Sunday, August 15, 2010

Was the Catholic church to blame for Nazism?

The article excerpted below says so but is greatly unbalanced. It is certainly true that ALL Christian churches propagated antisemitism for a long time. Luther's diatribe against the Jews is well-known. But by the 19th century, that had waned to a low rumble in most of the world and one of the most furious antisemites of the 19th century was in fact KARL MARX! Antisemitism has always been strong in France but both the French revolutionaries in the late 1700s and Napoleon in the early 1800s gave some emancipation to the Jews -- and Prussia legally emancipated the Jews in 1812. And Britain, of course, had a Jewish Prime Minister for much of the late 19th century. So while the Catholic church certainly had a role in setting up antisemitism, it was a Europe-wide but generally low-key attitude by the 20th century. Even the British Prime Minister who declared war on Hitler (Neville Chamberlain -- Yes: it WAS Neville Chamberlain) was an antisemite of sorts. And FDR had no time for the Jews either.

When it comes to the relationship between Hitler and the church, however, what we read below is very selective. For a start, he totally overlooks the persecution of Catholic clergy by Hitler and has obviously never read "Mit brennender Sorge", the prewar Papal encyclical that was actually written in German (encyclicals are normally written in Latin) to reach the widest possible German audience. It was deeply critical of the Nazis and infuriated Hitler.

And the way Pius XII quietly rescued threatened Jews on a large scale also seems to be unknown to the writer

Gabriel Wilensky’s first book, “Six Million Crucifixions: How Christian Teachings About the Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust” traces the history of the Christian church (and specifically the Vatican) to plausible causes of the Holocaust.

“The silence of the church is deafening,” Wilensky says. “[The clergy] hid information from the public. Pope Pius XII held the interest of the Church first, and the Church never saw fit to publicly denounce the Holocaust, never called Nazis murderers and never mentioned that the Jews were victims. This pattern of silence began long before.” [That is a complete lie. Pacelli (Later Pius XII) wrote "Mit Brennender Sorge"]

Wilensky says the silence of the Church was not as bad as its support for the Nazi party. He says the clergy had many chances to prevent the events that eventually led to the holocaust.

“The Church materially helped the Nazis from the 1930s on, providing them with baptismal records — needed in Germany because Jews there dressed and spoke like everyone else — which showed who was a Christian, and by exclusion who was not,” Wilensky says.

Wilensky, who was born in Uruguay, came to the U.S. more than 20 years ago to work in the computer software industry, but he says the Holocaust has always fascinated him.

The final product tells the story of the Church and its relationship with the Jews chronologically from the time of Jesus’ crucifixion to the end of World War II, with legal analysis of crimes committed by clergy before, during and after the Holocaust. The final section details recommendations for the future.

“Anti-Semitism has a way of morphing itself into many different forms,” Wilensky says. “The religious, racial form [of anti-Semitism] in the 19th century has grown into the new anti-Semitism, which is political and manifests itself as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.

Many people in academia and in Europe in particular express their anti- Jewish feelings in the form of anti-Israel feelings, but they don’t understand why they are so inclined to protest everything that Israel does. People have suppressed the anti-Semitism for so many years and have found a way to express it in a way that is politically correct. I hope my book will raise awareness to this problem and show that something very wrong was done, and that it’s manifesting itself now in other ways.”

Wilensky explains that he does not intend to argue that all Christians hate Jews, or that all Christians during the Holocaust went along with Church teachings in silence. “There were many thousands of Christian individuals who helped the Jews, including those who risked their lives to save the Jews…by hiding them or providing shelter in some way, or helping in any way they could,” he says.

Wilensky notes the best example of Christians acting as righteous gentiles was the reaction of the Danish Lutheran Church during World War II. The church created a campaign to defend Jews, writing sermons and reading them from every pulpit in every church in the country. “They taught [church goers] that killing Jews was wrong and they needed to do everything in their power to help,” Wilensky says. The king of Denmark even made all citizens wear a yellow star so Nazis couldn’t identify which people were the Jews.

“There was a general mobilization of the country instigated by the Church,” Wilensky says. “The end result was that many Jews were transported to neutral Sweden, and a very large percentage of Denmark’s Jews survived the war.”

Through his research, Wilensky has found that all genocides include certain components, which other factions of the Church helped to facilitate through their negative teachings about Jews.

“[In genocide] there needs to be a prejudice or a preconceived idea about the victims that is widespread and that everybody shares,” Wilensky says. “There also has to be a participation or a promotion of genocide from the government. Without approval by the government, genocide does not really happen, so at the very least these two things need to be present. In the case of the Holocaust, the hatred had been there for almost two millennia, but [the Nazis] only needed to light the match.”


Fined £150 million for failing to fly the EU flag: Now British firms are told how to fight back

Getting Brits to have a "European" consciousness is a bit of a laugh and trying to enforce it by law is even more so. It may be apocryphal but the British weather report "Fog in the Channel. Europe isolated" still summarizes a lot about British attitudes to Europe

Business chiefs have issued advice to companies and public bodies on how to escape heavy penalties for failing to display European Union flags after British organisations were fined an astonishing £150 million for not giving the EU enough publicity.

Companies receiving European grants must display its logo on their buildings, posters and websites or face being forced to pay back some of the funding. Now Yorkshire Forward, a regional development agency, has produced an 18-page booklet that advises organisations how to escape the punitive penalties.

The pamphlet details 'approved' versions of the EU flag, instructions on its colour and dimensions, and the precise wording that must accompany the logo. The rules also require building and infrastructure projects to display billboards and plaques praising the EU for providing funds.

Each poster or plaque must set aside '25 per cent of the total area' for EU propaganda. They must also include the words: 'Investing in your future.' The Yorkshire Forward booklet also reveals the organisations to have fallen foul of the petty regulations.

Among the projects hit was a £3.5 million refurbishment of Whitley Bay Playhouse in North Tyneside. Some £60,000 of the EU's £626,500 contribution had to be repaid because of 'a number of failings'. Not meeting rules on publicity cost the scheme £16,450 of the total.

The YMCA in Peterborough had to repay £1,325 of a grant to help promote parenting skills, volunteering and sports among young people, again because it fell foul of the strict rules on publicity. Organisers had not displayed the EU flag at YMCA premises or used it in publicity material.

Last month, it emerged that Brussels bureaucrats had ordered the British Government to collect an astonishing £150 million from organisations and companies because of failures to prominently display the EU flag on premises that were receiving funding.

Critics are particularly appalled as Britain is a £6.4 billion net contributor to the EU budget. Last night, Local Government Minister Bob Neill said: 'It is unfair that local firms, community groups and councils are being punished by EU officials for the most minor breaches of complicated and over-bureaucratic EU rules.

This is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. 'Disadvantaged and needy groups should not lose out because of failing to follow excessive EU propaganda demands to the letter. 'The end result is British taxpayers' money being wasted on bloated design guidelines, form-filling and millions of pounds of red tape.'

A number of other British regional development agencies, which help Whitehall to distribute EU grants, have issued their own guide books to prevent further disqualifications of grants.

Six pages of the Yorkshire guide are devoted to showing how the EU's circle of stars flag should appear on letterheads, Press releases and publicity. The guidelines for commemorative plaques state they 'should be placed where they can be seen by the public and should not be hidden away in obscure locations'. It adds: 'Reception areas are ideal, as areas by entrances. Plaques should be sized so that they are easily readable.'

And in a stark warning to any recipients of EU funding, it states: 'Project managers are reminded that failure to implement the publicity regulations or implementing them incorrectly could lead to expenditure being declared ineligible, leading to loss of grant on which the project is depending.'

The European Commission was unavailable for comment last night.


Labour Party eminence set to join the Tory war on dole cheats in Britain

Former Labour Cabinet Minister David Blunkett is poised to give the Coalition a major boost by helping it tackle poverty, benefits abuse and the pensions crisis.

Mr Blunkett is in talks about taking up a post with the think-tank set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith which pioneered many of the measures used in the Government’s welfare state shake-up.

Known for his no-nonsense views on scroungers, hooligans and the feckless unemployed, Mr Blunkett is considering working for Mr Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice.

Mr Blunkett is the latest in a number of leading Labour figures to forge links with the Conservatives. Former Welfare Minister Frank Field has been recruited as a ‘Poverty Tsar’ and former Defence Secretary John Hutton is to lead a Government review of pensions.

Although the CSJ is independent, it was set up by Mr Duncan Smith, who now acts as its patron, and its reports have considerable influence in Whitehall.

A CSJ source said: ‘The organisation has been having discussions with Mr Blunkett. We believe he is genuinely interested in helping us to find lasting solutions to deep-seated issues concerning employment and welfare. He is a radical free thinker and can combine it with a wealth of practical experience.

‘Iain Duncan Smith has considerable respect for his views. We are keen to work with people from every part of the political spectrum to tackle the fundamental problems facing Britain.’

Like fellow Labour Right-wingers Mr Field and Mr Hutton, Mr Blunkett had frequent clashes with Gordon Brown over state benefits and other issues. While his socially conservative views upset Mr Brown, they won him many Tory admirers.

As Work and Pensions Secretary under Mr Blair, Mr Blunkett was denounced by Left-wing MPs after claiming that going to work ‘will overcome depression and stress a lot more than people sitting at home watching daytime television’.

He added: ‘The welfare state of the 21st Century will not simply be a safety net but an enabler – a ladder out of poverty. It must embody the mutual acceptance of self-responsibility and the acceptance of responsibility for the well-being of others. Today’s welfare state has more sticking plaster than Boots the chemist.’

They are sentiments shared by many Tory MPs, though not all would have Mr Blunkett’s courage to express them publicly.

Mr Blunkett shares the view of many Blairites that Labour’s failure to get to grips with the culture of welfare dependency was one of its key failings.

As Home Secretary, he took a hard line on immigration and once dismissed civil liberties as ‘airy fairy’. He opposed sex education in primary schools and laws that critics said allowed the promotion of homosexuality in the classroom.

In 2005, Mr Blair wanted to give Mr Blunkett special responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour by young thugs but the move was blocked by John Prescott.

Mr Blunkett told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I have been talking with the Centre for Social Justice.’ He declined to give further details.


"Alternative families"

Bill O'Reilly's attention had been on Barack Obama and other national political figures for a stretch - until Jennifer Aniston opened her mouth. Her comments regarding modern motherhood didn't score well in the "no spin zone."

During a recent "The O'Reilly Factor" segment, the Fox News star hosted a "culture war" debate addressing Aniston's recent comments about women and motherhood, relating to her new artificial-insemination comedy with Jason Bateman, "The Switch."

During a press conference about it, Aniston explained: "The point of the movie is, what is it that defines family? It isn't necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot," she said. "Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is.

"Times," she continued, "have changed, and that is also what is amazing is that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents' days when you can't have children because you have waited too long. ... Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child."

O'Reilly pushed back against that message. "She's throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that 'hey, you don't need a guy, you don't need a dad,'" he said. "That's destructive to our society."

The entertainment blogs immediately seized on O'Reilly's comments, caricaturing his criticism as ridiculous.

It is, of course, a fact that there are alternatives that exist today for women -- especially women of means -- to have children in ways that their grandmothers and even mothers didn't have. But it doesn't follow that we should necessarily embrace these alternatives.

Aniston is right to say that "there are children that don't have homes that have a home and can be loved. And that's extremely important." There are, absolutely, occasions where a child needs love, doesn't have it, and someone is able to provide it in an unconventional way. These exceptions, however, are not reasons to toss out everything we know to be true about moms and dads and the need for them as a single unit. And this, also, isn't what we're talking about in we-women-can-have-babies-however-we-like comedies.

This column is not a review of "The Switch." I haven't seen it but expect to, despite Aniston's opinions. It's put together by some of the same people behind "Juno," which was a messy story about responsibility and redemption. That's art. Too often, though, what passes as art today is just an affirmation of mistakes. Instead of inspiring, it seeks to issue an official, collective "it's OK" about decisions we used to have some healthy sense of shame about. A Hollywood imprimatur only plays a role in covering up what's not OK.

Another movie this summer, "The Kids Are All Right," lets this slip show. The movie is about a lesbian couple, their two kids and the sperm donor who gets a phone call from an 18-year-old in need of a father. The kids, in other words, are not all right.

My Daddy's Name Is Donor, a recent study from the Commission on Parenthood's Future, found that children born after a sperm-bank commercial exchange suffer more feelings of loss, confusion and isolation compared to kids raised in a household with a mom and a dad. And "to fill the paternal hole in their soul," they often turn to drugs and alcohol, or get in trouble with the law, as W. Bradford Wilcox from the commission, explains. Further: "the offspring of maverick moms are 177 percent more likely to have a problem with substance abuse and are 146 percent more likely to report having had a run-in with the law, compared with offspring of two biological parents."

Are 12-year-old girls going to run out to get artificially inseminated because Jennifer Aniston points to it as a perfectly mainstream option for a modern woman? Of course not. But might a look at a movie trailer just be another cultural influence telling her that Chelsea Clinton getting married is just a throwback to an old custom we used to have?

As my colleague Richard Brookhiser wrote in response to the Quayle speech: "Culture affects behavior. Dan Quayle isn't the only person who believes this. Every feminist who applauded 'Thelma and Louise,' every parent who wonders about the effects of cop-show violence on his kids, every aging rock critic who credits Elvis with jolting America out of the sexless somnolence of the '50s thinks culture changes hearts and minds. The question is: In what direction?"

This was the question Bill O'Reilly was asking. This is the question Dan Quayle was asking.

Back in the infamous speech, Quayle said: "It's time to talk again about family, hard work, integrity and personal responsibility. We cannot be embarrassed out of our belief that two parents, married to each other, are better in most cases for children than one. That honest work is better than hand-outs -- or crime. That we are our brothers' keepers. That it's worth making an effort, even when 'the rewards aren't immediate."

That moment has not passed. The traditional family is not a "stereotype," but a foundation of civilization. And it is not too late to remind 12-year-old girls of who they can be. And that they can even want it.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.



Gabriel Wilensky said...

The article "Was the Catholic church to blame for Nazism?" misrepresents what I said in the interview quoted here and what I express in my book “Six Million Crucifixions”. I do not have the space to make a point by point rebuttal here, but I will say a few things: first, I never said the Catholic Church was to blame for Nazism, although I do say that Christian (Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox) teachings about Jews and Judaism poisoned the minds of millions of Catholics through almost two millennia of systematic vilification and opprobrium, which predisposed millions of people to create, propagate, and act upon the racial and eliminationist antisemitism of the 19th century and then of the Nazis. Second, Nazi persecution of Catholic clergy is completely irrelevant to the discussion. The fact that the Nazis persecuted gays and gypsies, as well as anyone that opposed them is irrelevant too. In no case can anyone make a parallel between Nazi oppression (including incarceration and murder) of people they considered opposition, and their mass extermination of Jews. That’s simply obscene. Third, “Mit brennender Sorge” is a lengthy complaint of Nazi treatment of Catholic interests in Germany, with just a few lines in which Pacelli bemoaned about how wrong racism was. The writer accuses me of lying when I said “[The clergy] hid information from the public. Pope Pius XII held the interest of the Church first, and the Church never saw fit to publicly denounce the Holocaust, never called Nazis murderers and never mentioned that the Jews were victims. This pattern of silence began long before”, but I stand firm by my words, and I challenge him to prove that those are lies. “Mit brennender Sorge” does not show this to be incorrect in any way. I find it ironic the writer of the article accuses me of not having read the encyclical, when it’s obvious it’s the other way around.

Gabriel Wilensky

Six Million Crucifixions:
How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust
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JR said...

Just one quote from "Brennender"

Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.

If that's not a slap in the face for Nazism, what would be?