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Re: Hiroshima

5/9/2005 3:27 PM
Eric H
Re: Hiroshima
"There are a few people in germany who use the holocaust and want that it IS forever the guilt of all germans, every single one including those that are not born yet. Whenever one mentions "getting beyond" the holocaust, the fires of hell are raised and everyone in german is an anti-semite and anti-semitism is on the rise"
There are black (and white) Americans who's existence depends on a similar guilt mongering.  
You can't run away from this stuff --I think it's more profitable to learn to live in (and sometimes enjoy) the world that --is-- rather than the one you wish it was. I wish I had figured this out before I was 50, though :)  
5/9/2005 6:36 PM
"guilt mongering"
It's so pervasive I've learned to ignore it too. I have been surprised at finding out what my son believes though - things I really hadn't thought to ask. The system is pretty good at convincing innocents that this world has no future and we're all guilty of communal ill-deeds, whether we were alive when they happened or not, let alone involved. They are teaching unrealistic views of history with serious intent to manipulate minds.  
As a strange analogy, I once worked for a corporation that sent around a memo demanding that all groups cease and desist from buying donuts and coffee with corporate funds. It had not got out of hand, as much as it had just been a bad quarter. Engineering complied immediately. Marketing complied for one week only, then back to the usual. There was never another memo. Givers, takers, looters and doormats. Guilt used to be part of the glue that held communities together. Now it is just another tool of the Power Elite and it's often effective.
5/9/2005 10:53 PM
Eric H

"They are teaching unrealistic views of history with serious intent to manipulate minds"
I understand what you mean --but what's realistic history ? ;-)  
5/10/2005 1:19 PM
"but what's realistic history ? ;)"
I think there's way to much demand put on pre-enlightenment Europe and pre-60's America for that matter, to have been something they couldn't possibly have been -- Politically Correct circa 1995.
5/10/2005 10:03 AM
Doug H
[QUOTE]You can't run away from this stuff --I think it's more profitable to learn to live in (and sometimes enjoy) the world that --is-- rather than the one you wish it was. I wish I had figured this out before I was 50, though :)  
Sage advice, Eric.  
Sooner or later you find out that no matter who you are, where you are, or what walk of life you are in, someone somewhere will think you or your "ilk" are responsible for all their misery. If not you, then your forefathers and what they did to their forefathers, etc, etc, yada yada yada... Seemingly whole fields of research and study are dedicated to working out who owes what to whom and compensating the "victims". I don't know, in viewing the history of the world I don't think "an eye for an eye" has worked too well up to this point... Maybe it's time to try something new.  
5/9/2005 12:02 PM
The war was not over when we dropped the bomb. We demanded unconditional surrender from the Japanese, and they were coming back with lots of conditions. Given the popular anger over pearl harbor, + general xenophobia and racism of the age + war mentality.. nothing else would do. If we'd let them get by with less that what we got from Germany there might have been a popular revolt. At the same time there were a number of issues.. we were worried about the Russians coming further into asia, potential US losses if we invaded Japan (est at >200,000) not to mention collateral damage on the country. We had just taken enormous casualties in the battle for Okinawa and the other islands. (IIRC casualty rates were pushing 40%?) Time was of the essence and we wanted an end quickly. We got it. No one understood the effects of radiation exposure at the time either. I'm not saying it was a 'good thing' we did, or that it was right or wrong. It was a calculated decision made in a time of war. It may be my bias as an American, but while horrible I find it much less so than systematically rounding up people and killing them for who and what they are in my own countries.. non-combatants, women, children. While the Jews get a lot of attention (and rightly so) we also must not forget the est 5 million Russians who died in the camps, and then the gypsies and other groups which were sent to the death camps as well. Maybe a visit to the Holocaust museum would be helpful. I know it brought the whole thing home for me.. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life  
As for bombing the camps, as far as I am aware we did not know until the end of the war in Europe what was happening and the suggestion of bombing civilians to possibly save more civilians does not make much sense to me. It would make more sense, I think, it more Germans had stopped and taken a hard look at what was going on and just said, "No. This is wrong.". Easier said than done to be sure, but how anyone could go along with wholesale murder of civilians like that is difficult to comprehend.  
Then again we have family friends who are from Dresden and her mom was there for the firebombing and never forgave the Americans for that. So perspective has a lot to do with judgement. Our satan is someone elses hero.  
"War is Hell" about sums it up for me.
5/9/2005 1:30 PM
pierre debs
I visited a concentration camp outside of berlin. I canīt say I was moved because I was aware all to well want when on before I got there. On the other hand, "itīs a beautiful life" with roberto benini had me in tears for a good week.  
My mother in law grew up in nazi germany. she had no idea what was going on. Walk around the streets and talk to germans. There stories are usually way different than what you hear or read from people like daniel goldenhagen. maybe they are all lying!  
I have yet to aquire enough hard evidence on the ground here that the average german was aware what was going on in the camps. A german friend of mines father who was caught by americans had no idea what was going on in the camps either. he was a little sad when he returned to find that his jewish girlfiend and her whole family were slaughtered.  
Lets not forget the 15 or so Million that stalin had killed.  
War is hell and unfortunately very few learn anything.  
BTW, I am also an american.  

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