Yom HaShoah and the importance of recognizing when the rules of the game have changed

Spin, strangeness, and charm

Many people have wondered (as did I, when I was younger) why Jewish communities under National Socialist tyranny didn’t react (sooner) with armed resistance. (Individuals and smaller Jewish groups did, of course.) Contrary to what some people mistakenly assume, Judaism is not a pacifist religion, and the idea of meekly accepting one’s fate at the hands of one’s killers is not some sort of Jewish ideal.

Raul Hilberg, the doyen of Shoah historians, sees this very differently in “The Destruction of the European Jews”, (3rd Edition, Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 25-27). In response to “garden variety” oppressors, the Jewish community developed and honed an adaptive response over many centuries that ultimately relied on the oppressor’s self-interest: make them “not slaughter the goose that lays the golden eggs for them”.

[…] The alleviation-compliance response dates, as we have seen, to pre-Christian times. It has its beginnings with the Jewish philosophers…

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Author: Foxfier

Former sailor, current geek, conservative, mother and practicing Catholic. Refugee from the Seattle blob. (No, we DIDN'T vote for those taxes!) Elf is my husband, our kids are Princess, Duchess, Baron, Empress, Chief, and Contessa.

2 thoughts on “Yom HaShoah and the importance of recognizing when the rules of the game have changed”

  1. Long ago, when I first dug into this patch of history, I read two things that have stayed with me.

    One was the use of anti-German propaganda in the popular press during WW1: stories about the Hun feeding nuns into ovens. These were comprehensively debunked, and led to a disbelief by Americans about what the NatSoc regime was doing. Especially since FDR et al. were keen on i fascisti at the time.

    The other is even more sobering from Escape From Sobibor. Weisel had managed to get free and was trying to warn a community that had not yet been sent off in cattle cars. No-one would believe him.

  2. Yeah.

    Seeing the true reality, realizing when one’s preconceptions are wrong, is hard even in absence of information warfare.

    Information warfare, strange changes in behavior, various other things are warning signs.

    Running is hard, so people tell themselves that they do not need to do it.

    In fact, current projects are difficult enough that I have to limit how much I think about the utility of running, and about the case for running, because otherwise my mindset gets too screwed up and depressed for me to concentrate and get anything done.

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