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RIP, Mr. Dobrowolski, You’ve Earned It

Oldest known Auschwitz Survivor dies at 108. He lead an underground effort to continue educating Poles, after the Nazis had forbidden the education of “inferior races.” Today I am determined there shall be no more “inferior races” in this world. And what is the best way to make men equal? I think we know the answer more than many.

15 Responses to “RIP, Mr. Dobrowolski, You’ve Earned It”

  1. Garrett Lee says:

    I don’t think he was the last survivor – simply the oldest as of right before he joined the choir invisible.

  2. Andy B. says:

    Oops — was about to say the same thing as Garrett.

    I have to chime in on behalf of my ethnic heritage, and say I’ll be waiting to hear reports of the passing of the oldest person to have been loaded onto a Soviet cattle-car and deported to Siberia during WWII. But I don’t expect to hear it reported here, since the Soviets were our allies and in many cases we provided them the materiel needed to carry out their atrocities.

    • Harold says:

      Errr, that’s not the reason (that they were our allies of convenience in a war they had an integral part in starting). It’s because the left has been carrying water for them since the 20s, and hasn’t stopped.

      I could and can go into much more detail but I’m not sure it’s apropos for this forum or this topic. Maybe I’ll just close with noting two of the musical protesters of Putin are headed for what’s left of the generic Gulag that the no longer officially Communist Russians still maintain.

      • Andy B. says:

        ” It’s because the left has been carrying water for them since the 20s, and hasn’t stopped.”

        Exactly as the right has been carrying water for the fascists, arguably from before the word “fascist” was coined. So, just choose which of their explanations of history suits you best, because it will come from one or the other. :-)

        • Harold says:

          I’m afraid US history at least provides absolutely no support for your claim on a medium time frame (i.e. beyond brief flirtations). One only has to look at the people, groups and movements that have been purged from movement conservatism and/or the Republican party over 20th Century history. E.g. the John Birch Society and Ayn Rand.

          Not that the latter is at all an example of a fascist depending on your view of the primacy of religion in ordering society, just that on the other side it’s “No enemies to the left”; for on current example, look at the still respectable William Ayers, even after having a NYT article on September 11th, 2001, with a picture of him standing on a US flag. Imagine or even better please supply an example of any major figure on the Right, let alone the President of the US, having a close relationship with a “fascist” of similar nature.

          Or to bring this back around to the original topic, look at the welcome received by Holocaust deniers by the right vs. the still respectable deniers and defenders of Communist genocides like Noam Chomsky (who I regret to say is 3 of the 4 top Google results I get for “mit genocide denier”).

        • Harold says:

          One more example, once again using a President of the left as an example:

          How many active foreign agents (“spies”) have been protected by the right? The extreme counterexample here is Alger Hiss, who was revealed as an active agent of the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) by the capture of a Soviet courier.

          Truman’s solution to this “problem” was to move him out of the State Department to the presidency Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which I gather was an important institution back then (come to think of it the revelations a couple of years later might have fatally compromised them).

          • Andy B. says:

            First let me stipulate that I have no interest in arguing who was “worse,” and, that I regards the left (communists) and right (fascists) as two sides of of the same coin. Also, that to define “fascism” I am generally referring to the pure economic definition, i.e., “The means of production are privately owned but production is controlled by a partnership of business in collusion with the state.” I am not necessarily referring to the jackboot trappings that other countries found useful for expanding and maintaining fascism; I’m sure there are many forms of authoritarianism that can be used.

            Disclaimers out of the way, my thesis is that the modern left and right in the United States had their genesis with the sympathizers with communism and fascism, respectively, in the first half of the 20th Century, and that the constituency for actual “liberty” has always been vanishingly small. (That provides the leeway to include in it whoever you wish, that you can’t bring yourself to believe was One of Them.)

            Now, all that out of the way, if we are going to swap anecdotes, I’ll cite that the “patriotic” and very right-leaning American Legion was founded by American industrialists following WWI, for the purpose of providing a force of strikebreakers to be used in the labor disputes that were already underway, and would increase in the following decade, and they were used in that capacity in the 1920s; and the American Legion overtly advocated replacing the American system with a fascist system modeled on Italy’s. They more than once attempted to get Benito Mussolini to speak at their national convention. And, while the left apparently never attempted to organize an actual coup, such a coup was contemplated by the so-called “Business Plot” in the 1930s, that proposed to use former Marine General Smedley Butler as its military leader (of a veterans military force) and public face; but Butler blew the whistle on it. It was to be a fascist takeover by industrialists, but after exposure they necessarily retreated to standard fascist political propaganda tactics, which they have used ever since.

        • Rob Crawford says:

          The “right” carried water for the fascists? Then why did so many “Progressives” gush over Mussolini and Hitler?

          The fascists were always socialists — they were declared “right deviationists” by Stalin. If you want to take your political direction from Stalin you’re clearly free to do so; but you should realize what you reveal about yourself.

          • Harold says:

            The Nazi Party was specifically the NASDP, an abbreviation for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, in English the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

            Wikipedia claims: Nazism (German: Nationalsozialismus; English long form National Socialism).

            Compare to e.g. again from Wikipedia: The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International (1919–1943), was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919. The International intended to fight “by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State.”

            Many have remarked on how it took the Soviet Union almost 11 months before it formally dissolved the organization dedicated to destroying its WWII allies after it turned out that the Soviet Union had always been at war with Nazi Germany.

            • Andy B. says:

              The people who became the Nazis very deliberately added “socialist” to their title to provide a softening and distracting tone to what they were about; not unlike the way authoritarians of all camps will add “Freedom” or “Liberty” to their name and/or rhetoric. Some extracts:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party

              “The party was founded out of the far-right racist völkisch German nationalist movement and the violent anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture that fought against the uprisings of communist revolutionaries in post-World War I Germany.[6] Advocacy of a form of socialism by right-wing figures and movements in Germany became common during and after World War I, influencing Nazism.[7]

              “Arthur Moeller van den Bruck of the Conservative Revolutionary movement coined the term “Third Reich”[8], and advocated an ideology combining the nationalism of the right and the socialism of the left.[9] Prominent Conservative Revolutionary member Oswald Spengler’s conception of a “Prussian Socialism” influenced the Nazis.[10] The party was created as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism.[11] Initially, Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities, and in 1930s the party’s focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.[12]

              “According to Joseph Goebbels in an official explanation of Nazism, the synthesis of the words nationalism and socialism was to “counter the Internationalism of Marxism with the nationalism of a German Socialism”.[24]. . . Drexler made clear that unlike Marxists, the party supported middle-class citizens, and that the party’s socialist policy was meant to give social welfare to German citizens deemed part of the Aryan race.[27]

              I think all the people who apologize for one brand of authoritarianism over another reveal about themselves, is that they like Kool-Aid but favor it in one particular color.

  3. Oranje Mike says:

    Russell Means died yesterday. Some interesting people are passing.

    • Andy B. says:

      I wrote this for another [private] audience this morning, and vanity being what it is, I’m copying it over here:

      Friends:

      I met Russell Means back in the ’80s, and was quite impressed with him at the time. After I became more aware of him, I was a bit turned off by his showmanship, but that’s just me. I don’t like showmen, even though I recognize that reality often makes showmanship necessary.

      For those old enough to remember, there was a somewhat classic photo of an Indian brandishing a [real] AK-47 over his head at the 1973 (?) Wounded Knee uprising. That was Russell Means.

      I met him right after he came back from Nicaragua, where he alleged he had been wounded by Contra mortar fire. I remember his position was that the purpose of both the Sandanistas and [our/Reagan’s] Contras was to wipe out the indigenous Moskito Indians who were standing in the way of further development. Not much has been developed since, that I know of, so I’m not sure what I think about that.

      Anyway, he appealed to my Rebel Spirit. In my old age I have really swung to admiring more, people who have spent lifetimes putting their asses on the line doing more than writing Op/Eds and warming chairs at think tanks; and I will forgive them being wrong sometimes, or even being ideologically wrong all the time, as long as they had the balls to stand up and throw a bomb or two when they had nothing to gain from it in proportion to the risks.

      May you be wherever Lakotahs aspire to be after crossing over, Russell.

      • Rob Crawford says:

        I will forgive them being wrong sometimes, or even being ideologically wrong all the time, as long as they had the balls to stand up and throw a bomb or two when they had nothing to gain from it in proportion to the risks.

        Ugh.

        “They were wrong, but they were passionate murderers, so I admire them.”

        • Andy B. says:

          As compared to the people who propagandize others into doing their murdering for them, from the safety of a guarded office, while they lay claim to sainthood?

          Double Ugh.

  4. Kannan says:

    He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you ateohnr, than he whom you yourself have obliged.I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside.

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