Category Archives: Holocausts

Image of the day: A poster at the Holocaust Museum


On Monday Sarah Rose tweeted this image of a poster she’d seen on sale at a notable location, accompanied by these words: “In the US Holocaust Museum. I’m shook.”

blog-fascism-orig

Since then, as of this writing, it’s been retweeted 190,823 times and attracted a flurry of online interest, and for reasons needing no explanation.

We traced it’s origins to a Spring 2003 op-ed in Free Inquiry — a magazine we once subscribed to — written by Laurence W. Britt, a former executive for Allied Chemical, Mobil, and Xerox Corp., based on his study of common characteristics of the authoritarian regimes of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Gen. Francisco Franco’s Spain, Portugal under António de Oliveira Salazar, Greece under the military junta headed by Col. Georgios Papadopoulos, Chile under the military regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, and Indonesia under Maj. Gen. Suharto.

In his article, Britt writes:

German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist1 regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

Chomsky warns: Trump may incinerate us all


Either through nuclear war or global warming, the election of President Littlefingers present the gravest threat of the 21st Century, warns America’s foremost intellectual and dissident.

From teleSUR English:

Prominent U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky warned Monday about the possibility of a nuclear war and the further risks linked to global warming as a result of a Donald Trump presidency, during a speech for the 20th anniversary of Democracy Now!.

Commenting on the concrete implications of the Republican candidate’s win, Chomsky said that the Iran nuclear deal could be reversed.

“Other countries who are parties to the deal might well continue,” he said. “That means ignoring U.S. sanctions. That will extend U.S. isolation, even from Europe.”

“Brexit may assist with (U.S. isolation) because Britain was the voice of the United States in NATO, the harshest voice,” he added.

“The threats and dangers are very real,” he said. Namely, the positions that Trump has taken in regards to climate change and the Iran deal pose a threat to the future of the country and the world.”

“The threats that we now face are the most severe that have ever arisen in human history,” he added. “They are literal threats to survival: nuclear war, environmental catastrophe.”

“They became more urgent on Nov. 8, for the reasons you know and that I mentioned. They have to be faced directly, and soon if the human experiment is not to prove to be a disastrous failure,” he warned.

Quote of the day II: Chomsky on GOP climate denial


It’s the perfect follow to our previous post.

From an extensive interview by C.J. Polychroniou of Truthout on the import of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, and the control of both houses of Congress by the GOP, “which has become the most dangerous organization in world history”:

During the Republican primaries, every candidate denied that what is happening is happening — with the exception of the sensible moderates, like Jeb Bush, who said it’s all uncertain, but we don’t have to do anything because we’re producing more natural gas, thanks to fracking. Or John Kasich, who agreed that global warming is taking place, but added that “we are going to burn [coal] in Ohio and we are not going to apologize for it.”

The winning candidate, now the president-elect, calls for rapid increase in use of fossil fuels, including coal; dismantling of regulations; rejection of help to developing countries that are seeking to move to sustainable energy; and in general, racing to the cliff as fast as possible.

Trump has already taken steps to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by placing in charge of the EPA transition a notorious (and proud) climate change denier, Myron Ebell. Trump’s top adviser on energy, billionaire oil executive Harold Hamm, announced his expectations, which were predictable: dismantling regulations, tax cuts for the industry (and the wealthy and corporate sector generally), more fossil fuel production, lifting Obama’s temporary block on the Dakota Access pipeline. The market reacted quickly. Shares in energy corporations boomed, including the world’s largest coal miner, Peabody Energy, which had filed for bankruptcy, but after Trump’s victory, registered a 50 percent gain.

The effects of Republican denialism had already been felt. There had been hopes that the COP21 Paris agreement would lead to a verifiable treaty, but any such thoughts were abandoned because the Republican Congress would not accept any binding commitments, so what emerged was a voluntary agreement, evidently much weaker.

Effects may soon become even more vividly apparent than they already are. In Bangladesh alone, tens of millions are expected to have to flee from low-lying plains in coming years because of sea level rise and more severe weather, creating a migrant crisis that will make today’s pale in significance. With considerable justice, Bangladesh’s leading climate scientist says that “These migrants should have the right to move to the countries from which all these greenhouse gases are coming. Millions should be able to go to the United States.” And to the other rich countries that have grown wealthy while bringing about a new geological era, the Anthropocene, marked by radical human transformation of the environment. These catastrophic consequences can only increase, not just in Bangladesh, but in all of South Asia as temperatures, already intolerable for the poor, inexorably rise and the Himalayan glaciers melt, threatening the entire water supply. Already in India, some 300 million people are reported to lack adequate drinking water. And the effects will reach far beyond.

It is hard to find words to capture the fact that humans are facing the most important question in their history — whether organized human life will survive in anything like the form we know — and are answering it by accelerating the race to disaster.

France admits role in the second, Roma Holocaust


While the systematic slaughter of Europe’s Jews is well known, far less attention has been given to the simultaneous holocaust of the Roma and Sinti peoples [pejoratively known as Gypsies] of Europe, a tragedy known by its victims as the Porajmos, the Devouring [previously].

The racist eugenics of the Adolf Hitler and his SS called for the elimination of all “non-Aryan peoples, but especially those considered inherently criminal subhumans — that is, Europe’s Jews and migratory peoples.

The slaughter was carried out with the enthusiastic participation of the governments of German-occupied lands, and while most of those countries have acknowledged their role in the massacre of Jews, their participation in the Porajmos is either unacknowledged to quickly passed over.

Now, finally, one of the principal abettors of the murder of the Sinti and Roma has stepped forward.

From TheLocal.fr:

President Francois Hollande on Saturday acknowledged that France bore “broad responsibility” for the internment of thousands of Roma by the World War II Vichy regime and in the early months of the post-war government.

“The day has come, and this truth must be told,” Hollande said in the first presidential visit to the main internment camp for Roma, located in Montreuil-Bellay, central France.

“The (French) Republic acknowledges the suffering of travelling people who were interned and admits that it bears broad responsibility,” Hollande said.

Roma, also known as gypsies, were brutally persecuted in the Holocaust, paralleling the systematic murder of Jews. Estimates of how many died vary widely, between 220,000 and half a million.

Philippine president likens himself to Adolf Hitler


Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president who has launched a vigilante massacre of drug dealers [previously], raised the stakes today in his deadly campaign, likening himself to history’s most-loathed murderer.

And it’s not just drug sellers he hopes to massacre; it’s their customers as well.

From the Guardian:

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, appears to have compared himself to Hitler, saying he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts in his bloody war on crime.

During a press conference in his home city of Davao, the former prosecutor told reporters that he had been compared to a “cousin of Hitler” by his critics.

“If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…,” he said, pausing and pointing to himself.

“Hitler massacred three million Jews … there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

>snip<

Duterte has spent his first three months in office running a campaign to kill all involved in the rampant drugs trade, including alleged addicts, causing outrage from rights groups and foreign governments.

More than 3,500 alleged drug dealers and addicts have been killed, about a third of them in police operations but the majority by armed vigilante militias. Duterte has publicly encouraged civilians to kill addicts and said he will not prosecute police for extrajudicial executions.

“You know my victims. I would like (them) to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he said during the press conference early on Friday.

And an Israeli soldier gets another cold reception


From BBC News, criticism proves incompatible t0 the ruler of The Only Democracy In The Middle East™ [for the comments in question, see this previous post]:

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a stern public rebuke to the military deputy chief of staff.

Maj-Gen Yair Golan said on the eve of Thursday’s annual Holocaust Day that he detected trends in Israeli society suggestive of “nauseating processes” that occurred in 1930s Nazi Germany.

Mr Netanyahu said the comments were outrageous, cheapened the Holocaust and caused harm to Israel.

snip<

Netanyahu said Gen Golan’s remarks were “utterly mistaken and unacceptable to me”.

“The comparison drawn in the words of the deputy chief of staff regarding events which characterised Nazi Germany 80 years ago is outrageous,” he said.

“They do injustice to Israeli society and cause a belittling of the Holocaust.”

Quote of the day: Too honest for his own good


Israel Defense Force Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Yair Golan, speaking at a Holocaust memorial service, uttered a statement he was soon forced to retract under intense political pressure, a statement refreshingly honest at a time when ultra-Zionists are calling for a Greater Israel reaching all the way to Mesopotamia, a phrase eerily evocative of the Greater Germany advocated by a certain German political party in the 1930s, via the Independent:

“It’s scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here,” Maj. Gen. Golan told an audience of politicians and dignitaries.

“Because if there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe — particularly in Germany — 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016.”

“The Holocaust, in my view, must lead us to deep soul-searching about the nature of man. It must bring us to conduct some soul-searching as to the responsibility of leadership and the quality of our society. It must lead us to fundamentally rethink how we, here and now, behave towards the other.”

“There is nothing easier and simpler than in changing the foreigner,” the officer said,  according to the Jerusalem Post and other reports. “There is nothing easier and simpler than fear-mongering and threatening. There is nothing easier and simpler than in behaving like beasts, becoming morally corrupt, and to act sanctimoniously.”