CJS201H Lecture Feb 26.docx

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Center for Jewish Studies
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CJS201H Lecture Feb 26/2014 Why Neighbors Kill Neighbors: Anti­Jewish Pogroms as Prelude to the Holocaust  Holocaust occurred because • Loss of the war • Economic depression • Political radicalization • The Jews as a scapegoat • But really we don’t actually know why it happened What came out of the holocaust? • Political refugees • Human rights • Understanding and explanation of Holocaust is that it could only have occurred  in modernity  • Scale and rapidity of the way this occurred is unprecedented • Hitler was a “desk murderer” o This can only happen in modernity o Hitler was a bureaucrat o Jews were shipped off using travel agencies o When they got there they arrived at factories, and these factories  produced corpses   Died in a modern fashion  Auschwitz was killing 10,000 people a day   Very few people actually did the murdering  They had them murdering each other  The internal portions of the camp were ran by the head jews ran  the camps and they killed other jews  • With German guards  This association with modernity is that you can kill with  modernity  • This was the dark side to modernity  • Modernity is impersonal but what is impersonal can kill  you  o Auschwitz came with modernity  o Rather than freedom, dead was the end point of modernity  o Hanna Arrent  o Majority of killing did not take place in concentration camps, it was  rather close up and more personal   In many cases the people who killed them were their neighbors  • Half the town killed the other half of the town • June­July 1941 o Operation Barbarossa o Germans who had previously occupied half of Poland, with the soviets  occupying the other half  o Hitler had 3million men there, thousands of tanks, 400000 horses, a huge  invasion o Germans roll through very quickly  o In approximately 300 out of 3000 cities and towns the locals violently  turned against the Jewish population: pogroms  o Pogroms= loud noise, thunder, applied to local ethnic riots all the way  back to the 19  century  • Lviv/Lvov/Lemberg July 1941 • Iasi June 28. 1941 • Garage Massacre in Kowno June, 27, 1941 • Observations o Intimacy: small cities, victims often knew perpetrators by name, by social  function o They knew the people who wouldn’t help by name o Different ethnic mixes in different regions o What is a pogrom? How do we know? o Narration of pogrom: Szczuczyn (Poland)  Half Jewish town near boarder of Lithuania   Nazis move through quickly and leave 2­3 soldiers behind  Tell the locals to do whatever they want   Locals appear to organize themselves very quickly  Panned out on three main st
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