Saturday, October 27, 2007

Autumn 2007 Non-Fiction Reading List And Commentary

If you think you "know" the Holocaust but you haven't read:

Hitler's Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Knopf, 1996

A Moral Reckoning, The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Knopf, 2002

Then you've missed out on important scholarly works that should be required reading on the topic. Also of interest is:

Nuremberg, Infamy On Trial, Joseph E. Persico, Penguin, 1994

While Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's writing is at times dry and a little belabored in places for my taste, his scholarship seems superb, and his books are well worth reading. Hopefully, his contributions will awaken others, as it did me, to a core truth of the Holocaust that is vastly under-publicized: that there were many willing executioners, and assistants, who as ordinary citizens helped torture and kill Jews despite having a CHOICE not to do so, and that by extension today there are many willing executioners who will not fight against true evil (anyone who, for example, claims that the Holocaust did not happen or that Israel should be wiped off the map) or protect the Jews any better than Germans, many of whom were their neighbors, or Christians in general and the Vatican in particular did during the Nazi occupation.

These individuals are almost all gone now but the lesson is so appropriate for our era. And it's disgusting to see all the double standards out there concerning under-reactions to sources of well-organized, well-financed, and intentionally murderous anti-semitism (is it necessary to mention which "religion" I'm talking about by name?) and gross over-reactions to disgust or impatience that is so often mislabeled as "racism" and then an incredibly big deal is made over the act while the same people remain absolutely silent about anti-semitism.

So when Imus says "nappy headed hos" or Isiah Thomas of the Knicks calls a woman a "bitch" THAT, to some people, is a big deal, and those same people will not be or act bothered, in the least, when some wacko President of a country says that the Holocaust did not happen or that Israeli Jews should be exterminated.

The Holocaust is still not deeply understood enough for what it was: an insight into how easily humans get drunk on entertainment and religion in combination with a cult of personality and politics. Proof of this is when Israeli leaders negotiate with Palestinians, Arabs, and other middle eastern countries, who financially and morally support the armed thugs who are actively living out their Holocaust fantasies, one Israeli at a time, every day, right now, in 2007.

There is nothing to negotiate with these people over. Not until every last one of them stops killing Jews, accepts Israel's right to exist, and renounces violence as a means of negotiating political solutions.

And if you can't renounce violence, then don't whine about not having a land or a country or a job or whatever the hell it is you claim to want because sensible people who understand the Holocaust DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH VIOLENT ANTI-SEMITES.

Or, at least, should know better!

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