Scrapbookpages Blog

February 9, 2017

calling Trump a Nazi is a new kind of Holocaust denial

Filed under: Holocaust, Trump, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:28 pm

You can read about Trump and Holocaust denial in this recent news article:

The following quote is from the news article:

President Trump has done some rash, bad things since he took power three weeks ago. But his critics have done something rasher. Something even more bereft of reason than Trump’s orders and tweets. Something more likely to stoke prejudice.

They’ve reduced the Holocaust to a meme.

They have used and abused the greatest crime in history to underscore their contempt for Trump, comparing him to Hitler, talking of his travel ban in the same breath as the Nazis’ persecution of Jews, warning darkly that ‘we know how this ends’. And in the process they’ve relativised the Holocaust. They’ve normalised it. They have dented its gravity and uniqueness by presenting it as a routine, recurring feeling in history that currently finds expression in ‘Trumpism’. They have turned the extermination of Europe’s Jews into an exclamation mark to their angst over Trump, and that is unforgivable. Morally, politically and historically, it is worse than anything Trump has done so far.

There is more than one way to deny the Holocaust. Some do it maliciously, with racist intent, arguing that the Holocaust is a hoax, an invention of Jews who wanted to secure their moral and political power in the postwar era. Others do it more thoughtlessly, with what they consider to be good intentions: they treat the Holocaust as a motif, to be wielded against any contemporary political idea or movement they find terrifying or simply don’t like. Bad people become ‘New Hitlers’, awful conflicts are said to echo the Holocaust. Holocaust dilution, we might call it. And it is a close, if sometimes unwitting, cousin of Holocaust denial.

Holocaust dilution has been rampant in media and radical circles over the past three weeks. In the overblown, sometimes even unhinged response to Trump, all sense of moral and political decorum, or basic reason, seems to have been abandoned. Journalists speak openly of ignoring Godwin’s Law in the Trump era — Godwin’s Law being the internet adage that if a web-based discussion about politics goes on long enough, someone will make a potty Hitler analogy. This grating BTL (‘below the line’) habit has now burst upwards, into actual commentary, and is embraced by the very hacks who for years sneered at the sad web-surfers who couldn’t go five minutes without typing ‘HITLER’.

End of quote from news article

Comparing someone to Hitler is the worst insult you can make.

Holocaust photo that is often identified incorrectly

Filed under: Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 7:55 am

This is NOT the gage into Theresienstadt gheto

A picture taken inside Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, also known as Terezin. (photo credit:JEFFR_TRAVEL / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

My photo of gate in the background

Same gate is shown in the background of my photo taken in the year 2000

The following quote is from the news article which claims that the top photo above shows the gate into the Theresienstadt ghetto. No, this is the gate into a prison on the other side of the road, not the gate into the Theresienstadt ghetto.

Begin quote from news article:

BOSTON — Edgar Krasa, a Holocaust survivor who sang in the Theresienstadt concentration camp’s chorus, has died.

His death Monday was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Defiant Requiem Foundation, which performs the music created by inmates at Theresienstadt (also known as Terezin). Krasa, who had moved to Boston with his family in the 1960s, was 95.

End quote

Another view of Arbeit gate

My photo of the Arbeit macht Frei gate at the end of a long courtyard

An interior gate in the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt, which is shown in the background of my photograph above, has black letters on a white band over the arch; the letters read “Arbeit Macht Frei.” This same cynical slogan was also used at Dachau, Sachsenhausen, the main Auschwitz camp and a few other Nazi concentration camps.

The slogan means that “work will set you free”.

On the day that I took these photos, two Jewish members of our tour group, who were from Israel, were quite upset when they saw these cruel words Arbeit macht Frei displayed inside the prison. They began screaming and crying.

Our tour guide explained that there were actually some prisoners who were released from the Small Fortress, so there were some prisoners who were actually set free.

According to a booklet that I purchased at the Theresienstadt Museum, there were 5,600 prisoners released from the Small Fortress, which was a Gestapo prison for political prisoners and captured partisans.

When Theresienstadt was built as a military fortress in 1780, it consisted of two parts: the Main Fortress, where the Jews were later imprisoned by the Nazis in World War II, and the Small Fortress which was originally built as a prison and was used as such from the time it was completed until a few years after World War II, when the last of the German war criminals, who were incarcerated here by the victorious Allies, were executed.

The Small Fortress is on the east side of the Ohre river that divides the two parts of the old military fortress, and the Theresienstadt ghetto is on the west side.

The Small Fortress was open to tourists from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily when I visited in October 2000.

The Main Fortress is now the town of Terezin, which is, of course, always open to visitors, and even has hotels where tourists can stay if they don’t mind spending the night in the exact location where Hitler’s SS soldiers once slept.