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

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  •  Stalin? (0+ / 0-)

    when did he stride on the stage?   Yeah it was done by then.  Post revolution Russia was a brief, but meaningful window of time when Jews had equal rights an opportunity, same with Weimar.  At least in constitutional protections.  

    Jay, it is very difficult for me to equate the status of the German Jew in Weimar and the Shtetl Jew in Poland and Russia.  We see that distinction playing out today in Israel, but both are superior to North African Jewry, and don't ask me about the ethiopian and Indian Olim,
    and we certainly saw it here in New York.  

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:02:00 PM PDT

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    •  Well, if we're not counting Stalin... (8+ / 0-)

      ..then we're talking about all of five years - 1917-1922.  So, I mean, who cares?  What can those five years possibly measure?  How can anything that brief, representative of such a period of massive disorder, be indicative of anything?

      The German Jews is Weimar and the Shtetl Jews aren't equatable.  The only things they have in common are that both groups were Jews, and both groups were almost entirely dead within a quarter century.

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

      by Jay Elias on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:08:13 PM PDT

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      •  Apparently it means that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kaolin, Gatordiet

        the root of anti-Semitism was Jewish schism.

        I mean, wtf?

        Dante on wrath - "... love of justice perverted to revenge and spite..."

        by arielle on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:16:10 PM PDT

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        •  I doubt that it what it means... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeffersonian Democrat

          ...since that wouldn't make any sense at all.

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

          by Jay Elias on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:17:22 PM PDT

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        •  Unless you think anti-semitism pre-dates (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yosef 52

          the 1st Century, then the root cause is a Jewish schism interpreted by later generations of gentiles as a Jewish anti-Christian persecution. Even within the early Jewish Jesus cults, there was friction between his Jerusalem followers and the rural devotees. It's easy to read parts of the Gospels as being anti-semitic, unless you recognize that all the parties concerned are Jewish and at odds about fundamental religious principles, not about the fact of being Jews. Internecine battles are common within all religions (think Sunnis and Shiites). What's unusual about Christianity is it started within Judaism but over time was completely co-opted by gentiles.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:43:44 PM PDT

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          •  First off, (0+ / 0-)

            a Jew can have a schism when they're alone in the room.

            Be that as it may, I don't see the conflicts within the believers of Jesus as the Christ and those who did not as the source for bigotries.

            Even the Bible as written (although I've never read the whole thing) is not that bad except in distinct parts.

            I could actually view it as Jews at odds with each other except that large portions of the Bible were written long after Jesus supposed death.

            The "teachers" of the faith carried that line through the ranks and, since hate grows like a fungus, the commoner relied on those teachings since most of them could not read Latin.

            Dante on wrath - "... love of justice perverted to revenge and spite..."

            by arielle on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 06:40:08 PM PDT

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            •  Paul's letters weren't written that long after (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yosef 52

              Jesus' death (20-30 years), nor were the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke). John's gospel is the odd man out, dated around 50-60 years later. The Barnabas episode, which is the basis for the libel that "the Jews" killed Jesus is also fairly early. These accounts reflect beliefs of small Christian communities sharing similar sources of information, oral and verbal, and clearly contain inaccuracies. However, it's not unreasonable to assume that there was lingering resentment over what had happened to their leader, and given the violent political climate preceding the destruction of the temple, that it was more prudent to blame one's fellow Jews, with whom this cult had issues, then to bring the wrath of Rome down on your head. After all, look where that got Jesus and the other disciples--nailed to a telephone pole.

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 09:45:45 PM PDT

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          •  As a matter of fact there was anti-semitism (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yosef 52

            before the first century. The Jewish practices that led to a closed table and to a rejection of idol worship were necessarily in conflict with Greek and Roman practice, and there was considerable if patchy anti-Jewish sentiment from the Hellenistic period on.

      •  Um (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        Stalin's faction didn't become the sole ruling faction in the USSR until the defeat of the so-called Right Opposition identified with Bukharin in the late 1920's. Stalin's undisputed personal dictatorship wasn't consolidated until the mass purges of 1935-1938.

        •  I think it would be fair to say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          that Stalin had achieved dominant power by December 1927. Trotsky was exiled soon after. The Purges were done to crush resistance within the Party to the excesses of the Five Year Plan, specifically reaction to the horrors of collectivization. Later, the Purge would be broadened, reflecting Stalin's innate paranoia.

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

          by Yosef 52 on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:59:33 PM PDT

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          •  I suppose (0+ / 0-)

            that depends on what you mean by "dominant power." If you mean that he was leader of the dominant faction then I would agree. If you mean he had attained an absolute personal dictatorship I'd have to say you are wrong. The purges targeted the only remaining institutions capable of checking his actions. The Party itself and the military.

          •  A further point (0+ / 0-)

            I think it problematic to say that the mass purges were motivated by a desire to suppress criticism of the collectivization. First because the collectivization was an accomplished fact by 1935. Second, the initial wave of purges didn't target critics of collectivization. To the contrary, the targets were those who had supported collectivization. The so-called Trotskyists and Zinovievists.

            •  The assassination of Sergei Kirov (0+ / 0-)

              on 1 December 1934 is generally seen as the opening shot of the Purge. Kirov had been well-received at the 17th Party Congress earlier that year, arousing Stalin's hair-trigger suspicion. Much of the discontent in the Party had to do with the terrible effects of the 1932-33 famine, and there was widespread whispering that Stalin needed to be replaced. Stalin lashed out in his typical fashion: he took his revenge cold.

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

              by Yosef 52 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 11:29:18 AM PDT

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              •  That Kirov (0+ / 0-)

                posed a political threat to Stalin as a rival for leadership is, I think, well established. However, considering that Kirov was a supporter of both the forced collectivization and the industrialization drive, I don't see how this contradicts my earlier point or how it supports the thesis that the purges were an attempt to liquidate critics of either of these policies. In the end, the purges consumed both the critics and the supporters of these policies, snuffing out the last vestiges of independent political life within the ruling party and consolidating Stalin's leadership into a personal despotism.

                I think the practical political result of the purges provides a completely satisfactory explanation as to their motivation.

        •  So? (0+ / 0-)

          Who cares?  I mean, seriously, does it make it more significant if we say it was ten years instead of five?

          I mean, I'm not trying to be a douche - I believe that historical details matter, and yes, Stalin doesn't have absolute authority in 1922 when Lenin has his stroke.  But it still strikes me as a meaninglessly small measure of time to discuss the treatment of Jews in pre-war Europe.

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

          by Jay Elias on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 09:38:06 PM PDT

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          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            if you're going to link Soviet anti-Semitism to Stalin's reign, it would seem wise to be accurate about the time frame.

            •  But I wasn't (0+ / 0-)

              I was saying that the brief period in Russian history when the Soviet government didn't actively make Jewish lives miserable is so brief as to simply be an aberration which was quickly corrected.

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

              by Jay Elias on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 07:42:54 AM PDT

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              •  Aberration? (0+ / 0-)

                Whatever one's final verdict on the Soviet experiment one thing that is indisputable is that at its inception it opposed anti-Semitism. Indeed, opposition to anti-Semitism was a principle of the Russian Social Democratic movement generally and the Bolshevik Party in particular in the decades prior to the Russian Revolution. Hence the prominence of Jews in its leadership, Lev Davidovitch Trotsky being only the most notable of these.

                Likewise it is indisputable that the Soviet regime degenerated into anti-Semitism. Even so, its own legacy of opposition to anti-Jewish bigotry produced contradictions. Even under Stalin the regime never openly espoused formal anti-Semitism, more often cloaking its actions in an entirely different rhetorical garb. This stands in stark contrast to the blatant Jew hatred espoused by reactionaries in Europe at the time, not to mention the previous institutionalization of such hatred under Tsarism. Possibly the clearest example of this contradictory stance is the early support for the State of Israel, occurring as it did while Stalin was at the Zenith of his power and while domestic campaigns against "rootless cosmopolitans" were in full swing.

                All this argues for a more complex view of Soviet anti-Semitism than simply writing off its early opposition to such as an aberration. Consider, the legacy of opposition to anti Jewish bigotry was still potent enough following the death of Stalin to produce such ringing condemnations as the powerful Babi Yar by official Soviet Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

    •  Well, not everyone knew Stalin was Stalin (5+ / 0-)

      (to make a cute rhetorical turn out of things) until the late 1920s or early 1930s.  Jews did have years of relative promise up until the late 1920s, but by the time the Birobidzhan Autonomous Oblast was founded, things were already getting dicey -- the idea of giving Jews a territory upon which to develop their own national brand of socialism was a poor disguise for state suspicion of Jews.

      •  God bless 'em (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jeffersonian Democrat

        give the Jews an opportunity and they will thrive.    Much of the tragic history is that Jews do we well if given a chance, however brief,  (present conditions being an obvious exception, the jury is out on this statehood thing ).

        Assimilation, readiness for, and resistance against,  is the central argument.   Many anti semitic zionists agreed that the Jew was unassimilable, think Liberia as a solution for the abolitionist/racists, Many Jews (Germans, Brits and US) argued otherwise, that it is possible to be a Jew and a citizen.

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:17:26 PM PDT

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