Sunday, March 29, 2009

More Soft Core Denial

In another indication that "soft-core" Holocaust denial is on the rise there is a story coming out of Brazil in which an Archbishop Dadeus Grings, from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, told advertising magazine "Press & Advertising" on Friday:
"The Jews talk about six million people killed. But how many Catholics were victims of the Holocaust? They were 22 million in all."

According to the news reports the archbishop also said that while "Jews say they were the main victims of the Holocaust, the biggest victims were the gypsies, because they were exterminated."

This is pure historical gobbledygook. It is simply wrong. Many Christians were murdered but there was no plan to wipe out all Christians, particularly since it was Christians who were running the operation.

And gypsies were murdered. That is correct. But there was not a universal decision on the part of the German Third Reich to kill all gypsies [had the German won the war gypsies might well have been killed in their entirety and/or sterilized].

The difference between gypsies and Jews was that antisemitism -- hatred of Jews -- was the driving force of Nazi ideology.

In any case this Archbishop is one step away from Williamson, except that he is part of the mainstream Church. It will be interesting and telling to watch how the Vatican handles this.

Interestingly the Archbishop is from a German emigre family and is 72 years old.

16 comments:

FAIIRPLAY said...

Maybe someone should inform him that the Holocaust was equalvilant to the dropping of 75 Hiroshima type A bombs, or 128 Nagasaki A bombs by the Nazis, on the law abiding, civilian, neutral Jewish community. If he, or others who hold these preposterous views, thinks this is just, or, that the building of concentration camps and gas chambers was reasonable, then he / they ought to cease advising others. The Jewish community's of Europe had nothing whatsoever to do with the war, they were essentially innocent bystanders and neutrals, meaning neutrals protected since mediaevil times by the law of chilvary and the Geneva Convention.

FAIIRPLAY said...

Maybe someone should inform him that the Holocaust was equalvilant to the dropping of 75 Hiroshima type A bombs, or 128 Nagasaki A bombs by the Nazis, on the law abiding, civilian, neutral Jewish community. If he, or others who hold these preposterous views, thinks this is just, or, that the building of concentration camps and gas chambers was reasonable, then he / they ought to cease advising others. The Jewish community's of Europe had nothing whatsoever to do with the war, they were essentially innocent bystanders and neutrals, meaning neutrals protected since mediaevil times by the law of chilvary and the Geneva Convention.

Marc said...

Deborah,

I just want to point out that the last phrase of your post is slightly unintelligible. "Interestingly the Archbishop is from a German emigre family and is years old."

Editor said...

Bosnian Muslim cleric fights against Holocaust denial

http://srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com/2009/03/jews-and-bosnian-muslims-have-joint.html

Daniel

Editor said...

Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Bosnian Muslims cleric, said:

"The Holocaust is a historical fact: a genocide in which some six Million European Jews perished. Its magnanimity is universal, as values of dignity and respect of human being is what the Nazi Germany and its European allies sought to destroy. Denial of that crime against humanity is not only an affront to the memories of the victims but an affront to the very idea of civilization. Therefore we believe that learning about this tragedy is a cause for all who have the heart and will to prevent future genocides."

Daniel
Editor of Srebrenica Genocide Blog

Tommi Nieminen said...

Mostly I agree with you, but I find it somewhat inaccurate to say that “it was Christians who were running the operation”. True, most Nazis were of Christian origins and most probably retained their Christian allegiance (if not faith) during the Nazi regime, but the Holocaust was not a religious strife: it was based on a wild interpretation of the (quasi)biological concept of “race”. Some of the “Jews” persecuted were in fact Christians by faith (like Victor Klemperer whose diaries I just happened to read) if not by ancestry.

StGuyFawkes said...

Dr. Lipstadt,

You wrote,

".......particularly since it was Christians who were running the operation."

Is it Reinhard Heydrich or Adolf Eichmann who you cite as a christian? Or is it Hitler?

Is there anything I can read which discusses the church going habits of S.S. men?

Or do you just mean the "Ordinary Men" who worked the death machinery in the camps?

Please clarify.

Yours,

St. Guy

FAIIRPLAY said...

It's possible that 22 million Christians did get killed in WW2, and yes, maybe 'these deaths are today not given the publicity or remembrance ceremonies they deserve'. But it needs to be said that its up to the various world-wide christian Communities to 'remember their dead'. Some do, some don't, whilst most are no longer interested. Lets be honest most cities in the US, the UK and Europe [including Germany] do have an annual WW2 Remembrance Ceremony, but the turnout is very poor indeed, in most towns it's just an sorrowful looking handful of ex-army stalwarts and 'no one appears interested anymore'. But this is NOT the Jewish communities fault. If Christians have lost interest in respecting their war dead then blame them, not the Jewish community for 'trying to remind people that their 99.999%innocent of all crime dead matter, or should matter to all fair minded people. In my own part of England 20000 to 45000 people will reguarly attend an held weekly football match, but only 100 perhaps would bother going to the local war memorial for an once a year 30 minute service. This is an issue for christians to address to fellow christians and congregations and not an vexatious issue 'about how the Jews' appear to have better or wider support. Even this remark untrue [a myth] because Jewish Holocaust events are increasingly becoming very poorly attended and interest in the Jewish community is definitely waning. Treblinka, Chelmno and Belzec no longer matter, and most people think Mauthausen in Austria must be a 'ski slope. If the Polish Goverment had not turned Auschwitz into an museum then it too would have been completely forgotten about except in history books. So maybe it was the Polish Govt who set the Holocaust marchers a'marching and not the Jews?

Deborah Lipstadt said...

A number of people have made rather legitimate critiques of my comment that Christians ran the Holocaust.

The fact is that, while they were certainly not officially acting on behalf of the Church, no Catholic was excommunicated for participating in this effort.

StGuyFawkes said...

Dr. Lipstadt,

You wrote,

"The fact is that, while they were certainly not officially acting on behalf of the Church, no Catholic was excommunicated for participating in this effort."

Whether excommunication would have been a useful tool remains a gnawing question.

Degrelle, the leadeer of the Belgian "Rex", or fascist, party was excommunicated and it did little good. Charles Mauras and his Action Francais were excommunicated and the results were more visible. Action Franscais observably died from the excommunication. However the righ wing militants of A.F. then migrated to more viscious completely collaborationist and fascist groups. So the use of exommunication had mixed results.

Excommunication as a tool of human rights policy, or any papal policy depends on the existant of a deep and vibrant Catholic culture which will then, in effect, shun the excommunicated individual. The purpose of excommunication is to shock the erring party back to their senses with the fear of hell and thereby induce them to repent.

It's arguable that Germany was far too gone for the use of excommunication and the Pope knew it. Important point: the tool of excommuncation is primarily used to address "scandal" or the problem of Catholics who believe they can still remain Catholic and act or confess things contrary to the Faith.

Nazism would have been a textbook example of "scandal" except for the fact that there was no one around to be scandalized.

One must remember that the denunciation of "Mit Brennender Sorge" had already been read from every pulpit and had absolutely no effect.

Still excommunications might have helped but we'll never know.

As a historian I'm sure you know that Pius XII had recently concluded a Concordat with Germany which he may have thought precluded the use of excommunication as a tool of diplomacy.

The Concordat was the favored way of pursuing diplomacy since the time of Napoleon.

That may have been part of the reason he saw the use of "interdict" and "excommunication" as tools more appropriate to Innocent III than to the modern age.

hockey hound said...

You know, Prof. Lipstadt, that Christian apologists protest that those "Christians" who participated in "running the operation" we refer to now as the Holocaust were "not real Christians." The only real Christian, according to the line of thinking of these Christian apologists, was their Jesus, since, in their view, he is not culpable of any crimes. Apparently there are not as many "real" Christians out there as one would assume. Apology such as theirs reminds me of George Bernard Shaw's statement that, "Christianity might be a good thing if anyone tried it."

FAIIRPLAY said...

Discussions on Christians always remind me of my father, an 1930'S door to door pedlar of carpets, rugs, blankets, towels, and things he could carry on his back. When the worse for drink, or suffering another frequent bout of depression he would often repeat himself and you soon learnt that amongst his favourite saying's was the following advice: 'Never ask an Christian for an drink of water, lend him your horse, and run [vamoose USA] when ever he / she mentions Jesus. He was convinced that any person whose life revolved around trading on Jesus's name was an con-man.

If you want additional proof of this we need to remind ourselves that each year in Auschwitz the camp staff, monsters one and all, erected an Xmas tree, sang carols with Silent Night being the favourite, and individual guards have been known to go into prisoners barracks carrying small Xmas trees 'for the Jewish prisoners'. Strange as it might seem during WW1 it was quite common for troops facing each other across 'No Mans Land' at Xmas time to sing carols 'to each other and exchange small Xmas gifts' with cigarettes being the most popular. Another strange custom is for all Military regiments I know of to have an Vicar, Parson or Priest attached to them on almost a fulltime basis who blesses the men before all big battles. You'd think by now the various Church's involved would have boycotted all contact with the Military and roundly cursed their activities. Last word: Even Reinhard Heydrich was given a good christian 'send off' after his well deserved killing.

hockey hound said...

"You'd think by now the various Church's involved would have boycotted all contact with the Military and roundly cursed their activities."

Yes, but don't forget, Fairplay, the common adage of the soldier: "There are no atheists in the foxholes."

To extirpate such religious tradition is not an easy task, particularly when religion serves to console the hearts of men and women engaged in life and death struggles with their perceived enemies.

Ludovic said...

D.L. : « The fact is that, while they were certainly not officially acting on behalf of the Church, no Catholic was excommunicated for participating in this effort. »

Have we seen a double standard, like a pope excommunicating a christian who persecuted other christians, while refusing to excommunicate a christian who persecuted Jews ?

FAIIRPLAY said...

We need to ask 'When are the various Christian Church movements going to come out 'against war'. To boycott it completely, to remind people that genocide is in the heart of all dictators and war is genocides first cousin.

Yet, having said this [the impossible dream] may I mention an off-topic a subject that troubles me deeply, viz, the USA & UK been sending POW Taliban prisoners to Pakistan to be tortured, in order to extract confessions, can I predict that this act will become in time an huge vote winner for the Taliban in Packistan, as it portays them as martyrs, people who were tortured for their beliefs. Within the next 10 years I predict this issue will cause the existing Pakistan Regime and Government to topple. The new anti USA - UK [and anti-Israel] Govt will be the Taliban or Taliban sympathisers, and they will then have access to all Pakistans Nucleur weapons and rockets. Access to these weapons is the Taliban goal, and whats going on today in Afghanistan is small potatos compared to whats facing us 'down the road', especially Israel. So God Speed to the new President Mr Barack Obama in solving this problem, the snag is men-of-goodwill- are often powerless to prevent war, and to contain it's misery and destruction.

StGuyFawkes said...

Readers who are concerned about Truth and Memory might want to look at today's New York Time's. An article on the Cambodian "Killing Fields" reveals that the average Cambodian under the age of 30 has little or no knowledge of the 1.7 million who perished under the Khmer Rouge.

The schools do not teach that part of Cambodian history and the nation is led by a former K-Rouge officer who said he wishes Cambodia would simply put her past in a big hole.

In Orwell's 1984 that's called the "memory hole".