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  #21  
Old 02 February 2018, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
If it isn’t based in hate, what is it based in?
I suppose I could have been clearer. I believe it's rooted in hate, but many who perpetuate it do so out of naivete or ignorance. I don't think my cousin hates Jews, but his "why would you do that" attitude speaks to the otherness he feels.

It's funny how these culturally accepted feelings affect people who not only should know better, but often do. In my extended family household in the 1960s, I was taught, for example, that Black people were just like us White people. I don't think any of my family members would treat a Black or White person they met on the street differently from one another. Yet I remember hearing many comments in that same house that certainly sounded prejudiced against African Americans - including a general fear of a predominantly Black neighborhood within walking distance of our house.
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  #22  
Old 02 February 2018, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Winston O'Boogie View Post
I'm sure there are more nuances to the the conversation; maybe it's just ignorance of history; I wouldn't immediately assign anti-antisemitism.
The nuances were words like “dirty Jew,” hands shaking in anger, and a concurrent political campaign with large billboards all over town decrying the Jewish ownership to the media.

Did you read the rest of my post? Or my links to the books and articles? Are you understanding that we are not talking about some town in America, but communities that live on the same streets where the Jewish ghettos were errected? There are people still living there who watched it happen. These are their children and grandchildren speaking.

Central Europeans are not ignorant of their history. If anything, Americans are the ones who don’t understand that antisemitism was not a new thing Hitler invented, or an old thing that died with him. It is as alive and endemic in Central Europe as racism is in America.

You wouldn’t stand on a street in Alabama and listen to someone asking why there has to be a Black Lives Matter movement and not smell the racism in the air. Context is everything.

ETA-For the record, and for context, I am not Jewish. I was not aware of the undercurrent of antisemitism there before I lived there and observed it, just like I wasn’t aware of the way gypsies are still segregated in Hungarian schools, or epileptics are still occasionally locked up on insane assylums in Romania. My mind was changed by what I experienced, not by the biases I came with.

Last edited by Little Pink Pill; 02 February 2018 at 07:26 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02 February 2018, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Winston O'Boogie View Post
I'm sure there are more nuances to the the conversation; maybe it's just ignorance of history; I wouldn't immediately assign anti-antisemitism.
However, you don't hesitate to immediately dismiss LPP's interpretation of her own experience, despite having no experience of your own with the context in question.
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  #24  
Old 02 February 2018, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
What’s to debate? Anyone who says some Poles were complicit goes to jail.
I don't think that's true. I'm not defending the bill, but some places I've seen are reporting that it makes it illegal to blame Poles for crimes during the Holocaust. Here's the legislation, and it's about prohbiting people from blaming Poland in general rather than individual Poles.
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  #25  
Old 02 February 2018, 08:49 PM
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Right. I’ll amend. “Anyone who says the Poles were officially complicit goes to jail.”

But there have been serious issues with the accusation that individuals were complicit, as well. I keep trying to point out that this is an ongoing issue in Poland. I’ll link a separate article below this post. Please do read it. The current Polish government has gone after scholars who accused individuals, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
I believe it's rooted in hate, but many who perpetuate it do so out of naivete or ignorance. I don't think my cousin hates Jews, but his "why would you do that" attitude speaks to the otherness he feels.
I agree that a level of bias can exists and perpetuate without being rabid hatred. But I think history teaches us that bias can bloom into something very sinister under the right circumstances, and it lasts a long, long time. WWII is much closer to us historically that slavery was, yet we still see the intensity of its remnants all around us, and sometimes even among us, as you pointed out.

But I am not assuming your cousin is hateful, or even bigoted. I think there’s everything from embarrassment to denial to sorrow to dismissal in Europe, none of which are things people want to revel in. So there can be a sort of confusion about why Americans want to know more about it. It isn’t something some people want to memorialize, be they perpetrators, bystanders, defendants, or victims.

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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Saying "those Jews" is more than a red flag to me that assigning antisemitism would be an appropriate response. Quite aside from LPP actually living and teaching there and having a pretty good idea of what she is talking about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
However, you don't hesitate to immediately dismiss LPP's interpretation of her own experience, despite having no experience of your own with the context in question.
Thank you, Sue and Lainie. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone ‘splain to me my own conversations with my university students before.

Last edited by Little Pink Pill; 02 February 2018 at 09:05 PM.
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  #26  
Old 02 February 2018, 08:50 PM
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Default New book on killing of Jews in Poland exposes raw nerve

A prominent Polish historian presented evidence Wednesday about Polish villagers’ widespread killing of Jews fleeing Nazis during World War II, touching a raw nerve in a country still grappling with its role during the Holocaust.

The research is likely to irk the nationalist Polish government, which has taken aim at those seeking to undermine its official stance that Poles were only heroes in the war, not collaborators who committed heinous crimes.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-boo...ses-raw-nerve/
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  #27  
Old 02 February 2018, 09:05 PM
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Thanks for the article. This bit has me wondering:
Quote:
But since the conservative and nationalistic Law and Justice party consolidated power in 2015, it has sought to stamp out discussion and research on the topic. It has demonized Gross and investigated him on whether he had slandered the country by asserting that Poles killed more Jews than Germans during the war - a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
Is this new law really so new? It sounds like they have something similar already on the books.
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  #28  
Old 02 February 2018, 09:18 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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That’s an interesting question. I wonder if they weren’t able to prosecute him under the current slander laws when they came into power in 2015, so they worked to pass this new, holocaust specific one.

The book Gross wrote, “Neighbors,” the Wikipedia article to which I linked earlier, was actually published in 2000, and was received much differently by the government at the time. They apologized and errected a monument. It’s the party currently in power reacting to it.
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  #29  
Old 02 February 2018, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
It sounds like they have something similar already on the books.
I think the old law was against slandering Poland in general (like mentioning that the whole country sort of smells like moth balls), and the new one makes it illegal to say the phrase Polish death camps and is more specifically about World War 2/anti-Semitism.

ETA: pretty well spanked
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  #30  
Old 02 February 2018, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
If it isn’t based in hate, what is it based in?
There is certainly a lot of hatred involved. But I don't think bigotry is necessarily based in hate, though it all too often leads to it. I expect there were a lot of slaveowners who didn't think of themselves as hating black people; they may indeed have felt fond of specific individuals. But they didn't think of black people as being their equals.

Turning thinking of an entire category of people as not deserving to be considered equals into thinking of them as needing to be hated and destroyed is, I think, often done quite deliberately by those seeking to exploit the division for their own political benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Winston O'Boogie View Post
"why do they deserve their own country" is a valid question. Most countries are created by vanquishing an opponent - this one was just "given" to them.
Why should "vanquishing an opponent" cause us to consider the victors to deserve their own country?

(Aside, of course, from the practical reason that that's pretty much how most -- maybe all -- current countries got created. But I still don't see it as a better reason than 'it was given to them'. It looks to me like a worse one.)

And the proper question is IMO far less 'why do Jews deserve their own country?' than 'why do Jews need their own country?' Quite a lot of people thought that the Holocaust answered that one.

Whether the country in question should have been carved out of Germany, and possibly out of parts of Poland and Belarus/Russia, instead of where it was actually created, is another question entirely. But I don't see any sense in trying to move it now.
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  #31  
Old 02 February 2018, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Winston O'Boogie View Post
Most countries are created by vanquishing an opponent - this one was just "given" to them.
I don't think its true that most countries are created by vanquishing opponents, but Israel certainly would count as one of the countries that was formed that way. Saying that Britain just gave them their country is untrue. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab–Israeli_War
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  #32  
Old 02 February 2018, 11:18 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
And the proper question is IMO far less 'why do Jews deserve their own country?' than 'why do Jews need their own country?' Quite a lot of people thought that the Holocaust answered that one.
“Why do those Jews need their own country” was indeed the question I posted about. Like Sue, the use of “those” Jews alarmed me, as did the current tense of “do.” It is, at that point, no longer a question of history.

Dr. Winston introduced the version “why do they deserve one.”

ETA-You’re right about the difference between bias and hate.

Last edited by Little Pink Pill; 02 February 2018 at 11:25 PM.
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  #33  
Old 03 February 2018, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
Like Sue, the use of “those” Jews alarmed me, as did the current tense of “do.” It is, at that point, no longer a question of history.
Indeed. That phrasing of that question alarms me also; because it makes it clear it's all too much a question of current (and possibly future) events.

And Steve, you are of course right: while the creation of the country may have been by decree, it was held, immediately, by the force of arms.

I think that the boundary lines of at least very many modern countries have been created by force of arms; and in at least many cases significant portions of the population by the force of invasion, though often quite some time in the past.
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  #34  
Old 03 February 2018, 05:07 PM
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With very little and possibly biased understanding, I can see the Polish point of view. 6 million Poles were killed in WW2 and large majority of that was slaughter, not warfare. Poles were seen as brain dead serfs to use as labour. They were denied education and educated poles - my own family - were exiled. Or shot, without discrimination. Camps in Nazi occupied Poland were not of Polish design. The Polish suffered at the hands of the Nazis. To pretend they had authority or any form of automomy does offend me as a descendant of those who suffered this rule. To call them Polish camps implied the Poles were not allies, they were secret Nazis. And I cannot agree to that.

But perhaps I'll come back to this less angry for my fleeing families sakes and armed with more information.
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  #35  
Old 03 February 2018, 06:12 PM
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I can see being very angry about that, too.

What I can't see is making it a criminal offense punishable by 3 year's imprisonment to say it.

And there is some reason to think that the law might be partly motivated by anti-Semitism.

The response to people spreading falsehoods is to spread truth, and educate, not make it a crime to use an ambiguous phrase.
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  #36  
Old 03 February 2018, 07:51 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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Well said Erwins, and it should be pointed out that Poland has the highest count of any nation of heroes who helped save Jews in WWII, almost 7000 recognized, much less the many who weren’t. And there were Poles like Witold Pilecki, who deliberately allowed themselves to be captured to Auschwitz to infiltrate it from within.

Their full, true history shouldn’t be obscured by extreme politics or the restriction of freedom of speech.
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  #37  
Old 05 February 2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
My father and his parents fled Poland in the early 1920's.

.
As did DH's paternal grandparents.
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  #38  
Old 09 February 2018, 07:20 PM
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This Atlantic article includes more detail on the law and its context, including this:

Quote:
Since the law was proposed last month, the atmosphere in Poland seems to have shifted. A prominent television commentator referred to Jews as “kikes” on Twitter, in a post that was later removed. The director of a state-run television station said on the air this week that Nazi death camps should actually be called Jewish, because “Who managed the crematoria there?” he asked, according to the Associated Press’s report.
I am not at all convinced that people are over-reacting, or that this is all about historical accuracy.

And I'm not alone. From the AP report mentioned/linked in the above quote:

Quote:
Polish Holocaust and World War II scholars, as well as international organizations including Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Wiesenthal Center, are among groups who have criticized the law. Critics have said they fear the law could lead to self-censorship in academia and that the legislation — which also mentions “other crimes against peace and humanity” — is so broad that it could be used to fight any form of criticism against Poland by authorities already accused of eroding democratic standards.
ETA: If the concern really is that the story of the suffering of Poland's Gentiles in the war has not been told, then what exactly is stopping the Polish government from telling that story? Wouldn't that be a better, simpler approach than passing laws to control how other people describe what Jews suffered in Poland during the war?
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  #39  
Old 09 February 2018, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twankydillo View Post
Camps in Nazi occupied Poland were not of Polish design. The Polish suffered at the hands of the Nazis. To pretend they had authority or any form of automomy does offend me as a descendant of those who suffered this rule. To call them Polish camps implied the Poles were not allies, they were secret Nazis. And I cannot agree to that.
Neither can I. I, and other people, are objecting to the criminalization of speech about the Holocaust. That is not the same thing as agreeing with every example of that speech, or considering it historically accurate.
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  #40  
Old 09 February 2018, 08:45 PM
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I think it can be pretty complicated to talk about what happened in Nazi occupied countries, which makes laws like this even more stifling. I think there were almost certainly victims, collaborators, and people who were complicit in all Nazi occupied countries. It may be significant if a country had a collaborator government, but that may not say much about whether the populace generally embraced or aided in the Nazi ideology or policies and practices, and the lack of official collaboration also does not mean that a country was not deeply antiSemitic, or sympathetic to the Nazis.

My mother is Norwegian. She was born during the Nazi occupation of Norway. My family had property confiscated by the Nazis. Members of my family risked their lives as part of the underground resistance.

At the same time, there was a nominal Norwegian puppet government. But, the person who headed the collaborator government is so infamous for it that his last name now means a traitor who collaborates with the enemy. (Vidkun Quisling).

There were Nazi concentration camps in Norway during the occupation. (Mostly used for political prisoners and prisoners of war.) In the proper context it does not seem inaccurate to call them Norwegian camps. That would not mean that one should conclude that Norway was responsible for them.
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