General Books/Reading Discussion

Holocaust denial and related subjects.
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Jeffk 1970
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:08 pm

I’m thinking about making this mandatory reading for anyone thinking to post in the HD subforum:

Image
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Jeffk 1970
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:24 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Waiting on "Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-39."


It was taking too long for this to become available. The library did have both volumes of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin biography available. So, I checked out both at the same time which means I’ll be reading like a mad bastard during any free time I have for the next couple of weeks.

See ya later.... :D


Alright, so about 100 pages left in the first volume.

It’s a bit wordy but there’s a lot of useful information. Kotkin tracks (in very painstaking detail) how Stalin took advantage of situations that came up to drive out rivals. The main rival being Trotsky, of course.


What I found interesting is that Kotkin doubts the authenticity of Lenin’s testament. He notes that it was released at a time when Lenin’s health declined rapidly and the testament itself was allegedly written a few months before. This would’ve prevented Lenin from repudiating it.

I doubt I will even start the 2nd volume before it has to go back, I will set it up to check out again.


So, finished. I set up an automated checkout for the second volume and will start on it when it arrives.

Final verdict:

It's worth a read of you want to know more about Stalin's early life and the inner workings of the Bolsheviks. It's very detailed regarding Stalin's maneuvers to eliminate his rivals (and his friends) as threats to his power. The most interesting revelation to me is Kotkin's doubts about the Lenin Testament that argued for the removal of Stalin regarding his rude behavior.

I doubt I will buy it though I will read the third volume when it is available. I find I am looking forward to the second volume that details the period from 1929-1941. I think this volume will be more focused due to the smaller time frame.


I checked out the second volume again and hope to finish it this time.


Yes, just checked this out again.

Seriously going to finish it this time...LOL


Slowly crawling toward the finish line.... :D

I have less than 100 pages left.

It really is good, I just wasn’t in the mood. I will actually check it out again to pull something together about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. After that it’s “Terror in the East.”
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Jeffk 1970
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:58 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Waiting on "Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-39."


It was taking too long for this to become available. The library did have both volumes of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin biography available. So, I checked out both at the same time which means I’ll be reading like a mad bastard during any free time I have for the next couple of weeks.

See ya later.... :D


Alright, so about 100 pages left in the first volume.

It’s a bit wordy but there’s a lot of useful information. Kotkin tracks (in very painstaking detail) how Stalin took advantage of situations that came up to drive out rivals. The main rival being Trotsky, of course.


What I found interesting is that Kotkin doubts the authenticity of Lenin’s testament. He notes that it was released at a time when Lenin’s health declined rapidly and the testament itself was allegedly written a few months before. This would’ve prevented Lenin from repudiating it.

I doubt I will even start the 2nd volume before it has to go back, I will set it up to check out again.


So, finished. I set up an automated checkout for the second volume and will start on it when it arrives.

Final verdict:

It's worth a read of you want to know more about Stalin's early life and the inner workings of the Bolsheviks. It's very detailed regarding Stalin's maneuvers to eliminate his rivals (and his friends) as threats to his power. The most interesting revelation to me is Kotkin's doubts about the Lenin Testament that argued for the removal of Stalin regarding his rude behavior.

I doubt I will buy it though I will read the third volume when it is available. I find I am looking forward to the second volume that details the period from 1929-1941. I think this volume will be more focused due to the smaller time frame.


I checked out the second volume again and hope to finish it this time.


Yes, just checked this out again.

Seriously going to finish it this time...LOL


Slowly crawling toward the finish line.... :D

I have less than 100 pages left.

It really is good, I just wasn’t in the mood. I will actually check it out again to pull something together about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. After that it’s “Terror in the East.”


Alright, so, finally finished.

I look forward to the third volume and I changed my mind about purchasing. That will wait until the third volume drops.
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:32 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I look forward to the third volume and I changed my mind about purchasing. That will wait until the third volume drops.


I read the second volume last summer, and heartily agree that the detail involved is what makes it so valuable (as an analogy, it's something like reading Proust, which I also do with great gusto). About 900 pages of text to cover 12 years. That's a little more than a page devoted to each week of Stalin's life during this time. Man, that's detail! How Kotkin ever kept it all in his head, I can't imagine. It would be far beyond my poor aged, fuddled brain.

As to reading, today was the big sale at the public library. For $10, I got three books: Leni Yahil's weighty 1990 book The Holocaust, Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 Hitler's Willing Executioners, and The Case Against Eichmann, edited by Henry Zeiger and published after Eichmann was captured, but before the trial. As I'm barely started on the Stangneth book Eichmann Before Jerusalem, but finding it extremely engrossing, I'm going to be doing a lot of reading over the next couple of weeks. My wife has a meeting in Boston during some of that time. I'm going with her and will spend the time in the hotel room or the lobby reading up. I'm deliberately avoiding learning anything about debates internal to the community of Holocaust scholars. I can get into that later, after I've read enough to make a mature judgment. Right now, I need to approach everything I read neutrally, without any pre-conceived opinions.

And I'll still be miles behind the experts posting here...
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

Rudolf Höß, hanged facing Auschwitz, the camp he commanded, in April 1947. He admitted to 1.1 to 1.5 million murders carried out under his command. Eichmann told him the number was 2.5 million.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Denying-History » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:12 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 Hitler's Willing Executioners


From memory, a number of reviews really cut at that book.
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
Joseph E. Davies

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:07 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 Hitler's Willing Executioners,


This one has some worth with the eyewitness testimonies and Goldhagen’s chapter on the death marches at the end of the war. I disagree with his conclusions on why the Germans attempted to destroy Europe’s Jews. I won’t go into more detail but open something here and we can talk about it when you are done.

I do suggest Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men, he released an updated version a couple of years ago. Goldhagen’s book is a response to Ordinary Men.

and The As I'm barely started on the Stangneth book [i]Eichmann Before Jerusalem, but finding it extremely engrossing,


That is a good one, I liked it as well.
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:08 pm

Denying-History wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 Hitler's Willing Executioners


From memory, a number of reviews really cut at that book.


Yes, I had heard that. As I said, I want to go into this with an open mind. But I'll be skeptical, as I always am.
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

Rudolf Höß, hanged facing Auschwitz, the camp he commanded, in April 1947. He admitted to 1.1 to 1.5 million murders carried out under his command. Eichmann told him the number was 2.5 million.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:58 pm

Picked this up yesterday:

In Those Nightmarish Days: The Ghetto Reportage of Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz

I doubt I will get to it anytime soon but I wanted to grab it for the future.
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:30 pm

Starting “SS Terror in the East: The Einsatzgruppen on Trial.”
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:49 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Starting “SS Terror in the East: The Einsatzgruppen on Trial.”


So first impression:

The format is difficult, it’s essentially a trial transcript (mentioned previously).

OTOH when it comes to Count One of the indictment it goes into very specific detail on dates and numbers (which is to be expected). I suspect I’ll be tracking these back to reports listed.
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:36 pm

You’re going to want to read Hilary Earl’s book on the trial I have a feeling ....
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:40 pm

Probably. I need to reset my reading list.
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:26 pm

Sort of took a detour, eating lunch in my office and happened upon “The Chronicle of the Łódź Ghetto.” I bought this some time ago, brought it in and never started it. I’m doing that now.
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby nickterry » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:06 pm

Just got hold of Andrej Angrick's definitive study of 'Aktion 1005' today, on Kindle Print Replica. In German, alas, and given its length likely to stay that way. Might seem expensive at north of $70/£50 but it's actually 2 volumes in print; 1,381 pages, 4,205 footnotes, and covers everything from the camps to all of the regions affected by 1005. The maps included are very detailed and allow for a clear visualisation of where the 1005-visited sited were.
https://www.amazon.com/Aktion-1005-Spur ... dpSrc=srch

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:47 pm

Thanks, Nick. That is one I wish I could read, I am sure ralphie will read it.

I'm not going to do a review of Litvak & Webman, From Empathy to Denial, except to say that the picture painted is complex with crude denial employed by some Arab opinion-makers as a method of attacking Israel's legitimacy and for getting at the enemy; the authors make some judgments about Israel and Palestine which I found irritating (coming close at times to equating any recognition of the dispossession of Palestinians with Holocaust minimization or denial; ditto with what I consider crimes against humanity committed by western counties in wars, colonization, etc); and the authors also make some pretty nifty gaffes. One we all should enjoy goes as follows:
Such [more Holocaust denial] was the case of Egyptian journalist Hasan Rajab, who remained unconvinced that six million Jews were gassed, even after his trip to Auschwitz . . .

(p 375) Ouch.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:16 am

Packages from Mr Bezos on my arrival home included the following:

* Roger Griffin, Fascism [important to my reading right now]
* Z Ornea, The Romanian Extreme Right [D-H’s recommendation]
* E Barkan et al eds, Shared Memory - Divided Memory. Jews and Others in Soviet-Occupied Poland, 1939-1941 [looks killer, final paper is C Dieckmann on the Kaunas pogrom of June 1941]
* L Sullam, The Italian Executioners: The Genocide of the Jews of Italy
* A Kay & D Stahel eds, Mass Violence in Nazi Occupied Europe [with papers by Martin Dean, Dan Michman, Dovid Kotz (I’ve corresponded with him), and - ducking for cover - Waitman Beorn]
* A Beevor, The Second World War
* A Beevor, The Fall of Berlin 1945 [glad to see it ended this way]
"It was still at the stage of clubs and fists, hurrah, tala"

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:20 am

These have now gone from probable to definite:

Götz Aly
Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene

Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction 1St edition by Aly, Götz, Heim, Susanne
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”


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