Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment
kleinbl00  ·  933 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: April 23rd: What are you reading this week?

Right - so let's go ahead and take this b_b-supplied argument as the central thesis:

    statehood matters, citizenship matters, and that not even the Nazis could transcend that fact.

The "history" portion of the book stops once the Soviet Union repelled the Nazis. This is the point where Snyder argues the Nazis doubled down on the death camps, switching from shooting people in ditches to gassing and burning them in ovens. He makes much of the fact that all of the death camps were in Poland, not Germany. But he skates over Action T-4, other than to point out that the methods of the death camps were taken from them, without noting that the Nazis started forced euthanasia of tens of thousands of German citizens in

- Saxony

- Brandenburg

- Bavaria

- Hesse

- Austria

He also skates right the fuck over the fact that half again as many Soviet POWs died in the death camps, and these were guys who were fully under the protection of the Geneva Convention and under the flag of the very people that, according to Snyder, Hitler felt were the genetic superiors of the Germans.

He plays a few games by pointing out that Danish jews that stayed in Denmark were less likely to die in the Holocaust than Danish jews that were exported to the death camps, but he says this has nothing to do with the Danish people and everything to do with "state protection". He argues that the Germans "let" the Danes export their Jews to Sweden, rather than observing that the Russians had been annihilated on the Eastern Front, were forced out of Africa, were experiencing heavy bombing by the US, were knee-deep in the Warsaw uprising and were losing Italy to Patton. The Nazis weren't in a position to "let" anything happen at that point.

What's really galling is that Snyder points out that the doubling-down in the extermination camps didn't happen until the Eastern Front had been lost, making defeat an inevitability. Yet he uses the argument that since Denmark retained sovereignty, Danish jews were safe without acknowledging how truly fucked anybody Soviet was.

Because the death camps, to Snyder, are uninteresting. And don't prove his point.

So he ignores them.