It Was 67 Years Ago Today…

…that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began.

The story is well-known to people who know their history – which means most Americans know nothing about it.

Before there were concentration and extermination camps, the Nazis used the traditional Jewish “Ghettos” of Eastern Europe as natural “camps” in which to confine the Jews, Gypsies and the rest of their targets. They systematically deported Jews from all over Poland, Ukraine and Russia – and then all over Europe – to these small enclaves in Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian cities, using them as holding tanks until the camps – the last link in the Final Solution – were ready.

And in early 1942, they were ready.  The Germans started shipping Jews off to Treblinka, the first of the Vernichtungslagern, or Extermination camps.

And in the overcrowded, starving, disease-ridden Warsaw Ghetto – the realization that the end was near provoked a response from some of the inmates; it’d be better to die fighting.

And so a resistance movement,armed with a few stolen handguns and rifles, had formed.  In the previous months, it had managed to disrupt some of the roundups to the camps, throwing the Germans’ plans – as precise as any industrial supply chain management system – into disarray. And on April 19, the Germans’ military response was met with armed resistance.

The story is long, and gruesome; it’s been told better elsewhere.

The Jews – hopelessly outnumbered and virtually unarmed by military standards – somehow dished out a military setback to the Germans, holding the Germans out of the Ghetto for nearly a month.

It couldn’t last, of course.  The Germans advanced building-to-building, killing nearly everyone as they went, burning the entire Ghetto to the ground.

The Germans trashed the Ghetto as thoroughly as Ground Zero; they shipped the very few they didn’t kill or burn or bury out of hand off to Treblinka (itself to end in another doomed uprising in the near future).

There are still some survivors; Marek Edelman, at 87, the last surviving leader, and a handful of others continue to tell their stories.  But like our own World War Two generation, the Holocaust’s few survivors – and the fewer still who survived the Ghetto – are dying off.
And as they do, we should worry – justifiably – that society is going to forget about what happened; that society might forget the consequences of racism (the real kind), hatred, dminishing the humanity of ones’ enemies (or scapegoats) to try to justify all manner of inhumanities and horrors upon them. And of course, worry that some will take away the wrong lesson, as another loathsome person did fourteen years ago today.

I read the story of the Ghetto and the Uprising when I was in junior high; I probably absorbed it much later.  And lessons were these; never let this happen here.  Call out the prejudice that leads to this sort of eliminationist hatred when you see it, and do it without stint or mercy.  Never let society be left at the mercy of the thugs and the autocrats; it’s why we have a Second Amendment.

Above all, uphold humanity.

While this blog’s comment section is the home of a lot of banter, good-natured and otherwise, my tolerance is exceptionally limited on this subject. Tread lightly, for the foot the censor shall not.

32 thoughts on “It Was 67 Years Ago Today…

  1. Great post, Mitch. I used to think Olbermann at least had the self righteous courage of his convictions, however wrong and intrusive to his daily job. I thought – he collects baseball cards – how bad can he be? He bought an Honus Wagner card at one point it was reported. When he just sat there while Garofalo spewed her unbelievably horrible sentiments I lost what little respect I had for Olbermann. He is weak and unprofessional in addition to disagreeable. Shuster, Cooper, Roesgen, Olbermann, Maddow, Cox, Garafalo, Napolitano, and the guy who may have written the DHS report, Marcus, will all be the subjects of a more harsh post DeltonDigest in which Garafalo’s shameful sentiments are spelled out and more clearly displayed.
    Again thanks for a great post.
    Jamie

  2. Sweet Baby Jesus, Mitch. I knew you had a talent for trivializing important things and blowing up the smallest political disagreements into matters that threaten Western Civilization. But this is your masterpiece. Angryclown knows that when you go on for paragraph after paragraph, with photos of suffering, innocent people, the post will end with some minor Republican agenda-driven policy point of the week. So Angryclown skims.

    Blah blah Nazis, blah blah… Holocaust bad. OK, this is looking like a middle school social studies textbook so far – familiar material, but nothing that anyone could disagree with.

    Then the payoff in the penultimate paragraph: The star of “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” is just like the Nazis. Never again!

    The italicized paragraph at the end, of course, identifies this as a Very Special Episode(TM) of SitD and warns that the comment space will be a “dittoes only” area. So perhaps no one will ever read this. But I think it’s important.

    I say this to you, Mitch, and any of the Mitchketeers who still have intact higher brain function (Kerm? Terry?):

    Dude, you really need to get a grip.

  3. The star of “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” is just like the Nazis.

    No, Clown, when you have poeple saying “people who are not like me are not like me because their brains are deeply deformed and they are defective as humans”, that’s not exactly the same as “phrenological studies” that proved Jews were inferior, and “Marxist Psychiatry” that showed that dissent was a mental disorder. But they’re kissing cousins. And they need to be called out as such.

    Which is what I’m doing. By your leave.

    Republican agenda-driven

    Oh, yeah. This was my agenda even when I was a Democrat.

    Very Special Post

    Yeah.  While I nod my head and let the assembled multitude drag my comment section into jokes about buttsex 99 posts out of 100, there are times when I indulge my prerogatives as editor and owner.  Life is hard.  Bring Tic-Tacs.

  4. Seriously, Clown. Eight years ago, you (plural) were openly fretting about Bush sending dissenters off to re-education camps in Idaho, and Dick Cheney listening in on your cell calls. And while you (plural and singular) were nuts and paranoid, you (plural again) were right to hold government’s feet in the fire! Because government is people,and people are inherently evil!

    And today you have the DHS saying “any conservative is likely to join a right-wing terror group”. And we (plural and…well, “We” is by nature plural, isn’t it?) are right to be watchful, especially given the wave of popularity with which Obama swept into office; it’s the kind of thing that makes administrations and movements think they can get away with anything they want.

    This is “Grip”, Clown.

    Don’t like free speech?

  5. Clown seems to doubt that Garafolo would have conservatives sent to camps, if she could.
    Silly little clown. Kind of innocent.

  6. Garafolo is an idiotic D-list celebrity who’s reached the end of that part of her career when people even want to look at her. She’s not somebody you should be peeing your pants over, Terry. Angryclown reiterates: Get a grip.

  7. Mitch wondered: “Don’t like free speech?”

    Love it. Much prefer the smart variety to the mind-blowingly dumb, though.

  8. Lemme get this straight, all of a sudden the people protesting the Patriot Act and other civil liberties violations in the last administration were “right to hold government’s feet in the fire”?

    Mighty white of you, Mitch, but kinda late, no? And self-serving, now that the shoe’s on the other foot in the fire?

  9. You exaggerate conservative support for the Patriot Act, AC, at least taken as a whole. There is a stronger libertarian current on the right than on the left. We’re rugged individualists, go-it-alone types, remember?
    Come to think of it, the only left-libertarian I’m acquainted with is JoelR.

  10. I don’t think that the two Jewish women were anti semetic. I do think that they are fervent leftists and peaceniks.

    They are also 100% wrong IMO about what the policies they propose would do.

    The ELCA has a problem however, with getting off mission, aiding causes that they probably shoudn’t touch. The sole mission should be to spread the Good News, instead it’s getting muddled with side issues.

  11. Terry fantasized: “We’re rugged individualists, go-it-alone types, remember?”

    No question, that is how you like to think of yourselves. Unfortunately the social conservative wing of the Republican Party, which has been in effective control since the 1980 election, actually thinks in the opposite, authoritarian, direction.

    The interior west (inland from the Pacific coast), is where you find mainstream libertarians. Not in the Republican stronghold South. And not in control of the conservative movement at the moment, much as you’d like to believe.

  12. And as for “rugged individualists,” I’m not seeing a lot of Marlboro Man types at those teabagger rallies. More whiny, fat-assed suburban fear-mongers, if you ask Angryclown.

  13. I think you will find a lot more people who engage in teabagging at your standard NYC lefty clown protest than you will at a Tea Party, AC.

  14. Why would anyone ask AssClown? For a laugh.

    “You exaggerate conservative support for the Patriot Act”
    True.

    AssClown just doesn’t seem to be able to differentiate between conservatives and Republicans.

    I am a Classical Liberal. ….libertarian conservative…. …not a Republican …I support our constitution and our form of government… “A republic, if you can keep it.”

    Government intrusion and confiscation is what it is all about.
    The Tea party movement is telling government to STOP.
    They could have used such a movement years before this unsuccessful stand they took 67 years ago. Thanks to people like Mitch that say “never forget” that these people didn’t die in vain.

  15. “when you have people saying “people who are not like me are not like me because their brains are deeply deformed and they are defective as humans”, that’s not exactly the same as “phrenological studies” that proved Jews were inferior, and “Marxist Psychiatry” that showed that dissent was a mental disorder. But they’re kissing cousins. And they need to be called out as such.”
    No, they’re not kissing cousins Mitch. They are brothers and sisters that come from the same father.
    As a friend of mine stated about the DHS Secretary Naziatano report “Isn’t this the same way the Brown Shirts started?” Yup. Declare political opponents “enemies of the state” just as the Nazis did to the Jews, unionists, Christians (such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer), et al. And as did Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, et al…
    The outcome of centralized power (which the Tea Parties are concerned with) is always predictable

  16. Garafolo is an idiotic D-list celebrity who’s reached the end of that part of her career

    And Ernst Roehm was not even that!

    Lemme get this straight, all of a sudden the people protesting the Patriot Act and other civil liberties violations in the last administration were “right to hold government’s feet in the fire”?

    They were wrong about the specifics, of course; always were. Those claiming the Bush Administration was gutting civil liberties for American citizens were as paranaoid as, well, Janet Napolitano.

    But I don’t recall (and none of you have shown me) one credible conservative who said protesting was wrong and and unAmerican and something deviant and perverted in its very nature …

    …which everyone from Napolitano to Garofalo to every smug preening lefty in between suddenly is.

    Saying “dissent is a form of illness” is one of many steps on the road to the next Treblinka. I’m perfectly willing to risk the tut-tutting of the complacent “it can never happen here” types to makes sure, ironically, that it doesnt’ happen here.

  17. Mitch babbled: “And Ernst Roehm was not even that!”

    I see. You’re not saying Janeane Garofolo is Hitler. Only Ernst Roehm, founder of the Nazi SA storm troopers.

    Seriously, Mitch, get a grip. We’ve gone far beyond the point where it was a matter of putting your credibility at risk. We’re now simply trying to save your mental health.

  18. More Mitch math:

    Andy Dick = Goebbels

    Captain & Tennille = Mao Zedong and Madame Mao

    Charles Nelson Reilly = Stalin

    The Love Boat = The Bataan Death March

  19. Isn’t Garafolo a fag hag? She would have loved Roehm! They could have gone shopping together.

  20. You’d know more about that than Angryclown, Terry. As I said, not a fan. Angryclown wouldn’t believe her or Michael Moore if they predicted the sun will rise tomorrow.

  21. And as for “rugged individualists,” I’m not seeing a lot of Marlboro Man types at those teabagger rallies. More whiny, fat-assed suburban fear-mongers, if you ask Angryclown.

    The only minority you can slur these days is working class white people. Clown loses points for moral cowardice. He can gain the points back by slurring mexicans, asians, or black people, or by simply stopping all bigoted references altogether.

  22. Terry assumes whiny, fat-assed and suburban = white. Hey, you said it, not Angryclown. Sorry to pick on you horribly victimized white Republicans. Lord knows, you’ve had it rough – what with the high membership fees at the better country clubs and the difficulty getting good help nowadays.

    Stop trying to pretend to victimhood. You’re phonies. Suck on it.

  23. You have no idea what you are talking about, Angry Clown. You are a bigot, meaning that you stubbornly hold onto opinions based you formed in ignorance. You think you know the life story of the protesters you saw by their appearance and the way they talk.
    Your ‘country club’ remark was as asinine. You probably think all black folks drive gold plated Escalades and own rap record companies.

  24. Oh yes, Terry, God forbid we should make judgments about groups of people we disagree with. Oops, you’ve just erased the reason for SitD to exist. You’re phonies. Your “ideas” deserve no respect because they’re not actually ideas – just rationalizations.

  25. God forbid we should make judgments about groups of people we disagree with.

    Hey, that’s what I do!

    the reason for SitD to exist.

    Erased my urge to write?

    Wow. That sounds serious.

  26. Your “ideas” deserve no respect because they’re not actually ideas – just rationalizations.

    Totally unlike “protest is patriotic! Unless you’re a ‘teabagger’, hahahaha!”,right?

  27. We’re so glad you far-right types have embraced the notion that protest can be patriotic, that all votes should be counted equally and that government needs to be transparent and accountable. And if these deeply held convictions had taken hold any time earlier than January 20, 2009, we might actually take you seriously. They didn’t; we don’t.

  28. Well, let’s shoot for honesty as well as clarity; you (pl) don’t recognize, much less credit, any virtue on the part of anyone to the right of Paul Begala.

    Knowing that saves a lot of time.

  29. Good point, Mitch. A lie, but if it were true, that would really be a knockout punch.

  30. So the right did not recognize that protest could be patriotic?
    When they protest amnesty, protest abortion, protest against gun control they think that they are being unpatriotic?
    Your ideology has made you blind, Angry Clown. You don’t recognize virtue on the part of anyone to the right of Bagala.
    It’s a knockout punch.

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