Holocaust Perpetrators of the German Police Battalions: The Mass Murder of Jewish Civilians, 1940-1942 by Ian Rich – Published May 3rd 2018 by Bloomsbury Academic
No Polokaust Negationism: Nazi German Attitudes To Poles and Jews Were Very Similar. Nazi Killers Reject Religion: Do Not Blame Christianity For the Holocaust
This work is largely Judeocentric, and its primary focus is the Holocaust by Bullets. However, there are other interesting details, and these are the subject of my review.
NO DUALISM BETWEEN NAZI ATTITUDES TO POLES AND JEWS
In the western world, we have the mystification of the Holocaust, and the Polokaust is barely even mentioned. We sometimes hear the Holocaust supremacist talking point that, whereas the Jews were killed simply because they were Jews, the Poles had to “do something” before the Nazis would kill them. In contrast to such negationist nonsense, scholar Ian Rich realizes that:
“The German soldiers, policemen and civilian administrators that entered Poland in 1939 and 1940 had long been exposed to historical stereotypes of Poland as a ‘backward’, ‘hostile’ place in habited by racial inferiors.” (pp. 75-76).
In a face-to-face victimhood competition, Poles may perhaps not quite measure up to the Jews in terms of being racial enemies of the Third Reich, but they are close. Smith comments, “Connected to the portrayals of ‘backwardness’, Poles and Jews were couched as racial ‘others’, as natural and dangerous enemies of the VOLKSGEMEINSCHAFT.” (p. 76).
NAZISM ANTI-CHRISTIAN. THE NAZI GERMAN CAREERISTS REALIZED THIS
Author Ian Rich described the rank and file of German Battalions 304 and 314, and the attendant near-incompatibility of their service with religion, as follows, “The majority of the sample, 66 per cent, described themselves as being GOTTGLAUBIG (God-believing). As Herbert Ziegler also found in his study of SS personnel files, most of these men who listed themselves as God-believing left the church they had been born into just before joining the SS and police knowing that, although NOMINAL church membership was tolerated in the SS, it could be a disadvantage professionally. These young men were clearly mindful of a future career in the SS when they joined the police in 1939 and 1941.” (p. 42; Emphasis added).
This is ironic to the usual attempt to blame Christianity for the Holocaust. We instead see that not only did the Nazis fail to promote Christianity, but that even nominal Christianity was barely compatible with being a serious Nazi!
The fact that 34% of the SS personnel lacked even a nominal belief in God raises other questions. Were atheists in the SS, at 34%, relatively more common than in German society as a whole?
Furthermore, the Nazi view of Christianity was almost identical to that of the militant atheist. Author Ian Rich cites the notes of Lochbrunner, who was one of the participants in the Jew-killing battalions, as he comments, “On his copy of the learning materials Lochbrunner marked this passage in the margin as particularly notable: ‘National Socialism is founded on the notion of honor, Christianity on the concept of fear, Marxism on the notion of envy.’” (p. 59).
NO BUILT-IN NAZI OBSESSION WITH KILLING JEWS: THE HOLOCAUST DEVELOPED LATE
For nearly the first two years of WWII, the Germans were content to murder Jews on a sporadic basis. Then came the Nazi German invasion of its erstwhile Soviet Communist ally. Author Ian Smith realizes that the mass shootings of Jews on the new Eastern Front were, for the first six weeks or so, limited to Jewish men of military or reproductive age: Not until August 27, 1941, were they expanded to target all Jews regardless of age or gender. (p. 123). Because of this, most Holocaust scholars now believe that no predetermined plan to kill all Jews had existed before the start of Operation Barbarossa, but only developed sometime later. (p. 201).
Thus, the case for the functionalist, as opposed to intentionalist, interpretation of the origins of the Shoah, keeps getting stronger. It also reinforces the fact that, just as Nazi policies against Jews could radicalize with time, they could also have radicalized against Poles, given more time.
The death toll of the Holocaust by Bullets is as follows. Ian Smith cites Alexander Kruglov, who estimated 2.7 million Jews living in Ukraine, of whom 900,000 fled with the retreating Red Army, 1.6 million who were murdered by the Germans, and 100,000 that had locally survived. (p. 93).
- Source: GoodReads.com , February 14, 2019
Published with the author’s permission.
- Title image: „Holocaust Perpetrators of the German Police Battalions: The Mass Murder of Jewish Civilians, 1940-1942” by Ian Rich part of the cover / selected by wg.pco