General Books/Reading Discussion

Holocaust denial and related subjects.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:08 am

It's good, not a classic like Browning's book, but very good.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:32 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:It's good, not a classic like Browning's book, but very good.



I’ve been looking forward to it, I think it will shed a lot of light on what happened at those camps.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:33 am

It's more about the trials but yes, it does that, too, through discussion of indictments, testimonies, and verdicts.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:10 am

re-read reports of Jerzy Tabeau ("Polish Major"), Vrba-Wetlzer, and Mordowicz-Rosin in Świebocki, London Has Been Informed . . .
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:06 pm

So, my father in law was an American soldier (106th Infantry Division, Co. L 422nd or something like that) wounded and taken prisoner in the Battle of the Bulge. After being captured by the Germans, he was held at Fallingbostel, Stalag XI-B, until April 1945, when, being marched east, he and another prisoner escaped.

My father in law was strongly anti-Communist, a Truman Democrat who wondered if the US shouldn't have kept fighting at the end of WWII, heading east. During his time in the camp, he recalled, the food was inadequate and appalling. He suffered frostbite, and botched treatment for it, and other injuries during his internment.

That said - and this didn't make sense to me when I first heard him speak about it as I didn't think soldiers captured in the east were brought to camps so far west - he often talked about the Soviet POWs in the camp, held in a rudimentary separate section, barely fed, ill housed. I recall his explaining how the Americans and Brits put their own travails aside and often tried to smuggle food to the Russian section of the camp given the deplorable condition of the men held in it. When he spoke of the Russians, he always said, bad as conditions were for him and his fellow GIs, what the Russians went through was unimaginably worse and in fact lethal. The plight of these Red Army men starving to death - whose cause and country, frankly, my father in law despised - moved him and others to find ways to get help to them.

With that in mind, I'm starting Lachenko, Soviet Prisoners of War in Auschwitz (Voices of Memory 11).
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:34 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I think I’m going to read “Eyewitness to Genocide” next and leave the Auschwitz books for later.


Started on this today, read it while on the treadmill. The author brings up “diesel gas chambers” in the first chapter.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:25 pm

I finished the Auschwitz POW book - hideous reading, stunningly horrible even for someone who reads a bit of this stuff from time to time

As I finished, FedEx delivered a package in which was Omar Bartov's new book - Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz - this looks interesting so I think I will read it next.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:05 pm

This Bartov book is effing awesome. You don't get to the German occupation until about halfway through. Bartov's handling of interethnic relations in Poland-ruled Galicia, żydokomuna, Soviet rule, and nationalisms in the region is really good; for the post occupation material so far the details taken from 1960s West German trials are really good, as are the portrait of "genocide culture" in the occupied East and the description of how the police stations and various components of the German killing operations worked.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:29 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:This Bartov book is effing awesome. You don't get to the German occupation until about halfway through. Bartov's handling of interethnic relations in Poland-ruled Galicia, żydokomuna, Soviet rule, and nationalisms in the region is really good; for the post occupation material so far the details taken from 1960s West German trials are really good, as are the portrait of "genocide culture" in the occupied East and the description of how the police stations and various components of the German killing operations worked.


No, no, can’t get any more books..... :lol:

I will order the revised edition of Arad’s book shortly but I think I’ve got enough to keep me occupied for awhile. I also want to get “Holocaust by Bullets” from the library but that will only be once I’ve finished what I’ve bought.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:13 pm

I'm telling ya . . . :)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:58 pm

I’m trying to avoid having things lay around that I haven’t read. I never did finish that book on the Gestapo.....
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:46 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I’ve got a Kindle copy of Friedlander’s “Origins of Nazi Genocide” that I will work in as time allows.


I finished this last night. I have thoughts on it but tied up with work right now.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:31 am

Struggling a bit on figuring out what to read on Kindle next.....
I’ve got “A History of Fascism”
“Masters of Death”

I’ve also got “The Rise and Fall of Communism” but that’s a replacement that can wait.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:44 am

not Masters of Death (if it's the book I think)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:03 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:not Masters of Death (if it's the book I think)


The EG book and I remember you didn’t like it.

“History of Fascism” it is.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:22 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:I think I’m going to read “Eyewitness to Genocide” next and leave the Auschwitz books for later.


Started on this today, read it while on the treadmill. The author brings up “diesel gas chambers” in the first chapter.


Finished this morning, starting on “Shoah in the Ukraine.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:12 pm

Been working on a photography project but also reading The Architecture of the Crime: The Security and Isolation System of the Auschwitz Camp (2008) published by the Auschwitz State Museum.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:13 pm

“Shoah in the Ukraine” is a collection of essays by historians like Dieter Pohl.

I like it so far, I’ve gotten through half the first chapter.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:17 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:“Shoah in the Ukraine” is a collection of essays by historians like Dieter Pohl.

I like it so far, I’ve gotten through half the first chapter.

Is that the Lower/Brandon collection? If so, it's really good.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:03 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:“Shoah in the Ukraine” is a collection of essays by historians like Dieter Pohl.

I like it so far, I’ve gotten through half the first chapter.

Is that the Lower/Brandon collection? If so, it's really good.


Yes, published in conjunction with the USHMM.

I’ll try and read more of it today but I’m tied up with work.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:46 pm

you will like it, it has good contributions
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:13 pm

finished the Auschwitz security system book - it's more of a reference book than anything; may read a bio of Wallenberg next or a book of source documents on fascism - I'll decide this evening
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:22 am

finished the French Einsatzgruppen film, unsurprisingly Ingrao of the historians had pride of place; Martin Dean picked up in the latter segments . . . worst moment was Wannsee where the voiceover implies that the meeting participants reviewed the Jäger Report and decided to substitute gas chambers for shootings . . .

I feel that the film lost the thread a bit when it tried to survey the entire course of the war, then got back on track with the postwar trials . . . If I were a mass murderer, I wouldn’t want Ferencz prosecuting me, he seemed a tough bastard in his own way . . .

but on the whole a good documentary - Leon Wells, Faitelson and others are interviewed to strong effect, including many locals who either witnessed the shootings or SK1005 work, were drafted (cooks, cart drivers, etc) by the Nazis, or participated as members of the Schutzmannschaft . . .
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:32 pm

I went with the Wallenberg bio, which was recommended to me some time ago as a very fine demythologizing of Wallenberg and a good read to boot. Only a chapter and a half in, I already find the book promising.

Levine has this to say about "town vs gown" - relating in my mind to how deniers, picking on public memory, try using that to impugn scholarship.

Arguing that representations of Wallenberg tend toward unidimensional heroic portraits - the man who saved 100,000 Jews from the gas chambers, the hero who outsmarted Eichmann and stopped the Nazis - Levine writes,
Though scholars frequently request request that the public should leave behind some long-held and quite anachronistic "truths" about the Holocaust, the public seems not to be listening. . . . [I]n spite of the Holocaust's ubiquity, the gap between scholarship and public memory seems only to be increasing. . . . I have come to understand that at the heart of the clash between "town" and "gown" is the fascinating paradox that as scholars begin to understand the Holocaust - utilizing ever growing amounts of data in their analyses - the less this essential advance seems to be understood by society at large, which holds on to "truths" about the event, long ago absorbed. . . .

Levine doesn't mention denial, but as we've seen here, from David in particular, and as been-there at Rodoh has made it his life's work, much of denial is similarly trapped in the past, or at least in a false battle with it, targeting uninformed, often empirically challenged, almost cartoonish celebrations and moral band-aids, long out of date, instead trying to come to terms with the actual scholarship as it stands today.

Having identified the town/gown gap, Levine raises the further issue, to whom should we, as a public, listen to about such matters.

[Paul Levine, Wallenberg in Budapest, pp 12-13]
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:47 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:worst moment was Wannsee where the voiceover implies that the meeting participants reviewed the Jäger Report and decided to substitute gas chambers for shootings . . .


That stuck out to me, I found it jarring and disrupted the flow. Better to give a quick overview about Wannsee without coming up with an erroneous conclusion.

I feel that the film lost the thread a bit when it tried to survey the entire course of the war, then got back on track with the postwar trials . . .


I agree. Better to stick with the original idea of examining the Einsatzgruppen, maybe devote just a little time to how this evolved into gas chambers in other locations.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:57 pm

Yeah, and worse . . . the 2nd issue - wandering off focus - is in a sense forgivable, as a mistaken editorial decision about what would help a largely uninformed audience understand and contextualize the material. OTOH the 1st issue - how Wannsee was explained - is not forgivable. It's factually incorrect, and a serious documentary on a serious topic (this was not a Michael Moore style film) shouldn't misinform with such dubiously potted nonsense. We can debate the context for Wannsee, as we have done, or what the words of the protocol say explicitly vs what they reveal, etc, but stating that the participants spent time reviewing the Jäger Report and that they decided at the conference to start killing with gas chambers instead of shooting is dangerously wrong. My wife, who hears a lot about this, didn't catch it.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:52 pm

I posted too soon about Levine's book; toward the end of the 2nd chapter he does mention denial, but in a bit of a different context.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:20 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:This Bartov book is effing awesome. You don't get to the German occupation until about halfway through. Bartov's handling of interethnic relations in Poland-ruled Galicia, żydokomuna, Soviet rule, and nationalisms in the region is really good; for the post occupation material so far the details taken from 1960s West German trials are really good, as are the portrait of "genocide culture" in the occupied East and the description of how the police stations and various components of the German killing operations worked.



My library got a copy of this, put it on hold.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:52 am

Levine's Wallenberg book is well worth reading.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:30 am

So, update:
Working my way through a “History of Fascism,” I’m now up to the period in the late 1900’s, early 20th century. I’m going over the earliest history of Action Francaise, the earliest and longest running Fascist groups in Europe.

I haven’t read “Shoah in the Ukraine” since Friday but will get back into it tomorrow. I recommend both books.

Actually, the author contends that Action Francais was more of a radical right monarchist group. Edited to add, leaving in original comment to show my leap to conclusion.... :D
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:03 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:“Shoah in the Ukraine” is a collection of essays by historians like Dieter Pohl.

I like it so far, I’ve gotten through half the first chapter.



So, I’ve got about 100 pages left.

I highly recommend this book, it is shedding a lot of light on a subject that I was deficient in. I hope to finish this in the next couple of days.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:39 pm

decided to stick a bit with Hungary and have been reading Tim Cole's Holocaust City, a study of ghettoization in Budapest during 1944
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:17 am

So, have these books on hold with the library:

“Anatomy of a Genocide:
The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz”

Due to be checked out April 10th

And:

“The SS Dirlewanger Brigade:
The History of the Black Hunters”

Due to be checked out on May 10th

I’ll drop what I’m reading to read those.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:36 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:“Anatomy of a Genocide:
The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz”

:good:

Jeffk 1970 wrote:“The SS Dirlewanger Brigade:
The History of the Black Hunters”

:good:
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:13 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:The SS Dirlewanger Brigade:
The History of the Black Hunters”
:good:


I wondered if you’d read the Dirlewanger one.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:44 am

I am an outlier in that I like Ingrao. I've read that one and his book Believe and Destroy. The Dirlewanger book draws on sociological and psychological insights - Ingrao wants to understand motivation of the men and how they thought about the world and their place in it, not document crimes. Ingrao is a historian by training IIRC.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:19 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:“Shoah in the Ukraine” is a collection of essays by historians like Dieter Pohl.

I like it so far, I’ve gotten through half the first chapter.



So, I’ve got about 100 pages left.

I highly recommend this book, it is shedding a lot of light on a subject that I was deficient in. I hope to finish this in the next couple of days.


Finished this morning. I’ll continue with the book on Fascism.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:05 am

Starting on “Holocaust, A History” by Deborah Dwork and Robert Van Pelt.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Denying-History » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:59 am

Just got a copy of "The Theory and Practice of Hell" by Kogon. If it is any good I may create a pdf of it if anyone is interested.

As a side note, idk if Jeff would be interested in this but I also had two document books arrive last month containing a number of documents relating to Polish-Soviet relations from 1939 to 1945. (I haven't gotten very far into them because of my reading of Leo Kuper's "Genocide: Its Political Use in the Twentieth Century" and finally finished reading Mann's "The Dark Side of Democracy". I guess this reading kind of went to waste though.) But if they contain any liberation reports or stuff on the subject of the Nazi's treatment of the Jews I will probably make a collection post of those documents in a thread here. Probably wont get to them, anytime soon though as I still need to finish "Killing orders" by Taner Akçam & "The Gulag at War" by Edwin Bacon. Both these books are rather short.
« Yes, that may surprise some people, including my colleagues. But have no illusions. I never compelled anybody to work for me, just as we didn't compel the German people. They themselves gave us the job to do. Why did you work with me? Now, you'll have your little throat cut...but the earth will shake when we leave the scene... »
- Joseph Goebbels

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NathanC
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby NathanC » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:39 am

My Bookstore had a copy of Anne Applebaum's "Red Famine", so I decided to get it on DH's recommendation.

I have to say, while I found it useful and informative, I expected more from a book written in 2017 and supposedly based on all the scholarship before it and the now open archives in Ukraine and Russia. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know from a "top down" perspective. She does a good job explaining how the policy evolved and who exactly did what, but it wasn't anything that I hadn't read about before or found in Ukraine's verdict against the Holodomor perps. Though it was interesting to know more about Balytsky's role.

I'd say that the book's best benefit is the "bottom up" perspective; the fact that Applebaum does something similar to Saul Friedlander and shows us the view of the people affected by the famine. Another useful bit of info was the struggle to remember the Holodomor during the Cold war and after. I was honestly surprised to find out that there was little to no interest in the subject during the Cold War, in part because Americans were dubious of "atrocity stories" in general, and in part because the USSR successfully spread the idea that the famine was "Nazi Propaganda".

From what little I know, I'd recommend it as a great introduction to the topic, but would probably want to find out more from more scholarly people.


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