Urban Legends & the Holocaust

Regarding Cecil’s column about lampshades from human skin. This column states that five or six million people were methodically exterminated by the Nazis during the Holocaust. A quick search of google under Holocaust shows that the Holocaust was not only the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews, but also 5 million others primarily Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the handicapped, Catholics, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, political dissidents and anyone else who failed to fall into the aryan ideal. That brings the total to eleven million people.
So how has the idea that the Holocaust was solely the extermination of 6 million Jews become so ingrained in current thinking that even Cecil states it as an historical fact? Why don’t we say “never again” about the Gypsies who are still persecuted in eastern Europe?

In a rare bout of cynicism (for me), I’d say it’s because they don’t have as much money nor political clout as the jews, or probably homosexuals for that matter. Just ask the Kurds how it feels.

He doesn’t. The question he is answering specifically asks about Jews.

Because they’re not being herded into gas chambers by the million.

Then Cecil had the perfect opportunity to fight ignorance. It’s his job.

Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states:

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
© Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

All of those acts have been committed against Europe’s Romani populations since the end of World War Two. Some of those acts are being committed against Europe’s Romani populations today.

Or does ‘never again’ just refer to gas chambers?

Reread the question. It only refers to Jews once and in the context of medical experiments and stolen teeth. Both direct references to lampshades refer to “humans”.

It is Cecil who says, “methodically exterminating five to six million people”.

Not true.

11 million human beings were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.

Yes, the Jews were singled out by the Nazis for total extermination. I
am not dismissing or disputing that fact.

Consider, however, that six million Polish citizens died in the
Holocaust. Half of them were non-Jews.

On August 22, 1939, Hitler authorized his commanders to kill “without
pity or mercy, all men, women, and children of Polish descent or
language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space [lebensraum]
we need”.

The Rom Gypsies were also targeted for elimination by the Nazis. Half a
million Gypsies–almost the entire Eastern European Gypsy population–
were wiped out during the Holocaust.

The suffering endured by the Jewish People in the Holocaust is unique,
and is the culmination of millenia of persecution. For these reasons,
the attack on the Jews deserves special mention.

Nonetheless, 11 million souls were lost to the Nazi Holocaust. Every
single one of them was equally your brother. To separate them–to
classify them–is to engage in the very tribalistic thinking that allows
such atrocities to occur in the first place.

Really? This is happening currently? :dubious:

Even during the worst times of the Death camps in WWII, no one was being “herded into gas chambers by the million”. If I remember, the gas chambers killed a relatively small number- as a % of course.

I don’t mind the Holocaust histories *concentrating * on the Jews, but the others must at least be mentioned.

I don’t think that’s correct. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, of the main extermination camps, between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people were murdered at Auschwitz; about 600,000 at Belzec; 170,00 to 360,000 at Chelmno; 360,000 at Majdanek, of whom “some 60 percent died of starvation, torture, or disease, and some 40 percent were murdered by firing squad or in the gas chambers”; about 250,000 people were murdered at Sobibor; and 750,000 to 900,000 at Treblinka. Auschwitz and Majdanek (as already alluded to) also included slave labor camps, and many who were killed there were starved and worked to death, whereas the other camps mentioned were pure extermination camps. Chelmno used gas vans, while the other extermination camps used fixed gas chambers; and in some cases, victims at the extermination camps were shot rather than gassed. Even so, a fairly conservative estimate would seem to indicate that 2 or 3 million people died in the gas chambers. I don’t think that’s a “relatively small number”, not even by Nazi standards. (Up to a third of the total victims of the Holocaust, and perhaps half of the Jewish victims.)

Auschwitz had gas chambers and crematoria sufficient for 12,000 murders a day.


This is quite a thought-provoking statement. I agree whole-heartedly.

Bolding mine - have you evidence to substantiate that anythign currently going on in Europe is being done with such intent?

  1. It is widely reported that one of the reasons Hitler thought he could get away with the extermination of the Jews is because the extermination of the Armenians was so thorough that no one even remembered them. Taking the gypsies as a specific example: if no-dope-radio’s figures are correct, then there were very few Gypsies left to speak out on behalf of their dead. One of the reasons the Holocaust is primarily associated with Jews is because it was comparatively UNsuccessful. Thousands of Jews lived on to tell their tales.

  2. Hitler’s Mein Kampf speaks specifically about the threat that Jews presented to the world. While he wished to rid Germany of others as well, it is his particular hatred of the Jews that stands out when we consider how it became manifest.

  3. Many of the other groups you mentioned (especially the Gypsies) were/are already marginalized by general society, and not as easily missed. The Jews, on the other hand, were fully integrated into modern Germany at the time the Genocide began. Many did not even practice their religion openly anymore, out a desire to be considered “Germans first, Jews second”. So their being suddenly singled out, rounded up, and shipped off was jarringly notable.

  4. Nazi-Hunter Simon Weisenthal and Rabbi Martin Hier. Together they have started museums, published books, and financed all variety of films about the Holocaust, which they tell from a Jewish perspective.

Sorry, that should have been Rabbi Marvin Hier.

Roma, along with Ashkali and Egyptians (collectively known as Gypsies in the region) are still being ‘ethnically cleansed’ from Kosovo.

Apart from Poland (which had historically been a refuge for persecuted Jews from other countries), the percentages of Jews killed roughly corresponds to the percentage of Gypsies killed overall. I can’t accept for a minute that we only remember the holocaust because of Jews running around shouting about it. Quite simply, Jews form a far larger number of victims than any other grouping.

That’s a very simplistic view of the position of Jews in central Europe. Antisemitic discrimination had been open policy in just about every country at some point in the decades and centuries before - as I mentioned, Poland was the exception.

You really mean to accuse the present government of that region, rather than Milosevic, of genocide? And “still persecuted in eastern Europe” is rather sweeping, if you intended to specifcally talk about the centuries-old conflicts of the Balkans.

“The Jews, on the other hand, were fully integrated into modern Germany at the time the Genocide began.”

This is untrue, as reading “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust” by Goldhagen would make you see. This book, though controversial, was awarded “Book of the Year” by the German newspaper Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung. It’s more balanced than the title would suggest.

In Kosovo since the Nato intervention, yes. Seeing as it’s being carried out by ethnic Albanians.

You may find these links useful:

The Roma and “Humanitarian” Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo

The Current Plight of the Kosovo Roma

Re-read the thread, I didn’t post that.

Well, it’s in the numbers that you have the basis for spreading the word.

Certainly. But I was not talking about other countries in the decades and centuries before, I was talking about Germany by the 1920s. Certainly not all Germans were comfortable with Jews, just as people of various cultures are not comfortable with each other even today. But many Jews by that time were certainly comfortable with their place in society, and prior to Hitler, were not subject to the same type of routine persectution as in the earliest days of Nazi power.

You mean this Goldhagen?

Definitely a man with an agenda. I can’t speak to this particular book, not having read it, but I’m not inclined to.

Neither of those links describe it as genocide

We all know that prejudice is more deep-rooted than a decade or two. Even though there was a strong degree of assimilation in Germany, that means little for the other countries overrun in the 30s.