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The differing views of the Holocaust
Transcript of The differing views of the Holocaust
To distinguish the differing views of the Holocaust (during, after, now) and tie it into memory sense, perception, and emotion including the ideas on whether or not our views became more or less extreme
To view the differing opinions between the United States, Germany, and other countries
Public support for Hitler had collapsed by the time of his death and few Germans mourned his passing. Most civilians and military personnel were too busy adjusting to the collapse of the country or fleeing from the fighting to take any interest. Germany itself suffered wholesale destruction, characterized as "Zero Hour".
48,000 of the 245,000 buildings in Berlin were destroyed.
1/3 of all private apartments were totally destroyed.
23% of industrial capacity was obliterated and the rest was dismantled for transportation by the Russians in the demontage (disassembly).
There were 75 million tons of rubble, which equated to 1/7 of all the rubble in Germany.
All electricity, gas and water supplies were destroyed: It was forbidden to wash one's whole body.
The transport network was badly destroyed:
The underground stations had been flooded and over 90 of them had been bombed.
The first buses resumed service on May 19.
50,000 victims of the air raids.
A further 4,000 died daily in August 1945, because of the cholera and diphtheria epidemics.
The population shrank and the demographics were significantly altered:
4.3 million lived in Berlin before the war, but only 2.8 million afterwards.
1/4 of the population were over 60.
1 in 10 was under 30.
16 women to every 10 men.
Stunde Null (May 8th, 1945)
Roughly 10 million Germans were either expelled from this territory or not permitted to return to it if they had fled during the war. The remainder of Germany was partitioned into four zones of occupation (United States, Soviet Union, France, and Britain)
After the German surrender, the International Red Cross was prohibited from providing aid such as food or visiting POW camps for Germans inside Germany. However, after making approaches to the Allies in the autumn of 1945 it was allowed to investigate the camps in the UK and French occupation zones of Germany, as well as to provide relief to the prisoners held there. On 4 February 1946, the Red Cross was permitted to visit and assist prisoners also in the U.S. occupation zone of Germany, although only with very small quantities of food.
"Nazis did not believe that all human life was sacred. They certainly did not believe that the lives of Jews were sacred, on the contrary they believed that every Jewish life, even a child, was a threat to the fatherland, the German Volk, and the human race, and had to be exterminated."-David Cesarani
Nazis believed that the Jews had acquired vast power, and that they had used this power in a malign way. It was the power of the Jews that had led to the Bolshevik revolution, it was the power of the Jews that had led to revolution in Germany, had stabbed the German Army in the back and had brought down Imperial Germany. In the Nazis’ world vision not only were the Jews a force for evil, a Manichean, demonic force for evil, but they had vast power, they had their hands on the levers of power. They had to be eliminated, they had to be deprived of that power, they had to be broken and then destroyed. To the Nazis the entire course of world history vindicated that interpretation of Jewish power.
In general, the older Germans are today, the more likely they are to hold anti-Semitic beliefs. One group, however, stands out from this general pattern – those born in the period 1925-34. Those who were aged between 11 and 20 when the war ended are much more anti-Semitic than one would expect given their age and general hatred of foreigners; they also have a higher share of committed anti-Semites than any other group
"Hardly a day passed by without at least one interviewee talking to me about the “rich Jews," the "shrewd Jews," the Israelis who eat Palestinians for breakfast on a daily basis, the "manipulating Jew," or anything else "Jew.""- Tuvia Tenenbom
Germans today are on average probably not much more anti-Semitic than other Europeans. At the regional level, however, there are considerable differences. We use data from the German Social Survey (ALLBUS) to examine attitudes towards Jews. The survey asks a battery of questions, such as “Do you think that Jews partly brought persecution in the 20th century on themselves?” Answers range from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).There are regional differences (at the district level) for answers to this question, based on the proportion of the population giving a score of 5, 6, or 7.
In some districts, only 8% feel that Jews are partly responsible for their own persecution; in others, some 38% of the population think so.
United States- During
US State Department policies made it very difficult for refugees to obtain entry visas. Despite the ongoing persecution of Jews in Germany, the State Department's attitude was influenced by the economic hardships of the Depression, which intensified grassroots antisemitism, isolationism, and xenophobia.
Xenophobia-intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.
Anti-Semitism- prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite.
During the era of the Holocaust, the American press did not always publicize reports of Nazi atrocities in full or with prominent placement. For example, the New York Times, the nation's leading newspaper, generally deemphasized the murder of the Jews in its news coverage. The US press had reported on Nazi violence against Jews in Germany as early as 1933. It covered extensively the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and the expanded German antisemitic legislation of 1938 and 1939. The nationwide state-sponsored violence of November 9-10, 1938, known as Kristallnacht (Night of Crystal), made front page news in dailies across the US as did Hitler's infamous prediction, expressed to the Reichstag (German parliament) on January 30, 1939, that a new world war would mean the annihilation of the Jewish “race.”
As early as July 2, 1942, the New York Times reported on the operations of the killing center in Chelmno, based on sources from the Polish underground. The article, however, appeared on page six of the newspaper. Although the New York Times covered the December 1942 statement of the Allies condemning the mass murder of European Jews on its front page, it placed coverage of the more specific information released by Wise on page ten, significantly minimizing its importance.
Of course, American anti-Semitism never approached the intensity of Jew-hatred in Nazi Germany, but pollsters found that many Americans looked upon Jews unfavorably. A much more threatening sign was the presence of anti-Semitic leaders and movements on the fringes of American politics, including Father Charles E. Coughlin, the charismatic radio priest, and William Dudley Pelley’s Silver Shirts.
Dr. Gerhart Riegner, the representative of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, learned what was going on from a German source. Riegner asked American diplomats in Switzerland to inform Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, one of America’s most prominent Jewish leaders, of the mass murder plan. But the State Department, characteristically insensitive and influenced by anti-Semitism, decided not to inform Wise.
Wise held a press conference on the evening of November 24, 1942. The next day’s New York Times reported his news on its tenth page. Throughout the rest of the war, the Times and most other newspapers failed to give prominent and extensive coverage to the Holocaust. During World War I, the American press had published reports of German atrocities that subsequently turned out to be false. As a result, journalists during World War II tended to approach atrocity reports with caution.
Although most Americans, preoccupied with the war itself, remained unaware of the terrible plight of European Jewry, the American Jewish community responded with alarm to Wise’s news. American and British Jewish organizations pressured their governments to take action. As a result, Great Britain and the United States announced that they would hold an emergency conference in Bermuda to develop a plan to rescue the victims of Nazi atrocities.
United States- After
The American public discovered the full extent of the Holocaust only when the Allied armies liberated the extermination and concentration camps at the end of World War II. And as historians struggled to understand what had happened, attention increasingly focused on the inadequate American response and what lay behind it. It remains today the subject of great debate.
By the 1970s and 1980s the Holocaust had become a shocking, massive, and distinctive thing: clearly marked off, qualitatively and quantitatively, from other Nazi atrocities and from previous Jewish persecutions, singular in its scope, its symbolism, and its world-historical significance.
President Truman supported more open immigration policy for Jewish DPs. Under authority of an executive order, between 1946 and 1948, 16,000 Jewish refugees entered the United States. With the passage of the Displaced Persons Act in 1948, Congress granted approximately 400,000 visas to immigrants above and beyond the existing quota system. 80,000 of these visas were issued to Jewish DPs.
The International Committee of the Red Cross did relatively little to save Jews during the Holocaust and discounted reports of the organized Nazi genocide, such as of the murder of Polish Jewish prisoners that took place at Lublin. At the time, the Red Cross justified its inaction by suggesting that aiding Jewish prisoners would harm its ability to help other Allied POWs. In addition, the Red Cross claimed that if it would take a major stance to improve the situation of those European Jews, the neutrality of Switzerland, where the International Red Cross was based, would be jeopardized.
United States- Now
About three-quarters (73%) of American Jews say remembering the Holocaust is an essential part of being Jewish, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey. Those surveyed also were asked about whether other aspects of Jewish life (such as observing Jewish law or being part of a Jewish community) were important to their Jewish identity. Only one of these eight other options, “leading an ethical life,” ranked almost as highly (69%) as “remembering the Holocaust.”
But "the Holocaust," as we speak of it today, was largely a retrospective construction, something that would not have been recognizable to most people at the time. To speak of "the Holocaust" as a distinct entity, which Americans responded to (or failed to respond to) in various ways, is to introduce an anachronism that stands in the way of understanding contemporary responses.
Now in many video games, you can kill Nazis, as they are seen as "monsters". This shows the negative connotation that comes to mind for many Americans regarding the past.
"The vast majority of Nazi shoot-em-ups portray the old Germans as soulless devils, devoid of any mind or sense of humanity. While that may be accurate relative to other groups of humans throughout history, it's probably not an entirely honest portrayal."
Americans who identify as a Neo-Nazi or as a post-WWII member of the National Socialist party, say they only use the politically-charged term “Nazi” to describe themselves because most Americans do not understand what a National Socialist is and would likely confuse the term with “some kind of Marxist ideology.”
While most Americans believe the goal for all Nazis is to eradicate all non-Aryans, or anyone who is not 100 percent of complete white-European descent, the ANP says its primary goal is to attain the Fourteen Words: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.”
Other Countries (Iran)- The idea of Holocaust Denial
2006: Iran's government sponsors a meeting of Holocaust deniers in Tehran cloaked as an academic conference called “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision.”
2005: In a speech broadcast on live television on December 14, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls the Holocaust a “myth.”
Questioning the Holocaust is explicitly or implicitly illegal in 17 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland.
1- In the Second World War, over 60 million people (at least 50 million civilians) lost their lives. They were all human beings. Why is it that only a select group of those who were killed have become so prominent and important?
2- If this event (Holocaust) happened, and if it is a historical event, then we should allow everyone to research it and study it. The more research and studies are done, the more we can become aware of the realities that happened. We still leave open to further studies absolute knowledge of science or math. Historical events are always subject to revisions, and reviews and studies…Why is it that those who ask questions are persecuted? Why is every word so sensitivity or such prohibition on further studies on the subject? Where as we can openly question God, the prophet, concepts such as freedom and democracy?
3- If this happened, where did it happen? Did the Palestinian people have anything to do with it? Why should the Palestinians pay for it now? Five million displaced Palestinian people is what I’m talking about. Over 60 years of living under threat. Losing the lives of thousands of dear ones. And homes that are destroyed on a daily basis over people’s heads. You might argue that the Jews have the right to have a government. We’re not against that. But where? At a place where their people were — several people will vote for them, and where they can govern. Not at the cost of displacing a whole nation. And occupying the whole territory.
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By: Skyler O'Brien