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Old 08-04-2015, 07:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
One can talk about what happened to the Armenians or any other group that was the victim of some nightmare atrocity without trying to minimize the Holocaust. Its your persistent attempt to say that the term "The Holocaust" shouldn't be used with respect to the murder of Jews that raises all our eyebrows.
You're deliberately mischaracterizing what I've said. I've made it very clear that "THE Holocaust" should not be used to describe any holocaust.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Its not exactly about numbers, although the murder of six million people certainly ranks historically as one of the greatest killings or mass murders of all time. It has to do with where and when this event took place. It has to do with the fact that this mass murder was organized by the government of a supposedly civilized and modern state. It has to do with the fact that it was mass murder on the most systematic and organized scale imaginable. It has to do with the fact that many Americans immigrated here from European countries. It has to do with the fact that some of us have families that fought in World War II. In my own case, both my parents served. My mother served as a nurse in the Pacific. My father served as a sailor aboard an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic.

In fact, I have family members on my side of the family and my wife's side of the family who died in service to their country in that war.

It is an event that contributes greatly to the foreign policy of the USA to this very day.

I am not Jewish, but because the Holocaust is intimately wrapped up in greater World War II conflict, I am sensitive about the way it is portrayed. I believe the greatest honor we can confer on those who died in these events is simply to tell the whole story as correctly and truthfully as it can be told. We don't minimize it. For that matter, we don't exaggerate it.

Moderator cut: Personal Attack There are still survivors of both the Holocaust and World War II who live today. Many live in America. That story is an intimate (and painful) part of the story of America.

If you have any sense of decency, my advice is give up this thread.
Your post stands, more than anything, as another great illustration of why we should reexamine how this story has been and continues to be told. "THE Holocaust" included 11 million estimated victims, 5 million of whom were not Jewish. So while lecturing us about the importance of honoring the victims and telling the whole story, you yourself have ignored nearly half of the victims! This speaks volumes, and alone leaves your myriad of other explanations about where/when it took place, etc. ringing very hollow.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:55 PM
 
561 posts, read 308,134 times
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Default "The Holocaust"

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mysterious Benefactor View Post
I'm aware of how language works, but we don't have "THE War", "THE Shipwreck" or "THE School Shooting". I can think of no other example where a word has been similarly hijacked or a tragic event designated "THE" without being unique.
Here's one for you.
"The Holodomor" that you mentioned but somehow forgot to use the name that people have assigned to it.
There were other mass starvations, but people know you're talking about the one in the the one in the Ukraine when you say "The Holodomor"

Here's another:
"The Pope" referring to the head of the Catholic church

One more:
"America" referring to the United States.

And for some time after the Columbine massacre, may people in conversations referred to it as "the school shooting". Yes, that went away, and Columbine certainly wasn't the first.

If you're not limited to two words, anyone in America that hears "The Revolutionary War" understands it as a reference to the American-British war in the late 1700's.
No one thinks that it was the only revolution, and if they say that other revolutions were less significant, they would be correct insofar as it affected their own lives.

Mexico and the rest of the Americas had revolutions, but "The Revolutionary War" means just one thing to Americans. Sure, people may also call it "The American Revolution", but Mexico and everything south is also in America so that's not any better to them.


Quote:
As I mentioned before, the typical American public school student (and I would surmise a shockingly high percentage of adults) knows nothing of the Armenian holocaust or The Bolshevik Revolution. Yet, all of them from age 12 can cite the "6 million Jews" lost in "THE Holocaust". Honestly, would you recognize a picture of Joseph Stalin? How many people would?

Most people did not know about the Armenian genocide, The Holodomor, the extinction of the Arian heretics, the St Bartholomew Day massacre nor any of the countless other attempts to exterminate another group of people before WWII even happened. So why would they know about these thing after WWII happened?
Naming the term "The Holocaust" certainly didn't cause their ignorance, that was already in place. It's just that no one taught those subjects except in advanced history classes.
They also know nothing about ANY Armenian history, any Ukrainian history, what the Arian heresy even is,
and nothing about what happened in Asian countries. Naming the Nazi genocide "The Holocaust" was not the cause of their ignorance.

That is because that's not something that was generally taught.

Naming the The WWII genocide "The Holocaust" did not diminish knowledge of other such events because hardly anyone knew about them BEFORE the term "The Holocaust" came into use.

By the way, I'm an old person. My peer group was not taught using the term "The Holocaust" or even as a holocaust/genocide when referring to the actions of the Nazis.
Generally it was just referred to as the Nazi death camps. I saw it (the term The Holocaust) as it came into general use and have no problem with it. In addition, I've seen many changes in language usage during my life. "The Holocaust" is just another to me.

Quote:
Again, the Nazi holocaust was tragic and needs to be remembered, but not to the exclusion of all the others. Yet that's precisely what we're doing, and designating it "THE Holocaust" contributes to that.
You seem to be claiming that the Holocaust is being taught in a way to exclude or diminish other genocides. If that is not your claim, then you need to rewrite your paragraph and clearly state

In any case, I reject that claim.

There is no movement to exclude teaching about other genocides, and other genocides are on the curriculum of many schools. There is a reason why not all knowledge is covered in any class, so it is common to select some signal event in history to examine in detail to serve as a template for exploring other such events. WWII and the Nazi death camps are the most well documented of any such event, and it occurred relatively recently.

Furthermore, here is a link to suggested curriculum from the Holocaust museum's educational resources web site.
Who Is Responsible When Genocide Occurs? — Lesson Plan — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Cases — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

I can assure you that the effect of the label "The Holocaust" is the opposite of what you suppose. It serves as a symbol to raise awareness of a human failing (committing genocide) that wasn't taught before.

And again, I point out that your question "Why is it that so many refer to the Jewish holocaust of the mid-20th century as THE Holocaust, with a capital H?" is one of linguistics, and I answered that.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:48 AM
 
1,562 posts, read 1,063,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
Here's one for you.
"The Holodomor" that you mentioned but somehow forgot to use the name that people have assigned to it.
There were other mass starvations, but people know you're talking about the one in the the one in the Ukraine when you say "The Holodomor"
Unlike holocaust, holomodor is a Ukrainian word not in common usage prior to the Holomodor. It was essentially borne from that event.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
Here's another:
"The Pope" referring to the head of the Catholic church

One more:
"America" referring to the United States.

And for some time after the Columbine massacre, may people in conversations referred to it as "the school shooting". Yes, that went away, and Columbine certainly wasn't the first.

If you're not limited to two words, anyone in America that hears "The Revolutionary War" understands it as a reference to the American-British war in the late 1700's.
No one thinks that it was the only revolution, and if they say that other revolutions were less significant, they would be correct insofar as it affected their own lives.

Mexico and the rest of the Americas had revolutions, but "The Revolutionary War" means just one thing to Americans. Sure, people may also call it "The American Revolution", but Mexico and everything south is also in America so that's not any better to them.
I didn't realize the Pope or America were tragic events. I'm sure many people called Columbine "The School Shooting" in its immediate aftermath. Just like many might refer to "The Plane Crash" in the days/weeks following one that is particularly memorable. We're talking about how these events are remembered by history.

Already covered earlier, The Revolutionary War was the the only such war in the U.S. so it needs no further distinction, just like The Civil War. Go to South America and mention "The Revolutionary War" and they will not assume you're talking about the American-British War.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
Most people did not know about the Armenian genocide, The Holodomor, the extinction of the Arian heretics, the St Bartholomew Day massacre nor any of the countless other attempts to exterminate another group of people before WWII even happened. So why would they know about these thing after WWII happened?
Naming the term "The Holocaust" certainly didn't cause their ignorance, that was already in place. It's just that no one taught those subjects except in advanced history classes.
They also know nothing about ANY Armenian history, any Ukrainian history, what the Arian heresy even is,
and nothing about what happened in Asian countries. Naming the Nazi genocide "The Holocaust" was not the cause of their ignorance.

That is because that's not something that was generally taught.

Naming the The WWII genocide "The Holocaust" did not diminish knowledge of other such events because hardly anyone knew about them BEFORE the term "The Holocaust" came into use.

By the way, I'm an old person. My peer group was not taught using the term "The Holocaust" or even as a holocaust/genocide when referring to the actions of the Nazis.
Generally it was just referred to as the Nazi death camps. I saw it (the term The Holocaust) as it came into general use and have no problem with it. In addition, I've seen many changes in language usage during my life. "The Holocaust" is just another to me.



You seem to be claiming that the Holocaust is being taught in a way to exclude or diminish other genocides. If that is not your claim, then you need to rewrite your paragraph and clearly state

In any case, I reject that claim.

There is no movement to exclude teaching about other genocides, and other genocides are on the curriculum of many schools. There is a reason why not all knowledge is covered in any class, so it is common to select some signal event in history to examine in detail to serve as a template for exploring other such events. WWII and the Nazi death camps are the most well documented of any such event, and it occurred relatively recently.
While I wouldn't claim there is a "movement" to exclude such teaching, I would urge you to consider the amount of resources committed in the Western world to teaching about "THE Holocaust" in comparison to other holocausts/genocides.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
Furthermore, here is a link to suggested curriculum from the Holocaust museum's educational resources web site.
Who Is Responsible When Genocide Occurs? — Lesson Plan — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Cases — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

I can assure you that the effect of the label "The Holocaust" is the opposite of what you suppose. It serves as a symbol to raise awareness of a human failing (committing genocide) that wasn't taught before.

And again, I point out that your question "Why is it that so many refer to the Jewish holocaust of the mid-20th century as THE Holocaust, with a capital H?" is one of linguistics, and I answered that.
Thanks for providing the links. Here's a quote from the museum site that you may have missed:

"The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community."[emphasis mine]

So, when we consider that the Nazi holocaust included millions of additional victims, many of whom, like the Roma, were marked for extermination, can you reasonably claim that this is nothing more than linguistics? Can you honestly say this does not serve to minimize the other victims? Is this not a deliberate exclusion?

I don't know how it could be more clear. "THE Holocaust" is a designation that serves not only to minimize the significance of other holocausts but even the additional victims of this particular holocaust.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:12 AM
 
Location: North Texas
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So call it The Shoah instead if you don't like using the word "Holocaust."
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:17 PM
 
561 posts, read 308,134 times
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Default Linguistics

This thread is starting to wander off topic. I remind you of your original post.

Quote:
Why is it that so many refer to the Jewish holocaust of the mid-20th century as THE Holocaust, with a capital H? This implies, of course, that this particular holocaust was the only one, or that it's somehow more important/tragic than all of the other holocausts seen throughout history. Shouldn't we reject this?

1:
Quote:
Why is it that so many refer to the Jewish holocaust of the mid-20th century as THE Holocaust, with a capital H?
This is a linguistics question. The common noun "holocaust" has been used to form the proper noun "The Holocaust" due to common usage.

2:
Quote:
This implies, of course, that this particular holocaust was the only one, or that it's somehow more important/tragic than all of the other holocausts seen throughout history.
Now you make a statement with two parts that conflate two different possibilities.
The first "This implies, of course, that this particular holocaust was the only one" is plainly false."
Using a word to name something does not exclude the existence of similar things.
I don't know anyone who thinks that killings of WWII was the only genocide in history.
Just because there are many people who don't know about Armenia does not mean that those people think the Holocaust was the only mass slaughter in history.
If you wish to continue making that statement, then I want to see proof in the form of a academic quality study.

As for the second part
Quote:
or that it's somehow more important/tragic than all of the other holocausts seen throughout history.
Now that can be a matter of opinion.
All events, tragic or otherwise, can be related to each other in degree of importance or of tragic effect.
It would be absurd to claim they're all the same in importance or tragic effect.

However, if you know of some other genocide that you think is greater in importance to recent generations of native English-speakers (because that's the people who use the phrase the Holocaust), please tell us what it is. I'm serious about that. Either it is more important or less important, but it isn't the same..

3:
Quote:
Shouldn't we reject this?
There is no value to be gained by rejecting the use of "The Holocaust" as it is presently being used. Doing that will not increase the knowledge of people who are otherwise ignorant.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
This thread is starting to wander off topic. I remind you of your original post.
1:

This is a linguistics question. The common noun "holocaust" has been used to form the proper noun "The Holocaust" due to common usage.
I need no reminder of my original post. You've continually tried to frame this as nothing more than a linguistics question. That's clearly inadequate, and I've explained why. "THE Holocaust" has not simply come about through common usage. Deftly, with your "off topic" claim, you've ignored the pointed questions I posed to you. When you have answers, I'm ready to listen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
2:

Now you make a statement with two parts that conflate two different possibilities.
The first "This implies, of course, that this particular holocaust was the only one" is plainly false."
Using a word to name something does not exclude the existence of similar things.
I don't know anyone who thinks that killings of WWII was the only genocide in history.
Just because there are many people who don't know about Armenia does not mean that those people think the Holocaust was the only mass slaughter in history.
If you wish to continue making that statement, then I want to see proof in the form of a academic quality study.
This was covered earlier, but I'll reiterate. Using the article "the" before a proper noun with regard to an event is either understood as a result of its significance/peculiarity, or requires context. "The Titanic" is pretty simple; it refers to a specific shipwreck. That, in and of itself, does not imply that it was the only shipwreck in history, but that "The Titanic" is understood to be in reference to this particular shipwreck. "The Civil War" was of course not the only civil war in history, but the only civil war seen in the U.S., so Americans refer to it as such. "The Fire", "The Hijacking", "The War", "The Massacre", of which there have been many, are all meaningless without context. So, it should follow that "THE Holocaust" falls into the same category. Without context, if I were to mention "THE Holocaust", your immediate question should be "Which one?" But that wouldn't happen, would it? Do you need a double-blind study before you consider your answer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
As for the second part

Now that can be a matter of opinion.
All events, tragic or otherwise, can be related to each other in degree of importance or of tragic effect.
It would be absurd to claim they're all the same in importance or tragic effect.

However, if you know of some other genocide that you think is greater in importance to recent generations of native English-speakers (because that's the people who use the phrase the Holocaust), please tell us what it is. I'm serious about that. Either it is more important or less important, but it isn't the same..

3:

There is no value to be gained by rejecting the use of "The Holocaust" as it is presently being used. Doing that will not increase the knowledge of people who are otherwise ignorant.
Of course it can be a matter of opinion. Maybe you believe that 6 million Jewish lives are more significant or worthy of remembrance than 7+ million Ukrainian lives lost in The Holodomor. Maybe you believe the Poles and Roma slaughtered alongside the Jews in the Nazi holocaust do not deserve to be considered victims of "THE Holocaust". I disagree, but I'm willing to hear your explanation as to why.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mysterious Benefactor View Post
This was covered earlier, but I'll reiterate. Using the article "the" before a proper noun with regard to an event is either understood as a result of its significance/peculiarity, or requires context. "The Titanic" is pretty simple; it refers to a specific shipwreck. That, in and of itself, does not imply that it was the only shipwreck in history, but that "The Titanic" is understood to be in reference to this particular shipwreck. "The Civil War" was of course not the only civil war in history, but the only civil war seen in the U.S., so Americans refer to it as such. "The Fire", "The Hijacking", "The War", "The Massacre", of which there have been many, are all meaningless without context. So, it should follow that "THE Holocaust" falls into the same category. Without context, if I were to mention "THE Holocaust", your immediate question should be "Which one?" But that wouldn't happen, would it?
I'd pose a very simple question. What other event considered a holocaust has the US joined a war on the scale of WWII to stop?


While they may be similar in their brutality, cruelty, loss of life, or other metrics, doesn't the fact that the US has only gone to war to stop one holocaust provide "the context" required to prevent the question of "Which one?" when dealing with a US citizen?

While the response of the US towards other genocidal events can be called into question (in another thread) the fact does remain that from a US perspective this is the only one that resulted in a world war.

Wouldn't the level of retaliation(an entire world war involving many nations) be considered context enough as you described in your example?

While I may very well be wrong, I suspect that if the Armenian Holocaust were at the center of a World War, there would definitely be a need for clarification, and if we only went to war to stop the Armenian holocaust, I think that would be the ones people assumed when hearing "The Holocaust."

This is not because either holocaust was "more significant" or had higher deaths but simply because joining a world war affects more people and the impact of that response provides the context you mentioned above.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
"THE Holocaust" has not simply come about through common usage.
Yes, that is exactly how "The Holocaust" came to represent the Nazi killings of WWII.
Someone started using it in that context, it caught on, and that is what it means now.

Quote:
Using the article "the" before a proper noun with regard to an event is either understood as a result of its significance/peculiarity, or requires context.
That is correct. The Holocaust is understood as a result of its significance. That's why it came into common usage to represent the Nazi killings. I can see that you don't like it, but in linguistics, common usage is the final determinant.

Quote:
Of course it can be a matter of opinion. Maybe you believe that 6 million Jewish lives are more significant or worthy of remembrance than 7+ million Ukrainian lives lost in The Holodomor. Maybe you believe the Poles and Roma slaughtered alongside the Jews in the Nazi holocaust do not deserve to be considered victims of "THE Holocaust". I disagree, but I'm willing to hear your explanation as to why.
Or maybe I don't. I didn't say either way what my opinions on that were.

I'm telling you why "the Holocaust" has come to represent the Nazi killings of Jews in WWII, which is the question you asked. That it only represents the Jewish part of the Nazi killings does not make the usage invalid. That event needed a name, and that's the name that it got.

The funny thing is, I know what you're actually trying to say as you kind of danced around it.
You are correct in what you want to say, but I'm not going to help you because I think you should have plainly stated your stance it in the initial post.
Also, your counter arguments in this thread were pathetic and I don't want to be associated with someone who is doing such a bad job.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Reject The Holocaust?

Yes, it was the biggest, most important and tragic Holocaust ever.
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was a genocide in which approximately 6 million Jews were killed by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime and its collaborators. Some historians use a definition of the Holocaust that includes the additional 5 million non-Jewish victims of Nazi mass murders, (other "undesirable" peoples including Poles, the Roma, and homosexuals), bringing the total to approximately 11 million.

There was another holocaust - the Ukrainian Holocaust or Holodomor, one of two genocides and man-made famines perpetrated by the Communists in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933, that killed up to 7.5 million Ukrainians.
Genocide is the general term for this atrocity, whereas holocaust specifically refers to Hitler’s extermination of the Jews.

What distinguishes The Holocaust from previous genocides was its efficiency.
The Nazis employed engineers to figure out how they could maximize their hourly body count. This horrific idea progressed from shooting people into open graves they dug themselves, to asphyxiating people in moving trucks, and finally culminated in the vile gas chambers at Buchenwald, and Auschwitz.
There should be a clarification on this entire Holocaust discussion. In fact, 5.5 million were non-jews, 6 million Jews. 11.5 million total. Those 5.5 million are usually mentioned as a foot note, if at all. They died JUST as tragically, horrifically and mercilessly as the Jews. One would think to ALWAYS include that if they were a "historian". It's always irked me.

I make no light nor diminish what happened to those 6 million Jews but, I view the ENTIRE Holocaust as 11.5 million PEOPLE every bit as murdered as anyone else in this organized melee.

Let's try to remember that. 11.5 million of many nationalities, creeds, religions, etc....is the number. Not "6 million Jews".
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:27 AM
 
1,562 posts, read 1,063,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeo123 View Post
I'd pose a very simple question. What other event considered a holocaust has the US joined a war on the scale of WWII to stop?


While they may be similar in their brutality, cruelty, loss of life, or other metrics, doesn't the fact that the US has only gone to war to stop one holocaust provide "the context" required to prevent the question of "Which one?" when dealing with a US citizen?

While the response of the US towards other genocidal events can be called into question (in another thread) the fact does remain that from a US perspective this is the only one that resulted in a world war.

Wouldn't the level of retaliation(an entire world war involving many nations) be considered context enough as you described in your example?

While I may very well be wrong, I suspect that if the Armenian Holocaust were at the center of a World War, there would definitely be a need for clarification, and if we only went to war to stop the Armenian holocaust, I think that would be the ones people assumed when hearing "The Holocaust."

This is not because either holocaust was "more significant" or had higher deaths but simply because joining a world war affects more people and the impact of that response provides the context you mentioned above.
Your question is indeed very simple, but it's based on a false premise. US involvement was not in response to any genocide taking place.
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