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  •  Okay, let me run it down for you (15+ / 0-)

    #1: The Nazis are not a "myth."  They were evil bastards with an evil agenda. They are not recuperable, whether you believe they were unique or not.  Wearing Nazi paraphernalia to make fashion statements is not more legitimate than putting on blackface or wearing Klan outfits "for fun."

    #2 The essay reduces remembrances of the Holocaust to "imperialist" propaganda and an excuse for colonialism.

    #3 A foundation argument in the essay is that the Holocaust and "genocides like it" are a result of western "colonialist expansion." It ignores the history of antisemitism in Europe, which simply cannot be blamed on colonialism.

    #4 His argument about how "Russians see the Holocaust" is entirely anecdotal. My husband is Russian and would make a completely different argument -- the Nazis are loathed in Russia, quite specifically, and there was a booming film trend in evil Nazi WWII movies in the Soviet Union. Nazis came to symbolize Germany in post-WWII Russia.

    #5 The author harnesses all genocides to the service of his anti-imperialist myth, ignoring the specifics that make each genocide unique and remarkable. This doesn't further our knowledge about any of these genocides -- rather, it encourages us to see them only as "evidence" of Western imperialism.

    I could go on, but the whole exercise is turning my stomach.

    •  I read the diary differently than you did (0+ / 0-)

      (1) Why I read the comment about myth, I read it as mythologizing what happened to lose the meaning of the history. Not that Nazis actually did not exist. In fact, the diarists states they existed by saying the event happened and includes the fascist Germans along with others as the cause. It seems he is saying it in a different way, but is no denying the Holocaust occurred or its importance, but defines the importance as being about a lesson of human nature and what we have done again and again.  I admit I could be wrong. But that's how I read his discussion of myth.

      (2) The diarist seemed to be separating remembering from mythologizing. There's a difference in the sense that the former is about understanding what happened and why to prevent it from being repeated and the later is about emotional appeal that does not give us the tool to make sure it never happens again.

      (3) He included anti-semitism as far as discussing other countries being involved in persecuting the Jewish peoples of Europe. I can only compare this to race. The question is what came first- racism or the economic reasons for racism? The answer is that the slave trade grew out of economic reasons in that slaves were orginally white but to control the slaves, they choose black slaves as they were easier to identify. That's one of the arguments that is make historically. The cultural reasons such as using the bible, etc came later. I didn't under that context of reading what was writtenhere take it to mean that antisemitism doesn't exist, but why? For example, is it not true (and I am truly not sure of this at all) that The Nazis used economic resentiment after WW1 against Jews as a tool to gain control? That it was in part economics . Not that the economics or antisemitism didn't exist. But what caused what? I don't know the answer to that here, but I didn't see it as offensive to ask

      (4) I can't respond to that. You may be right. I don't know.

      (5) The specifics of most genocides arose out of eocnomics. The example I already gave is that of the slave trade. The first slaves were white. They choose blacks because it was easier to pick out escaped slaves if I remember the history correctly. Many genocides are related to a fight over resources such as ownership of a particuar piece of land or area.

      •  And his argument that it's cool (6+ / 0-)

        for people to wear Nazi paraphernalia? What does that tell you about the diarist?

        Yes, we read it differently -- I read it as a Holocaust scholar, familiar with the tactics people use for manipulating the history of the Holocaust for their own purposes.  And I can tell you that this diarist is manipulating the Holocaust to "prove" it's a screen for Western imperialism -- hell, the diarist tells you that himself.  You give me one reason why his manipulation is any less heinous than the manipulations he purports to describe.

        •  I am not a scholar (0+ / 0-)

          and I don't know why he said that.

          •  Think about the implications of this claim (5+ / 0-)

            in light of his other arguments. He thought it was important enough to take a position on, and it was the conclusion of his "essay." How would you feel if he ended an essay on "imperialist" exploitatin of the "slavery industry" with a comment on how it's cool to dress up like a Klan member?  Might make you question his intentions...

            •  To a small degree , but (1+ / 0-)
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              rather than assuming, I would have asked him why did he say that?

              The reason being that he seems to have a dark sense of humor and goes into several non sequiturs, but I would not assume all of that adds up to his being a troll merely because he says controversial things.

              I would want to know why he said it Just like I would want to know why someoen made archie bunker. You could be right, but this is actually my first exposure to the writer so I would have asked the question rather than assume that I knew the answer as to his thinking.

              For example, if I had to guess, althogh I disagree with it too- there are those who say you take away power of saying words like "nigger" by appropriating the power it has over you. Now I disagree becuase societies aren't that simple. You don't just do things alone. But I wouldn't per se assume a bigot just because someone has a lack of communication skill to explain why they are doing it at first blush.

              •  well (0+ / 0-)

                I just don't believe that certain images, artistic themes or fashion statements can be made off limits to the rest of us by a monopolizing industry that uses this tragedy for its own political purposes. I'm not saying I would wear Nazi paraphenalia, but I fail to see why it's so problematic. I guess the only argument that makes sense is that survivors could be sensitive, but then again, people dress like soldiers all the time, regardless of how sensitive survivors of wars can be about seeing these outfits.

                "The politics of failure have failed. We must make them work again." - an alien

                by Marcion on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:00:50 PM PST

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                •  Actually I am not in fabvor (1+ / 0-)
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                  of people wearing outfits that will terorrize others, which  it would do.

                  Its not the same thing as wearing any solders outfit.

                  My point is that I have no idea why the writer said what he said or she said since I don't know the gender.

                  •  how does it terrorize someone (0+ / 0-)

                    to wear a Nazi armband for Halloween, as Prince Harry did? Who was terrified by that? But oh so many were so offended. Who gives a shit? In a generation this whole construct will be dust and only the outfits will remain.

                    "The politics of failure have failed. We must make them work again." - an alien

                    by Marcion on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:12:37 PM PST

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                    •  You can't limit speech to someone (1+ / 0-)
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                      wearing a Halloween costume. I assume you also include those people who just want to wear it because they think being Nazis is cool. That can terrorize people who actually had to deal with the Nazis. I am not mythologizing there. I am simply pointing out its affect emotionally on those who went htrough the trauma.

                    •  aside from being in bad taste, (4+ / 0-)

                      you clearly haven't the vaguest idea about trauma and triggers, do you?


                      There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

                      by dadanation on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:38:43 PM PST

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                      •  Look, I can disagree (0+ / 0-)

                        without eing nasty. You might want to try it. This peson is not taking away from the horror of what people went through by saying what he or she is saying. Its trying to contextualize and understand it so it really doesn't happena gain. Now, I don't agree with everything, but soem of this vitrol misses the the  other points.

                        •  that was far from nasty (1+ / 0-)
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                          in fact, it was quite restrained.

                          the very notion of suggesting that there is no harm done by wearing say a nazi uniform or a kkk robe is truly insensitive at the very least.

                          and pray tell what then does this mean:

                          In a generation this whole construct will be dust and only the outfits will remain.

                          if not minimizing the legacy of the holocaust?  this "whole construct?  the notion that people can and are genuinely traumatized by seeing people in nazi uniforms is but a mere "construct?"  wtf?  

                          i can not fathom the individual who would suggest that somehow they should be "over" their history.

                          i didn't get nasty.

                          anyone who knows beans about trauma survivors knows that over time, less of a stimulus is required to trigger the PTSD response.  just as absurd the old adage regarding "sticks and stones" (name-calling really DOES hurt and does injure) so too the callous and flip notion that a uniform is nothing more than just fabric.


                          There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

                          by dadanation on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 03:20:48 AM PST

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                      •  Pt Cruisers caused trauma (0+ / 0-)

                        Because they reminded people of the cars used by high level Naz8is. So what? Given the ever shrinking number of Holocaust survivors, this argument is fast becoming moot. Yet I doubt that people who hold your view will suddenly relinquish their ban on all things reminiscent of the Nazi regime when the last Holocaust survivor dies.

                        "The politics of failure have failed. We must make them work again." - an alien

                        by Marcion on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 03:57:57 AM PST

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                        •  you really are fanning the flame here (1+ / 0-)
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                          full-well knowing how wrong both your argument line is and this crusade to somehow try to defend the indefensible.

                          in case you didn't read this comment, please do.  you seem to confuse the passing of a generation with the passing of the holocaust having any power over or impact on anyone not of that generation.

                          i know this is what you are saying, but i find it so beyond the pale that even when i type it out -- as i have right here:

                          once the last holocaust survivor has died that reminders of what the nazis attempted to do to the jews will be rendered powerless

                          i am really really speechless.  you somehow think that by creating these false equivalences and citing tangential examples and relying upon your own and revisionism that you make your argument stronger and not only forgives but justifies your disrespectful and callous commentary.

                          for the life of me do not get it.


                          There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

                          by dadanation on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 04:42:27 AM PST

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                    •  how does it terrorize someone? (5+ / 0-)

                      many Jews and others still have vivid memories of the Holocaust. It isn't a myth to them, it's reality in all its horror. So seeing the royalty of a modern state wearing nazi garb has an ugly and devastating effect.

                •  So your cool with people wandering (1+ / 0-)
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                  Rustbelt Dem

                  around with white hooded robes?   Anyone who would be offended is just a monopolizing industry using this tragedy for its own political purposes and is oversensitive...

                  You have certainly removed any doubts about the purpose of your diary.

                  Hell hath no fury like a cat ignored...

                  by Gatordiet on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:29:31 PM PST

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                  •  The whole thing about costume has to be (1+ / 0-)
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                    judged on the basis of semiotic analysis.

                    Obviously people are sensitive about the swastika and what it represents. Marcion would say they're sensitive because of the manipulative use of the holocaust to other ends. Survivors of the holocaust and their children would definitely be understandably outraged.

                    Regardless, they're sensitive.
                    Did the Prince wear a swastika because he hated Jews? Or because he wanted to be a "bad" person for Halloween (that's the whole idea, isn't it) and he crossed a line that he wasn't aware existed.

                    Early on, American "outlaw bikers" wore Nazi helmets. There may have been one in "The Wild Ones" It's possible some of the original real bikers were WWII veterans who may have brought a helmet back from Europe.
                    Then it was picked up by "B" movie productions that may have had access to left-over war movie props. Or they may have been sold in the old "army surplus" stores.
                    At any rate, they signified "bad", "I don't give a shit" and fit the basic outlaw biker narrative. Now, doctors, lawyers and accountants are among the few that can afford a Harley these days, and routinely dress up in their outlaw biker costumes,including Nazi-type  helmets, and ride the customary country roads that are popular for a weekend biker outing.
                    If you want societal flux to stand still for one set of signifiers, you're in for a disappointment.

                    •  I vehemently disagree with this (0+ / 0-)

                      Not "regardless, they're sensitive," but rather, as long as any type of semiotic association is maintained, which will happen as long as any trauma narrative is associated with that event, then there will be no "societal flux," as you called to, to override this cultural signifier-signified association. So when the cultural trauma has naturally healed, which can take Centuries, then the association will loosen, but will still always remain somewhat present and easy to invoke. Cue J. Hillis Miller. The outlaw biker narrative is a poor analogy with nazi-chic because these helmets weren't traumatic for Americans en masse, but often viewed as heroic items brought back from Europe, signifying a heroic "David and Goliath" image. However, the associations contained in general Nazi regalia -- particular the swastika -- is infinitely more problematic and particular.

                      "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

                      by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:44:38 AM PST

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                      •  In the movies, at least, the German helmet was (0+ / 0-)

                        always worn by the "bad" bikers who were the bullies, rapists, etc.
                        Another signifier was the Maltese Cross, which didn't have the unmistakably offensive connotation of the swastika.
                        They could be seen as "starter" signifiers, and over time we have seen the encroachment of the swastika in outlaw biker and prison population signage.

                        There is always societal flux, that's a major topic one studies in Sociology, 101, the "History and Philosopy of Sociology".
                        With the advent of "future shock" the exponentially increasing rate of technological change and information production, we have no way to forecast how society will respond to that development.
                        Which is why we need to preserve a clear-headed account of history and teach it to our children.
                        And have a clear-eyed approach to what we're doing in real time.
                        "Social flux" can allow us to be manipulated by a reading of history that places a seal around the holocaust and is then used to blind us to the humanity of others.
                        The 800 lb gorilla in the room is the current situation with the state of Israel, the US support for it, and, as far as I'm concerned, the refusal to stop the settlements in the West Bank, and the brutalization of civilians in Gaza. It's very troubling for me, as I have always loved the story of Israel.  
                        The other point that most people on this site would agree with regards the culture wide "blinders" we wear concerning the actions of the US government abroad in the support of the interests of Wall Street and the military industrial complex.
                        The diarist doesn't address this directly, with the exception of one sentence, so I'm not defending him or attacking him. It seems like this is the unspoken
                        concern that is creating so much resistance to a reasoned consideration of his diary... Aside from the title, which sets a lot of people off understandably.
                        As for me, I would like to see the blinders come off regarding American actions around the globe, and I would like for us to stop investing in Israel until the settlements are stopped.

                        •  Thanks for elevating the conversation (1+ / 0-)
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                          here from the mob mentality.

                          I don't agree with everything that you or others are saying as you know, but I do appreciate the attempt to think abou tthings as oppose to just lashing out at the idea of thinking about how we view history.

                          This is an issue that comes up in AA communities too. Namely that in mythologizing the struggle for our equality, we have in some parts of the community lost its meaning. Again I give the example of how people look at the struggle for equal protection under the law and how they now choose to react to gay rights. They can see no similarlities in the issue even as far as the law and will attack anyone for making the legal comparison.

                          THe point is that no one is immune from mythologizing hisotry and making it so unique that we learn no lessons from it. That its just to be cherished as unique rather than understood as a part of human nature.

                •  please tell me (1+ / 0-)
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                  who are you referring to here?

                  I just don't believe that certain images, artistic themes or fashion statements can be made off limits to the rest of us by a monopolizing industry that uses this tragedy for its own political purposes.

                  who is this "monopolizing industry?"  and for what political purpose?


                  There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

                  by dadanation on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 03:24:27 AM PST

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    •  Nice comment, hepshiba. (2+ / 0-)
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      mahakali overdrive, Gatordiet

      I especially agree with your point that the diarist's take on Russian views of the Nazis is not credible.  The diarist claims to have lived in Russia, which makes his assertions in this area especially questionable.

      You're obviously much more of an expert in these areas than I am, but I was a Russian language and history major, and my impression has always been that the Russians hated the Nazis more than anybody ever--except maybe back to the days of the Golden Horde.

      It is a do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

      by Timaeus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 05:42:57 PM PST

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    •  3 Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
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      If you're going to list specific gripes about the diarist, you should at least read the diary and make fact based criticisms.

      He did not "ignore the history of antisemitism in Europe":

      . It was a pan European phenomenon rooted in a centuries old history of antisemitism, and the resort to wholesale killing as a solution to the Jewish Question had happened countless times prior to the Holocaust period.

    •  You have to explain how his anti-imperialist view (1+ / 0-)
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      is a "myth".

      What I think the diarist is really doing is indicating that there are more holocausts in our future if we don't start understanding the underlying causes of holocausts, and give up the idea of "it can't happen here".
      This is especially relevant in this country right now, due to the manipulation of mass opinion, the fascist takeover of the political system.
      One reason I would disagree with the diarist in paying close attention to the rise of Nazi Germany is that there is such an obvious parallel between today's events and those of 30's Germany. Hitler called for a "restoration" of Christian faith to German culture hundreds of times before he assumed total control over the country, for instance.

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