November 24, 2008

"Katyń"

In an essay entitled "Never Forget. You're Reminded" in today's New York Times, film critic A.O. Scott cautiously raises the question of why there will be, once again, so many Holocaust-related movies opening during the upcoming Academy Awards season:

The near-simultaneous appearance of all these movies is to some degree a coincidence, but it throws into relief the curious fact that early 21st-century culture, in Europe and America, on screen and in books, is intensely, perhaps morbidly preoccupied with the great political trauma of the mid-20th century.

The number of Holocaust-related memoirs, novels, documentaries and feature films in the past decade or so seems to defy quantification, and their proliferation raises some uncomfortable questions. Why are there so many?

Tough question ... Let me think about it... No, I'm drawing a blank. I'm as baffled as A.O. Scott is. I don't have a clue either why Hollywood keeps making movies about the Jewish Holocaust as opposed to, say, the Ukrainian Holocaust or the Gulag Archipelago. It's completely baffling.

Seriously, if you want your ancestors' suffering to be remembered, you've got to make the movie yourself. Here's my review of "Katyń" from The American Conservative:
It often seems as if humanity's seven decade struggle with Communism has disappeared down the memory hole. While Nazis in glistening black leather remain our culture's omnipresent exemplars of evil, Communists are apparently too dowdy to bother remembering.

A few filmmakers have begun to dissent, however. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's superb drama about the East German secret police, "The Lives of Others," won the 2006 Best Foreign Film Oscar and ran for a half year in American art houses.

In Warsaw on September 17, 2007, director Andrzej Wajda, recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Oscar, premiered "Katyń," his long-awaited epic about the 1940 Soviet decapitation of the Polish nation in which his cavalry officer father had perished. The 82-year-old cinema legend reminisced, "I can’t really talk about him, except to say that he was my ideal and that he died at the age when I needed him the most." The mass murder's cover-up then lasted a half century in Soviet-run Poland: not until 1989 was Wajda free to inscribe the year of his father's death on his tombstone.

A blockbuster in Poland, "Katyń" earned a Best Foreign Film nomination here. It hasn't, though, found an American distributor. Fortunately, you can buy the Polish DVD on eBay for $25. (Look for "English subtitles" and "Region Zero.")

"Katyń" begins September 17, 1939 as Polish civilians flee eastward over a bridge from the invading Germans -- only to collide with countrymen running westward from the Soviets, who, pursuant to August 1939's Hitler-Stalin pact, are now grabbing their share of Poland.

The overwhelmed Polish forces surrendered to their fellow Slavs, who sent most of the enlisted men home. When the wife of a captured captain locates him awaiting shipment east and begs him to escape with her, he responds, with that fatalistic sense of honor that is the outstanding feature of the Polish character, that his pledge binds him to his brother officers. "Katyń" follows the cavalry captain into a Soviet POW camp inside a defiled Orthodox church, and tells of the women who longed for him to come home and of the postwar hoax that covered up the atrocity.

Because all Polish college graduates were commissioned as reserve officers, the Communists found themselves in possession of Poland's natural leaders, the men who would not abide a Poland ruled by Soviet stooges. On March 5, 1940, Beria, boss of the NKVD secret police, sent Stalin a memo recommending extermination of the Polish POWs. The NKVD methodically shot 22,000 in the back of the head and dumped most of the bodies in trenches in the Katyń Forest.

In 1943, the German Army stumbled upon the mass grave. In perhaps the ultimate example of the pot calling the kettle black, Goebbels launched a propaganda campaign over the atrocity. In turn, Stalin used the outrage expressed by the legitimate Polish government-in-exile in London to accuse them of collaborating with the Nazis, justifying him in imposing his own Polish puppet regime.

FDR and Churchill acquiesced in the Soviet counterclaim that the Nazis had killed the Polish officers during their 1941 attack on Russia, making gravestones with a death date of "1940" politically incorrect in Poland until the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Of course, the Germans were doing the same in their half of Poland: "Katyń" depicts the Nazis arresting 144 college professors, including the captain's father, at Cracow's Jagiellonian University (incidentally, putting young Karol Wojtyła, the future Pope, out on the street).

Echoing Solzhenitsyn, Wajda extols remembrance: "The best remedy for political and social problems is to show them and to speak truly about them." In contrast, the Kremlin shut down its Katyń investigation in 2005 without prosecuting any perpetrators. KGB alumnus Vladimir Putin classified as secret 116 volumes of findings.

"Katyń" is an effective, moving film comparable to "The Pianist," the celebrated 2002 Holocaust film by Wajda's old colleague Roman Polanski. Americans will find "Katyń" more comprehensible on DVD than if it had run in the theatres. Wajda perfected his craft under Communist censorship, so his storytelling is implicit -- he assumes that his audience knows enough Polish history to fill in his gaps. Luckily, by pausing the DVD periodically to talk it over, we can sort out the large cast of rather similar-looking Poles and distinguish the slight differences in color of the Polish, Soviet, and German officers' greatcoats.

As Stalin noted, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." Thanks to "Katyń," the 22,000 aren't a statistics anymore.

The rating would be PG-13.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm Jewish and I confess I hate the way that so many Jews harp on the Holocaust. Reminds me of an old joke:

Two old Jewish guys -- Sol and Abe -- are sitting on a park bench. Sol notices that Abe is reading white supremacist literature.

Sol: Abe, why are you reading white supremacist literature!?

Abe: I prefer hearing that Jews control the world and the Holocaust never happened.

neil craig said...

The biggest crime of Hitler was the killing of 24 million Soviets & had he won the war he was committed to their wholesale genocide. The justification for fighting Hitler, and it is a good one, is that he was attempting genocide. However since his primary target was slavs (Soviets, Poles & 2 million Yugoslavs) who immediately after the war became the potential targets of western nukes it became politically impossible to hold that up as a particularly bad thing. Therefore the Jews got elected as the only mentionable justification for the war & indeed have become more & more mentionable as the years go on.

All genocide reporting is selective - the Poles remember Katyn but forget that Auschwitz was built in Poland because ordinary Poles were more anti-semitic than ordinary Germans. Americans denounce Stalin while pointing out that most Red Indians died of disease - I assume Russians say the reverse. Who remembers the Armenians?

Had the true history of the Yugoslav killings not been unreported by the western media I very much doubt if the peoples of the NATO countries would have supported unrepentent WW2 Nazis publicly committed to genocide (Tudjman of Croatia, Izetbegovic leader of the Bosnian Moslems & some KLA leaders). An example of those who do not know history being doomed to make others repeat it.

Anonymous said...

"...it throws into relief the curious fact that early 21st-century culture, in Europe and America, on screen and in books, is intensely, perhaps morbidly preoccupied with the great political trauma of the mid-20th century."

It's the use of nebulosities like "21st-century culture, in Europe and America" that's so maddening. Name names, name people who are morbidly preoccupied with such things. It's epidemic. I don't want to hear talk of "crime", for instance, like it's a magical vapor wafting through a spooky forest - I want a photograph of the perp. I don't want to hear that someone's views are "controversial", I want the collective names of the people calling those views controversial.

What A.O. Scott and many producers don't seem to realize is that less and less of the public care about these flicks, and that somewhere around the time of "Jakob the Liar", the schmaltz became too much. The desperate, lopsided tales have begun to backfire.

Anonymous said...

I've just pitched a script about what happened in Ukraine, and it's got everything you could want - Tuskegee airmen, a hick racist from the South (his arc is the most poignant, as he and one of the black pilots become good friends), a Mayflower-descended WASP from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, and a poor, tough Jew from Brooklyn. Together, they ignore historical inaccuracies and trek a cartload of brisket to a shtetl near the Dnieper that's been surrounded by pathological Ukrainian peasants trying to starve the inhabitants to death. It's called Holodomor. Lots of close-ups on blue eyes (per script directions). Score by Hans Zimmer, if we can get him.

Lloyd said...

Watching the latest Academy Award winner will make it easier for Americans to rationalize the immolation of a few million Iranians.

Anonymous said...

November 20, 2008
Survey: Fewer Americans think Jews control Hollywood
By Danielle Berrin

Forget Spielberg. Forget the Weinsteins. Forget "Seinfeld."

The majority of Americans no longer believe that Jews control Hollywood. This is the news from a new poll released by the Anti-Defamation League that also suggests there remains a widespread conviction that there is an organized campaign by Hollywood and the national media to undermine religious values.

In the October 2008 survey of 1,000 American adults, "American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood," conducted by the Marttila Communications Group, 63 percent of Americans said they do not believe that the movie and television industries are "pretty much run by Jews." This finding contradicts not only the prevailing myth, but also a 1964 survey in which half of the respondents agreed that Jews controlled Hollywood. It seems the era depicted in Neil Gabler's book, "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood," is over.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/films/article/survey_says_fewer_americans_think_jews_control_hollywood_20081120/

Anonymous said...

http://www.jewishjournal.com/television/article/doing_jews_right_on_tv_for_better_or_worse_20081119/
…was reflective of what was happening."
November 19, 2008
Doing Jews right on TV—for better or worse
By Danielle Berrin

at Friday's panel discussion, "Fair or Foul: The Portrayal of Jews on TV," part of the Anti-Defamation League's annual conference, which took place in Los Angeles last week.

Because, as he admits, Jews are prevalent in Hollywood and have a legitimate cultural sensitivity to Jewish discrimination, there is both interest and concern regarding images of Jews disseminated through entertainment media. As old as the medium itself, the depiction of Jews on television tells a story of ethnic identity, and therefore an acute responsibility is ascribed to the storyteller who decides what language, images and styles become associated with being Jewish. Thus, the underlying theme of the panel discussion became whether producers, writers and directors are conscientious in their depictions of Jews, and, if so, what are the boundaries?

"But in order to try to do that -- and that was the goal -- the language was rough. The language about the blacks and the Jews in Crown Heights at that time was reflective of what was happening."

Jews, Weiner said in conclusion, "are represented in this industry in a very big way." "We are in every aspect of it -- the creative part; we're behind the camera; we're in front of the camera -- [Jewish] people have been attracted to [Hollywood], and America enjoys our product."

Lucius Vorenus said...

New Russian film assails Communists
Monday, November 24, 2008
washingtontimes.com

...the new Russian film "Admiral," for which a U.S. distributor is being sought...

Kinda like how Two Hundred Years Together is still seeking an English-language translator and publisher.

chekvb said...

In terms of body count, Germans committed roughly an equivalent of 1 Katyn every week, for 5 years in Poland. Let's not pretend there is no significant difference in scale here. This does not make Katyn any less odious, of course. But it might provide just 1 reason why Katyn isn't as well known as the German atrocities ;-)

Also, comparing the Holocaust and "Ukrainian genocide" is very misleading. There was no plan to wipe out Ukrainians as a race, and many Ukrainians themselves participated in carrying out Stalin's policies. This is not to mention the many non-Ukrainian victims of that "Ukrainian genocide".

Why does Holocaust figure prominently in American public consciousness while certain Soviet crimes do not? A few of the reasons: 1) There are many Jews in America, who are keenly aware that they would have been targeted for extermination if they found themselves in Nazi-controlled territory in 1941-45. There is really no equivalent to this when it comes to non-racial repressions. Imagining yourself being "of the wrong class" in USSR at the wrong time is too abstract, and just doesn't have the same emotional resonance. 2) There are many actual Holocaust survivors in America still, who feel they have something important to say before they die. 3) Americans don't seem to be very interested in, or knowledgeable about, Soviet history in general. When "something bad happens" in the Soviet Union, it gets attributed to some degree to perceived Russian barbarism and backwardness. Ironically, Nazi propaganda about Russia has probably somewhat strengthened this perception in the West.

kijkfaas mcgee said...

There's still a Poland full of 39 million Poles and practically no Jews. An entire people was exterminated. That is, I think, what can't be overlooked. The slaughter of Polish elites or the democide of the Ukrainian peasants was awful, but it's logic was different. It was about power and control, as all communism was, and not about racial extermination per se. Indeed, for those who know about Soviet history, the cynical starvation of the peasants was occurring at the same time as Moscow was promoting Ukrainian culture and forcing the largely Russian-speaking cities to become Ukrainian in culture and language. There's something pathetic about SS engaging in a game of victimization. I heard the producer of The Lies of Others speak recently, and I very much doubt that he would have considered himself as dissenting from anything. He was making an important film. Good for him. Bad for SS for being such an ill-mannered boar.

Concerned said...

Sure, you canna deny it, there are so many Holocaust movies because Hollywood is full of Jews.

Secondarily, didn't you point out that Nazis are a lot more glamorous (and photogenic) than Commies? They were so glum and dull!

Lastly, the Germans and Austrians themselves are in on the act. A few years ago a mediocre Austrian film about a Jewish forger who survives the Holocaust was made, and it duly won an Academy Award. However, the handsome hero (Jewish in real life) was turned into a blond Aryan political prisoner. The Jewish forger was a sleazy anti-hero.

Jews just can't win.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing a superb documentary about the Katyn forest in 1974!

Anonymous said...

The Holocaust is also used as a form of psychological warfare. The biggest threat to the establishment is a European American population who refuses to go along with the "diversity is strength" program. The Holocaust is used to "remind" people what happens when white people organize for their ethnic interests. The basic equation is this:
White people+ethno-nationalism=6 million dead Jews.

Of course, every other ethnic group is encouraged by the power-structure to pursue their ethnic interests. Everything must be done to weaken the white majority so the whites (to include Jews) on top, have less competition.

The white majority is a huge burden to the elites. Therefore, its being replaced. Mexicans can run the blue collar machines, and Asians can run the white collar machines. The education system's only purpose in this country is to make white people impotent ethnocentrically. As long as they can say "diversity is strength" by the time they're done with 12th grade, they pass. Its OK becasue Asians can come in and do the thinking work.

Don't be surprised if we see a lot more Holocaust movies, as the tolerance of the EA population starts to drop.

Tolerance is like an economic price curve. As the number of non-whites goes up, tolerance for them goes down. As the number of non-whites goes down, tolerance for them goes up.

To manage the decreasing levels of tolerance, the system injects fear or guilt, through guilt or fear stimulus programs. One of the most effect ways of raising guilt levels is lots of Holoquidity.

An effective fear stimulus technique is to feature lots of news stories of non-whites being attacked by whites. Even if it doesn't happen, the media can make it up, and it still works just as good.

Just as economies are managed, so are ethno-relations. The holocaust is just a tool in ethno-management.

Svigor said...

In terms of body count, Germans committed roughly an equivalent of 1 Katyn every week, for 5 years in Poland. Let's not pretend there is no significant difference in scale here.

%&$@ you. The Soviets, Jews preeminent among them, murdered far more than the Nazis.

Also, comparing the Holocaust and "Ukrainian genocide" is very misleading. There was no plan to wipe out Ukrainians as a race, and many Ukrainians themselves participated in carrying out Stalin's policies. This is not to mention the many non-Ukrainian victims of that "Ukrainian genocide".

Orthodox historians of the Jewish holocaust can't agree on the existence of a Nazi plan either. So %&$@ you again.

Why does Holocaust figure prominently in American public consciousness while certain Soviet crimes do not?

Because Jews run the media.

emotional resonance

Lol. "Emotional resonance" is what the sheep leave the theatre with. That's an effect, not a cause.

There are many actual Holocaust survivors in America still, who feel they have something important to say before they die.

So why do we have a film about Rwanda, but not the Holodomor?

Hutu Jews?

3) Americans don't seem to be very interested in, or knowledgeable about, Soviet history in general.

"Interest," and "knowledge" are two more things the sheep leave the theatre with.

Okay, one could argue that trailers create "interest" as well.

So we're left with:

When "something bad happens" in the Soviet Union, it gets attributed to some degree to perceived Russian barbarism and backwardness.

That's what you've got? This explains four figures in one column, and zero in the other?

What are we, in kidergarten here?

chekvb said...

I can't help but think that much of the Polish WWII animus toward the Soviet Union and Russians is largely a result of psychological humiliation, rather than concrete injustices perpetrated by Communists.

Poles had long considered themselves a great and heroic nation, especially in contrast to the Russkies, their main historical rivals. Polish leaders mistakenly considered their country to be a great European power, and their foreign policy reflected this.

Then bam - Poland is defeated in a matter of days in one of the most one-sided wars in the history of humanity. (Don't tell me that the Red Army's entry into Poland over 2 weeks after the start of the war had any significant impact on the outcome.) When Germany tries to do the same to Russia (with the benefit of plenty of additional manpower, industry, mobilization, and allies), not only does Russia survive the onslaught but she miraculously manages to turn it around in one of the most fascinating and closely-fought military conflicts in history. And then Russia goes on to save Poland from complete destruction as a nation, a fate which Hitler had in store for conquered Slavic populations in the East.

Think of the sheer humiliation those arrogant Poles must have experienced! The imposition of a less than palatable economic system for a few decades is only a trivial side concern by comparison.

Lucius Vorenus said...

chekvb: I can't help but think that much of the Polish WWII animus toward the Soviet Union and Russians is largely a result of psychological humiliation... Then bam - Poland is defeated in a matter of days in one of the most one-sided wars in the history of humanity...

You should read up on the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921.

[Or maybe you were being facetious?]

testing99 said...

Steve --

You of all people should realize that the Holocaust holds a horrible fascination for mostly non-Jews, who make up the audience for these things, because of it's lessons:

1. Being a despised minority among a majority is destined to produce genocide.

Multiculturalism does not work. Even among Germans, who were educated and cultured and generally wealthy, and not among the servile nations conquered by Germany, who competed to see who could ship the most Jews, who were friends and neighbors, off to concentration camps.

2. Being disarmed and "friendly-nice-helpless" is a strategy that will get minority groups or small nations DEAD.

3. "Allies" such as the US, USSR, and Great Britain either lacked the means, or the will, or both to stop the genocide.

4. The genocide was the most well documented, in typical German efficiency, and features the well-trod theme of a society turned into monsters by a charismatic leader and desperate populace. The popularity of Zombie, Vampire, and Werewolf monsters speaks to this ... the Holocaust is a horror movie that is REAL because ordinary, educated Europeans acted like cinematic monsters.

In short, the Holocaust pushes deep Western emotional buttons, creating a mass Western Audience for stuff about it ... books, movies, TV series, etc.

It is VITAL that all remember it, and it's lessons:

ALWAYS be well armed, enough so that your enemies, who DO hate you, cannot kill you.

NEVER count on anyone but yourself.

NEVER allow yourself to be a minority in your own nation, you will be treated eventually as the Jews in Europe.

This last says that the dream of Multiculturalism, replacing White indigenous peoples in Europe and America with those from the Middle East, North Africa, Africa, and Latin America is bound to produce the same result as the Holocaust, sooner or later.

Instead, "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors." Not as romantic as say, Pablo Neruda but far more realistic.

Re Jews in Hollywood. Jews during the Golden Age (Mayer, Warner, etc.) were deeply assimilated, endorsed 100% a diet of pure Americana, produced rah-rah pro-American films, even generated their birthdays as "American" (Mayer simply chose the Fourth of July).

However, the turn-over in the 1960's to the MBA weenie class made Hollywood into the creature of Ivy League elites, the Harvard Mafia writing the Simpsons being a good example, Tina Fey of Harvard, National Lampoon, SNL, and 30 Rock being another. Jews in Hollywood are most often actors/actresses, with a few scattered producer/directors. There are few Jewish studio heads, most of the power resides in the huge multinational conglomerates like News Corp. or Time-Warner.

But the key to understanding the Holocaust's pull on audiences is not wacky conspiracy theories but the real-life example of people turned into monsters. It's so well documented. Ordinary men running Concentration camps, and going back to their families. Instead of raving lunatics like Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy, who at least looked the part of the lunatic madmen killer.

Because of the documentation there is no other thing like it.

VoodooMan said...

chekvb said...
[various points snipped for brevity]

I'll add:
4) Nazi Germany has been defeated in combat, forced to surrender, and occupied and literally rebuilt by the Allies. Brick by brick, meme by meme. Soviet Russia collapsed under its own weight, after losing an economic war rather than a military one. Its propaganda machine still rolls on under not-so-new management. Had the commies lost a real war, and had Russia been "Marshallized"; the result would be many films about Katyn, the Holodomor, and the Purges.

chekvb said...

Svigor, I guess your grandma wasn't gang-raped hard enough during the Battle of Berlin for you to draw some appropriate conclusions. How sad.

albertosaurus said...

I havn't watched a Holocaust movie in at least a decade. It's not that I'm a holocaust denier. It's just that genocide isn't all that entertaining.

I've got a suggestion for a screenplay that would get me to buy a ticket again.

The first missing element in most Holocaust movies is the car chase. We need a Formula One Mercedes versus Auto Union chase in the second reel.

In the third reel we could introduce a Nazi character who had visited China under the Japanese occupation and had learned Kung-Fu.

Add in some gratuitous full frontal nudity and you have a sure hit.

Reader said...

In other recent news, a German-Australian man was recently released from prison in England for disputing the orthodox Holocaust story. Quite a few others haven't been this lucky.

moron said...

I'm reading the "Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus", loosely translated as the Blackbook of Communism. I dunno if its available in English. Its pretty think and collates research by many who once upon a time loved that ideology. Lots of data and maps etc. Pretty gruesome. The numbers numbers involved would make the Germans the little brother in genocide, but then I guess some humans have a higher intrinsic value than others. The thing that really gets me is how there's been so little persecution of the perpetrators in Communism. Their crimes are astounding but most got away with it. Strange.

chekvb said...

Lucius Vorenus,

I know about the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1921. I also know about plenty of other Russo-Polish wars. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make...

Btw, the English wikipedia article is almost certainly written by Poles. :)

albertosaurus said...

Some of the commenters are taking Hollywood much too seriously. Hollywood history based movies are a joke as history. In general a new historical movie is based on the history in previous movies not on actual events. For example the Ridley Scott movie Gladiator is praised as being historically accurate but it is only accurate to Hollywood's Rome not the real Rome. It is more true to the movie The Fall of the Roman Empire with Sophia Loren, and Stephen Boyd. Gladiator's history itself is a joke.

The most familiar psuedo-history gendre is the comboy movie. There must be several hundred movies and TV shows that show a fast draw duel in the public street between cowboys. This sort of thing just didn't happen. It's a movie myth. Wyatt Earp shot people in the back with his shotgun.

The craziest movie myth is probably the Samurai myth. There were two famous asian warrior groups. One fought everyone and never lost a battle. The other fought virtually no one else and always lost. The first group were the Mongols the second were the Samurai. The Mogols no doubt smelled bad and dressed poorly. The Samurai bathed a lot and were snappy dressers. There are more movies about the Samurai than there are about the Holocaust. Could it be that the Jews who were so closly associated with the garment business favored the Samurai?

There have recently been a whole series of movies about Elizabeth the first and the tutors. Why no movies about Charles V (Carlo Quinto)? He was a contemporary and much more important in many ways. The answer is inertia. It's easier to get an audience for a costume drama if the public think they already understand something of the characters and the setting.

Why so many Holocaust movies? Mostly its just an artistic convention. Why Nazis? Again it's a shorthand way to make a narrative point.

When Manrico learns that his mother is being burned at the stake he sings, Di Quella Pira. It is a historical fact that many people were burned at the stake, yet there are no authenicated accounts of any observer bursting into song much less ending on a High C. Knowledge of the historical facts doesn't effect my appreciation of the cabaletta.

Samurai are depicted in movies as honorable and faithful but we know that at Sekigahara Samurai switched sides vicariously and we also know that the Shinsemgumi were terrorists. We know the Samurai were second rate swordsmen partly because they used second rate swords. Knowledge of these truths likewise doesn't effect my enjoyment of Samurai movies.

Similarly I don't fret over the idea that illiterate unskilled
laborers adhered to a rigid duelling code as a dispute resolution procedure. I still like westerns.

When I watch a movie with Nazis I don't for a moment believe that real Nazis behaved that way. A man in a Nazi uniform is an artistic convention. You shouldn't read to much into it.

alolph H. said...

1) Funny how a movie about Polish War victims ends up discussing the Jews - again. Guess no one cares about the 3 million dead Polish Christians, just the 2 million dead Polish Jews. Who loves and obsesses about the Jews more, the Semites or the Anti-Semites?

2) Jews run Hollywood, as they boasted during the Gibson run-in a couple years ago. That's one reason we have all these HOLOCAUST movies.

3) The other reason is America loves Jews. Haggee, Robertson, the Catholic Church, etc. they just love Israel and Jews - (and I'm not being sarcastic). Hell, Minnesota and Wisconsin won't elect a non-Jew to the Senate.

help me said...

testing 99 saidBut the key to understanding the Holocaust's pull on audiences is not wacky conspiracy theories but the real-life example of people turned into monsters. It's so well documented. Ordinary men running Concentration camps, and going back to their families. Instead of raving lunatics like Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy, who at least looked the part of the lunatic madmen killer.
That is what's most freighting. People you see and speak to everyday can kill you with ease.It says something about human nature.

Anonymous said...

Just several notes from a Soviet-Jewish-American

1. In God’s Eye, Fox gives due credit to other historians who helped to establish the truth about Katyn. One was Professor Janusz Zawodny, the doyen of Katyn historians, whose 1962 book, Death in the Forest, was the first major exposé of the Polish tragedy. Another was Dr. Simon Schochet, a Polish-Jewish historian whose research revealed that several hundred of the Katyn victims were Jewish. Establishing the presence of Jewish victims illuminates the complexity of the Katyn story. Goebbels reportedly hesitated at first to expose the massacre when he learned that a number of the victims were Polish Jews.

2. Soviet authorities erected a huge monument to the villages burned by the Germans in Belarus in a place where the village of Khatyn had stood. The name is pronounced the same as Katyn, thus confusing those who think the monument is dedicated to the Katyn's victims.

Thank you, Steve, for the tip on where to get the movie. I've been waiting for it to appear on Netflix for months but they don't have a definite date, so I got in on ebay.

Buckaroo said...

chekvb,

I don't think you are stupid so I will assume that the "I'm not sure what point you are trying to make" with regard to the Russo-Polish war of 1919-1921 was just a rhetorical punt.
Poland was a European power at some point, complete with installing czars in Moscow in the early 1600s. Amusingly or tellingly the Russians just made the date on which they threw out the Poles and their puppet a national holiday. I think as a rule you don't commemorate throwing off the yoke of weak opponent because that just makes you look ridiculous.
Clearly the country eventually went way down in the rankings, all the way into non-existence by the 1800s and oddly enough it developed something of a dislike for the powers that occupied it for over 100 years. I will grant that there was probably too much unrealistic ambition after 1918 to reclaim the Kingdom of Poland of 1772. However, in 1939 the grave error was not hubris but naivety: trusting that Britain and France would live up to their treaty obligations and attack from the west while the great majority of German forces was tied down in Poland. There was never any illusion that Poland could alone win against the vastly more industrialized and populous Germany.
Incidentally, you could take some time from your evidently well-practiced sneer at "one of the most one-sided wars in the history of humanity" and check out such minor episodes as the combined French/British/Belgian/Dutch defense of France in 1940 (where they had something like a 10 month warning to prepare) or the first 6 month of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. I won't even mention Denmark or Norway because the former basically gave up without a shot and the second only had significant action around the port of Narvik where, ironically enough, a Polish brigade fought alongside a British expeditionary force.
If your argument is that the Poles have an overdeveloped and possibly counterproductive sense of honor and committment to the country insufficiently informed by political realities, I could probably meet you half-way. Just look at the Czechs. They sat out the war and ended up with a scenic, intact country occupied by communists. Poland fought from beginning to end and ended up flattened, burned, decimated, and occupied by communists. Oh, and with bad press too! What a deal.

Anonymous said...

Jews have been the victims of murder campaigns many times. The reason why you see so many movies about the Holocaust -- and not about, say, Russian or Polish pograms -- is mainly because of the unique nature of the perpetrators of the Holocaust. As horrific as mass murder campaigns by Russians, Rwandans or Cambodians are, there isn't much interesting or surprising about them: you expect barbarism from these societies. The Holocaust retains a morbid fascination because the Germans were, unlike the Russians, Rwandans, Turks, or Cambodians, one of the most advanced, cultured societies on earth, and one where -- post emancipation -- Jews were fully assimilated and accepted.

I also suspect that the gay influence in Hollywood has had something to do with the focus on the Holocaust. There seems to have been something of a self-hating gay aspect to Nazism: persecution of gays combined with gay sensibilities (e.g., the ubiquitous leather, knee-high boots, and other examples of a gay fashion sense, etc.).

- Fred

chekvb said...

[NOTE: I wrote the below comment based on my memories of reading the Wikipedia article on the Polish-Soviet war years ago. I just looked at the article again and it is quite a lot better than I remember it being, but some of the below criticisms still apply. Since they still contain important points I'd like to post them anyway.]

1) The war is presented unequivocally as a result of Soviet aggression. Nothing about the fact that in 1919 and early 1920, Soviet Russia was fighting for its life against three powerful White Armies and foreign intervention - thus concealing the opportunistic nature of the Polish drive East. Nothing about repeated Soviet pleas, during the initial Polish advance against outnumbered Russian forces of the Western front, to cease hostility and decide on borders through diplomacy.

2) The article dwells on each Polish victory while equally impressive Russian successes, such as the liberation of Kiev and general Tukhachevsky's lighting advance in Belorussia, are glossed over.

3) Western, and especially French, aid to Poland, both in material and expert military advice, is unemphasized.

It is also worth pointing out that Poland's military grew complacent as a result of the partial victory in this war, while both German and Russian military leaderships sought to modernize and innovate, to a large degree from fear of renewed Polish expansionism.

Anonymous said...

"Svigor, I guess your grandma wasn't gang-raped hard enough during the Battle of Berlin for you to draw some appropriate conclusions. How sad."

Svigor is not of German ancestry; he's a Slav. Why he is more obsessed with Jews, rather than the Nazis who considered his kind to be subhuman, I don't know. Perhaps a Jew denied him admission to art school in Vienna.

Chaim

matra said...

Jews in Hollywood. Jews during the Golden Age (Mayer, Warner, etc.) were deeply assimilated, endorsed 100% a diet of pure Americana, produced rah-rah pro-American films, even generated their birthdays as "American" (Mayer simply chose the Fourth of July).

They still lived in an Anglo-America that had yet to be deconstructed and their business depended on that America for its profits.

However, the turn-over in the 1960's to the MBA weenie class made Hollywood into the creature of Ivy League elites

At universities during Mayer's 'rah-rah pro-American' time Jewish radicals, who did not depend on Middle America, were spreading psychoanalysis, Boasian anthropology, and in general undermining the myths and values that sustained traditional Anglo-America. By the 1960s Jewish radicals had already conquered the minds of many of the country's elite graduates and were far more confident as they moved into mass media to spread their critique of Anglo-American society to the general public.

Anonymous said...

22,000 ... so it's in the same ballpark as the number of BNP members who are now subject to persecution in the UK. So if BNP members start disappearing, we can count on 68 years or so of media obfuscating on the subject of what happened to them at the hands of socialist internationalism.

anony-mouse said...

While it is indeed a shame that 'Dr Zhivago', 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch' and 'Burnt by the Sun' never got made, my comments about the lack of an American edition of one of Solzhintsyn's books still applies-you don't like that a certain book doesn't exist? DIY.

steve burton said...

chekvb: are class distinctions somehow more "abstract" than religious distinctions?

I would have thought precisely the opposite.

josh said...

"Post war hoax"? Nah...aint no such thing!

chekvb said...

Hi Steve Burton:

I enjoy your blog :-)
I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean... I have no idea what class my ancestors officially belonged to when they lived in the USSR in the 30's (though I do know that a few lost their property when Lenin came to power and a few spent time in labor camps). Certainly I couldn't tell simply by looking at my extended family now.

Also, no doubt you know that the Nazis targeted people of Jewish descent, not just followers of Judaism...

Anonymous said...

Holocaust fatigue...

Former Israeli Foreign Secretary Abba Eban once observed: "There's no business like Shoah business." Peter Novick’s The Holocaust in American Life and Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry can help us better understand the prominent position the Holocaust has captured in the American consciousness. Novick's main points are that the promotion of the Holocaust has served several specifically Jewish interests: particularly support for Israel, combating anti-Semitism and now promoting multi-culturalism. Finkelstein's point is that it's not about money, it's about more money, and the real victims aren't getting it. Both books are also very critical of Elie Weisel’s role in the promotion of the Holocaust as a unique event "beyond understanding." In his book, Finkelstein quotes Israeli writer Boas Evron, "Holocaust awareness is actually an official, propagandistic indoctrination, a churning out of slogans and a false view of the world, the real aim of which is not at all an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the present." Finkelstein identified two dividends Jewish Americans enjoy courtesy of the promotion of Holocaust awareness- "victim status and immunity to criticism." No one in America should be beyond criticism
...

Jerry said...

The argument that Poles and other Slavs were not targeted by Hitler for extermination the way Jews were is incorrect.

The way that victim groups are compelled to compete for "victim status" by displaying their wounds is repelling, but perhaps there is no other way when a dominant victim group excludes any other sufferers.

For the historically minded, here is one good place to start:

http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Holocaust-German-Occupation-1939-1944/dp/0781809010/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227578915&sr=1-1

Jerry said...

Anonymous: "Finkelstein identified two dividends Jewish Americans enjoy courtesy of the promotion of Holocaust awareness- "victim status and immunity to criticism." No one in America should be beyond criticism
..."

Good point, especially when Finkelstein's arguments did not exactly endear him to the academic powers that be:

http://chronicle.com/news/article/2462/depaul-rejects-tenure-bid-by-finkelstein-and-says-dershowitz-pressure-played-no-role

Anonymous said...

I just read t99's big comment. As always, he turned reality on its head. If something was white, he called it black, if something was short, he called it tall, if something was vertical, he called it horizontal.

If he had no clue at all, as some here have claimed, then you'd expect his inventions to have a pretty random relationship with reality. But since his inventions are the exact opposite of observed reality, you've got to figure that, subconsciously at least, he understands the truth about some of these things.

Just an observation.

Anonymous said...

The Holocaust/Holodomor dynamic is a great exposer of hidden leftist racism and other bigotries.

The corporate left (including a good many so-called progressives and liberals) side with the European Jews of the 1940s against evil Nazis - but they never side with Israel.

You would think also that the leftists would also rightly see Ukrainians, Poles, Kazakhs, etc. as victims of Soviet colonialist imperialism. Not a chance!

Instead leftists (whether Jewish or not) follow the plans of Soviet and even post-Soviet Russian imperialism so closely. This is also a politically correct way for them to be racist without seeming so.

For leftists, the strip of land between Germany and Russia is full of "feral serfs" that need commie missionaries to civilize them. Otherwise, the natives will be Boratesque Jew-eating gypsy-eating heathen nationalists.

If the Russians, under any regime, happen to be Jew-eating nationalists, that is excusable for leftists. After all, Russia needs to assert its independence from Western capitalist banks.

Holy hypocrisy, Batman!

headache said...

anony-mouse,
You can purchase a German translation of "200 Years Together" no problem here in Germany. I don't sense there being any censure about it, and Germany is known to be under the boot in terms of the publication of anything anti-semitic. They just put people in jail for that. So nobody would publicly distribute such a book if it were so evil. My impression is that European and Israeli Jews are much more realistic and open to criticism than the lobby organizations in the US. I dunno why. You can have frank and open conversations with Israeli Jews even if you disagree with them. They are really very open to criticism and make great conversation partners as long as you stay reasonable. I don't understand what's going on in the US.

Martin Regnen said...

What, no one's calling Steve a vile racist for saying that all those damn Polish actors look alike to him?

Chaos said...

People of Jewish descent often bill themselves in the West (and in the US especially) as being more advanced morally, having a greater understanding of suffering and human nature, and being more sensitive to the injustice that happens to others. This deeper understanding supposedly comes from the suffering they - or more often - their ancestors suffered under the various regimes they lived under.

I have talked to numerous non-jewish, university-educated people in the West who will often break out in tears when discussing this elevated sence of morality and suffering that Jewish people experience. They identify with Jewish suffering as if it was their own suffering. The empathy that people feel towards Jews in the West is not really seen anywhere else in the world, especially in Muslim, African, and East Asian countries - where Jews are either side-notes or the enemy.

So what makes the West so different? This is the interesting question. Pro-semites will quickly point out that it is because Europeans have caused more crimes against the Jews and now they feel the guilt - and yet they remain silent on the topic of why there are no significant jewish communities/power in Muslim/East Asian/African societies and they also remain silent with regards to the crimes Jewish people committed against their European neighbours in various functionary roles such as the NKVD.

The question of why European youth has identified with the suffering of another group over their own suffering is one of the most significant questions of our time. And yet it is rarely discussed. Notice then that this psychic empathy that Euros feel towards Jews is then transfered onto the suffering of others as well - for example the injustice of black slavery and Arab crusade wars. These groups then use this process to gain physical space and political power in European countries.

Is the European youth weak and over-powered or is the European youth doing something else? Perhaps for the first time in human history the people of an advanced civilization saw it as a noble deed to truly repent. Perhaps there was an opening for human kind to do something beyond the tribal.

As it stands the West is being overrun by non-enlightened barbarians and jewish hollywood keeps pumping out more propaganda. One of these days the European youth will realise that their gesture was for nothing. The window of opportunity for human kind will close. I give us less then 100 years.

ben tillman said...

All genocide reporting is selective - the Poles remember Katyn but forget that Auschwitz was built in Poland because ordinary Poles were more anti-semitic than ordinary Germans.

You're right about Poles being more anti-Semitic, but you're way off on Auschwitz.

Auschwitz was built by the Poles before the war for other purposes, which is why it has that famous swimming pool. And the Nazis dealt with the Jews at Auschwitz (and elsewhere in Poland) because that's where the Jews were -- mostly to the east of Germany, including almost 3 million in Poland alone.

ben tillman said...

slaughter of Polish elites or the democide of the Ukrainian peasants was awful, but it's logic was different. It was about power and control, as all communism was, and not about racial extermination per se.

That's a ridiculous attempt at a distinction. "Racial extermination per se" is itself "about power and control" and thus excusable in your book.

Anonymous said...

"That's a ridiculous attempt at a distinction. "Racial extermination per se" is itself "about power and control" and thus excusable in your book."

Where did he say anything about either being 'excusable'? The point is that the Soviets' intent was to murder enough people to be able to subjugate the rest; the Nazis' intent -- in the case of the Jews, Gypsies and other groups -- was to kill every last one of them on Earth. See the difference?

- Fred

James Kabala said...

A few observations:

1. A major factor in the number of Holocaust movies is that we actually fought a shooting war against the Germans. For the first three decades after World War II there were few Holocaust movies, but there were many World War II movies. Then in the late 1970s-early 1980s there was a transitional period of movies such as The Boys from Brazil and Raiders of the Lost Ark, which featured Nazis as villains but were not about the war per se. Only after that (if not only after Schindler's List) did Holocaust films become common. The Holocaust film genre is an offshoot of an older genre, the World War II movie.

2. That is not to say that the number of Jews in Hollywood is not a factor, but not necessarily the primary factor. As previously noted, there are no movies about pogroms (except Fiddler on the Roof, I guess) and few about Israel (exceptions being Exodus, made almost fifty years ago, and Munich).

3. Regardless of what some might think, enthusiasts for Soviet communism are almost non-existent these days. Third World communism still has a glamorous reputation among the foolish and malevolent - see the Grade A morons who wear Che shirts and the (fewer) Grade A+ moron diehards who wear Mao shirts. There was not much Jewish influence here. (That is, as far as I know. I'm sure Svigor or Ben Tillman will come forward triumphantly with some obscure fact such as, "Don't you know Castro was one-eighth Sephardic?" or something of the sort.) Soviet Communism does not.

4. As others have noted, there have been more than a few Hollywood anti-Soviet movies, from Dr. Zhivago to The Hunt for Red October, although it is true that they rarely focus directly on Stalinism or the Gulag. More recently, despite Lucius Vorenus's little joke about the failure of the movie Admiral (which only cam out six weeks ago) to find a U.S. distributor to date, The Lives of Others not only found one but won the Oscar for best foreign-language film (and beat at least one Holocaust-related film, if I recall correctly).

5. The weakness in the theory that Hollwyood was founded by a self-conscious Jewish cabal is that the Jewish studio founders were also cutthroat competitors with each other. Louis Mayer and Jack Warner would have been only too happy to see each other go out of business.

Svigor said...

Svigor is not of German ancestry; he's a Slav. Why he is more obsessed with Jews, rather than the Nazis who considered his kind to be subhuman, I don't know. Perhaps a Jew denied him admission to art school in Vienna.

Chaim


Actually, I'm neither. I chose my name before joining Stormfront because I wanted to show solidarity with Slavs, and I liked the little I read about my namesake.

I'm American, 17th century origins on my father's side, not as sure how long my mother's side has been here. Mostly English/Dutch/Irish as far as I can tell, but I could pass for a Teuton or a Slav.

(and they call racialists superficial; psychoanalyzing me based on an Internet handle!)

ben tillman said...

Where did he say anything about either being 'excusable'? The point is that the Soviets' intent was to murder enough people to be able to subjugate the rest; the Nazis' intent -- in the case of the Jews, Gypsies and other groups -- was to kill every last one of them on Earth. See the difference?

There's a difference but the other poster didn't identify one, which was my point. The Nazi program, like the Bolshevik program was about "power and control".

Anonymous said...

Had the true history of the Yugoslav killings not been unreported by the western media...

By "true history", I take it you mean the Belgrade-engineered fictions of the Yugoslav secret police and their stooges (e.g. Viktor Novak) that turn every Croat and Bosnian leader into an "unrepentant WWII Nazi", including oddly enough, a decorated Partisan officer?

Yeah, right -- that's just super. As if the Serbs haven’t done enough damage to themselves with the horrific (and self-absolving) victimologies they've fabricated to justify their botched land-grabs. No, they now have the likes of you to try and remedy the situation. Given the bang-up job you and others like you have done so far, I suspect the Kosovo Albanians hope you keep right at it.

Uthred

Svigor said...

Jews have been the victims of murder campaigns many times. The reason why you see so many movies about the Holocaust -- and not about, say, Russian or Polish pograms -- is mainly because of the unique nature of the perpetrators of the Holocaust. As horrific as mass murder campaigns by Russians, Rwandans or Cambodians are, there isn't much interesting or surprising about them: you expect barbarism from these societies. The Holocaust retains a morbid fascination because the Germans were, unlike the Russians, Rwandans, Turks, or Cambodians, one of the most advanced, cultured societies on earth, and one where -- post emancipation -- Jews were fully assimilated and accepted.

So what's the explanation for the skew between Nazis and Commies as the villains of history? I ask because I don't see the paradigm you refer to; Nazis are just Huns, as are the Germans who spawned them. I don't watch Holocaust films (might if they paid me) so I can't comment directly (though I doubt the paradigm shows up there much, either).

Svigor said...

2. That is not to say that the number of Jews in Hollywood is not a factor, but not necessarily the primary factor.

As previously noted, there are no movies about pogroms (except Fiddler on the Roof, I guess)

Why make soft porn when you can go hardcore?

and few about Israel (exceptions being Exodus, made almost fifty years ago, and Munich).

Why bother with movies about Israel for the goyim? All the goyim need know about Jews can be found in the Holocaust.

Svigor said...

Regardless of what some might think, enthusiasts for Soviet communism are almost non-existent these days.

No need for a change of subject.

I'm sure Svigor or Ben Tillman will come forward triumphantly with some obscure fact such as, "Don't you know Castro was one-eighth Sephardic?"

Nice dig; and you didn't even have to wait for me or Ben to do anything!

5. The weakness in the theory that Hollwyood was founded by a self-conscious Jewish cabal is that the Jewish studio founders were also cutthroat competitors with each other. Louis Mayer and Jack Warner would have been only too happy to see each other go out of business.

You'll have to explain that logic to me; I don't see how your conclusion follows from your argument.

Can we say the Mafia wasn't "self-consciously Italian" because of its internal rivalries?

James Kabala said...

I don't think the Mafia views itself as a self-consciously Italian organization devoted to the ruin of non-Italians. The original mafia of Italy had no problem with exploiting fellow Italians.

the little propfit said...

The Leftist Racial Classification Spectrum:

(Of course leftists, unlike their brothers on the extreme right, would never admit to anything so racist.)

BAD
Ukrainians
Croats, Bosnians
Baltic peoples
Turks & Tatars
Modern Japanese
Germans
(North) Americans
English
Modern Israel
Lebanese Christians
Europe in general
Imperial Japanese
Non-Soviet Russians
Asia in general
Latin Americans
Hindu Indians
non-white aboriginal peoples
Soviet Russians
Maoist Chinese
Arabs and/or Muslims
pre-1945 diaspora Jews
Africa in general
Mau Mau, Khmer Rouge
GOOD

Anonymous said...

The original mafia of Italy had no problem with exploiting fellow Italians.

Considering that the Mafia was also a Sicilian nationalist organization, they would have no problem at all exploiting Neapolitans, Venetians, Romans, Milanese, etc. Even long after the unification of Italy, the typical lower-class Italian had more loyalty to his region than to Italy as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Svigor or Ben Tillman will come forward triumphantly with some obscure fact such as, "Don't you know Castro was one-eighth Sephardic?"

"Even Fidel Castro claims he is from a family of Marranos."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/24/AR2006092400947.html

Anonymous said...

"Nazis are just Huns, as are the Germans who spawned them."

There's not much point debating someone who's acting deliberately obtuse. You ought to try to find a constructive outlet for your apparent bitterness and rage (and no, this isn't a constructive outlet).

- Fred

Svigor said...

Oh, btw, you really think what we're doing here is debating?

That's a laff. A debate requires an open forum.