Faith, Authoritarianism, Totalitarianism
(Top Posts - History - 022102)
Pro-humanity demands and compels
that any and all
causes of anti-humanism be placed into the abyss of
human behavior never to be instigated upon human-
kind again, ever. Those of us with a strong desire to
prevent/eliminate anti-humanism are able to look at
the past, openly, for clues as to what were the causal
factors involved and what humans must be forever
on guard against allowing to recur ...
"... Do you think christians are just in calling
God a 'God of Love' and in calling blind faith
'moral' when blind faith has been used to
inspire such horrors -or- when a 'God of
Love' has allowed his followers to commit
such horrors in this real world we all share?"
Church as Sinner (041701)
"... Constantine's Sword : The Church and
the Jews: A History ... by James Carroll ...
maps the profoundly troubling two-thousand-
year course of the battle against Judaism and
faces the crisis of faith it has provoked in his
own life as a Catholic. More than a chronicle
of religion, this dark history is the central tra-
gedy of Western civilization, its fault lines
reaching deep into our culture. ..."
Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism,
by David Kertzer (aka Unholy War)
- - begin excerpts - - -
Kertzer's book refutes the Church's thesis that the
Holocaust grew out of "an anti-Judaism that was essen-
tially more sociological and political than religious."
fact, Kertzer asserts, those dimensions of European
anti-Semitism developed "in no small part due to the
efforts of the Roman Catholic Church itself."
racial laws of fascist Italy and the Nuremberg Laws
of 1930s Germany, for example, were directly modeled
on the Church's own rules governing treatment of Jews:
until the collapse of the Papal States in the late 19th cen-
tury, Jews living in these territories were forced to wear
yellow badges and live in ghettos. ...
- - end excerpts - - -
Editorial note: Apparently, this book is marketed under the
title "Unholy War" in Great Britain [The Times - link inactive]
- - begin excerpts - - -
January 18 2002
Roman Catholic Church's endorsement of anti-
Semitism in the 19th century paved the way for the
Holocaust, says the historian David Kertzer
is a sordid and shocking story, if true. The Roman
Catholic Church is accused of fuelling the rise of anti-
Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
own ghettos and anti-Jewish laws were models for
Vatican allowed Jewish children to be seized, separ-
ated from their parents and forced into the Catholic faith.
pet newspapers ran racist campaigns that are vile even
by the poisonous standards of the era. And its priests
enthusiastically endorsed and encouraged a revival of
the atrocious medieval accusation that Jews were ritually
murdering Christian priests and children.
all this a succession of Popes --from Pius VII in
Napoleonic times to Pius XII, who negotiated a mutually
beneficial concordat with Hitler-- turned a blind eye.
was the road to the Holocaust paved with godly
Kertzer thinks... The Holocaust was going to happen
anyway by the time he became Pope. The important point
is that anti-Semitism was nurtured by the Church for so
many centuries before that, making so many people sus-
ceptible to Nazi ideology.
Kertzer looks first at the period, from the defeat of
Napoleon to the unification of Italy in 1870, when Jews
found themselves governed directly by the Church in the
Papal States. He finds that the Jews were subjected to
the same kind of official indignities that the Nazis later
imposed with their Nuremberg race laws.
were confined to grotesquely crowded and cholera-
riddled ghettos, forced to wear yellow badges, forbidden
from doing business or consorting with Christians, publicly
humiliated during carnivals, compelled to listen to sermons
denouncing their faith, and frequently snatched by Inquisi-
tion hit-squads and sent to the infamous House of Cate-
chumens for a 40-day indoctrination designed to persuade
them into Christian baptism.
makes gruesome enough reading. But it pales beside
what happened later in the 19th century, when the Church
was emasculated politically by the new Italian state and
felt itself besieged by the forces of modernity.
to bolster its popularity with the restless working
classes, it started to depict the newly emancipated Jews
not only as rich, greedy capitalists but also (with a won-
drous lack of logic) as dangerous socialists, intent on
destabilising Christian society.
was the period when Catholic priests enthusiastic-
ally distributed notorious fakes ... as evidence of a
Jewish plot for world domination. And it was also the
time when the Catholic press ... unleashed a flood of
vitriolic anti-Jewish articles.
So repulsive was this propaganda that, as the Nazis
began to acquire power, some Catholic bishops took
steps to distance themselves from it. The Bishop of
Linz, for instance, issued a pastoral letter which de-
clared that "to hate the Jewish people . . . is inhuman
he didn't stop there. "It is beyond
doubt," he continued, "that many Jews exercise an
extremely pernicious influence in almost all sectors
of modern civilisation." He concludes, chillingly:
"One can only hope that Aryans and Christians will
increasingly come to recognise the dangers created
by the Jewish spirit and fight them more tenaciously."
"denunciations" like that from the Church, the
Nazis had no need of endorsements.
the worst anti-Semitic propaganda uncovered by
Kertzer surrounded the ghastly "blood libel" trials, in
which Jews were framed for the murder of Christians,
and accused of draining their victims' blood for Pass-
was flabbergasted to discover that, until well into
the 20th century, Jews were still being accused of
ritual murder and the Church was not condemning
such an accusation," Kertzer says.
Kertzer accepts that not all Catholics were anti-
Semitic, and that some boldly made their feelings
known to the Vatican. In the archives he found a letter
to the Pope written by Prince von Metternich, the
Austrian statesman, which complains that the Vati-
can's treatment of Jews was "no longer in harmony
with the times in which we live." That was in 1843.
Sadly, the Pope refused to budge.
years later, three distinguished English Catholics
--Cardinal Vaughan, Lord Russell (then the Chief
Justice) and the Duke of Norfolk-- similarly protested
to the Vatican about its continued tacit encouragement
of ritual murder accusations against Jews.
was a brave and honourable gesture, but again it had
no effect. Indeed, Kertzer has discovered a series of
contemptuous notes in the Vatican archives which
describe the English Catholics as "poor dupes" who
have come under the influence of "the powerful Jews
in London" (ie, the Rothschild banking dynasty).
chronicles one other notable attempt among
well-intentioned Catholics to change the Church's
attitude to Jews as the tide of anti-Semitism rose
throughout Europe. In 1926 a new Catholic associa-
tion called the Friends of Israel was formed in Rome.
founders argued that Jews should be treated with
respect, not stigmatised as "the slayers of Christ."
two years its membership included 3,000 Catho-
lic priests, 278 bishops and 19 cardinals.
even this mild revolt was too much for the Vatican,
Kertzer says. In 1928, the Inquisition ruled that the
Friends of Israel was guilty of heresy, and closed the
Pius XI is subject to some of Kertzer's most scathing
paragraphs. Before he became Pope he was sent as a
papal envoy to Poland. Violent anti-Semitic feelings were
being fuelled there by prominent Catholic clergy such as
the notorious Jozef Kruszynski, who in 1920 penned the
ominous words: "If the world is to be rid of the Jewish
scourge, it will be necessary to exterminate them, down
to the last one."
far from condemning such rabble-rousers, the future
Pope seems to have sympathised with them. His report
back to Rome includes the words: "One of the most evil
and strongest influences felt here is that of the Jews."
This is the view of the man who would be Pope during
the years when the Nazis came to power. ...
- - end excerpts - - -
per christian claims of atheist causality of genocide
in recent history, here are some links/excerpts which
briefly address the events at issue (note - the britannica
links were freely available at the time this segment was
originally written - now, however, you must subscribe
to their site in order to access the full contents referred
to in the following segment) ...
06/24/2001 4:03 pm ET
Pope condemns Nazi massacres, says
Jews persecuted because of religion
"KIEV, Ukraine (AP) Keeping up his tone of atonement
for Catholic inaction to stop the Holocaust, Pope John
Paul II on Sunday condemned Nazi massacres and said
Jews endured suffering and injustice throughout the ages
only because they were faithful to their religion.
pope made his comments on the eve of a visit to Babi
Yar, a ravine where tens of thousands of Jews and others
were killed and buried in mass graves during the World
War II Nazi occupation of Ukraine.
1998, the Vatican issued a document asking forgiveness
for the cowardice of some Catholic nations and individuals
during the Holocaust and condemning anti-Semitism down
the centuries. But many Jewish leaders said the document
failed to apologize unequivocally for the church's role, and
it defended Pope Pius XII, who kept silent in the face of
reports of Nazi atrocities.
March 2000, the Pope issued a special prayer in Rome,
a copy of which he later placed at the Western Wall, Juda-
ism's holiest site in Jerusalem. In it, the pope said Jews
were chosen to bring God's name to the nations, asked
forgiveness for the deeds of those who made them suffer
and pledged commitment to "genuine brotherhood with
the people of the Covenant." ..."
Church History (022001)
"... I do think the Roman Catholic religion
is a disease of the mind which has a
particular epidemiology similar to that of
a virus... -Richard Dawkins ..."
Excerpt: "... From the late Middle Ages to the
early 18th century, vehement opposition to the
witch cult was demonstrated throughout Europe
in public 'trials' and executions, conducted on
the basis of the biblical injunction 'You shall not
permit a sorceress to live' (Ex. 22:18).
of those who denounced these measures,
pointing to psychological factors at the root of
alleged evidence, were themselves burned at the
of the witchcraft trials have been variously
estimated to number from the hundreds of thousands
to the millions. ..."
christian west, steeped in blood, a history of
reckless disregard for human life, most clearly
the historical devastation of native Americans,
the callous slavery/denigration/deaths that christian
Europe cursed black Africa with,
the constant warring (century after century) by
Europeans upon Europeans (most often, christians
killing christians, and on fewer occasions, christians
killing muslims and muslims killing christians)
warring in America (American christians killing
American christians in the Civil War, and American
and French and British christians killing one another
on native American soil),
the only two visitations of nuclear horror upon the
face of the earth, by so-called christian America upon
Shinto Japan (instantly killing hundreds of thousands
of civilians and destroying the potential for life for most
of the survivors).
example of how the christian west is culpable
when it comes to genocide/violence. When you read
this story, think of 800,000 Americans or 800,000
Britains, and ponder the value of all human life:
Triumph of Evil - How the West Ignored
Warnings of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide and
Turned Its Back On the Victims
Excerpt: "The Triumph of Evil" is a vivid and revealing
report on how the 1994 Rwanda genocide could have
on dramatic footage, previously confidential
cables and interviews with U.N. and U.S. officials,
FRONTLINE investigates how months earlier the U.S.
and U.N. had been warned by a key Rwandan informant
about the coming slaughter.
the warning, the West didn't try to prevent it.
once the genocide started, didn't try to halt it.
just 100 days, the Hutu majority of Rwanda murdered
an estimated 800,000 of their Tutsi countrymen--a rate of
killing that was faster than the Nazis.
its indictment of the West's failure to act, The Triumph
of Evil chronicles significant points in the unfolding genocide.
shows how a U.N. peacekeeping force of over 2,500 was
unable to protect Tutsis seeking sanctuary. How, as the mas-
sacres spread, the U.N. withdrew its force, abandoning Tutsi
at a point when Rwanda was literally overflowing with
corpses, the program shows how U.S. and U.N. officials
still refrained from calling it genocide so they wouldn't have
to get involved. ..."
regards recent history ...
Excerpt: "... As for class struggle in China itself, Mao's fear
that revisionism might appear there was also heightened by
the policies pursued in the early 1960s to deal with the eco-
nomic consequences of the Great Leap Forward.
disorganization and waste created by the Great Leap,
compounded by natural disasters and by the termination of
Soviet economic aid, led to widespread famine in which,
according to much later official Chinese accounts, millions
of people died. ..."
Zedong - Assessment
Complete: "While the Cultural Revolution was an entirely
logical culmination of Mao's last two decades, it was by
no means the only possible outcome of his approach to
revolution, nor need a judgment of his work as a whole
be based primarily on this last phase.
would deny Mao Zedong the major share of credit
for devising the pattern of struggle based on guerrilla
warfare in the countryside that ultimately led to victory
in the civil war and thereby to the overthrow of the Kuo-
mintang, the distribution of land to the peasants, and
the restoration of China's independence and sovereignty.
achievements must be given a weight commen-
surate with the degree of injustice prevailing in Chinese
society before the revolution and with the humiliation felt
by the Chinese people as a result of the dismemberment
of their country by the foreign powers. 'We have stood
up,' Mao said in September 1949. These words will not
record after 1949 is more ambiguous. The official
Chinese view, defined in June 1981, is that his leadership
was basically correct until the summer of 1957, but from
then on it was mixed at best and frequently quite wrong.
cannot be disputed that Mao's two major innovations of
his later years, the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution,
were ill-conceived and led to disastrous consequences.
His goals of combating bureaucracy, encouraging popular
participation, and stressing China's self-reliance were gen-
erally laudable, but the methods he used to pursue them,
though bold and imaginative, were largely self-defeating.
at Mao's whole career, it is not easy to put a figure
on the positive and negative aspects. How does one weigh
the good fortune of peasants acquiring land against millions
of executions and deaths from civil war?
does one balance the real economic achievements after
1949 against the starvation that came in the wake of the Great
Leap Forward or the bloody shambles of the Cultural Revo-
is, perhaps, possible to accept the official verdict that, des-
pite the 'errors of his later years,' Mao's merits outweighed
his faults, while underscoring the fact that the account is very
Stalin - By the by, Stalin trained to be an Orthodox
christian minister - apparently, his training did nothing to pre-
vent his succeeding anti-humanism ...
- History - Soviet and post-Soviet Russia
New Economic Policy (1921-28)
Excerpt: "Forced requisitioning led to peasant revolts, and
the Tambov province revolt of 1920 in particular forced
Lenin to change his War Communism policy. He and the
Bolshevik leadership were willing to slaughter the mutinous
sailors of the Kronstadt naval base in March 1921, but they
could not survive if the countryside turned against them.
They would simply starve to death. A tactical retreat from
enforced socialism was deemed necessary, a move that
was deeply unpopular with the Bolshevik rank and file. ...
Communist Party members agreed that the goal was
socialism, and this meant the dominance of the industrial
economy. The working class, the natural constituency of
the Communist Party, had to grow rapidly. There was also
the question of the country's security. Moscow lived in fear
of an attack during the 1920s and concluded a number of
peace treaties and nonaggression pacts with neighbouring
and other countries. ...
death in January 1924 set off a succession struggle
that lasted until the end of the decade. Stalin eventually out-
witted Trotsky, Lenin's natural successor, and various other
contenders. Stalin, who had become general secretary of the
party in 1922, used the party as a power base.
economic debate was won by those who favoured rapid
industrialization and forced collectivization. The NEP engend-
ered not only a flowering of Russian culture but also that of
non-Russian and non-Slavic cultures. Russia itself had been
an empire with many non-Russian citizens, and the emergence
of numerous national elites was a trend of considerable con-
cern to Stalin and his leadership.
under Stalin (1928-53)
a Georgian, surprisingly turned out to be a great Russian
nationalist. During the 1930s and '40s he promoted Russian his-
tory, Russian language, and Russian national and cultural heroes,
and he held the Russians up as the elder brother for the non-Slavs
benefited first and foremost Russia. Collectiv-
ization, though, met with considerable resistance in rural areas.
in particular, suffered harshly at Stalin's hands because
of forced collectivization. He encountered strenuous resistance
there, for which he never forgave the Ukrainians. His policies
thereafter brought widespread starvation to that republic, espe-
cially in 1932-33, when possibly millions may have died.
many party officials from Ukraine came to Mos-
cow to make their careers, among them Nikita S. Khrushchev,
who succeeded Stalin. The armed forces were dominated by
Russians and Ukrainians, but the upper echelons of the Com-
munist Party did not contain as many Ukrainians as might have
been expected, given the size of that republic. The political
police, on the other hand, had many non-Russians at the top,
especially Georgians and Armenians. ...
German invasion in June 1941 resulted in much of Ukraine
being overrun. Many Ukrainians welcomed the Wehrmacht
(German armed forces). Stalin was already displeased with the
Ukrainians, and this reinforced his feelings. In his victory toast
he drank to the Russian triumph over the Germans. This was
in line with Stalin's wartime policies, through which he rehabil-
itated the Russian Orthodox church while identifying himself
personally with previous Russian leaders such as the medieval
prince Dmitri Donskoy and the tsars Ivan IV the Terrible and
Peter I the Great. ...
Bolsheviks had always been mindful of minorities on their
frontiers, and the first deportation of non-Russian minorities to
Siberia and Central Asia began in the 1920s. Russian Cossacks
also were removed forcibly from their home areas in the North
Caucasus and elsewhere because of their opposition to collec-
tivization and communist rule.
security grounds Stalin deported some entire small nationality
groups, many with their own territorial base, such as the Chechen
and Ingush, from 1944 onward. They were accused of collabor-
ating with the Germans. The Volga Germans were deported in
the autumn of 1941 lest they side with the advancing Wehrmacht.
more than 50 nationalities, embracing about 3.5 mil-
lion people, were deported to various parts of the U.S.S.R. The
vast majority of these were removed from European Russia to
Asiatic Russia. Nearly 50 years later, President Boris Yeltsin
apologized for these deportations, identifying them as a major
source of interethnic conflict in Russia. ...
Excerpt: "...In 1928 Stalin abandoned Lenin's quasi-capi-
talist New Economic Policy in favour of headlong state-
organized industrialization under a succession of five-year
plans. This was, in effect, a new Russian revolution more
devastating in its effects than those of 1917. The dictator's
blows fell most heavily on the peasantry, some 25,000,000
rustic households being compelled to amalgamate in col-
lective or state farms within a few years.
desperately, the reluctant muzhiks were attacked
by troops and OGPU (political police) units. Uncoopera-
tive peasants, termed kulaks, were arrested en masse, being
shot, exiled, or absorbed into the rapidly expanding network
of Stalinist concentration camps and worked to death under
also caused a great famine in the Ukraine.
Yet Stalin continued to export the grain stocks that a less
cruel leader would have rushed to the famine-stricken areas.
Some 10,000,000 peasants may have perished through his
policies during these years. ...
not only 'liquidated' veteran semi-independent Bolsheviks
but also many party bosses, military leaders, industrial man-
agers, and high government officials totally subservient to
victims included foreign Communists on Soviet territory
and members of the very political police organization, now
called the NKVD.
other sections of the Soviet elite, the arts, the academic
world, the legal and diplomatic professions, also lost a high
proportion of victims, as did the population at large, to a semi-
haphazard, galloping persecution that fed on extorted denun-
ciations and confessions.
implicated even more victims until Stalin himself reduced
the terror, though he never abandoned it. Stalin's political vic-
tims were numbered in tens of millions. His main motive was,
presumably, to maximize his personal power."
- History - Independence
Excerpt: "... In 1976-77 the new regime, following the lead
of Maoist China, sought to achieve the total collectivization
of Cambodia, mobilizing its population into an unpaid labour
force and seeking to double the average prerevolutionary
yields of rice immediately and on a national scale.
human costs of this ill-conceived experiment were enor-
estimates are that between April 1975 and early
1979, when the regime was overthrown, at least one million
Cambodians-about 15 percent of the total population-died
from overwork, starvation, disease, or execution.
have been drawn between these events and the fate
of European Jews in World War II, Mao's Great Leap Forward
in China in the late 1950s, and Josef Stalin's collectivization of
Ukrainian agriculture in the Soviet Union in the 1930s.
Soviet and Chinese experiments, rather than the European
Holocaust, appear to have been used as models by the Khmer
Rouge, although the proportion of the population killed in Cam-
bodia was greater than it had been in China or the Soviet Union.
number of deaths stemmed from the literalism with which
plans were carried out, the cruelty of the inexperienced com-
munist cadres, and -as far as executions were concerned- the
suspicions of the leadership that the failure of their experiment
could be traced to 'traitors' in the pay of foreign powers.
Communist Party's interrogation centre in Phnom Penh
was the site of more than 20,000 such executions. Those tor-
tured and put to death included many who had served the party
faithfully for years, victims of the extreme paranoia of Pol Pot
and his colleagues. ..."
examples of religious causality resulting in millions of
Complete: "Series of brutal campaigns conducted against the
Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Abdül-
hamid in 1894-96 and by the Young Turk government in
were about 2.5 million Christian Armenians within the
Ottoman Empire by the late 1880s. The Armenians in the
eastern provinces, encouraged by Russia, began promoting
Armenian territorial autonomy. As the movement grew, var-
ious political groups were organized, culminating in the for-
mation of two revolutionary parties called Hënchak ('The
Bell') and Dashnaktsutyun ('Union') in 1887 and 1890,
the same time, Abdülhamid, intent on suppressing all
separatist sentiments in the empire, aroused nationalistic
feelings and resentment against the Armenians among the
resulting persecution by Kurds, coupled with a drastic
increase in taxes, gave the Armenian radicals two pretexts
to rise in revolt. When the Armenians in Sasun refused to pay
the oppressive taxes, Turkish troops and Kurdish tribesmen
killed thousands of them and burned their villages (1894).
the hope of calling the attention of the European powers
to their cause, the Armenian revolutionaries staged another
demonstration two years later: they seized the Ottoman
Bank in Istanbul. The repression of this action was again
sanguinary; more than 50,000 Armenians were killed by
mobs of Muslim Turks who were apparently coordinated
by government troops.
last and worst of the massacres occurred during
World War I (1914-18). Armenians from the Caucasus
region formed volunteer battalions to help the Russian
army against the Turks. Early in 1915 these battalions
organized the recruiting of Turkish Armenians from
behind the Turkish lines.
response, the Turkish government ordered the depor-
tation of about 1,750,000 Armenians to Syria and Meso-
potamia. In the course of this forced exodus, about 600,000
Armenians died of starvation or were killed by Turkish sol-
diers and police while en route in the desert. Hundreds of
thousands more were forced into exile."
Excerpt: "Hebrew Sho'ah, Yiddish and Hebrew Hurban
('Destruction')the systematic state-sponsored killing of six
million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of
others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World
Germans called this 'the final solution to the Jewish ques-
tion.' The word Holocaust is derived from the Greek holokaus-
ton, a translation of the Hebrew word 'olah, meaning a burnt
sacrifice offered whole to God. This word was chosen because
in the ultimate manifestation of the Nazi killing program --the
extermination camps-- the bodies of the victims were consumed
whole in crematoria and open fires.
anti-Semitism and the origins of the Holocaust
Except: "... Nazi anti-Semitism was rooted in religious anti-
Semitism and enhanced by political anti-Semitism. To this
the Nazis added a further dimension: racial anti-Semitism.
racial ideology characterized the Jews as Untermenschen
(German: subhumans). The Nazis portrayed Jews as a race
and not a religious group. Religious anti-Semitism could be
resolved by conversion, political anti-Semitism by expulsion.
Ultimately, the logic of Nazi racial anti-Semitism led to annihi-
Hitler came to power legally on January 30, 1933, as
the head of a coalition government, his first objective was to
consolidate power and to eliminate political opposition. The
assault against the Jews began on April 1 with a boycott of
week later the Nazis dismissed Jews from the civil service,
and by the end of the month, the participation of Jews in Ger-
man schools was restricted by a quota. On May 10, thousands
of Nazi students, together with many professors, stormed uni-
versity libraries and bookstores in 30 cities throughout Ger-
many to remove tens of thousands of books written by non-
Aryans and those opposed to Nazi ideology.
books were tossed into bonfires in an effort to cleanse
German culture of 'un-Germanic' writings. A century earlier,
Heinrich Heine --a German poet of Jewish origin-- had said,
'Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn people.'
In Nazi Germany, the time between the burning of Jewish
books and the burning of Jews was eight years. ...
the evening of November 9, 1938, carefully orchestrated
anti-Jewish violence 'erupted' throughout the Reich, which
since March had included Austria. Over the next 48 hours
rioters burned or damaged more than 1,000 synagogues and
ransacked and broke the windows of more than 7,500 busi-
Nazis arrested some 30,000 Jewish men between the ages
of 16 and 60 and sent them to concentration camps. Police
stood by as the violence --often the action of neighbours, not
strangers-- occurred. Firemen were present not to protect the
synagogues but to ensure that the flames did not spread to
adjacent 'Aryan' property. The pogrom was given a quaint
name: Kristallnacht ('Crystal Night,' or 'Night of Broken Glass').
In its aftermath, Jews lost the illusion that they had a future in
victims of Nazism
Excerpt: "While Jews were the primary victims of Nazism as it
evolved and were central to Nazi racial ideology, other groups
were victimized as well -- some for what they did, some for
what they refused to do, and some for what they were.
dissidents, trade unionists, and Social Democrats were
among the first to be arrested and incarcerated in concentration
camps. Under the Weimar government, centuries-old prohibi-
tions against homosexuality had been overlooked, but this toler-
ance ended violently when the SA (Storm Troopers) began
raiding gay bars in 1933.
intent became just cause for prosecution. The
Nazis arrested German and Austrian male homosexuals --there
was no systematic persecution of lesbians-- and interned them
in concentration camps, where they were forced to wear special
yellow armbands and later pink triangles.
Witnesses were a problem for the Nazis because they
refused to swear allegiance to the state, register for the draft, or
utter the words "Heil Hitler." As a result the Nazis imprisoned
many of the roughly 20,000 Witnesses in Germany.
Nazis also singled out the Roma (Gypsies). They were the
only other group that the Nazis systematically killed in gas cham-
bers alongside the Jews.
1939 the Germans initiated the T4 Program --framed euphe-
mistically as a 'euthanasia' program-- for the murder of mentally
retarded, physically disabled, and emotionally disturbed Germans
who departed from the Nazi ideal of Aryan supremacy. The Nazis
pioneered the use of gas chambers and mass crematoria under
the invasion of Poland, German occupation policy
especially targeted the Jews but also brutalized non-Jewish Poles.
In pursuit of Lebensraum ('living space'), Germany sought sys-
tematically to destroy Polish society and nationhood. The Nazis
killed Polish priests and politicians, decimated the Polish leader-
ship, and kidnapped the children of the Polish elite, who were
raised as 'voluntary Aryans' by their new German 'parents.' Many
Poles were also forced to perform hard labour on survival diets,
deprived of property and uprooted, and interned in concentration
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, the
'Jewish question' became urgent. When the division of Poland
between Germany and the Soviet Union was complete, more
than two million more Jews had come under German control.
For a time, the Nazis considered shipping the Jews to the island
of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa. But as the
seas became a war zone and the resources required for such
a massive deportation scarce, they discarded the plan as im-
September 21, 1939, Reinhard Heydrich ordered the esta-
blishment of the Judenräte ('Jewish Councils'), comprising up
to 24 men -- rabbis and Jewish leaders. Heydrich's order made
these councils personally responsible in 'the literal sense of the
term' for carrying out German orders.
the Nazis sealed the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest of
German-occupied Poland's 400 ghettos, in the fall of 1940,
the Jews --then 30 percent of Warsaw's population-- were
forced into 2.4 percent of the city's area. The ghetto's popu-
lation reached a density of over 200,000 persons per square
mile (77,000 per square km) and 9.2 per room. Disease, mal-
nutrition, hunger, and poverty took their toll even before the
first bullet was fired.
the German rulers, the ghetto was a temporary measure,
a holding pen for the Jewish population until a policy on its
fate could be established and implemented. For the Jews,
ghetto life was the situation under which they thought they
would be forced to live until the end of the war. They aimed
to make life bearable, even under the most trying circum-
the Nazis prohibited schools, they opened clandestine
schools. When the Nazis banned religious life, it persisted in
hiding. The Jews used humour as a means of defiance, so too
song. They resorted to arms only late in the Nazi assault.
differ on the date of the decision to murder Jews
systematically, the so-called 'final solution to the Jewish ques-
tion.' There is debate about whether there was one central
decision or a series of regional decisions in response to local
conditions; but in either case, when Germany attacked the
Soviet Union, its former ally, in June of 1941, the Nazis be-
gan the systematic killing of Jews."
Excerpt: "Entering conquered Soviet territories alongside the
Wehrmacht (the German armed forces) were 3,000 men of
the Einsatzgruppen ('deployment groups'), special mobile
killing units. Their task was to murder Jews, Soviet commis-
sars, and Roma in the areas conquered by the army. Alone
or with the help of local police, native anti-Semitic popula-
tions, and accompanying Axis troops, the Einsatzgruppen
would enter a town, round up their victims, herd them to the
outskirts of the town, and shoot them.
killed Jews in family units. Just outside Kiev, Ukraine,
in the valley of Baby Yar, an Einsatzgruppe killed 33,771
Jews on September 28-29, 1941. In the Rumbula Forest
outside the ghetto in Riga, Latvia, 25,000-28,000 Jews died
on November 30 and December 8-9. Beginning in the sum-
mer of 1941, Einsatzgruppen killed more than 70,000 Jews
at Ponary, outside Vilna (now Vilnius) in Lithuania. They
slaughtered 9,000 Jews, half of them children, at the Ninth
Fort adjacent to Kovno (now Kaunas), Lithuania, on Octo-
mass shootings continued unabated, with a first wave
and then a second. When the killing ended in the face of a
Soviet counteroffensive, special units returned to dig up the
dead and burn their bodies to destroy the evidence of the
crimes. It is estimated that the Einsatzgruppen killed more
than one million people, most of whom were Jews.
are divided about the motivations of the members
of Einsatzgruppen. Christopher Browning describes them as
ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances in which con-
formity, peer pressure, careerism, obedience to orders, and
group solidarity gradually overcame moral inhibitions.
Goldhagen sees them as 'willing executioners,' sharing
Hitler's vision of genocidal anti-Semitism and finding their
tasks unpleasant but necessary. Both concur that no Einsatz-
gruppe member faced punishment if he asked to be excused.
Individuals had a choice whether to participate or not. Almost
all chose to become killers.
In early 1942 the Nazis built extermination camps at Tre-
blinka, Sobibor, and Belzec in Poland. The death camps were
to be the essential instrument of the 'final solution.' The Einsatz-
gruppen had traveled to kill their victims. With the extermination
camps, the process was reversed. The victims traveled by train,
often in cattle cars, to their killers. The extermination camps be-
came factories producing corpses, effectively and efficiently,
at minimal physical and psychological cost to German person-
by Ukrainian and Latvian collaborators and prisoners
of war, a few Germans could kill tens of thousands of pris-
oners each month. At Chelmno, the first of the extermination
camps, the Nazis used mobile gas vans. Elsewhere, they built
permanent gas chambers linked to the crematoria where bod-
ies were burned. Carbon monoxide was the gas of choice at
most camps. Zyklon-B, an especially lethal killing agent, was
employed primarily at Auschwitz and later at other camps.
perhaps the most notorious and lethal of the con-
centration camps, was actually three camps in one: a prison
camp (Auschwitz I), an extermination camp (Auschwitz II-
Birkenau), and a slave-labour camp (Auschwitz III-Buna-
arrival, Jewish prisoners faced what was called a Selek-
tion. A German doctor presided over the selection of pregnant
women, young children, the elderly, handicapped, sick, and
infirm for immediate death in the gas chambers. As necessary,
the Germans selected able-bodied prisoners for forced labour
in the factories adjacent to Auschwitz where one German com-
pany, IG Farben, invested 700,000 million Reichsmarks in 1942
alone to take advantage of forced labour.
of adequate food, shelter, clothing, and medical care,
these prisoners were literally worked to death. Periodically, they
would face another Selektion. The Nazis would transfer those
unable to work to the gas chambers of Birkenau.
the death camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek used in-
mates for slave labour to support the German war effort, the
extermination camps at Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibor had
one task alone: killing. At Treblinka, a staff of 120, of whom
only 30 were SS (the Nazi paramilitary corps), killed some
750,000 to 900,000 Jews during the camp's 17 months of
Belzec, German records detail a staff of 104, including
about 20 SS, who killed some 600,000 Jews in less than 10
months. At Sobibor, they murdered about 250,000. These
camps began operation during the spring and summer of 1942,
when the ghettos of German-occupied Poland were filled with
Jews. Once they had completed their missions --murder by
gassing, or 'resettlement in the east,' to use the language of
the Wannsee protocols-- the Nazis closed the camps.
were six extermination camps, all in German-occupied
Poland, among the thousands of concentration and slave-
labour camps throughout German-occupied Europe.
impact of the Holocaust varied from region to region, and
from year to year in the 21 countries that were directly affected.
Nowhere was the Holocaust more intense and sudden than in
Hungary. What took place over several years in Germany oc-
curred over 16 weeks in Hungary.
the war as a German ally, Hungary had persecuted its
Jews but not permitted their deportation. After Germany invaded
Hungary on March 19, 1944, this situation changed dramatically.
By mid-April the Nazis had confined Jews to ghettos. On May
15, deportations began, and over the next 55 days, the Nazis
deported some 438,000 Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz on
147 trains. ..."
Excerpt: "... By the winter of 1944-45, with Allied armies closing
in, desperate SS officials tried frantically to evacuate the camps
and conceal what had taken place. They wanted no eyewitnesses
were moved westward, forced to march toward the
heartland of Germany. There were over 50 different marches
from Nazi concentration and extermination camps during this
final winter of Nazi domination, some covering hundreds of
miles. The prisoners were given little or no food and water, and
almost no time to rest or take care of bodily needs. Those who
paused or fell behind were shot.
January 1945, just hours before the Red Army arrived at Ausch-
witz, the Nazis marched some 60,000 prisoners to Wodzislaw and
put them on freight trains to the camps at Bergen-Belsen, Gross-
Rosen, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Mauthausen. Nearly one in four
died en route.
April and May of 1945, American and British forces en route
to military targets entered the concentration camps in the west
and caught a glimpse of what had occurred. Even though tens
of thousands of prisoners had perished, these camps were far
from the most deadly. Still, even for the battle-weary soldiers
who thought they had already seen the worst, the sights and
smells and the emaciated survivors they encountered left an in-
Dachau they came upon 28 railway cars stuffed with dead
bodies. Conditions were so horrendous at Bergen-Belsen that
some 28,000 inmates died after they were freed, and the entire
camp had to be burned to prevent the spread of typhus. Allied
soldiers had to perform tasks for which they were ill-trained: to
heal the sick, comfort the bereaved, and bury the dead. As for
the victims, liberation was not a moment of exultation. Viktor
Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz, recalled, 'Everything was unreal.
Unlikely as in a dream. Only later --and for some it was very
much later or never-- was liberation actually liberating.'
Allies, who had early and accurate information on the murder
of the Jews, made no special military efforts to rescue them or to
bomb the camps or the railroad tracks leading to them. (See Side-
bar: Why wasn't Auschwitz bombed?) They felt that only after
victory could something be done about the Jewish situation.
were issued, condemnations were made, plans pro-
ceeded to try the guilty after the war, but no concrete action was
undertaken specifically to halt the genocide. An internal memo to
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., from his
general counsel in January 1944 characterized U.S. State Depart-
ment policy as 'acquiescence to the murder of the European
Jews.' In response Morgenthau helped spur the creation of the
War Refugee Board, which made a late and limited effort to rescue
endangered Jews, mainly through diplomacy and subterfuge.
the Germans killed victims from several groups, the
Holocaust is primarily associated with the murder of the Jews.
Only the Jews were targeted for total annihilation, and their
elimination was central to Hitler's vision of the 'New Germany.'
intensity of the Nazi campaign against the Jews continued
unabated to the very end of the war and at points even took
priority over German military efforts. ...
defeat of Nazi Germany left a bitter legacy for the German
leadership and people. Germans had committed crimes in the
name of the German people. German culture and the German
leadership --political, intellectual, social, and religious-- had
participated or been complicit in the Nazi crimes or been inef-
fective in opposing them. ..."
Excerpt: "... Conclusion - Today the Holocaust is viewed as the
emblematic manifestation of absolute evil. Its revelation of the
depths of human nature and the power of malevolent social and
governmental structures has made it an essential topic of ethical
discourse in fields as diverse as law, medicine, religion, govern-
ment, and the military.
survivors report they heard a final plea from those who
were killed: 'Remember! Do not let the world forget.' To this
responsibility to those they left behind, survivors have added
a plea of their own: 'Never again.' Never for the Jewish people.
Never for any people. They hope that remembrance of the
Holocaust can prevent its recurrence. ..."
and Herzegovina - History
Excerpt: "... The Ottoman Turks invaded Bosnia in 1386, and
after many battles it became a Turkish province in 1463. Hum
held out longer under rulers who styled themselves herceg
('duke') of St. Sava'a name recalled today in Herzegovina.
the 16th and 17th centuries, Bosnia was an important
Turkish outpost in the constant warfare against the Habsburgs
and Venice. During this period much of the native population
converted to Islam. As the Ottoman Empire was pushed out
of Europe, its rule in Bosnia became more onerous, and Mus-
lims and Christians alike grew resentful of interference from
the Congress of Berlin after the Russo-Turkish War of
1877-78, Bosnia and Herzegovina was assigned to Austro-
Hungarian occupation, though it was still nominally Turkish.
was annexed to Austria-Hungary in October 1908. A new
constitution divided the electorate into three electoral colleges
and assigned in each a fixed proportion of seats to the Orth-
odox, Roman Catholics, and Muslims.
did little to satisfy growing Serb nationalism, and on June
28, 1914, the Austrian archduke Francis Ferdinand was assas-
sinated at Sarajevo by a Bosnian Serb student, Gavrilo Princip.
This event precipitated World War I. Bosnia and Herzegovina
was annexed to Serbia on Oct. 26, 1918, as part of the King-
dom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. During World War II
Bosnian Serbs suffered greatly under the genocidal policies
of the Croatian puppet state. In 1946 the twin territory became
one of the republics of communist Yugoslavia.
the collapse of communism in 1989-90, Bosnia and Herze-
govina was engulfed by a wave of nationalism that swept Yugo-
slavia. After Croatia quit the federation in 1991, Bosnian Croats
and Bosniacs approved referenda calling for an independent,
Bosnian Serbs, however, refused to secede from Yugoslavia,
which by now was dominated by Serbia, and from 1992 Bosnia
and Herzegovina was wracked by a war in which entire popula-
tions were 'cleansed' from areas taken over by each nationality.
seized much of the north and east, Croats took the west,
and Bosniacs held onto cities in the centre and northwest. The
war ended in December 1995 with a peace accord that created
a loosely federalized Bosnia and Herzegovina divided roughly
evenly between a Bosniac-Croat federation and a Serb republic."
Bridge Betrayed : Religion and Genocide in Bosnia
(Comparative Studies in Religion and Society , No 11),
by Michael A. Sells
"The author traces the genocide against Muslims in the Bosnian
war to Serbian and Croatian religious ideology, which portrays
Muslims as betrayers of Jesus Christ who must be destroyed,
and indicts Western leaders for rewarding the war criminals."
of a Natural World (041001)
"... Let's not forget the natural state of affairs
which confronts us with a serious set of
circumstances by which only human action
can foil the at times threatening consequences
of life in a natural world. Excerpts from 'The
Pessimists Guide to History' ..."
Comments/Excerpts from "Devastation! The World's
}} Worst Natural Disasters", by Lesley Newson, are
}} prefaced with "}}"
From chart on page 78 - 29 major species extinction
}} events in the last 550 million years.
}} From page 96 ... "The millions of species that inhabit
}} the Earth today are only a tiny proportion of life that
}} ever existed. Competition between species and environ-
}} mental changes are continually causing some species to
}} disappear and others to evolve. ...
}} The dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago in the
}} most recent mass extinction. Earlier extinctions were
}} equally dramatic. More than 70 percent of animals died
}} out toward the end of the Devonian period and, at the
}} end of the Permian period, more than 90 percent of
}} species became extinct."
}} Last 100 Years - "One million people have died as a
}} direct result of earthquakes. Another million have been
}} killed by hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones.
}} Over nine million have drowned in floods. Tens of mil-
}} lions more have been claimed by drought and disease ..."
}} From page 106 ... "Infectious diseases currently kill
}} about 17 million people every year - number one
}} factor on each continent: Europe - Tuberculosis,
}} North America - AIDS, Central America - Malaria,
}} South America - Malaria, Africa - Malaria, Middle
}} East - Malaria, Southeast Asia - Malaria, North Asia
}} and Japan - Tuberculosis, South Pacific - Malaria."
}} The fundamental fact of life is that all living things
}} must compete for the Earth's resources. We see
}} ourselves as being at the top of the food chain,
}} but in reality we are providing sustenance for a
}} host of other living things. ...
}} Our rivals may lack our ability to think up new
}} ways of competing with us, but they are far more
}} numerous and can reproduce far more quickly.
}} This allows them to evolve new, more efficient
}} weapons and defenses with astonishing speed,
}} so that when they get the upper hand, even for
}} a short while, the whole of humanity is at severe
B.C. - Over 100,000 killed by a severe earth-
quake in what is now modern-day Syria.
- Pompeii and Herculaneum destroyed by
eruption of Mount Vesuvius; thousands die;
cities plunged beneath fifteen to twenty feet of
- Black death strikes; over 25 million
die in Europe.
From page 111 ... "No volcano, earthquake,
}} storm, or flood has devastated human populations
}} on the same scale as infectious disease. A plague
}} outbreak known as the Black Death killed roughly
}} one-third of the populations of Europe and Asia
}} in the Middle Ages."
}} 1492-1900 - From page 111 ... "In the years
}} following the colonization of Central America
}} by Europeans, as much as 90 percent of the
}} native population died of infectious diseases.
}} Because the victims of these disasters could
}} neither see the cause of nor find a way of pre-
}} venting their suffering, these diseases spread
}} both death and terror."
}} From page 114 ... "It has now been estimated
}} that between 1492 and 1900, the native popula-
}} tion of American dropped from 100 million to
}} less than 10 million."
}} 1755 - From page 45 ... "The Roman Catholic resi-
}} dents of Lisbon believed that their good fortune
}} depended on faith in God; the Jesuits, who were
}} based in the city, taught the people that their salvation
}} depended on the strict observance of Catholic rituals.
}} The Wrath of God - At 9:30 am, Sunday, November 1,
}} 1755, the faithful were gathered together in churches
}} and cathedrals all over Lisbon to celebrate All Saints'
}} Day. While priests were intoning mass, the ground
}} began to shake, walls swayed, and huge chunks of
}} masonry began falling on congregations across the
}} city. ... Some 60,000 people lost their lives in the
}} earthquake, 15,000 of whom lived in Lisbon. ...
}} As the survivors watched Lisbon burn and grieved
}} for their losses, it was natural for them to inquire
}} why God had destroyed their churches and killed
}} the faithful on All Saints' Day. The question was
}} taken up by scholars all over Europe, many of whom
}} rejected mystic and religious reasons in favor of a
}} quest to find a scientific explanation for the cause
}} of this disaster. This enquiry led in time to the devel-
}} opment of modern geology.
}} This revolution in thinking was reflected by the
}} practical actions of Portugal's chief minister, the
}} Marques de Pombal, who quickly assumed charge
}} of rebuilding Lisbon after the earthquake and forced
}} the Jesuits to leave the city."
}} 1845-1848 - From page 109 ... "When potato blight
}} struck in 1845, Ireland's population was nine million.
}} One-and-a-half million people died during the ensuing
}} famine, and an additional 1,600,000 emigrated."
- Virulent influenza outbreak starts at Fort Riley
and Camp Funston in Kansas; within a year, this new strain
of Spanish flu claims 22 million lives worldwide, including
over 550,000 Americans (10 times greater than the American
losses in World War I).
From page 118 ... "In the autumn of 1918, soldiers
}} fighting in World War I began to fall victim to a
}} vicious new form of influenza. It was so contagious
}} that entire units of men fell ill at once. Most of them
}} recovered, but many developed fatal complications.
}} Following the armistice in November, troops
}} returning home took the virus with them spreading
}} flu around the globe. Half of the world's population
}} fell sick and by mid-1919, 22 million people had
}} died as a result of this infection. ...
}} Spanish Flu died down only after nearly everyone
}} in the world had become immune to that form of
}} the influenza virus. New strains soon developed,
}} however, and there have been many flu epidemics
}} since. It is not known when or if a strain will
}} develop that is as virulent as the one that struck
}} between 1918 and 1919."
1981-1985 - From page 82 ... "Drought, Africa, - A
}} four year drought - Over half of Ethiopia was devastated
}} by the drought. When crops failed for the second year
}} running, 50,000 farmers flocked to the cities to sell their
}} possessions for food. After two more years without rain,
}} millions were starving. ... It is estimated that at the height
}} of the famine more than 20,000 children were dying each
}} month." [estimated that two million people starved to
}} death throughout sub-Saharan Africa.]
edicts to kill, in the bible and other holy documents,
are preserved by acts of churches/religions and their insis-
tence on including edicts to kill as foundational parts of
faith via their refusal to expunge said edicts from their
bible - Cruelty and Violence
/ sadness / despair /
recent events / islam / god (120201)
"... Recent events pertaining to Islam or reactions
to Islam in one way or another, and a few links to
Islam information of a general nature ...."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
free ourselves from detrimental consequences of life
in a natural world, anti-humanism, and slavery to imaginary
beings / authoritarianism / state and church / corporate and
financial demands for us to enslave ourselves to concepts
and ideologies that just don't cut it anymore.
future is now, this is our one and only *sure* shot at it.
take control over our lives, at this time, on this earth,
for now and forevermore.
do it for us, let's do it for those who have died for us,
let's do it for our children, let's do it for our future, together,
a community of humankind, united for that which is best for
all, in harmony and peace!