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January 28, 2017

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jabgoe

in west germany way back in the early eighties, when i was still a kid and the nazi times became a topic in the history lessons at school i asked my grandmother about the time the nazis had taken over the country. she had lived through the war but hardly ever talked about it, her topics were the harsh post war years she had spent in berlin. she sometimes mentioned the bombing, too, but nazis always were absent in her rare stories about the past.
when i asked her if theses stories about the nazis were true, she admitted that yes but claimed only some high up nazis had known about those crimes and nobody else had ever heard about the kz back then. when i later asked her how it could have happened that nobody had noticed the deportation of neighbours and why nobody had tried to do anything against it her reply was that of course some people had witnessed these deportations but nobody had dared to protest because protesters would have gone straight to the kz.
my grandmother was a lovely woman, i really loved her very much. but she refused to see the contradictions in her answers and that made me quite angry. this was a clear proof for me, that everybody had known about the holocaust, might be not about its full extent. and those who claimed not to have known anything could do so only by fiercly impersonating the three monkeys.

David

@jabgoe thanks for sharing about your grandmother.

When I was a student in Freiburg I had frequent conversations with my landlady - a very nice woman - about this topic. Her answer was always the same: "Zum Tango gehören immer zwei!" She knew, but felt the Jews were also partly responsible for what happened to them.

James

"Millions of Germans watched and cheered"

Speculative.

Hattie

Ordinary Germans had civil rights and could appeal to courts, etc. They could speak out, they could complain, which many did, quite vociferously, esp. after everything starting turning to shit. They were not persecuted by their government. It was the people declared as enemies of Das Volk, slave laborers, etc. who had no rights. The picture of a cowed, basically decent citizenry living under the yolk of fascism is false, and it's used to cover up crimes of Germans. This ploy worked on Americans for a long time, who were considered naive; German perpetrators laughed up their sleeves at the stupid, gullible Yankees who bought their stories.

Hattie

That should be "yoke," of course!

hyperbola

@Hattie
Seems rather similar to the status of the "gullible Yankees" these days. Remember that Killary and her "guru" Albright were keen supporters of this.

The Biggest Crime You’ve Never Heard Of
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41997.htm

They must have known, mustn’t they? How could they not? Perhaps they chose not to know. With the world commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the nazi-run death camps the question of what ordinary Germans knew (and did) about the genocide their government was perpetrating has once again been in the news.

Of course, the assumption behind much of the coverage of the liberation of Belsen and other camps is that we, living enlightened lives in contemporary Britain, are lucky to live in a society where horrendous crimes do not happen. And if they did, they would be quickly reported by our free and stroppy media and quickly halted.

But what if our own government has been responsible for genocide-level suffering, without the media raising the alarm and therefore leaving the general public in a state of ignorance?

What would this say about our political class? What would it say about the media? And what would it say about us?

Unfortunately this isn’t a hypothetical debate but the cold, brutal reality.....

..... In protest at what 70 members of the US congress called “infanticide masquerading as policy,” Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq who ran the sanctions regime, resigned in 1998. Noting the sanctions were causing the deaths of up to 5,000 children a month, Halliday bluntly stated: “We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral.”

Speaking to journalist John Pilger, Halliday later explained: “I was instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide — a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”...

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