Tag: Holocaust

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On Slack today, @exjon observed, “Condemning Nazis is the easiest political move in history. It costs Trump nothing.” I disagreed. There are a lot of ordinary people who fear that “Nazi”, at least these days, is chiefly a stick that elitists use to beat the proles. This fear, as many Trump voters like to put is, […]

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So when visiting the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany should one behave with dignity? Apparently not for numerious millennial generation visitors. Why not frolic about shooting smiling selfie pics, jump around like it’s an obstacle course, juggle balls, strike yoga poses in a sports bra, lay around or stand on the concrete slabs while snapping […]

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No, the White House Did Not Deny the Holocaust

 

At some point, the overwrought and ridiculous accusations against President Trump have to peak. I have a visceral dislike of him and yet those attacking him have gone so far round the bend that I am forced, over and over again, to defend him. No, the White House did not deny the Holocaust in the press release for Holocaust Remembrance Day. To think otherwise is crazy with a side of ridiculous and covered in stupid gravy. Harsh words? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

I would have never imagined such claim would exist had I not seen it with my own eyes. I would not have cared if such asinine claims were made by anyone other than Ricochet contributors I respect. Our very own @claireberlinski has bought into this, as has John Podhoretz. Here is the tweet that got me started on this rant today:

Gratitude: Praise the Lord, and Pass the Ammunition!

 

We see what we choose to see. No set of data forces any rational thinker to accept that one theory or explanation is incontrovertibly true and all others are incontrovertibly false. This explains how good and intelligent and wise people on Ricochet can consistently arrive at different conclusions, even though we have access to the very same data. Whether we are talking of science or of politics, there is no objective inevitability to any of our arguments.

Instead, we are left with the things that we accept as true. Most people take our assumptions and presuppositions for granted, but some people (probably a very few), can and do freely choose to see things a certain way. And here we arrive at the nub of the matter, because of all the things that we can choose to accept or deny, gratitude is both the most optional, and also the single most important for our state of mind, the state of our families and the health of our society.

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Most have read/watched Schindler’s List. Fewer have learned about Gilbert & Eleanor Kraus, a Philadelphia couple who risked going to WW2 Germany and save 50 Children, and then there’s this little known but incredible story from my friend Salvador Litvak who shared this in his Thursday Heroes series at the Accidental Talmudist. Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Polish […]

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What The Reactionary Anti-Semitism Gets Right

 

flag-408317_1920Growing up, my South African father used to remind us American kids that “There are only two types of people in the world: Jews and anti-semites.” This used to upset us terribly. It’s patently false, we would think. Our experience shows our society to be tolerant and kind. Where in the United States is friendlier and more welcoming than suburban Atlanta? Of course, the specter of Leo Frank’s lynching always hung like a shadow in the backs of our minds. But that was a long time ago. Surely, that old hatred is dead.

But it’s starting to look like dad was right after all. From Islamists, to progressive Europe, to the dregs of the Alt-Right on Twitter, we Jews are surrounded by a resurgent tide of anti-Semitism.Which leads to the question my progressive neighbor likes to constantly ask: “Why do they hate us?”

When it comes to explaining Jew hatred, the safest course of action is probably to declare it an uncaused historical constant. After all, what can be the reason for a hatred that has spanned millenia, civilizations, classes, religions, and practically every other boundary that divides man from man?

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My subscription to BookBub has been worthwhile, despite the fact that it means another daily update in my inbox. Often there are one or two short-term deals that are potentially enriching reads, and I’ll purchase them if I have some Amazon credit. Some of the free book offers have been good, or at least warrant a browse […]

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I contribute to the American Society for Yad Vashem, the US supporters of the big Holocaust Memorial in Israel. [which should be high on your list of places to visit there] They have a quarterly newsletter that I receive, entitled “Martyrdom and Resistance”. I always learn valuable things from their newsletter-they often have interesting stories […]

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In Outcry, Manny Steinberg records his Holocaust nightmare in brutal detail. It’s a difficult yet profitable read. I found myself pushing on to get to the liberation part, but I’m discovering that final freedom was a prolonged ordeal as well. The experiences of this one individual and his family made the evil of the Holocaust vivid to me. […]

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http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/No-Holds-Barred-What-Elie-Wiesel-told-governor-Chris-Christie-404052?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral I found this via Politico and I thought some on Ricochet might find it interesting. At the very least, it depicts Christie as a staunch friend of Israel. Preview Open

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The Nazi Within

 

amis_cover_3019706aI recently finished Martin Amis’s novel, The Zone of Interest, the plot of which centers around the conflicts of a host of characters inside a Nazi death camp — German soldiers, their wives, children, and, of course, the Jews. The book was rejected by Amis’s German publisher and received mixed reviews when it came out last year. That’s largely because of the unconventional and sometimes uncomfortable use of satire in a Holocaust novel.

The book reads much like a conventional character drama, centered around themes of jealousy, lust, ambition, and longing. Only, in this case, this rather standard human tale happens to be taking place in the midst of the most inhuman atrocities imaginable. Gruesome and brutal crimes of world-historic proportions serve as a mere backdrop for a story that stubbornly focuses on the mundane and rather unremarkable relationships of those guilty of the crimes.

You’ve never read a Holocaust novel like this one. Some readers might feel that Amis’s approach minimizes the heinous crimes that are taking place. But for me, it worked in just the opposite way. Amis’s focus on the trivial “drama” taking place among his Nazi characters has the effect of humanizing them and making the horrible genocide they are carrying out seem all the more incomprehensible. By the end of the book I was left wondering how, how, how did the genocidal mania of Nazism ever take hold of nearly an entire nation of seemingly normal human beings? What was the origin of this great hatred, and of the great collective will to act on it?

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I want to recommend an amazing movie I saw last weekend: Woman in Gold. With Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, it will (should) win awards. It is a true recent story about a Vienna born octogenarian (Maria Altmann) who fled Hitlers’ holocaust as a young woman while her Jewish family suffered the unspeakable acts that […]

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There are advantages to belonging to a denomination—Unitarian-Universalism— that allows and even encourages its members to speak in a variety of what a Catholic priest friend has described as “the rich variety of human spiritual languages.” There is value,  too, in the attempt to agree upon a kind of spiritual Esperanto in which we might speak of […]

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