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Genocide is still with us.

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Nakia, May 1, 2005.

  1. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    In the thread "Holocaust - Responsibility" Beren touched on the problem I have with any topic dealing with the Holocaust. We treat it as if this was the first and last time it happened. 'Hitler did it. The Germans did it.' Nevertheless, we forget that every conquering race did it. The USA certainly did it.

    We can bury our heads and pretend that this was a one-time incident. However, the truth of the matter is that it still goes on.

    To quote Beren: “In Rwanda, Hutu leaders and segments of the Hutu population made an all out effort at wiping out the Tutsis. This still hasn't received anywhere near the same press and coverage as the Holocaust. Why that is the case, I can't really speak to.”

    In Cambodia 1.7 million people lost their lives, almost 1/4th of the country’s population. This happen from 1975 to 1979. But do we hear about it?

    The list could go on and on.

    I now speak with sarcasm.
    Of course this couldn’t happen where I live. I wouldn’t do something like that. No one I know would even think of doing something like that.
    Silence is a form of agreement. This is one time that silence is not golden but tarnished with blood.
     
  2. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    The problem with Genocide is that it happens in far away places, and the perpetrators would like to keep it quiet where they can, lest some country (like the US, Canada, some other high ranking nation in the UN) raise an alarm and bring in the UN swooping in to stop them.

    Perhaps the Media may play a part by not making it as well known as it should be. They focus on what they want to show. If the Media doesn't want the US in a war, they keep these things they hear quiet or pay less attention to them so that the people don't know about them. If the people don't know, then it's harder for them to object...
     
  3. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    My point was that by now, there's been plenty of time to digest the massacres in Rwanda. And scholars from several disciplines have explored the issues involved with them. So ... why are there so many memorials, and so much attention given to the Holocaust, but not so the Rwandan tragedies?
     
  4. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Because the Holocaust happened in Europe, where the bulk of first world nations are now?
     
  5. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yes, in Kosovo, once the media got excited, there was a lot of concern over genocide. Still, a lot of Americans were not for getting involved there, even in Europe. There was a current of reluctance because Americans were waiting to see what the other European countries were going to do. But once Bill Clinton put American prestige on the line over the issue of genocide in Kosovo there was no turning back. Yet, without media attention its a non-issue for most Americans.
     
  6. Charlie Gems: 14/31
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    I would like to play devil's advocate and propose that the lack of attention in Rwanda and other areas is due to the fact that aside from humanitarian ones, there is no reason to get involved. No oil or what have you. Media will cover mostly if the different countries show interest. There are only a few brave and noble journalists who would be willing go to dangerous territory to break a story without being imbedded in some battalion.
     
  7. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    As I said in the other thread, this type of thing happens everywhere and everytime. It takes oh so little to get people either start murdering their neighbours themselves or close their mouths and eyes when others do it. We are tribal beings, pack beings. Those not of our tribe/ack have no right to exist, we might not think so concsiously but it lures under the surface and not deeply under the surface and it doesnt need to be tickled much for it to appear.

    I am quite confident that it wouldnt take overly much for the "real" Americans to start cataloguing and detaining all Mexicans or for all "real" Swedes/Danes/French/Whatever to do the same to Turks/Arabs.
     
  8. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Probably also because there is no Rwandan lobby, say in the U.S., that has the funds and political will to set up a Holocaust Memorial in D.C. or pay Senators a week trip to Israel and Yad Vashem - that is - Kigali.

    It's always about getting heared, too.

    And then, there's the political climate in a country. There are plenty of political figues on the US right who claim that there was no genocide on the native American population - and that anyone who claims so hates America, and lies.
     
  9. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    Well you could compare the statistics of the holocaust and the Rawandan tragedies to understand why the holocaust gets more attention - simply more people were killed and they actually tried to develop faster/better ways of killing large groups of people.
     
  10. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Wow, belated double post. Odd.
     
  11. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    No, I don't think that the statistics are the reason. It's a mix of what has been stated before: "Because the Holocaust happened in Europe, where the bulk of first world nations are now? " and "I would like to play devil's advocate and propose that the lack of attention in Rwanda and other areas is due to the fact that aside from humanitarian ones, there is no reason to get involved."

    Because Germnay was the number one nation of it's time. The most sophisticated nation, The most economically evolveld, the most scientifically progressed. If the number one country of it's time goes on a rampage, everyone gets involved and it's not a question of "want" or "human responsibility". There is no way to ignore the biggest kid on the block if he starts to throw bombs all over. Things like that make people learn funny foreign words like "Blitzkrieg", "Panzer" and "Führer".

    For me, the problem with remembrance goes deeper. Because not all victims of fascism are remembered alike. All are equally dead but remembered in different way by different people or sometimes not remembered at all. The day World War II was over, all countries chose their "darling" victims, that they would remember. The monuments that where raised after the war and throughout the 20th. century, which inscriptions highlited some victims while ignoring others are a sad part of history themselves.

    And it wasn't all over with the war. In Spain a fascist dictator was allowed to die of old age in the seventies, buried under a monument errected by slaves.

    And in how many countries of the Western World did pracitces of the Nazis linger on ? In how many western countries were children abducted by the state, or people forcibly sterilised, for coming from a somehow "deficient" social or ethnical background ?
     
  12. ArtEChoke Gems: 17/31
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    The number of memorials for different genocidal tragedies has nothing to do with the number of people killed.

    Its easy to figure out, simply compare the number of Jews (in X nation), to the number of Tutsis living in the same nation. Whichever has the higher population poll is going to get the memorial.

    I don't know any Tutsis, I know plenty of jews.
     
  13. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    In the modern 1920s methods were searched for exterminating vermin, like rats and insects with greater efficiency. One solution was found using gas, a solution that seemed quite natural and normal after WW-I. That eventually led to using Zyklon B to clear storage buildings from vermin as a whole. It was reliably effective, and cost effective, and quick.

    For the Nazis jews, as well as gypsies or homosexuals, were considered as "Volksschädlinge", vermin, parasites. However, I think it is wrong to say that german antisemitism necessarily had to result in the Holocaust as Goldhagen boldly claims.

    Originally there were plans to relocate the jews, to Madagaskar for instance. When that eventually became impossible as a result of the war, the idea of extermination was devised, because will dictated to deal with the 'issue of jews'.

    Fascism is not merely dictatorship. The core idea of fascism is will as the highest virtue. Fascism sought to drop the whole Judeo-Christian content of Western culture and return to the values of the classical world, where power was the greatest good. (What astonished Greeks and Romans about Christianity was not that it had a Savior who died and rose from the dead; many Eastern mystery cults claimed the same. What astonished them was that these Christians' God said, "I came not to be served, but to serve.")

    To fascists, the exercise of power, will, was the supreme moral act.

    Of course this was a serious error, because it turned an instrumental value, will, into a substantive value. In reality, will is good or evil depending upon what is willed. By attempting to turn will into a substantive value, fascism destroyed itself.

    IMO Nazi facism's supreme emphasis on will, in combination with the Nazi's pathological antisemitism, was what led to the holocaust.

    The holocaust stands out for it's cold rationality and quasi industrial conduct.

    That's what's making it unique and notably differs it from the frenzied brutality of the Rwandan genocide or the stupide and anti-intellectual madness of Pol Pot.

    Stalins forcible relocation of the Chechens to the steepes of Kazakhstan is about the ony thing that comes close as far as organisation and industrial conduct are concerned.
     
  14. Mr Writer Gems: 8/31
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    A cynical but perhaps true point of view. However I do think it goes deeper. We (The majority of developed nations) were all involved in the holocaust either directly or indirectly through WW2. And as I have explained in the thread that spawned this, we perhaps bear some responsibility for the holocaust.

    I think this is closer to the point although there are several inacuracies I wish to correct. Germany was most certainly not the number one country at the time. Economically, it was a ruin, hyperinflation and the loss of large amounts of its industrial capacity to France and reparations from ww1 left it a ruin. Hitlers policies were popular and got people into work, even if it was just building millions of miles of roads, it got people into work, a focus on full employment in an economy will work for a short term but eventualy the boom bust cycle resulting from wage demands and thus inflation create a situation seen in Britain in the 70's and early 80's. Back on point, Germany was not the most scientifically progressed, not quite sure how you measured this (this isnt Civ2) but their tanks were poor in comparison to Western Tanks at the start of the war, and Soviet Tanks by the end of the war. While Civialian advances are usually shared world wide, to any economy that can afford them. Overall, Germany was strong, that is undeniable, however at the start of the war, the number one power in the world would probably have to still be Great Britain, although it was fading and being the only nation to fight all 6 years ruined us for the next 30, so it wasn't to last long, although thats another discussion.

    The idea of a technologically advanced nation, even a civilised nation systematically liquidating another race on such a scale is and was unique. Yes genocide has happened before and will probably happen again, yes larger scale killings have happened (50million Russians under Stalinist Rule), however the secracy, the systematic and almost robotic way in which it took place, its closeness to home, were all factors, factors other acts of genocide dont include. Something 3rd world genocide could never be. That is not to take anything away from any victems of such acts, but you must understand the marked diffrence between, what is an unrestrained "murderous roit" and the calm, calculated and systematic killing of 6 million people, the vast majority over a period of less than a year, sactioned by government departments in such a professional way. I suppose it boils down to just how close to home such an action hits. The way the Nazi's killed in the holocaust could be described as Beurocratic. I think that is why it recieves so much attention, it was not just genocide, it was something else.

    On a side note, a recent poll suggested that only 30% of Children understood what VE day stood for. With a large amount suggesting it ment Victry in Vietnam Day. (How wrong can you be, wrong war and wrong outcome!?)

    And to Ragusa, Goldhagen is an idiot. Doesnt he see the horrible irony in his work. Acording to him, all Germans are evil killers like Jews were all vermin to the Nazi's. His arguments have been roundly destroyed by several historians, notably Steven Browning siting Goldhagen as being increadibly simplistic.

    I am not well researched enough in the actual origins and meaning of fascist ideology as you so I cannot argue with you on your other points, though I would suggest that the elimination of the Jews wasnt Hitler flexing his "will". Again, however, to discuss this would take some time to write, and im not sure I have or indeed people want to read it.
     
  15. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    This quote is out of context so please be sure to read Mr Writer's post.

    Unique as being one of a kind or unusual. This is what bothers me. The scale may have been unprecedented but it still was genocide.

    The following took place 167 years ago in the USA. The anniversary is this month, May 17th.
    "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny").

    The fact that the numbers were much smaller does not change the action. It was a systematic and forced attempt to get rid of a group of people who were in the way.

    If we turn deaf ears to the cries of others who will hear our cries?
     
  16. Mr Writer Gems: 8/31
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    I agree with you, genocide is still genocide, but the way in which Nazi Germany commited genoicde is why it attracts so much attention.

    Yes the numbers play apart, but the cold, beuracratic efficiency that it took place. It wasnt a frenzied killing, it was a step further than the army shooting Jews (Although 1.5 million, mainly Soviet Jews did die in this way). It was an administrators way of killing. I don't know of any other single act of genocide (Soviet acts don't class as Genocide, and are an entirely diffrent matter) where specific killing centers were set up. Where an industrialised Army took part, where people were marched\sent over thousends of miles to be killed, anything so sytematic and complete.
     
  17. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    I agree with you about more or less with the whole of the rest of your post, but not with that part. Germany was number one and that was always the problem with the Germans from the day Germany was founded 1871. A country too big for Europe.

    No, they were number one. They had the biggest force of skilled labour and were in many fields the scientifcally most advanced. Think about how money words in science are German and come from the time between 1890-1933. Maybe best described by the omnipresent mad scientist with German accent in comics of that time. Actually, the Nazis were the biggest hit to German advancemend before they even started the war, as they drove many people to emmigration and stalled scientific research in many fields

    It doesn't matter that the German economcal performance hit all time low in years around 1930, they still possessed the best infrastructure of Europe. And the Germans were making children like bunnies in the first half of the 20th century. The German demographic numbers drove all their neighbours mad, particularly the French. To counter German superiority in numbers, the French and British fell back on recruiting more people in the colonies, to fill the gap at least a little. And those Germans were skilled labour, with an astonishing low analphabet-rate. Lower then in the UK or France.

    And about the roads in particular. That wasn't an idea of the Nazis, that was a remainder of the Weimarer-Republic. They found the plans in the drawers of the officies they moved into after coming to power. The concept of building roads too escape the depression wasn't unique to Germany. Only the Nazi changed the purpose of that a little bit.

    Further, the Germans, because of the economical potential, were coming faster out of the depression than any one else. But that hadn't to do anything with the Nazis, they just were lucky to be there at the right time and be able to exploit something that would have happend anyway. On the other hand, the British and the French were in the economical abyss nearly throughout the whole of the 30ties, encumbered by unreasonable high debt, a disadvantage the Germans didn't have. There is a damn good quote of Keynes, the British minister for economics, about 1936, saying something like "how is the UK suppossed to accomplish anything, if need all our income to pay the interest of our debt?"

    About tanks. Nevere been a mechanic, can't really say if they sucked or were good. I only know that Germany was the country with the biggest industrial output. And their products had a always the reputation of reasonable qualtiy. Unlike British or French stuff.
     
  18. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Oh, surely not merely 'flexing his will'. It's about the logic resulting from making the will paramount.

    In facism everything rotates about the 'Führerprinzip' , the rule that the leader's will is the norm. That started with Hitler and was delegated down to the individual unit leader. Führer's orders were the supreme guideline, even when they contradicted the consitution.

    Will was the problem with facism as a whole. The Nazis in their madness saw the jews not on rational terms but in a clearly pathological way. When you have a look at the utterances and screes of antisemites like Lanz von der Liebenfells, who had a considerable influence on Hitler, it becomes clear the man was nothing less but clinically insane.

    As for the holocaust, will comes into play where the Nazis wanted to deal with something they saw as an issue of utmost importance. For them the 'Jew issue' had to be dealt with, it was for them about life or death of the ayran race - how ridiculous and insane that however is. The solution of the 'Jew issue' to them was imperative - by deportation, or if neccessary by murdering them.

    For the actual execution of such a plan there weren't that many people required.

    A lesson from the attempt to kill handicapped people in homes, that became public and was so vehemently condemned by the catholic church that it had to be stopped, was to keep it top secret this time.

    That is, they didn't expect public support for their plan. I remember that I heared about a rather daft lady who, quite agitated, replied to rumours about death camps in the east "If the Führer knew that, he'd stop it!" There was a lot of faith in authority at that time.
     
  19. Mr Writer Gems: 8/31
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    Yes, the Germans have always been bloody good industrially, indeed, now they are Europes industrial superpower. However, I would like to see some figures before I totaly acept your arguments about Germany's Economic Strength. Certainly Staple industries in Europe were failing. And the troubles in Northern Britain were well publiscied, however the south of Britain was prospering, indeed it has often been described as a Two nations in one, or words to that effect. However, we are digressing from the point, which would be the holocaust, rather than the economical development of Germany.

    But I will say, for a country to be "number one" it takes more then pure industrial strength, although, as I acknowledged, Germanies Industrial capacity did make them strong.


    [Edit to reply to Ragusa who posted while I was writing mine]

    Hmm, I'm not totaly convinced but your arguments do seem to hold true, though I would argue Hitler mearly retro-activly approved the holocaust, which would seem to me to be those under him excersising their will rather than the top down structour that you suggest, unless I have misunderstood you.

    Perhaps I am out of place here, but I would suggest that Hitler knew he would have nothing to fear from Pope Pius VII (Elective Pontiff in 1939). Given his personal loyaltis to Germany and then when the Papacy discovered the holocaust. (Which is most probably long before any other allied nation, given the Papacy's network of spies, thought to be especially stong in such a strongly catholic country as Poland) You have to ask why, when the Pope controled much influence throughout Europe, indeed it is hard to believe that many of the Rank and File Nazi's had given up on Catholasim, why did Pope Pius fail in his moral duty as leader of the largest christian church and fail to at least condem Nazi attrocities until their defeat became certain.

    [ May 01, 2005, 21:57: Message edited by: Mr Writer ]
     
  20. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    I'll have to disagree with this. The holocaust was not rational, Stalin's crimes in the Soviet Union were rational the holocaust was not. There is nothing rational about building death camps for people who are unable to work and systematically exterminate them. The german people did not need that and it costed way more than the forced labour produced, especially when the people on death camps were completely unable to do productive work because of their condition. What makes the holocaust so special is not the cold rationality it's the cold irrationally. Hitler unlike Stalin was blinded with ideology and the thought of jews being evil that he brought forth the holocaust. No rationality there, just pure madness.

    EDIT: Probably better to discuss this further in the thread about holocaust.
     
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