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Monday, May 03, 2004

"Never Again" has become "Never Mind"

In today's Daily Camera
'DEMOCIDE' - Nazis killed many more besides Jews

Thank you for your April 19 editorial ("Passionate Blindness") explaining how the film "The Passion of the Christ" can worsen anti-Semitism. Christian anti-Semitism is especially irrational because Christians believe that Jesus had to be crucified in order to save us all. Therefore, Christians should be thankful to everyone who helped crucify him.

However, one common factual error in your editorial is overdue for a correction. Not counting the war, the Nazis killed about 20 million people, about 6 million of which were Jews. That's less than a third of the total, which shows that Mel Gibson was being accurate rather than insensitive when he said "Some of them were Jews."

It is sad that after decades of Holocaust Awareness, most people think that the only targets of the Nazis were Jews. The majority of Nazi victims were Roma ("Gypsies"), homosexuals, the mentally retarded, people with birth defects and anyone who tried to protect these folks. It's time we stopped thinking in terms of genocide, which only covers Jewish losses, and took a more humanist perspective that sees this as democide (the killing of the demos, the people).

DEVIN NORDBERG, Boulder
Did you catch that? He suggests a more "humanist perspective." Never mind the attempt to utterly annihilate the Jews. Never mind that it was almost successful: two out of every three European Jews were murdered, including over a million children. Never mind.


NB: The best estimates are that approximately 250,000 Roma and Sinta were murdered by the Third Reich.

The Jewishness of the Holocaust is well discussed here:
Does the focus on the Jewishness of the Holocaust take away from or minimize the suffering of the millions of non-Jews who were persecuted? Do the Jews, unintentionally perhaps, try to keep all the suffering for themselves? No. On the other hand, does the Holocaust have a particularly crucial and central Jewish element, even though millions of others died? Simply put, the answer is yes. The Holocaust, from its conception to its implementation had a distinctly Jewish aspect to it and, arguably without this Jewish aspect, there would have been no Holocaust. Most of the non-Jewish people would not have been killed because the killing machinery would not have been put into operation.

Susan C. Deans, Vice President and Editor
deanss@dailycamera.com

Stephen E. Millard, Editor of the Editorial Page
millards@dailycamera.com

Clay Evans, Associate Editor
evansc@dailycamera.com

Clint Talbott, Associate Editor
talbottc@dailycamera.com

Open Forum: letters to the editors
openforum@dailycamera.com