It’s just really tiring that I continually see posts that claim that Europeans were unaware of the Holocaust and showimages of SS members or Nazis looking regretful about their actions, claiming that it wasn’t till after the war ended that people were even aware of the Holocaust.
It isn’t always Holocaust revisionism - some of it is ignorance - but it certainly stinks of it.
The real truth is that the German civilians were fully aware of the Holocaust. And the vast majority of Germans at the time were more than content
While some German Gentiles who fought back and opposed the genocide of Jews, Rromani and other peoples? Yes. Thousands. But the hyperfocus on the “righteous Gentile” by white Europeans today is very much people trying to assuage their guilt.
The fact is that the Holocaust was not a coincidence. It happened because Europeans hated Jews and Rroma. They hated us long before Hitler, and they hate us still today.
The very term “antisemitism” had been developed by German scientists in the late nineteenth century to highlight that Jews did not come from Europe and racialize us as a type of invasive foreign body. The hatred of Jews was long established and the norm for millenias. We were less than human. It didn’t take much for the “average” German to be alright with genocide against peoples they had always seen as subhuman.
The streets of Berlin were littered with anti-Jew propaganda, blaming us for Germany’s economic downturn. Before we were sent to die, the Germans took our property - with little guilt, because well, everyone knows Jews only would be successful because of how greedy we were. Get rid of the non-Aryans, the German people were promised, and Germany will rise again.
And the vast majority of Germans were fine with our deaths, celebrated the idea that Germany would soon be free of the
There were over 425,000 ghettos and camps controlled by the Nazis during the Holocaust. They knew. They knew about our deaths, they knew about the 500 sites were women were forced into sexual slavery, they knew about the slave-labor camps. To pretend otherwise is lying.
It wasn’t even the Axis countries that were aware of the Holocaust and didn’t care. When people can think of only Nazism as antisemitism, it often is used to forget the atrocities committed against us. People frame the Shoah as the one bad thing that happened to Jews in order to forget thousands of years of killing, forced expulsion, forced conversions and sexual violence.
More to the point: when we talk about the Allied powers innocence and ignorance of the Shoah, you’re just wrong.
America, Cuba and Canada literally turned away almost a thousand of fleeing German Jews in one boat. More than a quarter of the rejected Jews would die in the Shoah.
The death camps were known to the American and British government years prior to the war ending. Even before the fact that one third of the world’s Jewry had been murdered, there was knowledge that many Jew and Roma were dying and that the Third Reich was making the extermination of Jews a priority.
So when I see people talking, falsely, about how just shocked Europeans were about what their governments had done, it hurts! It hurts that assuaging your guilt is more important than facing the truth about what happened! It hurts that Holocaust survivors I know who say “The Hungarians were worse to us than the Nazis” are somehow lying about their experience.
Do not pretend that people spread false images about how sad the majority of the Nazi Germany was after the war ended in order to assuage your guilt. It becomes obvious that what people are thinking, what they’re really thinking is - well, if I was there, I wouldn’t have done it. If I was there, I wouldn’t have known, really.