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I wasn’t *100%* tongue in cheek when I predicted that Russia will be held responsibile for the Holocaust by handshakeworthy Western opinion-setters by midcentury.

It seems that I was hardly alone in this sentiment amongst my followers.

This idea – that the Soviet-Russian genocide of the Jews under Russian nationalist Jughashvili is predestined to be the great synthesis to the neoliberal thesis and the Alt Right antithesis – that this will be the ultimate horseshoe will resolve the ideological contradictions that are currently wracking the West – seems to be catching hold in the United States, at least going by anecdotal Twitter observations.

So far as Western elites – Jewish or Gentile – are concerned, there really is no reason not to push through with this values shift, especially as the technical/political means for effecting it come within sight.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Holocaust, Russophobes, Western Media 
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  1. I can imagine dumb people believing it; but I can’t imagine it becoming a 1984-style “Eurasia always at war with Eastasia” official truth.

  2. David says:

    These anecdotes seem like BS to me. At best, not quality sources. Can we get a quote from Borat?

  3. Mr. Hack says:
    @reiner Tor

    Nowadays you can find just about any idea being floated around, and somebody who believes in it. I don’t understand why Karlin thinks that this one will find some wings to fly by, and wastes his time?…

    • Replies: @Other Side
  4. I just got my haircut at a typical interior of the country outlet mall haircut salon, where I had a 300 pound middle age woman convinced Russians spoke German, and had committed the Holocaust in WW2. She said “I just hate seeing pictures of the Holocaust” without any prompting.

    To many Americans, every European language besides their own apparently sounds like German.

    One time during my stay in the US I was talking to a colleague and a black woman approached us and asked us whether it’s German that we’re speaking. I told her “no, we’re speaking Bulgarian” and of course she hadn’t heard of it, but informed me that it sounds very much like German (it doesn’t).

    She was friendly though, and did not accuse me of the holocaust or anything.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  5. Americans have no idea what German sounds like. I blame Hollywood.

  6. Americans are a special people. The number of them who reply to “I’m part Austrian” with “OMG, I loved Sydney” makes me believe this will be accepted as gospel truth within 24-36 months.

  7. Was talking with a cousin, American, who told me his antisemitic grandfather believes the Germans shipped the Jews to Stalin who then murdered them.

    The Germans did ship Jews to “the East” i.e. Russia. It is unlikely Stalin wanted them, but whether he murdered them, no one knows.

    The comedy of Russia doing the Holocaust doesn’t hold a candle to the tragedy that there are still people who think it actually happened.

  8. Matra says:

    Poland is a much more likely candidate for sharing in Holocaust blame than Russia. The questionable anecdotes above are nothing compared to the demands and threats we are starting to see directed at Poland from Israel itself.

  9. Why am I not surprised? This won’t be any more untrue than 95% of the “news” spread by Western MSM. Goebbels was right, the lies must be big (German: große Lüge). “Liberal” propagandists are his straight A students.

  10. Wow, now I feel marginally internet famous. Though I doubt Russian responsibility for the Holocaust will ever quite reach official status, the idea spreading among the ignorant and the feckless seems like a real possibility. After all, who created the Protocols?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  11. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    Agreed. This reads like a failure of the American education system*; a stupid and ignorant person lazily conflates various things marked as “Bad” in her mental model of the world. American/Western elites prevaricate and equivocate; they don’t do this sort of blatant untruth.

    *Assuming these anecdotes are even true, which most likely they are not.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  12. @𝕯𝖊𝖗 𝕬𝖇𝖊𝖓𝖉𝖑𝖆̈𝖓𝖉𝖊𝖗

    The protocols were crudely manufactured by the Tsarist secret service in Russia, with a lot of plagiarism from earlier documents. So, what? Lots of people still swallow them hook, line, and sinker. Considering how many ridiculous lies humans believed for thousands of years, this is hardly surprising.

  13. @Anonymous

    American/Western elites prevaricate and equivocate; they don’t do this sort of blatant untruth.

    Were you in a coma for the last ~50 years? “Comrade Ogilvy”-style blatant lies are a staple in most Western MSM. Just one example: if you believe Western news, Aleppo in Syria had more hospitals that the rest of the world, and they all have been bombed by Russia more than once.

  14. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I anticipated this type of response, although I thought the example would be “WMDs in Iraq.” Kudos for your originality.

    Saying that Russia was responsible for the Holocaust is not just a distortion or exaggeration or exploiting ambiguity; it is reversing one of the most well-established facts in modern history, with a century’s worth of meticulous documentation not to mention extensive propaganda having already been marshaled to support it. Ideologically it’s the equivalent of going down the highway at 80 MPH and suddenly throwing your car in reverse. Assad killing civilians (or showing indifference to civilian life) isn’t wildly out of character for him or for that region in general. There is no comparison between the two.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  15. Anon[330] • Disclaimer says:

    Well if you can’t blame Bandera, who else are you going to blame.

  16. anonymous[113] • Disclaimer says:

    As previous anon said, turnaround in the Holocaust myth would be too far fetched. If Holocaust ceases to serve its purpose, it would be just quietly sidelined and forgotten. Imagine Holocaust movies and literature gathering dust, Holocaust memorials and museums abandoned, overgrown by weeds and covered in graffitti and trash.

    If West wanted to play more hardball, it could just reopen the September 1999 blasts and the Polish presitential plane crash. These things happened in living memory and can be blamed on Putin personally.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_apartment_bombings
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Polish_Air_Force_Tu-154_crash
    In Poland it is already widely believed that Putin did it.

    Now, better question is how can Russia use conspirology for its advantage. What kind of conspiracy theories shall Russia promote to bring the West on its knees?
    Holocaust hoax? Moon landing hoax? 9/11 truth? Lizards?
    Discuss, please.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  17. @Anonymous

    Yes, blaming Stalin for the holocaust (real or grossly exaggerated) would be a major contortionist act, but I wouldn’t put this past globalist propaganda: the Empire is desperate, so anything goes.

    I agree that killing people in their own or other countries is a norm for the ME rulers. But there are shades of gray. Say, “our dear friends the Saudis” do it publicly at home (with a curved sword, like ISIS) and on a mass scale in Yemen. They might have even surpassed Israel in the number of civilian murders, hard to tell. Islamists in Syria are not far behind. The staunchest Assad supporters now are Syrians who lived under Islamist rule: compared to them, he is an angel, and his regime is a godsend.

    Of course, Iraq WMDs (and the tube with laundry detergent Powell was shaking at the UN) became memes. But the lies about Aleppo are just as gross, like subsequent lies about “chemical attacks” in Duma and elsewhere. Or about Skripals, or about popular support of that pathetic Guaido personage in Venezuela, or about executions of NK functionaries, etc. There is no shortage of blatant lies spread by the globalist propaganda of the Empire.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  18. Pericles says:

    Poland seems a likely near-term candidate for a bit of lucrative holocaust blackmail. If I were the PM of Poland, I’d in reply take the opportunity to close Auschwitz and the rest indefinitely for renovations. Say ten years or so, or at least until these foreign attacks cease. Perhaps it turns out to be difficult to collect the funds even. Anyway, at some point, Poland can consider what to do. I already know what I would suggest.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  19. anonymous[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Yes, blaming Stalin for the holocaust (real or grossly exaggerated) would be a major contortionist act, but I wouldn’t put this past globalist propaganda: the Empire is desperate, so anything goes.

    It seems that bashing Soviet Union is now, thirty years after its fall, getting on steam – check the Chernobyl series, the Holodomor movie, the Death of Stalin movie etc.
    I predict we will, in the coming years, see deluge of movies about Stalin, purges, gulags, famines, brute Russian hordes raping, torturing and killing across Europe etc.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  20. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Imo it’s better to stick to criticisms that have some substance to them; conspiracies are just a modern form of superstition and equally as corrosive and self defeating. If I were creating propaganda against the West (i.e., America) on behalf of Russian authorities I would focus on things like racial tensions, corrupt carceral justice system (Butina can be “exhibit A”) and the paradox of growing Puritanism along with the excesses of the various “sexual liberation” movements. Focus on phenomena that are more widespread in America than in Russia and that the average person will find repellent. You’ll have no shortage of examples.

    Wealth inequality and military adventurism are the traditional lines of attack against America but coming from the Russian state you risk the charge of hypocrisy.

  21. @anonymous

    Nothing would surprise me. The Empire is running scared. After all, we all know that Putin personally killed off the dinosaurs, poisoned Socrates, crucified Christ, and (for the educated sheeple) burned Giordano Bruno.

  22. mal says:

    Well, I dont know about the Holocaust, but according to New York Times, Putin is an Hitler Nazi spreading anti-semitism in order to enrich corrupt Russian oligarchs such as Vekselberg, Rotenberg, and Abramovich. And New York Times is never wrong.

    With this knowledge, I propose two things:

    1. Drinking game. Take a drink every time US government sanctions a Jew under Russian sanctions.

    2. If your liver is still functioning, sue the US government for anti-semitism and discrimination. Seriously, in 10 years, US government will accumulate a hit list that would do a 1930’s Germany proud.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  23. @AnonFromTN

    Well, you just proved the man’s point.

  24. @Spisarevski

    One time during my stay in the US I was talking to a colleague and a black woman approached us and asked us whether it’s German that we’re speaking. I told her “no, we’re speaking Bulgarian” and of course she hadn’t heard of it, but informed me that it sounds very much like German

    Ahahahah….brilliant. Illustrates every stereotype about Americans (and blacks in particular).

    • Replies: @AP
  25. @reiner Tor

    America is the country that gave birth to the classic axiom, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    In America, all things are possible!

  26. LondonBob says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It has not been proven that the Protocols were Tsarist forgeries, in fact the attempted debunkings are distinctly lacking. US Military Intelligence certainly viewed them as being worthy of investigation due to their accurate forecast of Bolshevik behaviour and future events. Indeed the Protocols only became well known after the Bolshevik revolution.

    http://mailstar.net/toolkit.html

  27. @AnonFromTN

    Let’s not forget about those unscrupulous Japs, who attacked our base at Pearl Harbor without any provocation by Roosevelt’s government whatsoever!

    But I digress 🙂

  28. LondonBob says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It has not been proven that the Protocols were Tsarist forgeries, in fact the attempted debunkings are distinctly lacking. US Military Intelligence certainly viewed them as being worthy of investigation due to their accurate forecast of Bolshevik behaviour and future events. Indeed the Protocols only became well known after the Bolshevik revolution.

    http://mailstar.net/toolkit.html

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  29. @LondonBob

    You are forgetting that “military intelligence“ is a contradiction in terms.

  30. AP says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I”ve been asked by white people from Arkansas if they speak German in Russia.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  31. Beckow says:
    @Pericles

    Poland is a Western ally – as all allies Poland will have to pay. Russia is an enemy so it has to be demonized. (Russia was offered a choice to be an ally and pay its share, but they turned it down.)

    The uncomfortable chasm in the Western ideology must be fixed: Germans being a key ally conflicts with the WWII-Holocaust business. As I have been saying for a while: Russia is literally the only available white evil enemy, there is no other choice.

    The current WWII narrative is at a cross-purpose with the Western alliance ideology, it has to change. Culture has already been working in stories of Russian brutality and German humanity (see they are like us), slowly shading the actual history to prepare for the day when Russians – with some help from a mentally ill guy named Hitler – unleashed aggression on the European civilisation and occupied half of Europe. They might already be teaching that as official history in Polish schools.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Pericles
  32. yeah i’m not sold on this possibly becoming part of the Official Narrative once democrats take permanent control of the US.

    it’s true germany itself is about just permanently neutralized, and that there is limited mileage remaining for leftists to beat europeans and european americans over the head about nazi germany much longer. especially since people under 30 with the internet are starting to get wise to jewish propaganda tactics.

    it’s also true that western leftists have to think up a way to make Russia! Russia! Russia! the zeitgeist, since russia remains stubbornly anti-globohomo and even worse, prefers to remain russian. they still have a target to destroy. 100 million russians who aren’t swallowing fresh nigerian semen like the swedish ‘men’ do today.

    but it could definitely could become something that dumb people believe though. like the CIA invented crack, or reagan invented AIDS. you know russians killed the jews, right? shipped them straight to siberia. they’re the lowest of the low.

  33. @Mr. Hack

    Because he needs something … anything to flood this site with .

  34. Anon[658] • Disclaimer says:

    The best part is the Judaists are now pushing the poles off the edge by demanding approx. $300 billion in “Holocaust” reparations vis-a-vis evacuee properties left behind by those poor “fleeing” Juus.

    And cucked USA was forcing the poles to pay the money to Israel. I just hope Israel pushes it more while the white nationalists there take an even firmer stand (they were protesting outside the US embassy). This would redpill a lot of people on the JQ

    • Replies: @Pericles
  35. SFG says:

    FWIW, whatever our current geopolitical rumbles with Russia I make sure and bring up the Russian role in defeating Adolf every chance I get. It’s underappreciated here in the USA where Hollywood movies make it look like America won the war every time. You tell people about the Russian death toll, their eyes really open.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  36. notanon says:

    the great synthesis to the neoliberal thesis and the Alt Right antithesis

    i can imagine a synthesis happening but imo the more likely synthesis is evangelical “Jews can do no wrong” ideology combined with holocaust revisionism which has gone semi-mainstream online – so i’d be interested to see how many of these people are evangelicals.

    (i mean those coming to this synthesis on their own simply by breathing in the zietgas – if it became official propaganda most people could end up believing it)

    personally my synthesis is it happened but in the bombed out basements of Stalingrad, Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov etc and not in the camps (except typhus at the end).

  37. @AP

    A white guy who was studying German told me Hungarian sounds like German. No one else told me that, but maybe a native English speaker who has heard both could chime in?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @AP
    , @Matra
    , @Yevardian
  38. @reiner Tor

    Gay “marriage” and crossdressers in women’s bathrooms were also impossible, right up to the moment they became mandatory. You don’t live in a sane or free society. Everything is possible.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  39. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    Best explanation I can offer is that languages where words often end in consonants sound similar to each other (cf. Romance languages where a lot of words seem to end in -a and -o and -i; probably there’s a linguistic term for this). Americans in general have so few interactions with speakers of any non-Spanish foreign languages that very few would be able to discriminate between them with good resolution. I visited Budapest but honestly didn’t hear enough spoken Hungarian to really form an opinion; I can say that having just been in Munich and Vienna I found German far simpler to read and could commit a few basic phrases to memory, which I really couldn’t do in Hungarian. For me Hungarian rivaled Japanese in its utter foreignness and my mind’s inability to remember even simple things like the names of subway stops. Maybe I’m just a brainlet.

  40. @anonymous coward

    Gay “marriage” and crossdressers in women’s bathrooms were also impossible, right up to the moment they became mandatory.

    Legally recognized (equivalent to marriage in all but name) same-sex cohabitation was legalized in Scandinavia in the early 1990s. It became an issue of the hard left in the US in the 00s. By the time it became legalized, it was openly supported by – among others – the POTUS. Anyway, it never required a 180 degree turn in propaganda. Pro-homosexuality propaganda from the left started as early as the 1950s, and it never stopped.

    Currently there are hundreds of movies about the Germans holocausting the Jews, for example right before Schindler’s List ends, a Soviet soldier arrives and declares to the survivors that they had been liberated by the Red Army. Hilarity ensues. You cannot show precedents to such degree of change in history.

    But, whatever.

  41. JL says:

    A lot depends on how geopolitics play out over the next few decades, but I think this type of trope is definitely possible in the US, where ignorance of even basic history is rife, though much less so in Europe. It would be a gradual process and, really, Poland’s demonization could just be the start as the guilt wave travels East. First, we’d hear that the Russians let it happen, then, that they were complicit, followed by “they done did it”. I’ve heard, in the past few years, the following phrases from college educated Americans:

    “Most of the Soviet citizens killed in WWII were Ukrainians.”

    “Stalin killed the Jews.”

    The ignorance and gullibility of the general American public is one of the main reasons for our current state of affairs, underestimate these, and their danger, at your own risk.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AP
  42. @JL

    What could happen is

    – Stalin’s anti-Semitism will be blown out of all proportions (it already is; so that Jews could claim double victimhood, while no one will talk about their culpability in Bolshevism)

    – the role of collaborators anywhere will be blown out of all proportions (despite the simple fact that no German occupation, no mass murder of Jews anywhere except maybe in Romania, and even there German influence was decisive)

    – conveniently ordinary Russians and ordinary people in the occupied countries will be identified with the handful of real perpetrators, both Nazi collaborators and communists

    – Germany will be assumed to have been a nearly democratic government, as if it wasn’t a totalitarian dictatorship (and thus all Germans will share the blame as “Hitler’s willing executioners”)

    – thus the roles of Stalinism, collaborators, Nazis and the German, Russian, occupied countries’ public will become indistinguishable

    It has largely already happened on the level of middlebrow historians (like Goldhagen) and opinion columns in the media.

    However, real historians’ writings paint a rather different picture. As historians like Richard J. Evans show, even the German public under the Nazis was rather reluctant and coerced into cooperation by a small and largely self-selected Nazi elite, and coercion was even higher in the occupied countries as well as in the USSR under communism. But these things get lost in opinion columns and middlebrow historians’ writings.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Yevardian
  43. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Maybe in naive peoples’ minds German is just the “default” language for non-Spanish, spoken by white people. Or there is a vague idea from the world wars that German is what the enemy speaks, Russians are hostile, thus Russians are German-speakers.

    I just thought of a line from the Boney M song Rasputin:

    https://genius.com/Boney-m-rasputin-lyrics

    He ruled the Russian land and never mind the Tsar
    But the kazachok he danced really wunderbar

    I guess Jamaicans also assume Russians are German-speaking?

    • Agree: Adam
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  44. AP says:
    @JL

    American ignorance is charming and reflects a safe, provincial way if life, like that of hobbits in their Shire. But it is well-suited for an isolationist power that doesn’t act beyond its hemisphere, not for a democracy whose elected rulers dominate the glove.

    • Agree: reiner Tor, JL
  45. @AP

    AP, I traveled with the Railjet from Vienna to Budapest. It was way worse than last time, very old train cars (though relatively clean), and even there was a Gypsy guy asking for money and then returning for stupid questions like what is going to be the next stop. (Kicked off by the conductor at the first stop, but he told me he’s a regular, always without a ticket. Somehow he’s never arrested. Though not violent, only steals, never robs. He knows the difference in the penal code…) It was more of a nuisance, but I’m pretty sure the bus is actually better.

    • Replies: @AP
  46. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Thanks! I actually bought bus tickets because the timing was more convenient. But I’ll be taking a train back from Vienna at the end of the trip.

  47. Pericles says:
    @Beckow

    I still see Russians as fundamentally cynical enough not to fall for such claims, so they will at best be limited to holocaust-sensitive audiences (hello!). The Cold War era also seems very cold at this point, but prepare your counter-narrative in time. (“Hey, did you know that the oligarchs who plundered Russia after the Cold War were all Jews who subsequently moved to London?” “Did you know the Harvard professor who organized the plundering, Andrei Shleifer, was a Jew too?” “What would you say if I told you the ‘Russian mafia’ in Brooklyn after the Cold War were actually …”)

    It might also be a plot twist too far for Globoholohomo to suddenly make the Germans the good guys. The remaining audience could well lose interest at such a blatant face-turn (IMO not a moment too soon).

  48. Pericles says:
    @Anon

    The best part is the Judaists are now pushing the poles off the edge by demanding approx. $300 billion in “Holocaust” reparations vis-a-vis evacuee properties left behind by those poor “fleeing” Juus.

    That’s the good reason to close Auschwitz and the rest. Back away or your little horror ride is getting it in the neck. Hey, and while the screeching is going on, take the opportunity to examine the grounds for human remains, ashes, etc. Who knows what will or will not be found.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  49. Beckow says:

    …a plot twist too far for Globohomo to suddenly make the Germans the good guys.

    Sure, it is a stretch. But the Western story lines are increasingly incoherent, often lack any grounding in reality, and depend on two things: selective, emotional cherry-picking and ignorance (or disinterest) of most people. You can sell a lot of dead horses that way.

    Germans don’t have to be good, the eventual narrative is to make them less visible. That’s not hard, over time ethnic Germans could indeed become largely invisible in real life too (Merkel saw to that).

    Russians are not the audience. Propaganda is aimed at one’s own people. What AK points out is that value shift is very important: state-sponsored myths and history must be in sync with the ideology and make-up of the society. Things that don’t fit are gradually removed and forgotten. Other things are introduced to take their place.

    In the past when stories didn’t fit, people died. I suspect the blatant nature of the current Western re-writing of WWII history could trigger estrangement and backlash. But having an incoherent story is also not good for the West, switching enemies is tricky. Russia is clearly an ideal enemy – there is no other possible white, evil, resources-rich enemy in our universe. Western ideology has to reflect the available choices.

  50. Matra says:
    @reiner Tor

    Hungarian and German sound completely different to my Anglo ears. The anecdotes above about Americans and the German language are just bizarre. I’ve heard people say German and Dutch sound similar but that’s it.

  51. anonymous[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pericles

    That’s the good reason to close Auschwitz and the rest.

    No. That is the good reason to credibly threaten to leave NATO. Nothing less will suffice.

  52. Yevardian says:
    @reiner Tor

    This reminds of the spat between Norman Finkelstein and Goldhagen a while ago, even though Finkelstein and a dozen other historians shat all over the book, its effect on public opinion remained permanent. Most working people don’t have the time or interest to follow such things closely.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler%27s_Willing_Executioners

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nation_on_Trial

    There was another one, “Hitler’s Secret Bankers”, which certainly had a longterm negative impact on Switzerland, though iirc that book contained quite shoddy scholarship as well.

    The industry is still going strong I see. I don’t normally post on this topic because it just brings out the worst commenters on this site, but some of this stuff is pretty amusing.

    http://www.claimscon.org/survivor-services/helpcenters/

    http://holocaustreparations.com/services/

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/03/holocaust-survivors-grandchildren-inherited-trauma
    (“3rd Generation Survivor”, lol)

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2015/04/25/third-generation-holocaust-survivors-to-sue-second-generation-holocaust-survivors-for-stealing-millions-from-first-generation-holocaust-survivors-alan-dershowitz-to-represent-all-three-generations/
    (a choice one here)

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  53. Yevardian says:
    @reiner Tor

    I don’t hear any resemblance whatsoever.
    The only language that sounds even vaguely similar to Hungarian for me is Turkish, probably because of similar vowels. I remember when I first saw Sátántangó (I saw the whole thing in one sitting, during a brief NEET phase after finishing school) as a teenager, for the first 2 hours or so I was scratching my head trying to guess what the hell they were speaking (Basque? Finnish? Albanian? ..nah) until I remembered it was Hungarian.

    Or there is a vague idea from the world wars that German is what the enemy speaks, Russians are hostile, thus Russians are German-speakers.

    I’ve heard this from a few people (who know nothing of either) too, characterising both as ‘harsh’, though personally I think uneducated Spanish or French speakers possess the ugliest examples of European languages. Though that’s nothing compared to fingernails-on-blackboard sounds of Vietnamese or any dialect spoken in India.

  54. @Yevardian

    Finkelstein is not really a historian, let alone mainstream historian, though. Richard J. Evans is, which is why his opinions and books are more relevant as to what mainstream historical research thinks about the responsibilities of the German, Polish, Ukrainian, etc. peoples (as opposed to the actual perpetrators), and mainstream historians’ opinion is way more nuanced than that of Goldhagen.

    Goldhagen was similarly criticized by people like Christopher Browning, who actually holds a rather nuanced opinion even about the perpetrators themselves. Basically, only a small percentage of the perpetrators were eager to commit the crimes, the vast majority was reluctant, but let itself be pressured into it by as simple things as peer pressure and a sense of camaraderie (where they perceived mass murder as an extremely unpleasant job which the unit had to do, and by not engaging in it, they basically shifted it to their comrades, who then had to murder that many more people – so it was perceived as a kind of freeloading), even in the absence of any strong pressure. There were other issues at play. The soldiers had the option to volunteer for the hell of the Eastern Front, but for obvious reasons not everyone was eager for that. Browning cites the example of an officer who always came down with symptoms of stomach illness whenever he was ordered to command mass murder. Because he was a committed Nazi, he tried to force himself to do this extremely horrible “job” (once even ordered his bed to be carried to the scene of a mass murder), but eventually volunteered for the Eastern Front, where he distinguished himself and received several medals for personal courage. (He didn’t survive the war.) For this guy, risking (and eventually sacrificing) his life at the Eastern Front was the easier task, but he tried to force himself to do the more difficult job of killing women and children (which he found extremely difficult, as his illnesses appear to be 100% psychosomatic), because doing the job you are given (whatever it may be) was an even higher value than fighting at the front in the perverse Nazi universe.

    This perception of mass murder being a very hard job for normal people was shared by members of the top leadership (like Himmler, who famously fainted when observing a mass shooting). Hitler himself seems to have been of the view that being ice-cold was needed for a political leader (and his underlings), and that he himself made very difficult (but nevertheless necessary) decisions. He tried to fully insulate himself from the gory details to make it easier for himself carrying this heavy responsibility.

    Nazis (the leadership) didn’t actually like those perpetrators who were eager to participate in mass murder. Many mass shooters who were believed by their superiors to have been “brutalized” were sent to fight partisans, where they tried to send them to the most difficult spots to ensure that as few of them as possible survived.

    Having read lots of holocaust historiography, I came to the conclusion that of history’s mass murderers, Nazis were almost unique in that killing lots of peoples disturbed them and they found it difficult. I’m not sure if that makes them more normal people (see, they weren’t fully psychopathic), or if it increases their responsibility (because, after all, they knew what they were doing was deeply wrong).

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  55. @reiner Tor

    Nazis were almost unique in that killing lots of peoples disturbed them

    Though probably lots of commies had problems there. Khrushchev is an obvious example. By the end of WW2, he totally lost his appetite for mass murder. He kept begging Stalin to alleviate to effects of the 1946 famine, and in his memoirs he compared communist crimes to “fascist” (i.e. Nazi) crimes.

    • Replies: @JL
  56. nebulafox says:
    @SFG

    The Chinese death toll, too. You know you are dealing with something horrific if it manages to make the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution look comparatively benevolent.

  57. JL says:
    @reiner Tor

    Nazis were almost unique in that killing lots of peoples disturbed them

    I found your comment fascinating, but this particular conclusion seems somewhat implausible (that the Nazis were unique in this respect). Perhaps this is merely a result of the Nazis’ actions being relatively well documented and subsequently studied? The history of the officer with the mysteriously timed illnesses is striking in its detail. I imagine there have been studies done by someone comparing different mass murderers, and their mindsets, both before and after the Nazis.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  58. @JL

    I already mentioned that among commies there were examples of having a bad conscience about their earlier deeds. There are other examples, for example Timur once ordered the survivors (mostly women and children) from a particular city to be buried to the neck in the ground, and then trampled to death by the mounted warriors. His warriors were grumbling about it, though, because they thought that enough blood had already been spilled, and they wanted to leave the survivors alone. At the end Timur himself rode his horse to trample the people, after which the warriors (or some of them) reluctantly followed him.

    However, Nazis are truly unique in that they went to great lengths to avoid the strain of actually murdering people, which is why they created the “unnatural” method of killing in death camps by gas chambers. The communists certainly had the ability to do so (and they created the first gas vans), but all in all they weren’t disturbed enough by mass murder (or maybe because it was much slower? but there are also no signs of them caring for the problem at all) that they never standardized such industrial methods.

    Earlier mass murderers obviously never had the technology to create gas vans or large gas chambers.

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