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Author Topic: Discussions of the Holocaust  (Read 4877 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2011, 09:24:32 AM »
Have you considered Maus?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus

I'd likewise forgotten about that one.

Offline Wyrd

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2011, 01:49:29 PM »
Agree it doesn't make sense with those Soviet/Russian soldiers and civilians who were killed in action or simply murdered by the SS, to write those many millions of deaths on Stalin's bill. Hitler was clearly out not just to exterminate the Jews but to kill as many Slavs as he could: in the eyes of the Nazis the Russians, Czechs and Poles were of an inferior race.

Stalin may have been a very poor strategist sometimes but he was not intent on making the German army kill as many Russians as possible. And the Soviet regime was not genocidal or racist in its basic premises. It didn't act on plans for true extermination of particular peoples or religions.

If a dictator has people imprisoned or sent to camps, then he's ultimately responsible for their fate, so there is little distinction between killing people and deliberately letting them die of neglect or in the war.
The gap between high and low estimates is enormous. At the upper end one gets estimates ranging from about 40-60 million or even 100 million, at the lower end about 10-20 million. Clearly, there's ideological 'monkey business' at work. Until someone can reconcile these amazing discrepancies satisfactorily, and provide a very clear explanation of how the new figure is arrived at, it's impossible to say how many people Stalin had killed. 

Their was very many forced labor camps spread all across the USSR and all of them filled with people he saw as an enemy. The way I see it. Stalin is never seen as bad as Hitler because he was technically one of the Allies. 



Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2011, 05:57:39 PM »
Well Wyrd, your original post on the matter (which Lynette had quoted, and I in turn was picking up on her answer) referred not to persons held captive or executed by Stalin or in Siberia but to the soldiers who were killed or taken captive by the German army on the Eastern front. Let's go back:

Quote from: Wyrd
Plus, some 20 million Russian troops lost their lives in WW2. I think thats a bit more dire then the 8 million people who were killed by the Nazi's. If people want to learn the true face of the horrors of history, Joseph Stalin will always be a bigger monster then Hitler


Quote from: Lynette
Is it easier to think of millions of men being killed in battle or by General Winter or starvation, than the pre-planned and methodical genocide? The Nazi's efficiency is the horrific part for me and why, I am sad to admit, the Holocaust looms larger in my mind then any other genocide.

 Soldiers who died at the hands of the Germans and their allies, okay. These were millions, killed on the frontier or after they had surrendered, and the intention of the Germans with respect to Russia was clearly genocidal. Many Soviet soldiers who had been taken captive during Hitler's eastern crusade were actually sent to the extermination camps and gassed, sent to forced labour and perished there, or were shot on the spot. Millions of civilians were killed or made to starve to death by the German army too. I think its slightly obscene to pin he moral and political guilt for those deaths on the Soviet regime. Or to hint that they had nothing to fight for, because their own regime was every bit as rotten as Hitler's.

Maybe you're arguing that Stalin was such an incompetent military manager that he half-deliberately sold out his own troops to defeat and death. I'm no Stalin admirer but I still think that's a bizarre idea, a discussion about it doesn't belong in this thread though. I admit he killed some of his own generals on phoney accusations in the thirties but those guys were not really professionals in modern warfare - they were more old band leaders from the civil war in 1918-20 who had received the title of general as an honour, and they wouldn't have been of much use when Hitler invaded with armour shocks and airplane strikes or in the planning for such options. Stalin knew Hitler was going to invade, even though he missed out on the date.

Actually, if the Soviets hadn't stood up to Hitler, D-Day would have been impossible. For three years, between June 1941 and June 1944, the Red Army were the only major combatant that actually put its forces face to face with Hitler's on European soil (excepting Italy 1943/44, but that was never a decisive theatre of war). They did it continuously, month after month, and they had to pay a huge price for it - but they also made the Germans pay over time. You can't win a war against an adversary who is anywhere near your own strength just by bombing or by trade blockade. If Stalin and the Soviets hadn't mowed down the Germans, there would have been no invasion in the West because Hitler would have been able to put so much more force there, and no allied victory at all. Roosevelt, Churchill and Eisenhower wouldn't even have attempted an invasion: they knew they couldn't take it on until there was a more than 50/50 chance of winning.

When it comes to overall numbers of people creditably killed by either tyrant, I used to hear that Hitler's genocide killed about 6 million Jews and 6 million other people (Russians, Poles, other Slavs, gypsies, HBTs) - most of them dying in occupied Poland and Russia, and some in German prisons and camps.You'll need to add political prisoners who died in camps and prisons, resistance fighters and hostages and so on, but let's say around 13 million not counting soldiers killed in action.

There are any number of figures of civilians who died "because of the regime" under Lenin and Stalin, from 2 million to 60 million, and few real authorities. A lot of it is guesswork and extrapolations; the Soviets didn't keep near as decent records of what they did as the Germans, plus they had much more time to remove records (or records getting lost) after the fact. Now, after essential records and testimonies go missing, the figures somebody is suggesting can be wrong in either direction, both too low and too high. Anne Applebaum, who has the reputation of a "Gulag expert", said in an interview I read that she would go for the highest numeric estimates possible because one had to assume the Soviets had been good at hiding their crimes and destroying evidence, and anyway it was an evil regime, so why bother to be methodic and cautious in your estimates? In her eyes we have a moral obligation to stick with those survivors, or people claiming to be standing on the shoulders of the dissidents, who call up the highest figures and make the iciest accusations. That's unscientific and propagandistic, and to me it proves that she has some axes she is grinding.

Solzhenitsyn makes no numeric estimates at all, he admits that there was no way of knowing - and he points out at the start of The Gulag Archipelago that he is not making a complete description of the camp system, that it would have been beyond even his powers. He implies the numbers of dead were very large, and he's probably right, but how large? Some of the really high-end estimates, like 20 to 50 million dead "because of Stalin and Lenin", throw in everything that happened which wouldn't plausibly have been the case in a peaceful and well-ordered Western European country at the same time - epidemics, civil war, famine - and credits it to Stalinist destruction and murder. That's not sensible either. Russia had huge problems and backwardnesses at the end of the tsarist era and there's seriously no guarantee that these would have been solved painlessly if only the communists hadn't come into power.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 08:25:53 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Wyrd

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2011, 06:15:01 PM »
*Throws in his towel*

I'm done, you win. Okay? You're right
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 06:26:08 PM by Wyrd »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2011, 06:34:38 PM »
*smiles*

As long as it's plain I'm not trying to exculpate the Stalin regime. I have no trouble calling him one of the worst tyrants ever, or to admit that some of the bones of that dictatorship stuck with the Soviet Union (never a real democracy) as long as it existed. It's the placing of it on the same level as Hitler I object to; to me that just devalues the evil of the Nazi regime and makes WW2 more of a "War of the Rings" - which it wasn't.

Btw I'm not going to volunteer for any discussion about the Soviet Union and the Western Allies during WW2, or about who was the most evil dictator. Those issues just don't belong on this board - not with me involved anyway.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 06:38:15 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Wyrd

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2011, 06:41:54 PM »
As long as you're smiling, thats all I care about.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2011, 06:56:18 PM »
*smiles*

As long as it's plain I'm not trying to exculpate the Stalin regime. I have no trouble calling him one of the worst tyrants ever, or to admit that some of the bones of that dictatorship stuck with the Soviet Union (never a real democracy) as long as it existed. It's the placing of it on the same level as Hitler I object to; to me that just devalues the evil of the Nazi regime and makes WW2 more of a "War of the Rings" - which it wasn't.

Btw I'm not going to volunteer for any discussion about the Soviet Union and the Western Allies during WW2, or about who was the most evil dictator. Those issues just don't belong on this board - not with me involved anyway.

Thing is GaggedLouise, Stalin killed MILLIONS before and after the 2nd World War. By command and direction. Some of the most drastic purges in history occurred behind the Iron Curtain. The Gulags out in Siberia and the 'exile cities' there as well. It is very hard to find anyone that knew Stalin from his rise to power because he had almost everyone that knew him for more than a few years KILLED. Very few, if any, of the men who knew him before he stepped up to power lived to see the beginning of the 2nd world war.

Without a doubt he was one of the direst and most evil men that lived and I shudder to think of the number of bodies that could be laid at his feet. I can almost assure you that it would be a lot more than those that could be laid at Hitler's 'final solution'.

Offline Branwen

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2011, 08:23:01 PM »
Why must we try to decide who was more evil, or depraved, or who had the highest body count?  What's important is that we remember the events and the people who suffered.  Please, don't try to diminish one group's sorrows on the back of another's. 

The book advice was wonderful.  Thank all of you.  I picked up Maus tonight and will give it to my student tomorrow.  I hope she, well not enjoys, but learns from it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2011, 08:39:11 PM »
Why must we try to decide who was more evil, or depraved, or who had the highest body count?  What's important is that we remember the events and the people who suffered.  Please, don't try to diminish one group's sorrows on the back of another's. 

The book advice was wonderful.  Thank all of you.  I picked up Maus tonight and will give it to my student tomorrow.  I hope she, well not enjoys, but learns from it.


Sorry didn't mean to list folks as 'most evil' but you got to admit that Stalin is one of the unlisted 'top 10'. There are a lot of them out there.


Offline Branwen

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2011, 09:01:13 PM »
I agree he was a truly evil human being who did unspeakable things to countless people.  Sadly, as you note, he's not alone in his infamy.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2011, 09:18:30 PM »
I agree he was a truly evil human being who did unspeakable things to countless people.  Sadly, as you note, he's not alone in his infamy.

What makes me sad is how stuff in Asian right now are mostly ignored. There have been YEARS of systemic purges and oppression in Burma and aside from the last Rambo movie..NOTHING has come up about it.

Offline Foxy Oni

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2011, 08:50:32 AM »
world war 2 was only bound to happen because of the idiot demands made by the french after world war 1. It collapsed Germany into a state of guilt slavery. The Deutsch mark seeing inflation figures of over 600% in some years. Add to that the '29 crash, and you get a people who'd follow anyone who'd provide food.

The severity of Germany's reparations is a myth the Nazis used to get power. Germany was given several decades to pay it off, the total amount was reduced to less than half of the original amount by the 1920's, and the victors agreed to suspend payments during the Great Depression. Cancelling war debts entirely was even considered at one point but shot down by the US. Germany was hurting economically but the cause wasn't reparations. The myth was a propaganda tool by the Nazis to bolster the idea that the Germans never did anything wrong. The Germans didn't lose WWI, they were stabbed in the back by the Jews.  Germany wasn't hurting because of a global depression combined with a mismanaged banking industry and hyperinflation caused by the fact it funded its action in WWI entirely through loans, it was because these other countries wanted too much money from them. It was all part of the list of excuses Hitler used to get power by making the people feel like nothing was their fault. If it wasn't, then why didn't WWII start in 1933 when Germany declared they wouldn't be making any more payments? Instead it began six years later with the German invasion of Poland, caused by Hitler's desire to surround Germany with puppet states and having nothing to do with reparations at all. 

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2011, 08:14:20 PM »
interisting point Oni, i didn't know that about the fact they funded their military machine in WW1 through loans, witch when managed badly, are always painful.
The holocaust and the entire war itself was a turning point in history, it stripped european cultures and inheritors of the sense of racial and imperial superority.
and did so by taking those ideas to their incredibly horrifying extreme.
it proved the utter ignorance, evil, and pain caused by race based policies and ideals
I persionally believe the Civil rights movement and de-colonilization would not have happened if not for the second world war. and unfortnately the holocaust the nazi's perpertrated, it was a wake up call to the western allies, and even on a subconsious level, made people look inward at themselves and reexamine their lives, nations, and how they treated each other.
phew rant over

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2011, 05:16:29 AM »
The decolonization got a mighty boost from the spectacular advances of Japan in 1941/42 too. Yes, the Japanese were brutal (just like the Europeans had been too, sometimes) but they proved there was nothing invincible or given from above about Western domination.
Then when you had Communist China on the heels of that it made the point with big exclamation marks. A generation or two before China had looked like a derelict country that would be cut apart into colonies or spheres of influence under a number of Western nations plus Japan. By the fifties they were showing., like it or not, that they could hold their own and were fast getting ready to modernize the country.

Offline Serephino

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2011, 04:41:23 PM »
I think the Holocaust is just what people remember the most because it sticks out so much.  I remember in my 10th grade History class the teacher put up pictures of concentration camps on the wall.  Those were pretty gruesome, and the horrifying part was that all those people were killed simply because of their religion.

For some reason, people don't tend to think much about the casualties of war.  I mean, that's part of war, right?  Hundreds of thousands of Americans died in the American Civil War.  Why don't people consider that a tragedy? 

How many people were killed in the Crusades?  That too, was supposedly all in the name of religion.  Though, of course, that probably had something to do with power too.  But Pope Urban II urged the people to take back control of the Holy Land from those evil Islamic people. 

Then there were the Witch Burnings, and the Spanish Inquisition.  And as someone mentioned, all that happened in Asia. 

If you want to get more recent, look at what is happening in Africa.  I'm not quite clear on the specifics, but millions are being killed every year over power.  One group of people feel they are superior to another, therefore, they must wipe the other group out.  Sound familiar?  I think there is even a group over there that believes lighter skinned black people are better than dark skinned black people, so people are being slaughtered in the streets just because of their skin color.

The point is, human history is full of bloody and senseless atrocities.  How do you decide which was the worst?  What's the criteria of picking something you would change?  The Holocaust was horrible, I won't argue that, but is a mere tiny drop in the bucket of blood that's been spilled for no damned good reason.     

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2011, 01:15:56 AM »
What The Fuck... I knew africa was in trouble with all the inter tribal, inter cultural, and inter-Racial warfare and the horrific ways these wars were conducted...
but thinking about it just makes me think... what the fuck!!!

this may sound kinda stupid, but bare with me.
The European Union as a whole embraces racial equality, doing away with centuries of "Europeans are Superior" ideas. The United States does away with institionalized segration and rasicim. Now even electing an african american president. China and Russia just don't give a damn about race, and never did (they'll beat the shit out of you for opposing the government, not because of your skin color.)

Aparthid government is stripped of european support, and dissolves in Africa, South Africa flourishes.

Meanwhile the rest of the southern half of the contanant decends into a stagnent whirlpool of tribalisim, racisim, clinging tight to hatred over the color of one's skin and ancestors as a idology...

I repeat myself What The Fuck?

Offline MagicalPen

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2011, 07:50:10 PM »
The issue with the rest of Africa is that it isn't developed and communities remain tribal, with a lack of education and money in the region.

The history of Africa has long been like this. Between the Tse-tse fly and lack of fertile land, combined with some nasty natural predators, the region has never really been able to develop, unlike Europe which was able to develop due to fertile lands, lack of predators, etc. Sustainability is a key part to it - your population can't grow if you can't feed it. Even today, many regions of Africa are in famine. You can't develop a City let alone a country if you can't feed more then a few hundred people in a given area. Then you all the different tribes and religions, with centuries of conflict between each other.Its hard to develop in Jungle regions too, which a lot of Western Africa contains.

The Eastern Side of Africa  is more developed, but with crazy political turmoil (see Somalia). The Portuguese had colonized the area and there was lots of trade within the Indian Ocean. But with the Colonial wars etc the region devolved somewhat and hasn't really recovered.

Lack of education also factors into it - Albino Africans are killed because their limbs and blood are believed to be magical and capable of curing illness. Or that having sex with a virgin cures AIDS. It essentially keeps them in the dark ages.

There is no real solution to the African situation. The European Powers didn't help matters out when the formed countries that ignored tribal lands, which threw people who hated each other together in the same area instead of separating them.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2011, 10:47:22 PM »
ahhh i thought some areas were developed, I heard that one country over there finally got it's land fertile, but still relies on UN food aid, they got addicted to it back in the 70's and most of the modern tribesmen don't actually know how to farm.
and the lack of education is suprising there, I thought it was more educated in the western places.
the exploitation of africa is a serious problem, but there's no easy soloution to it, you are essencally facing dark age conditions.

Offline MagicalPen

Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2011, 10:29:36 AM »
Africa is probably the least educated place in the world. Most of the countries there are dirt poor or in some sort of Civil War, the education system is virtually non existent. The only developed countries in Africa are in the North - Egypt and Libya - but that has a lot to do with European Influences (and closeness) through the centuries. South of the Saharra, Africa is not doing so well. South Africa is well off, but it was occupied by the British for a long time who created the infrastructure etc.

Most of it is still Tribal. And dangerous. I had a friend who went to Kenya I believe. They went on a camping trip and their guides were armed with AK47s - and not because of the wild animals. You can have all the fertile land in the world but if you don't know how to farm, its not going to help. The Tribes are hunter/gatherers. If they had developed Farming, they wouldn't be tribal anymore as they'd be able to stay in one place and support a larger population through farming.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Discussions of the Holocaust
« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2011, 01:25:36 PM »
hmmm... the problem might be that when the euro's came and left the only nation that benifited in the long run was south africa.
I'm not going to start screaming "imperialists" the various warlords of africa toss that at each other and any forginers they don't like.
But most of Africa never seemed to get past the tribal phase of civilization till the europeans showed up, and even now most aren't getting past it.