Holocaust Dialogues, 3: Germany’s non-Jewish victims

Introduction: I have a long-running disagreement with a participant in another of my blogs over the place of the Holocaust in the history of the Second World War, and its place also in the history of the Jewish people over the course of our two thousand year-long history in the Christian West. Our differences are profound: whether term “the Holocaust” should apply only to the six million Jewish victims; or should it also apply to the tens of millions Eastern European and Russian victims of German race theory of the time?


Your above comment clearly defines why you run into so much resistance, evoke so much emotion from participants in this forum. From your earliest contributions to the discussion I have described your position as off-topic in that your approach is “humanistic” where my focus as author is far narrower, dealing exclusively with Jewish history. The Holocaust, in my project, is but the most recent if more terrible by sheer numbers outrage in a long history of such.

Nobody, “Philosopher,” denies that Nazi ideology was responsible for many millions more victims than Jews murdered during the years 1933 – 1945. When you first contributed to this discussion I pointed out that your approach to those events was far wider than my purpose, my focus.

According to German race theory during those years there were two basic human groups, Aryan and inferior, the untermenschen. Poland was clearly among the inferior, and worthy of life only in service to the master race. Murdering Poles was “good” policy according to Nazi ideology. But not the Poles nor any other “racial” group was targeted for total, worldwide extermination. And THIS is the definition of “the Holocaust”: the, “total, worldwide extermination,” the individual murder of each and every Jew in the world.

The designation, “the Holocaust,” describes this single unique feature of Nazi ideology: the total and final solution to the West’s Jewish Problem.

This is not to say that the murder of any innocent is not in itself a crime of, for me, unimaginable proportions. Each murder was equally a tragedy. But while such a crime may constitute a holocaust, it does not fit the unique and generally accepted definition of “the Holocaust.”

As you know, “Philosopher,” my topic is Christian anti-Judaism and Christendom’s “secular” inheritor of that theology of hate, antisemitism. My focus is on Christianity’s problem with the Jews beginning in the first century; the West’s Jewish Problem continuing in the 21st century.

As terrible and traumatic as was the Holocaust in Jewish history it was neither “unique,” nor “mysterious” but just one more in a terrible progression of atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish people over a two-thousand and counting year history of persecution.

This blog describes the history of this persecution whose end for the Jews will arrive at some unknown point in the future with the final Final Solution. Since “the Jews” are so important a part of Christian scripture, theology and cultural tradition, I’m certain “the Jews” will survive as an artifact in imagination, in the equivalent of Jew Museums Hitler dreamed to create for future anthropological study, for as long as Christianity survives.

About the Author
David made aliya in 1960 and has been active in Jewish issues since. He was a regional director for JNF in New York, created JUDAC, Jews United to Defend the Auschwitz Cemetery during that controversy; at the request of Jonathan Pollard created and led Justice for the Pollards in 1989.