Bizarre Goldhagen yarns

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Laurentz Dahl
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Bizarre Goldhagen yarns

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 4 years ago (Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:11 am)

Hitler's Willing Executioners is one of the vilest books I have encountered, right beside The Witch Hammer. Most of it consists of judeo-supremacist ramblings about the supposed innate anti-semitism of the German people (according to Goldhagen, "Anti-Semitism tells us nothing of the Jews"). It is so below the water mark that it was scolded even by exterminationists, such as Browning. It is remarkable mainly as an attempt to shift the focus from the alleged gas chambers to mass shootings on the east front. Goldhagen claims that police task forces consisting of "ordinary Germans", which according to the Goldhagen lexicon translates as pathological Jew-haters and sadists, took parts in genocidal massacres were several hundreds of thousands of innocent Soviet and Polish Jews were shot and dumped into pits.

Goldhagen also spends a lot of pages trying to convince the reader that the German work camps for Jews really were a kind of "slow extermination camps" were the "work" was pointless and meant to exterminate the Jews.

Goldhagen's putrid tome is full of incredible and bizarre yarns. In this thread, I will discuss some of them.

On page 299, Goldhagen claims that a festive ceremony was held in the work camp of Lipowa near Lublin, to celebrate the camp commander Alfred Dressler's murder of his fifty-thousandth Jew. The source to this story, a Jewish prisoner, claimed that Globocnik was present at the ceremony and that Globocnik forced him to down a bottle of vodka while threatening him with a gun.

On page 307, Goldhagen claims that Christian Wirth used to ride his horse "into large assemblages of Jews, the horse's hind hooves sending Jews flying, badly injuring some and killing others". This happened at the clothing work camp in Lublin, where according to Goldhagen (on the same page) "The Germans of the camp saw fit to amuse themselves with experimental gassings in baracks, even though functioning and adequate gassing installations were but a stone's throw away in Majdanek, rendering this enterprise instrumentally pointless."

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Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 4 years ago (Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:27 am)

Goldhagen has this to say about Wirth and the secrecy of the alleged extermination (p.308):

In the Clothing Works, the Germans sometimes hanged Jews from the camp gate, an atypical practice for camps, since the corpse could be seen by anyone on the outside. Apparently, Wirth did not care to be guided by the sham norm of maintaining secrecy about such camps, since it was common knowledge in Lublin and the region - including among the large number of Germans there, whether in military, police, civilian administration, or the economy - that the Germans were exterminating the Jews.


On page 308-309 Goldhagen recounts the tale of how Wirth treated a young Jewish boy of about ten, "feeding him sweets and giving him every little boy's dream, a pony". Goldhagen quotes a "survivor" from the Clothing Works Camp:

I have personally seen that this SS commander led a Jewish boy [...] whom he kept and whom he fed chocolates and other goodies, to kill with a machine gun here and there 2 or 3 Jews at a time. I myself stood about 10 meters away when this boy carried out such shootings. The SS commander, who rode a white horse and who had given a horse to the boy, joined in the shooting. These two human beings together killed - in my presence - among the several occasions some 50-60 Jews. Among the victims were also women.


The boy was allegedly dressed up in "a specially tailored, minature SS uniform which he wore when spraying bullets from his lordly perch on his pony". It is also claimed that the boy killed his own mother. Goldhagen then goes into a tirade about the German's "transvaluation of values" (baking Nietzsche into the anti-German greuelpropaganda) and how the alleged transformation of the boy was symbolic of the treatment of the Jews in the camps.

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Postby Breker » 1 decade 4 years ago (Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:45 am)

Let's take Goldhagen's yarns and apply the same incredible stories said of Germans to Jews, just change a few words. What will the result be? Outrage? Certain. Demands for evidence? Certain.
We then ask, where's the outrage? Where is the evidence?
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Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 4 years ago (Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:03 am)

A review of Goldhagen's book from JHR:

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n2p31_Weber.html

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Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:33 pm)

Robin O'Neil has no doubts regarding the veracity of the bizarre yarn about Christian Wirth's "Mini-Me", even though it's only based on "eyewitness testimony"

SS Judge Morgan [sic] exposed more bizarre incidents concerning both Wirth and Hering. At the camp on the old airfield in Lublin, where over 5,000 Jews were employed at sorting clothing and property from Reinhardt, Wirth selected a 10-year-old Jewish boy, fed him well, and dressed him in a specially-tailored miniature SS uniform. Although this caused much concern and distress among the Jews, it did not stop there. Wirth gave the boy a pony and taught him to ride it and use a machine pistol. Within a very short time, the boy was riding about the camp with Wirth, shooting Jews to order. One witness refers to 50 - 60 Jews being shot in this manner.[36] The boy, it was said, also shot his own parents.[37] Why Wirth acted as he did is difficult to understand, even by his standards. We have seen that the SS committed acts of sadistic brutality on the Jews in Belzec when they were bored and looking for ways to entertain themselves. In Wirth's case, it goes much deeper, and exposes his deep hatred for Jews and his total commitment to Reinhardt, even if it meant sacrificing his own work force to achieve it.


http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/belzec1/bel120.htm

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Postby Vlad » 1 decade 2 years ago (Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:34 pm)

No wonder "Morgan was dumfounded" (sic).

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Postby jnovitz » 1 decade 2 years ago (Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:11 am)

Actually I think we owe a debt to Goldhagen.

He does not invent these stories rather he simply mines the Soviet generated testimony and repackages it for modern compensation.

HOWEVER, atrocity fables that worked well back in 1946 often sound a little credulous today. Hence most historians have the good sense to suppress these early lurid tales and use less flamboyant anecdotes that they hope readers will believe.

Goldhagen reminds us just how dubious those early Holocaust narratives really were, point to the existence of a top-down construction of a historical narrative that the less colorful examples used by Christopher Browning et al tends to obscure.

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Postby PotPie » 1 decade 2 years ago (Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:10 pm)

This book has been thoroughly trounced by Norman Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn in their book, A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth.

Snippet from Finkelstein's website :

No recent work of history has generated as much interest as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners. Purporting to solve the mystery of the Holocaust, Goldhagen maintains that ordinary Germans were driven by fanatical anti-semitism to murder Jews. An immediate national best-seller, the book went on to create an international sensation.

Now, in A Nation on Trial , two leading critics challenge Goldhagen's findings. With devastating cumulative effect, Norman G. Finkelstein meticulously documents Goldhagen's misrepresentations of secondary literature and the internal contradictions of his argument. In a complimentary essay, Ruth Bettina Birn juxtaposes Goldhagen's text against the German archives he consulted. The foremost international authority on these archives, Birn argues that Goldhagen systematically misrepresented their contents. First published in the New Left Review and the Cambridge Historical Journal , these two landmark essays have already provoked intense debate both here and abroad.

The authoritative statement on the Goldhagen phenomenon, A Nation on Trial is also a cautionary tale on the corruption of scholarship by ideological zealotry.


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/content.php?pg=2

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Postby Vlad » 1 decade 2 years ago (Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:51 pm)

As a result, he was denied tenure, and so was Finkelstein. By comparison to the latter, however, it seems Goldhagen was ushered out through the back door at Harvard. Where did I read he was working on his first (!) novel?

According to his website, he has lectured, together with John K. Roth and Michael Berenbaum on Holocaust Fatigue, an interesting phenomenon only recently brought to the attention of this forum.


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