A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.
“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”
We are told again and again by “experts” and “talking heads” that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion is surely true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
Huffington Post leans Left. It is not a media outlet that believes that the only way to destroy the jihadist mindset is to wipe it out from top to bottom. Instead, HuffPo’s editorial policy makes clear that, in keeping with most major media outlets, it’s very certain that, somewhere out there, there’s a peaceful resolution to our problems with jihadist Islam — and one, moreover, that does not involve HuffPo writers getting shot or beheaded. The HuffPo collective believes this despite daily news reports demosntrating that the jihadis have world domination as their goal, and that they intend to achieve it through the purifying force of hundreds of millions of deaths.
Even Qatari-owned Al Jazeera is slightly further along the path of jihadist discovery than is the American media. It is Al Jazeera, after all, that took the time to interview Jurgen Todenhofer, a German journalist who managed to embed with ISIL and return alive. Todenhofer, as is true for so many European (and American) Leftists, seems to have gone in assuming that the bad press about ISIS, much of which ISIS promulgates itself, just couldn’t be true. Imagine his surprise to discover that ISIS is even worse than we imagined:
I was fortunate enough to hear Daniel Hannan speak earlier this year. He is, in a word, brilliant. A few other words: informed, moral, funny, articulate, and a true classic liberal. In a just world, he’d be one of our greatest statesman. In today’s world . . . well, we’re still fortunate enough to get to hear him speak:
Two weeks ago, I introduced you to Sol Giggleweed, a representative of DemProg passion in politics and society. I chanced to meet up with Sol today — or, more accurately, with a real human being whose views march in lockstep with Sol’s, but who doesn’t wish to have his name made public. He’ll therefore be Sol Giggleweed in perpetuity at this blog. The topic of our very real conversation this morning was Jon Stewart and Hamas.
The conversation Sol and I had was a continuation of an earlier Jon Stewart-inspired discussion we had. It all began last week, when Jon Stewart decided to weigh in on the Israel=Hamas conflict. Stewart’s shtick was the usual “disproportionate force” argument that comes from the anti-Israel crowd: He essentially said that Israel’s warnings to civilians in advance of an attack were a fraud, since the Gazans had nowhere to run in their crowded rabbit warren of a city. Poor Gazans.
I explained a few things to Sol: (a) Hamas routinely instructs civilians to stay in place in order to create more propaganda moments, which is the major weapon in Hamas’s arsenal; (b) Israel’s citizens had survived more than a thousand rockets in the past two weeks because Israel specifically created an infrastructure to protect them, something Hamas purposely did not do; and (c) contrary to Stewart’s implication about a lack of shelters, Gaza is riddled with perfectly good tunnels that are barred to civilians because the tunnels are for the gun-carriers, not the future telegenic dead bodies.
Sol was unimpressed. When all was said and done, Sol’s primary argument boiled down to this: Jon Stewart is brilliant, so I believe him, not you, and certainly not the mountains of IDF evidence (videos, photographs, military images, Hamas’s own words, etc.) to the contrary. There’s got to be some equivalency and nuance there.
I’d forgotten about that conversation, but today Sol contacted me, chortling gleefully about the fact that Jon Stewart, “showed them.”
I not unreasonably inquired, “Jon Stewart showed what to whom?”
“He showed the conservatives like you, the ones that think the IDF is the only voice to listen to. He showed them that they’re wrong.”
Sol then told me to check out this video footage, only the first couple of minutes of which are relevant:
“See,” said Sol. “See, Jon Stewart knows what you guys are saying. He’s aware of you.”
“Yeah, Sol, I see. But what’s your argument?”
“Jon Stewart,” he replied, “is showing that there’s nuance there. Because both sides are mad at him, he’s subtly telling the audience that it’s not clear-cut. Both sides have valid arguments.”
“So you’re saying that there’s an equivalence between Israel, the only free, democratic, pluralist society in the Middle East, and Hamas, an anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-American, anti-Christian entity that’s so bad even Egypt hates it? And that this equivalence exists because both sides are willing to argue their cause against anyone who isn’t clearly siding with them?”
“No, I’m not saying that at all. After all, I emailed you that Wall Street Journal article about Hamas tactics. But there are other views than just the one the IDF says. You’re so judgmental and narrow-minded that you won’t listen to anything at all. If it doesn’t come from your right-wing blogosphere, you just dismiss it. Jon Stewart listens to everything and he’s subtle, not dogmatic.”
Being a closed-minded right-wing wacko, I felt free to ignore Sol’s premise about my closed-mindedness.
“Sol, in many cases, there are nuances and sides. But in some cases, there’s just pure evil and you are complicit with evil if you do not reject them entirely. For example, would you argue that, in the fight between the Allies and the Nazis, there was nuance?”
Sol bridled. “Don’t be stupid. Hamas isn’t the Nazis.”
“Okay, tell me one thing that makes Hamas different from the Nazis.”
“Are you kidding?” Sol smirked. “You want me to compare Hamas to the Nazis?”
“I’m not kidding,” I answered. “I want you to tell me how Hamas is different from the Nazis.”
“Really, you want me to tell you how Hamas is different from the Nazis?”
“Yes, that’s what I’m asking you to do. And I’ve got to take something off the stove top, so you can think about it while I’m doing that. I’ll be back in five minutes.”
Five minutes later, I announced, “I’m back. Now you can tell me what’s different between Hamas and the Nazis.”
“This is stupid. You can write pages about things that are different between Hamas and the Nazis,” a now very ruffled Sol told me.
“I’m not asking for pages. Just tell me one thing.”
“Really? Really! You really want me to tell you one thing that’s different between Hamas and the Nazis?”
“Yeah. And let me clarify. It can’t be something like ‘The Nazis were Germans and Hamas is Arab.’ Or ‘Hamas is Muslim and the Nazis weren’t.’ Or ‘Hamas isn’t engaged in a world war’ (although it would certainly like to be). You have to tell me about one thing that differs in the basic values between those two organizations.”
“That’s easy,” Sol finally replied. “Hamas doesn’t have concentration camps and it didn’t start a world war.”
“Not tactics,” Sol, I sighed. “I was talking about values. You know, principles, like anti-Semitism or homophobia or genocidal desires or the lust for world domination. Things like that.”
Sol snapped, “This conversation is stupid. Jon Stewart is brilliant and you’re just being dogmatic.” And then he hung up on me.
It was only after our little talk had ended that I realized that there was one difference between Hamas and the Nazis, and that it didn’t reflect well on Hamas: the Nazis revered their women.
Let me say again what I tried to impress upon Sol Giggleweed, a smart man who is so in thrall to moral relativism that he has lost his moral compass: While there are many disputes in which both sides are roughly equal, not necessarily on the battlefield, but at the ideological level (e.g., the equally evil sides in Syria), there are some circumstances in which one side is irredeemably and completely evil, while the other is not. In that battle, we should support the less evil side, even if it is only marginally less evil.
Thankfully, that’s not the case with Israel. That is, we don’t have to choose between evil and somewhat less evil. Israel, unlike all other nations in history, is struggling to fight an existential war with a moral standard so exquisite it runs the risk of being self-defeating.
It’s easy to support Israel. All people of true good will should recognize that, in the fight between, on the one hand, an entity that has less going for it even than the Nazis and, on the other hand, a nation that is incomparable in the care it brings to protecting non-combatants (indeed, it cares much more than the U.S. and Barack “I choose who dies” Obama), there is no room for nuance or relativism. Israel wins hands down, and anyone who takes a contrary position is a moron and a moral midget.
I want you to play a little game with me. Imagine that you’re an archivist, going through Nazi-era German documents. While doing that review, you stumble across the following article, published in a reputable Nazi business magazine:
The next time you hear someone dispute that Aryans are the superior race, remember this pie chart.
It represents eugencist Helmut Scheingarner’s review of 2,258 peer-reviewed scientific articles about Aryan superiority, written by 9,136 authors, published between Nov. 12, 1937 and December 31, 1938.
Of all those hundreds of papers and thousands of researchers, Scheingarner found one article, authored by a single scientist, that challenged Aryan superiority: “The Unusual Intellectual Aptitude of Hebrew People,” by J. K. Grubenman, appearing in the Luxeumbourg Science Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1.
Scheingarnder, a past president of Berlin and Hamburg Univerities, invites anyone to reproduce his survey of the science:
Anyone can repeat as much of the new study as they wish — all of it if they like. I will give you a database with the 2,258 articles here. It includes the title and document number for each article. Scan the titles to identify articles that might reject Aryan superiority. Then, I will work with you to locate the article and review it. If you find any candidates that I missed, please mail me at Aryan Superiority Division, Reichstag, Berlin.
Scheingarner’s earlier survey of peer-reviewed studies published between January 1, 1933 and November 11, 1937 yielded the same results.
Within seconds of seeing that first, big chart and reading only a sentence or two of the article, you’d immediately recognize the fatal flaw in its reasoning. To the extent that Aryan supremacy was the prevailing orthodoxy in Nazi Germany, anyone advancing opposing views would be subject to professional ostracism or worse. With the scientific journals completely controlled by people who couldn’t imagine a paradigm other than Aryan supremacy, the likelihood of scientific journals publishing countervailing articles hovered at zero.
Knowing that, you’d also realize that the frequency of articles subscribing to Aryan supremacy in no way proved that this “scientific” doctrine had merit. Instead, as you’d fully understand, the notion of Aryan supremacy represented the closing of the German scientific mind. Nazi journals would inevitably refuse to accept anything challenging the white supremacist doctrine. For a supremacist to point to the number of such published articles would therefore be meaningless.
As you’ve probably figured out by now, the above article did not come from Nazi Germany and did not involve Aryan supremacy. Instead, it’s a Business Insider article “proving” that all scientists in the world support anthropogenic warming. I changed the name of the scientist proudly boasting about his find, his university affiliations, and the article dates, and I substituted “Aryan supremacy” for “anthropogenic climate change.” Otherwise, the two articles are identical.
What the proud scientist failed to note are some even more compelling facts: (1) At least 31,400 scientists around the world have stood up and declared that they do not believe in anthropogenic climate change (here’s a list of some of the better known skeptics); and (2) Climategate revealed not just that climate change advocates were manipulating numbers but, more significantly, that they were blocking anyone with opposing views from getting published.
The mantra justifying this closed door is “expert consensus.” Let me state something very important here: An expert consensus is not a fact. Experts used to think the sun revolved around the earth (wrong), that bad air caused disease (wrong), that spicy food and stress caused ulcers (wrong), that autistic people are mentally retarded because their mothers didn’t love them (oh, so wrong), etc. Experts are wrong all the time.
Oh, I almost forgot: Here’s the real kicker — contrary to those cute little pie charts, there are peer-reviewed journals that challenge climate change orthodoxy, and that’s true despite the significant barriers in place denying publication to climate change skeptics.
In other words, the gloating Business Insider pie charts are exactly as false as that imaginary Nazi article would have been. Both are the work of ideologues masquerading as scientists, who use fundamentally flawed analyses to deny that any valid opposition exists.
UPDATE: This article, about science’s (or, more accurately, scientists’) failure nowadays to be self-correcting seems apropos.
I liked Oslo. I can’t quite put my finger on why I liked it, but I liked it just as strongly as I disliked Stockholm. Go figure….
Part of the pleasure I took in Oslo was tied to the fact that the ship docked within one minute’s walk from the old fort/castle. I don’t have any literature to bolster my memory, so I’m riffing here when I say I believe it was originally built at the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th centuries. It was substantially remodeled at the beginning of the Thirty Year War at the start of the 17th century.
It’s a lovely structure, with huge, gray medieval blocks of stone serving as the base, and smaller, golden colored bricks from the Scandinavian Renaissance completing the climb to small, but fairy-tale like towers.
Housed within the walls of the castle is the “Resistance Museum,” a very nicely put together exhibit that focuses on Norway’s fierce resistance to the Nazi occupation. I had forgotten that the word “Quisling” owes its origin to the disgusting Norwegian politician who welcomed the Nazis and was disowned by his countrymen.
The museum opens with a nice homage to Norwegian Jews who fought in the resistance. Throughout the exhibit, it reminds visitors that Norway’s Jews died at Nazi hands.
The museum makes it clear that it is a point of pride that the Norwegians sided against the anti-Christian, totalitarian ideology that wanted to subjugate the world and kill Jews. It is inexplicable to me that now, throughout the Scandinavian world — and particularly in Norway — it is a point of pride that they side WITH an anti-Christian totalitarian ideology that wants to subjugate the world and kill the Jews.
Norway, after all, is fierce in its condemnation of democratic, pluralist Israel, and slavish in its devotion to the Nazi-like Palestinian cause. Norwegians seem oblivious to the fact that not only do the Palestinians espouse Nazi goals, they enthusiastically threw themselves in with the Nazis during WWII and have never backed away from them allegiance.
From the Resistance Museum, we wandered through the city, heading to the art museum, which houses one of the original Munch “Scream” paintings. (We skipped the Munch museum, because it’s being remodeled, while the main museum has a seizable exhibition.). Along the way, we visited the City Hall, which, once again, I can’t date. It drives me bonkers that I don’t know the dates of the things we saw, but the rest of the family was moving so quickly, I never had a chance to stop and study the details of what we so.
In many ways, the town/city hall has that muscular look of Soviet architecture, so I think it was probably built in the 1920s or thereabouts. On the outside, it’s a rather forbidding brick structure. On the inside, though, you find yourself in a light, airy, spacious chamber covered with brilliant murals and mosaics. It’s a very attractive space.
As for the Munch exhibit, I wish we hadn’t wasted our time. Aside from the Scream, which had the virtue of familiarity, nothing Munch did appealed to me. In his early years, his art was derivative, with a little Seurat (spelling?) here, a little Picasso there, a bit of Gauguin for a change, followed by a dollop of Manet — none of it done very well. Munch then settled into his own style of drab colors and uninspiring graphics. Had it not been for the Scream’s fitting so well into the 20th century zeitgeist, I doubt many would have found him memorable.
After the museum, we headed back to the waterfront and took a short, lovely ferry ride to the Viking ship museum. It houses three Viking ships recovered from burial mounds. Two are in good condition, with the third in fairly good condition. They are, in a word, amazing. For one thing, they’re incredibly elegant, with their high, curved prows, and their swelling bellies. They are a beautiful combination of design and functionality. They also have that intricate Viking carving, with twining animals and Gods winding their way up the prow, and ferocious animal heads decorating posts and sledges.
The Viking ships are also surprisingly small — surprisingly, I say, because the hearty Vikings who traveled in them covered remarkable distances on such an unfriendly sea. They went as far south as the Mediterranean and as far northwest as Nova Scotia. Along the way, they terrorized and settled parts of England, France, Greenland, and all points in between.
So here’s a little factoid: At the Resistance Museum, we learned that the Nazis sent around 400,000 troops to Norway because Hitler believed that the inevitable Allied invasion of Europe would take place there. In fact, as we all know, the D-Day invasion took place on the beaches of Normandy — which owe their name to the Norseman who settled there so many centuries before. Hitler was right that Norse shores would be the landing point; he just picked the wrong Norse shores.
After admiring the Viking ships, we went to the nearby folk museum, which is an open air museum in which they’ve assembled buildings from all over Norway. My only regret is that we had too little time there, since we arrived only 90 minutes before it closed.
Ninety-minutes simply wasn’t enough time to see all the buildings and living history exhibitions. We saw weaving, a farm kitchen from 1959, a “stave church” from the 12th century, a tenement from early 20th century Oslo, a bakery from the 1700s — and only scratched the surface. I could have spent hours there. Not only was it fascinating, it was so very beautiful, as the grounds were covered with idyllic green pastures, log cabins with grass growing on the roof, half-timbered buildings, and brick mansions.
When the museum closed, we headed to the Vigesland park. Vigesland was a man who spent around 40 years in the middle of the 20th century creating dozens of granite sculptures for a single park. The sculptures are meant to show people in motion and people relating to each other — parents and children, men and women, old and young. The park itself is beautiful, because it is terraced, green, and spacious, with flowers blooming everywhere.
As for the sculptures . . . well, they weren’t my cup of tea. They’re crudely done and I found them unappealing. The kids were “creeped out by them,” especially the fact that all the figures are nude. They found it off putting to see a naked father frolic with his equally naked children. I think growing up in an era of high-profile pedophile cases made this seem very inappropriate to them.
What totally revolted me was the centerpiece — a tall column of writhing, entwined bodies of all ages, all presumably dead. It’s supposed to show the cycle of life. To me, however, it looked like nothing more than a photo of the bodies at Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen — all ages, all sexes, all nude, all tangled together.
The park ended the day’s sightseeing and it was a slightly sour note. Having said that, though, I still found the tourist part of Oslo appealing. Incidentally, Vigesland is in a less touristy part, and we saw innumerable Muslims and Africans there. Not a critical mass, by any means, but still enough to hint that the immigrants aren’t in the city centers but are, instead, in the outskirts of these major Scandinavian towns.
As for the natives, they were good-looking, friendly, and almost all spoke incredibly good English. Surprisingly, they spoke with American accents. Usually when one travels, those who speak English do so with a British accent. In Oslo, though, they sounded almost American. Their effortless bilingualism was very impressive.
And those are my Oslo impressions. We’re now heading north to Bergen. The sea is calm and the sky is clear. Although it’s already 10 pm now, the sun is still well above the horizon. We’ve been told that tomorrow, as has been the case since our vacation started, it’s going to be HOT. I still can’t believe that, after two summers of steaming not vacations (the Mediterranean and Japan), my hopes for a cool northern sojourn have been dashed by a heat wave.
As you already know, I’m sure, the Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem are fighting hard to segregate men and women in public spaces in Jerusalem. I posted about the fact that Mr. Bookworm analogized this small group, which is fighting against a democratic, egalitarian government, to the sharia law that exists across large segments of the Muslim world. I doubt Mr. Bookworm arrived at this thought by himself. I haven’t been reading the New York Times lately, nor listening to NPR, but I’m willing to bet that their coverage implies that this comparison is real and valid.
Today, the AP managed to state outright that the Ultra-Orthodox are aping the Nazis. Here’s the AP headline:
The implication, of course, is that the Ultra-Orthodox Jews outfitted themselves in swastikas and jackboots. What the Ultra-Orthodox really did was to dress themselves up in concentration camp garb, thereby sending the message that they are helpless prisoners of a Nazi-style Jewish government:
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered Saturday night in Jerusalem to protest what they say is a nationwide campaign directed against their lifestyle. The protesters called Israeli police officers Nazis, wore yellow Star of David patches with the word “Jude” – German for Jew – dressed their children in striped black-and-white uniforms associated with Nazi concentration camps and transported them in the back of a truck.
The Ultra-Orthodox’s stunt was tacky, offensive, ugly, distasteful, and inappropriate. But the more correct description of this tasteless bit of street theater would be that “Ultra-Orthodox Jews use Holocaust-era Images in Protest.” For the AP to have implied otherwise adds one more layer of indecency to the whole protest — and, worse, it’s a layer of indecency that dovetails perfectly with the Leftist (especially the European Leftist) effort to paint Jews as Nazis. It’s bad enough when radical Jews describe each other as Nazis, without having the media pile on too.
UPDATE: Somehow, this post seems apropos, insofar as it explains that the OWS add-on to the Rose Bowl Parade relied on Nazi imagery to depict the Jews’ alleged influence on world finances.
I’m noticing signs of “Occupy” ennui. Even those who were enthusiastic about the movement at first seem to be getting bored. On the “real me” facebook, there’s been (at a guess) a 75% drop-off in posts from limousine liberals applauding the 1%.
Was it the endless, self-serving demands that the government write off student loans, meaning that the yuppified liberals I know would bear the burden? Was it the escalating number of rapes? Was it the rampant drug use? The feces and vomit? The crazy people? The riots? The hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of dollars in law enforcement overtime, all of which the limousine liberals will ultimately fund? The formerly supportive local businesses that have been trashed or simply destroyed economically? The short attention span that characterizes the American people? I don’t know the reason, but I’m getting the feeling that Occupy is wearing out its welcome.
I’ll certainly be sorry to see Occupy go. I love the way Occupy exposes people to the core selfishness of the Left. It’s the Left that has, for years — nay, decades — characterized conservatives as greedy, selfish, racist, violent, etc. The implication, of course, is that Leftists are the poster children of altruism, selflessness, brotherhood and peace. It’s been truly inspiring to see the demands for a free ride, the segregation at Occupy encampments, the riots, and so forth. Few things are more pleasant than seeing a Fifth Column unmasked.
I’m also enjoying what I perceive as the ripple effect. For example, CrossFit OneWorld is a fitness blog. Its readership doesn’t go there for politics, it goes there to learn how to maximize strength, stamina and overall fitness. (All of which are very good things.) Three days ago, though, the readership got an insight into the glories of Occupy Oakland, because one of the regular bloggers got the opportunity to play backup to Oakland law enforcement as it confronted the product-toting young’uns protesting violently against commercialism. By way of apologizing for missing out on an exercise update, this same blogger explained to his presumably apolitical readers precisely what kind of foolishness prevented him from getting on with his life. It’s this kind of trickle-down information, from ordinary people inconvenienced by or exposed to Occupy, that’s going to make disinterested Americans aware of the real ugliness behind the Occupy movement.
One more thing, which is a kind of Darwinian one that makes me look like a nihilistic b***h, but I’ll say it anyway: I don’t feel compassion for these young people. Yes, they are certainly misguided and it’s our obeisance to Leftist culture over the past 40 years that has created all these little Frankstein’s monsters. But knowing that there are root causes, or even feeling somewhat responsible for the root causes, doesn’t mean that we can allow the fruit of the poisonous tree to lie on the ground, spreading the rot ever further.
If you ever watch WWII documentaries, what you’ll see is that, by the end of the war, whether on the Western or Eastern fronts, the Germans were throwing 16 and 17 year old boys into the front lines. Had today’s Leftists been in charge of the War back then, they would have called an immediate ceasefire, since these youthful products of more than a decade of Nazi indoctrination knew not what they did. Of course, had that happened, those youthful Nazi enthusiasts would have claimed victory, and gone on their merry way, enslaving and slaughtering ever larger numbers of innocents. The tragic fact is that, when a culture becomes completely corrupted, there is no more room for compassion. Compassion is for the time after victory. You cannot let it prevent you from achieving victory.
Ted Bromund is worried that Obama, by going to both Buchenwald and Dresden in the same trip is about to do something symbolically awful. Buchenwald, of course, was one of the infamous Nazi labor camps located right in Germany itself. It was not a death camp, and was not used specifically to exterminate Jews, but it had an appalling death rate. Those who died were political prisoners and the “unfit”. Pardon this lengthy Wikipedia quotation, but I think it’s important to put it here. (You can go to the Wikipedia article for the missing footnotes and hyperlinks):
Although Buchenwald technically was not an extermination camp, it was a site of an extraordinary number of deaths.
A primary cause of the deaths was illness due to harsh camp conditions, and hunger was also prevalent. Malnourished and suffering from disease, many were literally “worked to death”, as inmates had only the choice between slave labour or inevitable execution. Many inmates died as a result of human experimentations or fell victim to arbitrary acts perpetrated by the SS guards, and yet other prisoners were simply murdered—the two primary methods of execution were shooting and hanging. At one point, the ashes of dead prisoners would be returned to their families in a sheet metal box—postage due, to be paid by the family. This practice was eventually stopped as more and more prisoners died. 
Summary executions of Soviet POWs were also carried out at Buchenwald. At least 1,000 Soviet POWs were selected in 1941–2 by a task force of three Dresden Gestapo officers and sent to the camp for immediate liquidation by a gunshot to the back of the neck, the infamous Genickschuss, using a purpose-built facility.
The camp was also a site of large-scale trials for vaccines against epidemic typhus in 1942 and 1943. In all 729 inmates were used as test subjects, with 280 of them dying as a result. Because of their long association in cramped quarters in Block 46, the typhus killed more people and infections lasted longer than would have been the case had healthy adults been infected with the disease.
Number of deaths
The SS left behind accounts of the number of prisoners and people coming to and leaving the camp, categorizing those leaving them by release, transfer, or death. These accounts are one of the sources of estimates for the number of deaths in Buchenwald. According to SS documents, 33,462 died in Buchenwald. These documents were not, however, necessarily accurate: Among those executed before 1944 many were listed as “transferred to the Gestapo”. Furthermore, from 1941 forward Soviet POWs were executed in mass killings. Arriving prisoners selected for execution were not entered into the camp register and therefore were not among the 33,462 dead listed in SS documents.
One former Buchenwald prisoner, Armin Walter, calculated the number of executions by shooting in the back of the head. His job at Buchenwald was to set up and care for a radio installation at the facility where people were executed and counted the numbers, which arrived by telex, and hid the information. He says that 8,483 Soviet prisoners of war were shot in this manner.
According to the same source, the total number of deaths at Buchenwald is estimated at 56,545. This number is the sum of:
* Deaths according to material left behind by SS: 33,462
* Executions by shooting: 8,483
* Executions by hanging (estimate): 1,100
* Deaths during evacuation transports: 13,500
This total (56,545) corresponds to a death rate of 24 percent assuming that the number of persons passing through the camp according to documents left by the SS, 238,380 prisoners, is accurate.
So, just to be clear, in that one camp alone, Germans used and slaughtered almost 60,000 civilian prisoners (Jews, Communists, gays, royalty, intellectuals, Jehovah’s witnesses, priests, etc.)
People died at Dresden too. If you ask your reasonably well-informed person about Dresden, that person will tell you (a) that Dresden had no military importance; (b) that it held only a priceless art collection that was destroyed; and, most horribly of all (c) that 250,000 people died in a single night. (Which would make it worse than Hiroshima’s initial impact.)
As Bromund details in another article, however, the Dresden story we all know is propaganda from the master himself, Josef Goebbels. Yes, there were air raids. Yes, there was a fire. Yes, people died. And yes, art and old buildings were destroyed. Bromund explains, however, that the Dresden bombing was no worse that that the Allies visited on other cities; that they were substantially less than the bombings the Germans made on London, Plymouth, Poland, Rotterdam and Belgrade; that Dresden was in fact a City of major military importance, with an important railway depot and more than a hundred factories working for the war effort; and (and this is the big one) that Goebbels increased by as much as a factor of ten the number killed in the bombing in order to inflame people’s sensibilities.
That was then. This is now. And now you know — you just know — that Obama is going to find an equivalence between Buchenwald and Dresden. In rounded pontifical tones, he’ll casually conflate the Nazi’s deliberate slaughter of millions of innocent people with a strategic wartime attack on a significant military target. And then he’ll apologize.
UPDATE: Not only do Nazi lies linger, but the list of Obama lies grows. Turns out that Obama’s reasons for going to Buchenwald have nothing to do with a celebration of his uncle’s role in the camp’s liberation, and everything to do with cold, hard politics. Leo Rennert thinks that, just as such a political trip didn’t work for Reagan, it won’t work for Obama but, sadly, I think Rennert’s wrong. The difference is the media. The media loathed Reagan and played up the political angle of his trip. Here in American you have to turn to a German publication to start discovering the truth about Obama’s lie.
Charles, at LGF, is concerned that the “extreme right white supremacist” (his phrase) BNP party in England is gaining political ground. If you check out the party’s blog, though, racial purity a la the Nazis or the KKK is not part of the party’s platform. As far as I can tell, it wants to close Britain’s open borders, back off from European union control, and clamp down on out-of-control multiculturalism. All of these seem like reasonable positions. After all, under current British policies, traditional Britain is truly vanishing. The place is ground zero for antisemitism, its Muslim influx is unending, Britain is ceding all political control to the EU, and the nation is effectively committing “we hate ourselves” suicide. Wanting to turn back that tide doesn’t strike me as being the same as being Neo-Nazis: desiring a totalitarian state dedicated to world domination and the eradication and enslavement of all inferior races.
Charles’ fight with the European far right is totally valid insofar as he is fighting the true neo-Nazis. The problem seems to me to be the Orwellian one, with the degradation of language pushing people into positions that do not match the facts on the ground.
You see, thanks to the Left, words no longer mean what they used to mean, but the change is often so gradual, we don’t realize it. (That happens without politics, too, with the very old Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane in London morphing into the word “bedlam.”)
Because the Left consciously controls language (“man caused disasters” anyone?), things can get confusing. The easiest example is the way in which Nazis are defined. As their full name establishes (“National SOCIALISTS”), the Nazis were a socialist (i.e., Leftist) political organization. Nowadays, however, they are routinely referred to on the Left as “rightist” so as to conflate them with the Left’s political enemies. In fact, like the Left, they were statists. Unlike the average Lefty, however, they added to their garden-variety belief in state control a poisonous measure of racial hatred.
Linguistically, things are very confusing in Europe, where even the “rightist” political parties (say, the Tories) are to the Left of the American middle. Add to that the fact that, in Europe, there are both genuine neo-Nazis, who want to replicate the Nazis vision of racial purity, AND are concerned moderates who don’t like the political control being ceded to multicultural pro-Islamists, and you’ve got word soup.
For that reason, it would be useful if people who use the phrase “far right” with regard to European politics would define that term. Technically, “far right,” if we’re measuring it against “far left,” simply means less government, not more. After all, if Marxist-style Leftism is the party that seeks total government control, than its opposite — “Rightism” — must be veering into pure anarchy, without any government control at all. That’s clearly not what Charles means when he speaks of the Right, though.
I think that, by saying “far right,” Charles is stating that the BNP party is racist, a la the Nazis or the KKK (and with visions of lynchings and ovens dancing in its political brain). The website, however, indicates that it is only “racist” as the Left would define it, meaning anyone who doesn’t like Obama or is concerned about sharia.
Given the abuse language undergoes daily, the way in which words are folded, spindled and mutilated in ways that take them in the opposite direction from their original meanings, it’s entire possible that a lot of the intellectual fights on the conservative side arise because people THINK they mean the same thing, but they actually don’t. As Dennis Prager says, “I prefer clarity to agreement,” and as I’ve noted listening to his show, clarity often brings agreement.
I loath the stench of truly racists politics (e.g., KKK and Adolf worship blended with a desire to have a strong government making these deadly dreams a reality). However, I do think there needs to be a political home for Europeans who are worried about the Islamification of their nations. And as long as governments in Europe hew Left (even those that are called right), I suspect that the governments and their media outlets are going to tar all anti-Sharia people with the same ugly “far Right” brush.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
UPDATE: Two comments I want to bring up to the post itself:
UPDATE II: From Mike Devx, who actually did the research:
Well, I downloaded the BNP’s Constitution. If you want to take a look it’s at the link below on their site. It’s formatted to be assembled as a booklet, so you have to jump around from page to page on the web…
Section 2 – Membership – is clearly racial. ‘Nuff said, for me. I’ve got no use for a political party that restricts its membership based on race solely to Caucasians of variously described “British descent”.
Seeking to preserve culture is one thing. You can recognize that your beloved culture is disappearing and resolve to fight to retain it. That’s legitimate, especially when all of your current political leadership in power is doing nothing, at best, to preserve it. But these guys have clearly defined a racial component within their own Constitution by allowing only native Caucasian British to be members of the party.
Their activities and statements ceased to be overtly racist at about 2001, it appears. Having seen the Stealth Candidate Obama succeed at his own deception of an entire country – well, enough of a deception to fool 53% of the people – it’s entirely possible that the BNP remains as virulently racist as their relatively distant past would indicate.
I can’t say I agree with Poosh’s virulent hatred of the <b>current</b> BNP. Speaking for myself, though, I’ve seen enough to indicate that I would never associate myself with them in any form whatsoever.
Hopefully the BNP is not the only organized party in Great Britain to actively promote and value their traditional culture and values. If so… then where else are the British people to turn? They certainly won’t be willing to simply surrender…
That’s good enough for me too. But I’ll go back to my original point, which is that the mainstream political parties have closed the doors on moderate Brits who are opposed to the fundamental change in the nature of English, from a Christian country tied to traditional British values, to a multiculturalist society with a rapidly growing, and increasingly vocal and powerful, extreme Islamist population. These people are going to flock to the BNP, despite its ugly racist ideology, because it’s the only game in town.
My 9 year old son was looking at his book about fighter planes through history. That triggered this question and answer session:
Son: Why were the Germans so bad?
Me: Humans have always fought. It’s part of the human condition. They’ve also always killed their enemies, including destroying whole villages, or cities, or even countries, and then enslaving and killing all the people. The Germans, however, did this on a bigger scale than ever before. Also, the Germans were the only people in history who decided in advance that whole groups of people needed to be exterminated, hunted these people down everywhere they could reach, and built huge factories to kill them. They took evil to a level never seen before.
Son: Why did the Germans do that?
Me: That’s one of the big questions. Up until the Nazis, the Germans had been considered the most civilized nation in the world. They had the smartest scientists, their people composed the best music, they wrote poetry (Beethoven and Mozart came from Germanic countries), and their towns and cities were beautiful. Yet they abandoned all that civilization to become the most evil people in the world.
Son (after a moment’s contemplation): Was Hitler crazy that he did all this?
Me: Another good question, but it wasn’t just Hitler. Hitler’s ideas were evil, but he didn’t act alone. After all, did the German and Austrian people lock him up in an insane asylum or did they make him leader of their countries?
Son: They made him leader? But why did they do that?
Me: That’s another good….
Son: Maybe he was like Obama. He gave really good speeches, and the people who listened to him stopped thinking.
My son scares me sometimes. He’s smarter than the whole Democratic party put together.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
I carpooled to a soccer game today. The driver, who is someone I don’t know very well, is a very charming man who is quite obviously a potential Obama voter. He wasn’t quite sure about me and, since he was a very civil individual, he never came out and either insulted McCain or lauded Obama. He did say, though, that he thought it was the government’s responsibility to provide medical care. He also characterized Vietnam as a complete disaster. That gave me an interesting opportunity to explain to him a few historic facts he didn’t know — because very few people know them.
I started out by reminding him of something that most people forget: the Vietnam War was a Democratic War. Kennedy started it and Johnson expanded it. (Nixon, the Republican, ended it.) I didn’t say this in the spirit of accusation, because I wasn’t being partisan. I said it to give historical context to a larger discussion about freedom versus statism.
I noted that, in the 1930s — and, again, most people have forgotten this — the major battle in Europe was between two Leftist ideologies: Communism and Fascism. When he looked a little blank, I pointed out that the Nazis were a socialist party, a fact he readily conceded. I also reminded him that, in the 1930s, given that Stalin was killing millions of his countrymen, and that Hitler hadn’t yet started his killing spree, Fascism actually looked like the better deal. World War II demonstrated that both ideologies — both of which vested all power in the State — were equally murderous.
Men of the Kennedy/Johnson generation, I said, saw their role in WWII as freeing Europe from the Nazi version of socialism. When that job ended, they saw themselves in a continuing war to bring an end to the Communist version of socialism. Again, they were reacting to overwhelming statism.
Thus, to them, it was all a single battle with America upholding the banner, not of freedom, but of individualism. They knew that America couldn’t necessarily make people free or bring them a democratic form of government, but that it could try to protect people from an all-powerful state. That’s always been an integral part of American identity. He agreed with everything I said.
I then moved to the issue of socialized medicine, which I pointed out, again, gives the state all the power. The state, I said, has no conscience, and it will start doling out medical care based on its determining of which classes of individual are valuable, and which are less valuable, to the state. My friend didn’t know, for example, that Baroness Warnock of Britain, who is considered one of Britain’s leading moralists, announced that demented old people have a “duty to die” because they are a burden on the state.
A few more examples like that, and we agreed that the problem wasn’t too little government when it comes to medicine, but too much. Health insurer companies operating in California are constrained by something like 1,600 state and federal regulations. I suggested that, rather than give the government more control over the medical bureaucracy, we take most of it away. He conceded that this was probably a good idea.
Lastly, I reminded him what happens when government steps in as the <span style=”font-style: italic;”>pater familias</span>. He didn’t know that, up until Johnson’s Great Society, African-Americans were ever so slowly “making it.” As a result of the Civil Rights movement, opportunities were opening for Northern Blacks, and they — meaning the men — were beginning to make more money. The African-American family was nuclear and starting to thrive.
This upward economic trend collapsed in the mid-1960s, and its collapse coincided absolutely to the minute with government social workers fanning out to black communities and telling them that the government would henceforth provide. Since it seemed stupid to work when you could get paid not to work, black men stopped working. They also stopped caring about their families, or even getting married, since unmarried mothers did even better under welfare than intact families. In a few short years, not only did African-Americans as a group collapse economically, their family structure collapsed too. Men were redundant. The state would provide. Again, my friend nodded his head in agreement.
The ride ended at that point but, as he was dropping me off, my friend told me (and I think he was speaking from his heart), that it was an incredibly interesting ride. And I bet it was, because I gave him real food for thought in the form of facts and ideas that fall outside of the orthodoxy that characterizes our ultra-liberal community.