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View Diary: The Shoah by Bullets (99 comments)

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    Jay Elias
    1. What is Yahad-In Unum's number based on? Do they even claim that 1.5 million were killed specifically by EGs? With all due respect to Fr. Desbois, he is not a historian. If he claims that 1.5 million were shot by EGs, well, he is wrong (or he should present the basis for his calculation, like A. Kruglov (one of the most authoritative Holocaust historians, specializing in Ukraine) did).

    That shootings were done only or mostly by Einsatzgruppen is basically a "legend" akin to the "legend" that Jews were mostly killed in gas chambers (though they died by shooting and starvation in about equal numbers to the gas chambers).

    1. True, but that only means that it happened in some cases.
    1. You can point out a couple of issues. Meanwhile, my critique stands.
    1. The source does not provide any evidence in the first place. The burden of proof is on him and those who use him.

    So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

    by skeptiq on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 11:33:00 PM PDT

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    •  ... (1+ / 0-)
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      Jay Elias

      I should add to 1 (because it may create confusion) that this, obviously, does not change the overall number of Jews shot by the Nazis and their collaborators.

      So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

      by skeptiq on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 11:37:17 PM PDT

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    •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
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      yaque, skeptiq
      1.  I haven't seen Yahad-In Unum's dataset.  I know that the reference is to by EGs and local collaborators.  It is quite possible that your numbers as to the total killed specifically by the Einsatzgruppen are more accurate; as you point out, this does not alter the primacy of the Holocaust by bullets to the Shoah.
      1.  One reason I'm not able to go into this in depth is because one of the subjects that I wanted to delve into but eliminated due to time and space concerns was the questions which surround the role of Heydrich.  As I'm sure you know, the records of Operation Reinhard were destroyed by the Nazis; we also know that many of the key orders given during this period were verbal.  The questions as to on whose authority Heydrich gave some of his orders remain open, so to an extent, the answers are not knowable.

      To talk about Heydrich, his role, and the meaning of the Wannsee Conference in that context is a massive undertaking.  And it is nearly 3AM here.  Your questions are serious; I just can't bring myself to start to address them right now.  I hope you, and the readers, understand.

      1.  My intent in using the sourced allegation was to demonstrate how, even now, the governments of Russia (and, although unmentioned in the text, the Ukraine) are debating the numbers of those killed in the region during the time period in question, as well as the reasons why they were killed.  I understand enough to know that the reasons behind this are quite complicated, and generally unfamiliar to the US audience (including me).  The sourced allegation was a useful way for me to make that point without trying to summarize the full extent of the situation.  

      But I also have no concept of what is incorrect about the allegation from you; nothing but your flat statement that it is bullshit.  I don't really care about Russia or Medvedev; I'm not trying to make any statement about Russia or its government.  But, frankly, I don't really want to have to write an entire paragraph to explain my point when the linked allegation demonstrates it with such ease.  That said, if you will offer me a compelling reason why, beyond your flat denial, that the source is incorrect or misleading to an extent that it should be changed, I'll do so.

      The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

      by Jay Elias on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 12:02:26 AM PDT

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      •  re:6 (0+ / 0-)

        There are two proposed laws (not "by Dmitry Medveded") regarding history that made a splash in Russia recently. Their ultimate fate is uncertain.

        The first one is called "The federal law regarding resistance to rehabilitation of Nazism, Nazi criminals and their collaborators in new independent states on the territory of the former Soviet Union".

        It calls for the prosecution of "rehabilitation" of those things, as defined by the verdict of the Nuremberg trial and verdicts of national trials based on the Nuremberg verdict (this means, BTW, that Holocaust denial will be automatically prohibited).

        While one of its aims is "saving and resisting the besmirching of memory of the victims of the Great Patriotic War", there is nothing in the text calling for prosecution of statements analogous to the one you and Snyder give as an example.

        Besides, Snyder seems to misinterpret the Russian statements (IMHO; maybe he has some specific statements in mind, which are not the rule): usually if the death tolls are discussed at all, it is the Soviet death tolls that are being discussed and they obviously include victims of all ethnicities. Everybody understands the historical context during those discussions (i.e., there weren't many independent states but one USSR). Nobody claims that they lived on Russian territory.

        Usually when the claims about the predominance of Russian something or other are heard, its in the context of the military contribution to the war effort (starting with Stalin, who famously toasted the "great Russian people" after the victory).

        For the other "law" there is not even a proposed text, only an idea - the law against the denial of victory of USSR in the Great Patriotic War.

        If there is some third law I have missed which is being discussed, I would like to know the news.

        So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

        by skeptiq on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 02:04:33 AM PDT

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      •  As for the Wannsee, again (0+ / 0-)

        my main point was that it is wrong (at least at present) to say that Aktion Reinhardt started before the Wannsee conference.

        ---

        The Wannsee minutes are important to our understanding of the decision-making (in that sense they're obviously relevant to the historians), but they're not necessarily that important in the decision-making process itself (important, but not of paramount importance ascribed to it by public consciousness).

        Browning in his great "The Origins of the Final Solution" explicates these matters at length and comes to the conclusion that the fundamental decision was reached around October 1941. Gerlach in his article about the supposed December 12 decision takes a different approach (and I think he is mistaken), but the consensus between them is that the fundamental decision was taken in 1941. That it wasn't taken at the Wannsee conference is an old consensus among historians. Articulated? Maybe. IIRC, according to Eichmann, they discussed the logistics of it all (poison gas, etc.). But the focus on the Wannsee muddles things up, IMHO.

        So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

        by skeptiq on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 02:15:11 AM PDT

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