February 3, 2018

"Someone who survived the Holocaust and who says 'I was in a Nazi concentration camp because a Pole delivered me to the Germans' could be subject to criminal prosecution" in Poland...

... under a bill proposed by the Polish government, described in "Poland reckons with unintended consequences as Holocaust bill kicks up a storm" (WaPo).
“The government achieved exactly the opposite of what it wanted,” said Piotr Buras, head of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “The unintended consequences and the international damage have been huge."...

Having already alienated much of Europe with a law limiting the independence of the Polish judiciary, the Holocaust bill drew an especially stern rebuke from Washington — where President Trump had been considered sympathetic to Warsaw’s defiant brand of right-wing populism....

“The government is in a trap,” Buras said. “They don’t want to ruin their relationship with the United States. At the same time, if they back down now, they would ruin their relationship with the party’s base. And in Poland, this second factor is more important.”
The right-wing in the United States is actually (usually) pro-free-speech.

120 comments:

traditionalguy said...

There was lots of collusion with the Nazis FinalSolution in occupied Europe. After 1500 years of Catholics mandating antisemitism, it must have seemed natural to them. To find the people who risked their lives to save Jews, you needed to be in a Protestant area.

Hagar said...

This was a dumb move.
Also consider that Stalin set the boundaries after WWII and moved the pre-war boundaries 200 km. to the west, so that a large number of people who were Germans in 1939 are now Poles.

Chuck said...

“Pro-free speech” unless you work inside an Administration whose chief executive wanted/wants to “open up the libel laws” and whose recent reaction to a critical book was to call current U.S. libel laws were “a sham and a disgrace.”

I do think that there is a strong strain of free-speech in modern conservatism. Donald Trump is not a conservative.

Humperdink said...

"Donald Trump is not a conservative."

Look at his actions LLR. I could recount them to you, but I suspect you would still be in denial. Or maybe your comment is sarcasm. Nah.

tim maguire said...

One thing too often overlooked is that right and left in the United States mean something very different than right and left in Europe. The American right is based on classical liberalism--human rights, free markets, limited government. Europe is still fundamentally a feudalist society, with the state taking the place of the Lord in his manor. There is no significant European equivalent of the American right.

Big Mike said...

The right-wing in the United States is actually (usually) pro-free-speech.

We are, but what Chuck doesn’t get — he’s a Dumbocrat masquerading as s Republican — is that Trump is quite right. The courts have made it close to impossible to demonstrate “actual malice” on the part of a newspaper staff so these days working for a newspaper or reporting on camera for the 5:00 news program is a license to say anything you want about anyone you want. I’ll ask the law professor who runs this blog: do you honestly think under today’s case law Quentin Reynolds would be allowed to bring Reynolds v. Pegler to trial?

Tim in Vermont said...

The right-wing in the United States is actually (usually) pro-free-speech.

That’s because our “right” is orthogonal to the whole incestuous Nazi - Commie love hate thing they have going on. They are far more alike than different, and they are so wrapped up in their beliefs that they cannot conceive the possibility that there exist groups of people who value individual freedom. They try to suck everybody into their little internecine spat.

Tim in Vermont said...

The main difference is that the fascists have better tailors, and they are less dishonest about how certain people attain great wealth under the heel of the state than the Soviets, for example, were. Castro was one of the richest men in the world.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

@tim.. are you saying European Right is already left of center wrt American terminology?

Chuck said...

Big Mike where do you step off, telling people lies about which political party I identify with?

Tim in Vermont said...

Hamilton Sperger is over in this thread now, continuing his vain prosecution of Trump? Is he in the concrete gannet thread too?

Before you complain to Althouse, Chuck, remember the stuff you have said about me. Waaay worse. I never complain.

Tim in Vermont said...

How can somebody who is constantly yammering trying to get other commenters banned consider himself a conservative? Is like the most collectivist thing one can do, suppress speech you don’t like.

buwaya said...

This was a reaction against the EU and its tribe of bien-pensants. Who have long since decided that the Polish "deplorables" are indeed deplorable, in all sorts of ways, such as being too Catholic. One aspect of this was slagging Polish nationalists as antisemitic.

The problem for the EU though is that they have turned the Poles, and Czechs and Hungarians and a lot of other Easterners, against the EU powers that be. The EU bureaucracy is perceived as becoming overbearing and bordering on tyrranical.

What the EU thinks of Poland may be less important than what the Poles think of the EU. And this goes for every European public.

Mr. Macron admitted a few days ago that if they ran a referendum in France the French would likely "Frexit".

Narayanan Subramanian said...

@tim McGuire... are you saying European Right is already left of center wrt American terminology?

Chuck said...

Tim you should be assured of how little I care about you. If you wish, pick out the worst reply I’ve ever made to you, and link it, so that everyone can read what led to my reply. I guarantee that it was because you personally attached me first, just as “Big Mike” has done here.

Humperdink said...

LLR asked: ".....where do you step off, telling people lies about which political party I identify with?"

Actions typically speak louder than words, but with you LLR, we only have your words. And your words belie your stated politically affiliation.

Bad Lieutenant said...


traditionalguy said...
There was lots of collusion with the Nazis FinalSolution in occupied Europe. After 1500 years of Catholics mandating antisemitism, it must have seemed natural to them. To find the people who risked their lives to save Jews, you needed to be in a Protestant area.

2/3/18, 6:45 AM


Would you like to defend that statement?

Bad Lieutenant said...

everyone can read what led to my reply

Maybe, Chuck, but it might be more to the point if anyone could ever read your thoughts on the topic of a post.

MadisonMan said...

Telling the truth should never be illegal. Or controversial, even.

But then politics comes in, and everything is a sh!thole.

Tim in Vermont said...

I guarantee that it was because you personally attached

No, I don’t think you even know what “personally attacked” means, Mr Sperger. You’re the guy who thinks that “ad hominem” means attacking your pathetic arguments.

buwaya said...

Snark aside, in the current US context it is indeed the conservatives who are pro free speech, because the organs of the "press" in their modern form, are a near monopoly of their opponents, in both political and cultural fronts.

This is true even of the structure of the internet. It has consolidated down to a very few major companies. The free speech and political/cultural issues at Google are getting very interesting, likewise Youtube, Facebook, etc. The "left" (no longer a useful term really) is putting on the screws and slowly locking down, held back only by vague fear of a reaction from the current administration. They are all vulnerable to anti-trust actions after all.

One wonders what would have happened had the elections gone the other way.

Tim in Vermont said...

are you saying European Right is already left of center wrt American terminology?

Absolutely true. The American “Right” views things on a scale of individual freedom to collectivism, on that scale, both the fascist and the communists come out in the same place, with, as I said, the fascists having better uniforms.

Paco Wové said...

"European Right is already left of center wrt American terminology?"

In many ways, yes.

The American 'right' and the European 'right' really don't have a lot in common, other than that they are both opposed by the 'left', which tends to be relatively more monolithic in thought. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, etc.

The American 'right' is best characterized these days as wanting to preserve traits that are (relatively) distinctly American, and can be summed up by the Bill of Rights. The American 'left' seems to wish we were Canada.

buwaya said...

Politics maps quite differently in every country.
Taking American arguments elsewhere never quite works.

Still, US politics is becoming much more European. There are political re-alignments going on and ideologies are mutating.

Tim in Vermont said...

bowaya, you said that the Soviet Union was ‘objectively fascist,” isn’t Cuba “objectively fascist” too? Do you think that communism has ever been tried?

Chuck said...

Blogger Humperdink said...
LLR asked: ".....where do you step off, telling people lies about which political party I identify with?"

Actions typically speak louder than words, but with you LLR, we only have your words. And your words belie your stated politically affiliation.

There isn’t a single Democrat policy initiative or candidate that I have endorsed on these pages.

I took Senator Blumenthal’s side, on whether Trump was lying.

I took Senator Durbin’s side, on whether Trump was lying.

I have taken Senator Flake’s side, and Senator Graham’s side, and Senator Cruz’s side, and Senator Paul’s side(s) in the past, on questions of whether Trump was lying. Going with, “Trump is probably lying,” has been a cinsistently defensible position for me.

I am not, and never have been, anti-Republican. I am anti-Trump.



Angel-Dyne said...

Paco: The American 'right' is best characterized these days as wanting to preserve traits that are (relatively) distinctly American, and can be summed up by the Bill of Rights. The American 'left' seems to wish we were Canada.

Yes.

(That's why it's odd that certain American soi-disant "conservatives" can accurately assert the differences between the American "right" and other global flavors of "right", and then turn around and start prattling about "universal values".)

buwaya said...

The problem with fascism is definitions.
If we go back to its roots, and if we leave out nationalism or other such cultural elements that vary according to culture, it is a growth of "third way" ideas, a compromise between liberal capitalism and socialism.

If we take it as that, any society with a sort of central economic planning, however limited, plus an element of free enterprise, however constrained, is arguably fascist.

Therefore we are all fascists now.

CWJ said...

As to Althouse's actual post, the WP article does indeed make this as yet unsigned law sound pretty repressive. I'll ask my Polish son for more background, and what things look like on the ground in Poland. However, I do sympathise with Polish resentment at outsiders tarring them with the Nazi brush. Especially so when the Poles know that they themselves were targeted for eventual extermination as well as the Jews.

William said...

During WWII , one out of sixteen Poles died. That's quite a lot of people to die. I doubt if there's any consolation for them in observing that the Jews had it worse. I can also see how they would resent being implicated in Hitler's great crimes. The dispute does neither party credit and seems certain to lead to more hard feelings. This dispute shouldn't be happening........I don't think the Poles were conspicuously valiant in sheltering their Jewish neighbors, but that's the way people are. How many righteous Soviet Jews went out of their way to advocate for the Ukrainian peasants or Chechens or Tartars who were afflicted by the Bolsheviks and later Stalin. I expect the proportion is about the same as the Poles who sheltered Jews.

Angel-Dyne said...

Chuck: I am not, and never have been, anti-Republican.

Yeah, we know. It's just this granting to a political organization a moral and emotional priority that it should never hold in a human life that probably led to the bizarre deformation of character that is so floridly on display in your posts here.

buwaya said...

"This dispute shouldnt be happening"

It is planned. This is not happenstance.
There is a goal here, to homogenize populations and remove identity. This requires suppression of existing cultural identity, such as being Polish, and the imposition of a manufactured European identity. Hence Polish identity must be made to seem deficient.

The same sort of thing is in progress in the US. On an even larger scale, and its much further along. At least, in Poland, the little children are not, yet, being made to hate their ancestors and deny their culture.

Humperdink said...

Blogger Humperdink said...
LLR asked: ".....where do you step off, telling people lies about which political party I identify with?"

Actions typically speak louder than words, but with you LLR, we only have your words. And your words belie your stated politically affiliation.

LLR responded: "There isn’t a single Democrat policy initiative or candidate that I have endorsed on these pages............ I am not, and never have been, anti-Republican. I am anti-Trump."

Gag me with a chain saw. Remove the scales from your eyes and see the conservative/republican initiatives that Trump has rammed through. Very little, if any, would have passed if any of the remaining R primary candidates had won the presidency.

Tax cuts? No chance. Gorsuch? Nope, we would have had another Kennedy or Souter. Eliminating the Bambicare mandate? Laughable, your friends in the swamp wouldn't touch Obamacare with a ten foot scalpel. Slicing and dicing the EPA regs? Another No. Telling NATO to pony up? Nyet. Putting the embassy in Jerusalem? Riots in the streets, says the swamp.

Do you endorse any of the above actions launched by Trump? Are you willing to give Trump credit for any of the above? If you have, I haven't seen it.

Hagar said...

buwaya,
There are maps that can be googled to show what areas have been "Polish" over the centuries.

buwaya said...

Hagar,

Politics did not matter quite so much re cultural identity, until modern times.

Poland had control over lots of non-Polish peoples, and other nations over Polish people. Poland still has national minorities in fact.

Europe has also had great sortings in the 20th century, especially after 1918 and 1945. Where people moved to their "homeland", if they were among different peoples.

Chuck said...


Blogger Humperdink said...
Blogger Humperdink said...
...
...
...Gorsuch? Nope, we would have had another Kennedy or Souter. Eliminating the Bambicare mandate? Laughable, your friends in the swamp wouldn't touch Obamacare with a ten foot scalpel. Slicing and dicing the EPA regs? Another No. Telling NATO to pony up? Nyet. Putting the embassy in Jerusalem? Riots in the streets, says the swamp.

Do you endorse any of the above actions launched by Trump? Are you willing to give Trump credit for any of the above? If you have, I haven't seen it.

Huh? Reagan nominated Kennedy. Oh, and Scalia. Bush 41 nominated Souter. And Thomas.

And no, I give Trump very little credit for Gorsuch. I give Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society and Mitch McConnell most of the credit for Gorsuch.

I have no idea what to think of Trump’s healthcare ideas. I don’t think he has any. What he had, were completely empty campaign promises, about how he’d “cover everybody,,” with great, improved coverage. Lowered premiums, lowered deductibles. Etc. And he’d do it, against all odds and against the wisdom and judgment of everyone else who had ever been a serious player in the healthcare wars, by getting everyone in a room and making great deals. He’s done none of that, and has no chance of ever doing it. Trump has been the greatest grifter on healthcare reform in American history.

By all accounts, the tax bill was written by congressional Republicans and passed on a party-line vote. They were lucky, to get all the needed Republican votes when so many of them (like Flake, Collins, McCain, and a dozen or so in the House) had to overcome their revulsion of Trump to cast their loyal partisan votes. I’m not sorry or offended about the tax bill. I just don’t credit Trump.



Big Mike said...

Before we let Chuck's whining hijack the thread, I'd really appreciate it if someone with legal training (perhaps a retired law professor?) could answer my question regarding Reynolds v. Pegler. The case is described from the perspective of the plaintiff's attorney in Louis Nizer's My Life in Court, available via the Althouse Amazon portal. Repeating my question, under today's case law would Reynolds v. Pegler be allowed to go forward, or would it be thrown out of court?

CWJ said...

buwaya,

Your last comment is a good one as far as it goes, but I winced at the notion that people "moved" to their homelands after WWII as opposed to being expelled. I had much the same reaction to your characterizing Japanese treatment of their adversaries as merely "cruel."

Big Mike said...

@Chuck, the main thing your comment at 9:06 does is provide support for the old saying that "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

Gahrie said...

The right-wing in the United States is actually (usually) pro-free-speech.

When have they not been pro free speech?

Gahrie said...

The main difference is that the fascists have better tailors, and they are less dishonest about how certain people attain great wealth under the heel of the state than the Soviets, for example, were.

Actually the main difference between Communists and fascists is that Communists are internationalists and fascists are nationalists.

Humperdink said...

LLR said: "I give Leonard Leo ....I have no idea what to think of Trump’s healthcare ideas .... the tax bill was written by congressional Republicans."

Hatred clouds one's logic. Bitterness destroys the vessel in which it's contained.

buwaya said...

The Japanese were cruel to a degree that opens the possibility of demonic possession.

The Germans had an organized sort of cruelty, where individuals would avoid the dirty stuff, looking for others to do it, or inventing technology for the purpose. This besides the usual human opportunistic, occasional passion or indiscipline that makes every army commit war crimes.

The Japanese however did this all individually, personally, and almost always in a sort of spontaneous frenzy. And this extended to the top. Entire divisions were ordered to massacre, rape and torture.

I have been researching Japanese atrocities for forty years. This is a family thing. My great-uncle provided testimony at Yamashitas trial.

Freder Frederson said...

Europe has also had great sortings in the 20th century, especially after 1918 and 1945. Where people moved to their "homeland", if they were among different peoples.

Nice whitewashing of history. Next you will be telling us that the Nazis didn't use slave labor, people were just so anxious to help the war effort, they worked for free.

Michael K said...

Actually the main difference between Communists and fascists is that Communists are internationalists and fascists are nationalists.

I tend to agree. Fascism is pretty much what Democrats advocate now. The GOP has two (at least) wings, one fascist and the other libertarian.

I consider my self libertarian but do not support the formal Libertarian Party since they are incoherent on foreign policy.
Buwaya is pretty close when he says "We are all fascists now."

Trump has a lot of libertarian in him.

Michael K said...

The Japanese however did this all individually, personally, and almost always in a sort of spontaneous frenzy.

I think this was the motivation behind James Clavell's novels, especially "Shogun." He experienced Japanese cruelty although most prison guards, I have read, were Korean.

He was trying to understand them.

buwaya said...

Er, Freder, you be hyperbolic.

People moved because, mostly, they had a good reason to, such as fear of massacre, or at least some degree of mistreatment. Such as the Hungarian minority of Transylvania or the Sudeten Germans.

If you dont like my words, read them again, with charity.

PhilD said...

"There are 6,706 officially recognized Polish Righteous – the highest count among nations of the world. At a 1979 international historical conference dedicated to Holocaust rescuers, J. Friedman said in reference to Poland: "If we knew the names of all the noble people who risked their lives to save the Jews, the area around Yad Vashem would be full of trees and would turn into a forest."

"The Republic of Poland was a multicultural country before World War II, with almost a third of its population originating from the minority groups: 13.9% Ukrainians; 10% Jews; 3.1% Belarusians; 2.3% Germans and 3.4% percent Czechs, Lithuanians and Russians. A number of Polish Germans joined the Nazi formations already in 1940.[31] The presence of sizeable German and pro-German minorities constituted a grave danger for the Catholic Poles who attempted to help ghettoised Jews."

The "German and pro-German minorities", that must be those protestants traditionalSickMoron mentions.

Darkisland said...

William,

Did the Jews really have it worse?

@3mm polish Jews were murdered in the death camps. @3mm non Jewish poles wete also murdered.

The national socialists could have, perhaps, eliminated all Jews and Jewish culture i in Europe.

But thanks to the diaspora Jews and Jewish culture would have survived. Albeit in a greatly diminished form.

Read about the plans for poles and polish culture and history. If the socialists had been successful, it would have ceased to exist anywhere in the world.

Someone will likely call me an anti semite for pointing out that it wasn't only Jews murdered in huge numbers by the socialists. It's OK, I'm used to it.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Ot for Michael k

On someone's recommendation here maybe yours I read Shogun. I've known about it for years but never thought about reading it.

Excellent book. Last week I read clavell's King Rat. Also excellent. I've also started Tai Ping but got sidetracked rereading LeCarre's latest which which nicel bookends his first.

Thanksto whoever convinced to hav a look a clavell.

I downloaded Shogun miniseries from YouTube but haven't watched it yet.

John Henry

William said...

The Danes were not only tolerant of the Jews in their midst, but also of the Nazis who occupied their land. German soldiers were sent to Denmark for R&R. The Poles were steadfastly hostile to the Germans who occupied their land. Whatever their feelings about the Jews, they certainly treated the Germans worse. I put it to you: who had the more honorable record in WWII--the Germans or the Poles.......After WWII, when. MacArthur occupied Japan, he tried and hanged about a half dozen Japanese war criminals. The Emperor was conspicuously absent from that number. The Japanese physician who performed experimental operations without anesthesia on American airmen was given a couple of years in prison. That doctor later went on to become head of the Japanese Red Cross. MacArthur's treatment of Japanese war criminals was absurdly lenient and his occupation of the Japanese islands was wildly successful. Sometimes it's best to just let things go.

William said...

I meant to say the Danes or the Poles.

Luke Lea said...
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Luke Lea said...
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Luke Lea said...
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The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The right-wing in the United States is actually (usually) pro-free-speech.

What bullshit. You really do make things up. Trump wants to curtail more speech that he finds "libelous." The right wing always has a natural inclination toward controlling people. And just making stuff up. Stop it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The GOP has two (at least) wings, one fascist and the other libertarian.

They're both corporatist. They merge in what is known as "corporatism."

Luke Lea said...
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rcocean said...

3 million Poles (non jews) were killed by the Nazis. As a result, they don't appreciate getting lumped in with the Nazis.

Hopefully, Poland will stand its ground.

Its not like the critics believe in Free Speech.

Luke Lea said...

The irony is that historically, given the circumstances, the Poles were in many ways the least anti-Semitic people of Europe (outside the British Isles), while traditional Jewish attitudes towards the Polish peasantry were ones of contempt, a perverse result of their privileged position as overseers, tax famers, and the like under the arenda system. But of course in pre-democratic times nearly everyone was perforce both exploiting and being exploited — they didn't call it a fallen world for no reason — so no human group was entirely innocent unless you count newborn children as a class. A little more charity and understanding all around would be a good thing.

rcocean said...

I always find it absurd when groups get into the "We were the bigger victim" game.

But some love it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Would you like to defend that statement?

I don't think it's all that indefensible. It's an oversimplification, but Catholicism was the structural vanguard of European anti-semitism - the Inquisition was its zenith and became the transformation for a religious intolerance to become "racial." There were Catholics that helped Jews - mostly in France - but most opposition to Nazis and their project was in Denmark, and obviously especially England. And I don't think the Dutch were all that cool with what they were up to. Martin Luther might have had a really nasty reaction to being rejected but moving away from the power structure he broke away from was an important step in ultimately rejecting that structure's rigidity and obsessions - including those involving the ancestral faith and its adherents and how they were treated. It's not a coincidence that the Reformation presaged Emancipation.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The two countries in occupied Europe where Jews had the best chance at survival were Denmark - and Italy. The Italians might have been German allies but they generally viewed the Nazi persecution of the Jews with distaste. The Church sheltered Roman Jews. As William notes, history and humans are far more complex than a simplistic division of countries into bad Catholic ones and good Protestant ones indicates. Niemoller was an exception, not the rule. Most German Lutheran pastors fell into line with Hitler.

TradGuy apparently has never read what Martin Luther had to say about the Jews.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

“I am not, and never have been, anti-Republican. I am anti-Trump.”

You’re an absurdly ham-fisted (and frequently inebriated) moby whose overplayed schtick has become utterly transparent to all but the most naive commenters.

It’s already illegal in Canada to call out Islam for it’s atrocities. Maybe the Poles are just trying to bootstrap themselves into the ranks of the moral superpowers.

Darkisland said...

I'm not getting into biggest victim here. The numbers are so hugest that biggest doesn't matter.

What I am pointing out is that contrary to popular opinion the jews have no monopoly on the holocaust.

We need to never forget the 6mm non jews murdered in the socialist death camps either

John Henry

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

“The irony is that historically, given the circumstances, the Poles were in many ways the least anti-Semitic people of Europe (outside the British Isles),”

You’re giving the British too much credit. The exact depths of British anti-Semitism was never determined because they were never subjected to Nazi occupation. British writing of the ‘30’s, even from Leftist sources, is blithely comfortable with othering Jews.

AReasonableMan said...

Just to recap, the only stable Judeo-Christian tradition over the last two millennia is Christians persecuting Jews. That's it.

YoungHegelian said...

There is no national culture or ideological tradition in European history that is free of antisemitism. Conversely, there are none where there wasn't significant pushback by men of conscience against it, either. The only question is: how strong was it at X given time & place & how did that shape events?

There was nothing like the racial antisemitism of National Socialism that came before it. There was definitely among the "scientific racism" of folks like Houston Stewart Chamberlain a dislike for the Jews, but there wasn't the idea, so prominent among Nazi ideologists, of the Jews as "a cancer" on mankind, that they were genetically, by their very being, "race enemies of the German Volk". The "Eternal German" was in an existential struggle against the "Eternal Jew". Nothing like this had been seen before in European history. Nothing. The honest, ugly fact is that if the gentiles of Europe had been so moved to exterminate the Jews before Nazism, they could have done so (which is not to say that they didn't pull off some fairly horrific massacres before). Nazi ideology gave the Germans a reason to exterminate the Jews, & the Nazi war machine gave them the means.

The comments here have discussed the treatment of the Jews in Western Europe, when most pre-war Jews lived in Eastern Europe. The history of the Eastern European states & Eastern Orthodoxy towards the Jews is by & large not a pretty picture. Nevertheless, there are some bright spots, such as the Bulgarian Orthodox Church's solid support of Bulgarian Jews during the war. Finally, it must be said that the Red Army, full of anti-semites itself, bore unimaginable loses & hardship in crushing the Nazi army, which saved the peoples of eastern Europe from further predations by the Nazi regime, allowing those peoples to then fall under the predations of the Soviet regime.

YoungHegelian said...

@ARM,

Just to recap, the only stable Judeo-Christian tradition over the last two millennia is Christians persecuting Jews.

Do you have any other imbecilities you'd like to dump on us while the day's still young?

buwaya said...

The most effective anti-Nazi resistance movements in Europe were the Yugoslavs, Greeks, Poles and Czechs.

The French fairly late and in parts.

Of all of them, the Poles had the largest and most effective army in exile, consisting of escaped residents of their home country, something on the order of five divisions, with an army corps in Italy and a division and a brigade on the western front. That besides a very large number of aircrew.

Besides this, similar numbers joined the Red Army. The Poles snuck out of Poland in huge numbers to join the fight. What this cost in attrition is unknown, but was probably huge.

The Poles had the largest army-in-being of any exile force in 1945 - the French no longer being exiles by then.

The Free French were more numerous, but most were drawn from the French Empire, especially native African troops, besides French residents of these colonies. Few were escapees from metropolitan France. Besides which the Free French were a sort of expanded Foreign Legion, full of volunteers from everywhere. Spanish Republican exiles (prominent in Leclercs armored division for instance), Latin Americans, etc.

YoungHegelian said...

It was the Poles who finally took the monastery of Monte Cassino.

No one suffered more, no one fought with more courage, & no one got so screwed by the war & its aftermath than the citizens of Poland, both Jew & Gentile.

Dr Weevil said...

TCEA (11:38am):
It's not quite true that the British "were never subjected to Nazi occupation". The Channel Islands were and I've read that the local authorities were perfectly willing to round up their Jews and ship them to the Continent when the Germans asked them to.

YH (12:04pm):
I was going to mention the Bulgarians and you've saved me most of the trouble. As I recall from reading Hannah Arendt many years ago, a lot of the credit goes to the young King of Bulgaria, and to the Papal Nuncio in (I think) Istanbul, who convinced him that it would be a terrible sin to kill Bulgarian Jews. The Nuncio later went on to be Pope John XXIII. The King was assassinated with a bomb so sophisticated that most historians assume the Germans must have done it.

To sum up, it seems that the three safest countries for Jews in occupied Europe were one Protestant (Denmark), one Catholic (Italy), and one Orthodox with a large Muslim minority (Bulgaria). Ironically, only one was an actual occupied country. The other two were German allies in battle, but not in killing Jews.

P.S. As I recall (it's been many years since I read the book), the Italian approach to not killing Jews was passive-aggressive. Every week the Germans would ask them for a trainload or two of Jews and every week they'd make excuses about how they'd love to ship them some Jews, but there was a shortage of locomotives, and the tracks were damaged by Allied bombing, and so on, but they would absolutely, positively send them a bunch of Jews next week, or as soon as they could. But they never did. Of course, when Mussolini was overthrown and the Italians tried to surrender, the Germans turned Italy into an occupied country and took over the job themselves, so quite a few Italian Jews were killed then.

Dr Weevil said...

As for he who shall not be named, at least by me:

Years ago, some people on the right (Commentary, I think) devised the useful term 'anti-anti-Communist' to refer to people who wouldn't be caught dead saying anything positive about such unattractive leaders as Brezhnev or Chernenko or Mao or Kim Il Sung, but would answer every criticism of any Communist by attacking the critic with a spurious moral equivalence, making the anti-Communists look somehow just as bad, or (it took a lot of spuriosity to do this) even worse.

We seem to have some anti-anti-Lefties on this site. Don't you dare call them Lefties, just because their arguments are objectively pro-Left! They are not pro-Left, they're anti-anti-Left, and it makes a difference, somehow, to them.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Conversely, there are none where there wasn't significant pushback by men of conscience against it, either. The only question is: how strong was it at X given time & place & how did that shape events?

Oh how comforting.

The point is the values and power structure of who's in charge of it all. "Men of conscience" don't mean or matter for shit if they're not in power and in charge of a structure where freedom and reason rule. Which the RCC is anything but.

Mark said...

There was lots of collusion with the Nazis FinalSolution in occupied Europe. After 1500 years of Catholics mandating antisemitism, it must have seemed natural to them.


traditionalguy - the Chuck of ignorant POS anti-Catholic bigots

Mark said...

And of course he has plenty of company among the usual POS gang.

Jim at said...

The right wing always has a natural inclination toward controlling people. - Ritmo

Nope. I want people like you to have a megaphone. And I want people like you to stand on the highest hill in the land. I want everyone to hear you.

That way everybody has the opportunity to hear for themselves just exactly what you are.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The history of the Eastern European states & Eastern Orthodoxy towards the Jews is by & large not a pretty picture.

I'm pretty sure the latter was much prettier than the West's but feel free to expound upon whatever it is I'm missing in Eastern Orthodoxy's "ugly" history vis a vis Jews etc.

YoungHegelian said...

@TTR,

The "Power Structures"! Oh, how brilliantly Marxist of you to cough up such phrases! Because, what, you have a moral philosophy that proves that that is where the locus of moral judgement is situated? And that you have a historiography that demonstrates that such "structures" are what an historian of morals should concern himself with? Oh, do tell us what that moral philosophy is!

No, what you have is a bitter stew of warmed over-Marxism & spleen, one that to indulge your own moral self-righteousness will denigrate guys such as St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, who worked tirelessly against the antisemitic excesses of the Spanish Inquisition.

Shit's complicated, TTR. Historical shit's complicated most of all. Attempts to think you're morally above those benighted savages gets no one anywhere.

YoungHegelian said...

@TTR,

I'm pretty sure the latter was much prettier than the West's but feel free to expound upon whatever it is I'm missing in Eastern Orthodoxy's "ugly" history vis a vis Jews etc.

Now, you're just moving into being fucking stupid. Do you know nothing of the history of Ashkenazi Jewry?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

To sum up, it seems that the three safest countries for Jews in occupied Europe were one Protestant (Denmark), one Catholic (Italy), and one Orthodox with a large Muslim minority (Bulgaria). Ironically, only one was an actual occupied country. The other two were German allies in battle, but not in killing Jews.

Nice summary and takeaway. Bulgaria's history in this regard is pretty interesting and one I'd not known (and still don't know much) about.

Equally, the way France managed to save a relatively huge number is important.

P.S. As I recall (it's been many years since I read the book), the Italian approach to not killing Jews was passive-aggressive.

The genetics of Ashkenazi Jews seems to bear out that among the maternal lines at least, there's an overwhelming component of "Southern European" ancestry. Read properly, that would be interpreted as "Roman."

The Jews and Italians are family. Sisters, moreover. Ask any Jew or Italian who've spent much time around each other and I think they'll have a pretty hard time seeing themselves as all that different from one other. Pretty interesting how these things work out. Not anyone would have suspected the biological link before Cavalli-Sforza and his successor's studies.

CWJ said...

One word Ritmo @ 2:17. Pogrom.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The "Power Structures"! Oh, how brilliantly Marxist of you to cough up such phrases!

I know that certain words and phrases frighten and perplex you but try to stay on point. I know how easily distracted retrogrades and conservatives get.

Call it whatever you want: The church WAS THE POWER in Europe. There were others, but the Church called the shots on every sort of social relation since Constantine gave the old Roman Empire to it all the way up until Luther and Henry VIII.

Really not all that hard to understand but you really do have a recalcitrant strain of self-righteous myopia when it comes to glossing over the overarching picture of the church's failings in any particular regard. You do an admirable job of trying to account for the reality of its imperfections but fail miserably when, like here, you get distracted with Marx when it comes to just the very basic point of acknowledging the church's role in ruling nearly every aspect of Europe's lives, loves and thoughts. Hard to understand in 2018 but a basic fact. The church ran people's lives more or less and the fact that you think this is overemphasized shows just how unrealistic your historical understanding is.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

One word Ritmo @ 2:17. Pogrom.

Glad you like the word. As with Nazism it wasn't really a religious phenomenon, though.

The point was how oppressive Eastern Orthodoxy was to Jews compared to the RCC and their resulting legacies in contributing to anti-semitism in general. In the RCC's case, it was very substantial. Eastern Orthodox bishops and leaders OTOH had much less of an interest in stomping over the legacy and peoplehood of the ancestral faith, though. They were just less uptight (or controlling) in general.

Watch YH's head explode now.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Shit's complicated, TTR.

The fact of the overwhelming amount of control that the RCC (as with religion generally) had over people's lives in 1400 as compared to 2018 is not all that complicated. You might not be a Marxist (going so far as to obsess over any words that remind you of Marxism) but for someone who seems to regard himself as a conservative you sure are one hell of a presentist.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The RCC had a lot of power. And it was very structured. But to put those two words together I guess you need a demon like Marx to do. Apparently the secret sauce of the RCC is denying that it was either powerful or structured or both together. Maybe Dan Brown can write a mystery novel about it all and give something new to rile up all the Illuminati-loving conspiracist theorists once again.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

No, what you have is a bitter stew of warmed over-Marxism & spleen, one that to indulge your own moral self-righteousness will denigrate guys such as St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, who worked tirelessly against the antisemitic excesses of the Spanish Inquisition.

And Jesus worked against the Romans and Pharisees and Sadducees but in the end the latter all won out anyway. Jesus might have converted the Romans and took over their empire but when it came to the Inquisition the damage had already been done. You can draw a direct link from the innovation of limpieza de sangre to the Nuremberg laws. So, thanks Ignatius! But it was an uphill battle all along. Must have been that pesky, "Marxist" "power" that the church had or the structure in place to keep perpetuating it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

TTYL. Errands.

YoungHegelian said...

@TTR,

The church WAS THE POWER in Europe. There were others, but the Church called the shots on every sort of social relation since Constantine gave the old Roman Empire to it all the way up until Luther and Henry VIII.

Ah, I see you too share Tradguy's non-existent history of the RCC, except while he is the gonzo Protestant wing, you are the modern American Left-wing of the fantasy.

If, as you so claim, the RCC had so much power in European history, then why were there so many monarchs who crossed its wishes & got away with it scot-free (e.g. Louis XIV, who allied France with the Muslim Ottomans against the Catholic Astro-Hungarians in the middle)? Do you think Stalin was the first head of state to think the phrase "How many divisions does the Pope have?"

When the ruling classes of Europe found the Church to be useful to their ends, they made use of it. When they didn't they, ran right over it in their territories. The Church balanced off what powers it could, & used whatever affection the lower orders had for it to protect itself from the depredations of the powers that were. But, under no circumstances did it "call the shots". It survived & thrived by by 1) actually being a "functional" bureaucracy as opposed to most feudal bureaucracies, 2) possessing in the dioceses & orders "immortal" corporate structures, as opposed to family-based feudal structures which collapsed when the families behind them collapsed.

Even the example that most folks think up as massive church/state interdependence was nothing of the kind, i.e. the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition was used by Ferdinand & Isabella to cement their power over the newly formed Spanish state. The Crown found that most of the Church hierarchy had no desire to increase the power of the Crown over their heads, & refused to play along. Most of the orders, too, refused to co-operate. Finally, the Crown found that the Dominicans would play ball, & so, they manned the inquisitions. It wasn't that the other clergy loved Jews, freedom of conscience, etc. They just wanted to defend their ancient perquisites from the thieving & greedy kings who came & went often enough in history.

Daniel Jackson said...

I'm truly surprised by many of the comments in this thread. The issue is not the validity of the concept of Polish complicity in the atrocities under Nazi rule. I for one am not impressed by the number of Righteous Gentiles, a proportion much less than random chance. For every Pole that helped a Jew, there are ten or more turning them in to the authorities. [For the record, I will say there was Polish Complicity, so come for me!}

The issue is about a legislative body enacting a law to make it illegal to say the Poles were complicit. And in truth, it is a very bad Polish Joke, as I have noted elsewhere in the blog.

James K said...

"Did the Jews really have it worse?

@3mm polish Jews were murdered in the death camps. @3mm non Jewish poles wete also murdered."

Is this serious? The population of Poland in 1939 was about 35 million, of which about 3.2 million were Jews. Do the math.

There were a large number of heroic Poles who risked their lives for Jews. We have friends and relatives among the beneficiaries and do not forget the heroism. At the same time, the large Jewish population there meant there were many more opportunities, hence the large number of righteous Poles at Yad Vashem.

YoungHegelian said...

@3mm polish Jews were murdered in the death camps. @3mm non Jewish poles wete also murdered."

Okay, please forgive me for being an historical stickler, but all of those 6 million Jews & the 5 million other murdered by the Nazis were not murdered in the camps. The camps in Eastern Europe were built by forced labor of Soviet POWS. There was a difference between labor camps & death camps. One could survive for quite some time after arrival at a labor camp, sometimes years. But very few survived more than hours at a death camp (e.g. Sobibor).

The camp system was not used for the Final Solution until mid-1943. Before that time, most of the victims of the Nazis were lined up & shot at close range. At least one million Jews were killed this way.

As horrifying as the camps were, the first phase of genocide up close & personal was even more horrifying. It was so horrifying that even the Nazis couldn't find enough sociopaths who could do it for very long. Read the sections on this phase of the Holocaust in Synder's "Bloodlands". Read it, & you'll pray that there's a just God in Heaven & that He created a Hell to put these monsters in.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Right, YH. I forgot how prominent atheism and irreligion must have been in Catholic Europe.

I guess that explains why so many popes were assassinated. Or at least as many as the number of secular kings or irreligious Roman emperors that preceded them.

YoungHegelian said...

@TTR,

Right, YH. I forgot how prominent atheism and irreligion must have been in Catholic Europe.

What the hell does that have to do with not obeying the Church in matters of state control? Do you think that these feudal classes thought they owed total obedience to everything that came out of a clergyman's mouth?

Henry VIII went to his grave thinking himself a good Catholic. He had not left the Church. The Church left him.

You really need to sit down with some good histories of Medieval & Renaissance Europe, dude.

buwaya said...

limpieza de sangre was a civil law and became a Spanish custom, but was not a Catholic doctrine. Some elements of the Spanish church, especially religious orders with a Spanish character, adopted it too.

Other nations did not adopt this doctrine.

This is in fact one of those instances where the church bowed to the state, or rather the society. The point of it was a conflict within the upper classes where the mass of lower nobility (persons with hidalguia) found their privileges, to hold the important appointed offices, challenged by ex-Jewish or Muslim competitors. That was their bailiwick, their social role, and no already-wealthy upstarts were welcome. This is what happens when you have a horde of unemployed nobles.

This part, the "jobs for the lads" business was common elsewhere - all sorts of appointments, in France say, quite as much as in Spain, for cavalry officers or upper officers ranks, required a degree of nobility. Even many church appointments required it. There were even requirements, for given offices, for various generations of nobility, a "blood" requirement quite independent of any antisemitism.

Whether this had any influence as a source of proto-nazi ubermensch thinking is very unlikely. It was purely Spanish and totally gone before any theorist of scientific racism showed up.

As for Jesuits - Loyola made no such rule, though one was adopted by the Spanish branch long after his death.

You will see remnants of it in Spanish culture today, but inverted. Even in the early 19th century Jewish or Moorish (or Gypsy, if one was not TOO Gypsy) ancestry became a rather fashionably romantic thing. My grandmother was happy to claim such, based on her name, which was typically Sefardi.

At the same time, on the Basque side we have hidalguia, as do all Basques. Its a very messy world.

CWJ said...

Daniel Jackson,

Of course there was complicity. There's always complicity whatever time, whatever place, whatever people. If someone's denying that, It's not me. You however seem to have it in for the Poles. Ten or more active collaborators for every hero? Really? That's some serious collaboration for a population targeted next in line for extermination. I could easily believe ten or more keeping their heads down for every hero, but your math is active collaborators. BTW, are you the one who used the mere fact that the Nazis built camps in an occupied Poland as evidence that the Poles were responsible?

As far as this law is concerned, the WP article does represent it as repressive. And that is ugly. But the article also describes these as unintended consequences. So I've asked my Polish son if it is as bad as the Post represents it.

YoungHegelian said...

@CWJ,

I had the honor to be friends with a man & his wife who were both Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivors. The man, from Lodz, came from a very blue-collar background in pre-war Poland, & suffered much antisemitism growing up. He despised his fellow gentile Poles, & had more sympathy even for the Germans! His wife, who grew up wealthier in Galicia, was not quite so anti-Polish. But, they had very good friends, a couple (also Galician) who were also Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors, who felt still very Polish & kept up with Polish culture & affairs as best they could in the Cold War years.

Different experiences, different judgements. I certainly have nothing to add.

Chuck said...


Blogger Mark said...
There was lots of collusion with the Nazis FinalSolution in occupied Europe. After 1500 years of Catholics mandating antisemitism, it must have seemed natural to them.

traditionalguy - the Chuck of ignorant POS anti-Catholic bigots


Yeah, thanks so much for baselessly bringing my name into a peculiarly ugly ethnic feud in which I took no part and had no other role.

Nice place ya got here, Meade!

Have a nice day, everybody!

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

What the hell does that have to do with not obeying the Church in matters of state control?

What the hell does "state control" have to do with the pervasive (and relevant) social control that the imperial church-state exercised? Where do you think attitudes, particularly of the anti-semitic sort - arose? From a secular bureaucracy or from a cultural arbiter with state influence, as little as you care to see of it?

Henry VIII went to his grave thinking himself a good Catholic. He had not left the Church. The Church left him.

Yes, and for that he (and his daughter Liz) were subject to countless efforts of assassination, coup and overthrow. Which apparently would have affected his state. Lo and behold, institutions with a lot of social/cultural control can apparently affect politics - i.e. "the state."

You American conservative Catholics crack me up. Especially from the South, which brings a whole new level of unusualness to it. I remember that a kooky hard-core glibertarian named "revenant" used to comment here incessantly - always with cute little one-line quips about the state this and the state that and the state the state the state. Much like you and the others.

Then one day an issue arose with having to do with "religious freedom" and our laws involving Catholics. He went on as usual about how horrible the state is and how non-state actors are always superior and innocent and harmless and blah blah blah.

I asked him what made him think that Vatican City was not a state.

He promptly shut up and has never been heard from since.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

He despised his fellow gentile Poles, & had more sympathy even for the Germans!

The Germans did not overwhelmingly support the tyrannical Nazi regime/rise to power and voiced widespread outrage at Kristallnacht, for instance. Little known fact?

I remind myself of this every time that my Republican friends in the powerful minority remind me that democratic majorities don't (and they think, shouldn't) matter.

I'm not sure if anyone polled the Poles on Nazi policy but they were in a pretty backward state of affairs at that point, anyway. Nevertheless it was the German liberals and intellectuals who were at the same vanguard/forefront of doing away with anti-semitism that the rest of revolutionary/liberal/academic Europe was starting to reside at. Poland was apparently a very liberal place with its Jew-tolerating policies from the 16th century, and the strange new Jewish populations reciprocated in a nice if weird way, in kind - by adopting the goofy black robes and suits and fur hats worn by Polish nobility at the time and even wearing them up to the present day.

A weird reason for an early 20th century peasant Pole to hate a Jew but it does provide some context, at least. That, and how huge their numbers were in country - or at least a "country" that wasn't allowed to be much of a country for a long while. Nationalism does strange things to people.

Gahrie said...

Nice place ya got here, Meade!

Hey Asshole!

This isn't his place...it's Althouse's place you sexist pig.

YoungHegelian said...

@TTR,

Yes, and for that he (and his daughter Liz) were subject to countless efforts of assassination, coup and overthrow.

Yes, in which they gave as good as they got. It was a civil war, as Henry had decided to make over British society from the top down, & much of British society at the time tended to not want to be made over.

TTR, there is no way to argue this. You make a huuuge historical generalization, & I or other posters come back with counter examples, & you go "well, what about...". And on & on.

I'm telling you that there is no, & I mean no, modern historian of the Middle Ages or the Renaissance who sees matters as you do. If there is one, tell us who he is. If you believe you're right in this matter, sign up at a local college for a general historical survey class of the Middle Ages or Renaissance, and write a paper on your assertion.

Let's us know what your grade comes back as.

Gahrie said...

Dear God, make Chuckles a bird. So he could fly far. Far far away from here.

CWJ said...

YoungHegelian @ 4:18,

Thank you for that. Two comments. Your post reminds us that social status may play as much a role in perceived slights as religious bigotry. Trying to untangle an individual's perceptions is a fool's errand. What we perceive is the sum of our life experiences and none of us are unbiased witnesses.

Second, yours are among the comments I make a point of reading. Thank you for being an Althouse commenter.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I or other posters come back with counter examples, & you go "well, what about...". And on & on.

How are "counter examples" different from "well, what about....?" What's the difference, here?

You make a huuuge historical generalization... I'm telling you that there is no, & I mean no, modern historian of the Middle Ages or the Renaissance who sees matters as you do.

What was the generalization and what am I getting wrong? My basic point is the same as James Carroll's, plus I kept reminding you that societies were more religious prior to the European enlightenment and therefore much more beholden to the Church as an institution. Not controversial, really. It really sounds like it's you who's re-writing history and reality to spin this American conservative prejudice onto things, one that believes any non-governmental institution exerts no power over people at all. You belong to a political tribe that subscribes to this whole cloth. Only the government can oppress. Only the government has power. Therefore the church (which was also very much a government - no matter how much you want to minimize that) ipso facto, was a popularly supported institution and exerted no popular control or pressure of its own. Poppycock. Balderdash. Nonsense. Find me the critical mass of historical opinion that justifies what clearly seems to be this line of thinking I'm identifying.

And insert whatever other antiquated objection term into that, as well.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It was a civil war, as Henry had decided to make over British society from the top down, & much of British society at the time tended to not want to be made over.

Because the abbeys and monasteries and clergy were ingrained features in the English cultural landscape that somehow stood apart from the support they'd gotten for centuries from the central power of the old empire known as "Rome?"

You are being completely illogical and curtailing obvious conclusions and connections just for the hell of it. Or because of your conservative pro-(organized) religion bias.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Whatever you think of what Henry did let's be glad he did as a national sovereignty that reigns supreme over the claims of the imperial theocracy claiming it is a great and wonderful thing, it led to the Peace of Westphalia and the very system of modern national relations that flourished in the freedom-loving West and that ISIS and its Caliphate precursor is and always was very opposed to. Theirs is analogous to the relationship the RCC held prior to the Reformation.

Find me a historian who will disagree with that. Not "quibble" with it at the margins. Someone who actually disagrees with the main point.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Tell me about how rebellious a nation could ordinarily, overtly be to Rome prior to Locke's establishment of the fact that the "divine right of kings" was secondary to the natural rights of the people. A king's right to rule cannot be "divine" without a divine authority to bless it as such. Prior to Henry's reorganization of the church and Anglicization of it, this was Rome.

Henry was just a step in this progression - asserting that national sovereignty was supreme to Roman/Christian theocracy (i.e. the papacy).

Where's the error here?

YoungHegelian said...

@TTR,

My basic point is the same as James Carroll's, plus I kept reminding you that societies were more religious prior to the European enlightenment and therefore much more beholden to the Church as an institution

Define "more religious"? If by more religious, you mean "number of folks who are active in a community of believers", that number has stayed remarkably constant until verrrry recently. For the US, for example, it's remained remarkably stable from Colonial times until now. Your idea of what "religious" means is circular -- it means for you cultures under the thumb of the Church. If not, what is your metric?

I'm not saying that the Church had "no societal power". I just have no idea what phrases like "beholden to the Church as an institution" could possibly mean. Were the masses any less "beholden" to the churches in the Lutheran states after the Treaty of Westphalia? Were British subjects any less "beholden" to the new Anglican Church as it came together under Elizabeth I? I can't imagine how one can say they weren't. If so, what does this have to do with Roman Catholicism?

The idea that the clergy, as guardians & interpreters of religious traditions, have great social power in societies that see themselves as based on religious notions of morality is, well, kinda obvious. But that that power in the main was greater in Roman Catholic Europe than anywhere else that you'd want to choose, that simply doesn't hold up to historical scrutiny.

In short, your thesis is either 1) yes, religious institutions have power in religious societies in which case it's true & trivial or 2) Roman Catholicism had some excess of societal power for whatever reason, & then you have to show how life changed for the citizens of the Lutheran & Anglican states in some way that was religiously less obtrusive. Which you can't do, because it didn't. Quite the opposite in fact.

YoungHegelian said...

BTW, I'm done here for the evening.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Define "more religious"? If by more religious, you mean "number of folks who are active in a community of believers", that number has stayed remarkably constant until verrrry recently. For the US...

The US is and always has been an anomaly, as you should know - with as creative an approach to religion as it has to everything else. The point here is the amount of reliance on theology, usually and generally as part of a hierarchy, as a source of authority for understanding life and the natural world. Pretty straightforward.

But that that power in the main was greater in Roman Catholic Europe than anywhere else that you'd want to choose, that simply doesn't hold up to historical scrutiny.

I wouldn't imply as much and you read me wrong if you thought I had. The only way this point, that I didn't make, would hold, would be in the sense that Europe and the West was more powerful than any other society. So its authority institutions - i.e. churches - were correspondingly stronger in terms of global reach. But again, this wasn't the point I made.

In short, your thesis is either 1) yes, religious institutions have power in religious societies in which case it's true & trivial or 2) Roman Catholicism had some excess of societal power for whatever reason, & then you have to show how life changed for the citizens of the Lutheran & Anglican states in some way that was religiously less obtrusive. Which you can't do, because it didn't. Quite the opposite in fact.

Neither. My "thesis" is that the RCC was incredibly, intricately organized and uptight. That's all. And it's not really any point that matters because the only point of the thread had to do with anti-semitism, which the church - as with any imperial Abrahamic faith - played its own crucial role in due to the burden imposed on it by having to uphold the doctrine of supersessionism. Keeping Jews in a wretched state was a great way to showcase the inferiority of their theology and the supremacy of Christianity. And then there was the Inquisition. We went over all this. I'm not going after the church for being any more unique vis-a-vis the Jews than that supersessionism, inheriting the imperial glory of Rome and the Inquisition were unique. But what does seem to be new to you is my contention - as obvious as it is - that it was political. All religion - especially in the West and Middle East - is political. It's a social phenomenon and therefore very potentially political. Especially in the west. Not a controversial thing - except to you for some reason?

Good night.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

To not understand/see that religion is largely a political phenomenon is funny. I remember the first time I came across this idea. A very sharp libertarian girl I knew and I were discussion Louis Farrakhan. She described him as "a politician." I remember puzzling over this and questioning her. She held to her contention. It didn't take very long for me to eventually understand that she was completely correct. And why.

All religious leaders are politicians. And dogmas are ideologies.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Roman Catholicism had some excess of societal power for whatever reason, & then you have to show how life changed for the citizens of the Lutheran & Anglican states in some way that was religiously less obtrusive. Which you can't do, because it didn't. Quite the opposite in fact.

Nonsense. Maybe not initially but in the long run this sure as hell was the case? Don't believe me? I know Protestants. I know Catholics. I've liven in the Midwest (lots of Protestants). I live on the East coast (lots of Catholics). I am neither. I've known them both.

You ask me which one feels more like their strings are being pulled and a sense of social control? The guilt, the obligation, the connection to everything its leaders want?

The Catholics. Hands down. No competition. It's not even close.

Daniel Jackson said...

CWJ said:

"Daniel Jackson,

Of course there was complicity."

Exactly. So, we agree that the new Polish law to legislate this fact is absurd if not Kafkaesque.

And yes, there were many acts of individual assistance of non-Jews assisting Jews that are not officially recorded at the Yad Vashem. In Aveyron, I know of five to six families who hid children and adults in the forest. That is not a heavily Protestant region; but, many of the residents detested the Vichy government to such an extent that they did this as acts of resistance.

Having worked with Holocaust survivors, and with those who fled Europe before 1939, I have heard this phrase of ten to one from a considerable number. I think it is always important to remember network and reporting bias with such stories. As a rabbinic chaplain, I validate the experience; as a statistician I am very cautious.

I'm aware that this is a very unpopular (in the realm of Stanley Milgram's experiment); however the fact remains that the total number of assistance relative to the population was rare in every sense of the word, enough for many survivors to tell me, "young man, NEVER rely on Miracles." Let us say that the total number of Righteous Gentiles in Poland was actually about 12,000. Reading the Wikipedia population graph for Poland in 1940 at 32 million. A straight rate would be 0.000375. Not a lot. Adjusting the rate base to 28500000 (deducting the estimated 3.5 million Polish Jews) gives an assistance rate of 4.2105e-4.

Consider Victor Frankel's dictum from his experience in the camps: the Good did not survive. Christopher Browning's work of how ordinary men became complicit in genocide is worth reading: https://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-Reserve-Battalion-Solution/dp/0060995068. Get it through the Professor's portal.

Once again, the issue IS complicity as well as the refusal to acknowledge this basic, horrifying fact. At the risk of sounding preachy (a professional hazard), redemption comes through return, which is based on acknowledging WE HAVE DONE THIS! This legislation is denial: WE HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG!

We have seen too many cop shows to know liars when we hear them.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Daniel Jackson, while we should not overstate the number of Righteous Gentiles (the number was minuscule compared to the general European population), we will never know the exact number. If gentiles were discovered sheltering Jews, they were sent to the camps too (like the Dutch who hid the Frank family). If both the Jews and their gentile rescuers perished in the camps, nobody was left to tell the story. That must have happened many times. We know of Anne Frank only because her father survived and found her diary.

The flip side of that, of course, is we will never know the exact number of collaborators. Who ratted out the Franks? We don't know. Like YH, I hope for an afterlife where ultimate justice is meted out somehow, because we sure don't get it in this life.

Daniel Jackson said...

Exiled On Mainstreet.

I agree 100%. But, this is not an excuse for Good People to hide from the Truth. We can all let the guilty stew in their own juices and move on. We cannot forget. It is this act of the Polish government that stinks; not those who stood idly by.

And to be told that to suggest complicity is a crime against the state of Poland. I know what the Survivors of Brooklyn and The Bronx are saying about this; but, I will not repeat it.

Zbig said...

This tread hit home, since I am was born in Poland, and spend there my young years.

Therefore, some opinions here I found to be really bizarre. There is long track of manipulations with history, mostly for political reasons. And I am glad, that finally, Polish government had a spine to face the defamation, and to do something about it.

In essence:

https://www.polskieradio.pl/320?gclid=CjwKCAiAksvTBRBFEiwADSBZfJwioEA_SQxBcqLaZ43sYn1k9HrdJnc2MdA-6Em-BF2_zLY5lg8SNRoCkx4QAvD_BwE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9bS9z5OiWY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=SztV961KKhA

If someone believe, that there were "Polish death camps", then, I am sure, also is convinced, that Guantanamo is a Cuban prison. It is unfortunate comparison, because I do support existence of Guantanamo base, but there is no other way to get to closed minds of some people. And opinion about "collaborators" in German occupied Poland, make as much sense, like insane notion about Russian collusion in Mr. President Donald Trump historical electoral win.

Zbig

Anonymous said...

Nope, this is nonsense, "someone who survived the Holocaust and
who says 'I was in a Nazi concentration camp because a Pole
delivered me to the Germans'" will NOT be subject to criminal
prosecution in Poland.

Read the full text of the legislation, e.g. at https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-polands-controversial-holocaust-legislation/ and judge for yourself (emphasis mine)

Article 55a. 1. Whoever claims, publicly and contrary to the
facts
, that the Polish Nation or the Republic of Poland is
responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes committed by the
Third Reich
, as specified in Article 6 of the Charter of the
International Military Tribunal enclosed to the International
agreement for the prosecution and punishment of the major war
criminals of the European Axis, signed in London on 8 August
1945 (Polish Journal of Laws of 1947, item 367), or for other
felonies that constitute crimes against peace, crimes against
humanity or war crimes, or whoever otherwise grossly diminishes
the responsibility of the true perpetrators of said crimes –
shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 years. The
sentence shall be made public.

We (Poles) are just fed up with "Po**sh concentration camps" nonsense,
that's all. Of course, there were Poles involved in killing Jews,
nobody is denying that, the problem is that the world is forgetting that
Holocaust was organised by Germans.

And by the way:

- the legislation was consulted with the Israeli government (but it fell prey
to some internal Israeli stuff, I don't know)

- in general, Holocaust denial has been persecuted by the Polish law for some time,
this is just an extension.

Daniel Jackson said...

Desole, Liquidox, but this legislation is not a continuation or extension of Holocaust denial. What it is a simple statement of fuck you as you so eloquently phrase:

"We (Poles) are just fed up with "Po**sh concentration camps" nonsense, that's all. Of course, there were Poles involved in killing Jews, nobody is denying that, the problem is that the world is forgetting that Holocaust was organised by Germans."

It is true that the Death Camps were conceived of and executed by the Nazis; there was cooperation and complicity, as you admit.

However, there seems to be considerable disagreement between Israel and Poland about what sort of dialog took place (the Israelis claim there was only the declaration with no discussion) http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Israel-Poland-crisis-deepens-as-Holocaust-bill-moves-forward-540498.

The French government admitted their complicity in the deportations of Jews from France by train to extermination centers in Poland and Germany. This is something the Polish government has refused to do. I'm glad you (Poles) are fed up with this Polish Concentration Death Camps for European Jews, Romanos, Homosexuals, Communists, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, and all the other victims of what took place when "Poles involved with killing Jews (and others)." Because, frankly the rest of the free thinking world is fed up with your denial and continued antisemitism.

Every day, new studies emerge about the degree of complicity the Polish Government made with Nazi Germany; it is time for this bullshit to end.

Dear God, what is so fucking hard to say, "YES, we were complicit in the Holocaust and we apologize."


Bad Lieutenant said...


The Toothless Revolutionary said...
Would you like to defend that statement?

I don't think it's all that indefensible


Toothy, actually I was talking to traditionalguy. One becomes inured to his rantings, but about five or six pages or so into the Jack Chick tract that seems to comprise his discourse whenever Catholicism arises, even a Jew (who, you understand, has grown up around Italians and Irish and Hispanics and Poles and such all his young life in NYC) has to up and say, Yo, what the fuck, Chico?

Believe me, I understand that it's complicated, but I wonder if our redheaded Southern lawyer does.


...I remember that a kooky hard-core glibertarian named "revenant" used to comment here incessantly - always with cute little one-line quips about the state this and the state that and the state the state the state. Much like you and the others.

Oh yeah, him! Did you get rid of him? I thought it was when he was on the anti-circumcision trip, and I explained to him that if he, personally, interfered in this matter that I, personally, would have to personally kill him, that he decamped.

On a side note, one wonders how many of these libertarian fetishists have ever, say, had a good beating.