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Old 08-30-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Many of the Muslims in Southeastern Europe were very complicit. There was even a Muslim SS unit.

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Old 08-30-2012, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Originally Posted by guyfromgermany View Post
i m very intersted in this theme - also searching for many years for the big "why".

There is a simple answer - every nation was involved by killing the jews and other groups ( Chipsys, Comunists, Gays and so on ).

Every occupied nation/society delivered the jews by ACTIVE work. It is a myth that this crime was only done under german pressure. After the fall of the iron-curtain started a discussion about the own role in that period. The Results are widely ignored, cause it shows that the system was only working by active collaboration of the normal people. Not only in the east - every nation was involved. The only one which were activ in saving jews were the danish population ( on a wide scale ).

The neutrals made the business of the history ( especially switzerland ), others killed by ignorance and the allied played their role by closing the borders for refugees - but only for the poor. For example - in Poland and Rusia many jews had to die after the germans were gone.

I guess it will take another generation ( or two ) before the discussion about the massacre can be done in a historical-neutral way.

It is a world-wide shame. We should also keep in memory that there were millions of chipsys, gays, handicaped, POWs, opponents and others which had to die in that period.
Often overlooked is how the US refused entree to those who fled. Some of the ships ended up back in Europe. A few found landfall in further off places. The US government also froze all visas, leaving thousands of its citizens stranded in Europe before the war actively began. Often it was the case of a woman who married a european and had a child but while she could leave the child had no visa and as the issuince of them was frozen, could not get one. In some areas as they were occupied non-citizens of the county (including Americans) were moved together and slowly dissapeared. Of the thousands of people with files, very few still truned up after the war.

There is a wonderful documentary called Paperclips. A group of middle school students taking a class on the Holocaust wanted to do a project but came up with their own. The man who invented the paperclip was I believe Dutch. People began wearing a paper clip as a silent protest. The students decided to collect 6 million paperclips as a memorial to the dead.

This grew and grew, with it being picked up by a tv station. They recieved letters from survivors and family of survivors, all carefully saved, and in the end decided to make an official memorial at the school. A boxcar used to transport prisoners was donated, along with all the efforts to get it from Germany to the US, to hold them. But the count of paperclips far exceeded the number they'd planned and they decided to fill the bin with twelve million, near the amount of human being snuffed out in persuit of racial purity directly or indirectly. The car and the clips and the memorial was dedicated as holy ground. And this was all done by a succession of fourteen year olds.

The name of it is 'Paperclip' and its on netflix, but the two disc dvd is better than the one since it has a lot of background and interviews.

I don't think that the governments of the world not under occupation really understood what the Nazi's had planned when opening their borders when have meant something, and in some ways this makes their actions somewhat understandable, but its also true that there were those who knew, and still chose to send away refugees. Ironically the justification was spies and communists. Later when it was to end it being an ally to those same communists didn't seem so bad.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
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The Aftermath of the Holocaust

"After liberation, many Jewish survivors feared to return to their former homes because of the antisemitism (hatred of Jews) that persisted in parts of Europe and the trauma they had suffered. Some who returned home feared for their lives. In postwar Poland, for example, there were a number of pogroms (violent anti-Jewish riots). The largest of these occurred in the town of Kielce in 1946 when Polish rioters killed at least 42 Jews and beat many others."
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Originally Posted by LINative View Post
This would mean that at least Finland, Spain and Portugal "protected" their small Jewish populations. Which is kind of suprising because Finalnd was a actual German ally and Spain was neutral but a pro-Axis dictatorship. I am guessing Portugal was similiar to Spain.

Albania is another country you never hear about regarding the Holocaust. Since it was conquered by Italy, maybe the Italian authorities plus the local Albanians might have at first protected the Jews. Plus, as you suggested the small Jewish population may have kept Albania under the Nazi radar screen.
There is also the public appearance of things. Neutral and allied nations were there because of the need for trade and contact. If trainloads of their citizens had been sent across the German occupied border to die it would not have maintained that. While the Swiss plainly collaborated in making it profitable, all of this was done in very quiet ways. The most public sign was allowing the trains to transverse Swiss territory, but this largely happened after German railways had been blocked much later. The Swiss never wavered in claiming they were neutral.

It's suspected that one of the motivations of the German who told the Danes of the coming transport was to solve his problem of removing them more easily. Thanks to his warning, when they came looking all but a few were gone. It's notable that the Danes fought and retireved most of those taken and they were returned to Denmark.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Phil306 View Post
I shall disagree with your assessment. Although certain points are accurate, others are not. Not too mention, it boils down to the definition of "assist." Now, if you are saying groups of Polish persons went around and rounded up Jews and turned them over to the Germans? No. It was not widespread, however it did occur. The germans offered money to anyone who turned over Jews.

However, since Poland, during WWII had the largest concentration of Jews, in Europe (hence why most of the death camps were in Poland, along with other reasons) it stands to reason, the VAST majority of Polish persons gave tacit approval to the Germans. They "looked the other way." Yes, there are all sorts of cases of Polish persons assisting Jews and being killed for it. No question. However, many more "looked the other way," when the major roundups, etc were going on.

I know, "What were they going to do?" Fight. Many did. If many more stood up, many of the killings would not have occurred. In the beginning, during the T4 killings of "undesirables," in Germany, the population did, in fact, stand up against Hitler. The killings slowed down (not halted), but also went underground.

Another thing, in regards to the Polish People: When the war was over, and MANY Polish Jews returned home, they were turned away by the Polish Government and the Polish people. Homes which belonged to Polish Jews were occuppied by Poles and they refused to turn them over. The Polish Government almost ALWAYS sided with the Polish people, not the Polish Jews. There are many cases of Polish persons telling returning Jews, "Not enough of you were gassed."

The Polish People, as a whole, were just as guilty as the German Government. Many today admit this and feel a certain "shame" to their actions.
Okay, then who gets blamed as complicit in the murder of 3 million Polish Catholics? We can’t just blame the Germans, right? Should the Poles apologize to themselves for being invaded by the Germans and being regularly shot on the streets by German soldiers, forced into slave labor, and having to watch their Polish culture raped and destroyed by the invading Krauts. Most Poles were worried about their own survival under the Nazis. The entire historic city of Warsaw blasted into complete ruins. That's what happened when the Poles fought against the Nazis--there was probably less collaboration than any other occupied nation. And much of the collaboration was ethnic Germans already living within the borders of Poland. Most Poles who collaborated did so under the threat of death—just as the Jewish ghetto police(Jews themselves) were forced under that threat to round up Jews to the camps(and even build those camps). The Polish people did stand up--and they were massacred more than any other occupied nation outside of the territories of the USSR. The Germans had their own plans for the Poles--do you really think they would've cared if the entire Polish nation stood up against them?

When the Polish Resistance would kill a German solidier near a Polish village, the Nazi response was to simply kill everyone in the entire village. And the Poles still fought on despite this fact. Given the chance they would've simply destroyed the entire population--the end goal was to resettle Poland with German colonists and the Nazi leadership cared very little if all Slavic Poles were wiped off the face of the Earth. I'm sure there were plenty of Poles who didn't care that the Jews were being rounded up first to ghettos and then to camps--on the other hand you have no proof that the entire populace had any idea about what was going in the death camps. It was Polish Resistance agents that actually informed the Allies about what was going on and actually attempted the only breakouts in Auschwitz. I won't argue that this one action reflects all Poles at the time--but you're simply arguing that the opposite is ture.

So all Poles are just as guilty as the German government, right...

There was anti-Semitism against Jews in Poland that increased during the late 1930s. A depressing fact and there were reprisals in the east against Jews that were seen as collaborators with the Soviets and there was awful violence especially in the rural areas. The far-right Polish nationalists were guilty of their own crimes. The 1930s was a period where the far right and anti-Semitism was rising across Europe. But you want to point the finger at all of the Poles--then you better equally point the blame at all of the French and all of the Italians and all of the Hungarians and all of the Romanians and all of the Croats and all of the other nations that ended up being much cozier with the Germans than the Poles ever were(as well as nations that simply ignored what was going on and refused to accept Jewish refugees like the USA). There was no Polish equivalent of the Vichy French government.

Last edited by Deezus; 08-30-2012 at 04:33 PM..
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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There are also those that deny the fact that Europe has been devasted by wars, thousands were killed during military operations and after, that concentration camps were not built for the Jews but for overall population of ocupied countries but only want to show the Jewish suffering during the war. Everybody suffered and people of every nationality, including disobedient Germans, could find themselves in a concetration camp or just shot at the side of the road.
WWII was not just about the Jews, was it?
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
This is all accurate. The Poles also paid a higher price for assisting Jews - death - than any other nationality.

And yet, so many did just that!

Irina Sendler is one shining example of this. She was a Polish Christian Social Worker and daughter of a doctor who smuggled children and others out of the Warsaw Ghetto. For this she was tortured and beaten and left for dead. Remarkably, she is still alive and in living in the US.

The amount of Poles who assisted Jews is higher than any other country, despite the harsher penalties imposed upon compassionate Poles. And there were many.

Excellent point, many do not know that the occupied Poland was the only country were Germans punished those hiding or helping Jews with immediate death of the entire family: both the Jews and family that harbored would be shot on the spot including children.
Let's remember that this was not the case for occupied Holland or France.
It's not easy to be a hero when you are risking your own and your entire family life for a stranger or a even a family friend. How many of posters here would risk that fate for their own?

Last edited by rebel12; 08-30-2012 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Coerced? While I will grant you the fact that the governments of occupied Europe were at the time puppet regimes but to deny the existence of rabid anti-semitism in Europe, both east and west, is a bit contrary to the historical facts. The Nazis found willing partners throughout occupied Europe with a few exceptions, Bulgaria being one shining example. But that was not the case in Poland, Hungry, the Baltic states, Greece or Yugoslavia.
The reasons for the collaboration with Germany varied, but one common point was that within recent memory, Jewish-led Communist revolutions had broken out in many of those countries, or else they had been invaded by Soviet Russia. All politics is local.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Originally Posted by rebel12 View Post
Excellent point, many do not know that the occupied Poland was the only country were Germans punished those hiding or helping Jews with immediate death of the entire family: both the Jews and family that harbored would be shot on the spot including children.
Let's remember that this was not the case for occupied Holland or France.
It's not easy to be a hero when you are risking your own and your entire family life for a stranger or a even a family friend. How many of posters here would risk that fate for their own?
Other areas they were generally sent to die in concentration camps. But since the Poles were likely to go there anyway in the end, perhaps it wasn't enough. It might have also much more firmly defined the lines, both in terms of those who would cooperate to live and those who would not. I wonder if some things would have been different in other places if the same rule was in place and the issue right in front of people.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
I don't think that the governments of the world not under occupation really understood what the Nazi's had planned when opening their borders when have meant something, and in some ways this makes their actions somewhat understandable,
Not in the case of the U.S. whose denial of Jewish refugees was the result of the rampant anti-semitism in particular and anti-immigration policies.

http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/arc.../holocaust.pdf

Voyage of the St. Louis
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