Sep 242020
 

All figures within this blog posting are based on the relevant Wikipedia articles. These are not 100% accurate because no figures are – there are academics who spend their whole career improving estimates of how many were killed.

I have a bit of a bee in the bonnet about this – and it has come up recently because :-

  1. I’d encountered a Jew who questioned that the overall total was over double the 6 million Jews killed.
  2. In association with a Twitter thread about the comparison between the ICE forced sterilisation of immigrants and the Nazis, I made a comment mentioning the other victims of the Nazis and neglected to include the Poles.
  3. On another Twitter thread, there was a discussion on US children not being aware that six million Jews had been killed in the holocaust; I don’t see not knowing the exact number (although six million isn’t the exact number either) as being that much of the problem (“millions” is close enough) but denying that Jews were killed in the millions is definitely problematic. But interestingly no mention was made of the other Nazi victims!

But let us get one thing out of the way first. This is not intended to devalue the murder of 6 million Jews – if they were the only victims of the Nazis, it would still be well worth going to war to scrub the Nazi stain from the Earth. And I’m not in general in favour of war.

But the same applies to the other categories of Nazi victims, and it seems they are often forgotten – people make a big deal about how the Nazis killed six million Jews (and it is a big deal) but totally neglect to mention the others.

Pre-War Killings

The first concentration camps were created in 1933 during the Nazis rise to power as a means of controlling political opponents. As the Nazi grip on power solidified, the advantages of a means of holding inconvenient people outside the control of the German judicial system became apparent and the slow decline of the concentration camps was reversed and the number of inmates began to rise again.

The number of political opponents who were killed by the Nazis during this period is not known, but a very rough estimate could be 25,000. Although other religious opponents can be included in that 25,000, Jehovah Witnesses deserve a special mention because almost unanimously they opposed Nazi mandates (including refusing to serve in the military). Approximately 1,400 were killed.

In addition to political opponents, Nazis incarcerated (and frequently killed) criminals and “asocials” (the homeless, alcoholics, unemployed, lesbians, …). At least 70,000 were killed.

Homosexuals (gay men) were also violently repressed and many ended up in the concentration camps. The number killed is unknown – Wikipedia claims “hundreds” but another estimate claims that up to 60% of the 5,000-15,000 sent to concentration camps were killed (for the purposes of the pie chart, I’m going to estimate 6,000). Many of those who survived the camps were re-imprisoned at the end of the war – being gay was still a ‘crime’.

Whilst lesbians were sometimes categorized as “asocials” and could end up in the camps for that reason, but they were not repressed quite as much as gay men.

The Jews and The Shoah

Although this blog article is about the other victims of the Nazis, it is unconscionable to talk about the holocaust without mentioning the Jewish victims. The Wikipedia figure for Jewish deaths is unusually precise – 5,896,577 or a touch under 6 million.

A bit of a distraction from the main topic – the word “holocaust” is Greek in origin and was used before World War II; usually in reference to the genocide of Armenians. “The Holocaust” is of course only used in reference to the Nazi programme of exterminating “sub-humans” which all too commonly is assumed to be only the Jews.

The specific word for the programme of exterminating the Jews is “The Shoah”.

I believe it is helpful to have two distinct (actually more – other groups also have terms) terms to distinguish between the Jews specifically (The Shoah) and the killing of everyone the Nazis considered “sub-human” (The Holocaust). There are those who object to this but given that at least one Jewish camp survivor (Elie Weisel) was of the same opinion it can hardly be legitimately called disrespectful.

Another reason for distinguishing the Jews from the pre-war category is that whilst Jews were harrassed mercilessly, ghettoised, and yes murdered before the war, the systematic killings did not begin until after the war began.

This is also the place to go into some of the issues relating to counting and categorising the victims. Was a Jewish Socialist killed because she was a Jew or because she was a Socialist? If she was picked up in 1934, it seems likely to be the later; if she was picked up in 1942 it would have been the former. And was she counted in both categories?

Do we count those killed outside the extermination camps as victims of the holocaust? If (for example) we exclude the handicapped because they weren’t in the camps, then we must also exclude up to a million Jews killed by the Einsatzgruppen.

During The War

The Roma

The Roma (or Gypsies although the later is regarded as an insulting term by many) come first because they are the closest to the Jews in terms of the level of hatred shown by the Nazis. Hated just because of whom they are rather than what they did.

Determining just how many Roma were killed is particularly difficult for a wide variety of reasons. The Wikipedia estimate of 220,000 killed is almost certainly a massive under-estimate – modern researchers have consistently increased the estimate up to a high of 1.5 million (75% of the total pre-war Roma population). I’ll go with an estimate of 1 million.

The Slavs (Poles in particular)

The third main racial group that the Nazis categorised as “subhuman” were the Slavs of Eastern Europe – Poles, Lithuanians, Czechs, etc. The Nazi attitude to the Slavs various widely – from expressing the desire to exterminate the entire race, to ‘accepting’ (with caveats) those Slavs who collaborated, and the wish to use Slavs as slave labour.

I suspect in the long term – if the Nazis had won – the Slavs would have followed the Jews into the ovens.

The Slavs will get sub-divided for various reasons – including to keep the Jews as the single largest group, but they could be categorized as one.

The first sub-group are the Poles. It is clear from the words and actions of the Nazis during the invasion that they intended to exterminate nearly all of the Poles – both Jews and non-Jews.

There is a myth that the Poles enthusiastically welcomed the extermination of the Jews – whilst there were undoubtedly some Poles who hated the Jews, it is also true that Poles represent the single largest group honoured as Righteous Amongst The Nations; yet it is believed that the nearly 7,000 Poles listed is a vast under-estimate of the total who could be listed – the true figure could be 50 times higher.

And many thousands of the 1.8 million Poles killed by the Nazis were killed for helping Jews.

Now we move onto the category of the Soviet Slavs – which comprises many different nationalities which I would be happy to individually identify but accurate figures for each are difficult to find.

First we find that Soviet prisoners of war – 2.95 million were killed (I’ve subtracted the figure of 50,000 Jewish soldiers because they were probably included in the Jewish total and to make this figure consistent with the other non-Jewish casualty figures).

Added to that we have 5.7 million Soviet civilians killed.

To this we should add 300,000 Serbs killed; not by the Nazis themselves but by a client state.

And the handicapped. They were not typically thrown into concentration camps, but “involuntarily euthanized” in or near their care facility. Up to 250,000 were killed.

Endword

The pie chart above visually represents the total of each group killed; from this we can see in purely numerical terms that there were many other groups included in The Holocaust. Any one of which would be a crime against humanity.

For those that doubt the figures … and especially that the “others” added up to more than the Jews, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states “… murdered during the Holocaust at 17 million: 6 million Jews and 11 million others.”

There is currently an issue regarding the education of the young about the Holocaust with surveys reporting that some haven’t heard of it and many others do not know how many Jews were killed.

Not knowing the exact figure is forgivable – as we have seen the usually quoted figure of 6 million isn’t itself accurate – “many millions” is accurate enough for casual knowledge. And I’m a devotee of accurate figures, but when you come down to it, that’s what computers are for.

Not knowing about it at all is not just disrespectful to victims, but dangerous because we see warning signs of something similar happening today. But we need to remember that most teenagers have very little interest in the dry bones of history, and perhaps we need to make it an interesting horror story.

May 032010
 

Most of us know that Hitler’s Nazi’s exterminated approximately 6 million Jews in what became known as the Holocaust (or sometimes preferred amongst the Jews, Shoah). However the total killed by the Nazis in methods and reasons similar to the Jews total around 11-17 million. Let us take that lower figure of 11 million. If you remove the total of Jews from it, you are still left with a total of 5 million men, women, and children which enough to deserve the word “holocaust” no matter who the victims are.

Some argue that the Jews are special because they were the only ethnic group to be targeted by the Nazis. I am not sure why being part of a particular ethnic group makes state murder any worse than being murdered for some other reason, but it’s also wrong. In addition to the Jews, the Nazis also targeted the Romani population, and Slavs. Nazis finally decided that the Romani be placed “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps.”.

The Nazi attitude towards the Slavic population of the countries they invaded was more or less “we’ll deal with them later” although many hundred of thousands were killed.

Although we are concentrating on the genocide where the Nazi’s attempted the complete “ethnic cleansing” of populations, the other victims need remembering – the mentally ill, the disabled, the homosexuals, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Left. Plus of course any others the Nazi regime might find “inconvenient”.

The Porajmos (the Romani “shoah”) killed somewhere between 200,000 and 700,000. Doesn’t sounds so many in comparison does it ? Perhaps not, but a single victim of government killing is one too many. And when you start to look at the effect on the ethnic population as a whole something different begins to emerge.

Country Jewish Casualties (%) Romani Casualties (%)
Poland 90 26
Croatia 98
Germany & Austria 90 75 (Germany), 58 (Austria)
Estonia 100
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania 90 100
Luxembourg 20 100

It is perhaps easy to get carried away by statistics – especially when talking about genocide. The numbers are incomprehensible, and the percentages just as incomprehensible. It is worth noting that despite the enthusiasm with which Nazi’s undertook the “Final Solution”, nowhere did they fully succeed in exterminating Jews; whereas they accomplished a “successful” genocide of the Romani in 5 separate countries.

As to why we hear so much about the Jewish Shoah – and quite rightly as this blog entry is not about attacking those commemorating the Jewish victims of the holocaust – and so little about the other victims, I really do not know. In the case of the Romani, part of the reason is that in the countries where they survived, they were still subject to official repression including forced sterilisation.

And of course there is a secrecy tradition amongst the Romani that stops them from telling their story made worse by many of the things that happened to them being taboo. But is that any reason for us to forget them ?

Perhaps it is simply film that is the answer. I have seen numerous films and documentaries covering the Holocaust and most simply ignore the “other” victims or at best mention them almost as an aside. We need to redress this balance and cover all of the victims of the holocaust.

Oct 222009
 

The BBC have invited Nick Griffin – the head of the BNP neanderthals onto Question Time (a public question and answer forum with a panel of politicians of various kinds). Of course there is a lot of fuss about this – any self-respecting person of almost every political persuasion is horrified at the prospect of seeing the BNP use national TV to peddle their filth. The BBC’s argument is that the BNP has achieved sufficient electoral success for them to be invited to take part – along the same lines as the Green party receive invitations.

The BBC has pointed out (quite rightly) that their role is not to impose any form of political censureship and if the BNP has achieved the level of electoral success that allows other political parties to be included in programmes such as Question Time, then they cannot legitimately not include the BNP. Given the amount of time that has passed since the BNP achieved its electoral success in the last European elections, the fault for “allowing” the BNP to take part in Question Time must be passed directly to those in parliament who hae not passed legislation prohibiting the BNP from being heard on TV or radio (as happened to Sinn Fein in the 1980s).

There is an argument that says that because we have free speech, we should allow Nick Griffin to spout any kind of rubbish he wants to on Question Time. Well, perhaps although our tradition of freedom of speech is not unlimited. And certainly Nick Griffin’s freedom of speech does not give him a license to spout his rubbish on Question Time.

Of course Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time does allow us to more easily see how foolish and immature his views are. Interestingly he has already portrayed just how deranged he is even before the programme when he was making comments on the way to the studio.

He claimed that the reason that the Labour Party had paid for protesters  to show up outside the BBC studios. Whilst I do not have any evidence to refute this, it does seem more than a little ridiculous to think that the anti-fascist protesters would need paying to turn up. Especially when you consider that protesters have shown up outside regional BBC offices – why would anyone pay for them to appear there when they could have been paid to appear in London ?

Let’s have a look at some of his statements …

“I am the most loathed man in Britain”

I somehow doubt it. He just isn’t that significant. Compare Nick Griffin with some of the British monsters like Harold Shipman.

“We are the aborigines here”

Presumably meaning that the English white people originally arrived in the UK shortly after the last ice age finished. Well perhaps there are some still left but the UK has seen immigration ever since the ice age – first of all Celts (yes! they didn’t originally come from here), Angles, Saxons (the BNP of course lump the two into the mythical “Anglo-Saxons”), Vikings, and Normans.

And of course the Romans who undoubtedly left more than a few genes behind. Which undoubtedly included a few ‘black’ genes given that they also (in their later days) included “native” troops in their army and shipped them around to where they might be needed. Wouldn’t it be funny if Nick were “tainted” with a bit of “black blood” ? I’m not normally given to using such phrases; I don’t believe in them, but old Nick would certainly be upset if he found out he wasn’t “pure white”.

At least in the UK, the whole concept of “indigenous” people at least in terms of “aborigines” is foolish in the extreme and shows an immense ignorance of British history. Really quite peculiar for someone thinks they are as patriotic as Nick undoubtedly thinks he is.

The reason behind Nick’s blatant racism is that he is terrified of being swarmed under by hordes of non-British immigrants. Even ignoring that immigration makes Britain a more dynamic and interesting place, such fears show that the racists are the kind of people who need to take their socks off to count beyond 10. If you look at the statistics, 92% of the current population of the UK is white. We’re hardly in danger of disappearing!

“I can’t explain …”

In relation to his allegedly changed views on the truth of the Jewish holocaust in WWII. Of course the obvious conclusion when he claims he cannot explain himself due to European law is that his views have not changed and that he still denies the holocaust. Or perhaps he refuses to accept the holocaust because he would loose his core supporters if he did.

And of course there is no European law in force in this country against denying the holocaust; that clause of the law can be blocked in individual countries who feel that it is an unacceptable limit on freedom of expression. And yes the UK opted out of that bit of the law. It is interesting that someone who has previously denied the holocaust and is a European politician is ignorant of this!

“You can stay …”

In response to a question from an Englishman asking whether he (not white enough for Nasty Nick) would be allowed to stay in a BNP controlled country. Kind of contradicts the BNP website (and the constitution) where it is campaigning for a white Britain. Which one is it ? Are you confused Nick ? Or just lying ?

“Adolf (Hitler) went a bit too far”

Which was not something that Nick said on the programme itself, but something he is supposed to have said in a video. The interesting thing that came out in the programme is that Nick consistent denies having said embarrassing things in the past even when there is clear evidence that he did say such things.

It was plainly obvious that you simply cannot believe any denials Nick makes.

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