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Jeffk 1970
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:49 pm

Received notification about a new book called “The Swastika Knights” dealing with Finnish atrocities towards Jews during WW II. Might be worth a look down the line.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:25 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:49 pm
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:04 am
I started reading “A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad.” I will add things as I see them. The author does bring up HD and some familiar anti-Israel tropes.

About three chapters in. It’s interesting, the author worked his way through ancient and Medieval forms of antisemitism. Right now the focus is on 19th century antisemitism.
Dumping this for “The Terrible Secret,” more in the mood for this.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by NathanC » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:05 pm

I'm currently reading Applebaum's Gulag.

I have to say, this is a lot better than her Holodomor book. It's very much like KL in that it provides a thorough overview of the entire Soviet Gulag system. Applebaum shows that while the KLs and the Gulags had very different aims, they had one thing in common: the cruelty of the way people were transported to and from the Gulags. The Accounts Applebaum cites really don't differ that much from Holocaust transports: the trains were overcrowded, people had no privacy, and fights tended to break out. One might say that the gulag transports were WORSE, since these people were transported through the entire length of the USSR. She also shows that the Gulag guards were really not that different from the Nazi KL staff, in that they were just as prone to random acts of cruelty or sadism.

The Sadism and Cruelty of the Soviet Gulag staff is remarkable, in that they were unlike the SS, they weren't motivated by Antisemitism or Hatred of Slavs. Phillip Zimbardo's Stanford Experiment may have been exposed to have been manipulated, but there's no denying that the environment of a prison can and does influence the behavior of the people in power.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:06 pm

NathanC wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:05 pm
I'm currently reading Applebaum's Gulag.

I have to say, this is a lot better than her Holodomor book. It's very much like KL in that it provides a thorough overview of the entire Soviet Gulag system. Applebaum shows that while the KLs and the Gulags had very different aims, they had one thing in common: the cruelty of the way people were transported to and from the Gulags. The Accounts Applebaum cites really don't differ that much from Holocaust transports: the trains were overcrowded, people had no privacy, and fights tended to break out. One might say that the gulag transports were WORSE, since these people were transported through the entire length of the USSR. She also shows that the Gulag guards were really not that different from the Nazi KL staff, in that they were just as prone to random acts of cruelty or sadism.

The Sadism and Cruelty of the Soviet Gulag staff is remarkable, in that they were unlike the SS, they weren't motivated by Antisemitism or Hatred of Slavs. Phillip Zimbardo's Stanford Experiment may have been exposed to have been manipulated, but there's no denying that the environment of a prison can and does influence the behavior of the people in power.
I own that one, I read it about three years ago. With all the Jewish/Bolshevist/Gulag bashing going on with Twitter I may need to read it again.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by NathanC » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:24 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:06 pm
NathanC wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:05 pm
I'm currently reading Applebaum's Gulag.

I have to say, this is a lot better than her Holodomor book. It's very much like KL in that it provides a thorough overview of the entire Soviet Gulag system. Applebaum shows that while the KLs and the Gulags had very different aims, they had one thing in common: the cruelty of the way people were transported to and from the Gulags. The Accounts Applebaum cites really don't differ that much from Holocaust transports: the trains were overcrowded, people had no privacy, and fights tended to break out. One might say that the gulag transports were WORSE, since these people were transported through the entire length of the USSR. She also shows that the Gulag guards were really not that different from the Nazi KL staff, in that they were just as prone to random acts of cruelty or sadism.

The Sadism and Cruelty of the Soviet Gulag staff is remarkable, in that they were unlike the SS, they weren't motivated by Antisemitism or Hatred of Slavs. Phillip Zimbardo's Stanford Experiment may have been exposed to have been manipulated, but there's no denying that the environment of a prison can and does influence the behavior of the people in power.
I own that one, I read it about three years ago. With all the Jewish/Bolshevist/Gulag bashing going on with Twitter I may need to read it again.
Also Gulag and Bolshevism denial. She mentions that the antisemite Livingstone is also a denier of Soviet Crimes. I wouldn’t be surprised if these “leftist” guys jump aboard the JB nonsense if they found out that they could scapegoat the USSR on the Jews.

The Gulags don’t help the deniers’ case either. Their favorite boogeyman, Yagoda, was in charge of the White Sea Canal project as the head of the NKVD at the time. As I mentioned elsewhere, Yagoda tried to keep the working conditions as humane as possible. No doubt he wanted to finish the canal and get back in Stalin’s good graces. His subordinate, the non Jew Edward Berzin, was also remembered as being the least cruel of Kolyma’s chiefs. Kolyma went bad after Yagoda was purged and Berzin was replaced with another non Jew, Pavlov.

Obviously, this doesn’t absolve Yagoda. Just shows that the situation was more complex than “Dur Hur hur evil Jewish Bolsheviks”

Another interesting thing about Applebaum is that she puts these events in modern context, or writes while taking current events into account. She does it in Red Famine, too, by explaining Russia’s invasion of the Crimea in the context of the Holodomor. Most historians don’t do that, since the idea is to recreate or understand what people thought in the past. Her approach might not be for everyone, but it does make for interesting reading.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:36 am

I need to read her book on Gulags again, along with Red Famine.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:54 am

Dieckmann's paper in Shared History - Divided Memory, ostensibly on the Kaunas pogrom, is a great overview of the escalation of EG mass murder, Lithuanian nationalism and relations with the Third Reich, and Lithuanian communism. It is first rate. He shows that Jews did not dominate either the Lithuanian communist party or Soviet security organs; in fact, in both cases, the % of Jews (which was high before the Soviet occupation) declined precipitously during the Soviet occupation and then incorporation of Lithuania into the USSR - due to Russification of the Soviet apparatus in Lithuania in the cities and the overwhelming preponderance of Lithuanians in the provinces. Most Lithuanian Jews were Zionist or orthodox oriented, not pro-communist; to the extent that Lithuanian Jews accepted Soviet rule it was out of fear of German domination. At the same time, as elsewhere, the Soviets' national policy, even as economic policies damaged Jews' interests, opened up opportunities for Jews and anti-Semites began to "see Jews everywhere," where in reality there was a bit more balance in the economy and administration.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:01 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:54 am
Dieckmann's paper in Shared History - Divided Memory, ostensibly on the Kaunas pogrom, is a great overview of the escalation of EG mass murder, Lithuanian nationalism and relations with the Third Reich, and Lithuanian communism. It is first rate. He shows that Jews did not dominate either the Lithuanian communist party or Soviet security organs; in fact, in both cases, the % of Jews (which was high before the Soviet occupation) declined precipitously during the Soviet occupation and then incorporation of Lithuania into the USSR - due to Russification of the Soviet apparatus in Lithuania in the cities and the overwhelming preponderance of Lithuanians in the provinces. Most Lithuanian Jews were Zionist or orthodox oriented, not pro-communist; to the extent that Lithuanian Jews accepted Soviet rule it was out of fear of German domination. At the same time, as elsewhere, the Soviets' national policy, even as economic policies damaged Jews' interests, opened up opportunities for Jews and anti-Semites began to "see Jews everywhere," where in reality there was a bit more balance in the economy and administration.
A microcosm of what else was going, some Jews might welcome the Red Army initially as a buffer against the Germans but things changed after they saw what Communism meant for them. They lost jobs and businesses, were deported, even executed in extreme cases.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:13 am

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

Edward B. Westermann
Hitler's Police Battalions: Enforcing Racial War in the East (Modern War Studies (Paperback)) by Edward B. Westermann (2005-05-27)

Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls
Treblinka: Archaeological and Artistic Responses (Centre of Archaeology Book Series)

Nicholas Chare
Matters of Testimony: Interpreting the Scrolls of Auschwitz

Jadwiga Bezwinska
Amidst a Nightmare of Crime: Manuscripts of Prisoners in Crematorium Squads Found at Auschwitz


These are a definite:
Yitzhak Arad
The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Revised and Expanded Edition: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka

Paul Hanebrink
A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism




Bouncing this forward to keep track of it and adding some additional titles (BTW these are possible titles to add if something isn’t available):

Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front: The German Infantry’s War

The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of KL Auschwitz

Nazi Empire Building and the Holocaust in the Ukraine

The Holocaust in Romania

Annihilation: Volume II: The European Rimlands 1939-1953

Genocide on Trial: War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory

The Holocaust in Eastern Europe: At the Epicenter of the Final Solution

I’ll probably come up with others.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:27 am

>> Paul Hanebrink
A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

Jeff B sent me this the other day:
Hanebrink, Paul "A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism"
Estimated arrival date: November 08, 2018
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:30 am

I think I might add in Michael Burleigh’s Ethics and Extermination.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:33 am

Also this one:
The Policies of Genocide (RLE Nazi Germany & Holocaust): Jews and Soviet Prisoners of War in Nazi Germany (Routledge Library Editions: Nazi Germany and the Holocaust) (Volume 8)
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:29 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:15 am
* Annegret Schüle , Between Persecution and Participation: Biography of a Bookkeeper at J. A. Topf & Söhne
Kind of interesting book from pov of complexities of Nuremberg laws and the paradoxical biography of a Mischlinge (worked at Topf, his father died at Auschwitz and was likely cremated in a Topf oven); interesting also in terms of Topf business model, the postwar situation of Topf and its employees, and use of sources. I quick read but interesting mainly for life in the Reich, not for Topf at Auschwitz and other camps.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:32 pm

My next three books to read:

Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust (HBI Series on Jewish Women)
Hedgepeth, Sonja M.

Women in the Holocaust: A Feminist History
Waxman, Zoe

Women's Experiences in the Holocaust: In Their Own Words
Grunwald-Spier, Agnes
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:37 pm

>> Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust (HBI Series on Jewish Women) - Hedgepeth, Sonja M.

Meh, this book has interesting content, or at least content interesting to me, but the papers are weak, many poorly organized and haphazardly researched. I'm switching over to Griffin's new, little book on fascism.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:33 am

A few random reports. (1) I finished Goldhagen's book, and I'm still mulling it over. Looking at other documents, such as the reports of American diplomats after Kristallnacht, I find a different picture from the one Goldhagen painted. These diplomats say that the major events were indeed carried out by Nazi organizations, which does imply a HUGE number of active Nazis. No surprise there. But the diplomats say these same thugs threatened and cajoled the onlookers to join in and that considerable numbers of onlookers left quickly, sickened by the spectacle. Goldhagen consistently denies that threats by Nazis had much to do with the participation of ordinary Germans, and he minimizes the importance of those who didn't participate. So, I continue to think about how to get a more precise measure of the actual popular support for the Holocaust (granting there was some support for the Nazis for nationalistic or economic reasons independent of antisemitism).

(2) I'm now well into Leni Yahil's comprehensive history of the Holocaust and finding it somewhat easier to understand than Goldhagen's (which assumes more familiarity with the details of the Holocaust than I have at my disposal right now).

(3) I just posted this link on the Donnydammerung thread. It says what I've been thinking lately. Basically, you can map Nazi and Soviet anti-Semitic propaganda to Trump propaganda, and despite Trump's denials, you get a pretty good correspondence between the shibboleths: Rothschild---> Soros, "cosmopolitan" ---> "globalist", and, of course, the constant "threat" from all but the "racially pure."

(4) Evidence that the old Medieval form of antisemitism is back: The kind of Jews Pence and the evangelicals love. To the Nazis, the only good Jew was a dead Jew. To Pence and his followers, the only good Jew is a converted Jew.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:45 pm

Well, anyway, since we dispensed with the nonsense I’ve ordered two books, “Genocide on Trial: War Crimes Trials and the Formation of History and Memory” by Donald Bloxham and “Architects of Annihilation” by Gotz Aly.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Denying-History » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:05 am

Well, I have some catching up to do on a list. Will post later.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:15 am

I had promised that I'd be attending an academic conference on the Holocaust this past weekend and reporting back on it. Unfortunately, I had to have another surgery and thus to bail on the conference. No report this year.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:14 pm

I plan to finish reading a new book I've started on the Ustasha youth, then read Finder & Prusin, Justice Behind the Iron Curtain: Nazis on Trial in Communist Poland, which arrived yesterday, and then Hanebrink, A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, which arrives today or tomorrow.

Not sure what comes after these books, but perhaps Mann, Fascists (which has a significant criticism of Griffin's ideal-type approach) or Goodhart, The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics and Reid Ross, Against the Fascist Creep - or maybe two more books on the Ustasha and one, recommended by D-H, on the Romanian far right.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:05 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:15 am
I had promised that I'd be attending an academic conference on the Holocaust this past weekend and reporting back on it. Unfortunately, I had to have another surgery and thus to bail on the conference. No report this year.

That's too bad, we were looking forward to your reporr.
:)
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:15 pm

“Genocide on Trial: War Crimes Trials and the Formation of History and Memory” by Donald Bloxham“

Per Mr. Bezos I’m supposed to get this today.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:23 am

Anyone have any thoughts on this one?

Joseph Poprzeczny
Odilo Globocnik, Hitler’s Man in the East
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:01 am

Not good or memorable
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:37 pm

The Ustasha book - I'm almost finished. The author, Goran Miljan, defines fascism much in the Griffin vein, albeit with some criticisms of Griffin and drawing on Constantin Iordachi and Max Weber; the material is interesting. Miljan sees Ustasha genocidal longings with regard to the Serbs, Jews and Roma as being at the heart of their form of nationalism - but, the book's focus being the Ustasha youth movement, strangely ignores the role of Ustasha youth in the Ustasha's genocidal program.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:26 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:15 pm
“Genocide on Trial: War Crimes Trials and the Formation of History and Memory” by Donald Bloxham“

Per Mr. Bezos I’m supposed to get this today.
Arrived yesterday but got home so late I forgot to check with my wife.

Reading something else right now so I will probably start on that in a week or so.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:34 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:05 pm
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:15 am
I had promised that I'd be attending an academic conference on the Holocaust this past weekend and reporting back on it. Unfortunately, I had to have another surgery and thus to bail on the conference. No report this year.

That's too bad, we were looking forward to your reporr.
:)
Fish does reporrs, I do reports! LOL

I will be going to a lecture by Jan Gross in a couple of weeks. My wife is "looking forward to it," she said with a certain amount of pain in her voice!
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:46 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:34 pm
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:05 pm
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:15 am
I had promised that I'd be attending an academic conference on the Holocaust this past weekend and reporting back on it. Unfortunately, I had to have another surgery and thus to bail on the conference. No report this year.

That's too bad, we were looking forward to your reporr.
:)
Fish does reporrs, I do reports! LOL

I will be going to a lecture by Jan Gross in a couple of weeks. My wife is "looking forward to it," she said with a certain amount of pain in her voice!
LOL, yeah, I know. I think my wife sometimes wonders why I don’t just take up fishing.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:58 pm

Actually, I kid a bit; she really loved lectures we went to be Shneer (through Soviet Jewish eyes), Desbois, and Greif. She's up for Gross, too.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:57 pm

Two other possibilities:

“Globocnik’s Men in Italy, 1943-45: Abteilung R and the SS-Wachmannschaften of the Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland”

“Creator of Nazi Death Camps: The Life of Odilo Globocnik”

Any thoughts?
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:16 pm

I've read the first one. I don't remember it well - I think it was pretty basic. I wouldn't recommend it, although you can get an overview of Globus's life. For details, you'd want either to crosscheck information in the book or use other sources entirely.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:26 pm

So I started Finder & Prusin on Polish postwar trials. I saw Finder on a panel at a conference, he was really good (his paper was on postwar honor courts in Poland) - so I was pretty eager to read this book. The first bit exceeds expectations - I believe it will have conclusions which challenge conventional ideas on these trials. It is written very clearly and sourced to trial proceedings and judgments. The range of trials covered is impressive: Höss, Stroop, Göth, Biebow, Macholl, Grzimek, Koch, Geibel, Bühler, Forster (I'll look back at Epstein when I get to this). There will be treatment of the Polish role at the IMT, including the separate "Polish indictment"; the conflicts between "London Poles" and the PKWN (which became the vehicle for the Communist takeover) will also be detailed. I think I am going to learn a lot from this book.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:20 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:01 am
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:54 am
Dieckmann's paper in Shared History - Divided Memory, ostensibly on the Kaunas pogrom, is a great overview of the escalation of EG mass murder, Lithuanian nationalism and relations with the Third Reich, and Lithuanian communism. It is first rate. He shows that Jews did not dominate either the Lithuanian communist party or Soviet security organs; in fact, in both cases, the % of Jews (which was high before the Soviet occupation) declined precipitously during the Soviet occupation and then incorporation of Lithuania into the USSR - due to Russification of the Soviet apparatus in Lithuania in the cities and the overwhelming preponderance of Lithuanians in the provinces. Most Lithuanian Jews were Zionist or orthodox oriented, not pro-communist; to the extent that Lithuanian Jews accepted Soviet rule it was out of fear of German domination. At the same time, as elsewhere, the Soviets' national policy, even as economic policies damaged Jews' interests, opened up opportunities for Jews and anti-Semites began to "see Jews everywhere," where in reality there was a bit more balance in the economy and administration.
A microcosm of what else was going, some Jews might welcome the Red Army initially as a buffer against the Germans but things changed after they saw what Communism meant for them. They lost jobs and businesses, were deported, even executed in extreme cases.
Especially in Poland. The Polish and Jewish underground movements, from what I learn, were in uneasy alliance. Some of the Poles really hated Jews. They both fought the Germans, but they had trouble agreeing on strategy, as the Poles wanted to be able to hit the Russians as soon as possible, while the Jews regarded the Russians as allies. This made for an ambiguous relationship, to say the least. Some Poles were quite decent and gave shelter to Jews. Others took it on themselves to do to the Jews what the Nazis were trying to do. Hard to sort all that out, I'm sure.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

― Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), French economist

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:27 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:26 pm
So I started Finder & Prusin on Polish postwar trials. I saw Finder on a panel at a conference, he was really good (his paper was on postwar honor courts in Poland) - so I was pretty eager to read this book. The first bit exceeds expectations - I believe it will have conclusions which challenge conventional ideas on these trials. It is written very clearly and sourced to trial proceedings and judgments. The range of trials covered is impressive: Höss, Stroop, Göth, Biebow, Macholl, Grzimek, Koch, Geibel, Bühler, Forster (I'll look back at Epstein when I get to this). There will be treatment of the Polish role at the IMT, including the separate "Polish indictment"; the conflicts between "London Poles" and the PKWN (which became the vehicle for the Communist takeover) will also be detailed. I think I am going to learn a lot from this book.
I'm still learning. I'm now about two-thirds of the way through Leni Yahil's massive treatise. The more I learn, the more I realize how ignorant my education left me in this area. I was still wondering until recently how it could have been economical for the Germans to close down so many hundreds of thousands of Jewish enterprises, where people were working and producing. All I knew from my education was that certain priceless objets d'art were looted from museums and homes in the occupied territories. (I also remember the movie "The Train" in which Burt Lancaster plays a French resistance fighter determined to derail a Nazi train carrying loot. Anybody else remember that?) After reading what Yahil wrote, I now realize the magnitude of the armed robbery the Germans committed against Jews. Not just cash extorted by taking hostages (which was itself prodigious) but houses and their contents, used to support the German war effort. It would have taken all the enterprises that the Nazis closed down decades to produce this amount of wealth. So, there's no doubt that (in contrast to Louis XIV's expulsion of the Huguenots), this atrocity was of economic value to the Germans.

More later, and thanks for this list of reading material. Monday night is the annual Hilberg lecture at the University, and the topic this time is Klaus Barbie, which has always intrigued me.
The Klaus Barbie Trial and the Jews of France

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Waterman Bldg 338 (Memorial Lounge)

Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture

The Klaus Barbie Trial and the Jews of France

Speaker: Norman Goda, University of Florida

The trial of Klaus Barbie (the so-called “Butcher of Lyon”) in 1987 was France’s most notable Holocaust trial. The desire by French Jewish leaders to emphasie Jewish Holocaust testimonies pitted them against powerful forces in France that favored opposing narratives, from former members of the French resistance to post-colonial thinkers, who especially opposed Israel and sought to equate the Jewish State with Nazi Germany. The trial helps to explain underlying antisemitic forces in France today.

Norman J.W. Goda is the Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida. His books include Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War and The Holocaust: Europe, the World, and the Jews, 1918-1945.

The Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is supported by Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York City, UVM Class of 1962, and his wife Gertraude Holle-Suppa
Last edited by Upton_O_Goode on Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

― Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), French economist

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:32 pm

One point which Finder and Prusin make over and over, in different ways and in different contexts, is that the Polish judicial and legal authorities in the late 1940s, despite their ties to Moscow, did not toe the Soviet line regarding the extermination of the Jews - that is, they took it as a distinct element of German criminality with its own "ideological underpinning." The German effort to wipe out the Jews was not viewed by these authorities as an epiphenomenon of a war of conquest, it was not subsumed into the crimes against the peaceful citizens of the USSR and Poland, and it was not de-emphasized. Finder and Prusin stress that there was room, albeit with some constraints for the Poles to develop their own perspective - and they argue that one of their contributions to the IMT was to highlight and detail the Jewish exterminations. A possible motivation for the Poles to take this position was the postwar context of an upsurge of anti-Semitism and pogroms in Poland and the authorities' determination to show other countries that Poland was above this.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:45 pm

Speaking of Polish perspectives, here (if you turn your computer sideways and read the pages right to left) is an essay by a Polish-born scholar well known to me. (She married a former classmate of mine from graduate school, who died about a year ago. I served as acolyte at their wedding, back in 1967.) I understand from her late husband that her family sheltered a Jewish family during the war. But she is involved in controversies with many Jewish scholars as to the proper interpretation of all those years.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:49 pm

thanks, I've read other stuff by her (I recall finding it aggravating! LOL)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:25 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:49 pm
thanks, I've read other stuff by her (I recall finding it aggravating! LOL)
Both she and her late husband seemed to have a resentment of Jews who still felt they had some grievances against the Poles. At least, neither was a denier, and they did recognize the magnitude of the horror. But they felt that the suffering of the Poles was under-appreciated. At bottom, I think, was that unavoidable conflict over whether the Russians were allies or enemies.

Your aggravation---directed against her husband, however---was widely shared by others, including my Jewish roommate from the 1960s. He didn't mind jokes about the International Jewish Conspiracy at first, but they rapidly wore thin on his nerves, and he began to suspect that they weren't entirely in jest. This reminds me of Goldhagen's claim that there is no such thing as an "abstract" anti-Semite; antisemitism is always very concrete and specific. But I think my classmate was an exception to that. He had numerous Jewish graduate students and was always respectful of them personally, at the same time being outspoken in his belief that Rothschild was a very rotten tomato in the vegetable bin of society.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

― Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), French economist

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:53 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:25 am
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:49 pm
thanks, I've read other stuff by her (I recall finding it aggravating! LOL)
Both she and her late husband seemed to have a resentment of Jews who still felt they had some grievances against the Poles.
That is exactly why I found her stuff aggravating!
"It was still at the stage of clubs and fists, hurrah, tala"

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:09 pm

Got this in yesterday:
Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction 1St edition by Aly, Götz, Heim, Susanne
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

https://twitter.com/jonronson/status/10 ... 24832?s=21