bizarre and outlandish Holocaust discussion
John M Cox
coxj at email.unc.edu
Sat Nov 1 07:05:56 MST 2003
I couple of the posts on this subject were shockingly ill-informed.
The Nazi state attempted to murder every Jew within its grasp. They would
have hunted the Jews to the ends of the earth if they had been able to.
This isn't exactly what Bush and Rumsfeld are doing to the Iraqis.
The totality and the ideological/racial component,
as well as the systematic and industrial manner in which the
Nazi Holocaust was carried out, distinguish it very clearly from, for
example, murderous U.S. policies in Vietnam and Iraq. One can acknowledge
this without minimizing the barbarity of these U.S. wars. U.S.
policymakers, unlike Nazi ideologists and policymakers, are not driven by
a racial goal of exterminating every member of a targetted population
(which is, by 1941, what the Nazi goal was). But of course the Americans
responsible for the murder of 3-5 million Vietnamese and 1-2 million
Iraqis are perfectly willing to murder millions of people in pursuit of
other political and economic goals.
Marxists, more than anyone, should be
able to deal with contradictions and complexities, but for some reason two
of the comrades who have chimed in on this issue have felt that they had
to trivialize the Jewish Holocaust in order to properly expose U.S.
>From Michael Marrus, "The Holocaust in History," (1987), 24-25:
"Consistent with the Nazis's biological racism, each and every Jew was a
threat, including the old, the ill, the women, children, and even tiny
infants. No Jewish community could be left in peace--at least, not for
long. At the Wannsee Conference in Jan. 1942, intended to set in motion
the Final Solution, the minutes noted 11 million European Jews. The most
ambitious task involved the millions of Jews of Poland and the Soviet
Union, but the listeners were also told to prepare for eliminating Jews in
such widely disparate places as Finland, Ireland, Turkey, and Switzerland,
where the number of Jews was derisible. The smallest community mentioned
was that of Albania, where the minutes noted a Jewish community of two
hundred. So vital was this campaign that the Nazis even importuned their
allies and client states to turn over Jews to be murdered. The destructive
urge, moreover, was not a momentary spasm. It lasted as long as their were
Jews to kill, despite important evidence of wavering within the Nazi
as you see, when you substitute "Americans" for "Nazis" and "Iraqis" for
"Jews," it doesn't quite work.
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