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Old 07-17-2015, 05:06 PM
 
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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?
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:36 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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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. 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 about 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.

Last edited by elnina; 05-18-2016 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:54 PM
 
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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 Hitlerís 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.
You may have misunderstood my question, or perhaps you misunderstand the word holocaust itself. There have been many of them throughout history, the ultimate death toll being debatable with virtually all of them; some greater or fewer than the Jewish holocaust. That being the case(or largely irrelevant), how is it reasonable to designate this particular holocaust as "THE Holocaust"(capital H), when it stands as only one of many?

You mentioned efficiency, but I fail to see how the efficiency of one's death makes it any more/less tragic or more/less worthy of commemoration. Are the Asian/Armenian/African lives lost to holocaust any less tragic/worthy?
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:17 PM
 
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I think the Holocaust stands out because the people who were involved are related to many of us in America as we have a connection to Europe as most of our ancestors came from Europe. Also our country was attacked during WW2 and we directly fought Germany. All those things make the Holocaust an event that American's were directly connected to. While no one says other genocides were not as bad I think the Holocaust was one of greatest tragedy's as millions of highly educated people were exterminated. One wonders how much damage was done to the technological advances of the human race by that one event.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:30 PM
 
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Because in the western world it was a supposed civilized western country that murder millions in death camps even beyond Jews. No we should remember that even a modern society of civilized people are capable of. Just as China is unlikely to ever not remember the so called rape of Nan King.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Iowa, USA
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You'd have to examine the word 'holocaust' quite thoroughly to get an answer.

I'll be brief.

The term 'holocaust' as it was first found in ~12th century Latin writings was referring to a sacrificial Jewish offering burned at an altar. The first 'holocaust' refers to religious sacrificial burning (I don't know what was burned, but I don't think it was people).

However, upon entering the English language, it had always referred to mass murder and slaughter.

The Germans called the Holocaust 'The Final Solution.' After the 'Final Solution' and WWII ended, the term 'holocaust was used to describe the events and was later popularized through various media outlets, thus leading to the genocide of the Jews as 'The Holocaust.'

Why do we put so much emphasis on 'The Holocaust?' It's not because it's the biggest genocide. It's likely not. In terms of overall effect, the destruction of Native American culture was substantially larger. Though two factors play in here to make the the Jewish Genocide more important. 1) History is written by the victors and 2) The efficiency of the Nazi's ethnic attack is to this day unparalleled.

Yeah, Stalin killed more people. But over a longer period of time and though "passive" (and I use that word lightly here) measures. Hitler, within a decade, was capable of rounding up 6 million Jews, putting them in camps, and executing them in mass numbers. It is beyond horrific. So horrific, that it does't even sound like it could actually happen, and it did. Thus, it's called 'The Holocaust' due to it's influence on world affairs, it's efficiency, it's reason, and it's size. It might not be the biggest genocide that's ever happened, but it certainly was the most efficient.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:26 AM
 
Location: TOVCCA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDusty View Post
However, upon entering the English language, it had always referred to mass murder and slaughter.
Not always. The word also had the meaning of a conflagration or destruction by fire, or in the religious sense, a 'burnt offering', at least before WWII.

For example, in the movie The Philadelphia Story (1940), James Stewart's character says to Katherine Hepburn's character, with awe and loving admiration, "You're lit from within, Tracy. You've got fires banked down in you, hearth-fires and holocausts."
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mysterious Benefactor View Post
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?
The use of the article 'the' most certainly does not imply that there was but one genocide or holocaust. A reference to 'the car' ("So I was driving the car and suddenly this deer jumps out in front of me...") does not imply that the car is unique, that there were no other cars on the road, or even that I do not own any other cars. Or, "I'm going to the library.". What does that mean? Well, when I say it to my wife, it means that I'm going to the local public library. It doesn't mean that I'm going to the library in the elementary school where she teaches. And it doesn't mean that I'm going to one of the two local college libraries, where I in fact have library cards and which I occasionally frequent. Nor does it mean that I'm going to drive to the next town a dozen miles down the highway and go to their public library. No, it means that I'm going to the public library, and my wife understands this because it is where the vast majority of my library visits take place. So 'the' is used when the thing that follows it is understood and requires neither specificity nor ambiguity. Thus it is with 'the Holocaust' - the event's magnitude and cultural significance are why we use 'the' in front of it.

As for capitalization, the phrase Civil War, when used to refer to a a certain conflict in North America in the 1860s, does not imply that there were no other civil wars. The use of 'Great Depression' does not hold that there were no other depressions that were in fact great. Again, so it is with 'the Holocaust'. And again, this is rooted in the specific dominance of the event in our collective history.

We should only reject this for a good reason, and you have provided no such good reason.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
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There is The Holocaust and a holocaust. The former relates to a specific event.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mysterious Benefactor View Post
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?
It doesn't "imply" that to me...not a all,..maybe you're presuming such
maybe some people might respond to it more because they assume (as you)....... or maybe that's the only one they're really aware of.
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