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Rocky

Regarding the so-called myth of the six million

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1 hour ago, Allan said:

Well said....and in fact the author does indeed blame their whole town for not taking heed of the warning.

Or perhaps, viewing the same thing a bit differently, Wiesel recognizes something that happened and wonders how and why they could not have recognized the danger and taken action either family by family or collectively.

 

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11 hours ago, Stayed Too Long said:

Allen was pointing out there were signs indicating Jews should take heed and flee Germany. WW indicated some did heed the warnings and left Germany.

Of course, the Germans were ultimately responsible for what they did to the jews, and the Jews should not ultimately be blamed for Germany’s actions.

But if you can see something bad it is going to happen, it is in your best interest to avoid it.

For example, if you are driving your car, and  see an approaching automobile is exceeding the speed limit, and will blow through the existing stop sign hitting you, it is in your best interest to stop so you will not be hit.

You could conclude you have the right of way, and do nothing, resulting in your car being hit, and passengers being injured or killed. You are well within your lawful rights to let the car hit you because the law is on your side. You would be dead right. 

True, the victim(s) would be in the right to not stop, and allow the offending driver to hit them. But one could argue, had the victims heeded the warning, they would be alive today. Using your logic, it would be improper to even consider the victims could have avoided the accident. 
 

I think you might be comparing apples to oranges – your example with the stop sign assumes I see the approaching speedy car and that I assess it is exceeding the posted speed limit and it does not look like it's slowing down for the stop sign – in that simple scenario I agree with you, it would be foolish on my part to ignore such risk factors from my perspective and judgement.

There’s a lot more to understanding the Holocaust - since it involves many perspectives and how people evaluated things, and how involved others may want to get in keeping something bad from happening (speaking in reference to the international community - which I'll get into below) -  so I don’t think your simple example is appropriate – but your statement “if you can see something bad is going to happen, it is in your best interest to avoid it” got me thinking of the bigger picture – and in general, ask “what were the warning signs and were they ignored?

I found this on -  U.S. Holocaust Museum     - “While warning signs are undoubtedly clearer in hindsight, reflecting on the events of 1938 challenges us to consider what might motivate us to respond to indicators of genocide today. History teaches us that genocide can be prevented if people care enough to act. Our choices in response to hatred truly do matter, and together we can help fulfill the promise of “Never Again.”…this page also gives a timeline of some of the early warning signs like in March of 1938 “German troops enter Austria, which is incorporated into the German Reich…German authorities quickly implement anti-Jewish legislation that encourages an atmosphere of hostility toward the Jewish population.”

 

And on    - PBS – Why Jews didn’t leave Europe   - Leon Botstein is a Swiss- American Jewish conductor and scholar  in an interview discussed “why Jews didn’t leave Europe, particularly Germany, after Hitler came to power in 1933. “The Nazis were not as organized as the American film industry describes them,” he says. “In the breach, segregating the Jewish population was the first order of business.” Indeed, Hitler even ordered that Jewish classical musicians be fired from their groups in the early months of 1933. However, says Botstein, most German Jews didn’t question that they would live and die in Germany. They thought Hitler was temporary or that he was so extreme that there would be a reaction against him. “There was always two Germanys,” Botstein cites, “There was the Germany of high culture…and the Germany of the beer hall and…of blood-and-soil nationalism, which eventually triumphedAnti-Semitism or even radical anti-Semitism wasn’t a surprise to Germans at the time,  even after Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass in 1938) and the outbreak of World War II in 1939, according to Botstein.  “People knew things would be terrible, but no one imagined to what extent,” says Botstein.”

 

There might have been many who thought something bad was going to happen – but as Botstein said maybe they couldn’t foresee how bad it would be or thought it might just be something short-term . And there’s another thing to consider about the early warning signs – the lack of response from the international community – in July of 1938 – “Intensified persecution in Germany led more Jews to try to emigrate, which required a nation to allow them to enter. In response to increased refugee demand, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened a conference in Evian, France. There, representatives from 32 nations discussed their immigration policies. Delegate after delegate expressed sympathy for the refugees, but most countries, including the United States, refused to alter their immigration policies to admit more of them. Only the Dominican Republic agreed to accept a large number of additional refugees.” (this quote is also from above link to US Holocaust Memorial Museum ).

There's a lot more to this topic - I'm just offering up a couple of examples of why I don't think the simple stop sign/avoiding risk analogy is applicable.

By the way, the time-frame of Wiesel’s book is when the Holocaust was already in high gear  (his original manuscript was completed in 1954). 

Rocky, sorry this wasn’t a discussion of the book – but I thought these few historical details gave some background to Wiesel’s dire situation...I’ve never experienced such hopelessness and utter cruelty – so it’s hard for me to relate to his story – maybe that’s why Moishe had difficulty finding people who would listen to his warnings (even Wiesel says he did not believe him) – until they experienced it for themselves.

Edited by T-Bone
formatting and typos

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Hindsight is 20/20.    Those of us going through history NOW may possibly make mistakes about how dire a threat is-  which later history may consider transparent.   That has always been true.

For that matter, the Holocaust was such a mind-boggling things that- even with tens of thousands of eyewitnesses, thousands of survivors of many types,  confessions from former Nazis, and both detailed eyewitness accounts of the evidence left behind and filmed footage of same,  there's been plenty of people who've thought it was all a hoax.  In twi, it was called a hoax.  To this day, there's ex-twi and kids of ex-twi who are still convinced it was a hoax.

Yes, it can often seem like only an idiot could fail to understand the warnings of the past-  while we overlook or disregard the warnings of the present.    Hindsight is 20/20.

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