Cheapening the Holocaust

zodiac zodiac at
Wed Jun 28 18:12:16 MDT 1995

Oh boy, yet another simplistic comparison of Hitler and Stalin (thus, by
extension, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia). Now we have Joseph F. Lockard

> Stalinism.  There's an ethical complicity in quietism, one that needs to be
> forcefully rejected.  The genocidal crimes of Stalin are so well documented
> that arguing or exculpating them places one in the same rhetorical class as
> Holocaust revisionists.


Let me quote from Deborah Lipstadt's excellent book, _Denying the
Holocaust_. In the last chapter, she deals with the variety of rhetoric
Holocaust deniers use to explain away the Nazi Holocaust.

(I have followed the alt.revisionism newsgroup for years, written several
news articles about them and their use of the net, and have repeatedly
seen neo-Nazis using the Lockard argument, with the same moral smugness.
Same with the news stories I've covered on Toronto's racist right
movement which was very visible two summers ago, before being shut down
by some local groups, like Anti-Racist Action. In lengthy interviews with
neo-Nazi leaders, I constantly encountered the Lockard argument above...)

Lipstadt writes about historians who see the 1930s purges and murders of
the USSR as a forerunner of the Nazis in the 1940s:

     These historians also seem intent on obscuring the crucial
     contrasts between Stalinism and Nazism . Whereas Stalin's terror
     was aritrary, Hitler's was targeted at a particular group. As the
     German historian Eberhard Jaackel observed in an attack on Nolte and
     his compatriots, never before in history was a particular human
     group -- its men, women, children, old, young, healthy, and infirm
     -- singled out to be killed as rpaidly as possible using "every
     possible means of state power" to do so. The fate of every Jew who
     came under German rule was essentially sealed. In contrast, no
     citizen of the Soviet Union assumed that deportation and death were
     inevitable consequences of his or her ethnic origins. People in the
     USSR did not know who might be next on Stalin's list. This uncertainty
     terrorized them. By contrast, during the Nazi assult on the Jews,
     "Every single one of millions of targeted Jews was to be murdered.
     Eradication was to be total." The Nazis did not borrow these
     methods from the Soviets. They were sui generis, and the refusal of
     these historians to acknowledge that fact reflects the same triumph of
     ideology over truth that we have seen throughout this study. [That
     is, Holocaust denial for political reason/ideology.]

So before you start pontificating about "stalinist hearts" lurking in
this list, you better examine your own "Nazi apologetic heart."

Maybe you feel comfortable calling Doug Henwood a Stalinist for making
the glaringly simple point that the "USSR was not Joe Stalin", but I'd love
to hear you say that about Deborah Lipstadt.

(Oh gosh! Have I indirectly defended Stalin by saying the USSR was never
genocidal!? Dear Lord! I must be a Stalinist! God save my soul!!)


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