Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Had Been a Jew in Eishyshok. . .

 

It’s not often I claim I’ve read a book that has changed my life. But this one did. And I thank @ontheleftcoast for telling me about it. Although I have studied the Holocaust over the years, I had never read a story about life in the shtetl, a small town with primarily Jewish residents in Eastern Europe.

This book, There Once was a World, was written by Yaffa Eliach, whose parents were Moshe and Zipporah Sonenson. This family, prosperous in Eishyshok terms, was also a pillar of the community, generous, compassionate, learned, and devoted to Judaism. The book also provided stories of individuals and families, and descriptions of Jewish life, from Torah study to the requirements of the faith.

The reason I was moved so deeply by the book was that, unlike many stories I have read about the Holocaust, with all its tragedies, human depravity, and horror, I had never read so many stories of individuals in one community: people with names, personalities, duties, and devotion to the Torah. Their lives, unlike the Jews in other urban cities in Europe, were difficult and demanding.

In the more recent years of Eishyshok’s existence, especially in the 19th century, many Jews were drawn to the opportunities of the United States and Israel; emigrating to Israel was, of course, the dream of many Jews. Some of them traveled back and forth to the shtetl; others brought their families to join them.

But in reading the book, there was no escaping the devastation that the town was finally forced to endure. Throughout the book were photographs of men, women, and children whom I’d gotten to know through their stories. I began to realize that most of the photos had descriptions that included, “Murdered in the massacre of Eishyshok.” A part of me wanted to skip over those descriptions, but I simply could not. I realized that these people whom I had gotten to know were going to die in a terrible ordeal; these many years later I was bearing witness to their tragedy.

By 1939, word of the Nazis and their atrocities was arriving in Eishyshok. Some Jews refused to believe they were in danger because during and after World War I, the Germans had treated them decently (from their perspective). Others simply refused to leave friends and family. So, on September 25 and 26, 1941 first men, then women and children, were forced by the Nazis to walk to the Old Cemetery, where deep trenches had been built previously to keep out the cattle. It took two days to kill all of the people, creating massive graves in those trenches, which filled to overflowing. Ultimately, with Jews from other villages, 5,000 people were killed.

Some people did miraculously escape the slaughter, and even survived the war in hiding.

As I meditated on this story, it reminded me of the many other stories I’ve heard of Jews who assumed they would be safe where they were living, who assumed that their neighbors and surrounding villages would not harm them and even provide sanctuary for them.

They were wrong.

* * *

So, two major questions have come up for me: what would I have done if I’d lived in Eishyshok? Would I have left for the US or Israel well before the danger? Would I have lined up with the others who were shot to death? Would I have tried to escape, find a home with a non-Jewish family (many of whom betrayed their friends)? Would I have tried to live in the forest and dodge the pursuing army? Would I have become a partisan?

The second question that I contemplate today is if I thought I was in danger, where I live in these times, what would I do? How imminent would the danger need to be for me to be seriously concerned? Would there need to riots in my town? In my community? Would there need to be shootings? Would I leave? Would I fight back?

I don’t know how imminent and far-ranging the danger will become in the US from riots and violence carried out by nihilists, Marxists, and others. But having led a life of peace and prosperity, only to discover that my life, my family, and friends were in danger, what would I do?

What would you do?

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  1. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: What would you do?

    If I wasn’t already armed, I’d do so. Then I’d train and train and train. I’d encourage (but not force) family and neighbors to do the same by getting them to realize if the government fails to keep the peace, it’s up to us to protect ourselves . . .

    • #1
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:05 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The novels Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk deal with this quite a bit. Aaron Jastrow, a Polish-born but naturalized American Jew living in Italy with his American-born Jewish niece Natalie have many opportunities to leave Europe, but through denial and inertia and a few bad choices wind up trapped.

    I just finished re-reading Winds of War recently, and War and Remembrance is #2 on my “next to [re]read” list.

    The miniseries[es] based on the novels are also quite good, although emphasize the soap-opera aspects of the novel a bit too much. I still believe War and Remembrance is probably the finest portrayal of the Holocaust ever put on film. They filmed the Auschwitz arrival scenes at Auschwitz itself.

    • #2
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. Stad Thatcher

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    The novels Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk deal with this quite a bit. Aaron Jastrow, a Polish-born but naturalized American Jew living in Italy with his American-born Jewish niece Natalie have many opportunities to leave Europe, but through denial and inertia and a few bad choices wind up trapped.

    I just finished re-reading Winds of War recently, and War and Remembrance is #2 on my “next to [re]read” list.

    The miniseries[es] based on the novels are also quite good, although emphasize the soap-opera aspects of the novel a bit too much. I still believe War and Remembrance is probably the finest portrayal of the Holocaust ever put on film. They filmed the Auschwitz arrival scenes at Auschwitz itself.

    The scenes at the concentration camps were horrific . . .

    • #3
    • September 16, 2020, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. PHenry Member

    The question is one I have often pondered. When do circumstances merit taking up arms? When does hope of peaceful resolution end?
    I like to think that I would go down fighting rather than allow myself and my family to be enslaved or murdered. It’s easy to say “of course I will fight”, but it is much harder to know when the day and the hour to take up arms has arrived. I suspect that most of those in the Holocaust just didn’t recognize it until it was too late. I have read a number of quotes to the effect of ‘I just didn’t believe it could come to that’. Well, I believe it can. Now I just have to decide what the red line is. I have a nagging fear that it is very close.

     

     

    • #4
    • September 16, 2020, at 9:33 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. GrannyDude Member

    Susan, I have the same reaction to reading such stories although I usually ask myself “what would I do, as a gentile?” I suppose this is what the SJW’s might term a “privileged” response: it feels normal to count myself among those who had the option of choosing to conform and live… or resist and risk my life. The Jews of Europe did not have that choice and it is entirely possible that, next time around, I won’t either. 

    At the moment, both I and my daughter, along with many dearly beloved friends, are potential targets because we wear uniforms (I’m assuming the Social Justice crowd won’t pause to read the fine print on mine that says “chaplain.”) I am aware, in myself, of whispers, tiny glimmers of all possible responses: denial (it won’t happen in Maine) more denial (my neighbors wouldn’t let that happen to me) stubborn hope (maybe this will burn itself out before it gets to my part of the world/the people I love) and despair (why would I try to remain in a world where human beings can behave this way and other human beings can let them?)

    It would be melodramatic and self-pitying to claim any more than the merest glimpses of just what it might be like to be on the receiving end of the sort of eliminationist violence that must have seemed, to the rational, normal, humane Jews of Eishyshok, unthinkable. But just as it no longer seems mysterious to me that the Nazis were able to commit the Holocaust, it no longer seems odd that the Jews of Europe did not do whatever it is we imagine they could or “should” have done to protect themselves. 

     

     

     

    • #5
    • September 16, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    The novels Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk deal with this quite a bit. Aaron Jastrow, a Polish-born but naturalized American Jew living in Italy with his American-born Jewish niece Natalie have many opportunities to leave Europe, but through denial and inertia and a few bad choices wind up trapped.

    I just finished re-reading Winds of War recently, and War and Remembrance is #2 on my “next to [re]read” list.

    The miniseries[es] based on the novels are also quite good, although emphasize the soap-opera aspects of the novel a bit too much. I still believe War and Remembrance is probably the finest portrayal of the Holocaust ever put on film. They filmed the Auschwitz arrival scenes at Auschwitz itself.

    Herman Wouk is an amazing writer. Has he passed away? I didn’t know that he was a religious Jew, so he had some skin in the game. I visited Dachau; it was so difficult. I don’t think I could go through any of the Holocaust museums in this country. At least with the book I could put it down for a while. Thanks, @miffedwhitemale.

    • #6
    • September 16, 2020, at 9:57 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Susan, I have the same reaction to reading such stories although I usually ask myself “what would I do, as a gentile?” I suppose this is what the SJW’s might term a “privileged” response: it feels normal to count myself among those who had the option of choosing to conform and live… or resist and risk my life. The Jews of Europe did not have that choice and it is entirely possible that, next time around, I won’t either.

    At the moment, both I and my daughter, along with many dearly beloved friends, are potential targets because we wear uniforms (I’m assuming the Social Justice crowd won’t pause to read the fine print on mine that says “chaplain.”) I am aware, in myself, of whispers, tiny glimmers of all possible responses: denial (it won’t happen in Maine) more denial (my neighbors wouldn’t let that happen to me) stubborn hope (maybe this will burn itself out before it gets to my part of the world/the people I love) and despair (why would I try to remain in a world where human beings can behave this way and other human beings can let them?)

    It would be melodramatic and self-pitying to claim any more than the merest glimpses of just what it might be like to be on the receiving end of the sort of eliminationist violence that must have seemed, to the rational, normal, humane Jews of Eishyshok, unthinkable. But just as it no longer seems mysterious to me that the Nazis were able to commit the Holocaust, it no longer seems odd that the Jews of Europe did not do whatever it is we imagine they could or “should” have done to protect themselves.

     

     

     

    I don’t think it’s melodramatic at all. There is no doubt that anything relating to law enforcement puts your life in danger, every time you wear the uniform. I’d rather that you didn’t have to go through that experience–it’s insane what is happening–but I think we all have lessons to learn. In fact, right now, your life might be more at risk than mine. What a crazy world it has become, @GrannyDude.

    • #7
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:02 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Susan Quinn: By 1939, word of the Nazis and their atrocities was arriving in Eishyshok. Some Jews refused to believe they were in danger because during and after World War I, the Nazis had treated them decently (from their perspective).

    Susan, this confuses me. There weren’t Nazis during WWI, nor did the Nazis have any power in the aftermath of WWI until around 1932.

    It is plausible that the Imperial Germans treated the Lithuanian Jews better than the Imperial Russians, before the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia. The bulk of Lithuania was part of Russia before WWI, and was conquered by the Germans during WWI, but the German period was brief, as Germany was forced to relinquish its claims on the territory conquered from Russia by the Treaty of Versailles.

    It was a bit complicated, as usual. I think that there was, formally, an independent Lithuania under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but it was dominated by Germany. There was a Lithuanian revolution during the WWI/Russian Revolution period, and the Lithuanians drove out the Bolsheviks.

    • #8
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: By 1939, word of the Nazis and their atrocities was arriving in Eishyshok. Some Jews refused to believe they were in danger because during and after World War I, the Nazis had treated them decently (from their perspective).

    Susan, this confuses me. There weren’t Nazis during WWI, nor did the Nazis have any power in the aftermath of WWI until around 1932.

    It is plausible that the Imperial Germans treated the Lithuanian Jews better than the Imperial Russians, before the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia. The bulk of Lithuania was part of Russia before WWI, and was conquered by the Germans during WWI, but the German period was brief, as Germany was forced to relinquish its claims on the territory conquered from Russia by the Treaty of Versailles.

    It was a bit complicated, as usual. I think that there was, formally, an independent Lithuania under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but it was dominated by Germany. There was a Lithuanian revolution during the WWI/Russian Revolution period, and the Lithuanians drove out the Bolsheviks.

    I’m sorry, Jerry. I meant to say the “Germans”; the Nazis came much later. I’ve corrected the OP. Thanks.

    I didn’t track all the changes of governance that took place in that part of the world over the centuries; in some cases, such as the Lithuanians, the Jews were treated decently for a while. But almost every country that had control over the Jews at one time or another treated them fairly, and then condemned them, including the Poles and Russians. At the end of WWII, the Poles wanted to get rid of every Jew that was left in their territory.

    • #9
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Susan, I have the same reaction to reading such stories although I usually ask myself “what would I do, as a gentile?” I suppose this is what the SJW’s might term a “privileged” response: it feels normal to count myself among those who had the option of choosing to conform and live… or resist and risk my life. The Jews of Europe did not have that choice and it is entirely possible that, next time around, I won’t either.

    At the moment, both I and my daughter, along with many dearly beloved friends, are potential targets because we wear uniforms (I’m assuming the Social Justice crowd won’t pause to read the fine print on mine that says “chaplain.”) I am aware, in myself, of whispers, tiny glimmers of all possible responses: denial (it won’t happen in Maine) more denial (my neighbors wouldn’t let that happen to me) stubborn hope (maybe this will burn itself out before it gets to my part of the world/the people I love) and despair (why would I try to remain in a world where human beings can behave this way and other human beings can let them?)

    It would be melodramatic and self-pitying to claim any more than the merest glimpses of just what it might be like to be on the receiving end of the sort of eliminationist violence that must have seemed, to the rational, normal, humane Jews of Eishyshok, unthinkable. But just as it no longer seems mysterious to me that the Nazis were able to commit the Holocaust, it no longer seems odd that the Jews of Europe did not do whatever it is we imagine they could or “should” have done to protect themselves.

     

     

     

    Just like everyone today believes if they’d lived in the Pre-Civil war South, “Of Course” they would have been abolitionists, actively working on the underground railroad.

     

    • #10
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:52 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    PHenry (View Comment):

    The question is one I have often pondered. When do circumstances merit taking up arms? When does hope of peaceful resolution end?
    I like to think that I would go down fighting rather than allow myself and my family to be enslaved or murdered. It’s easy to say “of course I will fight”, but it is much harder to know when the day and the hour to take up arms has arrived. I suspect that most of those in the Holocaust just didn’t recognize it until it was too late. I have read a number of quotes to the effect of ‘I just didn’t believe it could come to that’. Well, I believe it can. Now I just have to decide what the red line is. I have a nagging fear that it is very close.

     

     

    Great comment, @phenry. Since I now own a gun, I’ll fight if my life is in danger. And I’m quite sure I’ll be ready to do that. Regarding the Germans, I’m not sure I’d agree with your conclusion that they didn’t recognize they were in danger until it was “too late.” I think there was a major sense of denial, and even then, many Jews fled. It’s not like the signs weren’t there, as their rights were withdrawn. Conditions certainly weren’t going to get better.

    • #11
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Herman Wouk is an amazing writer. Has he passed away?

    I think within the last 5-10 years.

     

    <pauses to google>

    Died May, 2019. 10 days short of his 104th birthday.

     

     

    • #12
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: By 1939, word of the Nazis and their atrocities was arriving in Eishyshok. Some Jews refused to believe they were in danger because during and after World War I, the Nazis had treated them decently (from their perspective).

    Susan, this confuses me. There weren’t Nazis during WWI, nor did the Nazis have any power in the aftermath of WWI until around 1932.

    It is plausible that the Imperial Germans treated the Lithuanian Jews better than the Imperial Russians, before the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia. The bulk of Lithuania was part of Russia before WWI, and was conquered by the Germans during WWI, but the German period was brief, as Germany was forced to relinquish its claims on the territory conquered from Russia by the Treaty of Versailles.

    It was a bit complicated, as usual. I think that there was, formally, an independent Lithuania under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but it was dominated by Germany. There was a Lithuanian revolution during the WWI/Russian Revolution period, and the Lithuanians drove out the Bolsheviks.

    I’m sorry, Jerry. I meant to say the “Germans”; the Nazis came much later. I’ve corrected the OP. Thanks.

    This is per the Wouk novels mentioned earlier, but the portrayal there was that it was precisely because the Germans had treated the Jews reasonably well during WWI that many were complacent about escaping the Nazis in the runup to WWII.

    • #13
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Herman Wouk is an amazing writer. Has he passed away?

    I think within the last 5-10 years.

     

    <pauses to google>

    Died May, 2019. 10 days short of his 104th birthday.

     

     

    Thanks for doing what I should have done! I thought it was recent.

    • #14
    • September 16, 2020, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. PHenry Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Regarding the Germans, I’m not sure I’d agree with your conclusion that they didn’t recognize they were in danger until it was “too late.” I think there was a major sense of denial,

    Well, that was what I meant. They were in denial, so didn’t recognize it, or fell for the old ‘It couldn’t happen to ME’ even when they saw it happening around them. I think that a lot of people worldwide just couldn’t comprehend what the Nazis were capable of, even in the face of clear evidence. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that if they had certainty what was happening few would have allowed themselves to be packed on the trains and sent to the camps. But they had hope, based upon denial, that no human would do such things to another, or even that G-d wouldn’t let it happen. That it would pass, that they just had to keep their head down and get through it.

    I have known about the holocaust all my life, so I have never been deluded that it can’t happen. I know what evil is present in the world, and that ‘it’ can and does happen. But I still wonder. If I were to see my neighbors being beaten and dragged away, or heaven forbid, if tomorrow, armed military were to kick in the door and push my family towards the trains, would I have the resolve to die in the street and take a few of the enemy with me rather than get on the train and hope for survival? Could I stand to watch my family slaughtered in front of me for my resistance? Or would I crumble for a sliver of hope that I could save them?

     

    • #15
    • September 16, 2020, at 11:15 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    You’re right- we do agree. In response to–

    PHenry (View Comment):
    I have known about the holocaust all my life, so I have never been deluded that it can’t happen. I know what evil is present in the world, and that ‘it’ can and does happen. But I still wonder. If I were to see my neighbors being beaten and dragged away, or heaven forbid, if tomorrow, armed military were to kick in the door and push my family towards the trains, would I have the resolve to die in the street and take a few of the enemy with me rather than get on the train and hope for survival? Could I stand to watch my family slaughtered in front of me for my resistance? Or would I crumble for a sliver of hope that I could save them?

    I don’t know what I’d do either. Desperation rather than bravery might motivate me to act. Let’s hope neither of us will need to be tested. At least we are thinking about it, which is more than most people.

    • #16
    • September 16, 2020, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Rodin Member

    The OP is understandably focused on the Jewish experience, but the question posed is fundamental for all. Are you a gentile, but a professional or business owner? Consider the Killing Fields of Cambodia or the Cultural Revolution of China. If you are simply a working man or woman who holds a different viewpoint than Party Orthodoxy are you not like the small farm peasants of Russia in need of starving on behalf of the Bolshevik Revolution?

    Mrs Rodin suspects I am lazy. I think of myself as engaging in creative procrastination. But we may be running out of time. Maybe yes, maybe no. It is the uncertainty that makes us hesitate to change the patterns of our lives, to adopt new activities and possibly relocate to a safer place (wherever that may be). At 70 I am quite in tune with Aaron Jastrow’s reluctance to change the structure of my life. The local response by government to the epidemic has demonstrated how quickly the public can be cowed, how parts of the public can be enlisted in naming and shaming the non-compliant, and how easily the access to goods and income can be interrupted (and targeted). The Amerikan model will not likely involve camps and fields — simply house arrest, isolation, and encapsulation for the non-compliant. The shock troops are already on the march. We are simply awaiting the evidence for whether this is a short-term phenomena to be survived and pushed back by the expected means, or whether this is more sinister and a preview of an existential struggle.

    • #17
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    The OP is understandably focused on the Jewish experience, but the question posed is fundamental for all. Are you a gentile, but a professional or business owner? Consider the Killing Fields of Cambodia or the Cultural Revolution of China. If you are simply a working man or woman who holds a different viewpoint than Party Orthodoxy are you not like the small farm peasants of Russia in need of starving on behalf of the Bolshevik Revolution?

    Mrs Rodin suspects I am lazy. I think of myself as engaging in creative procrastination. But we may be running out of time. Maybe yes, maybe no. It is the uncertainty that makes us hesitate to change the patterns of our lives, to adopt new activities and possibly relocate to a safer place (wherever that may be). At 70 I am quite in tune with Aaron Jastrow’s reluctance to change the structure of my life. The local response by government to the epidemic has demonstrated how quickly the public can be cowed, how parts of the public can be enlisted in naming and shaming the non-compliant, and how easily the access to goods and income can be interrupted (and targeted). The Amerikan model will not likely involve camps and fields — simply house arrest, isolation, and encapsulation for the non-compliant. The shock troops are already on the march. We are simply awaiting the evidence for whether this is a short-term phenomena to be survived and pushed back by the expected means, or whether this is more sinister and a preview of an existential struggle.

    An insightful and beautifully written comment, @rodin. You are correct that we’ve seen entire populations bow to tyranny; none of us seems to learn the lessons of history, because those incidents were then, and this is now. Or that happened to those people and couldn’t possibly happen to us. I don’t know if I would move to escape the possible oncoming onslaught of riots and violence ; it is likely to happen anywhere and everywhere (if it does happen). But there are many types of tyranny, as you well know in CA, and I fear you are setting the scene for the rest of us. It’s my hope that Florida will succumb far into the future.

    • #18
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. Rodin Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    But there are many types of tyranny, as you well know in CA, and I fear you are setting the scene for the rest of us. It’s my hope that Florida will succumb far into the future.

    Indeed. I have a neighbor across the street who actually was buying a home in Florida a year or so ago and had a contract of sale of their home here, but then changed their mind and decided to stay. That must have been an expensive change of heart (given the law of contracts surrounding sales of land) but at the time apparently family ties were the deciding factor. I have not inquired lately whether he is regretting the decision.

    • #19
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rodin (View Comment):
    The OP is understandably focused on the Jewish experience, but the question posed is fundamental for all. Are you a gentile, but a professional or business owner? Consider the Killing Fields of Cambodia or the Cultural Revolution of China. If you are simply a working man or woman who holds a different viewpoint than Party Orthodoxy are you not like the small farm peasants of Russia in need of starving on behalf of the Bolshevik Revolution?

    If you wore eyeglasses in Cambodia, it meant that you read too much. If you read too much, you were an intellectual. If you were an intellectual, you went to the killing fields.

    Pol Pot didn’t have both of his oars in the water.

    • #20
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    The OP is understandably focused on the Jewish experience, but the question posed is fundamental for all. Are you a gentile, but a professional or business owner? Consider the Killing Fields of Cambodia or the Cultural Revolution of China. If you are simply a working man or woman who holds a different viewpoint than Party Orthodoxy are you not like the small farm peasants of Russia in need of starving on behalf of the Bolshevik Revolution?

    If you wore eyeglasses in Cambodia, it meant that you read too much. If you read too much, you were an intellectual. If you were an intellectual, you went to the killing fields.

    Pol Pot didn’t have both of his oars in the water.

    I agree, although could point to most nightmare leaders and question their sanity, too: Stalin, Mao, Che. . . 

    • #21
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. PHenry Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    If you wore eyeglasses in Cambodia, it meant that you read too much. If you read too much, you were an intellectual. If you were an intellectual, you went to the killing fields.

    Pol Pot didn’t have both of his oars in the water.

    I agree, although could point to most nightmare leaders and question their sanity, too: Stalin, Mao, Che. . .

    After watching the Democrats lately, I doubt there is any reason to question the sanity of the leaders. It is their followers who believe that stuff who are nuts. The leaders are crazy like a fox.

    • #22
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:50 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: What would you do?

    If I wasn’t already armed, I’d do so. Then I’d train and train and train. I’d encourage (but not force) family and neighbors to do the same by getting them to realize if the government fails to keep the peace, it’s up to us to protect ourselves . . .

    The problem being that if the government has decided you or me or the next guy is a terrorist,and given that we are now some 75 years down the road from WWII’s end, and that humanity faces a serious extrapolation in terms of technological know how, using a gun might not be feasible.

    We are told that those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it. But history rarely re-occurs exactly in the manner of previous events. I mean, no one in the US is going to be put down by taking a shower. That is far too old school.

    What could occur to anyone who is deemed racist/sexist/terrorist/or “unvaxxed and riddled with germs” is beyond most people’s imaginings. All it takes is for the wrong sort ending up with ultimate power.

    • #23
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    If you wore eyeglasses in Cambodia, it meant that you read too much. If you read too much, you were an intellectual. If you were an intellectual, you went to the killing fields.

    Pol Pot didn’t have both of his oars in the water.

    I agree, although could point to most nightmare leaders and question their sanity, too: Stalin, Mao, Che. . .

    After watching the Democrats lately, I doubt there is any reason to question the sanity of the leaders. It is their followers who believe that stuff who are nuts. The leaders are crazy like a fox.

    I think that they are crazy, though. They have seriously underestimated the ability of the American people to swat aside any government for which they have no respect and feel no fealty.

    • #24
    • September 16, 2020, at 1:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. TBA Coolidge

    Percival (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    The OP is understandably focused on the Jewish experience, but the question posed is fundamental for all. Are you a gentile, but a professional or business owner? Consider the Killing Fields of Cambodia or the Cultural Revolution of China. If you are simply a working man or woman who holds a different viewpoint than Party Orthodoxy are you not like the small farm peasants of Russia in need of starving on behalf of the Bolshevik Revolution?

    If you wore eyeglasses in Cambodia, it meant that you read too much. If you read too much, you were an intellectual. If you were an intellectual, you went to the killing fields.

    Pol Pot didn’t have both of his oars in the water.

    Intellectuals are the kindling and ash of every revolution. 

    • #25
    • September 16, 2020, at 2:38 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I think it’s worthwhile mentioning that Moshe Sonenson, the author’s father, was truly a hero of this story. He was not only a leader of the community, but he risked his life many times to save others. He chose to escape with his family before the massacre. He fled with them a number of times to avoid capture. After the war, he dedicated his life to finding those people who had killed Jews; rather than murder them, he insisted on bringing them to justice. He was eventually arrested and imprisoned in Siberia, and somehow survived that ordeal. He returned to Eishyshok to say Kaddish over the mass graves. And eventually he danced at his granddaughter’s wedding in August 1983, and died three days later.

    • #26
    • September 16, 2020, at 5:15 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: What would you do?

    If I wasn’t already armed, I’d do so. Then I’d train and train and train. I’d encourage (but not force) family and neighbors to do the same by getting them to realize if the government fails to keep the peace, it’s up to us to protect ourselves . . .

    The problem being that if the government has decided you are a terrorist, the massive non ionizing radiation installations can be used to take you out. One day you are figuring out how much ammo you have, and whether to lend some to neighbor, and that afternoon the “phone company” or “cable company” adds a little piece of equipment to the utility pole 300 feet from your home, and then it is all over.

    The next morning, you wake up to your skin burning all over, you feel nauseous and dizzy and too weak to move.

    We are told that those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it. But history rarely re-occurs exactly in the manner of previous events. I mean, no one in the US is going to be put down by taking a shower. That is far too old school.

    So what if the vaccine campaign, purportedly to end COVID, finalizes the mandates requiring you to have this vaccine. How do you know if the vaccine that is prepared for you is exactly what the government or Big Pharma tells you it is? Maybe the guy down the street from you who voted for Biden will get the COVID vaccine. While the people who did not vote for Biden may get a different version of it?

    Carol, you bring up some serious issues, such as weaponized non-ionizing radiation and medical doctors using voting history to determine if you will receive treatment or death. The first of these verges on physically impossible – UV and IR would not really penetrate the house, microwaves or other RF would fry your cell phone and any electronics, and anything longer wavelength than broadcast radio bands is not going to interact with anything in the house. (Besides making the local Ham radio guy very upset) You are talking about a vast amount of energy required, Carol – a little box is going to melt / catch fire from the waste heat.

    The second would require some serious work in areas with in person ballots, and large numbers of medical personnel in on the operation. The logistics of distributing two separate vaccines and explaining to the medical personnel (who might just include covert Trump supporters like our Ricochet doctors) that people get different vaccines based on some mysterious list is outright insane.

    Please do not discuss this stuff in this thread, and move it to another thread if you want to discuss this further. I do not want to want to delete posts, but I don’t want this discussion getting sidetracked.

    • #27
    • September 16, 2020, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Ontheleftcoast Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Carol, you bring up some serious issues, such as weaponized non-ionizing radiation and medical doctors using voting history to determine if you will receive treatment or death

    @caroljoy may have phrased things in an overblown manner, but her concern is on topic.

    Things like having a gun in the home (already routinely asked by physicians; affirmative answers are part of your medical record, as is failure to have the approved immunization status;) your medical record is linked to your identity in multiple data bases many of which have had security breaches. Membership in white supremacist organizations, failure to work to stop systemic racism and global warming are all widely considered to endanger the public health. 

    Under Democratic Socialism, how many steps will it be from “a danger to the public health” to Lebensunwertes Leben?

    • #28
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:34 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Flicker Coolidge

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Carol, you bring up some serious issues, such as weaponized non-ionizing radiation and medical doctors using voting history to determine if you will receive treatment or death

    @caroljoy may have phrased things in an overblown manner, but her concern is on topic.

    Things like having a gun in the home (already routinely asked by physicians; affirmative answers are part of your medical record, as is failure to have the approved immunization status;) your medical record is linked to your identity in multiple data bases many of which have had security breaches. Membership in white supremacist organizations, failure to work to stop systemic racism and global warming are all widely considered to endanger the public health.

    Under Democratic Socialism, how many steps will it be from “a danger to the public health” to Lebensunwertes Leben?

    Do the mail-in ballots that are being sent out, and presumably filled out and returned, have bar codes on them? Anywhere on them? Just asking.

    • #29
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: By 1939, word of the Nazis and their atrocities was arriving in Eishyshok.SNIP

    SNIP

    It was a bit complicated, as usual. I think that there was, formally, an independent Lithuania under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but it was dominated by Germany. There was a Lithuanian revolution during the WWI/Russian Revolution period, and the Lithuanians drove out the Bolsheviks.

    I’m sorry, Jerry. I meant to say the “Germans”; the Nazis came much later. I’ve corrected the OP. Thanks.

    I didn’t track all the changes of governance that took place in that part of the world over the centuries; in some cases, such as the Lithuanians, the Jews were treated decently for a while. But almost every country that had control over the Jews at one time or another treated them fairly, SNIP At the end of WWII, the Poles wanted to get rid of every Jew that was left in their territory.

    In all fairness to the people of Poland, the Nazis targeted many Poles, including Catholics who held to their faith. So by the end of the war, any moderates or Jewish sympathizers had long since been eliminated, except for those in the Polish resistance movement.

    It is also true that across Europe, people succumbed to not only the various persecutions of the Nazis, but also to bombing raids, illnesses and above all, hunger.

    I ‘ve never visited Poland, but in visiting Holland in 1979, I struck up a friendship with a very unusual man, an artist, who insisted my two traveling companions & me stay at his home. He regaled us with so many episodes of his interesting life. (He had been friends with the Queen, Queen Wilhelmina, who had left the Netherlands at the time the Nazis came in.) But his war stories were tragic.

    One day he left his home to go off to school, which was being held in the home of a teacher, as the school itself had been bombed. While he was gone, Nazis came through his neighborhood and marched every male they found out to the local park and shot and killed them. So when he got home, his brother was missing, and later it was confirmed he had been rounded up and killed.

    He also discussed how one of the more disturbing aspects of the war in Holland was how if you were out and about, the person in front of you would stagger along for a minute or two and then fall over, dead, from malnutrition. This happened routinely.

    This happened in nations across Europe. Although we all can envision how hard we would have worked to ensure the safety of Jewish people had we lived in this place or that, in reality, the threats to the entire population were so extreme that by the end of 1944, if not earlier, it was difficult to do anything but keep one’s own head above water.

    • #30
    • September 16, 2020, at 9:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.