chant (Variant)

Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!
Exaudi, Christe. Ecclesiae Sanctae Dei salus perpetua.
Redemptor mundi, Tu illam adjuva!

Christ Lord of glory, Christ Prince of nations, Christ our King of kings!
Christ Jesus, hear us. Perpetual safety and welfare to the Church of God. Redeemer, Savior.
Assist and strengthen her.

1. Sancta Maria: Tu illam adjuva!
O Mary blessed Mother. Assist and strengthen her.

2. Sancte Joseph: Tu illam adjuva!
Joseph holy guardian. Assist and strengthen her.

3. Sancte Michael Tu illam adjuva!
Blessed Michael patron Assist and strengthen her.

Optional (Sancte Patricii: Tu illam adjuva!)
Blessed Saint Patrick: Assist and strengthen her.

All repeat: Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

Exaudi, Christe. Pio summo Pontifici et universali
Papae vita! Salvator mundi, Tu illum adjuva!

Christ Jesus hear us.
Life and health and blessings to Pope Pius our Holy Father.
Redeemer Savior, Assist and strengthen him.

1. Sancte Petre, Tu illum adjuva! 1. Rex regum!
Blessed Peter, Assist and strengthen him. King of kings.

2. Sancte Paule, Tu illum adjuva!
2. Rex noster!
Blessed Paul, assist and strengthen him. Christ our King

3. Spes nostra!
Christ our hope.

Repeat: Christus Vincit! etc.

Gloria nostra, Misericordia nostra! Auxilium nostrum!
Fortitudo nostra, Ar ma nostra invictissima!
Murus noster inexpugnabilis! Defensio et exaltatio nostra!

Lux, Via, et Vita nostra! Ipsi soli imperium, Laus et
jubilatio per infinita saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Jesus our glory, Fountain of grace and all mercy.
Source of all our blessing. Defender in battle, Strong arm of our God invincible.
Our stronghold and our exaltation.
Our captain leader who has won our salvation.

Christ Jesus, our life and light eternal. To Him only is victory all praise and jubilation.
Through all the endless ages of eternity. Amen.

Tempora bona veniant! Pax Christi veniat! Redemptis Sanguine Christi: Feliciter!
Regnum Christi veniat! Deo Gratias! Amen.

Abundance of good things be ours. The peace of Christ be ours.
Redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Proclaim our joy.
May His holy kingdom come. Praise be to our God Amen.

13 posted on 07/24/2003 4:12:54 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: cyborg; Poohbah
There are a couple of differences between the mass murder of Jews and non-Jews. One is the sheer vitriolic hatred of the Nazis for the Jews, and the fact that such hatred did not just arise spontaneously - it is the end product of a couple thousand years of Anti-Semitism. The Nazis harvested an evil crop that had been planted hundreds of years before in very fertile soil. Another difference is that for many of the non-Jewish victims, their murder was related to something that they had voluntarily chosen, like a profession or an action. If a particular person was not a priest, for example, then they wouldn't have been taken away, but since that person was in a position to harm the Nazis (due to their actual or implied leadership role), they became targets. Jews, on the other hand, couldn't even escape the gas chambers if their grandparents had converted to Christianity. Yet another difference is the sheer scale of the slaughter: nearly 50% of all Jews living on the continent of Europe in August of 1939 (and 1/3 of all Jews anywhere), did not live to see June of 1945. No other group suffered such grievous losses.

At the same time as I hold the views noted above, I as a human being and a Jew do not minimize the deliberate murder of non-Jews or the monstrous crimes that the Nazis committed in murdering them. Included among the victims of the Nazis must also be those in all nations who perished directly fighting the war started by them (i.e. soldiers) and the many millions of civilians who were the "collateral damage" of that era. But for Hitler and his followers, upwards of 45 million people would have lived normal lifespans. Their descendants would likely number 100-200 million today, and untold billions in the centuries to come. The extent of such evil is beyond comprehension.
14 posted on 07/24/2003 4:16:09 PM PDT by Ancesthntr
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To: Ancesthntr
And who knows what one of those 100-200 million people alive today would have done?

Cured cancer?

Discovered some previously unknown law of physics?

Had an idea that became an engineering marvel?

Written a play, or a novel, or a poem that touched deeply on the eternal questions of life?

Burrowed through dusty archives and brought up new information and perspectives on history?
15 posted on 07/24/2003 4:21:54 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: txzman
But why do Jews ignore the horrific numbers killed by the Nazis?
16 posted on 07/24/2003 4:27:56 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: tet68
Perhaps the difference is that the jews were the first targets of INDUSTRIAL extermination.

And it was not tribal in nature, as in the case of Rwanda, nor strictly ethnic. Jews were targeted in Nazi Germany as much for the position they occupied in German society as they were for their ethnicity. An analogy would be a pogrom by blacks against Korean shopowners, auslanders who prosper while the locals fail. In an odd way, it may be possible to look at it like a Marxist revolution, with the propaganda far outstripping the reality.

17 posted on 07/24/2003 4:30:36 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: Poohbah
To this you can add: we have never see the evidence of Societ and Chinese slaughter first hand, and somehow even the slaughter in Cambodia--which we did see--is discounted by people who refuse to see that the "killing fields" have a connection with marxism.
18 posted on 07/24/2003 4:33:25 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: As you well know...; Patrick Madrid; Patty Bonds

ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
Kolbe is the patron saint of our difficult century.

Arrested with several of his brothers on 19 September 1939 following the Nazi invasion of Poland. Others at the monastery were briefly exiled, but the prisoners were released on 8 December 1939, and the men returned to their work. Back at Niepokalanow he continued his priestly ministry, The brothers housed 3,000 Polish refugees, two-thirds of whom were Jewish, and continued their publication work, including materials considered anti-Nazi. For this work the presses were shut down, the congregation suppressed, the brothers dispersed, and Maximilian was imprisoned in Pawiak prison, Warsaw, Poland on 17 February 1941.

On 28 May 1941 he was transferred to Auschwitz and branded as prisoner 16670. He was assigned to a special work group staffed by priests and supervised by especially vicious and abusive guards. His calm dedication to the faith brought him the worst jobs available, and more beatings than anyone else. At one point he was beaten, lashed, and left for dead. The prisoners managed to smuggle him into the camp hospital where he spent his recovery time hearing confessions. When he returned to the camp, Maximilian ministered to other prisoners, including conducting Mass and delivering communion using smuggled bread and wine.

In July 1941 there was an escape from the camp. Camp protocol, designed to make the prisoners guard each other, required that ten men be slaughtered in retribution for each escaped prisoner. Francis Gajowniczek, a married man with young children was chosen to die for the escape. Maximilian volunteered to take his place, and died as he had always wished - in service.

19 posted on 07/24/2003 4:36:58 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: cyborg
What do you mean "thats crap"?

Please elaborate.

20 posted on 07/24/2003 4:39:52 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine (...ignorance can be fixed, but stupid is forever...)
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To: RobbyS
"But why do Jews ignore the horrific numbers killed by the Nazis?"

They don't.

But when your entire people has been singled out for extermination, it kind of gets your attention. Especially considering that the effort met with considerable success.

21 posted on 07/24/2003 4:46:05 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: As you well know...

Blessed EDITH STEIN

Born on October 12, 1891, of Jewish parents, Siegried Stein and Auguste Courant, in Breslau, Germany, Edith Stein from her earliest years showed a great aptitude for learning, and by the time of the outbreak of World War I, she had studied philology and philosophy at the universities of Breslau and Goettingen.

In the midst of all her studies, Edith Stein was searching not only for the truth, but for Truth itself and she found both in the Catholic Church, after reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila. She was baptized on New Year’s Day, 1922.

It was not until the Nazi persecution of the Jews brought her public activities and her influence in the Catholic world to a sudden close that her Benedictine spiritual director gave his approval to her entering the Discalced Carmelie Nuns’ cloistered community at Cologne-Lindenthal on 14 October 1933. The following April, Edith received the Habit of Carmel and the religious name of "Teresia Benedicta ac Cruce," and on Easter Sunday, 21 April 1935, she made her Profession of Vows.

When the Jewish persecution increased in violence and fanaticism, Sister Teresa Benedicta soon realized the danger that her presence was to the Cologne Carmel, and she asked and received permission to transfer to a foreign monastery. On the night of 31 December 1938, she secretly crossed the border into Holland where she was warmly received in the Carmel of Echt. There she wrote her last work, The Science of the Cross.

Her own Cross was just ahead of her, for the Nazis had invaded neutral Holland, and when the Dutch bishops issued a pastoral letter protesting the deportation of the Jews and the expulsion of Jewish children from the Catholic school system, the Nazis arrested all Catholics of Jewish extraction in Holland. Edith was taken from the Echt Carmel on 2 August 1942, and transported by cattle train to the death camp of Auschwitz, the conditions in the box cars being so inhuman that many died or went insane on the four day trip. She died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz on 9 August 1942.

22 posted on 07/24/2003 4:47:00 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: Sam Cree
And I think one difference between the "gentile" holocaust and the Jewish one is that the effort was not to *exterminate* all gentiles, but more to purify them.
23 posted on 07/24/2003 4:47:58 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: txzman
But the simple fact remains: Jews by race, focus and number were the largest single group targeted and killed by the Nazis

The Jewish death toll from a Nazis was about 6 million. The death toll of Ukranians from Stalin's deliberate genocide-famine campaign in 1932-33 was between 6 and 7 million. The total Soviet murder statistics dwarf the Nazis.

The bottom line is that murder-by-government in Europe in the first half of the 20th Century was huge by any historical measure. It was not exclusively all about the Jews

24 posted on 07/24/2003 4:49:44 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Java/C++/Unix/Web Developer === will work for food)
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To: txzman; cyborg
But the simple fact remains: Jews by race, focus and number were the largest
single group targeted and killed by the Nazis.


I think, at least here in the USA, we are moving to a better telling of what the
heck the Nazis conceived and executed, with the help of all their fellow travelers
(average German in the German Army, volunteers from a score of other countries/regions).

One of the better tellings I've seen was "Stories to Remember" this spring on
PBS (KCET/Los Angeles). It was funded by some foundation via a university center
(I can't remember which one; I think it was somewhere on the East Coast).

It did center mostly on the suffering of European Jews who survived WWII, whether
through camps, living in the wild, or traveling with partisans.
AND the show included personal testimony from captured American military personnel who
saw some of the camp guards torture their fellow troops.
AND an interview with a fellow who'd been a sold-out-for-Adolph Hitler Jugend
(too young for combat, I think), and him eloquently admitting his shame at his
former identity.

I don't blame the Jews at large for bringing up the topic all the time...if I'd been
among the Jewish survivors, I'd have been tempted to do the same.
However, it sure seems that there is a move to admit the totality of the suffering
of the innocents in WWII.
Like Michael Medved says, Jews should not repeat the tales so often that
people eventually stop listening. And my naive advice would be to tell the story
of all the persecuted innocents...reaching out to other groups won't damage the truth
of what happened to the Jews in WWII.

I just wonder when Hollywood will come clean and tell similar truths on the
movie screens about the other Evil Empire.
25 posted on 07/24/2003 4:53:16 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Sam Cree
You mean that it is not in their interest to call the world's attention to the fact that the Nazis killed more Slavs than Jews? If they care so little about these other peoples, why should non-Jews care about them?
26 posted on 07/24/2003 5:01:40 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: SauronOfMordor
>>>
The bottom line is that murder-by-government in Europe in the first half of the 20th Century was huge by any historical measure. It was not exclusively all about the Jews
<<<

That is the danger of focusing solely on the Jewish Holocaust. It makes it seem like mass murder by government was just a strange and terrible one-off event and not a recurring part of history (and indeed, the present).

Sadly, I think the Holocaust has become almost a fetish; with Holocaust Museums, Parks, countless movies, and other displays all focusing on one event as if it was the only case of vicious evil government.
27 posted on 07/24/2003 5:12:45 PM PDT by evilC
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To: NYer
Interesting to note that the Jews have established Holocaust museums and memorials, determined that "we must never forget!

Never forgive, never forget. The total antithesis of the Sermon on the Mount.

28 posted on 07/24/2003 6:06:15 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: evilC
Has the Rape of Nanking been depicted on film? Probably the worst example of what an army can do if it is unleased on a city.
29 posted on 07/24/2003 6:20:21 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: As you well know...
Remembering the Millions of Gentiles Murdered by the Nazis

Remeber TENS of millions of Christians murdered by the militant Soviet atheists.

30 posted on 07/24/2003 6:22:14 PM PDT by A. Pole
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To: Poohbah
I think the key issue is that the Jewish Holocaust was the first one that we SAW the results of in something approximating real life (photographic records, bureucratic records, et cetera), the sheer senselessness of it,

Unfinished Extirpation of Irish Catholics under Cromwell was very well organised.

The most successful was extermination of Tasmanians (none are left).

31 posted on 07/24/2003 6:24:41 PM PDT by A. Pole
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To: As you well know...
They seem to miss the larger Soviet half of the Holocaust story.
32 posted on 07/24/2003 6:37:12 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: RobbyS
"You mean that it is not in their interest to call the world's attention to the fact that the Nazis killed more Slavs than Jews?"

I don't mean that, nor do I understand how you drew such an inference from my post to you. There is no instance that I know of where Jews have suppressed such knowledge. I, for one, remember learning it in high school, and have long thought it common knowledge.

"If they care so little about these other peoples, why should non-Jews care about them?"

IMO, your description of Jews caring "so little" for others is totally erroneous. However your point that non-Jews care little for Jews has historically been true. One would hope that that is changing these days, at least in the U.S.

33 posted on 07/24/2003 6:40:38 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: Sam Cree
IMO, your description of Jews caring "so little" for others is totally erroneous. However your point that non-Jews care little for Jews has historically been true.

Or maybe it is symetrical? Also dividing mankind into Jews and non-Jews is not very healthy. What would you think if Armenians focused on comparing who cares more - Armenians for non-Armenians or non-Armenians for Armenians.

34 posted on 07/24/2003 6:45:39 PM PDT by A. Pole
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To: RobbyS
But why do Jews ignore the horrific numbers killed by the Nazis?

It is not that it is ignored or unknown. In my Jewish Sunday School textbook, from 1970, it stated that revised estimates showed 5.4 million Jews died in Nazi extermination operations, as well as about six million non-Jews.

Germany in the late 1930's established racial purity laws and administration to ban Jews from daily life and sight. The death operations and concentration camps were set up to rid Germany and conquered areas of Jews and other "troublemakers".

We regret the loss of all innocent life. Losing almost half of all Jews on earth in five years is so horrible to contemplate - the worst tragedy in our history. It is, I guess, for other (non-Jewish) scholars to provide more information about the other unfornutates who perished in the fields, woods and camps. One posible problem in the past was that most of the people killed came from areas that soon came under Communist control. Deaths of Christian activists or leaders would not have been in the Reds' best interest to highlight.

35 posted on 07/24/2003 6:46:35 PM PDT by DmBarch
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To: A. Pole
"Or maybe it is symetrical?"

No, I hardly think it's symetrical.

But I am with you that it could be nice if we didn't concentrate on our differences so much.

"What would you think if Armenians focused on comparing who cares more - Armenians for non-Armenians or non-Armenians for Armenians."

I'd think that would be silly. I don't think Jews do that either, nor anyone else I know.

Seems I am destined to not make myself be understood on this thread.

36 posted on 07/24/2003 6:55:23 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: cyborg
Temple classes? Are you Jewish? After reading your bio I'm a bit confused.
37 posted on 07/24/2003 6:57:32 PM PDT by MatthewViti
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To: DmBarch
It would not be so bad if some Jews had not recently sought to scapegoat Pius XII for the actions of the Nazis and to say that he held back from condemning Hitler because he was anti-semitic or because he preferred the Nazis over the Communists. I think it should be clear by now that Hitler had a terrible grip on the throat of most people in Europe, not just the Jews. Furthermore, Hitler also had his supporters in every country, so to oppose him was not only to face a small clique but a considerable body of his followers. Thank God that we killed most of the SS forces and that his popular support in Germany and elsewhere melted away after his destruction.
38 posted on 07/24/2003 7:03:16 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS
>>>
Has the Rape of Nanking been depicted on film? Probably the worst example of what an army can do if it is unleased on a city.
<<<

I don't think so. However given that Iris Chang's book sold well a future film is possible.
39 posted on 07/24/2003 7:16:22 PM PDT by evilC
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To: DmBarch
"One posible problem in the past was that most of the people killed came from areas that soon came under Communist control. Deaths of Christian activists or leaders would not have been in the Reds' best interest to highlight."

Yeah, good point, I think. Certainly Jews are blameless in the matter of how much notoriety may have been attached to the executions by Nazis of Poles or Russians.

40 posted on 07/24/2003 7:18:59 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: Ancesthntr
I recall reading (It was quite a while ago so no source comes to mind) That before the end of the 19th century Germany was one of the best places to live if you were a Jew. Very little in the way of progroms etc.. At least in comparison to places like Russia, Poland, France. I be interested to know if you've read or heard anything about this.
41 posted on 07/24/2003 8:42:33 PM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: Sam Cree
And I think one difference between the "gentile" holocaust and the Jewish one is that the effort was not to *exterminate* all gentiles, but more to purify them.

Of course, that meant exterminating different subsets of the Gentiles. The main difference between the Jews and the non-Jewish victim groups is that the Nazis started with the Jews and were going to get down to business on everyone else sooner or later. If Hitler had been in power for 20, 30 years, certain non-Jewish groups would have been exterminated (or at least heavily thinned) as well.

42 posted on 07/24/2003 8:50:43 PM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: RobbyS
But why do Jews ignore the horrific numbers killed by the Nazis?

I can't remember if they made a point of noting non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust back in Jewish day school (it's been a long time), but I'm pretty sure they taught us that stuff. Holocaust education is an important part of Jewish culture, they try to do a thorough job of it.

43 posted on 07/24/2003 8:52:12 PM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: As you well know...; NYer
Someone who gets the Wanderer newspaper told me there was an article where they pointed out that more Christians died in the Holocaust than non Christians. Whether the accounting is true or not; I do not know.

44 posted on 07/24/2003 9:10:28 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight and gave an innate predisposition for self-preservation and protection)
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To: As you well know...
Self-bump from a 3rd generation American Pole. My family came over around the turn of the century. Last century, of course.
45 posted on 07/24/2003 9:10:53 PM PDT by Marie Antoinette
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To: evilC
These letters from victims of the Holodomor were only translated and made public this month. The Bolsheviks had a twist on their evil unlike that of anyone else.
46 posted on 07/24/2003 9:24:48 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: xm177e2
Don't you think that non-Jewish victims ought to be included in a Holocaust museum? The only gentiles that get mention in the litature are the one who protected Jews. I know that many of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis hated Jews, but wouldn't that point up the radically violent character of National socialism? Mein Kampf clearly shows that Hitler hated Christianity because Jesus taught a Jewish (ie unmanly)erguc Christians who supported him for "pragmatic" reasons were utter fools, because there was no future for them in Hitler's Reich.
47 posted on 07/24/2003 9:39:28 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Valin
The irony was the German Jews loved Germany, were great patriots. For the Germans to turn on them was as shocking as
America turning on them today. And it seems they have cause for worry. Anti-semiticism in the United States is strongest in the party they cling to religiously.
48 posted on 07/24/2003 9:43:53 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: cyborg
Mao killed nearly 60 million in the Cultural Revolution, Tojo nearly 40 million in the occupied Asian countries, Stalin 20 million in his purges and pogroms and Hitler 8 million.
49 posted on 07/24/2003 9:57:31 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: dansangel
ping
50 posted on 07/25/2003 12:41:46 AM PDT by .45MAN
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