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Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005 at 7:35 PM
(with prefacing editorial) In the UK oskar groening, former SS Soldier, tells the truth about the Holocaust because deniaers attempt to say it didn't happen. he was there (UK's Guardian)
oh yeah -- they were SOCIALISTS. peopel need to wake up.
loveindy.jpg, image/jpeg, 100x100
This is to wake people up -- anybody who doesn't like nazis- neo nazis or the specter of fascism in the world today. this is to wake people up because as you know if you are sincere about progressive movements -- people can lie to themselves a nd see what they want.
all the info in the world -- but if you haven't got the basis -- the foundation -- the philosophical understanding of why Nazism has decieved so many people than you are out of luck.
or maybe you have noticed the high FAILURE rathe of progressive movements. antiwar in 2001 after the WTC bombing. people showed up and out in force and numbers.
the bombs fell anyway. failure.
antiwar 2003. again the people. even more people.
susan sarandon. tim burton.
fucking madonna! espected and influential people fo the true American left and center.
all saying the same thing. Bush is out of line. this war is unecessary. failure.
if people are gonna use the cop out of "well the opposition is too strong" --then you are still part of the solution --
but a nascent barely awake part of solution.
meanwhile- there are others who use militant attitudes -- "we have taken the hill" bragged peopel from Kensington (Philly) Socialists "and we need people to come and help us hold it."
the rhetoric and attitude of the militarists will not assist anyone in pushing them back. You KNOW people who use it and you have marched with them -- to defeat after defeat.
fact is a lot o them are just not in it to actually change the system. people with low self esteems and the downright self hating. you know them. punks they call themselves but that hasn't been new for a long time. at all.
for the record: punk has not been new since the seventies. now if i slick my hair back and call mysefl a greaser stud people will look at me like i just got of fthe special bus.
it;s a boring day i got nothing to o. getr a buncha retards to try and feed me news.
you have to wake up. punks not dead. it's just old coopted and no longer crucial. the whole thing the scenes the attitude the pose -- it isn't new and it;s not gonna do anything to actually contribute to changing the world. they aren't about social change.
if people are really seriously disturbed by the obviosu nazism that is afflicting the world today then understanding the core of their philosophy -- how they get away with what they are getting away with (papa roach!!) then YOU HAVE TO DIVORCE YOUR SELF FROM SOCIALIST and REPUBLICAN IDEOLOGY.
totally. otherwise you are just a sucker -- i don't care how proud you are of socialist connections, socialist "Komrades" -- what a joke! -- socialism has never been anarchist and Pol Pot, Franscisco Franco, Tito mussolini, Castro, Stalin and Hitler as well as other known proponents of socialist republican theory -- will not tell you why -- no -- they would -- if hey weren't all dead-- egge you on.
socialism has utilized 'doublethink" and "group think" (a collectivist mobwhere fifty people all have the same attitude is no smarter than one guy .)
You have to realise that "nazi" is a german word coined to make words with latin origins -- national and Socialist -- palatable to the German palate. In teh forties.
this is why the movements are failing. i know that the majroty of peoplewho read this will say it is all bullshit. It's ABOUt bullshit but what ai'm saying is the truth. i'm a prpfession journalist and DON'T have a lot of time to waste with people who are obviosuly working both sides of the street -- even if they themselves don't know it.this is my volunteer work as a political writer and analyst.
the major networks -- of course we know that deep and meaningful political analysis might sour viewers dinners. Tom Brokaw looks at a ratings point in the same way George Bush looks at a vote --
get it even if you have to lie - -
is the way they operate ,
if you are serious about progressive movements and dazzled by theshiny white teeth of the smiling republicans after yet ANOTHER election phase where you thought as a progressive a liberal or a centrist (like myself0 where you thought that the good guys had a chance - you need to gain a true understanding of what Ayn Rand called 'epistemolgies' -- the way in which those who stand in the way of the freedom you desire think and operate.
beacuase despite the sneering assertations of the GOPers and radical right wing activists -- you are not sore losers. a sore loser is when you lose a FAIR fight and complain. if you wanted a GOP loss -- you got suckered 9for thereason see my previous articles -- jones)
f you don't you can go back to marching, getting arrested and complaining about police brutality -- and filling up bandwidth with stories about what real die hard progressives have known is nothing new since the fifties and sixties. doctor King was celebrated yesterday and he is missed.
He and Ghandi both did a lot of time for their causes and as we know racism is no where near to being eradicated -- what they wanted -- in either India or the United States of America.
All the getting busted...didn't work
and all the copycat martyr getting busted won't
save the day
or make any more of a difference than it already has. were you looking forward to facing the cops again? huh dummy?
you won't beat them.
they will beat you down
and wrap you up
in that plastic
and you will look like
fuck bulls on parade. you will look like fools on teevee and you will have changed nothing. zach screamed wake up. are you DEEF? wake up.
after forty years of the same stuff you aren't 'raising awareness' anymore. that excuse is dead. you're just copying the originals -- a little braver than you because they didn't have themselves as ecxamples -- and making excuses for the fact that you don't have any new ideas.
why don't you have any new ideas?
SOCIALISM IS ANTIINTELLECTUAL.
Pol Pot is an example of a non - german who noe the less was both nationalist and fiercely proudly socialist. he had all the peopel with glasses rounded up because intellectuals would FIGURE OUT THAT SOCIALISM IS BULLSHIT when it comes to creating freedom.
so all your socialist friend ...are not yoru friends. they are your comrades -- their long range goal is building of a totalitarian empire. that's history.
they are...lying...they lie and slander to get what they want.
that is what a dissident is -- a true person of character who stands up to the tyranny -- as evicned by the historically known actions of Stalin, castro Pol Pot and of course everyone's favorite bad guy Adolf Hitler -- it is SOCIALISM that motivates and empoweres international economic tyranny -- and if you need more proof than your reading this is a waste of time -- you have already been suckered and there is nothing i can say to you. I'm SHARP/ARA -- i will be there taking pictures and growing my dreads buyt me and the other REAL anarchists WON'T BE ON YOUR SIDE.
It's all a waste of time for you and socialists seek to create the same One World Military industrail State at all costs and with TOTAL power to the Top elite small perfcentage -- the baleful Eye in the pyramid of workers, castses and classes -- that George herbert walker Bush PROMISED he would make.
Now he is the Shadow King in secret -- pulling his refomed alcoholic son's strings. they are suckering you from two directions. this is why socialism is anti-intellectual --
people who thin -- like alexandr solzenhitsyn -- know that what they give is nbot freedom but oppression and slavery.
SOCIALISM IS ANTIINTELLECTUAL.
people who call themsleves proud indymedia geeks HATE themselves. that is what proud identification wiuth tehgeek level is -- it is a siogn that the person who says so has identified with society's role for them -- but geeks can't accomplish anything. wearing self sabotiging self hatred a s abadge of honor is just that .
i noticed that jerusalem indy is off the air.
i wonder what socialists and jerusalem make in my mind.
let me just think about it.
i just can't put the nail into it...i just can't fish out the connection...it's some sort of stigmatized something or other...
The Nazi's testimony
Oskar Gröning was at his local philately club when a fellow stamp collector cast doubts on the Holocaust. Gröning knew he was wrong - because 50 years earlier he had served at Auschwitz. Laurence Rees on what happened when the ex-SS soldier decided to finally confront his past
Monday January 10, 2005
After the war, Oskar Gröning took up a hobby. He worked as a manager in a glass factory near Hamburg, but in his own time he became a keen stamp collector. It was at a meeting of his local philately club, in the late 1980s, that Gröning found himself chatting to a man about politics.
"Isn't it terrible," said the man, "that the government says it's illegal to say anything against the killing of millions of Jews in Auschwitz?" He went on to explain to Gröning how it was "inconceivable" for so many bodies to have been burned.
Gröning said nothing to contradict these statements. But the attempt to deny the reality of Auschwitz, the site of the largest mass murder in history, upset him and made him angry. He obtained one of the Holocaust deniers' pamphlets that his fellow stamp collector had recommended, wrote an ironic commentary on it, and posted it to the man from the philately club.
Suddenly, he started to get phone calls from strangers who disputed his view. It turned out that his denunciation of the Holocaust deniers' case had been printed in a neo-Nazi magazine. The calls and letters he received "were all from people who tried to prove that Auschwitz was a huge mistake, a big hallucination, because it hadn't happened".
But Gröning knew very well it had happened - for he was posted to Auschwitz in September 1942, as a 22-year-old member of the SS. Almost immediately he witnessed the arrival of Jews at the camp. "I was standing at the ramp," he says, "and my task was to be part of the group supervising the luggage from an incoming transport." He watched while SS doctors first separated men from women and children, and then selected who was fit to work and who would be gassed immediately. "Sick people were lifted on to lorries. Red Cross lorries - they [the SS] always tried to create the impression that people had nothing to fear." Gröning estimates that 80-90% of those on the first transport he witnessed were selected to be murdered at once.
Later, he witnessed the burning of bodies: "This comrade said, 'Come with me, I'll show you.' I was so shocked that I stood at a distance. The fire was flickering up and the kapo [a prisoner in charge of work details] there told me afterwards details of the burning. And it was terribly disgusting - horrendous. He made fun of the fact that when the bodies started burning they obviously developed gases from the lungs and these bodies seemed to jump up, and the sex parts of the men suddenly became erect in a way that he found laughable."
Gröning was upset by the sights he had seen and went to his boss, an SS lieutenant, and put in a request for a transfer to a front-line unit. "He listened to me and said: 'My dear Gröning, what do you want to do against it? We're all in the same boat. We've given an obligation to accept this - not to even think about it.'"
With the words of his superior ringing in his ears, and his transfer request turned down, Gröning returned to work. He had sworn an oath of loyalty; he believed the Jews were Germany's enemy; and he knew that he could manipulate his life at the camp to avoid encountering the worst of the horror. So he stayed.
Gröning then discovered there were "positive" aspects of working at Auschwitz: "I have to say that many who worked there weren't dull, they were intelligent." When he eventually left the camp, he went with some regrets. "I'd left a circle of friends who I'd got familiar with, I'd got fond of, and that was very difficult. Apart from the fact that there are pigs who fulfil their personal drives - there are such people - the special situation at Auschwitz led to friendships which, I still say today, I think back on with joy."
To meet Gröning today, and listen to his attempt to explain his time at Auschwitz, is a strange experience. In appearance, he is indistinguishable from countless other elderly, prosperous Germans. He wears good clothes, eats solid German food and espouses conventional right-of-centre political views. Now in his 80s, he talks almost as if there was another Oskar Gröning who worked at Auschwitz 60 years ago - he can be surprisingly critical of his younger self. The essential, almost frightening, point about him is that he is one of the least exceptional human beings you are ever likely to meet. He is no insane SS monster, but a former bank clerk who happened, because of his own choices and historical circumstance, to find himself working in one of the most infamous places in history.
Gröning joined the Hitler Youth when the Nazis came to power in 1933. He took part in the burning of books written by Jews and "degenerates". He believed he was helping rid Germany of alien cultures. At 17, he began a traineeship as a bank clerk. Just months later war was declared. Gröning wanted to join an "elite" unit of the German army so went to a hotel where the Waffen SS was recruiting and joined up.
After a couple of years of clerical work for the SS, he was posted to Auschwitz. On arrival, Gröning was quizzed by senior officers about his background before the war. "We had to say what we'd been doing, what kind of job, what level of education," he recalls. "I said that I was a bank clerk and that I wanted to work in administration and one of the officers said, 'Oh, I can use someone like that.'"
As Gröning began his task of counting the prisoners' money, he was told that valuables taken from Jews would not be returned. When he asked why, his colleagues replied: "Well, don't you know? That's the way it is here. Jewish transports arrive, and as far as they're not able to work, they're got rid of." Until that moment, Gröning had thought Auschwitz functioned as a "normal" concentration camp.
"It was a shock that you cannot take in at the first moment," he says. But once he had been at Auschwitz for several months, the work, he says, had become "routine". "The propaganda had for us such an effect that you assumed that to exterminate them was basically something that happened in war. And, to that extent, a feeling of sympathy or empathy didn't come up."
Gröning's job was to sort the various currencies taken from the new arrivals and send it to Berlin. In his office, he was insulated from the brutality. The only reminder that different nationalities were coming to the camp was the variety of currencies that crossed Gröning's desk - and the array of alcohol taken from the new arrivals. "When there was a lot of ouzo," he says, "it could only come from Greece - otherwise there was no reason for us to distinguish where they came from. We drank a lot of vodka. We didn't get drunk every day - but it did happen. We'd go to bed drunk, and if someone was too lazy to turn off the light they'd shoot at it - nobody said anything."
In 1944, Gröning's application for a transfer to the front line was finally granted and he joined an SS unit in the Ardennes. He was wounded in fighting before he and his comrades eventually gave themselves up to the British in June 1945. They were handed a questionnaire and Gröning realised that "involvement in the concentration camp of Auschwitz would have a negative response", so he put down that he had worked for the SS economic and administration office in Berlin.
"The victor's always right, and we knew that the things that happened there [in Auschwitz] did not always comply with human rights," he observes, seemingly oblivious to how such understatement might seem grotesque.
Along with his SS comrades, Gröning was imprisoned in a former Nazi concentration camp: "It was not very pleasant - that was revenge against the guilty." But life improved when he was shipped to England in 1946 where, as a forced labourer, he had "a very comfortable life". He went back to Germany in 1948.
Shortly after his return, he was sitting at the dinner table with his parents-in-law and "they made a silly remark about Auschwitz", implying that he was a "potential or real murderer". "I exploded!" says Gröning. "I banged my fist on the table and said, 'This word and this connection are never, ever, to be mentioned again in my presence, otherwise I'll move out!' I was quite loud, and this was respected and it was never mentioned again."
Thus did the Gröning family settle down to its postwar future, enjoying the fruits of the German "economic miracle". Gröning rose through the management at the glass factory, becoming head of personnel. Before retirement, he was appointed an honorary judge of industrial tribunal cases. Even today, he believes that the experience he gained in the SS and Hitler Youth helped his career. "From the age of 12 onwards I learnt about discipline," he says.
When his past was eventually uncovered (he never made any attempt to change his name or hide), the German prosecutors did not press charges against him. This was, in fact, typical. Gröning's experience illustrates how it is possible to have been a member of the SS, worked at Auschwitz, witnessed the extermination process, contributed to the Final Solution, and still not be thought "guilty" by the postwar West German state. Of the 6,500 members of the SS who worked at Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945 and are thought to have survived the war, only about 750 were prosecuted, the vast majority by the Poles.
Throughout his life, Gröning believes he did what he thought was right; it's just that what was "right" then, he says, turns out not to be "right" today. It was not until his philatelic encounter with the Holocaust deniers that he decided to speak openly about his time at the death camp. Once he had retired and knew he would not be prosecuted by the German authorities, he decided he had nothing to lose by confronting his past. Decades after his time at Auschwitz, Gröning finally broke rank.
"I would like you to believe me," he says. "I saw the gas chambers. I saw the crematorium. I saw the open fires. I was on the ramp when the selections took place. I would like you to believe that these atrocities happened, because I was there."
· The first programme in the series Auschwitz: the Nazis and the Final Solution, written and produced by Laurence Rees, will be shown on BBC 2 tomorrow at 9pm. The accompanying book, also by Rees, is published by BBC Books at £20. To order a copy for £18.40 with free UK p&p, call the Guardian Book Service on 0870 836 0875, or go to www.guardian.co.uk/bookshop
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