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Thread: Being complicit

  1. Top | #11
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    You might want to rethink the level of apology and excuse you are giving to the Nazis. It was no "accident". It was a byproduct of the culture and circumstances created the antisemitic hatred that the Nazis (and many Poles) had propagandized for years prior and the gradually increasing violence such propaganda inherently causes.

    And dude, "Impossible to keep them alive"??? Murdering and starving the Jews to death was the only possibility only if one has the mindset that doing so is of so little concern that other options are not considered. First, every person involved with or who knew about the selling of prisoner food knew they were killing the prisoners. There was a culture and context that encouraged and allowed the knowing killing of innocent Jews to happen, and antisemitism was the foundation of that culture. Then after there was no food to feed them, there was a choice to kill them and let them die, make an effort to stop the selling of the food, deport them to allied areas, etc.? These were a group of people who are all innocent of any crime other than being a Jew and many children. Those other options are only "impossible" if one has an antisemitic view of Jews as subhuman and of no moral worth. So again, everyone (including the Poles) who promoted this antisemitic view was a causal contributor to the death of every Jew in the holocuast, whether murdered or died from starvation and disease.
    Meh... we have surviving loads of documents where high Nazi officials wrote angry letters to camp commanders because it made them look bad when the prisoners kept dying. All the Nazi slave labour production camps produced much worse than both projected, but also facilities with free labour. This was a major problem for the Nazi government and hampered the war effort. The Nazi government had a major incentive to keep them alive... yet still failed. Many of the slave labour camps demanded specialised skilled labour. These barely produced anything at all, because skills couldn't be maintained among the workers long enough to make new workers proficient. Nearly all died while still being useless apprentices. This was a big problem because these plants had been built at great cost for the government. Overall the slave labour camps only ended up costing the Nazi government. The concentration camp system didn't even pay for itself.

    And to drive home the point. When the Eastern front opened up the concentration camps were filled up with Russian war prisoners. These were also supposed to be kept alive and strongly worded letters from Himmler were sent to camps. Yet, these also died, even faster than the Jews that preceded them. This led to a purge of camp commanders and several ended up as prisoners in the same concentration camps they once ran. Because they let their prisoners die. The Nazi government took this very seriously.

    It wasn't a bi-product of antisemitism. It was a bi-product of that totalitarianism and state run companies are inefficient. Because the incentives of the people running these places is to kiss ass of the people higher on the ranking ladder. Not to produce whatever is needed to be produced by their company. And since they all have monopolies it's impossible to compare and track their performance. Since everybody on all levels have an incentive NOT to be honest in their reporting. This was true on all levels in the Nazi government.

    The same things happened in the Gulag, the Chinese re-education camps or the Cambodian. You can't claim these institutions were in practice death camps because of antisemitism?
    None of this escapes the fact that antisemitism that viewed the Jews as subhuman and of little moral worth was the foundation for putting them in camps to begin with (no matter their original purpose), and the basis for letting them die in those camps rather than letting them go. Without a cultural worldview that cast the prisoners as subhuman, there is no way that all the people who made it and allowed it to happen would have done so. If not for that antisemitism, the Jews would have been released as soon as keeping them alive and healthy become a problem. Few of those Germans would have allowed a kennel of dogs to die in those circumstances, but they viewed Jews as lesser than dogs.
    Meh... Communists didn't view those in the Gulag as subhumans. They viewed them as unfortunates who had misunderstood the virtues of communism. The gulag guards were typically themselves old prisoners (who had been lucky enough to survive). The death toll was still extremely high.

    It wasn't the antisemitism that killed the Jews in the early and middle concentration camps. The antisemitism only put them in the camps. It wasn't until very late when we get pure death camps (December 1941). Worth noting is that it coincided with the fall of Stalingrad, ie the turning point in WW2. It's almost like they were punishing Jews for the failure of the German army. The later the war the more resources are wasted trying to speed up the holocaust. Up until the fall of Stalingrad extermination of the Jews was not a strategy, secret or otherwise. The Nazis wrote down everything. So we have no reason to mistrust official accounts.

  2. Top | #12
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    None of this escapes the fact that antisemitism that viewed the Jews as subhuman and of little moral worth was the foundation for putting them in camps to begin with (no matter their original purpose), and the basis for letting them die in those camps rather than letting them go. Without a cultural worldview that cast the prisoners as subhuman, there is no way that all the people who made it and allowed it to happen would have done so. If not for that antisemitism, the Jews would have been released as soon as keeping them alive and healthy become a problem. Few of those Germans would have allowed a kennel of dogs to die in those circumstances, but they viewed Jews as lesser than dogs.
    Meh... Communists didn't view those in the Gulag as subhumans. They viewed them as unfortunates who had misunderstood the virtues of communism. The gulag guards were typically themselves old prisoners (who had been lucky enough to survive). The death toll was still extremely high.

    It wasn't the antisemitism that killed the Jews in the early and middle concentration camps. The antisemitism only put them in the camps. It wasn't until very late when we get pure death camps (December 1941). Worth noting is that it coincided with the fall of Stalingrad, ie the turning point in WW2. It's almost like they were punishing Jews for the failure of the German army. The later the war the more resources are wasted trying to speed up the holocaust. Up until the fall of Stalingrad extermination of the Jews was not a strategy, secret or otherwise. The Nazis wrote down everything. So we have no reason to mistrust official accounts.
    LOL - You are forgetting that the Americans don't think the war even started until December 1941.

  3. Top | #13
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust? For the same reasons. The Auschwitz ovens were all manned by Jews, for instance.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47277147

    I have no memory of Poland rolling out a welcome mat when Germany peacefully and without conflict annexed Poland in 1939. Quite the opposite. I remember Poland fighting back. Just like the Jews did in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. With similar consequences.

    I think Yisrael Katz is in the wrong here.

    Thoughts?
    Yisrael Katz may be wrong, but probably not for any of the reasons you have cited. While Jews performed all of the manual labor needed to maintain the camps in which they lived and died. This included the removal of bodies from gas chambers and disposing of them, by whatever means was employed. To say they were complicit in the Holocaust is disingenuous at best.

    While I doubt there are many people still alive who were complicit, the Nazis had very little trouble identifying and corralling Polish Jews. While the Poles may have resisted the German Army for a while, little resistance remained after the surrender, and what followed could only be called craven complicity.
    That's just basic human psychology. If you feel threatened you will do what you can to stay alive. Everybody under a totalitarian government feels threatened all the time. That's how they operate psychologically. All the concentration camp capos in the Jewish baracks were Jewish and they effectively ran the camps. The famous "love commando" where Jews were forced to work in concentration camp brothels was only open to Jews. The people who used these prostitutes were all other Jews. They got rewarded with the prostitutes for collaboration.

    I don't see much of a difference. It doesn't really matter that the Poles were also antisemitic. That doesn't make them complicit any more than the Polish Jews IMHO. Giving a shit about anything other than yourself under the Nazis was a rare luxury.

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It wasn't until very late when we get pure death camps (December 1941). Worth noting is that it coincided with the fall of Stalingrad, ie the turning point in WW2. ... Up until the fall of Stalingrad extermination of the Jews was not a strategy, secret or otherwise. ...
    Come again? The Germans didn't even arrive at Stalingrad until August 1942.

    LOL - You are forgetting that the Americans don't think the war even started until December 1941.
    Yeah, and Europeans don't think the war even started until September 1939.

  5. Top | #15
    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust? For the same reasons. The Auschwitz ovens were all manned by Jews, for instance.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47277147

    I have no memory of Poland rolling out a welcome mat when Germany peacefully and without conflict annexed Poland in 1939. Quite the opposite. I remember Poland fighting back. Just like the Jews did in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. With similar consequences.

    I think Yisrael Katz is in the wrong here.

    Thoughts?
    Yisrael Katz may be wrong, but probably not for any of the reasons you have cited. While Jews performed all of the manual labor needed to maintain the camps in which they lived and died. This included the removal of bodies from gas chambers and disposing of them, by whatever means was employed. To say they were complicit in the Holocaust is disingenuous at best.

    While I doubt there are many people still alive who were complicit, the Nazis had very little trouble identifying and corralling Polish Jews. While the Poles may have resisted the German Army for a while, little resistance remained after the surrender, and what followed could only be called craven complicity.
    That's just basic human psychology. If you feel threatened you will do what you can to stay alive. Everybody under a totalitarian government feels threatened all the time. That's how they operate psychologically. All the concentration camp capos in the Jewish baracks were Jewish and they effectively ran the camps. The famous "love commando" where Jews were forced to work in concentration camp brothels was only open to Jews. The people who used these prostitutes were all other Jews. They got rewarded with the prostitutes for collaboration.

    I don't see much of a difference. It doesn't really matter that the Poles were also antisemitic. That doesn't make them complicit any more than the Polish Jews IMHO. Giving a shit about anything other than yourself under the Nazis was a rare luxury.
    This response doesn't make sense, but you seem to be saying Polish Jews share guilt with non-Jewish Poles, because some Jews in concentration camps had access to Jewish prostitutes.

  6. Top | #16
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Come again? The Germans didn't even arrive at Stalingrad until August 1942.

    LOL - You are forgetting that the Americans don't think the war even started until December 1941.
    Yeah, and Europeans don't think the war even started until September 1939.
    Indeed.

  7. Top | #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Come again? The Germans didn't even arrive at Stalingrad until August 1942.

    LOL - You are forgetting that the Americans don't think the war even started until December 1941.
    Yeah, and Europeans don't think the war even started until September 1939.
    Indeed.
    The people of Nanking know better.

  8. Top | #18
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Indeed.
    The people of Nanking know better.
    The latest reasonable date for the start of WWII in my opinion is the Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937. The earliest date is 1914, if we consider the Great War to have gone 'cold' for a couple of decades after the 1918 armistice, and to have run from 1914 to 1945. That's not much different from the historical convention that the Hundred Years War was a single war between England and France.

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    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    That's just basic human psychology. If you feel threatened you will do what you can to stay alive. Everybody under a totalitarian government feels threatened all the time. That's how they operate psychologically. All the concentration camp capos in the Jewish baracks were Jewish and they effectively ran the camps. The famous "love commando" where Jews were forced to work in concentration camp brothels was only open to Jews. The people who used these prostitutes were all other Jews. They got rewarded with the prostitutes for collaboration.

    I don't see much of a difference. It doesn't really matter that the Poles were also antisemitic. That doesn't make them complicit any more than the Polish Jews IMHO. Giving a shit about anything other than yourself under the Nazis was a rare luxury.
    This response doesn't make sense, but you seem to be saying Polish Jews share guilt with non-Jewish Poles, because some Jews in concentration camps had access to Jewish prostitutes.
    No, I'm saying that guilt is not a black or white proposition. It's all shades of grey. And above all, impossible to say who is more complicit than anybody else. That's what's so insidious about totalitarianism. It corrupts people. It can make good people do evil things.

  10. Top | #20
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    Only individuals can be complicit.

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