17 2 mins 10 yrs

When I was eleven years old, I read a particular book. The title was The Scourge of the Swastika. It was a collation of photographs and descriptions of the works of Nazi Germany with specific regard to the Death Camps. The names of the locations spilled out across the pages, with Auschwitz, Belsen, Sobibor, Treblinka, Chełmno, and all the other camps where industrialised death was invented and perfected. These places where Man’s very humanity had been forgotten have entered the history books of the world, the very name instantly transports our minds to a place where the members of one Nation decided to exterminate many more of their own Nation, as well as millions of others, based on the simple selection process of determining their religion, or sexual orientation, or politics.

So how come Wayne Rooney, along with his team-mates of the English team, suddenly discovers in 2012 that there was such a thing as the Final Solution?

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17 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. So how come Wayne Rooney, along with his team-mates of the English team, suddenly discovers in 2012 that there was such a thing as the Final Solution?

    There’s no indication from the article that they have “suddenly” discovered it.

  2. //So how come Wayne Rooney, along with his team-mates of the English team, suddenly discovers in 2012 that there was such a thing as the Final Solution//

    For God’s sake, more-shocked-than-thou Mike.
    Nobody said anywhere that Rooney didn’t know about the Holocaust.
    He said he had learned about it in school and from general media, but that it only really hit home when he saw the evidence close up – i.e. the same as most normal people.

    BTW, many younger people may not be aware that the Holocaust did not always occupy the central position in the history of WWII that it does today.

  3. He didn’t discover it but is reflecting on it with greater attention having visited the camp. You took a strange take on this Mike.

  4. “Euro 2012: England humbled by Auschwitz pain and misery as Wayne Rooney vows it will never be forgotten”

    Well that’s me convinced.

    If Wayne Rooney won’t forget then neither will I.

  5. The European Championships are taking place in Poland and Ukraine. In Poland are located many of the concentration camps established by nazi Germany, and the most notorious, Auschwitz, has been visited by many or even all of the teams participating.

    In Ukraine, millions of peasants were starved to death in Ukraine in 1932-33 but I hear no mention of this genocidal policy, nor of any visits to memorials to the victims. Could it be because the Chosen People were victims of 1942-45 but perpetrators in 1932-33?

  6. “…the myth of the Ukrainian famine…”


    A particularly relevant parallel to the Nazi holocaust is the Ukrainian holodomor of 1932-33, a state-created famine—not a crop failure—that killed an estimated five million people in the Ukraine, one million in the Caucasus, and one million elsewhere after the Soviet state confiscated the harvest at gunpoint. Throughout the famine, the state continued to export grain to pay for industrialization. See Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow (Oxford University Press, 1987). Norman Davies gives the following description in Europe: A History, p. 965 (Oxford University Press, 1996). His first paragraph assembles quotations from Conquest; the bracketed phrase is his own:

    “A quarter of the rural population, men, women and children, lay dead or dying” in “a great stretch of territory with some forty million inhabitants,” “like one vast Belsen.” “The rest, in various stages of debilitation,” “had no strength to bury their families or neighbours.” “[As at Belsen] well-fed squads of police or party officials supervised the victims.”

    . . . All food stocks were forcibly requisitioned; a military cordon prevented all supplies from entering; and the people were left to die. The aim was to kill Ukrainian nationhood, and with it the “class enemy.” The death toll reached some 7 million. The world has seen many terrible famines. . . . But a famine organized as a genocidal act of state policy must be considered unique.

    See also Oksana Procyk, Leonid Heretz and James E. Mace, Famine in the Soviet Ukraine, 1932-33 (Harvard University Press, 1986); Nicolas Werth, “The Great Famine,” in Stephane Courtois, et al., The Black Book of Communism, pp. 159-68 (Harvard University Press, 1999); Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin, pp. 257-59 (1996); Miron Dolot, Execution by Hunger (1985); Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, pp. 84-85 (2003); and the Commission on the Ukrainian Famine, Report to Congress (1988). That report, at pp. 6-7, cites estimates of the number killed that range as high as 8 million in the Ukraine and 9 million overall.

    Piers Brendon, The Dark Valley, pp. 248-49 (2000) gives this description, drawn from still further sources, all cited in his notes:

    A population of “walking corpses” . . . even ate horse-manure for the whole grains of seed it contained. . . . Cannibalism became so common-place that. . . local authorities issued hundreds of posters announcing that “EATING DEAD CHILDREN IS BARBARISM.”. . .

    They staggered into towns and collapsed in the squares. . . . Haunting the railway stations these “swollen human shadows, full of rubbish, alive with lice,” followed passengers with mute appeals. . . . [They] “dragged themselves along, begging for bread or searching for scraps in garbage heaps, frozen and filthy. Each morning wagons rolled along the streets picking up the remains of the dead.” Some were picked up before they died and buried in pits so extensive that they resembled sand dunes and so shallow that bodies were dug up and devoured by wolves.

    Boris Pasternak says “what I saw could not be expressed in words. . . . There was such inhuman, unimaginable misery, such a terrible disaster, that it began to seem almost abstract, it would not fit within the bounds of consciousness.” See Brian Moynahan, The Russian Century, p. 130 (1994). Nikita Khrushchev, in Khrushchev Remembers: The Final Testament, p. 120 (1976), says “I can’t give an exact figure because no one was keeping count. All we knew was that people were dying in enormous numbers.”

    But the man who was there for the new york Times ‘debunked ‘ it all?

    In September 1933, Duranty—who cultivated his relationship with Stalin, and is remembered today for his public denials that any such thing was happening—privately told fellow journalists Eugene Lyons (United Press) and Anne O’Hare McCormick (herself from the New York Times) that the death toll was 7 million, but that the dead were “only Russians.” (Sic: mostly Ukrainians; and note the word “only.”) See Lyons, Assignment in Utopia, pp. 579-80 (1937). Duranty’s number is described in Lyons’s book only as “the most startling I had. . . heard,” but is revealed in Lyons’s “Memo for Malcolm Muggeridge” (Dec. 9, 1937), quoted by Marco Carynnyk in “The New York Times and the Great Famine, Part III,” available online. –

    Ross – you really should stop being so lazy, and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt about your intelligence, for the moment.

  7. Ross jests.

    The famine was minimized by USSR symp Walter Duranty of the NY Times back in those dark days. This was dishonest journalism at its lowest.

    A couple of decades later, the same paper dishonored itself by glowing reports of the ” democrat ” and ” non communist ” Fidel Castro.

  8. Ross – you really should stop being so lazy, and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt about your intelligence, for the moment.

    Well that’s nice of you, but just for the benefit of anyone who didn’t spot it, approvingly citing the New York Times’s whitewashing of the Ukrainian famine is heavy sarcasm.

  9. This history was not taught in my schools. It certainly is not taught in US and European schools generally now.

    Which is why you get otherwise intelligent Europeans ( mostly ) who think that Communism is somehow romantic, somehow better than other systems. The Americans would basically know nothing about world history at all.

  10. Phantom – it isn’t taught in Europe either. The question which I’m asking is why there are no visits to Holodomor (the great starvation) memorials in Ukraine of which there are several?

  11. We do not often agree, but tonight we do.

    If I go to Ukraine some day, I will visit a memorial.

    Point taken.

  12. yet Alan views the US as a worst threat or at least equal of a threat as the Communists, and a Country that has just been placed in the hands of a man quite capable of repeating these acts.

  13. Troll – Putin is no Stalin and is a Russian through-and-through. But as for the ‘Communists’ who straved millions to death in Ukraine, who exactly were the and why do we not hear of this egregious deed of mass murder which was perpetrated by ‘communists’? Surely it would have been highlighted in the US as an example of the barbarism od the US’s enemy of 1945-90?

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