Respectful Insolence

Creationism X Holocaust denial = stupidity2

Seventy years ago today, the massed armies of the Third Reich poured across the Polish border, marking the official start of World War II. It would require nearly six years, millions of deaths, and the combined might of the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and numerous other nations to bring the war to an end, with Hitler utterly defeated. I mark this occasion because of my interest in World War II history, the Holocaust, Holocaust denial, and because my heritage is Polish through my father’s side. Another thing that needs to be understood about September 1, 1939 is that it marked the date when the Holocaust kicked into high gear, because the invasion of Poland placed vast new tracts of land under Hitler’s control, and these tracts of land had large numbers of Jews, whom he hated. The repression and killing began virtually immediately and escalated even further after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Up until the war, the progressive repression, elimination of rights, exploitation, expulsion, and killing of Jews had been building relatively slowly, but war led to an exponential increase in the intensity of Hitler’s violence against the Jews. The war allowed repression to turn exterminationist.

The reason I bring this up is that the other day I saw the absolute dumbest example of Holocaust denial I’ve ever seen. Believe me, I’ve been in some of the deepest, darkest depths of Holocaust denial discussion boards, right in the heart of some of the nastiest, vilest, most despicable white power rangers, and I can’t recall anything this ignorant of history and brain dead at the same time. It’s also a perfect example of crank magnetism, in that he’s someone who’s very well known around ScienceBlogs for his creationist proclivities and is known to show up to troll the comments of several blogs when the topic of evolution comes up. His sheer crankitude surpasses that of even many anti-vaccine zealots that I encounter. (Hmmm. I wonder if he’s into anti-vaccine quackery and “alternative medicine,” too.)

Yes, I’m referring to Larry Fafarman, who apparently can’t distinguish fantasy from reality, as he demonstrates in a post entitled Inglourious Basterds and the problem of Jew identification.

Oh, god, the stupid so burns:

I went to see the recently-released movie “Inglourious Basterds” — a holocaust-themed movie — because I wanted to see how it handled the problem of Nazi identification of Jews and non-Jews in the holocaust. I have long contended that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. Of course, the movie glosses over this problem of Jew identification — the Jewish characters in the movie don’t even look Jewish. Also, the movie begins with Nazis hunting Jewish farmers in the French countryside; if you are going to exterminate six-million Jews, you can’t afford to spend much time hunting individual Jews.

I happened to have seen Inglourious Basterds. It’s most definitely not a history movie. In fact, it’s about as far from a history movie as I can imagine, given that it completely rewrites the history of World War II. Consequently, looking to a Quentin Tarantino movie, one that he has openly described as fantasy, for evidence of how Nazis identified Jews is about as misguided as looking to The Three Stooges’ You Nazty Spy! or I’ll Never Heil Again for realistic World War II history. Personally, I consciously had to shut down my nitpicking urge to point out the historical inaccuracies early in the movie. Fortunately, I succeeded, or the end of the movie would have shattered my fragile eggshell mind. (What that rewriting of World War II history is, I won’t say, in case some of my readers who want to see the movie have not yet seen it.)

But even dumber is the observation that, because a character in a Quentin Tarantino movie written to be a fantasy about World War II, an SS officer named Col. Hans Lanza (a.k.a. “the Jew Hunter”) was portrayed in the first scene of this movie looking for Jews in hiding, then the Holocaust couldn’t happened and the Nazis couldn’t possibly have murdered six million Jews. Apparently, Larry hasn’t heard of the mobile killing units, the Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing units who rounded up Jews and shot them by the hundreds and even thousands. Or how Jews like Ann Frank did indeed hide in the houses of gentiles willing to protect them from the Germans and were indeed found. It’s not that I’m defending the historicity of a movie like Inglourious Basterds, but when I see such “reasoning” used by Larry to deny the Holocaust, reasoning he’s used on many occasions before, his mantra being, “A ‘systematic’ Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews.”

Once again, Larry demonstrates his ability to create a black hole of ignorance that sucks in all knowledge and intelligence, rendering it stupid, too. Indeed, it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant morons like Fafarman are about the very history they try to deny. He clearly does not know that the Nazis expended an enormous amount of thought, resources, and effort on disinguishing Jews from non-Jews. In fact, the Nazis did not decide who was and was not a Jew by whether or not they “looked Jewish,” although it is true that Nazi racial hygienists did try to come up with measurements that would allow them to distinguish Jew from non-Jew. Rather, the Nazis enacted the Nuremberg Laws in 1935 in the first place. The first purpose of these laws was to strip Jews of virtually all rights. However, the second purpose was to define who was a Jew and who was Mischling (having Jewish ancestry but not enough to be considered Jewish under Nazi law).

In effect the Nuremberg laws systematized the identification of Jews and tried to make it as objective as the Nazis could. Under these laws, a Jew was defined as (1) anyone having three or more Jewish grandparents regardless of whether he self-identified as a Jew or practiced the Jewish religion or (2) anyone having two Jewish grandparents who either:

  • Practiced the Jewish religion
  • Were married to a Jew
  • Had a Jewish parent, even if illegitimate

This latter category of Jews were known as Geltungsjude (“Jews by legal validity”). People who didn’t fall under any of the above conditions but had two Jewish grandparents were Mischling of the first degree, while anyone with only one Jewish grandparent was Mischling of the second degree, “Mischling” meaning “crossbreed” or “mixed.” In any case, the point is that the Nazis had a fairly straightforward definition of who was and was not a Jew based on their defining Jews as a race rather than a religion. In essence, they tried to define Jews by genetics rather than than self-identification or practicing the Jewish religion. True, there may have been gray areas, and there were even legal cases in Nazi Germany over who would and would not be considered a Jew, but it was very, very systematic, and, yes, about as “objective” as such a process could be made. It is also true that the basis of the systematized and objective standards of the Nuremberg Laws were based on a dubious conception of Jews as a race, but they were very systematic.

The Nazis tried very hard to make them so. Their criteria were somewhat arbitrarily chosen, but they were objective and had virtually nothing to do with whether a person “looked Jewish” or not. Of course, even if the Nazis didn’t have an “objective” system for identifying Jews, that would not be an argument that they couldn’t possibly have systematically murdered so many Jews. It’s a classic non sequitur to argue that.

Although I haven’t taken much notice of Larry for two years, I did once nominate him for the stupidest Holocaust denier of them all. He didn’t quite win the award (someone going by the ‘nym “Liberator” did, when he equated Adolf Hitler to Thomas Jefferson), but he appears to be trying to make a comeback to take the crown for himself.

Comments

  1. #1 ildi
    September 1, 2009

    I got totally derailed by this:

    vast new tracts of land

    Monty Python has ruined certain phrases for me…

  2. #2 techskeptic
    September 1, 2009

    Orac,

    I mark this occasion because of my interest in World War II history, the Holocaust, Holocaust denial, and because my heritage is Polish through my father’s side.

    Have you listened to any of Dan Carlins Hardcore History podcast? I was never really a history buff, but this series, which takes you all over time (punic wars, american indians, WWI, WWII, mongolian empire) is truly well done.

    One series in the podcast is Ghosts of the Osfront I,II,and III. It doesn’t cover poland, but its about the german invasion into russia. Again well done.

    Just thought you might me interested.

  3. #3 Shay
    September 1, 2009

    Yet another example of how many Americans get their history from the movies. My God, it’s scary.

  4. #4 DLC
    September 1, 2009

    Gads. the burning stupid!
    “they didn’t look like Jews” cries Farfarman. (an alias?)

    Is this a case for a regular hazmat team or should we declare it a superfund site ?
    They didn’t look Jewish, the man says!
    Sorry, we’ll try to arrange for some Hasidim for the next movie.

  5. #5 Alison Cummins
    September 1, 2009

    Aren’t you misrepresenting his argument? He’s saying that walking down the street, a random Nazi cannot pick out the Jews from the non-Jews randomly walking down the street with him, and therefore cannot selectively exterminate the Jews in the crowd.

    This is a different question from that of whether or not legislation existed that defined Jews based on ancestry.

    He is so clearly wrong, why resort to a straw man to attack him?

  6. #6 LovleAnjel
    September 1, 2009

    I believe Orac’s point is that the Nazi’s didn’t exterminate Jews by randomly walking down the street, so pointing out how difficult that may have been (apparently disregarding the enforced wearing of Star of David patches) is straw man itself.

  7. #7 Nomen Nescio
    September 1, 2009

    isn’t he internally inconsistent as well? he’s claiming that the nazis could not have easily identified jews to exterminate them, yet he’s claiming that the actors in a movie don’t look jewish to him… well, if the nazis couldn’t tell, how could fafarman?

  8. #8 Alison Cummins
    September 1, 2009

    LoveleAnjel,

    You’re right, Farfarman’s argument is a straw man, but that’s not what Orac said.

    Orac said that Farfarman is wrong about the problem of picking out Jews from non-Jews in a crowd because legislation defined Jews based on ancestry.

    Farfarman is very wrong, but the issue of ancestry-based legislation in this context appears to me to be a change of subject.

    The whole, horrible bureacracy, with objective rules, and everyone doing their little part as cogs in a repugnant machine is what made it possible, and yes, the genetics-based “objective” legislation was part of the whole, horrible, machine-like bureaucracy. Yes. So the individual Nazi from outside the community does not actually have to pick out Jews from non-Jews in a crowd walking down the street. Correct.

    But the straw-man argument that it’s too difficult to for a random Nazi to objectively identify random Jews in a crowd for the purposes of shooting them is not answered by the statement that No, it’s not too difficult because legislation defines them. (Addresses the stated problem, but nonsensically.) Or by the statement that Of course there were objective measures, they were right there in the legislation. (Correctly addresses a different problem.)

  9. #9 Scott
    September 1, 2009

    But the straw-man argument that it’s too difficult to for a random Nazi to objectively identify random Jews in a crowd for the purposes of shooting them is not answered by the statement that No, it’s not too difficult because legislation defines them. (Addresses the stated problem, but nonsensically.) Or by the statement that Of course there were objective measures, they were right there in the legislation. (Correctly addresses a different problem.)

    Orac didn’t MAKE either of those arguments. The argument he did make is that Fafarman’s argument is a straw man because the Nazis didn’t need to identify random Jews in a crowd, because they tackled that problem in a different manner, as demonstrated by the legislation showing the approach they DID use to identify Jews.

    IOW, the difficulty of identifying random Jews in a crowd is irrelevant because they didn’t try to do that in the first place.

  10. #10 symball
    September 1, 2009

    Hi Orac- Have you ever considered using HXXP links for sites such as this one that deserve no recognition from a highly ranked site such as yours. Just replace the t’s with X’es and you can cite your source without adding google juice to their witterings.

    there are techier (geekier?) ways of doing this but this one is quite well known and does stop some rather unpleasant sites getting recognition they do not deserve.

  11. #11 Hank
    September 1, 2009

    symball: Orac tends to use nofollow, IIRC.

  12. #12 Thony C.
    September 1, 2009

    Someone should explain to Farfarman that Germany is Code-Napoleon country, which means that everybody is required to own, and carry at all times, a personal identity card. During the Nazi period these cards identified the carrier as Jew or not Jew. I know a lot of people who still have their Arierausweis that is the proof that they are Aryans and not Jews.

  13. #13 NoAstronomer
    September 1, 2009

    Of course the Nuremburg aws only applied to German Jews so this is a good example of their approach. However while the Nazis did similarly use public records to identify Jews in other countries I doubt they were as picky about who qualified as a Jew.

  14. #14 MikeMa
    September 1, 2009

    In addition to identity cards, the Jews were not rounded up immediately in one huge sweep through Germany. First they were identified and shunned, then forced to wear badges, and finally forced into ghettos. Once in the ghetto, it was pretty easy to round up as many as you needed to fill the boxcars. Very simplified version of this history but clearly more than Larry can handle.

  15. #15 Sir Eccles
    September 1, 2009

    Two historical documentaries spring to mind.

    “Capricorn One” proved, OJ had to fake the Mars landing thus proving that the gloves didn’t fit and that therefore the moon landing was a fake.

    “Galaxy Quest” proved that the captain always loses his shirt.

  16. #16 David
    September 1, 2009

    The Nazis didn’t have to look at Jews to identify them. They had access to baptism and marriage records from both Catholic and Protestant churches throughout Germany, which the churches willingly turned over, knowing that they would be used to identify and persecute jews.

  17. #17 Dawn
    September 1, 2009

    My WWII history is pretty weak, although reading RI has improved it. However, I seem to remember reading that at least as recently as the early 1900’s many Jewish communities in European countries were controlled as to living areas (ghettos), so anyone living in a certain area, whether they were Jewish or not, could be assumed to be Jewish and might be swept up in a purge. I’m at work and can’t do a lot of research, but can anyone confirm this?

  18. #18 MikeMa
    September 1, 2009

    Many Germans had no qualms about ratting out Jews or identifying them when asked. In some cases it was patriotic, in others it was a true passion for the master race and an attempt to reduce competition. So many ways Larry is deluded.

  19. #19 rob
    September 1, 2009

    hey, i can use logic too!

    i have seen Star Wars 1385 times in my mom’s basement and have NEVER noticed ANY jews. therefore the holocaust did not happen.

  20. #20 Kenbo
    September 1, 2009

    Instead of spending $8 on a movie ticket for his history lesson, Fafarman should have taken that money and bought “IBM and the Holocaust”.

  21. #21 J Max
    September 1, 2009

    Hilarity! Mélanie Laurent the actress who played the role of the Jewish theater owner is in fact Jewish (and hot).

  22. #22 James Sweet
    September 1, 2009

    I happened to have seen Inglourious Basterds. It’s most definitely not a history movie. In fact, it’s about as far from a history movie as I can imagine, given that it completely rewrites the history of World War II. Consequently, looking to a Quentin Tarantino movie, one that he has openly described as fantasy, for evidence of how Nazis identified Jews is about as misguided as looking to The Three Stooges’ You Nazty Spy! or I’ll Never Heil Again for realistic World War II history.

    Orac,

    You may be interested to know that my recent research in to Castle Wolfenstein 3-D has demonstrated that the Holocaust could not possibly have happened, because in order for it to work then Hitler would have to have an army of undead mutants, and since the Hitler Zombie clearly post-dates WWII, I don’t think this is possible.

    Please try and get your facts straight in the future.

    —James Sweet

  23. #23 Art
    September 1, 2009

    The ability, or inability, to identify Jews on sight has little to do with it. It isn’t like Germans had a lot of civil rights that protected them from being detained and questioned. Starting with a family history that would be checked against existing documents and cross-checked. It is hard to create a false family history when every fact is tracked down and checked.

    The SS was not above simply detaining anyone who caught their eye, dragging them down to the station and questioning them of family history, political affiliations, and sympathies.

    If there was any suspicion, any at all, that Jews or enemy sympathizers might be present they were not above isolating off several city blocks and taking everyone to be questioned. People with minor infractions would be leveraged for information. Everything would be documented and over time sympathizers, Jews, and other undesirables rooted out.

    In districts where rumors said people were hiding detailed records were often kept of the most mundane things. Numbers of shoes sold, amounts of food consumed, types and numbers of clothing washed or hung out to dry. In one case the number of times a toilet was flushed became a clue.

  24. #24 Tinna G. Gígja
    September 1, 2009

    Aaaaagh. Clearly this Farfarman character is not real, since anyone that stupid would not have the mental agility required to operate a computer. Hell, I doubt he’d be able to breathe and walk without assistance.

    I’d like to quote Larry’s own words back to him: “You are so dumbshit stupid that you need to be euthanized to protect yourself and others from the consequences of your own stupidity.”

    Dunghill.

  25. #25 Shay
    September 1, 2009

    MikeMa@18: Remember that wasn’t just the Germans who were ratting out their Jewish countrymen. In most parts of occupied Europe, particularly the Balkans and Poland, the local Christian population couldn’t wait to hand over the Jews to captivity and death (Serbia, for example, was able to get rid of 90% of her pre-war Jewish population).

    Denmark is a shining example of how the citizens of an honorable country should act (but so rarely do).

  26. #26 Xavier Kreiss
    September 1, 2009

    You were right not to nominate “Liberator”.

    He is in a different category, as he is a Nazi – see his “signature”, 88 ( the eight letter of the alphabet twice: h h = heil Hitler ). He is also either deluded, ignorant, or a very clumsy liar. Or a bit of all three.

    Is a Nazi a holocaust denier? Does a bear (etc)… ?

    As for identifying Jews or non-Jews, a whole grotesque “science” was born in the 30s to try to do just that, with tests, etc, that were of no value whatsoever.

    In the case of men, of course, it usually wasn’t too difficult to tell. Very few non Jewish Europeans are circumcized.

  27. #27 Laser Potato
    September 1, 2009

    rob, does Watto from Episode I count?

  28. #28 IBY
    September 2, 2009

    Besides, didn’t the Jews wear the star of David so that the Nazis could id them?

  29. #29 SquirrelElite
    September 2, 2009

    An interesting post, as always. It’s nice to see a different subject come up from time to time.

    I offer a few comments:

    First, identification/separation/expulsion had been going on in Europe for a long time. The Jews were originally expelled from their homeland in the Middle East by the Romans and the subject comes up briefly in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe, which is set in England during/after the 2nd Crusade in the 11th century.

    Separation into isolated communities had also been going on for quite a while. It was especially enforced by the Russian Czars who controlled Poland at least from the end of the Napoleonic Wars till World War I. Merely for illustration, you can see an example in the movie Fiddler On The Roof. This may also have been convenient for those Jews who were trying to uphold the extensive rules on dress, behavior, and food.

    So the Nazis weren’t starting from square zero on this one. What they did do was to change it from harassment and discrimination to mass murder, i.e. the Holocaust.

    The second point is that although the vast, overwhelming majority of the people killed in the Holocaust were Jews, not all of them were. I know I have read references that included homosexuals and Gypsies in the list. Please excuse my failure to include a good reference in this comment.

    Although meticulous record-keepers, the Nazis were also good at euphemism and plausible deniability.

    This leads to point three, that the start of World War II and especially the invasion of the Soviet Union removed the major need for the Nazis to be coy or secretive about rounding up and killing people.

    Why worry about someone getting mad and going to war with you when you are already at war with them?

  30. #30 RebeccaF
    September 2, 2009

    I think a very basic thing that person fails to understand is that the situation wasn’t such that the state had to prove a person was Jewish. The person had to prove they *weren’t* to avoid further steps being taken.

    So the troops didn’t walk around looking for people looking Jewish, they walked around and searched for people who didn’t carry an Arierausweis.

  31. #31 Michael Simpson
    September 2, 2009

    “Jew identification”?????? Is that like “Jew restaurant”. Or “Jew tailor”. I don’t know why using “Jew” as a modifier always causes shivers down my back, but it does, mainly because it is used by the anti-semitic crowd. I know a few will argue with me on that point, but I suppose that most Jews would find such verbiage as pejorative if not racist.

    I’m not sure why Orac is getting annoyed by Fafarman (any more than one normally would by the babblings of that creationist twit), especially when Fafarman totally lacks any historical knowledge. Let’s get real, he only needs to focus on 6000 years of history, as opposed to our 4.5 billion years, so just on a random basis, he has less of chance of messing it up. Yet he does.

    @Shay. I think your knowledge of European History needs upgrading. Poles are the leading nationality in the Holocausts’ Righteous among the Nations, an honor given to those gentiles who saved Jews during the Holocaust. And I believe Bulgaria is the only country so honored, although their honor is a bit odd. Bulgaria refused to hand over any Jews to the Nazis. None. Zero. That’s good. Bulgarian troops, however, rounded up Jews in Greece and Macedonia to be sent to Auschwitz. I guess in the morality of the Holocaust, Bulgaria was a net positive for saving Jews.

    My point is, as much as we should give credit to the members of the Danish resistance who moved Jews from Denmark to Sweden (thereby saving Niels Bohr’s life, who would go on to help the US create the atom bomb), we should also remember that over 6000 Poles, 5000 Dutch, 2300 French, etc. also risked their lives to save Jews. I know, it would have been better if all countries were like Bulgaria (makes me just a bit nauseous to write that), but the fear that the Nazis engendered in their occupied countries was horrible.

    And still, Farfaman is a putz.

  32. #32 Christophe Thill
    September 2, 2009

    “Remember that wasn’t just the Germans who were ratting out their Jewish countrymen. In most parts of occupied Europe, particularly the Balkans and Poland, the local Christian population couldn’t wait to hand over the Jews to captivity and death”

    As for France, which was only half occupied until 1943 and kept a government with an appearance of legality, things were not so much better. The Jews were rounded up, not by the German occupation army, but by the French police. The collaborationist government thought that, if took the initiative of giving Hitler all the foreign Jews (mostly Germans who had fled) and passing its own antisemitic laws, the war prisoners might be released (a great proportion of the defeated French army was in the prisoner camps in Germany). Of course Hitler asked for more and didn’t give much in exchange…

    This wasn’t very well known until relatively recently. We have two American historians (Marrus and Paxton) to thank for that.

  33. #33 Ginger Yellow
    September 2, 2009

    “Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews”

    Orac’s right, this really is the stupidest holocaust denialism ever. By the same token, apartheid was impossible because the National Party had no objective and reliable ways of identifying blacks and non-blacks.

  34. #34 LovleAnjel
    September 2, 2009

    @Xavier

    Real Nazis would be proud to say that the Holocaust happened and that it was the right thing to do. (I have met people like that, it boiled my blood.) The deniers are p*ssy Nazis.

  35. #35 Dawn
    September 2, 2009

    A friend of mine told me she and her husband went to see Inglorious Bastards last night, and thought it was a great comedy. Not history, not true to life, but par with the 3 Stooges for accuracy.

  36. #36 Glorious Bastards
    September 2, 2009

    Kopfe sind poopy!

    Any person that relates movie media to actuality needs a swift kick in the ass. Especially is you are relating it to something as impacting as the Holocaust.

  37. #37 peter
    September 2, 2009

    “I know I have read references that included homosexuals and Gypsies in the list.”

    The first one to be rounded up after the “machtergreifung” were journalists, left wing politicians including communists, trade unionists etc. They were the first ones tortured and killed. The jews came later.

    There was actually a level at below which you were considered non jew.
    I cannot recall the precise “cut off” point, but my grandparents on both sides at 18% or so jewish were deemed arian.
    And yes, even today every German has to carry a personal ID card at all times, so he can prove his identity to a policeman when questioned any time.
    You even have to notify the local authorities when you move from one city to another, so called “melde pflicht”.

  38. #38 tWB
    September 2, 2009

    It’s actually quite interesting how the Nazis routinized racial identification. For example, teachers were required to produce family records proving their “racial purity,” and that information was then compiled into identification booklets that they had to present for employment. As a result of such policies, antisemitism and other racist attitudes were “pushed down” into the population and made part of daily behavior patterns. From there, the actual identification was perhaps the easiest part.

    The pro-Nazi stupidity, it burns. And PLEASE do not link to these idiots, or at least warn us what’s on the other side.

  39. #39 LovleAnjel
    September 2, 2009

    Technically, US citizens have to carry id cards at all times, and we have to notify local authorities when we move. Driver’s licenses and state ids have to be updated usually within 30 days of moving.

  40. #40 Scott
    September 2, 2009

    But you don’t have to have either a driver’s license or state ID, as I understand it.

    Good luck doing a lot of things without it, but I don’t believe you’re technically obliged by law to have one, and certainly not to carry it at all times.

  41. #41 Bexley
    September 2, 2009

    This leads to point three, that the start of World War II and especially the invasion of the Soviet Union removed the major need for the Nazis to be coy or secretive about rounding up and killing people.

    Squirrelelite – in addition the war also increased the desire of the Nazis to persecute the Jews (and others).

    For starters Roosevelt made no secret of his antipathy to the Nazis. The passage of laws like the Lend-Lease Act fed into the paranoia and anti-semitism of the Nazi leadership convinced them it was evidence of a worldwide jewish plot against the German people. Or something. Therefore they felt the need to punish those Jews they had in their power.

    Another reason for the escalation of violence against the Jews was probably the fact that Germany needed to import food to feed all its people. (This is part of the reason behind lebensraum policies – more area for Germany’s farmers to grow the food the country needed.) The conquests the Germans made in the early part of the war didnt change this – they still had a net food deficit over Germany and the occupied countries but now they were blockaded too (although initially they could import food overland from Russia).

    With more people than they could feed, combined with their racial theories the result was a decision to get rid of “undesirable” sections of the population. The Jews were “just” the first planned step, they also planned on killing/starving tens of millions more Slavs to clear the Caucuses for Germans to settle.

    I seriously recommend Adam Tooze’s The Wages of Destruction for more info on the Nazi economy and how it affected the war. After reading that I’m amazed that Albert Speer escaped with only 20 years from the Nuremburg Trials given what he appears to have been complicit in and known about.

  42. #42 Jud
    September 2, 2009

    First – “Ghetto” is a Yiddish word for the area of town in which Jews had to reside. The first were in Holland, I think around the 16th century, and other nations thought it was such a wonderful idea that it was rapidly adopted elsewhere (if they permitted Jews at all – no Jews were permitted in England, for example, during a period that more than encompassed Shakespeare’s lifetime, so the character of Shylock had no basis in anyone Shakespeare ever knew).

    There were also laws preventing Jews from owning land that were in widespread use in Europe, so Jews as a rule lived in cities. They were commonly located in particular areas of cities or suburbs, often literally walled off from the Christian sections.

    My mother’s family was from Grodzisk, a suburb of Warsaw, and my father’s family was from Palangen, a suburb of Riga, Latvia. The (entirely Jewish) populations of both were wiped out in the Holocaust, in Palangen by the simple expedient of lining up the citizens in front of mass graves and shooting them; in Grodzisk as part of the extermination of the Warsaw Ghetto. You can see the names of both towns, along with others wiped from the face of the Earth, engraved in the glass walls of a footbridge in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. More detailed information about what happened to the Jews of those towns is available at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

    Second – No one’s yet mentioned the single most asinine argument I can recall Larry Fafarman making in defense of his Holocaust denial. The odious Fafarman says the reason the Nazis couldn’t identify the Jews is – wait for it – because they’d destroyed all the synagogues. So the reason there couldn’t have been a Holocaust was because all the synagogues were destroyed in um, err, the Holocaust.

  43. #43 peter
    September 2, 2009

    “So the reason there couldn’t have been a Holocaust was because all the synagogues were destroyed in um, err, the Holocaust.”

    Synagogues were rendered unusable, not necessarily destroyed.
    Most of the destruction occurred during allied bombing raids.

    Jews were not permitted to practice their religion in their former places of worship.

    One peculiarity of especially german feudalism that caused enmity between gentiles and jews was the ability for jews to charge interest, and through their widespread connections being able to move funds freely throughout europe. This made them in many cases financiers to the aristocracy up to the highest levels, and they were in return awarded special protection through the kings and even the Kaisers, and often also were rewarded with the office to collect taxes – which fuelled their being disliked by the suffering populace in general.

  44. #44 peter
    September 2, 2009

    “In 1516, 700 Jews were forced to move to a then-remote northwestern corner of Venice, to an abandoned site of a 14th-century foundry. The word “ghetto,” soon used throughout Europe for isolated minority groups, originated in Venice: ghetto is old Venetian dialect for “foundry.”
    http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/venice-ghetto.htm

    So much for historic accuracy “First – “Ghetto” is a Yiddish word for the area of town in which Jews had to reside. The first were in Holland, I think around the 16th century,” by jud (suess?)
    Too lazy to use the internet? Or just not sceptical enough towards your own preconceptions?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghetto
    “A Yiddish term for a Jewish quarter or neighborhood is “Di yiddishe gas” (Yiddish: די ייִדדישע גאַס ), or “The Jewish street”. Many European and Middle Eastern cities once had a historical Jewish quarter and some still have it.”

    Regarding the jewish diaspora, countering again preconceived notions of a “tribe displaced” one should read the “Myths of Zionism” by John Rosen, who portrays a much more dynamic and activist picture of jewish live in the middleeast and the Mediterranean distinct from the picture of the homebound jew suffering in palestine.

    It seems to me that the feeling of diaspora was not necessarily shared by the more entrepreneurial jews who turned their back on a live in poverty in a roman client kingdom.

    It seems to be however quite seductive to claim victimhood, and blame others for ones misfortunes. The jews who were active and forward thinking – as in later days the irish and germans who left a hidebound society – left a non viable and oppressive society to seek fortunes in cities like Alexandria and Rome, Athens and cities in the Roman empire, including occupied areas in todays Germany, France,
    Spain etc.

  45. #45 Jud
    September 3, 2009

    peter writes: “Too lazy to use the internet? Or just not sceptical enough towards your own preconceptions?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghetto

    The latter. My apologies to anyone misled by my etymological inaccuracy. The facts of ghettoization (some of which appear in the Wikipedia article you cite) and of my family history remain, however.

  46. #46 Richard Eis
    September 4, 2009

    If he bites someone, do they become a mindless zombie too?

  47. #47 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 4, 2009

    Boy, this isn’t Larry’s week is it? First Dispatches, now here. Since Larry has banned me from his site, allow me to comment here.

    1) Birth certificates.

    So everyone runs around carrying their birth certificates, which all say “Jew” and “non-Jew” (I keep my birth certificate in my safe-deposit box). If what you say is true, then all of Europe must have spent generations preparing records specifically for a future Jewish holocaust.

    Perhaps Larry is unaware that the government has his original birth certificate – what he has is merely a copy. It was not uncommon for birth records to include religion. For example, Germany:

    Beginning in 1875-76, as a result of the cultural battles under Bismarck, the state registry offices documented every change in an individual’s status and also his or her religion. In 1933, registry officials reviewed these registers, which dated back 60 years, for “Jewish baptisms” and “mixed marriages” and reported these to the Reichstelle fur Sippenforschung (Reich Office for Family Research).

    -excerpt from The Nazi Census: Identification and Control in the Third Reich by Roth et al

    Yes, indeed, these records were kept by many countries, though not all. And beginning in 1934, they were supplemented with documents from churches and synagogues.

    2) Documents taken from synagogues listing members.

    The Nazis burned down all the synagogues.

    Raiding Rule #1: Pillage, then burn.

    The Nazis, unfortunately, were not as stupid as Larry is. They took the documents from the synagogues before they burned them. In fact, they took them (or rather had copies of the relevant data made) years before the synagogues were burned. Also, they did not restrict they data collection to synagogues, but included all places of worship. Back then, almost everybody belonged to and was active in a religion, and every major life event was recorded by the place of worship. Birth/baptism, marriage, death, conversion to a different religion, moving to a new church, even name changes, all of these were recorded. These records, when compiled into a usable format, could be used to identify almost the entire population. Other methods could then be used for those few who fell through the cracks. Anyone not on church rolls was subjected to fairly intense scrutiny for this reason.

    3) Last names.

    Lots of European names are Jewish-sounding. A lot of the top Nazis had Jewish-sounding names, e.g., Eichmann.

    Eichmann is a German name, not a Jewish name. But that is beside the point. Possessing a Jewish name wasn’t, in and of itself, sufficient evidence for the Nazi’s, but it would put the person under more intense scrutiny.

    4) Accusations from coworkers and neighbors.

    Why would the Nazis trust someone who would rat on his neighbor?

    First, because people were encouraged to rat on their neighbor. But the Nazis didn’t simply take the neighbor’s word. They had an entire branch of the judicial system that dealt solely with identification issues of this type.

    The problem of identification of Jews and non-Jews should be central to holocaust studies but has been almost completely ignored. The book “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black claims that the Nazis identified all of the Jews of Europe by using IBM Hollerith machines to cross-correlate data stored on billions of IBM Hollerith cards. But those primitive machines obviously did not have such data-processing ability, even if all the necessary data had been available — all those machines could do was just read, sort, and merge a few cards at a time.

    Using the data I spoke of in the second point, 25 Hollerith machines run for 10 hours a day, five days a week, could identify the entire population of the German nation, including the Annexation, in under 4 months. Seeing as they had more machines, running them for 15 hours per day, 6 days a week, it is obvious they did have the processing power required. Furthermore, it is absolutely false that it has been completely ignored. The data collection methods have been long documented – Raul S. Hilberg’s is a good example, but only one of many such books. How the data was processed and put to use could not be documented until recently, because IBM refused to release the necessary documents, but recent books such as IBM and the Holocaust and The Nazi Census have filled that particular gap.

    No, bozo, but I expect better evidence than what he have now.

    You refuse to research the evidence that we do have, so how can you honestly claim to expect better evidence? You flat out deny much of the evidence that exists!

  48. #48 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 4, 2009

    BTW, it should be noted that Larry is not a creationist, but is anti-evolution simply because he mindlessly attacks any position he doesn’t understand – usually because what he thinks a word means is not what everyone else uses it for. Meteorites, anyone?

  49. #49 Larry Fafarman
    September 6, 2009

    The original post says,

    In effect the Nuremberg laws systematized the identification of Jews and tried to make it as objective as the Nazis could.

    Which was not very objective!

    Under these laws, a Jew was defined as (1) anyone having three or more Jewish grandparents regardless of whether he self-identified as a Jew or practiced the Jewish religion or (2) anyone having two Jewish grandparents who either:

    Practiced the Jewish religion
    Were married to a Jew
    Had a Jewish parent, even if illegitimate

    This latter category of Jews were known as Geltungsjude (“Jews by legal validity”). People who didn’t fall under any of the above conditions but had two Jewish grandparents were Mischling of the first degree, while anyone with only one Jewish grandparent was Mischling of the second degree, “Mischling” meaning “crossbreed” or “mixed.”

    Classifying people under these criteria was a hell of a lot easier said than done! First the Nazis had to trace your grandparents, then they had to find the above information about them. But where could they have gotten such information? And they had to repeat the same process for millions of people. Just doing a genealogical study for a single cooperative person (and it is doubtful that very many people cooperated in these studies) is a big, maybe impossible undertaking! And the results are neither objective nor reliable. Getting the names is only the start — then you have to go out and find the Jews. There is not just the problem of identifying Jews — there is also the problem of avoiding mistakenly identifying non-Jews as Jews. I assert that had there been an attempt at a systematic Jewish holocaust, many people would have been afraid of being mistaken for Jews and we would have heard more complaints from people who believed that the Nazis mistook them for Jews. Also, before WW II, the Nuremberg laws applied just in Germany — what about all the other European countries where most of the holocaust victims lived? If official holocaust history were true, then all of Europe would have had to spend generations saving demographic data specifically in preparation for a future Jewish holocaust. Also, the map of eastern Europe changed dramatically after WW I, presumably resulting in the loss of many government records. The Nazis simply rounded people up en masse — there was no time for individual identification. Also, I assert that if the Nazis had really been serious about Jew identification, they would have tattooed or branded the Jews immediately rather than waiting until the Jews were in the concentration camps to do so.

    Kevin Vicklund drivels,

    Boy, this isn’t Larry’s week is it? First Dispatches, now here.

    Kevin, damn you, you lousy dunghill, I cannot defend myself on Fatheaded Ed Brayton’s “Dispatches” because I am banned there!

    Since Larry has banned me from his site, allow me to comment here.

    You liar, I have not banned you from my blog.

    It was not uncommon for birth records to include religion. For example, Germany:

    What do you mean, “For example, Germany”? It seems that is the only country you folks talk about in regard to the subject of Jew identification. What about the other countries of Europe, where most of the Jewish victims of the holocaust lived?

    Using the data I spoke of in the second point, 25 Hollerith machines run for 10 hours a day, five days a week, could identify the entire population of the German nation, including the Annexation, in under 4 months.

    Bozo, as I said, the Hollerith machines were very primitive. They had no random access memories and they could not network with other Hollerith machines. They were mechanical devices, operating at speeds several orders of magnitude slower than electronic computers. All they could do was just read, sort, and merge a few cards at a time. They did not have the necessary data-processing capability, even if all the necessary data had been available.

    How the data was processed and put to use could not be documented until recently, because IBM refused to release the necessary documents, but recent books such as IBM and the Holocaust and The Nazi Census have filled that particular gap.

    That’s ridiculous — so you are claiming that identification of the Jews by means of the Hollerith machines was a kind of trade secret!

    Even Edwin Black, author of “IBM and the Holocaust,” admitted that Jew identification was a big problem for the Nazis:

    When Hitler came to power, a central Nazi goal was to identify and destroy Germany’s 600,000 Jews. To Nazis, Jews were not just those who practiced Judaism, but those of Jewish blood, regardless of their assimilation, intermarriage, religious activity, or even conversion to Christianity. Only after Jews were identified could they be targeted for asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and ultimately extermination. To search generations of communal, church, and governmental records all across Germany–and later throughout Europe–was a cross-indexing task so monumental, it called for a computer. But in 1933, no computer existed . . . . .

    . . . I was haunted by a question whose answer has long eluded historians. The Germans always had the lists of Jewish names. Suddenly, a squadron of grim-faced SS would burst into a city square and post a notice demanding those listed assemble the next day at the train station for deportation to the East. But how did the Nazis get the lists? For decades, no one has known. Few have asked. (emphasis added)
    — from Introduction of “IBM and the Holocaust”
    http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/introduction.php

    Why have “few asked”? The question of Jew identification is central to the holocaust. Why have people generally assumed that the Nazis “just knew” who the Jews were? And I have been subjected to the worst kinds of abuse for asking that very question. Also, as I indicated, I don’t find Edwin Black’s answer to that question — i.e., that the Nazis were able to identify all the Jews of Europe by means of the Hollerith machines — to be satisfactory.

    “I’m always kicking their butts — that’s why they don’t like me.”
    — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

  50. #50 Orac
    September 6, 2009

    Why have “few asked”? The question of Jew identification is central to the holocaust. Why have people generally assumed that the Nazis “just knew” who the Jews were? And I have been subjected to the worst kinds of abuse for asking that very question.

    No, you’ve been subjected to the worst kinds of abuse because you are a Holocaust denier and use truly dumb arguments to support your Holocaust denial, namely that, because there was no truly objective way to identify Jews, the Nazis couldn’t possibly have “systematically” murdered six million of them. Guess what? The Nazis defined who is and who is not a Jew based somewhat on how Jews themselves do it (your mother is a Jew; you are a Jew) and on a racial definition (more than three of your grandparents are Jews; you are a Jew), filled in the uncertainties by making what seemed to them reasonable albeit arbitrary choices and then started first persecuting, then expelling, then murdering away based on those definitions. It was all quite systematic; that the system was not perfectly based on “objective” measures does not make it any less systematic–evil and systematic, actually. Jews were the target of Hitler’s wrath right from the beginning. Very early on, laws were passed to make it harder for Jews to do business, and boycotts of Jewish businesses were organized within months of Hitler’s ascension to power. That Hitler’s aim wasn’t always perfect because of imperfections in how the Nazis decided who was and was not a Jew makes no difference. Those people were just as dead, and Hitler murdered a lot of non-Jews too. European Jewry was always his primary target, and his goal was always to make the Third Reich “Judenfrei, either by expulsion or, when that didn’t work fast enough, by extermination.

    Yet you make the utterly ridiculous argument that, just because there wasn’t a truly objective way to identify with 100% certainty who was and was not a Jew, there couldn’t have been a Holocaust.

  51. #51 Larry Fafarman
    September 6, 2009

    Orac says,

    you are a Holocaust denier and use truly dumb arguments to support your Holocaust denial, namely that, because there was no truly objective way to identify Jews, the Nazis couldn’t possibly have “systematically” murdered six million of them.

    I didn’t just say “objective” — I said “objective and reliable.” It is one thing to define the word “Jew” and it is something else entirely to find out who does and who does not satisfy that definition.

    The Nazis defined who is and who is not a Jew based somewhat on how Jews themselves do it (your mother is a Jew; you are a Jew) and on a racial definition (more than three of your grandparents are Jews; you are a Jew), filled in the uncertainties by making what seemed to them reasonable albeit arbitrary choices and then started first persecuting, then expelling, then murdering away based on those definitions.

    You are really waffling here — “somewhat”? “uncertainties”? “arbitrary”? I thought we were talking here about a systematic holocaust based on objective and reliable identification of Jews and non-Jews.

    Wasn’t the “Mischling” idea (See original post — People who didn’t fall under any of the above conditions but had two Jewish grandparents were Mischling of the first degree, while anyone with only one Jewish grandparent was Mischling of the second degree, “Mischling” meaning “crossbreed” or “mixed”) strictly a Nazi idea? And in many cases, it was difficult or impossible to reliably determine whether one’s grandparents were Jews according to Nazi criteria (practiced the Jewish religion, were married to a Jew, had a Jewish parent, even if illegitimate). Supposedly many victims of the Jewish holocaust did not even think of themselves as Jews. Also, as I said, most of the victims of the Jewish holocaust were outside Germany, where the Nazis did not have many years of peace in which to collect information for a future Jewish holocaust. Even in Germany, finding information was difficult because Germans in pre-Nazi years were much less obsessed about identifying Jews than the Nazis were. And as I said, the Nazis simply rounded up people en masse — there usually wasn’t time for individual identification.

    Yet you make the utterly ridiculous argument that, just because there wasn’t a truly objective way to identify with 100% certainty who was and was not a Jew, there couldn’t have been a Holocaust.

    Again, I said “objective and reliable” — not just “objective.” And I did not say that “there couldn’t have been a Holocaust” — I said that there couldn’t have been a “systematic” Holocaust.

    To me, the only objective meaning of “systematic” here is that there was 100% objective and reliable identification of Jews and non-Jews — defining “systematic” as allowing, say, as low as 90%, 70%, 50%, or whatever percentage of objectivity and reliability would be arbitrary.

    Anyway, there is no question that the very important issue of the identification of Jews and non-Jews in the holocaust has been neglected and ignored by both mainstream holocaust historians and holocaust revisionists. And politically correct folks like you will do your best to see that it continues to be neglected and ignored.

  52. #52 Orac
    September 6, 2009

    Again, I said “objective and reliable” — not just “objective.” And I did not say that “there couldn’t have been a Holocaust” — I said that there couldn’t have been a “systematic” Holocaust.

    ROTFLMAO!

    You really are splitting hairs, aren’t you? And if you think that the question of how the Nazis defined Jews is an “understudied” area of the Holocaust, you really are pretty freakin’ ignorant. Read some history books.

    In any case, let’s get right to the real meat of the matter, shall we? Answer me this;

    1. Did the Nazis have a plan to expel from the Third Reich or exterminate the Jews living in lands that came under their control, yes or no?

    2. If your answer to #1 is yes, then tell us: How many Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime? Give me a number or an estimated range of numbers.

    I won’t take you in the least bit seriously until you answer these questions without waffling or equivocation, and every time you post something that fails to directly answer these questions, I will either repeat the questions or I will delete your post.

  53. #53 JefFlyingV
    September 6, 2009

    Larry I think you are bullshitting your way through your definitions. A quick way of identification was checking the penises of the men to see if they had foreskins. Not much needed writing for quick physical identification. I wonder what your spinning about the holocaust?

  54. #54 Larry Fafarman
    September 6, 2009

    I am not that unusual — more and more people are starting to question official holocaust history. I have been subjected to great abuse because the issue that I have raised — the problem of identification of Jews and non-Jews in the holocaust — is a novel issue that people find difficult or impossible to satisfactorily answer.

    Orac said,

    You really are splitting hairs, aren’t you?

    No, I am not splitting hairs. I often see the word “systematic” in definitions of “holocaust.” Those who call the holocaust “systematic” ought to be able to prove it.

    And if you think that the question of how the Nazis defined Jews is an “understudied” area of the Holocaust, you really are pretty freakin’ ignorant.

    Edwin Black, author of “IBM and the Holocaust,” said, “few have asked.” He seemed to think that he discovered a big secret: how the Nazis identified Jews. So according to him, for several decades people didn’t know how the Nazis identified the Jews. I say that people still don’t know, because the Jews cannot be reliably identified by those IBM Hollerith card machines.

    Did the Nazis have a plan to expel from the Third Reich or exterminate the Jews living in lands that came under their control, yes or no?

    Planning to do something and being able to do it systematically are two different things.

    How many Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime? Give me a number or an estimated range of numbers.

    I have no idea what the exact numbers are. All I know is that the idea that there was a “systematic” holocaust is not credible. And we can’t know the exact number because we have no objective definition of “Jew.” And we don’t know how many “Jewish” victims of the holocaust probably should not have been classified as Jews.

    I do know that there has been a wild variation in the estimated death count at Auschwitz. Originally, the numbers ranged as high as 4 million. I remember in the 1950’s or 1960’s hearing the number of around 3 million. Today the estimate is around 1.1 million. How much credibility can these official numbers have if there has been such a drastic variation in the official numbers at a single concentration camp?

    The lowest total I have heard for all Jewish victims of the holocaust is 300,000 — that number was from former Catholic bishop Williamson.

    I won’t take you in the least bit seriously until you answer these questions without waffling or equivocation

    And you are not waffling or equivocating when you use terms like “somewhat,” “uncertainties,” and “arbitrary”?

    My statement that “a systematic Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews” obviously cannot yield any numbers, but I feel that the statement raises important questions and can help guide future research. A lot of arguments — like my arguments about coevolution — only raise questions and do not give final answers, but that does not mean that they are not valid arguments.

    every time you post something that fails to directly answer these questions, I will either repeat the questions or I will delete your post

    Censorship is the last resort of someone who has lost an argument. Anyway, I answered your questions here as best I could, though you might not like the answers.

    JefFlyingV says,

    A quick way of identification was checking the penises of the men to see if they had foreskins.

    I don’t know how reliable this method was then — it is certainly not reliable now. Lots of non-Jewish males today are circumcised. Also, there is talk about eliminating the procedure for medical reasons. Anyway, I don’t hear a lot of stories about the Nazis going around pantsing guys to see who is circumcised. Doing that would have made the Nazis look like homosexuals, and the Nazis hated homosexuals. Also, that method of course would not work on women.

    I wonder what your spinning about the holocaust?

    I am trying to spin the truth.

  55. #55 Ramel
    September 6, 2009

    Censorship is the last resort of someone who has lost an argument. Anyway, I answered your questions here as best I could, though you might not like the answers.

    Sadly there are times when it’s also the only way way to deal with an idiot who says the same stupid things over and over again.

    Doing that would have made the Nazis look like homosexuals, and the Nazis hated homosexuals.

    I’d like to nominate this for dumbest single sentance of the day.

  56. #56 JefFlyingV
    September 6, 2009

    I would much rather that you were trying to arrive at the truth instead of spinning the truth.

    As Orac has outlined it was not difficult for the Nazis to separate and designate who the Jews were.

    Larry post war America pushed circumcision, do you know why?

  57. #57 dedicated lurker
    September 6, 2009

    Ramel, that might even win for the week.

  58. #58 Clay
    September 6, 2009

    And you are not waffling or equivocating when you use terms like “somewhat,” “uncertainties,” and “arbitrary”?

    *facepalm*

    Larry, you should really try reading entire sentences instead of looking at single words for meaning. Orac said that the Germans eliminated the uncertainties of identifying Jews by creating arbitrary definitions of Jew. His post was anything but waffling, unlike your answers.

  59. #59 Larry Fafarman
    September 7, 2009

    >>>>>>> Sadly there are times when it’s also the only way way to deal with an idiot who says the same stupid things over and over again. < <<<<<<

    Wrong -- arguments should stand or fall on their own merits.

    >>>>>> As Orac has outlined it was not difficult for the Nazis to separate and designate who the Jews were. < <<<<<

    As I noted, Edwin Black, author of "IBM and the Holocaust," thought it was very difficult.

    >>>>>>> Orac said that the Germans eliminated the uncertainties of identifying Jews by creating arbitrary definitions of Jew. <<<<<<

    — which makes Jew identification non-objective.

  60. #60 Ramel
    September 7, 2009

    Wrong — arguments should stand or fall on their own merits.

    And yours have fallen. Over and and over and over again. Until you actually say something new your comments are mere spam, they take up space and add nothing to the debate.

  61. #61 JefFlyingV
    September 7, 2009

    Larry, isn’t E. Black stating that the addition of IBM had sped up the task of identifying Jews?

  62. #62 Larry Fafarman
    September 7, 2009

    JefFlyingV said,

    isn’t E. Black stating that the addition of IBM had sped up the task of identifying Jews?

    No, E. Black is stating that IBM made identification of the Jews possible. As I noted in comment #49, the introduction of the book “IBM and the Holocaust” says,

    When Hitler came to power, a central Nazi goal was to identify and destroy Germany’s 600,000 Jews. To Nazis, Jews were not just those who practiced Judaism, but those of Jewish blood, regardless of their assimilation, intermarriage, religious activity, or even conversion to Christianity. Only after Jews were identified could they be targeted for asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and ultimately extermination. To search generations of communal, church, and governmental records all across Germany — and later throughout Europe — was a cross-indexing task so monumental, it called for a computer. But in 1933, no computer existed.

    A news article describes a recent cartoon which questions the Jewish identity of holocaust victims:

    AMSTERDAM — Dutch prosecutors said Wednesday they will charge an Arab cultural group under hate speech laws for publishing a cartoon that suggests the death of 6 million Jews during World War II is a fabrication . . .
    . . . . The Dutch arm of the Arab European League said it doesn’t deny the reality of the Holocaust, but published the cartoon on its Web site as an “act of civil disobedience” to highlight a double standard.

    AEL chairman Abdoulmouthalib Bouzerda argued that prosecutors had not pressed charges against Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders for his film that included cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Charges against Wilders, who campaigns on an anti-Islam and anti-immigration platform, were dismissed after prosecutors said his insults were aimed at Muhammad, not all Muslims, and were not systematic [IMO those are nitpicking distinctions] . . . . .
    The cartoon shows two apparently Jewish men standing near a pile of skeletons with a sign that says “Auswitch,” presumably representing the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz.

    One pokes a bone with a stick and says “I don’t think they’re Jews” and the other answers, “We have to get to the six million somehow.”

    Ramel driveled,
    >>>>>> Until you actually say something new your comments are mere spam <<<<<<<

    What in the hell are you talking about — I have said an awful lot of new things here.

  63. #63 Ramel
    September 7, 2009

    No you just driveled the same bollocks in a different order.

  64. #64 JefFlyingV
    September 7, 2009

    I am still at a loss as to understanding what you are stating or attempting to state. In Germany it was not hard to identify who were the Jews. With or without IBM, with or without a punch card system, with or without a computer, identities of people would not be difficult to determine. Should we ignore the Mendelssohns?

    As far as your comment about homosexuality you ignore Gehring within the hierarchy of the Nazi party. And yes the Nazis did depant men to determine if they had a foreskin.

    How do you account for the disappearnce of people within the lands that were over run by the 3rd Reich?

  65. #65 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 7, 2009
    isn’t E. Black stating that the addition of IBM had sped up the task of identifying Jews?

    No, E. Black is stating that IBM made identification of the Jews possible.

    No, E. Black is stating that the addition of IBM sped up the task:

    Certainly, the dynamics and context of IBM’s alliance with Nazi Germany changed throughout the twelve-year Reich. I want the full story understood in context. Skipping around in the book will only lead to flawed and erroneous conclusions. So if you intend to skim, or rely on selected sections, please do not read the book at all. Make no mistake. The Holocaust would still have occurred without IBM. To think otherwise is more than wrong. The Holocaust would have proceeded-and often did proceed-with simple bullets, death marches, and massacres based on pen and paper persecution. But there is reason to examine the fantastical numbers Hitler achieved in murdering so many millions so swiftly, and identify the crucial role of automation and technology. Accountability is needed.

    Anyone who has actually read IBM and the Holocaust ought to bring the following conclusions from it (list not all-inclusive):

    1) The Nazis used quite diverse methods of collecting data that could be used to identify Jews.

    2) Most of these methods have been extensively documented for decades.

    3) These methods created a lot of redundant data.

    4) Due to this redundancy, it was previously unclear whether the names on the deportation lists were provided solely by local officials or came from a central database (which used data provided by local authorities).

    5) Since 1989, documents previously unavailable to Western scholars, including IBM archives, were made accessible.

    6) Tracing these newly available documents allowed Black to retrace the “chain of custody” of the data, revealing that the deportation lists were produced from a central database (or more precisely, a distributed database)

    7) The Hollerith machines were quite capable of performing the necessary data processing – numbers proving it are provided.

  66. #66 Shay
    September 7, 2009

    I am trying to spin the truth.

    Weapons-grade stupid.

  67. #67 Ramel
    September 7, 2009

    @JefFlyingV: Actual hypocracy in the Nazi leadership aside, they really did hate teh gay. Something like 15000 were sent to the camps. To add insult to injury, after the war gay men were denyed reparations that were made available to other groups.

  68. #68 Larry Fafarman
    September 8, 2009

    JefFlyingV said,

    In Germany it was not hard to identify who were the Jews.

    As I said, why are you folks harping on identification of Jews in Germany when most of the Jewish victims of the holocaust lived in other countries?

    And by the Nazi criteria for grandparents, identifying Jews was difficult or impossible. According to the original post, the criteria for Jewish grandparents were: practiced the Jewish religion; were married to a Jew; and had a Jewish parent, even if illegitimate. This information could be impossible or difficult to find even if new, and would likely be impossible or especially difficult to find if several decades old.

    And yes the Nazis did depant men to determine if they had a foreskin.

    As I said, I don’t know how widespread this identification method was or how reliable it was. Also, as I said, it couldn’t be used on women.

    How do you account for the disappearnce of people within the lands that were over run by the 3rd Reich?

    In the chaos of war, it is difficult to account for how many disappeared, their characteristics, how they disappeared (did they die or just become refugees), etc..

    Kevin Vicklund said,

    No, E. Black is stating that the addition of IBM sped up the task:

    Then Black is being inconsistent — he previously said that organizing the holocaust “was a cross-indexing task so monumental, it called for a computer,” and that the IBM Hollerith machines served as a substitute for a modern computer.

    1) The Nazis used quite diverse methods of collecting data that could be used to identify Jews.

    Most of the methods were unobjective and/or unreliable.

    2) Most of these methods have been extensively documented for decades.

    Wrong. As Edwin Black said, “few have asked” (one of his few sensible statements). It has mostly just been dogmatically assumed that the Nazis “just knew” who the Jews were — and anyone who dares to question that idea is subjected to the worst kind of abuse.

    3) These methods created a lot of redundant data.

    I am sure that they also created a lot of conflicting data.

    4) Due to this redundancy, it was previously unclear whether the names on the deportation lists were provided solely by local officials or came from a central database (which used data provided by local authorities).

    WHAT? What in the hell is the practical difference between deportation lists “provided solely by local officials” and deportation lists “which used data provided by local authorities”? Aren’t they both essentially the same thing?

    5) Since 1989, documents previously unavailable to Western scholars, including IBM archives, were made accessible.
    6) Tracing these newly available documents allowed Black to retrace the “chain of custody” of the data, revealing that the deportation lists were produced from a central database (or more precisely, a distributed database)
    7) The Hollerith machines were quite capable of performing the necessary data processing – numbers proving it are provided.

    Sybil Milton, former senior historian of the research institute of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, said, “We have no proof that the Hollerith was ever used to target individuals for deportation lists”:

    Whether, in fact, census data calculated by Hollerith tabulation technology actually was used in drawing up deportation lists is unclear, Milton says. Census data and resident registration data helped the Nazi regime locate victims on a national scale, but were they used to guide the planning and administration of deportations? “The answer would require detailed knowledge of the Gestapo’s internal bureaucratic procedures, and this information is still not fully established,” writes Milton and colleague Dr. David Martin Luebke in a published study, Locating the Victim: An Overview of Census-Taking, Tabulation Technology, and Persecution in Nazi Germany. [Note that the title of the study concerns only census taking in Germany and not in other European countries]

    In addition, over half of all Jews killed in the Holocaust were already dead before the completion of the national Ethnic Catalog based on 1939 census data.

    Milton adds today, “We have no proof that the Hollerith was ever used to target individuals for deportation lists. It was a back-up system because it was too broad a system, providing aggregate counts of population groups,” she explains. “However, when they would check a deportation list against what is known as the number of Jews in a town, then the Hollerith list would provide the evidence that, ‘Yes, this figure is reasonable. We know we have X number of Jews, X number of Roma [Gypsies] registered’ in a town like Heidelberg, and therefore, we know that this might have been used as back-up material.”
    — from
    http://www.stockmaven.com/ibmstory.htm

    A lot of things about the holocaust are implausible or have a very high burden of proof, yet you folks scoff at people who question the dogma of official holocaust history. You folks have no credibility. It seems that more and more people are questioning official holocaust history.

    “I’m always kicking their butts — that’s why they don’t like me.”
    — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

  69. #69 Orac
    September 8, 2009

    I do know that there has been a wild variation in the estimated death count at Auschwitz. Originally, the numbers ranged as high as 4 million. I remember in the 1950’s or 1960’s hearing the number of around 3 million. Today the estimate is around 1.1 million. How much credibility can these official numbers have if there has been such a drastic variation in the official numbers at a single concentration camp?

    This is pure Holocaust denial bullshit. See:

    The Auschwitz Gambit: The Four Million Variant

    The lowest total I have heard for all Jewish victims of the holocaust is 300,000 — that number was from former Catholic bishop Williamson.

    Williamson is a rank Holocaust denier and vicious anti-Semite:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/01/holocaust-denying_conservative_bishop.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/better_late_than_never_the_vatican_demands.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/bishop_richard_williamson_holocaust_deni.php

    If you find his “estimate” the least bit credible, you are an fool and/or a Holocaust denier.

  70. #70 JefFlyingV
    September 8, 2009

    Larry you aren’t kicking any butts, but you are sucking Hitlers and Himmlers cock by buying into the propaganda of the holocaust deniers. I have doubts that you have read the books you quote.

    Larry your agenda has nothing to do with truth, because there is enough evidence out in the world to overturn your propositions.

  71. #71 Larry Fafarman
    September 8, 2009

    Orac said,

    This is pure Holocaust denial bullshit. See:

    The Auschwitz Gambit: The Four Million Variant

    That article does not explain away the discrepancies.

    Williamson is a rank Holocaust denier and vicious anti-Semite:

    If you find his “estimate” the least bit credible, you are an fool and/or a Holocaust denier.

    I have no idea how he arrived at his estimate. He didn’t say how.

    JefFlyingV said,

    I have doubts that you have read the books you quote.

    I quoted only one book, “IBM and the Holocaust.” I read the book’s introduction and several reviews of the book — that is enough to form a valid opinion of the book. There is no need to read further, because it is obvious that the IBM Hollerith machines did not have the data-processing capabilities that the book claims they did.

    Larry your agenda has nothing to do with truth, because there is enough evidence out in the world to overturn your propositions.

    That evidence is cherry-picked.

  72. #72 Anonymous
    September 10, 2009

    I see Larry made it here. I’m hurt, Larry, really I am, that you accepted my invitation to this party but censored it on your own blog. Then again I’m not surprised, since you do seem to enjoy censoring people, all while complaining about the big meanie’s who are censoring you. Only about a third of my comments make it through, after all, plus next week is the one year anniversary of you banning Kevin Vicklund.

    Here’s some delicious irony for Orac’s readers. This is what Larry wrote in response to one of his commenters:

    >>>>>>> Also, sending astronauts into space was a big problem for Nasa. Therefore, we never went on the moon. < <<<<<<

    What a stupid comment.

  73. #73 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 10, 2009

    Anonymous, that last bit doesn’t make sense. html error?

  74. #74 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 10, 2009

    Oh, I see what happened, the “lesser than” symbols Larry uses because Blogger doesn’t allow blockquotes dissappeared and destroyed the carriage return.

    It should read:

    Also, sending astronauts into space was a big problem for Nasa. Therefore, we never went on the moon.

    What a stupid comment.

    Larry is harder on irony meters than UD.

  75. #75 Larry Fafarman
    September 10, 2009

    Anonymous barfed,

    I see Larry made it here. I’m hurt, Larry, really I am, that you accepted my invitation to this party but censored it on your own blog.

    I presume that you are the “Anonymous” who submitted the following breathtakingly inane comment to my blog. It makes no arguments but only scoffs — I couldn’t see the point in cluttering up my blog with such garbage:

    Hey Larry, you’re getting your ass kicked over at Respectful Insolence.
    Creationism X Holocaust denial = stupidity[squared]
    “The reason I bring this up is that the other day I saw the absolute dumbest example of Holocaust denial I’ve ever seen. Believe me, I’ve been in some of the deepest, darkest depths of Holocaust denial discussion boards, right in the heart of some of the nastiest, vilest, most despicable white power rangers, and I can’t recall anything this ignorant of history and brain dead at the same time. It’s also a perfect example of crank magnetism, in that he’s someone who’s very well known around ScienceBlogs for his creationist proclivities and is known to show up to troll the comments of several blogs when the topic of evolution comes up. His sheer crankitude surpasses that of even many anti-vaccine zealots that I encounter. (Hmmm. I wonder if he’s into anti-vaccine quackery and “alternative medicine,” too.)
    Yes, I’m referring to Larry Fafarman, who apparently can’t distinguish fantasy from reality, as he demonstrates in a post entitled Inglourious Basterds and the problem of Jew identification.”
    You’re too cowardly to post all responses here. Can you take the heat of a hostile environment?

    However, since you are complaining here about my censoring it, I will post it now.

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