Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust Denial, and Deborah Lipstadt

Post-war Warsaw, Poland
On January 30, 2017, The Atlantic published a piece by Deborah Lipstadt about the Trump White House's Holocaust Remembrance Day statement.

The White House statement is not very good. When I read it, it was impossible not to imagine the editor's pen in my hand. The statement opens with a cliché. The first sentence is missing a conjunction and the second sentence contains a split infinitive. I'm pretty sure that whoever wrote the speech wanted to use the verb "prevail," not the adjective "prevalent" in the final sentence. The statement is vague and no one could imagine that it is heartfelt.

The statement does not mention Jews. This struck me as a mistake. Later I learned that the author purposely did not mention Jews. This struck me as disastrous, and stupid.

But I've gone on and on elsewhere about Trump, and I don't want to do that here.

Rather I want to say that Deborah Lipstadt's article, alleging that the Trump White House is engaging in Holocaust denial, is itself a form of denial. Lipstadt is a Holocaust scholar who fought in court against a Holocaust denier. I wish I could admire her more than I can after reading her piece in The Atlantic.

Lipstadt writes that anyone who mentions non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust is maligning Jews and engaging in Holocaust denial: "Underlying this claim [that non-Jews suffered under the Nazis and that they should be mentioned] is the contention that the Jews are 'stealing' the Holocaust for themselves. It is a calumny founded in anti-Semitism."

This is an utterly outrageous statement. Lipstadt is close to accusing anyone who remembers non-Jewish suffering under the Nazis of a thought crime.

Lipstadt writes, "There were indeed millions of innocent people whom the Nazis killed in many horrific ways, some in the course of the war and some because the Germans perceived them—however deluded their perception—to pose a threat to their rule. They suffered terribly. But that was not the Holocaust. The Holocaust was something entirely different. It was an organized program with the goal of wiping out a specific people."

Poles were similarly targeted for extinction. Hitler's "Armenian quote" is famous. "I have placed my death-head formation in readiness – for the present only in the East – with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

Poles, like Jews, had been at the receiving end of centuries of aggression and stereotyping. Otto von Bismarck's quote about eliminating Poles is notorious. It has been translated in various ways. Here's one translation, "Hit the Poles so hard that they despair of their life; I have full sympathy with their condition, but if we want to survive, we can only exterminate them; the wolf, too, cannot help having been created by God as he is, but people shoot him for it if they can."

German aggression against Poles was part of a centuries-long process, drang nach osten.

Poles did not lose as large a percentage of their population as Jews did. That is a fact. It is also true that millions of Poles met fates comparable to that of millions of Jews: exile, impoverishment, deportation, torture, medical experimentation, or death. Poland lost huge stretches of territory and it was delivered, by its former allies, into the hands of the Soviet Empire and remained there for two generations after the war.

In saying these things, I am not a Holocaust denier. I am not accusing Jews of anything. I am merely stating historical reality.

In her Atlantic piece, Lipstadt never mentions Poles. She should have.

It seems to me that she, rather, is engaging in a form of denial – a denial of Nazi crimes against non-Jews, and a demonization of anyone who mentions those crimes.

I want to admire Deborah Lipstadt. I don't know how representative of her attitudes this piece is. I hope it is not representative.

FWIW, many in the comments section of The Atlantic shared my frustration at what felt, to me, like Lipstadt's callous dismissal of the suffering of non-Jews under the Nazis, and the complete evil of the Nazi plans for non-Jewish untermenschen: Gypsies, the handicapped, Poles, Soviets, other Slavs, homosexuals, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah's Witnesses, dissidents, Christianity itself, and anyone I have forgotten to mention here, but whose life matters to me.

Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.

In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tim Kaine: Trump Admin Left Out Jews from Holocaust Remembrance Day

Steve Bannon

Update: John Podhoretz in Commentary said that the failure to mention Jews was intentional, and an effort at "inclusion." Source here.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday, January 29, 2017. A portion of the transcript is below. (Source)

Senator Tim Kaine said ....the irony is not lost on me that [the White  House restrictions on travel by Muslims into the US] was issued the same day as the White House issued their Holocaust Remembrance Day proclamation that unlike any previous administration removed all reference to Jews. So you put a religious test on Muslims and you try to scrub reference to Jews in the Holocaust Remembrance. This was horribly, horribly mishandled. So it's not a pause in--


That's a tough charge--


--a traditional sense.


--Senator, that's a tough charge. You think it's more than a coincidence that it all happened on Friday?


I think all of these things are happening together. When you have the chief political advisor in the White House, Steve Bannon, who is connected with a news organization that traffics in white supremacy and anti-Semitism and they put out a Holocaust statement that omits any mention of Jews.

Remember, earlier administrations have done these statements. And so the first thing you do is you pull up to see what earlier statements have said. And the earlier statements, President Obama, President Bush always talk about the Holocaust in connection with the slaughter of Jews.

The final solution was about the slaughter of Jews. We have to remember this. This is what Holocaust denial is. It's either to deny that it happened or many Holocaust deniers acknowledge, "Oh yeah people were killed. But it was a lot of innocent people. Jews weren't targeted." The fact that they did that and imposed this religious test against Muslims in the executive orders on the same day, this is not a coincidence.

Gdansk WW II Museum Not Polish Enough, PiS Claims

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk was meant to be the first museum to tell the full story of WW II and to focus on victims, not military campaigns.

The currently ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) objects to the museum because it is not Polish enough. The fate of the museum is now uncertain.

The Associated Press reports:

The nationalist authorities governing the country believe the museum should focus on the uniqueness of Poland's tragedy and not be watered down by exploring the fate of other nations. A key spokesman for this idea, historian Jan Zaryn, who is also a senator for the ruling party, complains that the multinational approach taken by the museum makes it more difficult for the visitor to see "our exceptionality."

He argues that Poland should create something comparable to what Holocaust museums have achieved for Jews.

"After decades of silence there should be a museum that introduces the phenomenon and specificity of the Polish historical experience," Zaryn said in a televised discussion in October. "We should do something like what the Jewish community has done, which managed to arrange around the Holocaust all the other events of World War II."

But the museum's creators and supporters insist that the very act of placing Poland's history in the broader context is what will help foreign visitors understand and appreciate the specificity of Poland's tragedy.

"Sometimes when politicians look at the museum like this they don't understand how much conceptual work there was," said Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who is a member of the museum's advisory board.

"If this museum is lost, Gdansk, Poland, Europe, the world, loses the only chance we have for an experience of public history, for people from all of the world, not only in Poland, to understand the Second World War. That would be a dreadful civilizational loss."

Friday, January 27, 2017

"...and others."

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. The many non-Jewish Slavs the Nazis murdered as untermenschen will be mentioned. We are "...and others." 

This year, though, American's newly installed president declined to mention even Jews in his grammatically incorrect statement marking the day.

Photos below from The Atlantic "The Invasion of Poland

A Twitter Account Dedicated to the St Louis Passengers

A Twitter account names the St Louis passengers and tells their fate. See here

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Germany, I Owe You an Apology

I really, really, really never thought I'd say this: I owe the German people an apology.

I was about five years old. I was sitting on the couch in the living room with my brother Greg. We were wearing our matching nightgowns that my mother had sewn. They were bright red, bell-shaped, with bell-shaped sleeves. Mommy had originally made them as the angel costumes for a Christmas pageant. Greg and I were engaged in innocent play. Hard to believe, given how distant we became as adults, that we used to be each others' default playmate.

The small, black-and-white TV was on. And suddenly I was wrenched out of the evening, out of playtime, out of that warm cozy feeling kids experience when they've gotten through the day without being eaten by a dragon. Childhood is not only a time of abundant wonder, it's a time of rich and easy gratitude.

I can see, in my mind's eye, the images on the TV screen. Skeletal corpses, stacked one atop the other. The camera moved quickly. Its speed worsened the violation, the horror. If I saw a pile of corpses like that, I would not move quickly. I would have to stop, and it would be a long time before I could move again, and some part of me would remain in place before that sight forever, I think.

And I wouldn't be dedicated to *seeing* the corpses, and displaying them to others. I would want to try to rescue them, at least by covering their nakedness, and placing them under dignified headstones.

My mother hadn't planned for me to see this on TV, but I had, so she had to explain. She did. "This is what THEY did to US."

And that's how I understood the Holocaust, Nazism, World War II, for the longest time. What THEY did to US.

My mother was born in a country that no one could spell, and both my parents came from countries that were part of the world threatening, in the Cold War, the country in which I was living, we were poor, and there was one language in the house and another outside it. I very much grew up in a world of US and THEM.

Czechoslovakia had come to be only after 1918 and the end of WW I. Before that my people lived under the Austro-Hungarian Empire that burned Slovak schools and aristocrats who lived off, and oppressed, the peasants. Czechoslovakia's birth as a country was a big deal to my mother.

When her homeland was only twenty years old, THEY gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler. My mother thought of her birthplace as Hitler's first victim.

Czechoslovakia may or may not deserve that title. One thing is clear, though. The world should have done something in 1938 when Hitler was clearly a threat, and the world did not.

On September 30, 1938, THEY signed the Munich Agreement handing Czechoslovakia to Hitler, and signaled to him that he could do any vile thing he wanted and meet minimal resistance.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, "the man with the umbrella" gave a speech in London. "The question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for our two countries and for Europe … [I bring] peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep." I wonder how many of the cheering Londoners would later be trying to get a nice quiet sleep only to die in the Blitz.

They should have taken Hitler on then. They didn't. "Anglo-German relations" superseded consideration for the Czechs and the Slovaks.

THEY – not just Germans, but the Western world, did that to US.

My mother told me about the Slovak man, Jozef Gabcik, who, with his Czech partner, Jan Kubis, assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, the highest ranking Nazi to be killed by the resistance. My mother told me about Lidice, a village in Czechoslovakia, that was erased from the map in retaliation for that killing.

I hated Germans.

It's funny; I live during a time of powerful political correctness, ostensibly all about stopping prejudice, but no one has ever given me a hard time over my most carved-in-stone prejudice.

I've traveled in a dozen or so European countries. Never Germany. If I am listening to classical music on the radio and I can hear recognizably German lyrics, I get up and cross the room to turn the radio off.

Otto's essay "Ripples of Sin" was the first chink in my anti-German armor. Reading that essay, I felt some budge in my anti-German prejudice.

OTOH, I read about WW II regularly, and it's inescapable – the Germans mass murdered people. They. Not us.

Now, I think, my anti-German prejudice is finally dead. Here's why.

I recently posted a review of Richard Weikart's excellent new book, "Hitler's Religion." The book makes clear that neither Nazism nor Hitler was Christian.

The reaction to the book astounded me. Readers of the review insisted the opposite: clearly Hitler was a Christian and Nazism was carrying out Christian values.

I've been working on a blog post that addresses these wacky assertions that both Hitler and Nazism were Christian. In composing this blog post, I've been revisiting the history of the Third Reich. WW I, the Versailles Treaty, the stab-in-the-back, the Reichstag Fire, "we knew nothing": I knew about all this before, but I've been seeing it differently as I compose my piece.

Suddenly I'm getting it, in a way that I never got it before, that atrocity really isn't a German thing. Atrocity isn't a Christian thing. Atrocity is a human thing.

Of course I knew that before. But composing this blog post about Nazism not being Christian brought this awareness to the forefront of my mind. It was like a math problem. You have two. You have another two. You put them together. It's inescapable. You get four.

You hate that four. You rage against that four. You want to blame that four on German national character or Christianity or the man with the umbrella. That provides an escape. This isn't about you. It's about them. The Germans, the Christians, whoever.

You can't. It's math. Two plus two equals four. And human nature is human nature.

Humiliate people. Kill a lot of them in a pointless war. Burn the Reichstag. The kind of thugs who you only registered before as the weirdos on the edges of your high school memories suddenly attain a prominence that they never would achieve in normal times. Suddenly they are at the foot of your bed in the middle of the night causing you terror and pain. And you agree to close your eyes to anything they ask you to.

I fortuitously tuned into "Playing God," a Radio Lab broadcast I had heard before. The previous time I heard it, it didn't really register. This time, it did. It addressed journalist and doctor Sheri Fink's Pulitzer Prize winning reportage of what happened at New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center during Hurricane Katrina. The hospital lost power and sewage. Over the course of the next five days, hospital staff decided to euthanize patients. It took just five days without electricity for them to reach the conclusion that killing the unfit was their only course of action.

And something else happened while I was working on this piece addressing the "Nazism = Christianity" canard. Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president of the United States.

First, only Hitler was Hitler. No serious person says that Trump is another Hitler.

That fact doesn't excuse us from blinding ourselves to the parallels.

For me the parallels played out on Facebook, and they demoralized me and I may never see humanity in the same way again.

People I liked. People I trusted. People I thought of as intelligent, as decent, as Christian. Some Jews. Voiced their support for a personality disordered conman who disseminated anti-Semitic memes and Mussolini quotes, a man who cozied up to the KKK, a man who acknowledged that he was a serial sexual assailant, a man who mocked women for menstruating and lactating, a man who called for death for the Central Park Five *after* they had been exonerated by DNA evidence, a man who praised a dictator who murders journalists and may have poisoned with dioxin the head of a neighboring country.

Surely my nice, decent, intelligent, Christian, Jewish, Facebook friends would never support Trump.

But they did.

Because they felt humiliated and threatened by political correctness and ripped off by "socialism" – aka Obamacare.

The day Trump was sworn in, three different Team Trump Facebook friends called for death to Clinton voters. We have more guns than they do, they bragged. I want a "body count" of anti-Trump protesters, one Trump supporter said. Follow up posts repeated the call for body counts. And of course Team Trump is calling for an abrupt end to Obamacare, without any replacement. That will, of course, result in some deaths.

And these are people who have never seen war fought over their own soil, who are well-fed and have roofs over their heads and live in the undisputed richest and most powerful country on earth.

Germany, I owe you an apology.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wikipedia Please Correct Entry on Piotr Smietanski

Apparently only Wikipedia contributors can correct Wikipedia. I am not a Wikipedia editor. Wikipedia lists Piotr Smietanski as a Polish Jew. Lukasz, who reads this blog, says he was not. Someone who is a Wikipedia editor should correct this. Here's Smietanski's entry

Monday, January 2, 2017

Man in the High Castle: No Slavs Were Harmed in the Making of this Reich

Polish priests in Bydgoszcz, Poland, September, 1939
Rounded up to be shot. See here
TV steals your soul. To watch TV, you don't have to bathe or dress or leave your house. Studies link extensive TV watching to depression, obesity, loneliness, social isolation, and academic failure. It astounds me that people pay money to watch advertisements.

I don't have a TV and have not had one for most of my life.

I keep hearing, though, that we are living through a second Golden Age of television. Critics say that the best TV shows, including The Sopranos and Mad Men, are better than what can be seen in movie theaters.

The Sopranos' sex, violence, and glamorization of the Mafia disgusted me. Watching fat Italians splatter-murder each other in front of naked strippers with artificial breasts and then breaking to gorge on capocolla was not enhancing my life; I live in New Jersey; I can watch that for free. Mad Men was way too cool and stylized for me. I can get my fix from Jon Hamm's insane physical beauty by looking at a still photo – I must confess that I didn't get much more of a rush from watching him act.  

I recently visited a home with TV and decided to check in on the latest iteration of the glam Nazi: The Man in the High Castle. We know that power is attractive, and we know that Nazis deployed expert marketers and design teams, from Goebbels to Leni Riefenstahl to Hugo Boss. That combo have made the Nazis fav film fare ever since. After Otto charitably tutored me in how to operate the new-fangled TV interface, I tapped into The Man in the High Castle, thinking I'd give it ten minutes of my time, and only as an author interested in how pop culture packages Nazism.

To my surprise, I quickly became addicted. I had planned on going to see movies during the holiday season. Now is when the awards-magnet films, like La La Land and Manchester by the Sea, are released. Instead I became that dreaded creature, a couch potato in sweat pants, my butt glued to a well-worn crater in the upholstery in front of the boob tube.

The Man in the High Castle is inspired by a 1962 Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, but it departs from the book significantly. In the Amazon series, the Axis powers have won WW II. The Nazis got the bomb first and nuked DC. Nazis control the eastern US; Japanese control the west, and there is a neutral zone in between, in the Rocky Mountains.

The viewer is jolted by familiar American imagery branded with the spoor of the new overlord. The stars and stripes feature a swastika or the Japanese sun disk. Students attend a high school named after Fritz Julius Kuhn, leader of the German American Bund. The pledge of allegiance swears fealty to Hitler, who is still alive in 1962. White girls are prostitutes for Japanese men. They bow servilely. An antiques dealer sells American memorabilia to Japanese collectors. America has been reduced to a conqueror's decorative knickknack, like a taxidermed kill. 

There is a resistance, made up of native-born Americans who carry out limited operations. The resistance's work is built around trafficking film. That's right – film. The film footage depicts alternate realities. In one of those alternate realities, America won the war. The viewer is confused and wonders if this MacGuffin will pay off or if it will all go splat in the final episode, as happened on Lost. Maybe we will discover that everyone has actually been dead this whole time.

Anyone making any art that addresses Nazism or its Axis allies like Japan has to make a decision: how grim do you go?

At one end of the spectrum is the film The Grey Zone, a film that almost no one has seen. It takes place inside Auschwitz. The main characters are sonderkommandos, the Jews who processed other Jews' corpses after their deaths. No big spoiler here: everyone dies. Again, no one wants to see this movie.

On the other end of the spectrum you have a film like Casablanca. In this classic the Nazis biggest crime is forcing café patrons to listen to the clunky German anthem, "Die Wacht am Rhein." In Casablanca, everyone is well fed, perfectly coiffed, and very soigné. You can practically smell the cologne. Most important, real opportunities for real heroism abound. No such luck in the slaughterhouse that is The Grey Zone.

Given what I saw on The Sopranos, I assumed that "Golden Age of TV" appellation equaled "graphic sex and violence." One of the things that astounds me most about TMITHC is that it is G-rated. There are torture, seppuku, mass shooting, and other scenes, but they are handled the way a 1940s director would handle such scenes. The audience is informed of what is about to happen, and minimal cues inform the viewer that it has happened.

In the opening show, a resistance leader, we are told, is beaten to death. This is not presented anywhere near as graphically as similar scenes were in the 2016 film Anthropoid, about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Czech and Slovak assassins. In TMITHC, the resistance fighter is tied up and shown bruised and dirty. It is clear what has happened to him and what will happen to him, but we don't have to cringe at every blow.

I've watched many Holocaust-related films. TMITHC created a very subtle scene that will stay with me for a long time. A suspected resistance fighter's sister, niece and nephew are arrested. Axis investigators have discovered that the family has one Jewish grandfather. The woman is a lovely young mother beautifully attired in vintage early sixties fashions. Her two children are attractive but real. The authorities shuffle her and her children into a waiting room. There is a TV playing cartoons and toys for the children to play with.

You can see why the mother would be anxious – the authorities are scary and officious. She is given no reason for being there. But the waiting room is rather like a doctor's waiting room, so one might assume that her nervousness is no more grounded than the nervousness we feel in a doctor's waiting rom.

As the episode progresses and advances other character's storylines, it cuts, again and again, back to the mother and her children. The children are growing increasingly bored and cranky. She is growing increasingly terrified. Eventually she gazes upward and notices the vents in the ceiling. They look like many an innocent ceiling vent, but given the context – a Jewish woman detained without explanation in an Axis-controlled American dystopia – those ceiling vents take on a horrific menace. The woman walks toward the door and attempts to open it. She can't open it. It is locked. And that is the last we see of her. We know exactly what descended from those innocuous, industrial-looking ceiling vents after the woman and her children left our sight.

In addition to its g-rated, 1940s style sex and violence, as opposed to more graphic choices in how to depict sex and violence, TMITHC has chosen a 1940s earnestness. The Sopranos was an ironic show. The viewer was encouraged to laugh at its Mafiosi. "Did you ever think what a coincidence it is that Lou Gherig died of Lou Gherig's disease?" a murderer asks. Ha, ha, ha. These Jersey Wop pimps, drug-dealers and killers are just so colorful, just so funny. The pinky rings, the malapropisms, the loud suits. Sopranos viewers were allowed to wallow in their taste for graphic sex and violence, and to float above it all, as if the Mafia would never deal drugs or strong-arm businessmen in their neighborhood.

I've watched a bit over half of TMITHC and I have not been allowed one single ironic chuckle as an escape from the onscreen dystopia. Everything is so earnest. The deaths are just sad, not sad plus stylized, not sad plus funny. When civilians are rounded up randomly at an outdoor market, separated from their screaming children, stood up against a wall and shot, that is just simply a sad and scary thing. No escape hatch into humor or glitzy camera moves. The resistance fighters are the people we would be if our nation were suddenly hijacked by fascists.

Speaking of which, google "The Man in the High Castle" and "Trump" and find a plethora of think pieces from the New York Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, and others. I'm not making the news here, just reporting it.

So, I love the 1940s-movie-style absence of graphic sex and violence, and the utter earnestness I have seen in TMITHC. But I love this series' aesthetics.

I was jarred when I heard that Amazon was calling itself a studio. Again, I'm classic Hollywood movie fan. When I think "studio" I think of a cigar-chomping Polish-Jewish immigrant presiding over a huge lot full of props, costumes, dialogue coaches and soundstages. I know that's an outdated model, but it still astounds me that a book seller can apply the word "studio" to itself and produce something as rich as TMITHC.

An example: one of the main characters, Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) is chatting with a blonde in a hotel lobby. Behind him moves a bellhop. The bellhop is wearing one of those flat-topped, chin-strap caps. The bellhop is in the frame for mere seconds, and he performs no role in the scene, except to add to depth and detail. Watching TMITHC, I can't help but wonder at how much money, attention, and effort is up on the screen.

The visual effects are stunning. Each episode begins with a silvery, black-and-white montage of the Axis takeover of the US. There are parachute drops, nuclear blasts, and rockets, interspersed with Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty. Over this montage, in a whispery, lisping voice, a woman sings a haunting version of Edelweiss. Watching this montage fills me with dread and rage. I want to rescue my beloved homeland from the bad guys. A feeling I suspect I will experience more and more after January 20, 2017.

As much as I like TMITHC, and that is very much, I think the alternate time line / time travel aspect of the film is one gimmick too many. "What if the Axis had won WW II and the Germans and Japanese took over the US" is gimmick, is MacGuffin, enough, for me. "What if the Axis had won … and what if films could be used to travel around in time" is just way too much gimmick. But hey.

What significance does The Man in the High Castle have to the Bieganski stereotype as outlined in my book of the same title?


First, and if you pay any attention at all to onscreen treatments of WW II this will not surprise you at all, many viewers' hands-down favorite character on the show is not a Jewish or other victim of the Nazis. It is not a heroic and self-sacrificing resistance fighter. No. The standout, "I can't help myself I love him" write-a-letter-to-the-actor asking-him-how-he-manages-to-humanize-such-a-difficult-character audience favorite is a Nazi.

Rufus Sewell plays Obergruppenführer John Smith. He is very handsome (oh those cheekbones), the smartest guy in the room, superbly well-dressed (thank you Hugo Boss), and he loves his family so much he would do anything to protect them from harm.

Handsome, glamorous, admirable Nazis are a staple of WW II in pop culture. I've written about the Sexy Nazi phenomenon several times on this blog. See here here here here. But really you should read Bieganski better to understand why the sexy Nazi is such a staple.

A second point, also related to the Bieganski stereotype.

In the episodes I've seen so far, and I have not seen every one, there is no mention of Slavic people. Nazis victimize Jews, yes. Nazis victimize handicapped people, yes. Nazis don't like black people, yes. And that's it.

And it's actually worse than that.

Fans say that in Dick's book, the Nazis have realized their Generalplan Ost (please read about Generalplan Ost if you think Slavs were never targeted by the Nazis.) See the map, below. Eastern Europe's Slavic countries have been erased from the map, in Dick's dystopia. Slavs have been the subject of the Nazis' planned genocide, ethnic cleansing, and enslavement.

The murder of millions of people. Their enslavement and erasure. Apparently not "sexy" enough for Amazon producers. Not even included in Amazon's TMITHC. Think about that. Really. Think about it.

I recently reviewed Richard Weikart's new book Hitler's Religion for FrontPage magazine. You can read the review here.

One person said that by mentioning the suffering of Slavic people under Nazism, I was "ignoring the suffering of Jews." By the way, the person who made this accusation is a Christian, and a woman who rushed to my defense, and to defend mention of the suffering of non-Jewish Slavs under Nazism, is herself Jewish.

Please note that: to mention the suffering of non-Jewish Slavs under Nazism is tantamount to ignoring the suffering of Jews.

People taking issue with my mention of Slavic victimization under the Nazis reminded me that the Crusaders committed atrocities against Jews. I was reminded that Jews were expelled from England. I was reminded that the Soviets were officially atheist and not all the Soviets who died under Nazism were devout Christians.

That German Crusaders committed atrocities against Jews – during the same era when German crusaders were committing atrocities against Slavs and other Baltic peoples – does not change the fact that the Nazis victimized non-Jewish Slavs. That England expelled Jews in the Middle Ages does not change the fact that the Nazis victimized Slavs. How is it that mention of the Nazi victimization of Slavs is some pox outbreak that must be quelled with mention of bad things that English and German people did in the Middle Ages?

Glamorous Nazis. Slavic people never having been victimized by Nazis. Again, I haven't seen every episode of The Man in the High Castle, but that's what I've seen so far. Those who have seen every episode can correct me if I have things wrong.

Polonia, we have a problem. We must do a better job of telling our story. For my take on what's going wrong in our leadership on this question of telling our own story, and what needs to be done to set it right, please see here

Source: Wikimedia commons