The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/program.06

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: The Chain of Victimization
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA
Keywords: stripping

Archive/File: places/germany/program.06
Last-Modified: 1994/06/02

I could not help but consider, while reading the following selection from
Helen Fein's "Accounting for Genocide", of how vociferously those who deny 
the Holocaust reject the existence of any cohesive Nazi plan to
exterminate the Jews. I recommend Fein's work to anyone with a serious
interest in the topic.


"In previous attempts to understand the extensiveness of Jewish
victimization, much attention has been paid to what happened to Jews who
became victims rather than to _how_ they became victims. Hilberg analyzed
the process first: from `definition' (including registration) to
`expropriation' to `concentration' (usually equated with ghettoization)
prior to deportation. <8> I believe it is useful to label the second stage
`stripping' to denote its function: this included stripping Jews of social
roles, rights, and claims for respect within society as well as stripping
them of material goods and legal rights. Hilberg failed to observe that
concentration included two functions that inherently coincided with
ghettoization but might preface it: segregation and isolation. Segregation
ordinances banning Jews from mingling with non-Jews, communicating with
them, and moving outside a prescribed radius were enforceable only if the
stigmata of the yellow star could be successfully enforced. Therefore,
states are classified [in Fein's research. knm] as unsegregated when the
star was not introduced or its use was not extended, with the order
withdrawn or widespread nonobservance reported. Although the star insignia
was designed both to enable the police to catch Jews and to induce others
to shun them, responses to wearers of the yellow star varied widely. ...
The responses to, and the ultimate consequences of, stigmatization were not
anticipated by many Jews when these orders were first promulgated. In some
states, the star marked the victims whom many citizens had already shown
they were eager to exploit; in others, it aroused awe of and detachment
from the wearers; and in other states, it prompted ridicule. The generality
of nonobservance was corroborated by German reports of officials' refusal
to enforce star wearing and to punish Jews' nonconformity. In virtually all
cases, only if segregation succeeded could isolation be introduced by
requiring Jews to reside in designated dwellings, whether clustered or

Adolf Eichmann commented on the yellow stars ("Life" 28 Nov. 1960), making
the Nazi plan quite clear: 

"It may have been the Propaganda Ministry that first thought up the idea of
forcing all Jews to wear a yellow star on their clothing...  The marking
was intended to hinder any ...  assistance to Jews who were being harassed.
We wanted Germans to feel embarrassed, to feel afraid of having any contact
with Jews."

<8> Raul Hilberg, "The Destruction of the European Jews" 
    (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1967), 31-39

Excerpted from-------------------------------------------------------
"Accounting for Genocide: Victims - and Survivors - of the Holocaust"
Helen Fein, Ph.D. (New York: Free Press, 1979)

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