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Why do we always hear six million for the Holocaust?

 
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 05:27 pm
old europe wrote:
If the fact that they were persecuted like the Jews, that it was a genocide for racial and ideological reasons gets more exposure,


Did Germany specifically target non-Jews with things like the Nuremberg Laws? Did the Reich Citizenship Law ever have a supplemental decree pertaining to the Gypsies or any other non-Jewish group? Were Gypsies ever prohibited from marrying Germans the way the Jews were? Did Germany ever post signs on park benches saying "Gypsies not allowed"? Did the Germans ever boycott Gypsy-owned businesses? Did the Germans ever erect signs saying that towns were "Gypsy-frei"?

Quote:
However, I absolutely disagree with the point that T-4 victims or Gypsies should be excluded from the term "Holocaust" because only some hundreds of thousands of them were killed.


That wasn't my point. I was merely trying to keep things in perspective. The Jews were especially targeted by the Germans and they endured especially horrendous crimes at the hands of the Germans.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 10:12 pm
Just my own opinion, but possibly a partial reason why the Holocaust seems to usually refer to the extermination of the Jews is three fold:

1) Most peoples, I believe, do not like to be reminded that they were ever held in contempt to the point of others wanting to exterminate them. Most people, I believe, want to think they are a "great bunch of guys," so to speak. Only a few groups, I believe, such as Jews, American Blacks, and Irish Americans with an ethnic identity, are willing to be candid about the prejudice they suffered from.

2) Since the state of Israel was not going to be popular in the Middle East, emphasizing the "recent" Holocaust as a Jewish thing, perhaps was a way to explain why Jews (the survivors of the Holocaust) suddenly get put back in a land they where chased out of 2,000 years ago. Emphasizing the Holocaust, as a Jewish thing, may have continued for the same reason; to give credence to the need for Jews to have a homeland, in context of the hate they met in Europe that ended in "their" Holocaust.

3) I also personally think that the western Christian world tends to use the term Holocaust as a "Jewish tragedy" as a stark reminder to what humans are willing to do when they forget to be Christian, since Christians realize that Jew hating was to a degree a historical failure of Christianity.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 12:27 am
flaja wrote:

It sounds as if you are saying that Germany's concentration camps didn't kill more than 3 people until 1934. Considering the ferocity of their initial attacks on the Left in 1933, I'd find it hard to believe that the death toll was only 3,000, let alone 3.


I was just referring to that one camp and that short period.

flaja wrote:
A subject does not automatically mean a national. The people of France were subjects of Germany after June 1940, but they were not German nationals or German citizens because they were not of German blood.



Here we've obviously a different understanding.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 09:47 am
flaja wrote:
I am not aware of any specific German claim that the Gypsies were racial inferiors.

What I dont get, Flaja - instead of commenting on an assertion by saying that "you are not aware" of it being true, why dont you just look it up? I gave a link to Google results that should have gotten you the information fairly easily.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 10:11 am
flaja wrote:
nimh wrote:
Yet the term Holocaust is also used on the same page:

"The Porajmos (also Porrajmos), literally Devouring, is a term coined by the Romani (Gypsy) people to describe attempts by the regime in Nazi Germany to exterminate most of the Romani peoples of Europe during The Holocaust."


If everything the Germans did were all part of the same event, i.e., The Holocaust, why do the Gypsies need their own term for what the Germans did to them?


ummm, perhaps because they speak a different language. Jewish people also refer to the Holocaust as Shoah (calamity) - and in fact many prefer that to the term 'Holocaust'.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 10:13 am
Cute, the way my posting is ignored, and discussion continues on points of detail. I'll retiterate:

Just my own opinion, but possibly a partial reason why the Holocaust seems to usually refer to the extermination of the Jews is three fold:

1) Most peoples, I believe, do not like to be reminded that they were ever held in contempt to the point of others wanting to exterminate them. Most people, I believe, want to think they are a "great bunch of guys," so to speak. Only a few groups, I believe, such as Jews, American Blacks, and Irish Americans with an ethnic identity, are willing to be candid about the prejudice they suffered from.

2) Since the state of Israel was not going to be popular in the Middle East, emphasizing the "recent" Holocaust as a Jewish thing, perhaps was a way to explain why Jews (the survivors of the Holocaust) suddenly get put back in a land they where chased out of 2,000 years ago. Emphasizing the Holocaust, as a Jewish thing, may have continued for the same reason; to give credence to the need for Jews to have a homeland, in context of the hate they met in Europe that ended in "their" Holocaust.

3) I also personally think that the western Christian world tends to use the term Holocaust as a "Jewish tragedy" as a stark reminder to what humans are willing to do when they forget to be Christian, since Christians realize that Jew hating was to a degree a historical failure of Christianity.
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 02:05 pm
nimh wrote:
flaja wrote:
I am not aware of any specific German claim that the Gypsies were racial inferiors.

What I dont get, Flaja - instead of commenting on an assertion by saying that "you are not aware" of it being true, why dont you just look it up? I gave a link to Google results that should have gotten you the information fairly easily.


I'm not claiming that the Germans targeted the Gypsies for racial reasons, so why is it my responsibility to document that they did?

To some extent if you were not German, you were of an inferior race as far as the Germans were concerned. But when it came to backing up German racism with laws and "science" the Jews were the group that was most apparently singled out.
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 02:09 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
flaja wrote:
nimh wrote:
Yet the term Holocaust is also used on the same page:

"The Porajmos (also Porrajmos), literally Devouring, is a term coined by the Romani (Gypsy) people to describe attempts by the regime in Nazi Germany to exterminate most of the Romani peoples of Europe during The Holocaust."


If everything the Germans did were all part of the same event, i.e., The Holocaust, why do the Gypsies need their own term for what the Germans did to them?


ummm, perhaps because they speak a different language. Jewish people also refer to the Holocaust as Shoah (calamity) - and in fact many prefer that to the term 'Holocaust'.


If Porajmos doesn't translate as holocaust, then the Gypsies do have their own term to identify what happened specifically to them, thus there were multiple events.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 06:05 pm
flaja wrote:
Did Germany ever post signs on park benches saying "Gypsies not allowed"?


http://www.chgs.umn.edu/histories/victims/romaSinti/images/exterm9.jpg

This picture is a scan of a book illustration quoting a sign from Nazi Germany that says, "It is forbidden to Gypsies and Gypsy half-bloods to enter this playground." It can be found on the website of the Centre of Holocaust and Genocide Studies of the University of Minnesota. The site notes, "areas in parks and public areas ... were off limits to "Gypsies," much like the exclusion of Jews from public life by specific German laws."
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 06:07 pm
flaja wrote:
If Porajmos doesn't translate as holocaust, then the Gypsies do have their own term to identify what happened specifically to them, thus there were multiple events.


Jews have the separate term Shoah to identify what happened specifically to them, so does that prove that the Shoah and Holocaust were seperate, "multiple events"?

Of course it doesnt. Same here.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 06:24 pm
flaja wrote:
I have never heard the term holocaust applied to anyone other than the Jews

flaja wrote:
I am aware that Gypsies were sent to the camps [..] Some of the tactics may have been so used, but I know of nothing that would indicate that their use against non-Jews was a general thing.

flaja wrote:
I am not aware of any specific German claim that the Gypsies were racial inferiors.

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum applies the term Holocaust when describing Romani victims as well:

    It is not known precisely how many Roma were killed in the Holocaust. While exact figures or percentages cannot be ascertained, historians estimate that the Germans and their allies killed between 25 and 50 percent of all European Roma.
It also describes how the deportation of the Gypsies/Roma to camps was systematic, and it notes how the Germans judged the Roma/Gypsies to be racial inferiors:

    Roma (Gypsies) were among the groups singled out on racial grounds for persecution by the Nazi regime and most of its allies. The Nazis judged Roma to be "racially inferior," and the fate of Roma in some ways paralleled that of the Jews. Roma were subjected to internment, forced labor, and massacre. They were also subject to deportation to extermination camps.
And:

    In December 1942, Himmler signed an order for the deportation of all Roma in Germany. [..] Even German army (Wehrmacht) soldiers home on leave were seized and deported for being Roma. Roma in Germany were deported to Auschwitz, where a special camp was designated for them in Auschwitz-Birkenau--the "Gypsy family camp." [..] Twins and dwarves, however, were separated out and subjected to pseudoscientific medical experiments under SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele. Nazi physicians also used Romani prisoners in medical experiments at the Ravensbrueck, Natzweiler-Struthof, and Sachsenhausen camps.

flaja wrote:
I was merely trying to keep things in perspective. The Jews were especially targeted by the Germans and they endured especially horrendous crimes at the hands of the Germans.

Between one quarter to one half of the Romani population was exterminated - because they were Romani.

How does that not qualify as being "especially targeted" and "enduring especially horrendous crimes"?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 06:58 pm
Excerpted from "Accounting for Genocide: Victims - and Survivors - of the Holocaust", Helen Fein, New York: Free Press, 1979:

Quote:
"Gypsies were officially defined as non-Aryan by the Nuremberg laws of 1935, which also first defined Jews; both groups were forbidden to marry Germans. Gypsies were later labeled as asocials by the 1937 Laws against Crime, regardless of whether they had been charged with any unlawful acts. [..]

By May 1938, SS Reichsfuehrer Himmler established the Central Office for Fighting the Gypsy Menace, which defined the question as `a matter of race,' discriminating pure Gypsies from part Gypsies as Jews were discriminated, and ordering their registration. In 1939, resettlement of Gypsies was put under Eichmann's jurisdiction along with that of the Jews.

Gypsies were forbidden to move freely and were concentrated in encampments with Germany in 1939, later (1941) transformed into fenced ghettos, from which they would be seized for transport by the criminal police (aided by dogs) and dispatched to Auschwitz in February 1943. [..]

Despite a 1937 law excluding gypsies from army service, many served in the armed forces until demobilized by special orders between 1940 and 1942. Gypsy children were also dismissed from schools beginning in March 1941. Thus, those who were nominally free and not yet concentrated were stripped systematically of the status of citizens and segregated.

The legal status of Gypsies and Jews [was] determined irrevocably by the agreement between Justice Minister Thierack and SS Reichsfuehrer Himmler on 18 September 1942, removing both groups from the jurisdiction of any German court [..]. Thierack wrote, 'I envisage transferring all criminal proceedings concerning [these people] to Himmler. I do this because I realize that the courts can only feebly contribute to the extermination of these people.'

[..] Himmler decreed the transport of Gypsies to Auschwitz on 16 December 1942, but he did not authorize their extermination until 1944. Most died there and in other camps of starvation, diseases, and torture from abuse as live experimental subjects. By the end of the war, 15,000 of the 20,000 Gypsies who had been in Germany in 1939 had died."


Excerpted from "Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses", Ed. Vera Laska. Westport & London: Greenwood Press, 1983:

Quote:
"Like the Jews, Gypsies were singled out by the Nazis for racial persecution and annihilation. [..] The Nurembuerg Laws of 1935 aimed at the Jews were soon amended to include the Gypsies.

In 1937, they were classified as asocials, second-class citizens, subject to concentration camp imprisonment. As early as 1936, some had been sent to camps. After 1939, Gypsies from Germany and from the German-occupied territories were shipped by the thousands first to Jewish ghettos in Poland at Warsaw, Lublin, Kielce, Rabka, Zary, Siedlce and others.

It is not known how many were killed by the Einsatzgruppen charged with speedy extermination by shooting. For the sake of efficiency Gypsies were also shot naked, facing their pre-dug graves. According to the Nazi experts, shooting Jews was easier, they stood still, `while the Gypsies cry out, howl, and move constantly, even when they are already standing on the shooting ground. Some of them even jumped into the ditch before the volley and pretended to be dead.'

The first to go were the German Gypsies; 30,000 were deported East in three waves in 1939, 1941 and 1943. Those married to Germans were exempted but were sterilized, as were their children after the age of twelve. [..]

For a while Himmler wished to exempt two tribes and `only' sterilize them, but by 1942 he signed the decree for all Gypsies to be shipped to Auschwitz. There they were subjected to all that Auschwitz meant, including the medical experiments, before they were exterminated.

Gypsies perished in Dachau, Mauthasusen, Ravensbruck and other camps. At Sachsenhausen they were subjected to special experiments that were to prove scientifically that their blood was different from that of the Germans. [..]

Gypsy women were forced to become guinea pigs in the hands of Nazi physicians. Among others they were sterilized as `unworthy of human reproduction' (fortpflanzungsunwuerdig), only to be ultimately annihilated as not worthy of living. [..]

For a while there was a Gypsy Family Camp in Auschwitz, but on August 6, 1944, it was liquidated. Some men and women were shipped to German factories as slave labor; the rest, about 3,000 women, children and old people, were gassed.

No precise statistics exist about the extermination of European Gypsies. Some estimates place the number between 500,000 and 600,000, most of them gassed in Auschwitz. Others indicated a more conservative 200,000 Gypsy victims of the Holocaust."


Both excerpts taken from: Modern History Sourcebook: Gypsies in the Holocaust
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 08:00 pm
nimh wrote:
flaja wrote:
If Porajmos doesn't translate as holocaust, then the Gypsies do have their own term to identify what happened specifically to them, thus there were multiple events.


Jews have the separate term Shoah to identify what happened specifically to them, so does that prove that the Shoah and Holocaust were seperate, "multiple events"?

Of course it doesnt. Same here.


Holocaust is the English translation of the Hebrew term Shoah. They are the same event.
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 08:03 pm
nimh wrote:
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum applies the term Holocaust when describing Romani victims as well:


Then why do the Gypsies have a separate term for what the Germans did to them?
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 08:04 pm
nimh wrote:
Excerpted from "Accounting for Genocide: Victims - and Survivors - of the Holocaust", Helen Fein, New York: Free Press, 1979:

Quote:
"Gypsies were officially defined as non-Aryan by the Nuremberg laws of 1935, which also first defined Jews; both groups were forbidden to marry Germans. Gypsies were later labeled as asocials by the 1937 Laws against Crime, regardless of whether they had been charged with any unlawful acts. [..]

By May 1938, SS Reichsfuehrer Himmler established the Central Office for Fighting the Gypsy Menace, which defined the question as `a matter of race,' discriminating pure Gypsies from part Gypsies as Jews were discriminated, and ordering their registration. In 1939, resettlement of Gypsies was put under Eichmann's jurisdiction along with that of the Jews.

Gypsies were forbidden to move freely and were concentrated in encampments with Germany in 1939, later (1941) transformed into fenced ghettos, from which they would be seized for transport by the criminal police (aided by dogs) and dispatched to Auschwitz in February 1943. [..]

Despite a 1937 law excluding gypsies from army service, many served in the armed forces until demobilized by special orders between 1940 and 1942. Gypsy children were also dismissed from schools beginning in March 1941. Thus, those who were nominally free and not yet concentrated were stripped systematically of the status of citizens and segregated.

The legal status of Gypsies and Jews [was] determined irrevocably by the agreement between Justice Minister Thierack and SS Reichsfuehrer Himmler on 18 September 1942, removing both groups from the jurisdiction of any German court [..]. Thierack wrote, 'I envisage transferring all criminal proceedings concerning [these people] to Himmler. I do this because I realize that the courts can only feebly contribute to the extermination of these people.'

[..] Himmler decreed the transport of Gypsies to Auschwitz on 16 December 1942, but he did not authorize their extermination until 1944. Most died there and in other camps of starvation, diseases, and torture from abuse as live experimental subjects. By the end of the war, 15,000 of the 20,000 Gypsies who had been in Germany in 1939 had died."


Excerpted from "Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses", Ed. Vera Laska. Westport & London: Greenwood Press, 1983:

Quote:
"Like the Jews, Gypsies were singled out by the Nazis for racial persecution and annihilation. [..] The Nurembuerg Laws of 1935 aimed at the Jews were soon amended to include the Gypsies.

In 1937, they were classified as asocials, second-class citizens, subject to concentration camp imprisonment. As early as 1936, some had been sent to camps. After 1939, Gypsies from Germany and from the German-occupied territories were shipped by the thousands first to Jewish ghettos in Poland at Warsaw, Lublin, Kielce, Rabka, Zary, Siedlce and others.

It is not known how many were killed by the Einsatzgruppen charged with speedy extermination by shooting. For the sake of efficiency Gypsies were also shot naked, facing their pre-dug graves. According to the Nazi experts, shooting Jews was easier, they stood still, `while the Gypsies cry out, howl, and move constantly, even when they are already standing on the shooting ground. Some of them even jumped into the ditch before the volley and pretended to be dead.'

The first to go were the German Gypsies; 30,000 were deported East in three waves in 1939, 1941 and 1943. Those married to Germans were exempted but were sterilized, as were their children after the age of twelve. [..]

For a while Himmler wished to exempt two tribes and `only' sterilize them, but by 1942 he signed the decree for all Gypsies to be shipped to Auschwitz. There they were subjected to all that Auschwitz meant, including the medical experiments, before they were exterminated.

Gypsies perished in Dachau, Mauthasusen, Ravensbruck and other camps. At Sachsenhausen they were subjected to special experiments that were to prove scientifically that their blood was different from that of the Germans. [..]

Gypsy women were forced to become guinea pigs in the hands of Nazi physicians. Among others they were sterilized as `unworthy of human reproduction' (fortpflanzungsunwuerdig), only to be ultimately annihilated as not worthy of living. [..]

For a while there was a Gypsy Family Camp in Auschwitz, but on August 6, 1944, it was liquidated. Some men and women were shipped to German factories as slave labor; the rest, about 3,000 women, children and old people, were gassed.

No precise statistics exist about the extermination of European Gypsies. Some estimates place the number between 500,000 and 600,000, most of them gassed in Auschwitz. Others indicated a more conservative 200,000 Gypsy victims of the Holocaust."


Both excerpts taken from: Modern History Sourcebook: Gypsies in the Holocaust


Then why do the Gypsies have a separate term for what the Germans did to them?
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 08:42 pm
flaja wrote:
Holocaust is the English translation of the Hebrew term Shoah.


Not quite.

"Shoah" literally means destruction or [great] catastrophe.

"Holocaust" is derived from the Greek holokautoma (from holos, 'whole', 'completely' and kausis, 'burning', 'incineration') and literally means burnt offering.

"Porajmos" (or Porrajmos) literally means devouring.



flaja wrote:
They are the same event.


Well, all three terms describe the same event. Even though they are not literal translations, they have been used as synonyms.
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 08:58 pm
old europe wrote:
flaja wrote:
Holocaust is the English translation of the Hebrew term Shoah.


Not quite.

"Shoah" literally means destruction or [great] catastrophe.

"Holocaust" is derived from the Greek holokautoma (from holos, 'whole', 'completely' and kausis, 'burning', 'incineration') and literally means burnt offering.
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 09:02 pm
How is associating Germany's non-Jewish victims with the more numerous Jewish victims not a form of Holocaust denial?
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 09:32 pm
flaja wrote:
How is associating Germany's non-Jewish victims with the more numerous Jewish victims not a form of Holocaust denial?


What do you mean by "associating?" Do you mean that those hundreds of thousands of disabled patients or those hundreds of thousands of Gypsies were not systematically killed by the Nazis? Or do you mean that pointing out that other groups of people - including socialists, Jehovah's witnesses or gay men - were killed by the Nazis somehow diminishes the incredible dimension of the genocide and mass killing of Jews? Or maybe you're trying to say that it isn't legitimate to point out that thousands of people killed by the Nazis were actually Germans, because it was also Germans who were perpetrating the Holocaust?

I'd certainly like to know how mentioning all the other victims of the Nazi regime while acknowledging that the vast majority of people killed in the 'extermination camps' were Jews amounts to Holocaust denial.

Please explain.
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 07:05 am
old europe wrote:
What do you mean by "associating?"


Insisting that Germany's crimes constitute a single event rather than a series of (often concurrent) crimes committed against a multitude of victims. The Holocaust was the German crime directed at the Jews. T-4 was a separate crime directed (mainly) at ethnic Germans. The same is true for what the Germans did to the Gypsies. By lumping all of Germany's criminal operations into one single event, you do lessen the impact on any given group of victims. A Holocaust denier could easily say that what the Germans did to the Jews wasn't so bad because the Germans had so many other, non-Jewish, victims.
0 Replies
 
 

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