Beyond Williamson: The Larger Implications of Holocaust Denial

Understandably and appropriately, the recent uproar about the Vatican’s rehabilitation of four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X … Continued

Understandably and appropriately, the recent uproar about the Vatican’s rehabilitation of four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X has centered on the outrageous remarks of Bishop Richard Williamson and how best to respond to such blatant Holocaust denial and anti-semitism. Since then, a number of Catholic leaders around the world have repudiated Williamson’s viewpoints. The Vatican has called upon him to recant publicly.

But in the religious realm, Holocaust denial must be confronted in the context of a crucial question: how people of faith – including the members of the Society of St. Pius X – understand their faith in a post-Holocaust world. For Christians, this question always has to be grounded explicitly in the historical facts of what happened in the Holocaust and the years that led up to it. The horrifying and incremental steps toward the genocide of Europe’s Jews began in a nation that was 98 percent Christian and unfolded on a predominantly Christian continent that was marked by centuries of violence against its Jewish population. All too often this violence was carried out in the name of Christianity and with the sanction of Christian leaders.

The ideology of National Socialism confronted European Christians with very particular challenges, and there was a wide range of responses from the different churches in Europe and the U.S. Some Christians rescued Jews at great risk, and that should not be forgotten. A few church leaders, notably the Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke out forcefully against the genocide. But most were silent. In Nazi Germany, the relationship between Christian leaders and the state was characterized largely by compromise and complicity. Several leading German theologians became apologists for Nazism. There are numerous complexities, but ultimately 6 million Jews were murdered over a period of years, and far too few Christian leaders publicly protested. And the sheer demographics of this genocide tell us that most of the perpetrators must have been nominal Christians, at least, and that their faith clearly did not stop them from participating.

This is why the Holocaust remains a seminal event for people of faith. Particularly because of the record of Christian indifference and complicity, the Holocaust raises disturbing questions about the process by which religious prejudice and discrimination gain legitimacy and power. More broadly, the Holocaust raises questions about the intersection of religion, hatred, ideology, and violence that remain very relevant indeed in our world today. One of the most haunting questions – the pertinent one here – is how people of faith, particularly leaders, should react to such challenges when they arise.

That question became central in the aftermath of the Holocaust, when a remarkable process of Christian self-examination and Christian-Jewish dialogue began, leading to actual changes in liturgy, theology, and interpretations of traditional teachings about the Jews and Judaism. Since then, over 100 post-Holocaust statements addressing these issues have been issued by Protestant and Catholic churches around the world. A very significant example of this is the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, which repudiated the deicide charge and acknowledged the ongoing validity of the covenant with the Jewish people.

For Christians and Jews who have been involved in this process, Holocaust denial can never be a secondary or peripheral issue, and that’s why there has been such an outcry about Williamson and what position the Vatican would choose to take here. It’s also why the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has an office on Church Relations and an enormous collection of historical and website resources on this topic for religious leaders, interfaith groups, and academics who teach and write on these questions.

So our outrage isn’t purely over Holocaust denial, as abhorrent as it is. It reflects a deep concern that the painful work of decades could be brushed aside. Ultimately, the issue here is what kind of faith has integrity in a post-Holocaust world. Part of that is ensuring that religious leaders speak out courageously and clearly whenever antisemitism – or Holocaust denial – threaten to undermine the bonds of common humanity that we should work toward building and not tear asunder in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Victoria Barnett is staff director, Church Relations, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

  • Garak

    What happened to the Jews was a tragedy, not a genocide.

  • Vagabond1

    Garak: *sigh* Fine then. “Attempted genocide.” Do the semantics really matter?

  • doggod

    The deeper and more urgent question for “people of faith” to ask themselves is why they continue to be “people of faith”.An ideology based entirely on unprovable myths, invisible entities and dubious documents is fertile ground for any charlatan who cares to make use of it for evil ends. It is thus no accident that religion has been the source of most of the world’s misery throughout recorded history.No amount of hand-wringing and soul searching over this one episode is going to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. The only way it will be prevented is when people everywhere repudiate superstition and begin demanding reality as the basis for their chosen ideologies.

  • ABismark

    The real lesson that needs to be learned from the Holocaust isn’t a lesson of the atrocity of anti-semitism as much as it is a lesson of prejudice and hatred. The same emotions that lead to the industrialized murder that was the Holocaust also cause young Arab men to fly planes into buildings, Chechens to hold a theatre hostage, and Americans to forcibly extract resident aliens (whether legal or illegal) because they speak a different language. What we need is to create a culture where rhetoric of any stripe of prejudice is unacceptable.

  • Geseke

    This article contains the phrase “a predominantly Christian continent that was marked by centuries of violence against its Jewish population.” Was there anything the Jews could have done to stop the centuries of violence against them? The Jews were expelled from many countries in Europe long before Hitler was born. Was there something the Jews could have done so that they would have been more welcome in Europe? The same thing is happening now in the Middle East where the Jews are being attacked. No other race, religion or ethnic group has been attacked the way the Jews have been for centuries. Why?

  • chowlett1

    There is no question that the Nazi government attempted to wipe out the entire Jewish population of Europe. Genocide. That they were unsuccessful is another matter. My focus on this issue is how would I react in this situation. I collect books on people who have put their lives on the line to save strangers. People like the hotelier in Hotel Rwanda, who is a “Righteous Gentile” of his own kind. What kind of thinking/believing goes into creating a person like this? Not all were religious, not all were moral or ethical. Somehow they just set their faces against murder. I wonder who will be called the Righteous in the Palestinian conflict. Certainly not the leaders of Israel. But neither the leaders of Hamas. You don’t find the Righteous in power sadly.

  • Norm7

    If one backs away from the immediacy of responses to Holocaust denials like this one and take a hard look at them more generally an odd pattern of intellectual decontextualization appears. At a surface level, I can’t see why the knowledge claims of people who claim the Holocaust didn’t happen are any different than those who claim evolution never happened. Both are sets of assertions about facts that even a moderate amount of systematic inquiry by rational people can immediately negate. Yet obviously there is a lot more going on than this. Consider that perhaps 60% of Americans seem to be in the latter, preposterously unfactual persuasion (evolution deniers), yet this engenders no outcry. One can of course respond that in the case of the Holocaust millions died (though note that little note is typically mentioned of those who were not Jewish: Roma (gypsies), gays, “Slavs”, etc), while being a creationist doesn’t kill anyone. But in the sheer number of dead other tragedies have heaped up larger piles of bodies: Chinese government actions after the Revolution; ditto Stalin’s; today’s Congo, etc. Moreover, many other factually wrong knowledge constructions like creationism are only benign on the surface; more deeply they serve as legitimating supports for really nasty ideas and plans for other people’s lives that have real world consequences. I think that it is only when this is in play that Holocaust denial deserves a sharp response: there are obviously a lot of Holocaust deniers that also, sometimes rather proudly, are anti- a lot of other things. Sometimes, such folk have both welded their Holocaust beliefs to other nasty agendas and potentially have power to implement those agendas. In those situations a really strong response seems appropriate. To returns to the case at hand, a Bishop has a lot of moral authority, even where that authority is not consciously or actively exercised. Outside matters of faith they also are supposed to be exemplars of rationality and reason. Thus this fellow falls down on two serious counts, and reserves his thumping.In contrast, knee jerk outrage as an immediate response in every instance of denial is minimally a waste of ammunition, more generally perhaps more of a political than a factual response.

  • chowlett1

    Those people who are screaming against religion in the On Faith site simply make themselves stupid. You imagine we are stupid and superstitious, and you are going to convince us by vilifying us? Please grow up.

  • jahepburn

    What lies at the heart of anti-semetism is the New Testament. It is filled with references to the Jews as being the spawn of Satan and this message has been re-inforced over centuries of mainly Catholic dominance in Europe. Even after the Reformation this message has continued to be delivered. As a child I remember learning that it was the Elders of the Temple who called upon the Romans to arrest Jesus of Nazareth and put him to death. We must remember that for the first three centuries after the crucifiction that Christianity was a peripheral religion in Europe and that it was only by the intervention of Constantine that Christianity began its ascent. It was the Pauline version of Christianity that took sway fairly rapidly in conjunction with Roman power in Western Europe crushing all other forms and some would say the true teachings of Jesus. We must remember that Paul was anti semitic himself and that these sentiments were used to differentiate Jesus who after all was a Jew himself from the people who had alegedly called for his death.The Catholic church and more recently other reformed churches in Europe have continued to cement the idea that Jews were directly responsible for creating the first Christian martyr.It should be less surprising that the holocaust took place at all as the foundations had been laid over the course of the past sixteen hundred years. We should also remember that the actual grusome process was carried out by relatively few people and so the message to democracy as a whole is that even the most mundane act of complicity can be the first act in a culmination of horrific events. The only way therefore to change opinions towards Judaism is to radically alter the message of anti-semetism contained in the New Testament.

  • noleander

    What happened to Jews in WW II was certainly a tragedy, but the numbers are in dispute, and the 6M figure may be an exaggeration.Russians lost around 20M people in WW II, but they dont have the same propaganda machine as Israel, so it is not thrust onto the headlines in US newspapers on a weekly basis.The bias in US media regarding Palestine is appalling. Here is a modern day apartheid, an open-air prison, perpetrated by Israelis. Wouldnt’ you expect the Israelis to be just a _bit_ more sympathetic to oppressed peoples?Enough with the Holocaust. The Jews and Israel have far too much influence in the U.S. media and U.S. government. But “Jews are News” so we are doomed to hear about it eternally, I suppose.

  • jhpurdy

    Had the Third Reich not fallen it is a virtual certainty that the Christian leaders who kept quiet when Jews disappeared would have found themselves sent to the same camps. The Nazi hierarchy, especially SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, were bent on returning the old Germanic folk religion to a place of honor in Nazi society–the doctrine of Christianity was despised as being for weaklings.Ironically, given the current state of the Middle East, probably the worst thing that ever happened to European Jews was when the Moorish invasion of Europe was rolled back by the Franks. In Moorish Spain, Jews were left unmolested and could even practice their religion, although their rights were not as extensive as those of Muslims. But they were still better off than under Ferdinand and Isabella, who quickly expelled the Jews from Spain as soon as they took power from the Moors.

  • slim2

    The same disturbing questions remain with us today, how Christians worldwide can stand idly by as the Israelis brutally pummel the Palestinians living in their own Warsaw Ghetto in Gaza.

  • BobT3

    So the perpetrators of the Holocaust were “nominal Christians.” I would suggest that there is (almost) no other kind. Where any religion is held by a majority, it becomes less of a faith and more of a badge of conventionality, of fitting in with the people around you. That’s why the Holocaust could happen here, under similar conditions, in a heartbeat.

  • infoshop

    Can some one with knowledge of Holocaust tell me what was the different between the German killing the Jew and the Japanese killing the Chinese? Why didn’t we call the killing of the Chinese as The Holocaust? Was the Chinese life worthless the the Jew life?

  • Garak

    I must apologize for my earlier posting. I must have been channeling Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. When he was Foreign Minister, he said (according to Haaretz, the leading Israeli daily) that “what happened to the Armenians was a tragedy, not a genocide.” I merely substituted “Jews” for “Armenians.”How revealing it is that whenever someone denies the Nazi genocide of the Jews, all hell breaks loose. But when someone denies the Armenian Holocaust, we’re lucky if we read about it in the back pages. And this even when an Israeli official, of all people, engages in Holocaust denial. But if the then-Foreign Minister, and now-President, of Israel can engage in Holocaust denial, so can anyone else. Was what happened to the Jews a tragedy and not a genocide? Absolutely, if what happened to the Armenians was also a tragedy and not a genocide.Did Bishop Williamson engage in genocide denial? Only if President Shimon Peres also engaged in Holocaust denial.

  • Dcgrl

    Can we move on now???? We can not change the past. All this continuing attention to the Jews who lost their lives during WWII has become a distraction. Sure it was bad but, going back to ancient times, all types of atrocities committed by human beings against other human beings are a regular part of human history. We go see another movie about Hollywood’s version of what happened to European Jewry during WWII, beat our breasts about how terrible it was and say it must never happen again. We go home feeling noble and purged of guilt while it is happening over and over again all over the world. I wish Germany would build a museum dealing with some of the atrocities committed by America. Boy would we be mad.

  • ravitchn

    The murder of countless Jews and non-Jews in WWII simply for the purposes of Nazi geopolitics calls into question not only what Christians did or did not do, it calls into question the very existence of this God who supposedly is concerned with humanity. Where was He? Where is He? Is He?

  • MichaelNJ

    Geseke : Yes, I suspected you were subscribing to Nazi ideology. Thank you for confirming that.

  • Geseke

    To Michaenj:When the Jews were expelled from England in 1290, and from France in 1390 and from Spain in 1492, it was not because of Nazi ideology. When the Jews were expelled from Palestine by the Romans in the year 70, it was not because of Nazi ideology.

  • MichaelNJ

    In addition to Neo-Nazis, holocaust-deniers and assorted other antisemites, these holocaust-denial threads tend to attract people who have a bizarre logic-deficiency syndrom: They are unable to tell the difference between the execution of millions of people who have done absolutely nothing, and the death of several hundred people in a war that they themselves have started. The mind works in mysterious ways.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Jesus was a Jew. And so was his mother, Mary. And so were his disciples, and most of the apostles. If there is something that is innately sub-human, animalistic, and rat-like about Jews, then would not this also describe Jesus? Was Jesus pushy? Did he have a big nose? Was he preoccupied with money, and how to get it away from other people? Was he a doctor, or a lawyer?Was Mary an cubby old woman, with an Eastern European accent, who laid guilt trips on her childern, went to Temple in a mink coat, and loved to cook? That doesn’t really sound like Mary, to me. But, who knows?

  • MichaelNJ

    “Can some one with knowledge of Holocaust tell me what was the different between the German killing the Jew and the Japanese killing the Chinese?”Here is one big difference for you to chew on: No one is trying to mock, belittle and insult the Chinese by denying their tragedy.

  • MichaelNJ

    Geseke : “When the Jews were expelled from England in 1290, and from France in 1390 and from Spain in 1492, it was not because of Nazi ideology. When the Jews were expelled from Palestine by the Romans in the year 70, it was not because of Nazi ideology.”Right. So? What is your point?

  • Mary_Cunningham

    If the Nazis’ murderous assault on the Jews was the outgrowth of centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, why were their first mass murders directed towards the mentally handicapped? Why did they murder gypsies with the same ferocity? Why was their treatment of the Slavs of the Ukraine so cruel that within six months these fierce anti-Stalinists had formed guerrilla groups to harass the occupying power?If the Nazis’ murderous assault on the Jews was the outgrowth of centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, why did they murder converts like Edith Stein (who was ethnically Jewish but religiously Catholic)? Why did the Nuremburg Laws mention race and blood and not religion as the definition of citizenship? Bad history, Ms Barnett.

  • mansour112

    The fact is that Jews were targeted and suppressed and in some cases expelled for many centuries in Europe by Christians who believed in the guilt of the jews in the killing of Jesus according to the New Testament. Then the Nazi came and committed the genocide of the jews. What I do not understand is that if a historian or researcher said I think the number killed by the nazi is less than six million why do you call him a holocoast denier and antisemite and target him as if he had commited a crime. Why dont you show him your proof of the six million and start a civilized discussion?

  • vmonroe_valnesio

    I think it’s high time that Christians come to grips with a healthy dose of reality with respect to how they view the Holy Land. One of the Commandments states that one should not covet. Yet, if we are to believe the Bible, the Holy Land came into being through wholesale violations of virtually every one of the Commandments and many of the laws which followed. For example, supposedly, the God, that we serve, on one occasion, directed Jewish males to kidnap and violate the womanhood of females in order to see if they were virgins. Those that were not virgins were slaughtered. Those that were virgins could be spared and used by the males for their own lascivious purposes. Off hand, I can’t think of any god of mythology, which directed any such dastardly deeds to be carried out against such masses of people. Remember, God, we are told, doesn’t change. Folks, this is the same God, who,then,gave us the Golden Rule and the greatest commandment. Isn’t He? Think about it, God, supposedly, knowingly (the omniscient One)told one of his sons to slaughter another one and take his land. And this bloody spot is holy? Surely our omnipotent God could and would make a better decision than that!!! Folks, I wouldn’t do that and, as Jesus said, I am low down dirty and evil. So, how is it that we continue to stick God with this foul deed and think nothing of it? I am convinced that since Adam, man has used God to cover his low down murderous deeds, from rape to murder and mayhem. Think about it. God must be sick of this.

  • vmonroe_valnesio

    I think it’s high time that Christians come to grips with a healthy dose of reality with respect to how they view the Holy Land. One of the Commandments states that one should not covet. Yet, if we are to believe the Bible, the Holy Land came into being through wholesale violations of virtually every one of the Commandments and many of the laws which followed. For example, supposedly, the God, that we serve, on one occasion, directed Jewish males to kidnap and violate the womanhood of females in order to see if they were virgins. Those that were not virgins were slaughtered. Those that were virgins could be spared and used by the males for their own lascivious purposes. Off hand, I can’t think of any god of mythology, which directed any such dastardly deeds to be carried out against such masses of people. Remember, God, we are told, doesn’t change. Folks, this is the same God, who,then,gave us the Golden Rule and the greatest commandment. Isn’t He? Think about it, God, supposedly, knowingly (the omniscient One)told one of his sons to slaughter another one and take his land. And this bloody spot is holy? Surely our omnipotent God could and would make a better decision than that!!! Folks, I wouldn’t do that and, as Jesus said, I am low down dirty and evil. So, how is it that we continue to stick God with this foul deed and think nothing of it? I am convinced that since Adam, man has used God to cover his low down murderous deeds, from rape to murder and mayhem. Think about it. God must be sick of this.

  • lartfromabove

    Maybe the Pope could have read the guy’s file before lifting excommunication. The Nazi regime kept good records, which the postwar German government shared with Israel, which keeps the records at the Yad Vashem memorial. Four million Jews were killed in concentration camps, another 800,000 by the Einsatzgruppen in eastern Europe, another million or so in their own communities or in transit to the death camps. This doesn’t count a few million more non-Jewish deaths. Thousands of survivors witnessed the atrocities, and thousands more Allied troops saw what was happening where the liberated the camps. The facts are well-documented and easily available from a one-minute web search. Denying the Holocaust doesn’t change the facts, it just discredits the speaker, dishonors the dead, and spreads the hatred that led to the Holocaust in the first place.

  • johnsonc2

    When a few cranks deny the Holocaust, it is not a serious concern, but when the Catholic Church reinstates an apostate bishop who blatantly denies the Holocaust, it is a reason to take serious stock about the Christian Church and its role in historic antisemitism. Beyond reversing his reinstatement of the bishop – which should go without saying – the Pope should organize a study, with Protestant denominations, of the Christian church under fascism. A full report, including a complete renunciation of the history of antisemitism in the Christian faith, a formal apology to the Jewish people, and acts of atonement should follow.If such a thing were offered to the Jewish people, would it not be possible to also look carefully at the treatment of Palestinians over the past 60 years and rebuke some of the nasty, racist thoughts that are expressed by Israelis who are now following a rising dictator in waiting, Mr. Avigdor Lieberman? The era of religious intolerance must become an unpleasant relic. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

  • MichaelNJ

    mansour112 : “The fact is that Jews were targeted and suppressed and in some cases expelled for many centuries in Europe by Christians who believed in the guilt of the jews in the killing of Jesus according to the New Testament. Then the Nazi came and committed the genocide of the jews. What I do not understand is that if a historian or researcher said I think the number killed by the nazi is less than six million why do you call him a holocoast denier and antisemite and target him as if he had commited a crime. Why dont you show him your proof of the six million and start a civilized discussion?Good, let’s start a civilized discussion. What do you mean “allow everything to be discussed except the holocaust”? Of course everything can be discussed. For example, let’s discuss the Second World War in general. Do you believe that it took place? Do you believe that everything the histoy books tell you about it is true? On what basis? After we’re done with that, we can have civilized discussions about the French Revolution, the battle of Agincourt and the Roman Empire. Who knows, perhaps history did not happen at all.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    I think that the current Pope is more mixed-up than malevolent. Perhaps he is in over his head. After all, the Catholic Church is a HUGE outfit, with ill-defined purposes and goals, but which nevertheless continues to press on, by the fact of its immense inertia. To myself, a non-Catholic, the Catholic Church is a huge conflicted, cacophonous, symphony, of disconnected intentions and purposes; it gives me a headache thinking about it.

  • wildtimecharlie

    So called “holocaust denial” doesn’t actually exist very much. Most of the so called “denial” consists not of denying the fact of genocide, but rather the math which may suggest that there were actually 4 million rather than 6 million Jewish victims. People who assert “holocaust denial” when there is none, or very little “denial” have a power and control agenda of their own which warrants criticism. For one thing, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a monetary motive to making excessive claims as to the number of deaths. Secondly, it’s not as though the Jews are the only known victims of genocide in human history. Let’s spend the next 50 years discussing the Ukrainian Holocaust, how many died, WHO(meaning which Commies) were responsible, and how and where did the perpetrators acquire their ideology of hatred. These discussions should be accompanied by hundreds of Hollywood and TV broadcasts fictionalizing the goodness of the victims and the evilness of those who murdered them. This coin has two sides and it’s time the public be exposed to the other side.So called “holocaust denial” is a self serving hoax perpetrated by Abe Foxman and quite a few other lying frauds.

  • trenwith

    CHRISTIANS AND JEWS ARE NOW IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF GENOCIDE THE JIHADISTS HAVE BEEN CONSPIRING FOR CENTUTURIES! THESE FANATICS HAVE ONE GOAL ,TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION BY ISLAM!WAKE UP CHRISTIANS,AND JEWS!

  • republican_disaster

    Holocaust denying Priests??That’s just so heavy and evil.All their religious rituals and austerity is for absolutely nothing.They might as well give up all pretense of religiosity and join some white supremest group because they are never going to get close to God.

  • Geseke

    MICHAELNJ:My point is that there are many reasons why the Jews have been discriminated against for centuries. I gave you just one example where Hitler expressed hatred for Jews in 1925 because they were Communists. America could have taken in all the Jews in the world before the Holocaust happened, but Congress would not change the immigration laws that limited the number of immigrants from Germany and Poland. Why did Congress pass those laws in the first place? Why did the Czar of Russia put all the Jews into the Pale of Settlement? Why were the Jews then expelled from Pale of Settlement, starting in 1881?

  • republican_disaster

    I’m thinking Rat may miss the feeling of his skin tight Nazi youth short-shorts.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    wildtimecharlie In Russia, World War II is not called “World War II;” it is called “The Great Patriotic War.” They have GIGANTIC statures and memorials to the millions who died. We don’t here as much about it here, because we are HERE, not there. And Russia is not a hotbed of American tourism. But I am aware of it because I READ BOOKS. Most people don’t read books, and don’t know anything, not even Hitler’s first name.So what? People may gradually forget about the Holocaust in 1930′s – 40′s Germany, but it is by their own mental laziness and incuriosity in general, about everything but the “here and now.” It is not likely that they are going to substitute this memory loss with some new “light-bulb” eureka moment, of knowlege that is better, fresher, and purer.That is what you seem to be implying.

  • Geseke

    LARTFROMABOVE wrote:”The Nazi regime kept good records, which the postwar German government shared with Israel, which keeps the records at the Yad Vashem memorial. Four million Jews were killed in concentration camps, another 800,000 by the Einsatzgruppen in eastern Europe, another million or so in their own communities or in transit to the death camps.”The Nazis kept good records but some of the records are missing. The records are not kept at Yad Vashem, but at Arolsen, Germany by the International Red Cross. The number of 4 million Jews killed in concentration camps comes from hearsay testimony in an affidavit submitted by the Allies to the Nuremberg IMT. There are no records that show that 4 million Jews were killed in the camps because the Jews who were gassed immediately upon arrival were not registered and no record card was made for them, so there are no death records for the Jews who were gassed. At the Nuremberg IMT, the Soviet Union charged that 4 million people were killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz and 1.5 million at Majdanek. So just the deaths at two of the Nazi camps were more than 4 million. However, the Soviets did not submit any evidence to back up their charges.

  • optimist3

    We’ve again had it made clear about the dangers of holocaust denial. Now how about turning to the ongoing murder of Palestinian Arabs. The Holocaust Museum seems a perfect place to establish those parallels, and to remind Americans and the world of the dangers of democide, racial separatism, and the dangers of a state based upon ethnic and religious classification.We await your leadership on the issue.

  • drne

    The post holocaust world as defined by Ms. Barnett has experienced a number of recent holocausts: Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Balkans. Our concerns were muted and often came too late. Millions of people lost their lives in a world where the ‘I did not know’ defense’ did not apply. The world would only be a better place when we learn to apply uniform standards without fear or favor. The bounds of our common humanity should be universal and not be limited to one group or one concern.

  • edwink

    Holocaust deniers are the scum of the earth. They should be rounded up and systematically exterminated in gas chambers.

  • shahidkamal

    Is there no Hitler today? We need one when we see children bombed, houses destroyed, bulldozer rolling the dead bodies and wounded, phosphorous bombs being used on the civilians of Gaza and the city being turned virtually into a concentration camp.

  • Delongl

    I don’t know if the holocast killed 5-7 million Jews, or 4-8 million Jews. But I do know that efforts to punish those who disagree with you undercut your credibility. You end up sounding like punishers of those who doubt evolution, or those who raise questions about global warming.If you would just present solid evidence, you would win. But if you resort to punishing those who disagree, you lose the high ground.

  • rcubedkc

    Yaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn Yaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn Yaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  • rcubedkc

    “Most people don’t read books, and don’t know anything, not even Hitler’s first name.”Menacham right!!

  • MichaelNJ

    Geseke : “My point is that there are many reasons why the Jews have been discriminated against for centuries. I gave you just one example where Hitler expressed hatred for Jews in 1925 because they were Communists. America could have taken in all the Jews in the world before the Holocaust happened, but Congress would not change the immigration laws that limited the number of immigrants from Germany and Poland. Why did Congress pass those laws in the first place? Why did the Czar of Russia put all the Jews into the Pale of Settlement? Why were the Jews then expelled from Pale of Settlement, starting in 1881?”Why do you keep asking questions when you have the answers? If your answer is the same as Hitler’s, as you said before, then you are expressing Nazi opinions, which makes you a Nazi. If not, then what is your answer?

  • mchaun

    “Understandably and appropriately, the recent uproar about the Vatican’s rehabilitation of four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X has centered on the outrageous remarks of Bishop Richard Williamson…”You appear to have studied Bishop Williamson’s writings in great detail. Perhaps you will be kind enough to quote (literally) the most outrageous. I understand that his statements were merely musings on the plausibility and mathematics of certain parts of the Holocaust Tale.Then perhaps the same for President Ahmadinejad of Iran. I have serious concerns that Jews are constitutionally unable to accurately quote certain types of speech and writing.Monte Haun [email protected]

  • bpai_99

    It is especially important for Popes to speak out against those who would deny the Holocaust, given the Catholic Church’s complicity. Despite the religious revisionists who like to think those of their religion are better and more morally upstanding than atheists (and typically state that Hitler was an atheist), he in fact was a baptized Roman Catholic and over 1/3 of Germans at the onset of the Third Reich were Roman Catholic as well. The Pope at the time refused to speak out against the German persecution of Jews in part because of that. History has shown repeatedly that nothing is more dangerous than those who claim divine guidance and support in their pursuit of power.”It is necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” – Pope Boniface VII

  • Geseke

    MICHAELNJ:If you believe that the Jews have been persecuted for centuries for absolutely no reason, then there is nothing the Jews can do to stop another Holocaust. I asked questions, to which I know the answers, because I was trying to get people to think.

  • Aprogressiveindependent

    The controversy over the very few persons who deny the Holocaust receive substantial publicity in this country and perhaps Europe. However, the atrocities against innocent civilians by the Japanese during World War II were as widespread as those by the Germans. Most Japanese, including most of their leaders, continue to deny the massive atrocities of their soldiers against innocent human beings in China, Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc. Yet this denial of a comparable holocaust receives little attention by the western media. One has to wonder if racism is partly responsible for the very limited media coverage.

  • kengelhart

    The word “Holocaust” is a highly charged political word. Different people use it with different meanings and different purposes. It would be better if we did not use this word at all and addressed problems specifically as they exist today without regard to meanings from the past. Focusing on meanings from the past ignores current conditions and gives a strong smell of vengeance instead of reason. Civilization can become more and more civilized if we do not apply old meanings and feelings that just hold us in the past, in a less civilized world.

  • Geseke

    While World War II was happening, there was nothing but stories about the atrocities committed by the Japanese. People in America never heard about what the Nazis were doing to the Jews. It was only when the Bergen-Belsen camp was turned over to the

  • maddymappo

    The holocaust was prejudice insighted by the belief that Jews killed Jesus, the Christ. It did not matter what religion the ethnic descendents of Jewish tribes believed in. Nazi’s did not ask them to convert or what they truly believed, no one hated their religion, they just hated them for being blood kin to Jesus’s murderers and not ethnic aryan. This same hatred is quite lively in the here and now, and it is mainly the reason that Israel has had such a hard time establishing itself. The Moslem population cannot tolerate the idea that Jesus’s killers could uproot them and live on even a tiny amount of soil they have lived on. Holocaust denial is a way of not giving any reason to sympathize with the object of hate. It denies the Jews the dignity of being acknowledged as having been treated inhumanely by the haters’ own kith and kin, and kind.

  • yorkville7

    so the plan is to bash the pope and christianity to deflect from the fact that the bishop is waiting for evidence and if provided will apologize…..over 100 million people around the world do not believe the holocaust story, if it is the most documented event in history why not take advantage of all this publicity to put this issue to bed?? their are mountains of physical evidence,documentation,historical records ie the red cross, that prove the bishops statement, yet on the other side their is only hollywood,discredited memoirs,long disproven and admittedly false hoaxes of human soap,lampshades,shrunken heads ghastly medical experiments ect all of which the holocaust museum admits were lies(and all of which survivors tearfully described seeing with their own eyes)so why would ant intelligent person still believe this myth? WELL THE BISHOP AND THE WORLD AWAITS THE EVIDENCE….and everyday that their is silence millions google holocaust lies

  • Mary_Cunningham

    In 1881 a series of pogroms began in Russia, ‘classic’ anti-Semitism in that the mobs yelled “Jews killed Jesus” along with “kill the Jews”. About 51 people were killed although damage to property was extensive. In 1903-05 there was another series of pogroms, this time far more deadly. Niall Ferguson in “War of the World” gives estimates of about 3,000 Russian Jewish deaths. Jews were allowed to leave Russia and they did in their hundreds of thousands, ironically a few to Germany where their Sephardic brethren were well assimilated. Does Ms Barnett actually think that these pogroms led directly to National Socialism? If so, why?

  • yorkville7

    so the plan is to bash the pope and christianity to deflect from the fact that the bishop is waiting for evidence and if provided will apologize…..over 100 million people around the world do not believe the holocaust story, if it is the most documented event in history why not take advantage of all this publicity to put this issue to bed?? their are mountains of physical evidence,documentation,historical records ie the red cross, that prove the bishops statement, yet on the other side their is only hollywood,discredited memoirs,long disproven and admittedly false hoaxes of human soap,lampshades,shrunken heads ghastly medical experiments ect all of which the holocaust museum admits were lies(and all of which survivors tearfully described seeing with their own eyes)so why would ant intelligent person still believe this myth? WELL THE BISHOP AND THE WORLD AWAITS THE EVIDENCE….and everyday that their is silence millions google holocaust lies

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Geseke : Are you paranoid? I seldom ever hear anything about the holocaust. It is a fact of life, background noise. It comes up from time to time. If you are hearing about it non-stop all the time, then it is because you are searching for it. Get some other interests, and try to tune it out, and you will see that there is plenty of other stuff in the world to obsess over.

  • MichaelNJ

    Geseke : “I asked questions, to which I know the answers, because I was trying to get people to think.”________________________________________________Well, it’s obvious the reason you know the answers and other people don’t, is that you have a superior intellect. So why don’t you spare us lowly creatures the suspense, and share with us the wisdom. What is the answer?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Mary CunninghamI believe that the unjust treatment of the Jews throughout historical Europe did lead to the Nazi program to exterminate the Jews from existence.The fact that you do not want to believe it, or find it hard to believe, at least shows that you are aware that the mistreatment of Jews is unjust. They are just everybody’s scapegoats, no better or worse than anyone else. Any group of people could be a scapegoat for any other. The Irish could be the scapegoats for the English to blame everything on. The Palestineans could be the scapegoats for the Israelis to blame everything on. The Americans could be the scapegoats for the Muslims to blame everything on.Someone here exclaimed, “Enough it Enough!”Well, that is not quite right. Enough is not enough. Enough is never enough. There is no limit to the folly of man, where there could not be even more.

  • mansour112

    I am sorry you did not answer my questions in a civilized way only one sarcasticaly. I am sorry your response to my questions disqualifies you.

  • wildtimecharlie

    So if I refuse to acknowledge 6 million deaths due to the holocaust but will stipulate that 5,900,000 were murdered, do the holocaust industry professionals still insist that I am a denier???No wonder the country has gone broke. We waste money building museums to this stupidity.As a patriotic American I highly recommend Aliyah for all American Jews. Then maybe the rest of us will have a chance at survival. In the meantime, your oh so sacred holocaust deserves nothing but derision and scorn.

  • Judy-in-TX

    Thank you, Victoria, for giving voice to our concerns about this reactionary step by the Catholic Curia and Pope Benedict.

  • MichaelNJ

    stephenrhymer : They Can’t. Those who keep the issue in the headlines are the holocaust deniers. By definition they are not interested in any other genocide.

  • sarwar2

    There is the question of who defines the numbers and events during the tragedy that the Jewish people went through (BTW, the Palestinian are going through it right now). There is no independent investigation on these and people who try to do the work are not allowed. Furthermore, they are denigrated and their personality and individualism ridiculed. This tragedy was not about being Semite since Semites are modern people originating in southwestern Asia, including Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Arabs, and Ethiopian. So lets use proper terms since it will change our subjects.Lastly, the Zoinists are a political movement and not a Jewish one. There is nothing relgious about it.

  • skata3

    In its days, the holocaust has been a human catastrophe. But then again so has been Gaza in our days.Holocaust is one issue, capitalizing out of it is clearly another. While I am not a holocaust denier, I find it despicable that certain Jewish circles seem to take advantage of it in promoting “sotto voce” other irrelevant political interests of their own.Do not get me wrong, for I am not suggesting to forget the matter, yet by perpetually repeating the same motifs , again and again, time after time, this clearly is cheap brainwashing for the masses.To start with, perhaps the Jewish community should accept that holocaust has not been an entirely Jewish affair and give up monopolizing the issue. For there have been countless other nationalities or political entities affected by it in an exactly similar way. They must also understand that holocaust has never been a Christian crime against their own race, but rather a political one, conducted by an ideology that is generally believed to have sunk into oblivion.Will we ever leave those victims rest in peace?

  • yorkville7

    the bishops call for evidence seems to have silenced the jewish organizations…lol so much for “the most documented event in history” that only works until someone asks for evidence

  • Martial

    The Holocaust is so well documented that only fools make such statements as this Bishop did. Proverbs speaks of knowledge as a woman who benefits Kings and other great men, clearly the Queen of all earthly things. Queen takes Bishop every time.

  • flipper49

    The anti-Jew sentiment in the Catholic church isn’t a bit surprising, considering the church played a huge active part in the holocaust. Have you folks forgotten the apologetics offered by John Paul for it’s involvement with the nazis????

  • kengelhart

    maddymappo : “It denies the Jews the dignity of being acknowledged as having been treated inhumanely by the haters’ own kith and kin, and kind.”I don’t think the dignity and humanity of Jews is dependent on what a few ignorant people think happened to them in the past. I do think that Jews may be trying to prosecute these few people who think this way.

  • jamesmmoylan

    skata3 said:”In its days, the holocaust has been a human catastrophe. But then again so has been Gaza in our days.Holocaust is one issue, capitalizing out of it is clearly another. While I am not a holocaust denier, I find it despicable that certain Jewish circles seem to take advantage of it in promoting “sotto voce” other irrelevant political interests of their own.Do not get me wrong, for I am not suggesting to forget the matter, yet by perpetually repeating the same motifs , again and again, time after time, this clearly is cheap brainwashing for the masses.To start with, perhaps the Jewish community should accept that holocaust has not been an entirely Jewish affair and give up monopolizing the issue. For there have been countless other nationalities or political entities affected by it in an exactly similar way. They must also understand that holocaust has never been a Christian crime against their own race, but rather a political one, conducted by an ideology that is generally believed to have sunk into oblivion.Will we ever leave those victims rest in peace?”__________________________________________Well said.Yes it was a horrifying event that must never be forgotten.But the current Jewish state, Israel, exists in a modern world which almost uniformly considers the holocaust to be an abomination. I can both abhor the holocaust and the actions of the current Israeli state – these things are not mutually exclusive.In fact – to anyone of conscience there are many similarities between the mindset of the perpetrators of the holocaust and the people who currently run Israel. 1) The demonizing of a small segment of the society to the point where they are considered almost ‘sub-human’.2) The almost maniacal faith of the State in an ideology that is nonsensical to any sane human (the whole Israeli state is based on the conviction that ‘God gave me this land so anyone who says different is anti-God’)3) Reliance on military might whenever the governing authority is questioned.4) The labelling of non-Jewish citizens as being second class citizens with lesser rights than the majority.The Germans fired up the ovens.When I was a younger man I was a fan of the Israeli State but over the last fifteen years the country has become a rogue state that is entirely indifferent to the suffering of the Palestinians or, worse, deliberately inflicts untold suffering out of religiously derived political considerations.I know that some lunatic religious nutters will jump up and down about my daring to make comparisons between the Nazi State and the Israeli State.But I will stop making the comparisons as soon as the glaring similarities disappear.

  • vinceporter

    How many of those who foam at the mouth at the mere mention of “holocaust” will admit that the creation of Israel removed at least 400 thousand Palestinians from their homes and sent them into a diaspora of poverty, deprivation, squalor, hopelessness and death? How many will change their minds if we strong arm them with our public wrath? People will believe what they will believe and the only effective long term solution is debate and evidence. Any other way only changes what people say, not what they think. I believe there was a holocaust, but I do not believe it should be used as a cudgel on every nut who denies it. The ridicule that descends upon such ignorance is much more effective.

  • omop

    According to several “hebraic scholars” Jesus Christ never existed. There has never been a dedicated by any Christian scholars or layman demanding that anyone who does not admit to the existance of Christ and/or to His teachings be condemned and/or judged. In a world where the threat of nuclear obliteration is daily reported in the media on the verge of taking place if Iran and other states acquire nuclear weapons like Israel already has its incumbent to accept the intellectual and God-given rights of human beings to accept or reject, believe or not believe in the occurance or interpretation of past events. What is humane and rational given all the different beliefs is to

  • DanielSanDiego

    An insightful article, but one that fails to update the core issue of indifference and complicity in our era and in Israel itself and the US. Of course I refer to the Palestinian issue, and the fact that the dispossession of Palestinians was and still is based on religious absolutism and extremism: the belief that “God” gave Palestine to the Jewish people, and that any use of force to secure this God given mandate is acceptable. The failure of the world to come to terms with the religious extremist basis of the creation and expansion of Israel at the expense of another national group, and the indifference to the apartheid and genocidal use of power that has resulted from Jewish religious prejudice as government policy should be equally if not more troubling than holocaust deniers that are seen for what they are.

  • kohsar240

    Palestinians keep suffering. Any sympathy for them? Those Arabs living within Israel are marginalized in every shape and form. Israel supposed to be democratic, this angel of Middle East? It is all facade and Jewish media is brainwashing machine in the US. It is sad how much weight we offer one tragic event yet forgetting another, and worse, being committed by those crying victim.

  • MichaelNJ

    In addition to the weird mental deficiency that prevents some people from seeing the difference between the holocaust and the situation in the Middle East, there is another interesting case of distorted vision which manifests itself among the antisemites attracted to this and other holocaust threads: They seem to think that Jews enjoy talking about the holocaust, and are trying to bring it up whenever possible.So here is a piece of friendly advice, dear morons: If you’ve had enough of hearing about the holocaust, then stop talking about it. It’s not the Jews who can’t stop talking about it. It’s you. The Jews are just forced to respond to the unending stream of hair-raising assertions, speculations, lies and irrelevant analogies that you never stop making about the holocaust. Give it a rest, and let the victims of the holocaust rest in peace too.

  • walterclark63

    The incredibly foolish version of history espoused by Bishop Williamson has been condemned by

  • JDGillis

    We cannot change what happened 60-years ago, and jailing those who question what happened seems to serve no purpose but to distracted us from bringing an end to the holocausts being committed right now. I would argue that those truly in holocaust denial are those more concerned about one person’s opinion of the past while ignoring crimes being committed today in occupied Palestine, Darfur and elsewhere. Those who do nothing to stop the killing and ethnic cleansing in Darfur and occupied Palestine are the Holocaust Deniers we should be concerned with, for we can do something today to ensure it happens Never Again.

  • MichaelNJ

    And then, of course, there is the third specimen of the sickness of antisemitism, those who claim, without ever trying to substantiate it, that the Jews are trying to ignore or minimize the tragedy of non-Jews murdered during WW2, in order to somehow capitalize on it. As in “To start with, perhaps the Jewish community should accept that holocaust has not been an entirely Jewish affair and give up monopolizing the issue.” Monopolizing the issue? You think genocide is so much fun and frolic that the Jews are trying to keep it all to themselves? You are welcome to have a genocide yourself and then monopolize it if you wish.

  • Geseke

    MARY_CUNNINGHAM wrote:”In 1881 a series of pogroms began in Russia, ‘classic’ anti-Semitism in that the mobs yelled “Jews killed Jesus” along with “kill the Jews”. About 51 people were killed although damage to property was extensive. In 1903-05 there was another series of pogroms, this time far more deadly. Niall Ferguson in “War of the World” gives estimates of about 3,000 Russian Jewish deaths. Jews were allowed to leave Russia and they did in their hundreds of thousands, ironically a few to Germany where their Sephardic brethren were well assimilated.Does Ms Barnett actually think that these pogroms led directly to National Socialism? If so, why?”———-Yes, the pogroms had a lot to do with Hitler’s hatred of the Jews. When Hitler was 17, he went to Vienna where he saw his first Russian Jew, walking down the street wearing a floor-length caftan and smelling to high heaven, according to Hitler. Before this, Hitler had seen only assimilated German and Austrian Jews like the Doctor who treated his mother for cancer. At that moment, he decided that the Jews didn’t belong in Germany or Austria. Another reason that Hitler hated the Jews was that the Russian Jews introduced organized crime and white slavery into Germany and Austria. The girls who were forced into prostitution were Jewish. Some people think that Hitler caught syphilis from a prostitute who was Jewish. The town of Auschwitz was a center for Jewish organized crime because it was the largest railroad hub in Europe. It was the arrival of Russian Jews in America that turned the American people against them. This was when hotels and private clubs began to discriminate against the Jews for the first time in America.

  • IowaLad

    As a WWII veteran, ETO, infantry, would say there was definitely war crimes, genocide, concentration campsm, etc, millions and millions of people killed by both the Nazis and Soviets also. But we GIs did not think of it as a “holocaust’ but simply as genocide,murder, violance, etc. And yes, Hitler did discriminate against Jews, gypsies, and others. I personally do not think Jewish people are any more “chosen” in a religious or “special” sense than any other ethnic group. That sort of philosophy is rather insulting to everyone else,and that has been a part of the problem from the get-go. How about the Etruscans, the Incas, and so on throughout the march of civilization? A belief system is fine, necessary to establish civil, social and cultural standards but….Herzl’s Zionism has taken that ideology too far. What the entire Middle East urgently needs is large dose of Luther’s Reformation adapted to that region along with pressure from the international community. Branding and marketing genocide, murder, violance as a ‘holocaust’ involving mainly one ethnic group whe3n many were equally victims seems a tad self-serving. Yes, Herzl was said to have been motivated by the Dreyfus Affair in France, but then shouldn’t Judaic belief system leadership clean up their act a bit and march along with the march of civilization instead of looking backward. Heck, what about the Vikings, the Normans, the Irish, Saxons and other ethnic groups of history, the Greeks certainly, who all had their moment of glory? Maybe we should all go back to the notion of beating drums, proclaiming our ‘special’ place, and of course drawing bows and wielding shields…Yes, Hitler and his NSDAP, etc were a nasty bunch but so were the Soviets, Pol Pot, the ‘affair in Darfur’, the Congo, and so on and on. Good grief, Charlie Brown…eave the Pope and his clergy alone…

  • Martial

    Geseke, the 1924 immigration act was partly designed to decrease Jewish immigration. The US did not assist Britain earlier in the fight against Hitler because many thought such an act primarily benefitted Jews. America refused to admit Jewish Displaced Persons, preferring German “victims” of Stalin after WWII. Soviet era Jewish immigrants had nothing to do with these actions. As for Jews’ dimishing the horrors of other WWII mass murders, the US Holocaust Museum website has many articles on Nazi persecution of homosexuals, Poles, the Roma, and the handicapped; the same can be found in Yad Vashem. The lack of material on Japanese horrors stems from the focus on the Nazis. It might indeed be time to include Hirohito’s atrocities in the holocaust museum.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Vinceporter said:”How many of those who foam at the mouth at the mere mention of “holocaust” will admit that the creation of Israel removed at least 400 thousand Palestinians from their homes and sent them into a diaspora of poverty, deprivation, squalor, hopelessness and death?”What is knowledge? What is it to know something? Do we only know things that we see and experience ourselves? Israel has been the master of Palestine for all of my life and long before; I have no previous knowledge of any former status of the Palestinean people. But even if you could produce some kind of “proof” or “evidence” that suggests that the Palestinean people were innocently and unjustly displaced, I cannot accept that as knowledge, since I myself have no first hand experience of it.Why are the Palestinean people innocent? What makes them innocent? Why are they more innocent than the Israeli’s? You are asking us to forget alot of what we thought we knew, and by the very same criteria that you have dismissed, accept on faith, what you tell us is a replacement truth. Why should your replacement truth have any more credibility?And you are sick of the Jews promoting their suffering from the holocasut. But we should not be sick of other victims endlessly and ceaselessly promoting their own victimhood? Why? Why is not your choice of things to know, and things to be sick of and things to embrace with true belief not as capricious and arbitrary as all those mirror things in others which you despise and criticize so?

  • demtse

    Jews use the holocaust as a position of moral superiority over the rest of the world. Those who deny it, are labelled as anti-semitic. The world cannot continue to be held hostage by their guilt and lose site of this reality. Sure a holocaust occurred. Were it not that the jews hold the unique biblical prohecy as the “chosen people”, the holocaust would be a footnote in history.

  • DualTurbos

    And if there is no God as described by the Hebrews? Then Jews, Christians and Muslims have killed/are killing and oppressing each other over nothing.I’m agnostic, which means I don’t know what “God” and “creation” are all about. I was born into a Christian family but became uncomfortable with the major religions after each claimed that they were right and the others wrong. Simple math will tell you that, at best, only one religion can be right, and most likely, they are wrong, too.There is no magic, no voodoo. If ‘God’ wanted us to know about him, we’d all know about him. The rest is people trying to be special or for them reaching for an excuse to oppress other humans.In my view, Christians are deluded, Jews are becoming what they hated (oppressors), and Muslims are stifled and some are murderous. Yay for man-made religion.Forget about the Holocaust in religious terms; think of it in anthropological terms. Think of all the Zionism, Christian fundamentalism and Muslim fundamentalism in anthropological terms.Why are we following the fireside stories of uneducated people who had no scientific understanding, and who lived thousands of years ago? We shouldn’t be.Think about this: Religion was created by nomadic people trying to come to grips with disease, death, murder, other crimes, unsafe food, and trying to understand the twinkly lights in the sky. They had no TV. They had to talk about something when the sun went down.

  • Farnaz2

    While there is no gainsaying the importance of the Shoah, equally, if not more urgent is for Christians (generically) speaking to finally get it that we have our own self-understanding. Our history is not a sideline in European self-aggrandizement, nor is it a tale in which we have no voice. Things remain for us as they were for African Americans pre-1970, with Whites writing about slavery, from a white perspective. Jews have a religion that goes far, far beyond the Tanakh, yet while Christians think they “replaced” us, they are clueless as to what Christianity (did not) replace. Moreover, while Christ walked on earth, if he did, Judaism was entering the Rabinic age, arguably the most important stage in its history. Great scholars were afoot, and it’s highly unlikely as numerous historians have noted that very many knew of Christ’s existence.As well as a religion, we have a history, or histories, since we are very diverse. In the meantime “the Christians” continually speak and write the most asenine things about us, which, in fact are true of none or us.IN my view, the Holocaust, and all preceding anti-Jewish genocides, laws against Jews, papal attacks, national and papal inquisitions should be part of European, not Jewish History. We did not perpetrate these acts. “The” EuroChristians did. In the same way that the history of African Americans figures in American history courses, so should Jews THE oppressed minority of Europe, EuroChristendom’s obsession, be taught in European history classes.Other things need, of course, to be revisited, for example, “passion plays.” What would Christians think if every year, Jews dressed up like “Christians,” and yelled, “Gas them! Gas them!”Perhaps Christians should learn something about seeing through eyes other than their own. And Jews must insist on being treated as fully human beings. “The Christians” will only see this when they begin to see themselves as “the Christians,” i.e., come into the purview of a hegemonic gaze.

  • terryking228

    “The Holocaust is so well documented that only fools make such statements as this Bishop did. Proverbs speaks of knowledge as a woman who benefits Kings and other great men, clearly the Queen of all earthly things. Queen takes Bishop every time” Well Said!In America the Constitution, thankfully, does not allow us to “Silence” people. I totally agree with Woodrow Wilson, who said:”I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.” So some guy’s a Bishop? He’s still a jerk. He’s still a fool. Let’s just ignore him!

  • MichaelNJ

    Geseke : “At that moment, he decided that the Jews didn’t belong in Germany or Austria… It was the arrival of Russian Jews in America that turned the American people against them.”So according to you, the Jews are despised and hated wherever they arrive and nobody wants to have them in his country. You are a great spokesman for the cause of Zionism, and a truly wasted talent. You should apply for a job with the Israeli foreign office. They would snap you up, to go around explaining to everyone why the Jews need a country of their own.

  • protagoras

    Seems to me that denying the suffering of the Jews is not more or less despicable than denying anyone’s suffering. A more profound understanding of history would acknowledge that the Jews are not unique in their suffering. What a sad thing that they (like many others) have used their own injury as an excuse to abuse others.

  • skata3

    MichaelNJ I believe most people consider genocides as a terrible thing, that is best to be avoided. I find your comment “…have a genocide yourself and then monopolize it if you wish” rather impolite I am afraid.For the record, through our long history, my nation has been a victim of genocides on more than one occasions. Unfortunately, genocides have occurred frequently in history, and neither Jews, nor us, nor anyone else can claim to be the sole copyright holder of been a victim of one such.I will not reveal my nationality, on the grounds that I find to be pointless to argue on who had the largest amount of casualties. You know genocides should not subject to any kind of bookkeeping. Unlike you, we prefer to reconcile rather than to trade the corpses of our own people, and profit from the their misfortunes. In the education I was given, this would be considered a hubris.Having said that, I wish the best to you and your family.

  • kerryberger

    The Holocaust is not a matter of views of faith; it is a historical fact in this post-WWII world. The Williamson’s of the world, whether joining the bandwagon and reacting to the ugliness of the recent televised Gaza War or simply voicing latent anti-Jewish sentiment, demonstrates that the past prejudices against Jews have yet to diminish. In fact, this is a recurrent theme whenever there is an economic downturn. It is either blamed on Chinese ethnic groups in Asia, or the Jews in the West and Middle-East. Fundamentally, it is a sad reflection on the human condition that our societies still look for silver bullets and scapegoats to bypass resolving complicated issues.

  • postman2

    The deaths of millions of innocent Jews in Europe has been turned into a campaign for special treatment by their own ethnic survivors. Is the life of a Jew worth more than that of a German homosexual or an Armenian or a Gypsy? Many Jews apparently think so – after all, how many Gypsy doctors are there – and have the anti-semite label ready and waiting to apply to anyone who would contradict them. People who demand special consideration and treatment now as form of tribute for those who suffered and died in the past are a misguided – and maybe even loathesome – group. Grave robbers, ghouls.The lesson to learn from those millions of deaths in Europe – and the tens or hundreds of millions of the innocent of all races and religions who have been slaughtered throughout history – is that people will do the most horrible things to other men, women, and children. Everyone is capable of doing it and has done it. Jews do not have a lock on suffering; they’ve just got a better PR program.

  • Farnaz2

    “The lack of material on Japanese horrors stems from the focus on the Nazis. It might indeed be time to include Hirohito’s atrocities in the holocaust museum.”Marial, There are endless books and articles on Chinese comfort women, and, indeed, a museum for them has finally opened in Shanghai. The books and articles on the Philippines are endless. Japan’s attitudes toward its crimes against humanity? Read and weep.The late Iris Chang has a web site. All of the above are scanned via google searches. Awhile ago I posted a bibliography. If I can locate the disk, misplaced a few weeks ago, I’ll post it again. However, I assure you it’s quite easily researched. Like the Shoah, Japanese barbarity needs to be a part of general history courses.

  • johannaliu

    The law and the good sense demands that any accusation of any crime against any body has to be proved, and this proof has never being presented in any court any ware.Killings have happened every were along the human history and that is not news, the problem is that some people they segregate themselves and accuse others of doing it to them, .and the common point of all this people is the tendency to increase the numbers of victims to the sky, because they believe the bigger the number of victims, the bigger the guilty feeling they will create among the public opinion, and the benefit that they will harvest and as we know the Jews are masters in this matter.To give you one fresh example, the last claim I heard has been the Brazilian Indians Ianomamis they claim that the Portuguese exterminated five(Yes) 05 million people of their tribe, any body will understand that is hard to believe that has never existed such a quantity of Indians in the Brazilian coast, and I will like to know who among them had the knowledge to counted. So as I already say, this is a sticky and contagious matter, and everybody should remember the maxima of the marketing system; A lie repeated all the time it will became a truth..

  • kerryberger

    I find it considerably offensive of people who post comments that somehow the War in Gaza was a genocide and massacre of innocent Palestinians, and that negates any moral authority that Jewish people have on the issue of the Holocaust. Nothing can be further from the truth than this type of expressed ignorance. The war in Gaza was defensive. It was televised extensively by Arab News Services in order to raise sentiments in support of innocent Palestinians whilst ignoring the facts that Hamas had been shooting rockets at Israel for the past 8 years, and Hamas stole food aid from the United Nations, Hamas has been documented in utilizing Palestinian women and children CIVILIANS as human shields and other severe war crimes.War is ugly, and most of us may have seen bits and pieces of that ugliness in the television era, but never as much as during this conflict. Our sensitivities are heightened by any carnage; it is only human to feel deep sadness and concern. However, one must temper the emotion with realization that the number of civilian deaths could have been 10 times as much if the Israeli IDF and Government had not a policy to limit collateral damage. Still the anti-Jewish propagandists will scream, “Genocide” and “Holocaust” and “Mass murder” at Israelis and indirectly or directly “all” Jews. Tell me then, is it any wonder that many Jews are extremely sensitive about the issue of the Holocaust? It has nothing to do with misunderstandings about being G_d’s chosen people. That only has to do with the fact that the ancient followers of Moses were taken out of Pharoah’s Egypt and shown the way to the promised land. These were ancient tribes, and the so-called civilized Western world of the time revolved around expanses of land in the Middle-East. It is time to stop labeling and stereotyping Jews, and deal with the modern reality that Jews do represent a small religious minority group in the United States and in many Western nations, and for sixty years they have had a nation of their own called Israel for those who wish to move there.

  • DualTurbos

    In 1400 in the city of Isfahan (Persia), Houlagou Khan ordered the building of a pyramid of 70,000 human skulls that his army had beheaded… After conquering Sivas he murdered every defender in the city, and buried the soldiers of the garrison alive. He had all the small children gathered together and trampled them with horses. It’s been going on forever. Man massacring Man, that is. There are doubtless some horrific atrocities that have been committed with some really big numbers that we’ll never know about. These numbers might even have rivaled the Holocaust if the perpetrators could have gotten their hands on enough people.My point? Men hate men. Men kill men. Men kill men in the name of religion. It’s anthropological. Ditch religion with its dogma and magic and you have a chance at preventing future massacres.

  • Geseke

    MICHAELNJ wrote:”At that moment, he decided that the Jews didn’t belong in Germany or Austria… It was the arrival of Russian Jews in America that turned the American people against them.”So according to you, the Jews are despised and hated wherever they arrive and nobody wants to have them in his country. You are a great spokesman for the cause of Zionism, and a truly wasted talent. You should apply for a job with the Israeli foreign office. They would snap you up, to go around explaining to everyone why the Jews need a country of their own.—————Bingo! You are absolutely correct. Hitler was a Zionist. As soon as the President of Germany died and Hitler became “der Fuehrer,” he set up a Race and Resettlement office for the purpose of getting the Jews out of Germany. Adolf Eichmann was put in charge of sneaking educated, professional Jews into Palestine because the British, which had a mandate over Palestine, did not want any professional level Jews in the country. They severely limited Jewish emigration to Palestine and only allowed young Jews with farming or manual labor skills to enter. Hitler set up farms where young Jews could learn agriculture. He also set up schools where young Jews could learn manual skills, so they would qualify to emigrate to Palestine.The title of the plan for the genocide of the Jews, which was coined by Hermann Goering, was “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” The Jewish question was Should the Jews have their own country or their own country within a country?” The term anti-Semite was originally coined to mean a person who was against the Jews having their own country. The anti-Semites wanted the Jews to assimilate in the country where they lived. Even Karl Marx wrote a paper about the Jewish Question; he was against the Jews having their own country within a country. The Nuremberg laws said that only ethnic Germans could be citizens of Germany and that the Jews were not allowed to fly the Nazi flag, but the Jews were guaranteed the right to fly their own flag which is now the flag of Israel. In other words, Hitler wanted the Jews to have their own country within Germany and eventually their own country in Palestine. It was because Hitler managed to sneak educated Jews into Palestine that the country of Israel was possible. The British tried to prevent this every which way they could. Bergen-Belsen was originally set up as a camp for Jews who wanted to go to Palestine. Only a few were sent to Palestine, but only because the British would not cooperate.

  • Itry

    The first sign of racism and specifically anti-Semitism is when someone down plays Jewish suffering during the Holocaust – Jews should just get over it huh? I particularly like the repeated racist rant that Jews only dwell on their own suffering and not other targets of the Nazis (Gypsies, Homosexuals, etc). Do you think the folks with this viewpoint spend a lot of time talking about the suffering of Gypsies and Homosexuals or just that Jews don’t talk about it enough? Anti-Semitism ain’t all that complicated. If you think the Jews brought on to themselves pogroms and the Holocaust in Europe – you might be an Anti-Semite. If you think the Jews should do more to speak up the cause of the numerous other Holocaust victims though you have not – you might be an Anti-Semite. History repeats it self. Racial bias and hatred against Jews has gone on for centuries. The majority always prefers that its minorities remain controllable and dependant. In every country throughout history Jews have risen only to be beaten down by the majority. Whatever drive the Jews have to keep coming back just pisses off everyone else. Lastly, and I’ll keep it simple again for our anti-Semitic readers in denial, if you feel that you wouldn’t be anti-Semitic if the Jews would only stay down and be submissive to whoever wants to keep them down – you might be an Anti-Semite.

  • MichaelNJ

    Geseke : And after you finish telling the story of what a great Zionist Hitler was, you can also tell us about the steps taken by the holy inquisition to secretly promote Calvinism, and how Julius Caesar was actually the first Communist. Some really twisted puppies out there.

  • Farnaz2

    The bottom line is that the Shoah was committed by EuroChristians. End of story. True there were the horrors suffered by the Algerian Jews, Middle Eastern Jews, Jews in Japan, but all the horror begins and ends at the feet of the EuroChristians.The fact that some very decent people among them have come to terms with it speaks well of them, of course. As for the others, the “deniers,” they are simple psychopaths, like Williamson, who opines on Youtube that 9/11 was an inside job. No one has yet to cure a psychopath. Why not leave them to their medication? As for bigots, who cares? Not everyone has the same IQ. Those ethical Christians, those with a functional and higher intelligence have made themselves heard and always will. As for the rest, when one sees them, one knows what to say. On a blog like this, why debate with those who are mentally ill, morally ill, or simply unintelligent?

  • orionexpress

    The Holocaust happened , of that I have no doubt, but I really believe that the Jews best truly and Honestly examine why, how ,, causes and effects, of what brings these things on every two or three hundred years. What are they doing that brings it on. It is not the same old ,” They killed Jesus, or it’s just plain Anti-Antisemitism” . It’s a lot more than that. I believe that the Love and Craving for MORE MONEY may have something to do with it , and their means and techniques to go about acquiring it.

  • Geseke

    To MICHAELNJ: It appears that your knowledge of history is completely one sided. Just because you’ve never heard about certain events in history doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen. I forgot to mention that Hitler stopped his program of helping Jews get into Palestine when the Grand Mufti came to Berlin in 1938 and begged Hitler on bended knee to stop it. That was the end of the schools and farms to help the Jews qualify for immigration into Palestine. The Grand Mufti and Hitler became Allies and there was even a division of Muslim soldiers in the SS.

  • DualTurbos

    FARNAZ2: Eloquent and articulate, but still “us” against “them”. Who are these “EuroChristians” you speak of? All those Germans? What about the Irish or the British? They didn’t do it. Is it “them”? Those unlike “us”?High IQ; Low IQ. We’re still all just primates living at the bottom of a gas ocean.My point? Everyone still plays in the religious sandbox. You have to try and think outside that box.

  • Farnaz2

    DUALTURBOS:The history of the British with respect to the Shoah is not good; indeed, it is, in some respects, quite ugly. It involves kidnapping an escaping Hungarian Jew, whose goal was to reveal the horrors of the camps to the world and holding him unitl the end of the war, while his wife and family died in the camps. It involves shooting,killing, refugees from occupied Europe. It involves imprisoning thousands of refugees in Cypress until the UN demanded their release.For a succinct account of the foregoing see Raul Hilberg,”The Destruction of the European Jews.”DualTurbos, I empathize with your wish to see a pretty world with abundant saviors, good guys vs. bad, good countries vs. reprehensible. Alas, it conforms not to reality.Those who killed “the Jews,” Roma, the disabled, gays, et al, weren’t EuroMuslims, EuroHindus, etc.

  • DualTurbos

    FARNAZ2: I guess my point was that it wasn’t a whole religious group. It was individuals. If it’s unfair to paint all Jews in one particular way, then certainly it’s unfair to paint all European-born Christians one particular way. I’m pretty sure most EuroChristians didn’t know about the Holocaust when it was going on.Yes, I know what I say isn’t reality. Not today. I’m feel hopeful, though, that my beliefs will better meld with those of future generations… say 1000 years from now.

  • MichaelNJ

    Geseke : “It appears that your knowledge of history is completely one sided.”That is true. I have this tendency to restrict myself to facts only. Don’t misunderstand me, I like fairy tales too. I just think that Cinderella and Snow White are much more entertaining than your fairy tales, the ones that you call “History”. And, unlike your fairy tales, they are harmless.

  • Farnaz2

    DUALTURBOFARNAZ2: I guess my point was that it wasn’t a whole religious group. It was individuals. If it’s unfair to paint all Jews in one particular way, then certainly it’s unfair to paint all European-born Christians one particular way. I’m pretty sure most EuroChristians didn’t know about the Holocaust when it was going on.To say that “most” didn’t know about any of the horrors being perpetrated on Jews is not factual. For instance, did the Urkrainian Catholics know what was being done to the Ukrainian Jews? It would seem so since the Ukrainian Catholics started slaughtering, torturing, raping, etc., Ukrainian Jews before the nazis had a chance to gather them up. In fact, the nazis had to stop the Ukranian Catholics because their methods were too inefficient.Now, I’m aware that you may be cringing at my using the phrase “Ukrainian Catholics.” However, to call the Ukrainian Jews, “Jews,” and the Ukrainian Catholics, “Ukrianian” is rather bizarre is it not? Both groups were Ukrainian. There are questions of accuracy and terminological consistency.What is most bizarre is that the Ukrainians were to be slaughtered after their usefulness as slave laborers was at an end. The nazis, however, didn’t get that far.It begins with LANGUAGE…..every time.

  • DualTurbos

    FARNAZ2: I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think the notion of most European-born Christians knowing about the atrocities in the camps is probably not true. My understanding is that the Nazis were pretty good at keeping the specifics under wraps. It would have been nearly impossible to get that many Jews into the camps if they knew what was ahead of them.You may have misread me, too. My beliefs are not about good people vs. bad people; good countries vs. bad countries, but of a unified planet. I’m advocating trying to discard the notion of “Catholic”, “Jew”, “Christian”, “Muslim”, whatever. I’d like to see man-made religion discarded. If you’re born, GREAT! “Welcome. No one cares who your grandparents were. Where do you live? Oh, in that place. It’s nice over there. I have relatives over there.”It’s only “pretty” if it’s not taken seriously. There will always be conflict, but, hopefully, not because of religion. Some Code of Human Conduct is already evolving, hence “Human Rights”. It needs work, but give it time.

  • Farnaz2

    Dualturbos:FARNAZ2: I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think the notion of most European-born Christians knowing about the atrocities in the camps is probably not true. My understanding is that the Nazis were pretty good at keeping the specifics under wraps. It would have been nearly impossible to get that many Jews into the camps if they knew what was ahead of them.One can no more agree or diagree on this issue than one can on whether Obama won the US presidential election.Are you aware that the Rwandan genocide was orchestrated through radio broadcasts?It begins with LANGUAGE….every time.

  • Bios

    I’m trying to see a realistic solution to this problem but I don’t know if I’m making any sense… Assuming that all people want the best for everybody else… what do we want to acknowledge as moral observation concerning the fact of the Holocaust and Jewish and Christian positions?

  • DualTurbos

    FARNAZ2: I would say that the evidence exists, but it is only a shapshot of a time and place. The atmospherics. The group dynamic.I wouldn’t want to the Laws of Probability to judge me or anyone else as innocent or guilty. I don’t deny the Holocaust. I believe millions of people were killed, but I can’t believe that Swedes, Icelanders, Norwegians, others can be labeled as accountable for the Holocaust. There may have been incidents in each of these countries, but to hold a whole religious group accountable?I don’t deny other massacres and atrocities. I know they’re happening right now. I haven’t denied any of the atrocities man has committed against man.I’m saying it’s because of a “us” against “them” mentality. It’s what is said behind closed doors by parents to their children that creates this divide. “[Such and such a group] hate us because they think [such and such]. They’re really [so forth and so on].”If you’re a parent, speak up for the rights of all people, and if I had my way–if you deny anything–deny that there’s an Old Man in the Sky with a Grey Beard who knows all your thoughts and will punish you for eternity if you don’t believe in him.

  • Farnaz2

    DualTurbos, the question isn’t who can and can’t be held accountable. We are discussing who knew what, where, and when. When it comes to probability, we are discussing area studies that involve an enormous amount of information, and the best estimates often yield astonishing information. There were, for example, certain parts of Poland where knowledge of what was occurring came very late. In other parts, not only did the Polish Catholics know what was in store for Polish Jews, but they began it themselves.The Norweigians surely knew as they were active participants. See Wikepedia. We are dealing with a well-studied event. You might also like to say that the Japanese in Shahghai didn’t know that they were cutting off the breasts of Chinese women in the streets! There are facts, articles, encyclopedias, Holocaust atlases, etc. Slick rhetoric will not wipe the blood off hands.It won’t wipe the blood off the hands of this nation which has thus far been responsible for the deaths of 655,000 Iraqis and the rape of Afghanistan.YOU: There may have been incidents in each of these countries, but to hold a whole religious group accountable?ME? HUH? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Kindly paste where I have done this.

  • Aprogressiveindependent

    Many Germans continued to express support for Hitler and generally his policies during at least the immediate post-war years. However, Germany seems to have accepted for four or five decades the fact of massive war crimes by the Nazis. The widespread acceptance of fact the Holocaust happened by Germans has been occasionally undermined, to some extent, such as when German leaders insisted President Reagan go through with his highly controversial visit to a German cemetery, having some former German war criminals. Japanese atrocities against other Asians, especially innocent Chinese, were well documented , especially the infamous Rape of Nanjing, in which a couple hundred thousand civilians were massacred, several years before the Holocaust became well known. Most Japanese, including their leaders, persist in denying their war crimes against innocent Asians. There would probably be major protests and boycotts in this country and many European countries against Germany if Germans had the same denial about the Holocaust as Japanese do about their comparable atrocities against innocent civilians. Yet the Japanese have essentially received a free pass from most people in the United States and Europe, perhaps partly because of ignorance about history. Furthermore, pathetic, grossly hypocritical opinions by many or most people in Japan about the Japanese being “victims” because of the two atomic bombs being dropped on Japanese cities, have been accepted by some naive Americans and Europeans. Recent historical books, including “Retribution” by Max Hastings overwhelmingly demonstrates the dropping of the atomic bombs were necessary to quickly end the war, save hundreds of thousands of lives in Japanese occupied countries, as well as save potentially millions of Japanese who would have probably starved, given the near collapse of the country’s transportation systems.

  • Farnaz2

    Dualturbos,This is an interesting discussion, but tomorrow is a workday for me, and I’m fading. I’ll check in again tomorrow.Thanks-Farnaz

  • Farnaz2

    Aprogressiveindependent:You remind me. I really am half asleep. For Japanese atrocities, a good start is Iris Chang, “The Rape of Nanking.” I posted the title erroneously earlier. The late Iris Chang also has a web site.The genocide is well known only in the sense that the Shoah is well known. People have vague ideas of what happened. Many know nothing about the Chinese Comfort Women, would find themselves speechless is they knew a fraction of what occurred in the Philippines.As for the Japanese, they admit next to nothing. They aren’t alone. The Lithuanians, Romanians, Latvians, most Poles, Ukrainians, French, et al, admit about the same with respect to Jews. They killed Jewish citizens of their own countries, but somehow overlooked it.

  • DualTurbos

    FARNAZ2: I inferred you making European-born Christians accountable by this statement:”The bottom line is that the Shoah was committed by EuroChristians. End of story.”Insert [whatever the Jews have been accused of] with “the Shoah”, and “Jews” in place of “EuroChristians”, and you’ll see what I mean. I would say that some ["many", if you prefer] Nazis and some/many Nazi-sympathizers killed millions of Jews. I’d leave the “EuroChristian” thing out of it.I hope my ‘rhetoric’ isn’t slick. It’s what I believe. I’m anti-religion, not anti-Jew, anti-Christian, anti-Muslim.I haven’t tried to absolve individuals of their actions. I’ve tried to make the point that groups (“us”/”them”) are blamed for things or act on impulses because of man-made religion. I hope I haven’t strayed too much from that line, because I know what a tricky thing religion and politics can be. I try to stick to one line of reasoning; mine being, ditch religion. It hurts humanity and the things pointed out in this thread are my references.P.S. Just saw your sign-off when I Previewed. I’ll post and be gone, too. It’s been a nice, cordial exchange. Thank you.

  • Farnaz2

    DualTurbosFARNAZ2: I inferred you making European-born Christians accountable by this statement:”The bottom line is that the Shoah was committed by EuroChristians. End of story.”DUALTURBOS:FARNAZAnd, now, I really am off!Farnaz

  • SCKershaw

    Victoria Barnett may think that she has greatly aided the public in understanding religious bigotry but she as barely made an advance. She didn’t even mention the one concept that chauvinists of every stripe embrace: entitlement. As long as any person or group of people claim some special entitlement there will be hatred, unnecessary suffering and violence. Most religions, as opposed to faith, are simply organized entitlement schemes. They prey on our mortal fears, righteous indignation and communitarian impulses while enticing us with the promise of cosmic fringe benefits.

  • CrzKat

    In my opinion religion itself is the root cause of the problem. Particularly, the monotheistic faiths which canonize the concept of heresy. As long as religions promote “my god is the only god” there will be religious prejudice and people will die because they don’t believe in the nationally dominant god. What a useless concept!

  • Kaelinda1

    The Holocaust can’t happen again? Then will someone explain to me what is happening now in Darfur? All of the deaths of any war are tragedies. All the civilians who were killed comprise genocide – whether they were Jews, Chinese, or Armenian. Or Iraqi. Are you saying that only now are Muslims (who are doing the majority of the killing in Darfur and Iraq) catching up to the rest of the world, who did their slaughtering a few decades ago?

  • JDGillis

    One cannot deny the holocausts that are occurring today in Darfur and occupied Palestine and have any credibility in questioning others questioning what happened to Jews and millions of others during WWII. The real question today is what have we learned from history? I’m appalled that we are today watching the same wrongs being committed upon others under our very eyes while bickering about what occurred decades ago as if that will somehow absolve us for allowing the suffering of millions today. I believe history will judge us not by how we or others perceive what happened in the past, but how we take action to bring an end to what is happening today under our watch, and no amount of finger pointing over past misdeeds will ever change that fact.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    This is just bad history. The Nazi ideology revolved around race not religion and is perfectly documented in the 1935 Nuremburg laws. Their racial theories were derived from a perverted eugenics combined with Social Darwinism. (And Nietzsche). If Nazism was the ‘natural’ outgrowth of anti-Semitic Christianity why, after the Nazis gained total power, was their first murderous assault upon the mentally handicapped? Later, why were they perfectly happy to kill converted Christians if racially said Christians were from ‘sub-human’ groups?Ms Barnett simply doesn’t understand what she is writing about.

  • Manoo

    Holocaust – Degree of importance.Why Hitler resorted to massacre certain groups including jews? and if just the jews then why the jews. It is not right to blame the euro-christains.If someone dies in one’s family the grief is overwhelming on its members. The rest of the community do condole but the event is not that important for them.The Iraqis and the afghans suffer these days, there grief and hardship is known only to them

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Manoo:”If just the Jews, then why?”Firstly it wasn’t just the Jews. The Nazis sought to exterminate (like vermin, a term they often used) all ‘sub-human’ racial groups. These included Jews, gypsies & Slavs. Also, in accordance with their Social Darwinism–survival of the fittest–they murdered groups that might be acceptable racially but unacceptable physically: principally the mentally and physically handicapped but also homosexuals. It was ideology based totally upon racism and survival-of-the-fittest. Why propagandists here–and Ms Barnett–try to shift the blame to Euro-Christianity (whatever they mean by that, how does American-Christianity differ from Euro-Christianity?) I don’t know.

  • mikedonovan1

    As far as I understand the article, the author merely gives her opinion on one of the many causes leading up to the Holocaust: religion and the lack of firm action against Nazism by some Christian religious leaders. Her topic is much – much – more specific and nuanced than what most commenters seem to make of it.

  • thc1138

    It’s been 60+ years of non-stop whining. Americans have stopped caring about what supposedly happened to the jews.

  • mikedonovan1

    Previous sentence: ‘Christian continent that was marked by centuries of violence against its Jewish population’So I assume ‘this violence’ in the following sentence relates to a few hundred years of violence and not only by WWII.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Well let’s look at the entire paragraph in question:”For Christians, this question always has to be grounded explicitly in the historical facts of what happened in the Holocaust and the years that led up to it.==> The horrifying and incremental steps toward the genocide of Europe’s Jews==< began in a nation that was 98 percent Christian and unfolded on a predominantly Christian continent that was marked by centuries of violence against its Jewish population.All too often this violence was carried out in the name of Christianity and with the sanction of Christian leaders."Ms Barnett's places the "incremental" steps to genocide within the context of Christian anti-Semitism not the racism of the Nuremburg laws nor the survival-of-the-fittest cult of Social Darwinism.. IMHO the ideological basis for the Nazi genocide was not latent anti-Semitism but something different…in fact, you might say the "blood purity and German honour" cult were completely opposite to Christianity, which an INclusive and proseletising, not EXclusive and discriminating. That is why I hold the main thesis of her essay–and ESPECIALLY that paragraph–as wrong.

  • eidel1

    Nazism is (I use the present tense purposefully) an evil manifestation of European arrogance. Anti-Semitism is however endemic in the Christian world. The question that needs to be answered is WHY?

  • jwilsonte

    No one should be forced to believe . the holicost most believe some dont, that is our right! We understand there were more christians and other minorities kill by this mad man it was war we were not there!Yet the jews claim they were singled out I dont believe that! This great country of U.S. just murdered some say millions of innocent . that we do know! NO one has the right to force you believe one way or another use common sence.

  • nahummer

    Some strange, yet predictable comments. Slipping in the social-Darwinism to link the great man’s theory with the Nazi atrocities, the semantics calling it a tragedy not genocide along with the claims of being bored with the issue show just how important i is to actually stand up and tell people when they are wrong. The pope made a HUGE mistake in trying to bring these people back into the flock, overlooking what he knew were their radical beliefs in the name of schism healing. Angela Merkel was quite right in calling him out and I wish more would have done the same.

  • mikedonovan1

    I don’t think there is a large disagreement between our opinions.

  • arvay

    While no one can honestly deny the reality of this massacre, its constant use as an excuse for Israeli crimes dishonors the victims that its loud proclaimers pretend to honor. The global screaming at the ideas expressed by this previously unknown pro-Nazi bishop is actually an attempt to keep the false idea that Israel exists to prevent “another Holocaust” alive and working — especially when the atrocities in Gaza are still fresh.Human history — unfortunately — is replete with these kinds of savage massacres — some much more recent than those of WWII. There’s no reason short of a revolting pr motive to pick one of them and elevate it above all the others.

  • skata3

    Our Jewish friends should realize they cannot practice holocaust memorial rituals while killing civilians at the same time.History is a tool to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and not a public relations exercise.Enough is enough and for the past sixty years we have had more than enough. Shalom.

  • amva55

    Why is it that we haven’t seen the document that states that the Nazi government ordered the extermination of the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc., etc. We see numerous pictures of people emaciate, of people in mass graves, but none are wearing the prison uniforms. Who are they really? There is a lot of people who doubt and express it, that is freedom of speech, that’s what makes this country great, why demonize somebody that have a different opinion, give me the facts, proof. I do not deny Jews died in WWII, but I don’t believe the account of mil, to me it’s close to only 1 mil, and we can find several reasons for that, but there is no proof of a conscious genocide by Germany.

  • amva55

    Why is it that we haven’t seen the document that states that the Nazi government ordered the extermination of the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc., etc. We see numerous pictures of people emaciated, of people in mass graves, but none are wearing the prison uniforms. Who are they really? There is a lot of people who doubt and express it, that is freedom of speech, that’s what makes this country great, why demonize somebody that have a different opinion, give me the facts, proof. I do not deny Jews died in WWII, but I don’t believe the account of 6 mil, to me it’s close to only 1 mil, and we can find several reasons for that, but there is no proof of a conscious genocide by Germany.

  • rohitcuny

    I think three things are wrong with this article.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Well then, let’s stop Mike. My problem is that this whole ‘discussion’ began with the problem of false history, ie Holocaust denial. I happen to believe Raul Hilburg, about 5.1 million Jews killed in the 1941-1945 period, how many at Auschwitz I’m not sure. There was a famous libel trial in London about Holocaust denial in 2000 (?), and a very good book about it –”Denying the Holocaust”–by DD Gutenplan which I think is really the pseudonymn of Martin Gilbert, probably Britain’s best historian of the WWII period and a Jew. He believes history is important and so do I! Which is why the morph of the Nazi’s very specific racial ideology into the separate theme of Christian anti-Semitism is so false. And dangerous. Because we forever hear: “Those who don’t know the past are condemned to repeat it” but what if the history is false? What do we repeat then?

  • SKATAS

    OUR DEAR JEWS FRIENDS , SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT THEY ARE PAYING THE SINS OF THEIR ANCESTORS !!THAT IS THE CURSE WHICH THEY WILL BE FINDING IN FRONT OF THEM FOREVER !!!

  • mikedonovan1

    ‘Mary_Cunningham : Nie wieder morphing of separate themes! It’s always nice to be able to stop a conversation in complete agreement :)

  • SKATAS

    OUR DEAR JEWS FRIENDS , SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT THEY ARE PAYING THE SINS OF THEIR ANCESTORS !!

  • optimist3

    Issue must be taken with the assertion of Israeli militant and historical revisionist contributor “Martial” when he states:”The US did not assist Britain earlier in the fight against Hitler because many thought such an act primarily benefitted Jews.”That is an overly bold claim. Anti-interventionists, wary of expending more blood and treasure in war stalled entry into the fray–until opportunity was seen in sweeping the field after Europe spent itself, by American businesses seeking to profit off of the rebuilding of Europe. Before that, fresh from the losses in the first great war, the Americans did not long for a repeat without the possibility of gains. Sadly, the plight of Jews came second to a lack of will to sacrifice tens of thousands of American lives to counter the mass murder in all of Europe. That American Jews had not yet reached the zenith they now inhabit in American political life at the time drove many American Jews to seek positions of influence in government and law to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. Rightly so. With power comes responsibility.

  • Rumpus1

    What is this “writer” trying to say? I’ve read her badly written post four times and all I see is a lack of focus and of basic journalistic skills. Yes, the Holocaust was the most horrific modern crime and the European clergy of the time were mostly cowards. Are those your only points? Isn’t it sort of a given that religious leaders should act in accordance with their “humanitarian” faiths?I suspect that your desperate verbiage conceals a reluctance to come out and say what you mean. Are you calling for a repeal of the First Amendment? People shouldn’t be allowed to speak their minds if they don’t believe the Holocaust happened? For me, Holocaust denial is the most difficult test of First Amendment rights. But if you are similarly conflicted, say so. Don’t post a verbal pea soup.

  • Babzter

    Persecution and genocide has its roots in religion which taught the “superiority” of one belief or faith over another, i.e. if you don’t believe X, then you are evil, going to hell, no place in heaven for you, etc. This is clearly demonstrated in the open mistreatment of homosexuals based on a few lines in a book written 2,000 years ago with no basis in science. Sunni, Shia, Christian, Jew, White Supremacists, and others can all find justification for their prejudices in their “holy books”.As an atheist, I encounter this attitude each time I admit I have no religious beliefs. “How do you know what’s right and wrong?” is the question I am asked. Whatever hurts another person, whether thought, word or deed, is wrong. Religion dictates arbitrary rules which are seldom followed, e.g., thou shalt not kill, unless they are “evil” and we are justified killing hundreds of thousands because a few radical citizens killed 3,000 of our people. After all, doesn’t a Judeo-Christian ethos make us worth more? This thought may not be blatantly verbalized, but our actions clearly say it for us.

  • potaboc

    Why the disparity between the amount of commentary on Jews being killed by Hitler and Ukrainians killed by Stalin? The number of those killed in both instances was about the same.

  • TRACIETHEDOLPHIN

    The real danger of holocaust denial is the attempt to criminalize it. Since when does one version of history become so sacred, that it should be considered a crime to not believe it. There have been far worse attrocities committed throughout history, why then is THIS the one we cannot forget. How can the zionists, while genocides are happening as we speak, utter the words never again, and remain silent about Darfur. It is a dangerous and sinister thing to criminalize belief, and if we let it happen here, where does it stop.

  • askgees

    The Nazi’s may have tried to exterminate the Jews and I’m sure there was plenty of death but I’m also sure the numbers have been exaggerated. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and is not required to believe in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny or the holocaust. The funny thing about religion is, they love you as long as you agree with them. The min. you display free thinking they turn on you. Religion is a farce and is responsible for more death than any thing else EVER. The Jews have done to the Palestinians what the Nazi’s did to them. They have no voice.

  • kjohnson3

    “Which is why the morph of the Nazi’s very specific racial ideology into the separate theme of Christian anti-Semitism is so false.”Mary_Cunningham,But it’s not false. Non-Nazi Christians all over Europe aided and abetted Hitler and his enforcers. Polish, Ukrainian, French, and Italian Christians (among others, including residents of the Vatican) turned in their Jewish neighbors or participated in rounding them up for Nazi transport or served as guards in concentration camps.It’s impossible to know exactly why they acted as they did, but the most compelling theory is that they acted out of some misplaced notion of revenge on the people they saw as “Christ-killers.” So, it was at that point in history that Christian anti-semitism and Nazi racial ideology “morphed” into a kind of genocidal cooperative effort.You can’t turn back the clock and alter that unsavory bit of Christian history any more than you can undo the Crusades, the Inquisition, or any of the other religious wars attributable to Christian desire for world dominance.

  • andrew13

    Genocide happens when a society decides a group of its people are not entitled to human consideration, that it is not a crime to kill these people and deny that act.Unfortunately the USHMM has too narrow a definition of people it considers to be entitled to human consideration. With all due respect, people from nations such as West Papua should be entitled to consideration as human beings, their nations should not have been sold in the 1962 New York Agreement to a foreign power against the people’s wishes. And since the media restrictions of 1963 we do not know how many hundreds of thousands of Papuan people have been killed.Until we admit our own mistakes we can not improve our world.

  • nedtmc

    The Group of professed Christians who refused to kill their fellow believers both in Germany, the USA and world wide were Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • hhkeller

    Looks all the Nazi’s moved to Israel.

  • Farnaz2

    hhkeller Author Profile Page:Looks all the Nazi’s moved to Israel.February 12, 2009 4:06 PM

  • skata3

    At the time of the Nazi occupation of Europe, very few people were in the position to know what was exactly taking place behind the barbed wire of the concentration camps. Most of them were either Nazis or Jews. As for the former, they generally did not tell. As for the later, few of them survived to tell. The fact remains that the nature of the holocaust became known only after the end of war. It seems extremely unfair to blame the Christian authorities for something which they were virtually unable to know, not to say they could not even imagine. That there have been members of the church that collaborated with the nazis, proves nothing. For at least equally there have been other members which decisively did not. It is my understanding that there have been Jews which collaborated with the nazis as well. Does this make the entire Jewish community responsible for their holocaust? I guess not. Luckily for me, at the time of the holocaust, I was not born yet. But my father was and he, along with the rest of our family was providing shelter to a Jewish friend. When eventually the Gestapo managed to find out, they raided our house. I am glad to say that our protégé managed to flee and survive the war, before settling down to Israel. Meanwhile Gestapo was not happy and my father’s brother had to pay this with his life. All I am trying to say is that as a Christian, I BLOODY DO NOT HAVE A GUILTY CONSIOUS.Holocaust has been a political rather than a religious crime, claiming the opposite is absurd to say the least. This article looks like an attempt to raise a sort of a guilty consciousness among Christians which clearly they do not deserve. Isn’t this the definition of propaganda?As for Mrs. Mary_Cunningham, rather than base your opinion on some book with a rather hazy authorship, as you claim, you are strongly advised, before you make your mind to have a look on the case of the bishop of Zante. Try this my good lady:then locate the “Did you know that…” section. I understand it comes from a Jewish source. And I believe you did not know…

  • Farnaz2

    The Chinese person who suggested more interest be paid to the atrocities committed by the Japanese is assuredly right. Martial,Oddly enough, the Japanese don’t seem to know anything about any of it, including the Jews they killed on their own soil.

  • skata3

    FARNA22 whatever was going on at the streets of occupied Europe, was everyday practice at the time, let me remind you please it was a war going on and it was a bloody one. Those vandalisms, beatings, starvation, misery etc that you mention have never been a privilege of some ethnic or religious group, rather they affected the lives of everyone.Organized atrocities conducted by the nazi authorities -like mass executions- were never highly publicized, in fact most of them became known after the end of the war. It was practically impossible to know what happened at some distant village at the countryside, not to mention what happened somewhere in Ukraine. Like the Jews of today, nazis have been careful in protecting their image before the public opinion. Where I live, Gestapo or other persecuting authorities maintained a very low profile in the eyes of the general public. Instead it was the local Jewish “police” that became notorious for their brutality against their own people. At the time of the holocaust, even the US and British governments were completely unaware of this case. Those few reports coming from Jewish sources, were considered simply preposterous to be believed. It was only when the allied armies took over the camps, that the nature of the holocaust became known, to everyone’s shock.In the end I fail to understand if there is a single point in my post that you disagree with.The bottom line is that holocaust has been a political and not a religious crime. As for Mrs Barnett she is obviously trying to maintain the steady cash flow from the Evangelical Americans to the Jewish state. As for the broader picture of course it is that by presenting the Jews as a religious victim once, this can justify them as been the victims of those “evil” Muslims for the second time. Shalom.

  • Farnaz2

    skata3Like the Jews of today, nazis have been careful in protecting their image before the public opinion.Films, photographs etc exist of nazis beating Jews in the streets of Berlin, of Lithuanians shooting men, women, children in fromt of open ditches. To say people didn’t know is factually incorrect. They differentially knew of various atrocities. To say who knew what, where, and when with some accuracy has been possible for quite some time. Atlases and area studies, e

  • skata3

    FARNA22 I believe your understanding in English is much more proficient than what your post implies. As of me I am very careful on what I write and I will stay by that.

  • skata3

    As for the nazis beating Jews in the streets of Berlin, let me remind you that the nazis used to beat everyone else those days. As for the Lithuanian executions you mention, please let me ask you, do you really believe that the photographic evidence on them was broadly circulated in Europe before the end the war? Fact remains that holocaust has been known to very few people and I am pretty sure you know it. In the end FARNA22, your English look proficient enough, I am confident you thoroughly understood my post. Oh, and by the way I believe there is nothing else to be said on this topic. Case closed.

  • Farnaz2

    skata3Re: Your postsYou make several comments, none of which address my original question. I will comment on your other remarks, after you reply to my question. I still await your reply:Like the Jews of today, nazis have been careful in protecting their image before the public opinion.February 13, 2009 9:40 AM

  • skata3

    My friend, I am prepared to argue with anyone on anything provided he or she keeps a supply or arguments within reason. As for you, it looks like all you want is to have the last word. This is fine by me.Yet next time, do everyone a favour and bring your arguments forward, that is if you have any. For the record, a repetition on what apparently looks cliché, seldom does constitute of an argument. Pretending that you have failed to understand what is plain obvious does not really add any degree of credibility to your case. Now tell me, do you really expect me to place the kibosh on Ethiopian Jews?I am confident you will reply to my post. Do not expect me to bother to answer though.Shalom.

  • Farnaz2

    Skata3:The Jewish Police were in the Ghettoes only. Since you are obviously not Jewish and quite familiar with the Ghettoes, it is clear who and what you are. You have no arguments, needless to say. Not to worry, however, as you are an argument in yourself, or more to the point a warning.

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