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View Diary: "Judenrat Jon" Stewart (235 comments)

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  •  in the real world (13+ / 0-)

    the kind of people who do the dirty work for authoritarian fascist regimes are sociopaths and/or authoritarian followers.

    I'm not sure which term fits Pamela Gellar best. I am sure that anyone with a need for people willing to do dirty work for tyrannies in her area will hire her at once if the occassion and the need arises.  As good a reason as any for her to keep her resume up to date.

    Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 01:01:52 AM PST

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    •  In the real world (9+ / 0-)

      those on the Judenraten were the leaders of their communities, bankers, merchants, professors. What you say is an unfortunate meme that is perpetuated in our society. You don't understand how fascist regimes work. Ordinary people of good will do their dirty work. Every person is a potential torturer. Understand that and live in greater fear of our fascists.

      That  said, those on the left like Mr. Stewart were more likely to be found in the bunkers than those on the right.

      People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

      by CarbonFiberBoy on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 08:23:24 AM PST

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      •  I want to enlarge on that horror a little more. (18+ / 0-)

        People have a hard time wrapping their minds around it. Everyone died. They were all killed. We tend to focus on the stories of the few survivors because we don't have the stories of the dead. Every survivor had a great story, which is the reason they were a survivor. The stories of the dead, not so much.

        The Judenrat were the governing bodies of the ghettos into which the Jews were herded when they were removed from their communities. Their primary concerns were the safety and health of the ghettos communities. They tried to help the widows and infirm, those less able to survive on their own. They tried to ensure equitable food and fuel distribution and to keep order in their communities. They eventually knew that everyone in their charge, and they themselves, would all be killed.

        I can't imagine a more horrible task, and I salute those who took it on, trying to maintain the dignity if their communities in the face of certain death and humiliation. May we have such courage if called upon.

        People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

        by CarbonFiberBoy on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 08:48:32 AM PST

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        •  In the Ghetto (7+ / 0-)

          I remember about 20 years ago, a gallery at Stanford had an exhibition of photos taken by a German soldier -- on leave -- of the Lodz Ghetto.  These were surreptitious pictures, taken a pain of potential execution for taking them.  

          What was striking to me, was the variety of the horror.  Some photos showed emaciated people in rags dying of starvation.  Some were of piles of emaciated corpses.  But other photos showed people healthy, not emaciated, in fine clothes.  What appeared to be yellow stars were pinned to the fine clothes.  

          I couldn't understand how such a disparity could exist in a relatively small, closed community.  What were those well-dressed people thinking and feeling when they walked past so many of their co-ghettoites -- probably the majority -- who were literally starving to death or already dead from malnutrition?  How could they justify to themselves their position?  How could they live with themselves?  

          What economic scheme, what social structure could allow something like that to happen?  How was it enforced?

          It was profoundly depressing to see something like that, to get a glimpse of how some people are willing to live.

          This aggression will not stand, man.

          by kaleidescope on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 10:10:44 AM PST

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          •  Yes. I understand your revulsion. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kaleidescope, glorificus, MichaelNY

            This is all true. It is a great and terrible thing to realize that most of those few who survived were not those who gave their last crust of bread to the sick. They were those who took the last crust of bread from the sick. This is the most horrible thing to understand from Holocaust studies. This is what will make anyone sob uncontrollably, as I do now.

            My only surviving relative escaped to the forest bunkers. He was not allowed to take his younger brother.

            People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

            by CarbonFiberBoy on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 05:40:23 PM PST

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          •  Some may have been more recent entrants (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glorificus, MichaelNY

            ... into the ghetto.

            But really, every time one of us ignores a hungry or homeless person in the US, we are doing exactly the same thing. The only significant difference is that our society allows us, as a community, to use resources to dispose of the bodies someplace out of sight, rather than letting them rot in piles.

            That privilege - the use of resources to hide the deprivation - was not allowed within the Nazi's ghettoes.

          •  Those "well-dressed people" were probably (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            wondering if they could somehow sell their clothes for food or escape. They may have been the emaciated bodies in a few weeks or months.

            One can read about the ghettoes or camps, but I know myself, no matter how sympathetic or how vivid my imagination, it doesn't approach the reality of living and probably dying there.

            Making judgments about how people actually did behave, or how we think we would, are just fantasies.

            “In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose. Molly Ivins

            by glorificus on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 08:42:33 AM PST

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        •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CarbonFiberBoy, glorificus, MichaelNY

          They were hardly disgusting traitors to their fellow Jews.  In many cases, he members of a Judenrat took on the thankless task to try and make the lives of their brethren a little easier while they could. Kapos, on the other hand....

          "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

          by TLS66 on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 03:37:34 PM PST

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      •  A great many refused (6+ / 0-)

        and died with clean hands, rather than dirty.

        To say that those who collaborated somehow had no choice is, frankly, to shit on the courage of those who refused.

        Fear is your only God.

        by JesseCW on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 09:06:30 AM PST

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        •  The toughest choice of all. Comply or die. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, timewarp, thepook, linkage

          It is only when we are faced with death do we fully realize who we are and what we believe in.

          I don't know exactly who I am yet, but I hope I would be one to know that death, or even torture and death - is better than guiding others to that same end.

          When someone has a gun to your head, and says you have to shoot someone else or you die, what do you do?  You are either (1) a brand new slave to the person holding the gun, or (2) a dead martyr.

          I would rather die in screaming agony as a free man, integrity intact - than order the same for any other human being.  The exact opposite can be said of the cowardly Republican Party.

          #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

          by Evolutionary on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 09:20:16 AM PST

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        •  Yet you would shit on the courage of those (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glorificus, MichaelNY

          who took on the thankless task of trying to make the final days in lives of their fellow Jews easier. Do you think it would have made the slightest difference to the Nazis had the Judenrat not existed? They would have had even more pleasure in watching the disintegration of the Jewish community. It would have been easier, not more difficult, to shove them into the cattle cars.

          OTOH, that is why we say "never again." You're getting closer to understanding. Just a little more . . .

          People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

          by CarbonFiberBoy on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 05:47:17 PM PST

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      •  Not only that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glorificus, MichaelNY

        ... but when the Nazis asked for volunteers to lead the ghettos into which the Jews had been herded, many volunteered in order to PROTECT the Jews, as much as possible, from the Nazis. They thought they could be something of a buffer between the Jews and the Nazis.

        Once in the job, however, they were told that they would be personally responsible for the implementation of the Nazis' wishes, on pain of death. So all of a sudden, they were in effect collaborators with the Nazis in the persecution of the Jews. This is NOT what most of them signed up for.

        Republicans: ten-time gold medalists in synchronized stupidity ~ Hunter

        by cedubose on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 08:47:21 PM PST

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