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View Diary: The Shoah by Bullets (99 comments)

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  •  There are so many things to try to comprehend... (7+ / 0-)

    The scale of the devastation, to communities and to individual families.

    The number of people who were involved in what happened.

    The number of people who tried to stop or at least lessen what was going on.

    The sheer number of people outside Germany who thought things were hunky dory or even getting better in Germany until invasions started, despite the fact Hitler was already on record with his racial views.

    And perhaps finally and perhaps most importantly of all, what it says about human psychology that so many could have such things going on around them and do so little, so many people that 'well there are some immoral people and those who cannot defy authority in every society, and it was only a few enough people that it was probably just them' doesn't exactly cut it anymore as an explanation for what happened.

    And that last one? Is going to hurt no matter what race or religion someone is. That one goes straight past 'They did that' to 'We Humans have the capacity to do that'. That one goes straight through what Milgram found out and into staring at yourself in the mirror wondering what you would do if the first steps of the pattern were beginning around you.

    Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in Iran when all is said and done are as few as possible.

    by Cassandra Waites on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 09:52:05 PM PDT

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    •  Cassandra (5+ / 0-)

      To address you point starting

      what it says about human psychology that so many could have such things going on around them and do so little,

      I do not think it at all inexplicable. It was rather well summed up in that poem that starts "They came for ..." Jay makes the point in his diary that the initial rounds of killings were literally one by one. The civilian population may well have seen a comparative few from their village, town or neighborhood taken away amd may very well have known they were killed but would they have comprehended the wider picture - especially in the context of war? I would remind you that fairly contemporary to these killings, numbers of ethnic Germans and, especially, Japanese were being rounded up in the USA to be transported they and the people in their towns knew not where. Again under the perceived threat, how many Americans stood up against their government's actions?

      When a demonised group is oppressed in these circumstances, it is always the case that the majority will accept the actions of their government. How many Americans actually objected to Guantanamo Bay - Bush was after all re-elected with an increased majority after the world's and progressives in the USA's protests were known.    

      "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 10:22:09 PM PDT

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      •  You're sort of supporting my point. (6+ / 0-)

        (dang reload button just ate my response)

        It's a part of human psychology. 'Stand back, stop looking, shut up.'

        Just ignore the fact that certain groups in your neighborhood are disappearing one by one or all at once. Just ignore the fact it's always them and never you. Try to keep anyone from considering you one of them.

        We list off a few events in World History as if they were anomalies, the few times everything broke down. We talk about the Japanese internment in terms of overreaction without necessarily mentioning other influences that made it 'okay'. My classmates and I probably only even heard that the Armenian genocide even happened because Hitler talked about it in a famous quote that gets used as an example of why forgetting the Holocaust would be dangerous in the future.

        The horrors are hard to get a mind around. The scale is practically unimaginable (one sweet old Jewish lady I met once lost over 80% of her family, and the one family member who stayed with her through the camps has died since then). But they don't require introspection.

        Recognizing that human psych lends itself to the Everyone Merrily Forward To War Crimes scenario requires introspection, and not the happy fluffy bunnies sort either.

        Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in Iran when all is said and done are as few as possible.

        by Cassandra Waites on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 10:50:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The first steps ARE beginning around you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, Gatordiet

      Or didn't you notice the Hitler mustache on the Obama posters, or the armed protesters?

      1 nut with a machine gun can control a thousand unarmed people, until the ammo runs out, and they're stockpiling ammo.

      There will come a time again when a longhair will be at risk, just like in the Sixties.

      We no longer use the government and civil order against the nutcases. That's a very bad sign. It means the brownshirts can grow like E. Coli in a Petri dish.

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