[OPE-L] Roman Rosdolsky on the Holocaust, from his own experience

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sat Dec 16 2006 - 06:24:43 EST


I do not know the answer - the most detailed information about Roman
Rosdolsky is in the Science & Society article, to which I refer in the
wikipedia article, but my memory fails me at this point. I thought there
should at least be something on Rosdolsky in the wikipedia, but aim to
improve the article in future.

Over the years, I read many accounts of people who survived the death camps
and they survived for all sorts of reasons - luck or fluke of fate, cunning,
accident, ability and so on. The German wardens did not always follow formal
bureaucratic procedures either, they might have taken a liking to particular
prisoners, and so on. A very small incident, whim, or arbitrary event, might
have been decisive in determining whether you stayed alive or died.

I thought I might post this reminiscence, given the Holocaust-denial
conference in Iran. I obviously don't think Mahmood Ahmadinezhad does his
politics and country any good with this exercise. An honest scientific
conference would at least discuss all sides of the issue. A number of
Iranian students protested against this conference.

The real question is whether the experience of the lengthy persecution and
discrimination of the Jewish people in history, culminating in the
Holocaust, can justify the oppression of the Palestinian people by the
Israeli state, and if you believe, as Karl Marx did, that no people ("Volk")
can be truly free and emancipate itself if it oppresses another people, then
it doesn't.

In my own experience of Jewish people, actually they don't usually like
violent aggression or glory in it, far from it - but if they do use force to
assert themselves and establish a limit, they often hit at the wrong thing,
and that makes things worse, not better.

The recent focus on "the right of Israel to exist" is in my opinion
pathetic, a non-issue. It already exists, armed to the teeth. Mussa Abu
Marzuk, second-in-command of Hamas's political wing, made quite an
interesting comment in this regard recently: "It was not asked from the two
Germanys to recognise each other, while the whole world recognised them. Why
should Palestine, which is not yet a state, [be required to] recognise

If e.g. I make all sorts of "demands" that other people properly recognise
me and my status, that is bad character or middleclass status anxiety. I
make people recognise me and my status, by doing the things that inspire
recognition and respect for what I am. Humanly, recognition from others is
not something that you can "command" or force, you have to earn it by your

The Middle-East policy of the Bush administration has been a disaster, it
has made everything so much worse. The neoconservatives are hypocrites I
think. They claim they are in favour of religious freedom, but meanwhile
they've stirred up a wave of religious hatred and fanaticism. The "war
against terror" has produced more terrorists than there were before. And
ironically, the position of the US in the Middle-East has worsened, rather
than strengthened. Let's hope the recent Democratic victories in the Federal
government will generate some new policy concepts. They're badly needed.


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