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View Diary: Again: What Are the Holocaust's REAL Origins? (155 comments)

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  •  I appreciate the refocus, (4+ / 0-)

    and agree that antisemitism in Europe was historically based on Christian thought at the time. However, neither the Dolchstoss myth nor the Holocaust were exclusively focussed on the Jewish people. The Dolchstoss was blamed on socialists, communists and war profiteers, as well as Jews:

    The Holocaust targetted the many other groups of people, "including ethnic Poles, the Romani, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other political and religious opponents" from ( These victims hadn't all historically been vilified by the Church.

    While there was collaboration between the Nazi party and the Catholic Church, I feel that it was more of a tolerance thing, then an alliance. There wasn't a close affinity, but the Church was too powerful and popular for Hitler to attack directly. They were probably on his list, right after conquering Russia...Nazism was pushing pre-christian ideologies, like Aryanism and various nordic cults/beliefs.

    Christian antisemitism certainly played a strong role, but so did Darwinism - the concept of racial purity was a very scientific one, at the time.

    Again, good diary, and great research, but to respond to attempts to demonize evolution by demonizing christianity isn't as productive as it could be. In my mind, the key flaw in trying to make a connection between evolutionary theory and Nazism is that pure science doesn't have a moral component. It's the responsibility of humans to use their skills and tools and insight in a moral, humane way.

    Nazis developed rocket technology, that the US imported (by bringing in the key scientists involved) and used that to build their space program. But no-one's painting swastikas on the space shuttle - why is that?

    I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this. (Emo Philips)

    by erratic on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 04:55:10 PM PDT

    •  Many of your criticisms and comments are valid. (4+ / 0-)

      However, I must take issue with the assertion that Darwinism "played a strong role" in setting the stage for mass murder.

      Yes, the Nazis hated many people besides Jews, but only one group was slated for complete extermination: Jews. Even the cultural remnants of Judaism were to be excised from European life.

      I assure you my intent is not to "demonize" Christianity. As I said,

      I mean the citation of these historical examples as no disrespect to the many wonderful Christians who love and respect Jews and speak up in their defense, nor is it an indictment of the many Christian rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust, especially those in Bulgaria, Denmark, and Hungary. But in order to deal with the past, we must confront it honestly.

      Dammit, it's time for some poetry! And some news!

      by Yosef 52 on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:13:51 PM PDT

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      •  Thanks Yosef! (3+ / 0-)

        I agree, "demonize" was an exageration on my part. I was trying to say that we can no more blame Darwinism as the source of the Holocaust, than we can, Christianity (or christian antisemitism). A large number of factors played into the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust, and I don't feel that any one factor can be considered the "Real Origin".

        As to the claim that only Jews were slated for complete extermination, I'd have to see some documentation on that. I certainly agree that they were the primary focus, as a very visible and powerful minority in a culture that had a strong history of antipathy toward them.

        There were many reasons beside anti-semitism for people to support or join the Nazis - nationalism, fear, opportunity for advancement, apathy/convenience, tradition. Just as the Civil War wasn't just fought over slavery, the Holocaust wasn't just about anti-semitism.

        I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this. (Emo Philips)

        by erratic on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:28:55 PM PDT

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    •  Yosef touches on this briefly in his diary (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yosef 52, mickT, buhdydharma, erratic, MizC

      Nazism was pushing pre-christian ideologies, like Aryanism and various nordic cults/beliefs.

      This part began ca. 1801 with the Romantics.  It was a strange combination.  The Romantics idealized the middle ages and the authority of the Church.  They had really been hired by aristocratic patrons to fire up the peasantry for soldiers as Napoleon was pushing Republicanism through Europe at the point of the bayonet and a great threat to the aristocracy.

      What happened was a strange mixture of pagan Nordic and Christian beliefs into what was termed Pan-Germanism as a nationalistic call to arms.  It's just that there was no such thing, not even a Germany, just a collection od principalities and the like.  There were Prussian, Bavarians and Saxons but no such thing as Germans.

      The Romantics lumped them all together as "Germans" through poetry, music, and literature.  The national epic of Germany, Das Nibelungenlied, was lost for centuries until the 19th century and then the Romantic composer Richard Wagner picked it up.

      While antisemitism reduced one population of society the other side of the coin was that pan-germanism elevated the other population of society into nationalism.

      There is a whole constellation of historical reasons, seemingly unconnected, for the Shoa that seemed to align at just the exact time and place for the rise of the Third Reich.

      Hello? Hello? Hunter? Hunter what? Ain't nobody doing no huntin' up here, fool! This is a party not a safari!

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:50:10 PM PDT

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