- A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust & Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present by Ward Churchill – Published January 1st 2001 by City Lights Books (first published January 1st 1997)
A Decisive Blow for Genocide-Recognition Equality: A Splendid Demolition Job on Holocaust Supremacism (a Zero Sum Game). Perceptive Understanding of the Polokaust
The author, Ward Churchill, specializes on the genocides of Native Americans in the Americas. He also deconstructs, in considerable detail, the belief that the Jews’ Holocaust is unique or unprecedented. Churchill uses the term Holocaust exclusivism; I use the term Holocaust supremacism. This is the focus of my review.
HOLOCAUST SUPREMACISM UNAVOIDABLY MINIMIZES ALL GENOCIDES OF NON-JEWS. IT INEVITABLY CREATES A ZERO-SUM GAME (OR CLOSE TO IT)
Ward Churchill quotes Pierre Papazian, “‘To claim that the Holocaust was unique can only imply that attempts to annihilate other national or cultural groups are not to be considered genocide, thus diminishing the gravity and moral implications of any genocide anywhere, any time. It also implies that Jews have a monopoly on genocide; that no matter what misfortune befalls another people, it cannot be as serious or even the same category as the Holocaust.’” (p. 63). Well said!
In a chapter aptly titled, RECLAIMING THE INVISIBLE VICTIMS, Churchill writes, “The costs of these systematic assaults on truth and memory have often been high for those whose suffering is degraded or shunted into historical oblivion. This concerns not only the victims of the many genocides occurring outside the framework of Nazism, but also the non-Jews targeted for elimination within the Holocaust itself.” (p. 36).
There is no way that non-Jewish genocides can be properly recognized as long as Holocaust supremacism reigns. Ward Churchill recognizes as much, “In restoring the Gypsies and Slavic peoples to the Holocaust itself, where they’ve always belonged, we not only exhume them from the black hole into which they’ve been dumped in their millions by Jewish exclusivism and neo-Nazism alike; we establish ourselves both methodologically and psychologically to remember other things as well.” (p. 52).
HOLOCAUST SUPREMACISM IS BASED ON INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY
Author Churchill has no patience with the preeminence of the Jews’ Holocaust over all other genocides. He quips, “Their shameless definitional/analytical manipulations of the concept of genocide amounts to the blanket denial of MANY holocausts. Unfortunately, such unmitigated cant and duplicity have become normative. The books of [Steven T.] Katz, [Yehuda] Bauer, and others of the exclusivist persuasion are published, not by obscure and sectarian imprimaturs like the neo-Nazis, but by prestigious academic presses such as Oxford, Temple, and Yale.” (p. 429; Emphasis is Churchill’s).
SHOAH-IS-SPECIAL FAILS: THE NAZIS DID NOT TRY TO KILL EVERY SINGLE JEW
The cornerstone argument for Holocaust supremacism is the one that the Jews were targeted for complete extermination. Ward Churchill is clear and unambiguous on this well-worn claim, “Rhetoric notwithstanding, there is no evidence at all that any Nazi leader, Hitler included, every manifested a serious belief that it would actually be possible to liquidate every single Jew on the planet. Indeed, there is ambiguity in the record as to whether the total physical annihilation of European Jewry itself was actually a fixed policy objective. What is revealed instead is a rather erratic and contradictory hodgepodge of anti-Jewish policies…” (pp. 34-35).
Part of the content of this discussion is based on another book, IS THE HOLOCAUST UNIQUE? [See my detailed review.] In the present book, Churchill reiterates the fact that, when Heinrich Himmler spoke of “the final solution of the Jewish problem, without regard to geographic borders”, in the Wannsee Protocol, Himmler was, in context, referring to Europe, not the whole world. (p. 34).
Wannsee was a general outline: Churchill notes that, “For example, the words ‘killing’, ‘extermination’, etc., are used nowhere in the Wannsee Protocol.” (p. 44). All this is part of the bigger problem of the over-interpretation of Wannsee as a tool for the promotion of Holocaust supremacism. For an update of research on the fact that the Wannsee Protocol was non-specific, subject to multiple interpretations, and not implying the death of every single European (let alone global) Jew, see my review of HOLOCAUST: A NEW HISTORY, by Rees.
SIX MILLION JEWS AND FIVE MILLION OTHERS? WRONG
Simon Wiesenthal spoke of 6 million Jews and 5 million others. (p. 49). Using several scholarly sources, Churchill corrects this, “The true cost of Nazi genocide came to 26 million or more, six million of whom were Jews, a million of more of whom were Gypsies, and the rest mostly Slavs.” (p. 49).
WHEN NAZIS SAID THAT THEY PLANNED TO KILL ALL JEWS, IT IS TAKEN LITERALLY. WHEN NAZIS SAID THAT THEY PLANNED TO KILL ALL GYPSIES AND ALL POLES, IT IS NOT.
In order to keep everything in perspective, Churchill reminds us that two-thirds of the world’s Jews, and one-third of Europe’s Jews, ended up surviving the Holocaust. (p. 73).
This leads to an egregious doublespeak. Ward Churchill remarks, “To be accurate, [Yehuda] Bauer is obviously aware that about a third of Europe’s Jews survived the Holocaust. His argument, however, seems to be that the Nazis’ stated intent to effect total annihilation is somehow the same as having achieved it. It is instructive that he applies such ‘logic’ only to the case of his own people, ignoring or dismissing A MULTITUDE OF COMPARABLE STATEMENTS BY RANKING NAZIS WITH REGARD TO THE GYPSIES AND SLAVIC PEOPLES…” (p. 426; Emphasis added). More on this in the ensuing paragraphs.
THE WANNSEE PROTOCOL DOES NOT CLOSE THE DOOR TO NAZI GENOCIDES OF NON-JEWS!
Holocaust supremacists commonly argue that the Nazis never spoke of a Wannsee-style Final Solution to the Polish problem or the Gypsy problem. (p. 38). But so what? A 1938 Nazi document plainly refers to “resolve the Gypsy question” by complete extermination. (p. 38). As for the Slavs, plans for their extermination, as part of LEBENSRAUM, not only are real, but go back to MEIN KAMPF. They are further specified, in outline form, in GENERAL PLAN OST. (pp. 44-45).
The facts are unambiguous. Ward Churchill declares, “In any event, the idea that ‘no plan [for Slavic extermination] was ever contemplated or developed’ is quite simply false.” (p. 44). That’s putting it mildly.
AN EXCELLENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNFOLDING POLOKAUST
Owing to the fact that the term Holocaust has by now been almost completely coopted by the Jews, I use a parallel term, Polokaust, in reference to the Nazi genocide of Poles.
Author Ward Churchill has a superb grasp of the Polokaust, which was more complex and long-term than the Shoah, but no less real. He writes, “For the Poles at least, this was to be accomplished in a series of stages, which seems likely to have been intended as a model for similarly phased eradication of the Ukrainians and other peoples to the east. Immediately upon conquest, the Poles would be ‘decapitated’ (i. e., their social, political, and intellectual leadership would be annihilated EN TOTO [also called aristocide]); second, the mass of the population would be physically relocated in whatever configuration best served the interests of the German economy: third, the Poles would be placed on starvation rations and worked to death. Whether or not there would have been a fourth and final phase, a la Auschwitz, THE RESULTS, BOTH PRACTICAL AND INTENDED, ARE IDENTICAL.” (p. 45). Thank you, Mr. Churchill, for your incisive clarity.
THE POLITICS OF GENOCIDE: WHY ISRAEL DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE (EVEN IN 2018)
Ward Churchill wrote, “A classic example of this sort of subterfuge is the QUID PRO QUO between the governments of Turkey and Israel, in which Israel validates the Turkish claim that no genocide was perpetrated against the Armenians in 1915 in exchange for the Turks’ formal support for the Israeli contention that the Nazi genocide of the Jews was ‘historically unique’. The U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum [USHMM] has collaborated in this arrangement at the request of both Israeli and Turkish officials…” (p. 430; See also David Stannard, p. xvi).
That was in 1997, when this book was written. Nothing has changed. On February 14, 2018, the Knesset rejected a bill that would have recognized the Armenian genocide.
- Source: GoodReads.com , December 31, 2018
Published with the author’s permission.
Title image: Burial of the Victims of the October 30 1895 Massacres of the Armenians During the Region of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Source: Armenian-History.com / selected by wg.pco