Friday, May 29, 2009

Watcher's Council Results, 5/29/09

The Council has spoken! A complete rundown of the voting tallies is here.

The winning entry in the Council category this week was Bookworm Room with Does Brown v. Board of Education constitute the Supreme Court’s one free pass? , a fascinating post in which she wonders whether judicial activism may have had its one shining moment .

In second place we had a tie between Right Truth with Home grown terrorism and the media , a superb look at what's going on under our noses while the dinosaur media sleeps and The Provacateur for Deconstructing The Criminal Enterprise ACORN , an expose of what Obama's favorite 'community organizers' are really up to.

Also getting votes were The Razor for Death To Inclusiveness! , yours truly at JoshuaPundit for Jerusalem Day , Soccer Dad for Mr. obama and mr. netanyahu - the alternative version , and Wolf Howling for Obama Has The Left Going Nauseous .

In the Non-Council category, the runaway winner was my nominee , Melanie Phillips for A Wary Encounter , an excellent account of the Obama/ Netanyahu meeting and what it signifies.

In second place oddly enough was my second place choice, Der Spiegel Online for Hitler’s European Holocaust Helpers . This piece looks at the John Demjanjuk AKA `Ivan the Terrible ' concentration camp guard deportation and makes the very salient point that the Germans had a number of non-German helpers in the War Against the Jews, and unlike the Germans, most of them have never acknowledged their part in the Holocaust.

The truth is that in countries where there was a widespread, acceptable and historical Jew hatred among the population, many of the local residents actively approved of what the Nazis were doing and actively helped. For instance, at Babi Yar in the Ukraine, 34,ooo innocent men women and children were murdered in the largest mass killing of civilians in the war outside of Kiev by the Nazis with the aid of Ukrainian police, while the locals brought picnic lunches to watch the slaughter and cheered it on. And no, I'm not exaggerating in the least. It went so well that the Germans and their Ukrainian partners repeated the performance, and over 100,ooo Jews ultimately ended up being murdered there.

Kiev, by the way, was Demjanjuk's home town.

Given the times, Der Spiegel is to be congratulated for running this and reminding their fellow Europeans of a few things.

As always, congratulations not only to the winners but to the participants.


Lucas said...

A court in Israel determined that Demjanuk was not Ivan the Terrible. He is now alleged to have been a guard at Sobibor, though there is no evidence (so far anyway) that he committed crimes there. It is impossible to say he is certainly innocent, but it's irresponsible to say he's certainly guilty. Also, the Nazis also killed thousands of Ukrainian nationalists at Babi Yar. I am not a Ukrainian, nor am I Jewish. I am just an American interested in the history of WWII. I think that too often people discuss the atrocities that took place during WWII in a vacuum. Before the Holocaust, the various nations of Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, suffered through Soviet rule that very much resembled the Nazis' treatment of Jewish Europeans. Jewish Europeans also suffered under the Soviets at this point, but not at all to the same extent. This created the tragic and unfair perception that Jews were complicit in Soviet crimes. The Nazis exploited this perception through propaganda about "Jewish Bolshevism." This certainly does not excuse the crimes of Eastern Europeans, but I think it's useful to understand the circumstances that lead to atrocities. I would argue it's not helpful to talk about Ukrainians (or Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, etc) as though they share some gene for hating Jews. Only Poland has more people than Ukraine among Yad Vashem's Righteous Among Nations.
For an interesting discussion of the context of Ukrainian atrocities against Jews, see John-Paul Himka's essay here:
Himka is a respected historian, who, though he is of Ukrainian descent, is very critical of attempts to whitewash the history of Ukrainains vis a vis the Holocaust. H
Thank you for your interesting and important writing, particularly the May 25 post about the State Department. I had not read that anywhere else.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Lucas and welcome to Joshua's Army.

What you've written here is factual and provides needed context.

I'm aware of the Israeli court verdict, but I'm also aware that new evidence has surfaced since then that led to Demjanjuk's extradition. I don't want to prejudge, but I feel that he's guilty, and my main comment was that Der Spiegal is making an important point when it comes to Hitler's willing non-German helpers.

I would also agree with you that many Poles, Lithuanians and others behaved with great moral and personal courage during the Holocaust. It was, after all, an ex-Polish Army colonel who risked his life to smuggle himself out of Europe and bring first hand news of the Holocaust to America and the West.

That said, I think we would agree that wide-spread Jew hatred was a fact of life in Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine, and large segements of the population had no problem with what the Nazis were doing.Today is not the 1940's and it would be unfair to tar the modern populations of these countries with the actions of previous years, just as it would be unfair to do so to today's Germans.

But facts are facts. My account of what took place at Babi Yar is historically accurate as I think you know, and the Ukraine still honors Chelmnistsky as a nationalist hero, a man who instigated horrific pogroms that murdered a third of the Jews in Eastern Europe.

Thanks for the kind words on my piece on how our State Department is promoting radical Islam. I'm glad you liked it.

Thanks for an informative and well thought out comment.