Skip to main content

Why US, European millennials don’t know about Auschwitz and Holocaust

An investigation by the e-journal “Forward” has revealed that there are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and others during the Holocaust. “How many monuments honor fascists, Nazis and murderers of Jews? You’ll be shocked”, says the author of the writeup Lev Golinkin.
In a first-ever database of monuments to Nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators, the e-journal has listed 320 monuments and street names in 16 countries on three continents which represent men and organizations who’ve enabled -- and often quite literally implemented -- the Nazi genocide. 
Excerpts from the article:
***
The Nazi collaborators of Central and Eastern Europe weren’t as fastidious at keeping records as their Third Reich allies, which makes it difficult to arrive at a precise number of their victims. As a rough estimate, the Nazi collaborators honored with monuments on U.S. soil represent governments, death squads and paramilitaries that murdered a half million Jews, Poles and Bosnians.
Holocaust perpetrators is the correct term for these men and organizations, for they played an integral part in the Final Solution, arresting and deporting Jews to concentration camps or gunning them down in the forests and fields of Eastern Europe (one-third of all Holocaust victims were killed in what’s called the “Holocaust by bullets”).
Without collaborators like the ones who occupy pedestals across America, the Holocaust as we know it couldn’t have happened.
In downtown Manhattan, along Broadway’s “Canyon of Heroes,” are memorial plaques to Henri Philippe Pétain and Pierre Laval, the head and prime minister of France’s collaborationist Vichy government which hunted down and deported 67,000 Jews to the concentration camps. In addition to his Broadway plaque, Pétain is honored with 11 streets in the U.S. France has gotten rid of its Pétain streets, but the ones in America remain.
Petain, at least, was a WWI hero before turning traitor. The same cannot be said for some of the other honorees with statues in America. Here’s a sampling of other honorees in the U.S.:

Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, who have busts in upstate New York and Wisconsin. Bandera headed a faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, which allied itself with the Nazis and whose members eagerly participated in the Holocaust. Shukhevych, another Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists figure, was a leader in a Third Reich auxiliary battalion that carried out lethal antisemitic operations in service of the Nazis. Later, Shukhevych commanded the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which massacred thousands of Jews and 70,000 to 100,000 Polish civilians. There are additional Ukrainian nationalist busts in New York and Ohio.
  • Andrey Vlasov, the Soviet general who went over to the Nazis and raised an army of over 100,000 men for the Third Reich, has a memorial just outside New York.
  • Dragoljub Mihailović, who led the Serbian Chetnik paramilitary that fought with Nazi Germany and carried out ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims, has statues in Cleveland, Milwaukee and two Chicago suburbs.
  • Chicago also has a memorial to Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, who commanded a unit of the Lithuanian Activist Front, a Nazi-allied organization whose members slaughtered Jews across Lithuania in the summer of 1941.
Even more worrying than the sheer number is the overall trend. The vast majority of these statues were erected in the past 20 years. Recent studies point to the staggering spread of Holocaust ignorance: two-thirds of U.S. millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is, while a third of Europeans know little to nothing about the Holocaust. The growth of statues to perpetrators, however, evinces a far deeper problem. The Holocaust isn’t just being forgotten, it’s being perverted via historical revisionism that is turning butchers into heroes.
The biggest reason to pay attention to this disturbing pattern is that these monuments signal not only an attack on Holocaust memory but the presence of organized white supremacy that is focused on far more than history.
In 2017, America was shocked to see neo-Nazis with torches march in the defense of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Charlottesville. But the marchers didn’t chant about Robert E. Lee -- they chanted “Jews will not replace us,” a chief tenet of the white genocide theory that motivated the Pittsburgh synagogue and El Paso terrorist attacks. The white supremacists rallied around a 19th century general, but their minds and actions were focused on the present, with deadly results.
The same is happening across the Atlantic, only to a greater degree. Wherever you see statues of Nazi collaborators, you’ll also find thousands of torch-carrying men, rallying, organizing, drawing inspiration for action by celebrating collaborators of the past.
You’ll see it in Viktor Orban’s Hungary, where far-right figures use elaborate ceremonies anchored to WWII anniversaries to draw neo-Nazis across Europe; Ukraine, where the rehabilitators of Bandera work to turn the country into a hub of transnational white supremacy; Croatia, where men carrying WWII fascist symbols marched in support of Donald Trump; and France, where the far-right Marine LePen rallies supporters by insisting that France has no responsibility for the Holocaust. You’ll see it in a dozen other nations as well.
The monuments and the figures they honor stand at a crossroads of fascism and neo-fascism, the losers of WWII and today’s white supremacists who believe they’re on the brink of a global race war. It’s impossible to understand one without understanding the other, which is why tracking the growth of Nazi collaborator monuments is so crucial. These statues don’t just disparage the dead; they warn the living.

Comments

TRENDING

Sengol imbroglio suggests reason why Modi, BJP don't respect modern Indian history

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The new parliament building opened on February 28. It looks it is not the Parliament but part of #Pratinidhisabhas ' started by earstwhile #princelystates in India. The #BJP for long has been acting as if India is a #Kingdom and Modi ji the new #King of India. Even at the coronations of Kings, you find a large number of people, and dignitaries but look at the opening ceremony we have only one face as if he build everything. Is it the dream of a republic.

Cave of Spleen - a feminist perspective: Status of women in early 18th century England

The Cave of Spleen: Aubrey Beardsley's illustration for Pope's “The Rape of the Lock” By Pragya Ranjan  "The Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope published in 1712 is a mock-heroic narrative which satirically glorifies trivial incident of cutting of locks of protagonist Belinda. This poem was written in the Augustan Era (1660-1784) which is marked by the period of scientific reason and rationality, whose effect can be seen on the writers of those times. This timeline is particularly important to analyse the episode of the Cave of Spleen.

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Release of dabang neta: Rule of law can't be allowed to be slave to political rhetoric

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  When we look to politicians for solutions and politics as the 'final solution' for every evil then we are disappointed most of the time. In politics, we knowingly or unknowingly become part of the propaganda tool of the ruling elite which exists everywhere across different castes. We often provide issues and talk about them in binaries which suit our elites. The minorities among the marginalised who have no political space and representation rarely get heard by these majoritarian parties whose agenda remain power communities. Every political party in today's time is following the 'successful' formula of 'democracy' which is keeping the 'powerful' 'jaatis' with them leaving aside the marginalised one. The BJP started this but yes they cobbled together all other communities too through a diverse narrative.

Discussion on making school education meaningful to vulnerable communities

ActionAid note on workshop to boost National Curriculum Framework operations: *** Leading educationists and activists striving to make education meaningful to vulnerable communities gathered in Delhi to discuss the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE). Acting in response to the call of the NCF Steering Committee appointed by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, ActionAid Association had organised the meeting to gather feedback on the draft NCFSE. This is part of ActionAid Association’s commitment to promote inclusive and gender-responsive education. The two-day national workshop titled ‘NCF Perspectives: Seeking Feedback on National Curriculum Framework (NCF)’ on May 30 and 31, 2023, was held at India International Centre, New Delhi. The workshop aimed to ensure a structured approach to gathering feedback from key stakeholders and enhancing their active participation in shaping the response sought by the Government of India. Stakeholders representing e

Why are 17 Indian cos, including Sterlite, blacklisted by Norway bank

By Venkatesh Nayak* Readers may recall the gory incidents that took place at Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) in Tamil Nadu in the southern part of India on 22 May, 2018. Thirteen protesters died on the spot when the police opened fire to disperse an assemblage of thousands of local residents and representatives of civil society groups. They were protesting against the adverse environmental impact of the industrial operations of Sterlite Copper which runs a copper smelter plant in the area. Accusations against the company have ranged from polluting local water resources to plans for expanding the installed capacity of the plant without the necessary environmental clearances. A ground report published in The Wire recently, mentions the decision taken by Norges Bank a few years ago to not invest funds from Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) in Sterlite “due to an unacceptable risk of complicity in current and future severe environmental damage and systematic human rights violations

J&K RTI activist denied opportunity to address audience, bring forward critical issues

Statement by Er. Irfan Banka, Founder of J&K RTI Foundation and convener of the Nalae Ferozpora Bachav Movement, regarding the incident of official misconduct during the My Town My Pride Jan Abhiyan Program and communication to Raj Bhavan: *** Er. Irfan Banka, a prominent RTI Activist and advocate, has come forward to address an incident of misconduct that occurred during the My Town My Pride Jan Abhiyan Program held at Mugam Town Hall in  Budgam. Additionally, Er. Irfan Banka has communicated the matter to Raj Bhavan, seeking appropriate action. During the event, Er. Irfan Banka was denied the opportunity to address the audience and bring forward critical issues concerning the people and services in the community, including waste management, traffic management, and the achievement of sustainable development goals. The incident involved the Additional Registrar Co-operative Kashmir, who not only prevented Er. Irfan Banka from speaking but also subjected him to public humiliation. E

Danger ahead: Smartphones making teens sexually smart, but mentally disturbed

By Harasankar Adhikari  We live in a digitally globalised society. Bombarded consumerism and imitation of foreign cultures and practises reshape our everyday lives. Life choices and lifestyles are the driving forces of modernity at present. People of almost all ages are within this realm and rhythm of consumerism for happiness.

Big challenge for environment movement: How to link with justice, peace movements?

By Bharat Dogra  The biggest hope for resolving life-threatening environmental problems of our planet increasingly rests now not with the world-level political leadership, which has failed miserably in many critical contexts, but instead with those highly committed environmental activists who have many significant achievements to their credit despite working in the middle of many difficulties. Alas, even they too are often grim today instead of being enthused because of the rather overwhelming conditions of world which force environment protection to go two steps backward even when the activists and movements achieve the difficult task of moving one step ahead.

Worship practice of Hindu religion in official functions should be considered appropriate

By NS Venkataraman* The new Indian parliament building was inaugurated with much fanfare, pomp and show by Prime Minister Modi befitting the occasion. While the magnificent building with several technological features was built in just over two years , the style and structure of the building has been acclaimed by millions of people who saw the inaugural programme. Those who saw this programme in person or in visual media could not miss the fact that the installation of Sengol ( Sceptre) was the hall mark of this elegant programme . In India, historically, Sengol is considered to be the symbol of justice and good governance.