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I'm looking for a situation in history similar to the Holocaust

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 11:58 am
Maybe you should avoid blanket condemnations of other nations and their populations.
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 12:36 pm
@Setanta,
In Poland it was like that: Our new Big Brother will show the villains again, will kick their a**es! Americans are invincible. Americans will conduct a Blitzkrieg and win as always. The global policeman will restore international stability.

The greater was the shock of 9/11.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 12:40 pm
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:

Foofie wrote:

Thomas wrote:

Setanta wrote:
You make the same error as those who list other genocides which were not extra-territorial, nor organized as an agency of government;

See, this illustrates nicely why I asked about the "similar to". To me, none of your distinctions here makes any important difference, because they don't make any practical difference to the victims. Accordingly, I don't think it's an error to group the Holocaust with the Gulag and other instances of genocide.


Perhaps, it is just a matter of reframing the wording. Let us stop calling the "Holocaust" the Holocaust or The Final Solution, both being somewhat euphemistic to the actual events which were an organized Jew Hunt. See? Were the other examples of genocide done with such predatory organization? That might be what is being left out of the discussion?


Foofie - by your criterion, "an organized {enter-name-of-target-here} hunt", both the Armenians and the Tutsis qualify - as do possibly others, but those 2 I'm sure about. Please see if you can explain it to Setanta.


The two you mention (Tutsis and Armenians) did not have to go to other countries. The Jewish one went on to Asia (Russia). It was obsessive dementia on a grander scale. Plus, the Jewish version also had the help of inhabitants of many of the countries it occurred in. Did anyone hate the Armenians or Tutsis in other countries?

If you really analyze the Holocaust from the perspective or an organized hunt, and not from just the results in numbers dead, etc., one may conlude that some of Europe might have had a mental illness of sorts exhibited by its xenophobic anti-Semitism. So, for all of Europe's sophistication and culture, I personally think there is a dark side that genteel company does not care to talk about.

By the way, the U.S.A. got a wave of German immigration around 1850. These tended to be the families that were on the liberal side of the Revolution of 1848. After that Germany slowly swung to the right under Bismarck, the Kaiser and then Adolph. The good news, in my opinion, is that the U.S.A. got the more liberal Germans who became Americans.
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 12:47 pm
Elser, a Communist who attempted to kill Hitler in fall 1939:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Elser
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literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 12:51 pm
@Foofie,
Armenians were hated and killed by Kurds.
As to Rwandans, one would have to analyze the current conflict in the east of the former Zaire.
We constantly talk here about populous minorities on the rise in numbers, or about overcrowded territories such as Rwanda. Populations starting to look like a threat?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 01:31 pm
@literarypoland,
Dickhead.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  4  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 02:07 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

It's not a problem . . . it's a matter of there being a valid distinction. The Iceni slaughtered Romanized Britons because they had "Romanized," and they slaughtered Romans because they were Romans. But they weren't doing it systematically, as a part of an organized program of an established, functioning government. The Romans who then slaughtered the Iceni did it as a function of long-established state policy, but not necessarily because they were Iceni. Members of the Iceni tribe who stayed home were not hunted down to be killed. But the scale was only horrendous in proportion to the population of Britannia. As a function of the overall population of Europe, it was not a very notable slaughter.

The Franks slaughtered Saxons because they were "pagan," not because they were Saxons. The Saxons slaughtered Franks in return as an act of revenge. Certainly the Franks can be said to have been acting on a state policy, but any Saxon who converted was no longer a target. Jews and Gypsies could not stop being Jews and Gypsies, and could not stop being the targets of the NSDAP.

The Cathars were slaughtered because of their "heresy." They could escape that fate by recanting the allegedly heretical belief. Jews and Gypsies in the 1940s could not recant being Jews and Gypsies.

The question was about "the holocaust," which, even though there have been many holocausts in history, has come to refer to the actions of the NSDAP in the 1940s. Literary Poland, before wandering off into a cloud cuckoo land of telecommunications, made it clear that that was the event to which he referred. Therefore, the question is whether or not there were ever an event in history similar to the holocaust. I have said that no, there has not been. I might be willing to modify that to the extent of returning to an earlier remark of mine about how similar elephants and mice are.


I believe this post of Setanta's accurately describes the essential elements of the issue under discussion. It seems to me the remaining issue among the disputants involves primarily a semantical question - what is meant by "similar"? If one means 'having central elements in common' then, as Setanta himself has illustrated, there have been many exterminations "similar" to the Holocaust in human history. If, alternatively, one means 'having the unique combination of social, political and modern technological issues (that accuractely characterize the Holocaust) in common', then, no, there have, so far, been no catastrophes quite like the Holocaust. I think we all recognize that it was the unique compination of an abstract definition of the class of people to be exterminated (embracing as it did people of widely varying social, economic, political and even ethnic backgrounds) and the macabre application of the most modern methodologies of our Western civilization, that added uniquely to the horror of the Holocaust.

For my own part I believe these, admittedly unique, characteristics of the Holocaust, however piquant they may be, don't add a great deal to the moral significance of the act - apart from reminding us that our "advanced civilization" has not yet insulated us from the dark elements of human nature. Mass murder is mass murder. The systematic rounding up and slaughter of Jews in Europe wasn't materially different - for either victim or perpetrator - from the mass slaughter of adult males and enslavement of others in defeated cities. Thucydidies' Peloponesian War provides us several examples of this, and in the speeches which he puts in the mouths of the various ambassadors and spokesmen for the warring parties, addresses the moral issues involved in rather complete detail.
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literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 02:56 am
I'll add how Germans knew who was a Jew and who wasn't. In Poland, before the war, registers of Jews existed at their Gminas (religious authorities).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kehilla
The state made it compulsory to be registered there, even for non-religious Jews.
But we frequently hear about Jews who "looked Aryan" and as such managed to survive outside ghettoes.
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literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 09:02 am
"At the same time, the Irgun also established itself in Europe. The Irgun built underground cells that participated in organizing Aliyah convoys. The cells were made up almost entirely of Beitar members, and their primary activity was military training in preparation for emigration to Palestine. Ties formed with the Polish authorities brought about courses in which Irgun commanders were trained by Polish officers in advanced military issues such as guerrilla warfare, tactics and laying land mines. Avraham (Yair) Stern was notable among the cell organizers in Europe. In 1937 the Polish authorities began to deliver large amounts of weapons to the underground. The transfer of handguns, rifles, explosives and ammunition stopped with the outbreak of World War II. "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irgun
Poles training Jews against the British in order to promote emigration to the Palestine.
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literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 09:42 am
Some of Lehi members had undergone a military training by instructors of Polish Armed Forces in 1938-1939, months before World War II began. In Zofiówka of Wołyń, Podębin near Łódź and forests around Andrychów, they were taught how to use explosives. One of them reported later:

Poles treated terrorism as a science. We have mastered mathematical principles of demolishing constructions made of concrete, iron, wood, bricks and dirt.[14]

Later on, Polish government secretly equipped Lehi members with over 20 000 guns and allowed them to escape to Palestine using Polish airlines and ships.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_(group)
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 12:42 pm
Not all Jews who lived in the areas taken by the USSR in 1939, were happy with the Reds. The rich were losing their property, and those religious opposed atheism. Many wanted to "escape" to the German-controlled territories.
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literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 03:29 am
@literarypoland,
Look, not the only case when Poles clashed with the British empire. There were also Poles fighting against the British in colonial America (Kosciuszko nad Pulaski). Poles fighting alongside Napoleon. Poles always on the side of "liberty". And the British still remember that, I guess.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 05:12 am
Would we not consider what the Europeans and Americans did to the various nations of Aboriginals in the AMreicas, "a decent genocide"?

USing a mathematical modelling technique of scale similitude, the actual numbers of Indians (proportional to the original population) that died between the social efforts of Columbus,Cortez, ANdrew JAckson and Lyndon Johnson are much greater than the European holocaust.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 05:27 am
@farmerman,
William Denevan, among others, has estimated the pre contact population of the AMERICAS to be anywhere from 30 to 55 MILLION people. He had, in 2007 ., presented a seminar at Penn State on "doing away with the pristine myth" of the Americas. Several researchers had, by population back calculating and genetic markers, estimated the original population to be in that range in the 1402 period. SO, the rapid depopulation of Amreinds from the land, is at an amazing scale that lets me use the term " depraved indifference induced genocide".

Im willing to debate actual numbers and sources of data. ( I dont profess any personal knowledge in the populational geography of the AMreinds, so Ive relied upon those authorities who do)
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 07:38 am
I have two objections to the thesis that Europeans inflicted an horrendous and indiscriminate slaughter on the Amerindians. The first is that it ignores the effect of diseases brought incidentally by Europeans and which raged through the aboriginal populations, killing in some regions as much as 90% of the pre-contact population. This doesn't require significant numbers in contact, either. When the "First Fleet" arrived in Australia, there were no cases of smallpox among them, and the chief surgeon (each ship had a surgeon, and a "chief" surgeon accompanied the governor) reported on the health of the population, convicts, sailors, Marines and soldiers when they arrived, and on an occasional basis thereafter. Not long after they arrived, they encountered aboriginal inhabitants who were dying of smallpox. As the disease did not derive from the convict and free population of the new colony, it obviously came from elsewhere. That elsewhere was the Bass Strait, between mainland Australia and the island of Van Dieman's Land (now known as Tasmania). There, Europeans hunted whales and seals, and landed on the nearby mainlands (Australia and Van Dieman's Land) to get food and to snatch women from the local population. There were never more than several dozens of these, but they only required one or two to die from smallpox among the aboriginal population to spread a devastating disease. The same thing happened in Fiji from a single sailor, the sole survivor of his ship, who landed there with smallpox, which he survived, thus leaving a record of the source for the origin of a pandemic which very nearly destroyed the population of the Fijian islands and spread to the Tongan empire, comprised of hundreds of small islands and tens of thousands of people. Neither the kingdoms of Fiji or of Tonga ever rose again to dominate their regions, and were a prey ever after to Europeans.

A similar situation obtained in the Americas. Disease had run rampant in South America, probably smallpox, just before the arrival of Pizzaro and his crew. Before the arrival of the Spaniard, Huayna Capac had completed the conquest of Quito, what we would think of as Ecuador. He continued to campaign in what is now southern Columbia, until an epidemic struck, wiping out a third or more of his army, and killing Huayna Capac. He was, at least nominally, succeeded by his son Huascar, but another son, Atahualpa, was in the north, and took command of the army. Within a few years, Huascar and Atahualpa were involved in a bloody civil war, which Atahualpa had just completed in his own favor when the Spaniard arrived. When they seized Atahualpa, the empire was in no shape to deal with the continuing shocks to its stability, and with the murder of Atahualpa, the authority of the empire collapsed. Eventually, the aboriginals got themselves organized, and rose against the Spanish, but by then, the Europeans were too well entrenched.

It is also alleged that Cortés was able to conquer Mexico because of a devastating smallpox epidemic. But Cortés landed in 1519, and did not finally destroy the Azteca until 1522. He was only able to do so because the other Nahuatl-speaking city states of the Mexican plateau allied themselves to him in the destruction of the Azteca and Tenochtitlan. It was only after that conquest that smallpox broke out, and the loss of life enabled the Spaniards to take complete control of city states which they would otherwise not have been able to conquer. It was that outbreak which spread ahead of the Spaniards, and enabled Cortés to conquer Nicaragua. It was probably that outbreak which spread through what is now Panama to what is now Columbia, eventually devastating the army of Huayna Capac and taking his life.

Which leads to the second objection i have. Had the "Inca" empire not been engaged in literally generations of wars of conquest (they had previously marched south into what is now Chile--and after an initial success, had been disastrously defeated by the Mapuche, who handed similar defeats to the Spanish), and a ruinous civil war just before the arrival of Pizzaro. Similarly, Cortés' conquest would not have been possible without aboriginal allies, and in particular, those of Tlaxcala, who were the inveterate enemies of the Azteca, or "Mezicans" as they called them, and who provided him troops, porters and supplies, and a haven and a base when he was driven from Tenochtitlan, losing more than half his Spanish force in the process.

In North America above Mexico, similar events took place, most notoriously the horrendous slaughter inflicted on other tribes by the Iroquois confederation. When Samuel de Champlain arrived in Canada in 1608, he established cordial relations with the Algonquian tribes of the region, and in particular with the Ottawas. They received news of an Iroquoian war party entering their territory, and begged Champlain to accompany them. Nothing loathe, Champlain with a few men joined them, and they inflicted an humiliating defeat (although not terribly bloody) on the Iroquois. The Iroquois never forgave the French, and twice invaded "New France" attempting to exterminate their enemies, once occupying the French colony (outside the city walls of Québec and some farmstead strongholds) for more than two years. This, however, failed to destroy the French, and as a part of their program, they traded with the Dutch and English, and attempted to destroy the livelihood of the French by destroying their fur trade. This was naïve, of course, since French survival depended upon their communications with France, and not the fur trade. Nevertheless, the Iroquois began, in the mid-17th century, a program of extermination which nearly destroyed the Hurons, their cultural and linguistic brothers, and several other large tribes, and which succeeded in exterminating many small tribes and septs. They reached as far west as Illinois, where Henri de Tonti warned the Illinois and lead them in surprise attack against the Iroquois in the late 1680s, which gave the Illinois time to retreat down the right bank of the Illinois, eventually all the way to the Mississippi. The Iroquois followed on the left bank of the river. The Tamaroa sept did not cross the Mississippi with the rest of the Illinois, and the following morning, the Iroquois cross the Illinois River, and wiped out the Tamaroa, except for a few "warriors," who managed to cross the Mississippi and were absorbed by the other Illinois septs.

Repeatedly in the history of European conquest of most of the rest of the world, and especially in the Americas, they were able to enlist the aid of aboriginal tribes in their wars, and they often simply picked up the pieces after the tribes had slaughtered one another. The Sioux, so much feared by early settlers across the Mississippi were actually not so fearsome--they had been driven into the Great Plains from their original home north of the Great Lakes by the Ojibway, who apparently were as fearsome to the Sioux as the Sioux were to the Americans.

There is little in human affairs which is so simple that it can be encompassed by anything so simplistic and naïve as is the claim that the aboriginal inhabitants of the Americas were destroyed in a vast orgy of slaughter which was the outward, visible sign of a deeply laid plot of genocide. Such a point of view is more the product of late twentieth century political attitudes and political rectitude run amok.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 08:07 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:


There is little in human affairs which is so simple that it can be encompassed by anything so simplistic and naïve as is the claim that the aboriginal inhabitants of the Americas were destroyed in a vast orgy of slaughter which was the outward, visible sign of a deeply laid plot of genocide. Such a point of view is more the product of late twentieth century political attitudes and political rectitude run amok.


I thought that the white people just killed off many of the Indians piecemeal. In the 1700's when land was desired on the east coast, there was slaughter there. In the 1800's it continued to the west. It was an evolving manifest destiny that allowed the process to take two centuries. I do not think it was planned that way; however, it just reflected the opportunity of the New World - free land, except for those living on it as the indigenous peoples.

The white folks were just spreading the wealth around (land).
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 08:51 am
I believe I stated "depraved indifference was the primary culprit for the decline of Amerinds post contact. The "cultivation of civilization and religion" was also a major factor in the decline of all tribes. The loss of Inca and other were NOT due to intertribal warfare because such warfare was systematically controlled and the practice of enculturing by taking prisoners was a common occurence. The loss of huge genetic lines in meso and South America accounts for an initial population size that dwarfs the "bottlrneck effects " of the Toba eruption. As it stood, a reasonable estimate of up to 25 to 30 MILLION people lived in the area pre contact. (wars couldnt have even decimated these stocks). The loss of the greatest populations were undeniably post contact and were again by depraved indifference and directed reprisals which constitutes genocide in my b ook.
The losses in the 5 civilized nations of the US constitutes a more direct and well planned system of removal and resultant genocide the proportional size of which was significant to the US Amerind population.
We have direct evidence that the British (at least) handed out infected blanket to spread smallpox . Whether the Americans did, is still debated. However in the words of David Thomas, jAy Miller, Richard White, Peter Nabokov, and Phil Deloria (Vines son)

"It has been estimated by some demographers that by the late seventeenth century, more than 50 million natives of North and SOuth America had perished as a result of post contact war, disease, enslavement, and the careless or deliberate brutality of Europeans--history"s greatest holocaust by far"

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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 09:29 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Repeatedly in the history of European conquest of most of the rest of the world, and especially in the Americas, they were able to enlist the aid of aboriginal tribes in their wars, and they often simply picked up the pieces after the tribes had slaughtered one another.
Thats a bit revisionist. The history of agreements, purchases, alliances, etc was always one of opportunity and simple convenience. Amerinds were considered subhuman by all the conquering peoples. The treaties entered into were all broken save a scant few. These treaties and purchases and alliances resulted in emerging fraudulent policies and were an easy way for swindling the Indians of their birthrights . Then The US was quite adept at developing treaty busting regs that left the Indian tribes at the short end of the stick and suffering.The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was a piece of regulation that mirrored anything that could be cobbled together by oppressive governments elsewhere..
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 09:33 am
@farmerman,
BTW, Deloria (Jr) has stated that when the Europeans learned how disease could be a tool for "enhanced subjugation", it was used.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 10:05 am
@farmerman,
I'll believe that when i see convincing evidence of it. Most of the "die-off" from disease took place before colonists even arrived on the scene. When settlers from the new United States arrived in the Ohio valley, they found it largely uninhabited.
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