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Being complicit

DrZoidberg

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Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust? For the same reasons. The Auschwitz ovens were all manned by Jews, for instance.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47277147

I have no memory of Poland rolling out a welcome mat when Germany peacefully and without conflict annexed Poland in 1939. Quite the opposite. I remember Poland fighting back. Just like the Jews did in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. With similar consequences.

I think Yisrael Katz is in the wrong here.

Thoughts?
 

untermensche

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I think true complicity is if nothing will happen to you if you don't comply.

I don't think workers trapped in a capitalist power dynamic are complicit when they work within a dictatorial system simply because they have little choice.

Within such a system it is actually very wise to seek to be a dictator.
 

DrZoidberg

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I think true complicity is if nothing will happen to you if you don't comply.

I don't think workers trapped in a capitalist power dynamic are complicit when they work within a dictatorial system simply because they have little choice.

Within such a system it is actually very wise to seek to be a dictator.

While you are a broken record who compulsively just say the same thing over and over regardless of context, I would like to say that this time you nailed it IMHO.

Even a broken clock is correct twice a day
 

untermensche

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I think true complicity is if nothing will happen to you if you don't comply.

I don't think workers trapped in a capitalist power dynamic are complicit when they work within a dictatorial system simply because they have little choice.

Within such a system it is actually very wise to seek to be a dictator.

While you are a broken record who compulsively just say the same thing over and over regardless of context, I would like to say that this time you nailed it IMHO.

Even a broken clock is correct twice a day

Part of what you say is just a way to not look at what I say.

It is not any kind of rational criticism.

If you don't like the inherent complicity in accepting a dictatorial system don't talk about the subject of complicity.
 

ronburgundy

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It's complicated.
Certainly many non-Jewish Poles were complicit, at the very least. In the years prior to the Nazi invasion, there was lots of antisemitic propaganda, hate-speech, threats and violence toward Jews by a large segment of the polish people, with little to no effort by the Polish government to quell it. Much of it was fueled by the Catholic Church, which surprises no one since the Church was highly complicit in the holocaust overall as it has been in countless other acts of genocide and ethnic violence.
This laid the groundwork, and made the work of the Nazi's far easier, and strongly implies that many Poles were not really being coerced to help, even if they were "following orders." A number of Poles also blackmailed Jews under threat of turning them in.

However, the Polish leadership did not form formal alliances with the Nazis and there was no Polish SS unit, unlike other occupied countries. Also, there is evidence that millions of non-Jewish Poles risked a lot, even their lives, to help the Jews. And almost 3 million non-Jewish Poles were killed by the Nazis.

So, the comments by Katz were wrong because they were a blanket unqualified statement about "Poles". OTOH, holocaust enabling antisemitism was a deep rooted and widespread part of Polish culture before the Nazis and remains so today. Recent studies suggest that somewhere between a third to a half of Polish people hold dehumanizing and/or otherwise Antisemitic beliefs about Jews.


(Note that only some of the measures in the linked paper can be interpreted as "anti-Semitic". Some measures merely assess whether people think that there are Jews who are biased in favor of Jews and seek out economic and political alliances with other Jews.)
 

DrZoidberg

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It's complicated.
Certainly many non-Jewish Poles were complicit, at the very least. In the years prior to the Nazi invasion, there was lots of antisemitic propaganda, hate-speech, threats and violence toward Jews by a large segment of the polish people, with little to no effort by the Polish government to quell it. Much of it was fueled by the Catholic Church, which surprises no one since the Church was highly complicit in the holocaust overall as it has been in countless other acts of genocide and ethnic violence.
This laid the groundwork, and made the work of the Nazi's far easier, and strongly implies that many Poles were not really being coerced to help, even if they were "following orders." A number of Poles also blackmailed Jews under threat of turning them in.

However, the Polish leadership did not form formal alliances with the Nazis and there was no Polish SS unit, unlike other occupied countries. Also, there is evidence that millions of non-Jewish Poles risked a lot, even their lives, to help the Jews. And almost 3 million non-Jewish Poles were killed by the Nazis.

So, the comments by Katz were wrong because they were a blanket unqualified statement about "Poles". OTOH, holocaust enabling antisemitism was a deep rooted and widespread part of Polish culture before the Nazis and remains so today. Recent studies suggest that somewhere between a third to a half of Polish people hold dehumanizing and/or otherwise Antisemitic beliefs about Jews.


(Note that only some of the measures in the linked paper can be interpreted as "anti-Semitic". Some measures merely assess whether people think that there are Jews who are biased in favor of Jews and seek out economic and political alliances with other Jews.)

Being antisemitic doesn't equate with being for the holocaust. It's so extreme I'm sure even most rabid Jew haters wouldn't do it. Why else do you think Holocaust denialism is such a big thing? Even Nazis are usually against it.

And not to say the most obvious thing, but the main killer of Jews in the holocaust wasn't a will to kill them but incompetence and corruption. It wasn't until late in the game that pure death camps were introduced. It was an accident in history. When the camps were first introduced the plan was to keep all the Jews alive as a slave labour class. But camp commanders and transport staff sold prisoner food on the black market, making it impossible to keep them alive
 

ronburgundy

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It's complicated.
Certainly many non-Jewish Poles were complicit, at the very least. In the years prior to the Nazi invasion, there was lots of antisemitic propaganda, hate-speech, threats and violence toward Jews by a large segment of the polish people, with little to no effort by the Polish government to quell it. Much of it was fueled by the Catholic Church, which surprises no one since the Church was highly complicit in the holocaust overall as it has been in countless other acts of genocide and ethnic violence.
This laid the groundwork, and made the work of the Nazi's far easier, and strongly implies that many Poles were not really being coerced to help, even if they were "following orders." A number of Poles also blackmailed Jews under threat of turning them in.

However, the Polish leadership did not form formal alliances with the Nazis and there was no Polish SS unit, unlike other occupied countries. Also, there is evidence that millions of non-Jewish Poles risked a lot, even their lives, to help the Jews. And almost 3 million non-Jewish Poles were killed by the Nazis.

So, the comments by Katz were wrong because they were a blanket unqualified statement about "Poles". OTOH, holocaust enabling antisemitism was a deep rooted and widespread part of Polish culture before the Nazis and remains so today. Recent studies suggest that somewhere between a third to a half of Polish people hold dehumanizing and/or otherwise Antisemitic beliefs about Jews.


(Note that only some of the measures in the linked paper can be interpreted as "anti-Semitic". Some measures merely assess whether people think that there are Jews who are biased in favor of Jews and seek out economic and political alliances with other Jews.)

Being antisemitic doesn't equate with being for the holocaust. It's so extreme I'm sure even most rabid Jew haters wouldn't do it. Why else do you think Holocaust denialism is such a big thing? Even Nazis are usually against it.

Denying the holocaust does not mean that you sincerely are against it. It means you have a motive to lie about the events that were a natural byproduct of the ideology you endorse.

The holocaust was systematic violence against Jews (and others). Violence is a reaction to fear and hatred, and everyone knows this. The level of fear and hatred spread (along with small scale violence) by many Poles (and the Church) against Jews without a doubt helped to create the cultural climate that made the scale of violence of the holocaust possible. That makes them complicit.
Plus, their anti-antisemitism was the same as that being voiced by the Nazis, who were acting on the basis of this worldview. Thus, it is beyond reasonable doubt that a large % of Poles were willingly obedient and almost certainly some were driven by their antisemitism to give the Nazis more help than they had to to save their own lives.

And not to say the most obvious thing, but the main killer of Jews in the holocaust wasn't a will to kill them but incompetence and corruption. It wasn't until late in the game that pure death camps were introduced. It was an accident in history. When the camps were first introduced the plan was to keep all the Jews alive as a slave labour class. But camp commanders and transport staff sold prisoner food on the black market, making it impossible to keep them alive


You might want to rethink the level of apology and excuse you are giving to the Nazis. It was no "accident". It was a byproduct of the culture and circumstances created the antisemitic hatred that the Nazis (and many Poles) had propagandized for years prior and the gradually increasing violence such propaganda inherently causes.

And dude, "Impossible to keep them alive"??? Murdering and starving the Jews to death was the only possibility only if one has the mindset that doing so is of so little concern that other options are not considered. First, every person involved with or who knew about the selling of prisoner food knew they were killing the prisoners. There was a culture and context that encouraged and allowed the knowing killing of innocent Jews to happen, and antisemitism was the foundation of that culture. Then after there was no food to feed them, there was a choice to kill them and let them die, make an effort to stop the selling of the food, deport them to allied areas, etc.? These were a group of people who are all innocent of any crime other than being a Jew and many children. Those other options are only "impossible" if one has an antisemitic view of Jews as subhuman and of no moral worth. So again, everyone (including the Poles) who promoted this antisemitic view was a causal contributor to the death of every Jew in the holocuast, whether murdered or died from starvation and disease.
 
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DrZoidberg

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You might want to rethink the level of apology and excuse you are giving to the Nazis. It was no "accident". It was a byproduct of the culture and circumstances created the antisemitic hatred that the Nazis (and many Poles) had propagandized for years prior and the gradually increasing violence such propaganda inherently causes.

And dude, "Impossible to keep them alive"??? Murdering and starving the Jews to death was the only possibility only if one has the mindset that doing so is of so little concern that other options are not considered. First, every person involved with or who knew about the selling of prisoner food knew they were killing the prisoners. There was a culture and context that encouraged and allowed the knowing killing of innocent Jews to happen, and antisemitism was the foundation of that culture. Then after there was no food to feed them, there was a choice to kill them and let them die, make an effort to stop the selling of the food, deport them to allied areas, etc.? These were a group of people who are all innocent of any crime other than being a Jew and many children. Those other options are only "impossible" if one has an antisemitic view of Jews as subhuman and of no moral worth. So again, everyone (including the Poles) who promoted this antisemitic view was a causal contributor to the death of every Jew in the holocuast, whether murdered or died from starvation and disease.

Meh... we have surviving loads of documents where high Nazi officials wrote angry letters to camp commanders because it made them look bad when the prisoners kept dying. All the Nazi slave labour production camps produced much worse than both projected, but also facilities with free labour. This was a major problem for the Nazi government and hampered the war effort. The Nazi government had a major incentive to keep them alive... yet still failed. Many of the slave labour camps demanded specialised skilled labour. These barely produced anything at all, because skills couldn't be maintained among the workers long enough to make new workers proficient. Nearly all died while still being useless apprentices. This was a big problem because these plants had been built at great cost for the government. Overall the slave labour camps only ended up costing the Nazi government. The concentration camp system didn't even pay for itself.

And to drive home the point. When the Eastern front opened up the concentration camps were filled up with Russian war prisoners. These were also supposed to be kept alive and strongly worded letters from Himmler were sent to camps. Yet, these also died, even faster than the Jews that preceded them. This led to a purge of camp commanders and several ended up as prisoners in the same concentration camps they once ran. Because they let their prisoners die. The Nazi government took this very seriously.

It wasn't a bi-product of antisemitism. It was a bi-product of that totalitarianism and state run companies are inefficient. Because the incentives of the people running these places is to kiss ass of the people higher on the ranking ladder. Not to produce whatever is needed to be produced by their company. And since they all have monopolies it's impossible to compare and track their performance. Since everybody on all levels have an incentive NOT to be honest in their reporting. This was true on all levels in the Nazi government.

The same things happened in the Gulag, the Chinese re-education camps or the Cambodian. You can't claim these institutions were in practice death camps because of antisemitism?
 

ronburgundy

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You might want to rethink the level of apology and excuse you are giving to the Nazis. It was no "accident". It was a byproduct of the culture and circumstances created the antisemitic hatred that the Nazis (and many Poles) had propagandized for years prior and the gradually increasing violence such propaganda inherently causes.

And dude, "Impossible to keep them alive"??? Murdering and starving the Jews to death was the only possibility only if one has the mindset that doing so is of so little concern that other options are not considered. First, every person involved with or who knew about the selling of prisoner food knew they were killing the prisoners. There was a culture and context that encouraged and allowed the knowing killing of innocent Jews to happen, and antisemitism was the foundation of that culture. Then after there was no food to feed them, there was a choice to kill them and let them die, make an effort to stop the selling of the food, deport them to allied areas, etc.? These were a group of people who are all innocent of any crime other than being a Jew and many children. Those other options are only "impossible" if one has an antisemitic view of Jews as subhuman and of no moral worth. So again, everyone (including the Poles) who promoted this antisemitic view was a causal contributor to the death of every Jew in the holocuast, whether murdered or died from starvation and disease.

Meh... we have surviving loads of documents where high Nazi officials wrote angry letters to camp commanders because it made them look bad when the prisoners kept dying. All the Nazi slave labour production camps produced much worse than both projected, but also facilities with free labour. This was a major problem for the Nazi government and hampered the war effort. The Nazi government had a major incentive to keep them alive... yet still failed. Many of the slave labour camps demanded specialised skilled labour. These barely produced anything at all, because skills couldn't be maintained among the workers long enough to make new workers proficient. Nearly all died while still being useless apprentices. This was a big problem because these plants had been built at great cost for the government. Overall the slave labour camps only ended up costing the Nazi government. The concentration camp system didn't even pay for itself.

And to drive home the point. When the Eastern front opened up the concentration camps were filled up with Russian war prisoners. These were also supposed to be kept alive and strongly worded letters from Himmler were sent to camps. Yet, these also died, even faster than the Jews that preceded them. This led to a purge of camp commanders and several ended up as prisoners in the same concentration camps they once ran. Because they let their prisoners die. The Nazi government took this very seriously.

It wasn't a bi-product of antisemitism. It was a bi-product of that totalitarianism and state run companies are inefficient. Because the incentives of the people running these places is to kiss ass of the people higher on the ranking ladder. Not to produce whatever is needed to be produced by their company. And since they all have monopolies it's impossible to compare and track their performance. Since everybody on all levels have an incentive NOT to be honest in their reporting. This was true on all levels in the Nazi government.

The same things happened in the Gulag, the Chinese re-education camps or the Cambodian. You can't claim these institutions were in practice death camps because of antisemitism?

None of this escapes the fact that antisemitism that viewed the Jews as subhuman and of little moral worth was the foundation for putting them in camps to begin with (no matter their original purpose), and the basis for letting them die in those camps rather than letting them go. Without a cultural worldview that cast the prisoners as subhuman, there is no way that all the people who made it and allowed it to happen would have done so. If not for that antisemitism, the Jews would have been released as soon as keeping them alive and healthy become a problem. Few of those Germans would have allowed a kennel of dogs to die in those circumstances, but they viewed Jews as lesser than dogs.
 

Bronzeage

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Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust? For the same reasons. The Auschwitz ovens were all manned by Jews, for instance.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47277147

I have no memory of Poland rolling out a welcome mat when Germany peacefully and without conflict annexed Poland in 1939. Quite the opposite. I remember Poland fighting back. Just like the Jews did in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. With similar consequences.

I think Yisrael Katz is in the wrong here.

Thoughts?

Yisrael Katz may be wrong, but probably not for any of the reasons you have cited. While Jews performed all of the manual labor needed to maintain the camps in which they lived and died. This included the removal of bodies from gas chambers and disposing of them, by whatever means was employed. To say they were complicit in the Holocaust is disingenuous at best.

While I doubt there are many people still alive who were complicit, the Nazis had very little trouble identifying and corralling Polish Jews. While the Poles may have resisted the German Army for a while, little resistance remained after the surrender, and what followed could only be called craven complicity.
 

DrZoidberg

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You might want to rethink the level of apology and excuse you are giving to the Nazis. It was no "accident". It was a byproduct of the culture and circumstances created the antisemitic hatred that the Nazis (and many Poles) had propagandized for years prior and the gradually increasing violence such propaganda inherently causes.

And dude, "Impossible to keep them alive"??? Murdering and starving the Jews to death was the only possibility only if one has the mindset that doing so is of so little concern that other options are not considered. First, every person involved with or who knew about the selling of prisoner food knew they were killing the prisoners. There was a culture and context that encouraged and allowed the knowing killing of innocent Jews to happen, and antisemitism was the foundation of that culture. Then after there was no food to feed them, there was a choice to kill them and let them die, make an effort to stop the selling of the food, deport them to allied areas, etc.? These were a group of people who are all innocent of any crime other than being a Jew and many children. Those other options are only "impossible" if one has an antisemitic view of Jews as subhuman and of no moral worth. So again, everyone (including the Poles) who promoted this antisemitic view was a causal contributor to the death of every Jew in the holocuast, whether murdered or died from starvation and disease.

Meh... we have surviving loads of documents where high Nazi officials wrote angry letters to camp commanders because it made them look bad when the prisoners kept dying. All the Nazi slave labour production camps produced much worse than both projected, but also facilities with free labour. This was a major problem for the Nazi government and hampered the war effort. The Nazi government had a major incentive to keep them alive... yet still failed. Many of the slave labour camps demanded specialised skilled labour. These barely produced anything at all, because skills couldn't be maintained among the workers long enough to make new workers proficient. Nearly all died while still being useless apprentices. This was a big problem because these plants had been built at great cost for the government. Overall the slave labour camps only ended up costing the Nazi government. The concentration camp system didn't even pay for itself.

And to drive home the point. When the Eastern front opened up the concentration camps were filled up with Russian war prisoners. These were also supposed to be kept alive and strongly worded letters from Himmler were sent to camps. Yet, these also died, even faster than the Jews that preceded them. This led to a purge of camp commanders and several ended up as prisoners in the same concentration camps they once ran. Because they let their prisoners die. The Nazi government took this very seriously.

It wasn't a bi-product of antisemitism. It was a bi-product of that totalitarianism and state run companies are inefficient. Because the incentives of the people running these places is to kiss ass of the people higher on the ranking ladder. Not to produce whatever is needed to be produced by their company. And since they all have monopolies it's impossible to compare and track their performance. Since everybody on all levels have an incentive NOT to be honest in their reporting. This was true on all levels in the Nazi government.

The same things happened in the Gulag, the Chinese re-education camps or the Cambodian. You can't claim these institutions were in practice death camps because of antisemitism?

None of this escapes the fact that antisemitism that viewed the Jews as subhuman and of little moral worth was the foundation for putting them in camps to begin with (no matter their original purpose), and the basis for letting them die in those camps rather than letting them go. Without a cultural worldview that cast the prisoners as subhuman, there is no way that all the people who made it and allowed it to happen would have done so. If not for that antisemitism, the Jews would have been released as soon as keeping them alive and healthy become a problem. Few of those Germans would have allowed a kennel of dogs to die in those circumstances, but they viewed Jews as lesser than dogs.

Meh... Communists didn't view those in the Gulag as subhumans. They viewed them as unfortunates who had misunderstood the virtues of communism. The gulag guards were typically themselves old prisoners (who had been lucky enough to survive). The death toll was still extremely high.

It wasn't the antisemitism that killed the Jews in the early and middle concentration camps. The antisemitism only put them in the camps. It wasn't until very late when we get pure death camps (December 1941). Worth noting is that it coincided with the fall of Stalingrad, ie the turning point in WW2. It's almost like they were punishing Jews for the failure of the German army. The later the war the more resources are wasted trying to speed up the holocaust. Up until the fall of Stalingrad extermination of the Jews was not a strategy, secret or otherwise. The Nazis wrote down everything. So we have no reason to mistrust official accounts.
 

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None of this escapes the fact that antisemitism that viewed the Jews as subhuman and of little moral worth was the foundation for putting them in camps to begin with (no matter their original purpose), and the basis for letting them die in those camps rather than letting them go. Without a cultural worldview that cast the prisoners as subhuman, there is no way that all the people who made it and allowed it to happen would have done so. If not for that antisemitism, the Jews would have been released as soon as keeping them alive and healthy become a problem. Few of those Germans would have allowed a kennel of dogs to die in those circumstances, but they viewed Jews as lesser than dogs.

Meh... Communists didn't view those in the Gulag as subhumans. They viewed them as unfortunates who had misunderstood the virtues of communism. The gulag guards were typically themselves old prisoners (who had been lucky enough to survive). The death toll was still extremely high.

It wasn't the antisemitism that killed the Jews in the early and middle concentration camps. The antisemitism only put them in the camps. It wasn't until very late when we get pure death camps (December 1941). Worth noting is that it coincided with the fall of Stalingrad, ie the turning point in WW2. It's almost like they were punishing Jews for the failure of the German army. The later the war the more resources are wasted trying to speed up the holocaust. Up until the fall of Stalingrad extermination of the Jews was not a strategy, secret or otherwise. The Nazis wrote down everything. So we have no reason to mistrust official accounts.

LOL - You are forgetting that the Americans don't think the war even started until December 1941.
 

DrZoidberg

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Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust? For the same reasons. The Auschwitz ovens were all manned by Jews, for instance.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47277147

I have no memory of Poland rolling out a welcome mat when Germany peacefully and without conflict annexed Poland in 1939. Quite the opposite. I remember Poland fighting back. Just like the Jews did in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. With similar consequences.

I think Yisrael Katz is in the wrong here.

Thoughts?

Yisrael Katz may be wrong, but probably not for any of the reasons you have cited. While Jews performed all of the manual labor needed to maintain the camps in which they lived and died. This included the removal of bodies from gas chambers and disposing of them, by whatever means was employed. To say they were complicit in the Holocaust is disingenuous at best.

While I doubt there are many people still alive who were complicit, the Nazis had very little trouble identifying and corralling Polish Jews. While the Poles may have resisted the German Army for a while, little resistance remained after the surrender, and what followed could only be called craven complicity.

That's just basic human psychology. If you feel threatened you will do what you can to stay alive. Everybody under a totalitarian government feels threatened all the time. That's how they operate psychologically. All the concentration camp capos in the Jewish baracks were Jewish and they effectively ran the camps. The famous "love commando" where Jews were forced to work in concentration camp brothels was only open to Jews. The people who used these prostitutes were all other Jews. They got rewarded with the prostitutes for collaboration.

I don't see much of a difference. It doesn't really matter that the Poles were also antisemitic. That doesn't make them complicit any more than the Polish Jews IMHO. Giving a shit about anything other than yourself under the Nazis was a rare luxury.
 

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It wasn't until very late when we get pure death camps (December 1941). Worth noting is that it coincided with the fall of Stalingrad, ie the turning point in WW2. ... Up until the fall of Stalingrad extermination of the Jews was not a strategy, secret or otherwise. ...
Come again? The Germans didn't even arrive at Stalingrad until August 1942.

LOL - You are forgetting that the Americans don't think the war even started until December 1941.
Yeah, and Europeans don't think the war even started until September 1939.
 

Bronzeage

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Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust? For the same reasons. The Auschwitz ovens were all manned by Jews, for instance.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47277147

I have no memory of Poland rolling out a welcome mat when Germany peacefully and without conflict annexed Poland in 1939. Quite the opposite. I remember Poland fighting back. Just like the Jews did in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. With similar consequences.

I think Yisrael Katz is in the wrong here.

Thoughts?

Yisrael Katz may be wrong, but probably not for any of the reasons you have cited. While Jews performed all of the manual labor needed to maintain the camps in which they lived and died. This included the removal of bodies from gas chambers and disposing of them, by whatever means was employed. To say they were complicit in the Holocaust is disingenuous at best.

While I doubt there are many people still alive who were complicit, the Nazis had very little trouble identifying and corralling Polish Jews. While the Poles may have resisted the German Army for a while, little resistance remained after the surrender, and what followed could only be called craven complicity.

That's just basic human psychology. If you feel threatened you will do what you can to stay alive. Everybody under a totalitarian government feels threatened all the time. That's how they operate psychologically. All the concentration camp capos in the Jewish baracks were Jewish and they effectively ran the camps. The famous "love commando" where Jews were forced to work in concentration camp brothels was only open to Jews. The people who used these prostitutes were all other Jews. They got rewarded with the prostitutes for collaboration.

I don't see much of a difference. It doesn't really matter that the Poles were also antisemitic. That doesn't make them complicit any more than the Polish Jews IMHO. Giving a shit about anything other than yourself under the Nazis was a rare luxury.

This response doesn't make sense, but you seem to be saying Polish Jews share guilt with non-Jewish Poles, because some Jews in concentration camps had access to Jewish prostitutes.
 

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The people of Nanking know better.

The latest reasonable date for the start of WWII in my opinion is the Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937. The earliest date is 1914, if we consider the Great War to have gone 'cold' for a couple of decades after the 1918 armistice, and to have run from 1914 to 1945. That's not much different from the historical convention that the Hundred Years War was a single war between England and France.
 

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That's just basic human psychology. If you feel threatened you will do what you can to stay alive. Everybody under a totalitarian government feels threatened all the time. That's how they operate psychologically. All the concentration camp capos in the Jewish baracks were Jewish and they effectively ran the camps. The famous "love commando" where Jews were forced to work in concentration camp brothels was only open to Jews. The people who used these prostitutes were all other Jews. They got rewarded with the prostitutes for collaboration.

I don't see much of a difference. It doesn't really matter that the Poles were also antisemitic. That doesn't make them complicit any more than the Polish Jews IMHO. Giving a shit about anything other than yourself under the Nazis was a rare luxury.

This response doesn't make sense, but you seem to be saying Polish Jews share guilt with non-Jewish Poles, because some Jews in concentration camps had access to Jewish prostitutes.

No, I'm saying that guilt is not a black or white proposition. It's all shades of grey. And above all, impossible to say who is more complicit than anybody else. That's what's so insidious about totalitarianism. It corrupts people. It can make good people do evil things.
 

Bomb#20

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Only individuals can be complicit.

Sure. But, so? How is that at all relevant to this discussion?
This is a discussion of group complicity accusations, and since only individuals can be complicit, all such accusations are deeply flawed. To tell how flawed a given accusation is, we need to consider to what extent it's an accusation against a group as a whole vs. an accusation against some subset. For example:

"Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust?"​

That's a false inference. You switched from "Poles" to "the Jews". In English, adding the "the" makes it an accusation against most or all Jews. Saying it without the "the" leaves it ambiguous as to whether he was accusing a few Poles, or a lot of Poles, or most Poles. Couldn't say if definite articles have the same semantic effect in Swedish.

No, I'm saying that guilt is not a black or white proposition. It's all shades of grey. And above all, impossible to say who is more complicit than anybody else. That's what's so insidious about totalitarianism. It corrupts people. It can make good people do evil things.
It's impossible to say which group is more complicit than any other group when we're comparing one gross overgeneralization with another gross overgeneralization. It's perfectly straightforward to say which complicit individual is more complicit than any other complicit individual. Would any sane person deny that Quisling was more complicit than Laval? The one collaborated for the sake of personal ambition, the other in an attempt to minimize the harm done to his country.
 

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This is a discussion of group complicity accusations, and since only individuals can be complicit, all such accusations are deeply flawed. To tell how flawed a given accusation is, we need to consider to what extent it's an accusation against a group as a whole vs. an accusation against some subset. For example:

"Israel's foreign minister Yisrael Katz says that Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. If that is true, then surely, the Jews were also complicit in the holocaust?"​

That's a false inference. You switched from "Poles" to "the Jews". In English, adding the "the" makes it an accusation against most or all Jews. Saying it without the "the" leaves it ambiguous as to whether he was accusing a few Poles, or a lot of Poles, or most Poles. Couldn't say if definite articles have the same semantic effect in Swedish.

Even though only individuals can be complicit. We can hold groups of people accountable for the actions of some of it's members. That's how nations work. The British government's job is to keep it's citizens in line. Because it reflects badly on Great Britain when a British person goes and does something horrendous in another country. We tend to separate the things that Great Britain can do something about, with the things they can't do anything about. The things that can't be helped we let slide. But the things that can't be we hold entire nations accountable for. And if it's something we voted into power then all citizens, even those who didn't vote for it, are all held accountable. Which is why the American government has apologised for slavery, or how they treated native Americans back in the day.

So basically... you're wrong.

No, I'm saying that guilt is not a black or white proposition. It's all shades of grey. And above all, impossible to say who is more complicit than anybody else. That's what's so insidious about totalitarianism. It corrupts people. It can make good people do evil things.
It's impossible to say which group is more complicit than any other group when we're comparing one gross overgeneralization with another gross overgeneralization. It's perfectly straightforward to say which complicit individual is more complicit than any other complicit individual. Would any sane person deny that Quisling was more complicit than Laval? The one collaborated for the sake of personal ambition, the other in an attempt to minimize the harm done to his country.

So? It's still shades of grey. Some darker than others.
 

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Even though only individuals can be complicit. We can hold groups of people accountable for the actions of some of it's members. That's how nations work. The British government's job is to keep it's citizens in line. Because it reflects badly on Great Britain when a British person goes and does something horrendous in another country. We tend to separate the things that Great Britain can do something about, with the things they can't do anything about. The things that can't be helped we let slide. But the things that can't be we hold entire nations accountable for. And if it's something we voted into power then all citizens, even those who didn't vote for it, are all held accountable. Which is why the American government has apologised for slavery, or how they treated native Americans back in the day.

So basically... you're wrong.
So basically, I'm wrong because a brain-damaged subculture that thinks guilt-by-proxy is just peachy is currently in the ascendant and has successfully bullied much of the rest of western culture into acquiescing to its "There's no such thing as an Israeli civilian." approach to moral judgment? Is that your argument in a nutshell? If this were four hundred years ago no doubt you'd be telling me I'm wrong to dispute that the Jews are Christ-killers. Hey, if a brain-damaged subculture deciding to turn justice upside down is enough to make it so, I think there's a different brain-damaged subculture that says you're guilty of Adam eating a forbidden fruit. So basically, you better get down on your knees and start praying to be forgiven for your Original Sin.

I didn't vote for Trump, so basically, everybody who "holds me accountable" for Trump's misbehavior can take their broken moral sense and shove it up their asses.
 

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Even though only individuals can be complicit. We can hold groups of people accountable for the actions of some of it's members. That's how nations work. The British government's job is to keep it's citizens in line. Because it reflects badly on Great Britain when a British person goes and does something horrendous in another country. We tend to separate the things that Great Britain can do something about, with the things they can't do anything about. The things that can't be helped we let slide. But the things that can't be we hold entire nations accountable for. And if it's something we voted into power then all citizens, even those who didn't vote for it, are all held accountable. Which is why the American government has apologised for slavery, or how they treated native Americans back in the day.

So basically... you're wrong.
So basically, I'm wrong because a brain-damaged subculture that thinks guilt-by-proxy is just peachy is currently in the ascendant and has successfully bullied much of the rest of western culture into acquiescing to its "There's no such thing as an Israeli civilian." approach to moral judgment? Is that your argument in a nutshell? If this were four hundred years ago no doubt you'd be telling me I'm wrong to dispute that the Jews are Christ-killers. Hey, if a brain-damaged subculture deciding to turn justice upside down is enough to make it so, I think there's a different brain-damaged subculture that says you're guilty of Adam eating a forbidden fruit. So basically, you better get down on your knees and start praying to be forgiven for your Original Sin.

I didn't vote for Trump, so basically, everybody who "holds me accountable" for Trump's misbehavior can take their broken moral sense and shove it up their asses.

Yes, that is exactly how it works. If you are American you are part of the American voting populace that put Trump into power, and therefore should be held accountable for his actions, even if you didn't vote for Trump. It's a shared responsibility. But of course, your part in that shared guilt is very small. I'm willing to bet that most people think Donald Trump is a representative of USA and does see the all Americans and sharing the guilt of whatever idiocies he does. When he does stupid stuff it's embarrassing for all Americans and they should all feel shame about it. Whether they do or don't, is beside the point. I'm just saying what I think most people outside USA think about Trump and Americans. The flip side is Americans feeling pride about stuff that Obama did. If you feel pride about Obama but not shame about Trump, then you are morally inconsistent. Regardless of how you voted.

I think your individualistic interpretation of guilt is extreme and rarely applicable in the real world. We are always part of one group or another and we act as members of collectives. Humans are extremely social beings and influence each other a lot. Our actions will change depending on what group we find ourselves in, and what social pressures are put on that group. The idea that you would always have the same moral values no matter the social context is delusional. I blame Sartre for this idiotic concept. I wish it would stop. We are all moral relativists. Either we are aware of it or we cling to the fantasy that we aren't.

Our memories are self serving, and we don't notice how we slide around all over the place as long as we make ourselves the hero (or victim) of our story. The Americans of mature age during WW2 think they played their part in saving Europe from German aggression, while the Germans were victims of Hitlers oppression. The truth is that both of them had about as much or little influence on what their country was up to. Christians might think the Jews colluded in murdering Christ and hold them collectively responsible while the Jews might point out that Jesus is just a fictional character in a story. These are all versions of events to glorify our own side. These stories are not intended to find truth. They are vehicles for creating social cohesion and a shared identity.
 

Angra Mainyu

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DrZoidberg said:
Yes, that is exactly how it works. If you are American you are part of the American voting populace that put Trump into power, and therefore should be held accountable for his actions, even if you didn't vote for Trump.
That is absurd.
Does your sense of right and wrong actually yields the verdict that, say, B20 or for that matter the people who did their best to have Sanders or Clinton elected, are guilty of voting for Trump, or do you come up with this idea as a result of some moral theory? If the latter, which theory? (I would say any theory that yields that result is false, and precisely a way of showing conclusively that it is false is that it has an obviously false implication).

At any rate, I have the following question: What is the immoral behavior that B20 engaged in, in your view? It surely was not voting for Trump, because he did not do that. So, what was the immoral behavior in question?
 

DrZoidberg

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DrZoidberg said:
Yes, that is exactly how it works. If you are American you are part of the American voting populace that put Trump into power, and therefore should be held accountable for his actions, even if you didn't vote for Trump.
That is absurd.
Does your sense of right and wrong actually yields the verdict that, say, B20 or for that matter the people who did their best to have Sanders or Clinton elected, are guilty of voting for Trump, or do you come up with this idea as a result of some moral theory? If the latter, which theory? (I would say any theory that yields that result is false, and precisely a way of showing conclusively that it is false is that it has an obviously false implication).

At any rate, I have the following question: What is the immoral behavior that B20 engaged in, in your view? It surely was not voting for Trump, because he did not do that. So, what was the immoral behavior in question?

I don't know what "B20" refers to?
 

Angra Mainyu

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DrZoidberg said:
Yes, that is exactly how it works. If you are American you are part of the American voting populace that put Trump into power, and therefore should be held accountable for his actions, even if you didn't vote for Trump.
That is absurd.
Does your sense of right and wrong actually yields the verdict that, say, B20 or for that matter the people who did their best to have Sanders or Clinton elected, are guilty of voting for Trump, or do you come up with this idea as a result of some moral theory? If the latter, which theory? (I would say any theory that yields that result is false, and precisely a way of showing conclusively that it is false is that it has an obviously false implication).

At any rate, I have the following question: What is the immoral behavior that B20 engaged in, in your view? It surely was not voting for Trump, because he did not do that. So, what was the immoral behavior in question?

I don't know what "B20" refers to?
It means "Bomb#20". He is one of the people that you are accusing of immoral behavior for the election of Trump. I am asking what you accuse him of, specifically. He did not vote for Trump. He voted for another candidate. He did not argue in favor of Trump. He criticized Trump, repeatedly. Since you are saying that he "should be held accountable for his actions", I am asking you what immoral behavior Bomb#20 - not Trump, but Bomb#20 - engaged in. In other words, what moral obligation did he have, that he failed to respect?
 

Bronzeage

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That's just basic human psychology. If you feel threatened you will do what you can to stay alive. Everybody under a totalitarian government feels threatened all the time. That's how they operate psychologically. All the concentration camp capos in the Jewish baracks were Jewish and they effectively ran the camps. The famous "love commando" where Jews were forced to work in concentration camp brothels was only open to Jews. The people who used these prostitutes were all other Jews. They got rewarded with the prostitutes for collaboration.

I don't see much of a difference. It doesn't really matter that the Poles were also antisemitic. That doesn't make them complicit any more than the Polish Jews IMHO. Giving a shit about anything other than yourself under the Nazis was a rare luxury.

This response doesn't make sense, but you seem to be saying Polish Jews share guilt with non-Jewish Poles, because some Jews in concentration camps had access to Jewish prostitutes.

No, I'm saying that guilt is not a black or white proposition. It's all shades of grey. And above all, impossible to say who is more complicit than anybody else. That's what's so insidious about totalitarianism. It corrupts people. It can make good people do evil things.

No. It is possible to say who is more complicit than others.

The statement that such a thing is impossible can quickly be shown to be absurd by pointing out that Adolf Hitler was more complicit in the deaths of Jews in Poland, than I am.
 

DrZoidberg

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No, I'm saying that guilt is not a black or white proposition. It's all shades of grey. And above all, impossible to say who is more complicit than anybody else. That's what's so insidious about totalitarianism. It corrupts people. It can make good people do evil things.

No. It is possible to say who is more complicit than others.

The statement that such a thing is impossible can quickly be shown to be absurd by pointing out that Adolf Hitler was more complicit in the deaths of Jews in Poland, than I am.

Neither you nor Hitler belong to the group we call Poles suffering under the Nazi occupation. So those two individuals are not relevant to the question.

A big problem with affixing guilt to fascists is that many fascists have noble motives. They want fairness, justice, more law and order, more freedom and all the other stuff people usually say they want. And they think fascism is the best method by which to reach it. So what happens when Germany invades? Polish fascists are now in a bind. By virtue of being fascists they're already seen as complicit of the invasion by the other Poles. So they're, by the rest of society, pushed towards collaboration. And since there's loads of material benefits involved, they have little reason to fight the urge. And then after liberation we forget how the rest of society pushed them towards collaboration. We treat them like individuals who acted on their own accord. It ignores human psychology and how we make decisions.

The above is what happened to Quisling. After the Russian revolution he spent a lot of time in Russia, and decided that communism was the biggest threat to western civilisation at that time. Whatever stopped the spread of communism would have his support. He decided that the political party he was a prominent member of didn't take this threat seriously enough. So he left it and created the Norwegian fascist party. During WW2 he was very pro Hitler because nobody took a harder hard-line against communism than Hitler. It was a bunch of small steps which at some point placed him in a position where collaboration with the Nazis was his only viable option.

The context within which we find ourselves matter. We all want status, health, love and wealth. Every society has a hierarchy. Those in a comfortable position in that hierarchy love passing judgement on the moral failings of those who commit crimes to climb in the hierarchy. Without reflecting on that it's them who are keeping those lower on the totem pole, and creating the context which pushes these people towards committing the crimes, to begin with. That's what Karl Marx realised. And Nietzsche. It's fundamental human psychological mechanics you need to accept understand to make sense of the world. How we chose to deal with them is another matter. Which is why Marx and Nietzsche has two diametrically different solutions to the same basic problem.

The senior positions of the Nazi party was full of the lower middle class. People who stared in envy at those socially superior and they loved going there. Goebels loved spending time with upper class Jews and admired them. He wrote it in his diary. He liked that people that fancy was now treating him like a social superior. He knew he wasn't really their social superior. He didn't have the education or breeding. He also wrote that in his diary.
 
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