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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "Polish death camps" (Page 2)

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Author Topic: "Polish death camps"
Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Having people inform me what what I think, what I feel, and why doesn't really do much to brighten my day.

I've said my piece, and it's clear that nothing more I have to say will be productive.

For what it's worth, I thought your piece was awesome, and I'm glad you said it. [Smile]
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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by Shigosei:
This got me thinking about the Japanese internment in the United States. I've never heard stories about people hiding Japanese families. Is that because no one did, or because it's just not well-publicized? If there wasn't much hiding going on, is that because people didn't think the US government would do anything really bad to the Japanese? I've wondered how much the average person in Nazi-controlled countries knew or suspected about what was going on.

I could also see the stories about people helping the Japanese just not getting much attention since it turns out that they probably wouldn't have died in the internment camps.

My grandparents worked in the camp at Topaz. My grandfather was a dishwasher and I think my grandmother worked in the hospital. My uncles were there every day and would play baseball with the Japanese internees.

My aunt was born there, and a Japanese woman gave my grandmother a broach to celebrate the birth. My aunt now owns the broach after my Grandmother passed away. The Topaz museum has a few images of the broaches to give an idea of what it looks like.

I can't speak for the general attitude of Americans, but I know my grandparents weren't fond of the internment or how the Japanese were treated. As time went on through the war, my Grandparents came to realize that the interned weren't the threats that they'd been painted as. While the camp was being evacuated, the military destroyed a lot of the things in the camp. A couple soldiers started smashing the plates (which were hand made like the broaches) and my grandfather felt sickened by the sight. So he grabbed a box and stuffed it full of plates the soldiers hadn't reached yet. He then went around the camp and snuck plates into the luggage of the Japanese leaving so they'd have something left in case their homes had been taken over. It's not much--like actively campaigning against the detainment, but it is one of the few things in my family history I'm proud of.

As for the general attitude of Americans, I think they were pretty well caught up in the propaganda. After Pearl Harbor, if the government deemed that the Japanese-Americans on the west coast were a threat, then people probably thought that they were. I know the governor of Utah didn't want the camp built there because if it was true that the Japanese were a threat on the west coast, than those Japanese would be a threat in Utah. I don't know of any account of people hiding the Japanese, but I'd be interested to see if there were any. One thing worth noting is that while I think the Nazi's Death Camps and Japanese Internment are both terrible things, it's important to realize they were substantially different in the ways they were run.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Vadon:
One thing worth noting is that while I think the Nazi's Death Camps and Japanese Internment are both terrible things, it's important to realize they were substantially different in the ways they were run.

Yeah.

To the extent that it's actually sort of mind boggling whenever I see someone draw equivalency between them.

It's really not just a case of "The nicest thing that can be said is that we didn't take the final step and just kill 'em all like the Nazis did!"

Not specifically saying anyone in this thread thinks that (in fact I hope they don't)... but it's a sentiment I've seen before. And the level of historical ignorance mixed with anti-Americanism that believing such a thing requires just floors me.

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ambyr
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quote:
Originally posted by Vadon:

My aunt was born there, and a Japanese woman gave my grandmother a broach to celebrate the birth. My aunt now owns the broach after my Grandmother passed away. The Topaz museum has a few images of the broaches to give an idea of what it looks like.

The book The Art of Gaman presents an enormous variety of art produced in the Japanese internment camps. I was fortunate enough to see the associated museum exhibit when it was at the Renwick Gallery. Beautiful and also really upsetting.

[I am not touching the rest of this thread, because I don't think I can while staying within TOS.]

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Shigosei
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Thanks for sharing the story, Vadon. I found it very interesting. My grandparents weren't interned because they lived in Hawaii, so I haven't heard a lot of personal stories about the internment camps.

quote:
Originally posted by Vadon:
One thing worth noting is that while I think the Nazi's Death Camps and Japanese Internment are both terrible things, it's important to realize they were substantially different in the ways they were run.

Indeed. I don't see them as equivalent at all -- there might be some interesting parallels (governments forcing people into camps based on who they are), but they were very different situations. The internment camps were an injustice. The death camps were an atrocity.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Shigosei:
This got me thinking about the Japanese internment in the United States. I've never heard stories about people hiding Japanese families ...

I've heard stories about Nazis hiding Chinese families if it helps [Smile]
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Rakeesh
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Clearly, Tuuka, what rivka was claiming was that a vast majority of Poles knew specifically that the Nazis were engaged in the Holocaust. Rather than, say, claiming that the vast majority of Poles would've fought quite a lot sooner if their own loved ones or friends were being dragged off, never to be heard from again, but not ever as a group for Jews.

What you should do is pin rivka down on the claim she didn't make but could, with some stretchy reading, be claimed to have made, and then get snide when she doesn't defend it.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Shigosei:
This got me thinking about the Japanese internment in the United States. I've never heard stories about people hiding Japanese families ...

I've heard stories about Nazis hiding Chinese families if it helps [Smile]
Also Japanese diplomats helping Jews get out of Europe
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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Clearly, Tuuka, what rivka was claiming was that a vast majority of Poles knew specifically that the Nazis were engaged in the Holocaust.

Rather than, say, claiming that the vast majority of Poles would've fought quite a lot sooner if their own loved ones or friends were being dragged off, never to be heard from again, but not ever as a group for Jews.

What you should do is pin rivka down on the claim she didn't make but could, with some stretchy reading, be claimed to have made, and then get snide when she doesn't defend it.

I only pulled direct quotes from her, so that there could be no confusion about what she said. The quotes were not out of context. She said what I said she said.

On the other hand, I can't find anywhere the content you claim she said. Can you give me a quote?

It seems pretty clear at this point that she made a ridiculous, historically inaccurate statement (Which I quoted), couldn't back it up, followed it with an even more ridiculous statement (Which i quoted again), couldn't back that one up either, and then refused further discussion.

If you can find evidence to the contrary, you are free to quote my posts to find flaws in my arguments.

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mr_porteiro_head
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No, that is not clear at all.
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Szymon
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quote:
Dan_Frank :
For what it's worth, I thought your piece was awesome, and I'm glad you said it.

May I ask why do you think her part was awesome and why are you glad about her saying it?
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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
No, that is not clear at all.

You are also free to quote me, or Rivka, to back-up your statement. The following post is intended for anyone who for some reason finds my reasonings flawed:

I can only debate what has been said, not what people might interpret what has been said. It seems that regarding to Rivkas statements, some people are privy to knowledge about her intentions that I can't find in this thread, or at least they think they are privy to that kind of knowledge.

I can't possibly know either way. I can know only what has been said in this thread. I've re-read the thread, to see if I have to change my statements due to information I missed the first time. I couldn't find such information.

Again, here is the original quote. I didn't quote the entire post, because it doesn't provide any context that would change the meaning of this quote (And neither do other posts from Rivka):

quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
But claiming that those camps were not Polish death camps, or that they could have existed without the willing -- and in many cases, enthusiastic -- cooperation of the vast majority of Poles is historical whitewashing of the worst kind.

That sounds like a pretty clear-cut statement.

I answered with:

quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
]You are claiming here that the "vast majority" of Poles were willingly, or even enthusiastically co-operating in the creation of death camps. That means at least 51% of Poles of the time, or more likely 60-80% of them, since you opted for the "vast" majority.

In other words, if the Poles were given a *free choice* to either put Jews in death camps, or not, they would choose the former. If they lacked the free choice due to external pressure from the nazis (like the threat of death, or the threat of being put to a death camp), then it would be inaccurate to say that they were "willing" co-operators.

It seems logical on my part to assume that "willing -- and in many cases, enthusiastic -- cooperation of the vast majority" means that the vast majority of Poles were willingly to co-oparating in the creation of the death camps. What other interpretations I could derive from that text? There might be some, but I chose the most logical interpretation, that follows literally what was being said. Rivka's claim sounds logical and coherent in its own terms. It's also consistent with what she said elsewhere.

Thus I raised the question of how much actual free-willing co-operation there is, if you are punished by death (among other terrible things) for not co-operating. This seems like a rather important question regarding the concept of free will, or free choices.

She answered with:

quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
By your definition, no one ever has any free choices in life. There are ALWAYS external pressures.

...And that was it, as far as her participation in the debate with me went. I further questioned her logic regarding "free choices", for reasons that seem entirely logical to me (expanded in my 2nd post in this thread). But I was given no more answers.

And that's that. Since there have already been two members to question me or accuse me about either misinterpreting or intentionally twisting the words of others, I would prefer them to take direct quotes from me to prove their point. If they are not willing to do that, the discussion becomes pointless.

Thanks.

[ June 08, 2012, 11:05 AM: Message edited by: Tuukka ]

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Dan_Frank
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Right. Her response was a pretty straightforward rebuttal to your weaseling on the issue.

People are responsible for their choices. Even the hard ones.

No. Especially the hard ones.

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Samprimary
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quote:
It seems logical on my part to assume that "willing -- and in many cases, enthusiastic -- cooperation of the vast majority" means that the vast majority of Poles were willingly to co-oparating in the creation of the death camps. What other interpretations I could derive from that text?
Willing cooperation of the vast majority: vast majority cooperated with it.

Willing cooperation -- and in many cases, enthusiastic -- cooperation of the vast majority: vast majority cooperated with it, AND many cases of enthusiastic cooperation within that subset. Note that "many cases" does not mean a base percentage or majority, just that the number of people complicit and engaged enthusiastically was certainly not negligible.

This is pretty much all was needed: an operational quantum of enthusiastic cooperaters, coupled with the permissiveness — fairweather or not — of an in degrees complicit populace.

Don't even care a whit much about Poland's 'national character' or whatever, it's just that if you sit down and look at how what happened in poland happened this does not get to just be thrown away as a 'just a few bad eggs' thing.

Countries are often great at whitewashing their own 'product of the times/influences' thing. Hell, we built our nation on a continent-wide genocide, then had a war over whether we had the god-given right to trade darkies as property, but many of us still try to pull the same sort of card, or are just productively (as in, through the product of intentional historical whitewashing) ignorant about the things we should be looking back at with disgust!

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Samprimary
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I guess I should mention I'm about to read this wonderfully happy book, too!

http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-Reserve-Battalion-Solution/dp/0060995068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339176550&sr=8-1

quote:
the sad-sack German draftees who perpetrated much of the Holocaust were not expressing some uniquely Germanic evil, but that they were average men comparable to the run of humanity, twisted by historical forces into inhuman shapes. Browning, a thorough historian who lets no one off the moral hook nor fails to weigh any contributing factor--cowardice, ideological indoctrination, loyalty to the battalion, and reluctance to force the others to bear more than their share of what each viewed as an excruciating duty--interviewed hundreds of the killers, who simply could not explain how they had sunken into savagery under Hitler.

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Kama
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to be honest, I don't think I'd be willing to risk my life for that of a stranger.
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Samprimary
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Assuming I had been drafted up in a similar movement in my teenage years, the odds of me ending up one of the people who steps up and refuses to go along with this activity, as opposed to following along even if just out of fear for what would happen to me if I disobeyed, is extremely slim and to assume that I would would be a lot of hubris involving a highly idealized version of my younger self. Pervasive attitudes in a culture that you acculturate yourselves to can so easily be rolled forward into "unspeakable" acts.
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Kwea
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Szymon, I don't think your English sucks at all.

Also, I was the one asking for your book list, so when you went off on Rivka for it I kinda scratched my head. [Big Grin]

There is a difference between thinking up the Holocaust and participating in it, to me sure. But to some of us at least, it sounded like you were trying to absolve all of Poland from participating in it, which your country most certainly did.

The death camps in Poland were conceived by German's, but many Poles participated in them, and not all of them were coerced. Even before those camps, Poland had a very poor record based on their treatment of Jews.

I do think it was a problem in translation....I doubt President Obama meant Poland was solely to blame for those camps....but when the Polish media and a large number of Polish individuals jumped on him, it sounded like they were also trying to whitewash history, and deny Poland's history of antisemitism.

Poland....along with many other occupied countries...did participate in these atrocities. Forgetting that, or allowing others to deny or belittle that, is madness.

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Kwea
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Kama...maybe not. Most people wouldn't.

But would you actively torture or kill them? Would you turn a blind eye if you saw others doing it, and try to deny it ever happened later in life?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Kama...maybe not. Most people wouldn't.

But would you actively torture or kill them? Would you turn a blind eye if you saw others doing it, and try to deny it ever happened later in life?

We all like to tell ourselves that we wouldn't. It would be interesting to put our younger selves into situations akin to the stanford prison experiments or the milgram experiment, just to see how truly different reality is versus our hopeful, noble impressions of ourselves.
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Kama
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I can't answer this question without actually being in a situation like this. I'm pretty sure I would turn a blind eye, but would I go further than that and actively participate in the killing? I don't know. Most people didn't, though. They were probably aware of what was going on, but so what? It's not like they had a power to stop it. If they did, they woldn't have been occupied.
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Szymon
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Kwea, I will say it again- Polish participation in the Holocaust was minimal or nonexistent.
This is not whitewashing, this is fact.

And I did give you books, why do you think I asked anyone for any books? Where? It was Tuukka asking rivka about them, not me.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Right. Her response was a pretty straightforward rebuttal to your weaseling on the issue.

People are responsible for their choices. Even the hard ones.

No. Especially the hard ones.

And what is that supposed to mean? Are you trying to judge people who didn't help Jews because they were affraid of having their family killed?

Well, what is your verdict? Please give it to me.

I have this feeling that it is the people who threaten to kill, who kill, who imprison and torture that are the bad ones. But I am not sure.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
Are you trying to judge people who didn't help Jews because they were affraid of having their family killed?

Yes.
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Kama
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heh. it's easy to be righteous in the safety of one's home.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
I have this feeling that it is the people who threaten to kill, who kill, who imprison and torture that are the bad ones. But I am not sure.

Are you saying that because the Nazis were worse it's unfair to say that Poles acted badly?
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jebus202
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Hmm, I wonder how many Jews died at Polish hands during World War II, compared to say... how many civilian Iraqis have died at the hands of Americans?
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Destineer
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Well said, Jebus.
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Rakeesh
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With the Holocaust as the Holocaust? Again, with the knowledge of 'these Jews that are suddenly just not here anymore (which we, like much of the world, aren't unhappy with) are either being worked to death or killed outright in murder factories?'

Well, no then, Polish participation in the Holocaust was minimal, absolutely.

Unless we include in the discussion the mere fact of getting rid of the Jews. Participation in 'hey, these guys are handling this infestation of Jews we've got. It's pretty nasty the way they're doing it, but...Jews.'

The question isn't whether they were acting as doormen for the cattle cars, the question could be rephrased: if it were random Christian Poles of a given sect, just gone in a quick but definitely noticeable way, would the Poles have been so thoroughly intimidated by the threat of Nazi violence?

Please note, I'm not suggesting Poland was particularly bad in this respect-Europe and even my own home country was rife with indifference and even satisfaction at that time with the plight of the Jews. I'm just rejecting your suggestion, not so thinly veiled at times, that the Poles would've stood up for the Jews, defended them, had the threats of retaliation been not so obvious.

There really aren't very many nations out there with a record that would suggest that, particularly if they were in a weaker posture than Germany-screwing over the Jews was a remarkably easy sell.

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Rakeesh
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Also...what? Sheesh. No, it's not. We certainly have a lot to answer for in terms of negligence and even criminal behavior with respect to the Iraq War, but to bring in a discussion of the Holocaust into that arena...geeze. It's like a distilled Godwin or something. I realize you're pretty far left from me on this particular topic, Destineer, but even so I'm baffled that would rate a 'well said' from you. I can only hope I'm radically misunderstanding your meaning.
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Kama
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you make it seem, Rakeesh, like Poland invited Germany to invade it just so they could get rid of the Jews [Smile]
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Also...what? Sheesh. No, it's not. We certainly have a lot to answer for in terms of negligence and even criminal behavior with respect to the Iraq War, but to bring in a discussion of the Holocaust into that arena...geeze. It's like a distilled Godwin or something. I realize you're pretty far left from me on this particular topic, Destineer, but even so I'm baffled that would rate a 'well said' from you. I can only hope I'm radically misunderstanding your meaning.

What he said.

I'm really surprised to see you say that, Destineer. Civilian deaths in the Iraq War are equivalent to the Holocaust now?

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Hedwig
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According to www.iragbodycount.org 14,786 documented civilian deaths were reported as directly caused by the U.S.-led coalition. Adding in the standard margin of error of 1 million, that's roughly the number of Jews who died at Auschwitz.
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Rakeesh
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If I do, Kama, then I did a poor job explaining myself. That wasn't my meaning at all. I even went out of my way to say Poland was not exactly lonely in being willing to tolerate the removal of Jews.
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Rakeesh
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That's not quite what he said, Dan. He only referred to Jebus's post. I'm not sure which part or in what way was well said.
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Dan_Frank
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Yeah, I may have overreacted.

Sorry, Destineer. I have immense respect for you, so I'll do the fair thing and reserve judgment until you respond. [Smile]

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Destineer
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All kinds of things are analogous to all kinds of other things in countless ways, so I don't often see the point of getting upset with people for "equating" something with the Holocaust (or anything else).

I take it Jebus's point was that the present-day Americans casting stones are complicit in the deaths of Iraqi innocents in a similar way, and to a similar extent, as the average WW2-era Pole was complicit in the deaths at Auschwitz. In some ways we're more complicit, since it's our elected government rather than an occupying foreign power that actually made the decision to kill.

Obviously the numbers of bodies are not even close. So in that sense Jebus's post could have been better thought out.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I take it Jebus's point was that the present-day Americans casting stones are complicit in the deaths of Iraqi innocents in a similar way, and to a similar extent, as the average WW2-era Pole was complicit in the deaths at Auschwitz. In some ways we're more complicit, since it's our elected government rather than an occupying foreign power that actually made the decision to kill.
So...the Nazis were killing Jews (and quite a few others) in Poland because they were engaged in (or in preventing) an insurgency/civil war against an enemy that often made it a point to take steps to increase rather than decrease civilian casualties-for whom those casualties were, depending on religion, gender, political affiliation, or time and location, the point rather than a side effect?

No. The comparison falls apart almost immediately after even a brief examination. As for your point about equivalencies, true, but if there's commonalities in many things, why pick the Holocaust? It's surely not just a random choice from the gigantic list of things that share things in common with still other things-it's because it carries extra weight. Which is also why the surprised and irritated reaction, because it's so often a cheap, transparent ploy as it was here.

Unless the average WWII era Pole told themselves that all those Jews were just being forcibly removed never to be heard from again to, I don't know, go to summer camp or something.

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Dan_Frank
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Destineer, do you think that the deaths in Auschwitz and the deaths in Iraq occurred in an analogous manner?

Or how about this: Do you think that Americans in WW2 were complicit in the deaths of German innocents in a similar way, and to a similar extent, as the average WW2-era Pole was complicit in the deaths at Auschwitz?

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... if there's commonalities in many things, why pick the Holocaust? It's surely not just a random choice from the gigantic list of things that share things in common ...

In fairness, I don't think I don't think that Destineer "picked" the Holocaust. He picked the Iraqi war, the Holocaust was already "in play" so to speak as the topic of the thread.

It seems like we have a corollary of the Godwin rule in play here, as in the initial topic of the thread is the Holocaust/Nazis so that comparisons can't be made with anything else [Wink]

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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Hedwig:
According to www.iragbodycount.org 14,786 documented civilian deaths were reported as directly caused by the U.S.-led coalition. Adding in the standard margin of error of 1 million, that's roughly the number of Jews who died at Auschwitz.

Hah. Anyway, the number of Jews who died in Auschwitz =\= number of Jews who died through active participation of the polish people.

Fun fact from the website: Nearly a third of the number of civilian deaths caused by the US-led coalition, that they can document, were children.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Or how about this: Do you think that Americans in WW2 were complicit in the deaths of German innocents in a similar way, and to a similar extent, as the average WW2-era Pole was complicit in the deaths at Auschwitz?

America's intervention in WWII and America's invasion of Iraq are clearly two different wars that exist on different ends of the moral scale.

[ June 10, 2012, 04:46 AM: Message edited by: jebus202 ]

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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
[QUOTE]So...the Nazis were killing Jews (and quite a few others) in Poland because they were engaged in (or in preventing) an insurgency/civil war against an enemy that often made it a point to take steps to increase rather than decrease civilian casualties-for whom those casualties were, depending on religion, gender, political affiliation, or time and location, the point rather than a side effect?

What an interesting way to describe how Iraqi civilian deaths came about, my heart actually goes out to the American forces now.

quote:
No. The comparison falls apart almost immediately after even a brief examination.

Heh you're right, the comparison does fall apart almost immediately, after all, Poland became involved in the Holocaust by being violently invaded by a foreign power whose name has now become synonymous with evil and morally bankrupt, while America became involved in the Iraq war through the support of their democratically elected leaders.
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Kama
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Dan, would you also say that the families of Polish people killed in concentration camps were complicit in their deaths?
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Rakeesh
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quote:
What an interesting way to describe how Iraqi civilian deaths came about, my heart actually goes out to the American forces now.
Be pithy in your usual style to avoid things you don't like if you will, but tell me then: why were we fighting there? I'm not asking questions about why we got involved in the first place, for good or bad or true or false reasons.

quote:
Heh you're right, the comparison does fall apart almost immediately, after all, Poland became involved in the Holocaust by being violently invaded by a foreign power whose name has now become synonymous with evil and morally bankrupt, while America became involved in the Iraq war through the support of their democratically elected leaders.
Ohhh, that scathing Jebus wit! Of course, that was not all that had to happen for Poland to play host with others to the Holocaust, but hey.

Oh, listen, can you do me a favor, Jebus? If you could, could you make use of sarcasm and irony almost constantly, alongside a refusal to engage here and there, in this discussion? Thanks.

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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
What an interesting way to describe how Iraqi civilian deaths came about, my heart actually goes out to the American forces now.
Be pithy in your usual style to avoid things you don't like if you will, but tell me then: why were we fighting there? I'm not asking questions about why we got involved in the first place, for good or bad or true or false reasons.

quote:
Heh you're right, the comparison does fall apart almost immediately, after all, Poland became involved in the Holocaust by being violently invaded by a foreign power whose name has now become synonymous with evil and morally bankrupt, while America became involved in the Iraq war through the support of their democratically elected leaders.
Ohhh, that scathing Jebus wit! Of course, that was not all that had to happen for Poland to play host with others to the Holocaust, but hey.

Oh, listen, can you do me a favor, Jebus? If you could, could you make use of sarcasm and irony almost constantly, alongside a refusal to engage here and there, in this discussion? Thanks.

Wait, huh? You want to remove the justification and rationale for the invasion of Iraq from a discussion on the cause of the civilian deaths in said war? And I'm the one being accused of a refusal to engage?

Well sure, apart from supporting, and subsequently re-electing, an executive that chose to start an unwarranted and inexplicable invasion of another sovereign nation, you guys did nothing wrong.

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Rakeesh
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I wanted to remove it from the discussion, or at least not talk about it, because if you'll pardon the humor I knew it would serve as a quagmire. I don't think many people here would suggest I'm unwilling to discuss it.

That said, it's an absurd comparison, again, because no one could ever say that the Nazis were brutalizing Jews in Poland, and Poles in Poland, because they were endeavoring to stop some sort of civil war or minimize civilian casualties. In fact there is quite a lot of really good evidence that the gradual plan for Poland was to kill their government and culture after the war was won, reducing them to a thoroughly submissive, subservient state suited for menial labor.

So even if you claim the worst, most ridiculously partisan reasons for our involvement in Iraq-say, blood for oil or something-that would *still* be a laughably bad comparison to make. Because even the flimsiest justifications and the most irrational rationales are far, far removed.

Which makes sense: it's the freaking Nazis. In human events, not much comes into their ballpark for aggressive cruelty and bloodletting. Now if you were to start talking about Manifest Destiny and our various wars with natives here, then you'd have some traction. The intents and results were much closer together. I say this not only to illustrate what an actual, non-laughable comparison would look like but to show that I'm also not unwilling to cop to American inhumanity.

quote:
Well sure, apart from supporting, and subsequently re-electing, an executive that chose to start an unwarranted and inexplicable invasion of another sovereign nation, you guys did nothing wrong.
Heh. Almost everything after the third comma is either hotly contested (unwarranted) or outright wrong (inexplicable). You may not like the explanations, which is fine, but they are there. Oh, and sovereign, really? Yeah, I guess. If only we'd shown proper respect for the sovereign rights of the Hussein family and the Ba'ath party. What cads we are.
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Destineer
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quote:

No. The comparison falls apart almost immediately after even a brief examination. As for your point about equivalencies, true, but if there's commonalities in many things, why pick the Holocaust?

Well, this is a thread about the Holocaust. And people who have blood on their own hands (via Iraq) were getting pretty sanctimonious about the role of Poles in the Holocaust.

quote:
Destineer, do you think that the deaths in Auschwitz and the deaths in Iraq occurred in an analogous manner?
No, what I meant was that the involvement of US civilians and Polish civilians was the same: sitting by when many of them could have done something to have at least a small impact.

quote:
Or how about this: Do you think that Americans in WW2 were complicit in the deaths of German innocents in a similar way, and to a similar extent, as the average WW2-era Pole was complicit in the deaths at Auschwitz?
Since the US participation in WW2 was morally justified, no.
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Destineer
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The moral I draw from this, by the way, is that it's very hard not to be morally bad in the way a lot of European civilians were bad during WW2. I don't think it says that much one way or another about a nation's character (or a person's) when they do the easy thing and stand by while the proverbial Other gets killed. I've certainly done it. I'm sure I'll do it again, the next time the US works up the gumption to do something really nasty.

ETA: That's not to say there wasn't a lot of anti-Semitism in Poland back then. That fact does say something about their character. But I doubt it's the most important factor in explaining why they let Auschwitz happen. The main explanation, rather, is that they're pretty much just like everybody else. They let bad things happen, because that's the safe, easy choice.

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Rakeesh
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*snort* Some people? Anyway, I didn't realize 'blood on hands' was the only qualifier needed to start rating comparisons with Nazis. Geeze, who knew the bar was so low?

Anyway, if you think the comparison was made only because it was incidental to the thread's topic and not intentionally for additional shock and smugness value, well, we'll simply have to disagree then. Doesn't fit with Holocaust comparisons like that I've seen before-almost as a rule, any likening of modern political events to the Holocaust is a cheap political ploy-or the poster in question. Think what you like.

quote:
No, what I meant was that the involvement of US civilians and Polish civilians was the same: sitting by when many of them could have done something to have at least a small impact.
Yes, except the things each group 'sat by' were radically different. In the former case, the things being done were much less awful or even good in many cases, IMO, with a much higher rate of personal responsibility; in the latter case the things done were much worse, but also with a much lower level of personal responsibility.

Which is *another* reason the comparison is a bad, deeply flawed on. The only actual commonality you've got is civilian deaths, and even then they're a poor comparison considering the reasons they occurred-even if you grant the worst possible reasons.

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Destineer
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quote:
Anyway, if you think the comparison was made only because it was incidental to the thread's topic and not intentionally for additional shock and smugness value, well, we'll simply have to disagree then. Doesn't fit with Holocaust comparisons like that I've seen before-almost as a rule, any likening of modern political events to the Holocaust is a cheap political ploy-or the poster in question. Think what you like.
How else is one supposed to make the point that those who are criticizing Poles for letting the Holocaust happen have also let very bad things happen on their watch? Is that sort of point entirely out of order, just because our recent crimes have been significantly less harmful?

quote:
Yes, except the things each group 'sat by' were radically different. In the former case, the things being done were much less awful or even good in many cases, IMO
As you've acknowledged already, your O and mine are pretty different on this issue. But I agree with you that Iraq was less bad, and the responsibility of individual Americans was overall a bit more per capita.

quote:

Which is *another* reason the comparison is a bad, deeply flawed on. The only actual commonality you've got is civilian deaths, and even then they're a poor comparison considering the reasons they occurred-even if you grant the worst possible reasons.

It's flawed in some ways, apt in others. All I'm trying to say is that the way I sat by during the Iraq war has helped me somewhat to understand how Europeans let the Holocaust, and other bad things, happen in the 30s and 40s. And that's why I don't judge the Poles of that time any more harshly than I judge myself now.
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Samprimary
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I'm definitely not in the 'sanctimonious about Poles' camp but seriously the attempt to make actions like auschwitz analagous to the iraq invasion in terms usable for this conversation is just really, really dumb.
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