Auschwitz 835


I was involved in the organisation of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz, while First Secretary at the British Embassy in Warsaw. The 50th did not receive anything like the media coverage given to the 70th, of which more later.

Senior British visitors to Poland invariably included a concentration camp on their itinerary, and from escorting people around I visited camps a great deal more often than I would have wished. I found the experience appalling and desolate. The first I ever saw was Majdanek and I recall that I just had to sit helpless and shivering for some time. One thing the experience left me with – including meeting survivors and both Polish and German eye-witnesses, and seeing the architects’ plans for camps – was a contempt for those who claim the whole thing did not happen, or was an accident, or was small scale.

It in no way diminishes the genocidal attack on the Jews to remember that a vast number of Poles also died in the camps, as well as gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and disparate political prisoners. I tried sometimes to diminish the horror I felt at involvement with the camps, with attempts at humour. I was present at a meeting listing the guests of honour; the President of Lithuania was included. I whispered that he was coming to represent the camp guards. That was offensive, and I apologise. But there is a real problem that to this day Eastern Europe – including Poland itself – has not come to terms with historical truth about collaboration with anti-Jewish genocide and other attacks on minorities. I recommend this website, which tackles these issues very honestly and is well worth a lengthy browse.

It requires bigotry not to be able to understand why nationalist resistance movements against Russian occupation became allied with Germany during World War II. That would be reprehensible only in the same sense that allied collaboration with Stalin might be reprehensible, but for the added factor of enthusiastic collaboration with genocidal and master race programmes and fascist ideology. That is what makes the glorification of Eastern European nationalist figures from this period generally inappropriate.

I fear however that the real reason that the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz received so much more coverage than the 50th is a media desire to reinforce the narrative of the War on Terror and Western policy in the Middle East by invoking the spectre of massive anti-Semitism. There have been isolated but deplorable, apparently anti-Semitic attacks of a small-scale terrorist nature in France and Belgium in recent years. But to conflate this into stories of a wave of popular anti-Semitism in Europe is a nonsense. Maureen Lipman’s claim that she may have to leave the UK is not just silly but disingenuous. I do not believe she feels in personal danger of attack – there is absolutely no reason why she should – she is rather making a political point.

There are two factors which could exacerbate anti-Semitism at present. One is the appalling behaviour of Israel and its indefensible action in continually seizing Palestinian land and using its military superiority to dominate and occasionally massacre Palestinians. Regrettably, there are a very small minority of people who wrongly blame Jews in general for the actions of Israel.

The second factor is of course the terrible economic hardship wrought across the whole world by irresponsible banking practices, and the fact that the bankers luxury lifestyles were maintained at the cost of everybody else. There are still a tiny minority of people stuck in the medieval mindset associating banking with the Jewish community. There is in fact a very plausible argument that if any “race” has a disproportionate influence on the development and character of international banking since the mid eighteenth century, it is the Scots! But those who see banking as a racial issue are nutters.

You could construct an argument from these factors, and you could identify that anti-Semitic people do exist. They certainly do. They dominate the very small category of people who get banned even from this free speech blog. But are their opinions intellectually respectable, promoted in the mainstream or able to be expressed openly without fear of either social or legal consequences? No, no and no. Anti-semites are fortunately a tiny and strange minority. I might add that in my numerous and frequent social contacts in the British Muslim community, I have never encountered anti-Semitism (unlike, say, Poland and Russia where I encountered casual anti-Semitism quite frequently).

The final point, is of course, the conflation of anti-zionism with anti-Semitism. That seems to me the fundamental design of the media campaign exaggerating the scale of anti-Semitism at the moment. Yes, we must always remember the terrible warnings from history and it is right to remember those who died in the concentration camps, Jewish, Polish, Romany, Gay, Communist or any other category. But we should be aware of those who wish to manipulate the powerful emotions of horror thus evoked, for present objectives of the powerful.


835 thoughts on “Auschwitz

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  • Clark

    Node, on the other hand, I think governments and the medical establishment do have a responsibility to correctly inform the public of the risks involved in accepting each specific vaccine, but it has to be presented with due weight, pointing out the relative risk in not accepting it.

    But the video you linked to really seems to be about a deliberate cover-up to try and avoid compensation pay-outs. That’s a government matter rather then medical.

    I also think your criticism of Glenn was unfair:

    “So, you can’t be arsed to check out anything I say, but somehow you’re certain it’s wrong”

    No. You’re challenging the medical consensus, so it’s up to you to come up with evidence that can be properly assessed – which means data, tables and graphs. Unless you can present a video that shows in correct proportion static crowds of people and/or corpses to represent the four different groups that each vaccination programme creates.

  • fred

    @Node

    The subject of mass immunisation is a highly complex one involving many different viewpoints and I must admit to be being torn over some of them myself, as in the dilemma I outlined it’s easy to see both points of view.

    So I think it’s important to keep an open mind and consider all aspects, not only scientific but also moral and political, it is after all a question of benefit of society versus individual freedom.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    @ Glenn and Clark

    I have been arguing that it is not unreasonable to question :

    (1) the motives behind mass-vaccination programmes
    (2) the safety of mass-vaccination programmes
    (3) the integrity of the medical establishment.

    Which part, if any, do you disagree with?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Glenn says

    – Canspeccy – x15
    – you (node) x10
    – “anon” – x5
    – Habbabkuk – x5
    – Fred – x4
    – Homeneara – x3
    – Fool – x3
    – Nevermind – x2
    – Dreoilin – x2
    – Mary – x1
    – Philw – x1
    – myself (glenn) – x1- but only referencing charges against me being a “denier”
    – John Goss – x1
    – Ba’al – x1

    Stats speak so much louder than baseless accusations, wouldn’t you agree?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Node says :

    – Canspeccy – x15
    – you (node) x10 – but EVERY reference was a complaint about the misuse of the word “denier”
    – “anon” – x5
    – Habbabkuk – x5
    – Fred – x4
    – Homeneara – x3
    – Fool – x3
    – Nevermind – x2
    – Dreoilin – x2
    – Mary – x1
    – Philw – x1
    – myself (glenn) – x1- but only referencing charges against me being a “denier”
    – John Goss – x1
    – Ba’al – x1

    Stats mislead when misused, wouldn’t you agree?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Fred : “So I think it’s important to keep an open mind and consider all aspects, not only scientific but also moral and political, it is after all a question of benefit of society versus individual freedom.”

    Yes Fred, I absolutely agree. That’s my point.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    And now, it is a beautiful day in the highlands and I can’t afford to waste it. I am away to mend my workshop roof and I’ll check for answers tonight.

  • Clark

    Node, I don’t disagree with any of them. I just mean that if you’re going to question them publicly you should do so properly.

    Context matters. The context on this thread is such that anyone “just asking questions” inadvertently adds weight to the opposing argument – which is that vaccinations are entirely ineffective and are always harmful, and that almost the entire medical and scientific communities are corrupt or even malicious.

  • glenn

    What a shame, Node – all you did was repeat yourself.

    And I think you’re just a little bit dishonest. You came in with your school-mistressy admonishment about “extra marks for not using the word ‘denier’ ” to me. That counts as one of your usages of the word “denier”, which you’ve now shuffled away from. Claim that was only a complaint about the misuse of the word, if you want to dance around the point, you’re still using it totally unprovoked. For the tenth time this thread.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    What’s the problem when there’s no disagreement?

    “Context matters. The context on this thread is such that anyone “just asking questions” inadvertently adds weight to the opposing argument – which is that vaccinations are entirely ineffective and are always harmful, and that almost the entire medical and scientific communities are corrupt or even malicious.”

    No, and that is precisely the reason I’m bothering to hammer out this point. You are arguing in black and white – if I’m not with you I must be against you. As Fred said :

    “The subject of mass immunisation is a highly complex one involving many different viewpoints and I must admit to be being torn over some of them myself, as in the dilemma I outlined it’s easy to see both points of view. So I think it’s important to keep an open mind . . . “

    There’s too much binary thinking on this blog. I first encountered Glenn’s robust style when I had the temerity to say that I had an open mind on whether climate change was man-made or not. The world is run by clever powerful people who use misinformation as a tool. I don’t know where you all get your certainty from – I get less as I grow older and understand the world better.

    I believe that in the particular case of vaccinations, “don’t know” is the most sensible position. You claim that I therefore lend support to an extreme anti-vaccination view. Well, someone with an extreme anti-vaccination view might equally claim the opposite. Sorry, but I’m not prepared to accept responsibility for the illogical assumptions of others.

    I’m not telling you what to think, and I’m sure as fuck not letting anybody tell me what to think.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Sorry Clark, The first sentence of my last post was in response to you saying:

    “Node, I don’t disagree with any of them. I just mean that if you’re going to question them publicly you should do so properly.”

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    @ Glenn

    “What a shame, Node – all you did was repeat yourself. “

    I have been arguing that it is not unreasonable to question :

    (1) the motives behind mass-vaccination programmes
    (2) the safety of mass-vaccination programmes
    (3) the integrity of the medical establishment.

    Which part, if any, do you disagree with?

  • Clark

    Maybe we don’t need to worry about all the uranium stored as uranium fluoride, which I’ve been hoping to discuss here:

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/01/todays-independence-rally/comment-page-2/#comment-508175

    Maybe Sheldrake is right, and the poisoning of people by uranium is just a habit the universe has developed. Maybe all that’s needed is a change of attitude.

    Somehow, I’m still more worried about UF6 than I am about vaccination. Financial systems seem to have a habit of crashing, and if at some future time there’s no money, how will people be persuaded to maintain the UF6 storage, or to convert it into a less ingestible form?

    Which would I rather ingest due to government behaviour; a syringe of vaccine or a water supply containing uranyl fluoride? This is a new context in which to consider water fluoridation, too.

  • Clark

    Let’s assume Sheldrake is right that the patterns of reality are essentially habits. Let’s start noticing and facing some habits.

    Humans are animals. Predators kill to eat, and animals compete for resources, but the majority of actual conflict in nature is ritualised fighting among males in competition for sexual access to females.

    Why assume humans are any different? Different rituals, same motivation. Blair went to war to bed women. And the females respond; they accept the most successfully dominant males.

    And that’s all we do here, too. We attempt to show off our prowess at winning.

    Gottta go shopping. Bye for now.

  • glenn

    Concerning DU: It is a shame actually, Clark, because I hoped your incisive, and rather clinical analysis of facts would get RobG to educate us on the subject properly. I know a bit about nuclear science, indeed I worked…. ah well, no point in going on too much about that now.

    *

    Node: I truly have no wish of having a rancourous dispute with you about this. Seriously. And what is this about a “robust style” – moi?

    So I suppose it’s only fair to work through your points, viz:


    I have been arguing that it is not unreasonable to question :

    (1) the motives behind mass-vaccination programmes
    (2) the safety of mass-vaccination programmes
    (3) the integrity of the medical establishment.

    Which part, if any, do you disagree with?

    May I humbly offer some suggestions to these points:

    1) To prevent mass death and horrible, disfiguring and disabling diseases, as has occurred throughout the entire history of humanity prior to mass vaccination programmes.

    2) They are as safe as our understanding allows. Preservatives, such as mercury, were shown (through studies) to have worse effects on tiny minorities of people than other preservatives, subsequently developed. That is the nature of science and medicine. Even the earlier ones were, of course, vastly better than the alternative – leaving people exposed to the ravages of unchecked disease, to which the body had no immunity at all.

    3) On the whole, generally good. Like car mechanics, maybe. Some bad, some incompetent, but you wouldn’t want to disband them. With proper organisation (such as research and evidence-based practices), entirely excellent – and with cynical and corrupt government and profit-hungry business interests pushing into it, not so good.

    And it’s not unreasonable to question. Not at all. We should always be asking questions, and looking for evidence based answers. Not scare-stories, not hysteria, just evidence and the full rigour of the scientific method applied.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Glenn

    “And it’s not unreasonable to question”

    That’s all I wanted to hear. Thank you.

    When I’m sitting on the fence, I expect to get bricks hurled at me from both sides. That’s not my complaint. If someone wants to argue that I shouldn’t be on the fence, that the evidence is clear enough to come down on one side or the other, fair enough, I’m willing to listen. In fact that’s a large part of why I spend time on this blog.

    But I’m not willing to have my fence-sitting rights denied on the grounds that my indecision is somehow encouraging others in their erroneous beliefs. This sort of attack invariably assumes that I share the erroneous belief but don’t have the balls to admit it. Which leaves me in the position of having to either ignore the unjustified assumption and risk my silence being taken for acquiescence, or engage in a tedious self-justification exercise . . . . rather like the last two days on this thread! And anyway it’s completely illogical, it implies, for example, that there should be no centre party in politics because that would encourage extremism.

    It’s very frustrating, especially in a topic where I am convinced (of course) that on top of the fence is the only sensible place to be, due to the impossibility of ascertaining all the relevant information. So here on this mostly abandoned thread, I made my stand, dug my heels in, and fought for a grudging admission that being in the middle is not an extremist position.

    So thank you for sticking with me while I got it out of my system, and thank you, Glenn, Clark and Fred for each in your own way meeting me in the middle.

  • glenn

    @Node: Thanks to you in return, we’ve slugged this one out to the very end. Hopefully we’ve all got a bit of wisdom out of it.

    The best thing to “get out of” is entrenchment, so at least we understand each other a little better. I would disagree that sitting on the fence is necessarily a good position – take this to whatever degree one will, before causing offence with any particular example.

    For instance – Do you say it’s wrong to go to invade and occupy a country that never threatened us, or should you be ambivalent, and act as if it’s just a matter of opinion (even though you know good and well, such an invasion is completely wrong) ?

    On matters of extreme importance -life, death, disease – where your opinion might influence others, I think one has a duty to know what they are talking about. And I’m not talking about you, Node, I’m talking about the advocates for utterly irresponsible behaviour in others, with an absurdly assumed authority entirely opposed to medical advice.

  • fred

    “I have been arguing that it is not unreasonable to question :

    (1) the motives behind mass-vaccination programmes”

    Feel free to question anything you want.

    I might question the shop keeper’s motives for selling me a bag of sugar and conclude he only does it to make money but it wouldn’t alter the fact if he didn’t my coffee wouldn’t be sweet.

    What matters is vaccination save lives not the motives.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    “I would disagree that sitting on the fence is necessarily a good position – take this to whatever degree one will, before causing offence with any particular example.

    For instance – Do you say it’s wrong to go to invade and occupy a country that never threatened us, or should you be ambivalent, and act as if it’s just a matter of opinion (even though you know good and well, such an invasion is completely wrong)?”

    I’m not suggesting that sitting on the fence is necessarily a good position. Often there is more than enough information to make an informed decision. However “I believe that in the particular case of vaccinations, “don’t know” is the most sensible position.” (quoting myself from 11 Feb, 2015 – 1:50 pm).

    And there I’m going to leave it. Another beautiful day, the snow has cleared from my hilltop village for the first time in a month, and I want to take advantage of it.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Yes Fred, but what if the shopkeeper was telling you that the sugar wouldn’t do you any harm, then his motives would become relevant.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I agree with the content of Craig’s post. However, I would like to point out that in my experience, sadly, many of those in Muslim communities/countries do not perceive any distinction at all between ‘Israel’/’Zionism’ and ‘The Jews’. This partly is a reflection of many decades of European-style Anti-Semitism being adopted wholesale by regimes and key figures (eg. religious leaders, etc.) in those societies. In an unrelenting propaganda onslaught, they have merged this noxious brew with pre-existing old-style myths about Jewish people extant in those societies. When I try to point out the distinction between Zionism/Israel and Jewish people, often I am stared at as though I had just landed from Mars. I constantly am dismayed by such attitudes, but it is important that we are not in denial about them.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    In Pakistan (and diasporic Pakistani communities) for example, negative attitudes to “The Jews” (and it is always said in that way) are normative (even among Pakistani Christians), though Pakistan has not suffered at all from Israel’s existence or from Zionism. There used to be thriving Jewish communities in Pakistan, esp. in Karachi. Most of those people emigrated to Israel or elsewhere from 1950/60s onwards, largely driven out by anti-Jewish propaganda, driven out from places where they’d lived for centuries. One of Pakistan’s most famous filmstars actually is Jewish, though she doesn’t talk about it – for obvious reasons. If one looks at how the Ahmedi Muslims and pagan Kalash now are treated and then extrapolate…

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