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Talk:The Holocaust/Archive 1

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Is it possible to have an article called The Holocaust to refer to the primary reference for this word? Or are definite articles dispreferred? John Stephenson 23:38, 12 July 2007 (CDT)

Apparently the previous question has been answered by the creation of the page "World War II, Holocaust" (at least temporarily, although discussion continues on that article's talk page). However, in the category of Religion, we may eventually have a page on the original meaning of "holocaust," attested by the OED as early as the 13th century, i.e., burnt offerings. So perhaps this page should be renamed something like "Holocaust (genocide)", with a new page entitled "Holocaust (offering)" or "Holocaust (religion)", and a disambig page for "Holocaust"? Bruce M.Tindall 12:51, 8 September 2008 (CDT)

I think we should move World War II, Holocaust here, or possibly to The Holocaust. Whether we use the definite article (which might be OK in this sort of case) depends on whether, as Denis Cavanagh was saying here, there really have been other holocausts, which are so called, that necessitate a general article. I leave that issue of fact and usage to people who know more about history than me. The term is currently defined in this article in a way that makes it coextensive with "genocide." If that's a legit topic we might otherwise pursue under the general title "holocaust," we could develop the info at genocide, perhaps. Er, discuss.  :-) --Larry Sanger 04:35, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Moved from World War II, Holocaust talk page


Page move suggestion

"World War II, Holocaust" seems like a poor title for this article - really, the only title that seems sensible is "Holocaust". It's the most fitting title, and "World War II, Holocaust" is a difficult title, since the Holocaust's origins happened before World War II started in 1939 but the Nuremberg laws being passed in 1935 and the Kristillnacht happening in 1938. If World War II had not have happened - if Germany had not invaded Poland and if Britain and America didn't attack Germany, the Holocaust would most likely still have gone on. Anyone got any objections to redirecting World War II, Holocaust to Holocaust as a preface to significantly building the article out. --Tom Morris 09:59, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

I disagree with Tom's analysis and recommendations. If if if, is not how way historians think. It is a major part of ww2 the way it actually happened and the way the historians actually write about it. Richard Jensen 17:07, 1 May 2008 (CDT)
I agree with Richard. The 'final solution' began during the war itself. Besides, there have been other holocausts in history and all of those need to be covered.
On another point, should a seperate article be written for the homosexuals, political dissidents and gypsies who died in these camps? Denis Cavanagh 10:47, 5 May 2008 (CDT)

Still not happy about this page being here, rather than at Holocaust. We can show the relationships of subjects using the Related Articles subpage, not the title. "World War II, Holocaust" is still a silly title, and I can't see any good reason not to have it at Holocaust. --Tom Morris 05:19, 1 July 2008 (CDT)

anyone else want to comment?? Richard Jensen 19:03, 1 July 2008 (CDT)

I would like to ask that we finally move this stupidly titled article over to Holocaust. –Tom Morris 16:09, 19 September 2008 (CDT)

Can a Constable or someone please move this over to Holocaust and save us from the plague of the commas? --Tom Morris 17:00, 5 October 2008 (CDT)

As Richard is gone, I suggest we move the article as Tom suggests. Richard had idiosyncratic notions about page naming, that almost no one else on CZ followed. We humored him because he was a prolific and high-quality contributor. Please move this yourself, if you want, Tom! --Larry Sanger 04:27, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

P.S. note the "Move Cluster" link in the subpages template, on this talk page, above. --Larry Sanger 04:29, 10 November 2008 (UTC)



Cluster move doesn't work here because there is an existing article, so I've merged the content from World War II, Holocaust into the sanely-named Holocaust article, redirected the main article page and talk page and marked the old metadata template page for speedy deletion. I've also taken the discussion contained in the old talk page and moved it here. Silly article names begone! Now it might be time to actually work on the article, slot references in and the like. --Tom Morris 00:33, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Hey Chris! Looks like we crossed edits. Great minds think alike and all that. —Tom Morris 00:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I tried to save the history of the longer article. Neither was long but the WWII version had more significant content. Chris Day 00:38, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Almost, not quite

This should be at The Holocaust.

Holocausts there have been a-plenty, to our eternal shame, but only one we refer to as The Holocaust--this one. Can't believe naming this was ever an issue. Aleta Curry 04:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

General review

Aside from pure copy editing, the overall article needs much work, starting with an appropriate introduction, which is not the section headed "origins". I simply hadn't looked at this article in the past, perhaps because the commas made it elusive, but I've never seen this set of stage used elsewhere. They seem a rather jumbled mixture of the rise to power of the Nazis, nonspecific narrative about hatred, and yet missing important aspects of the persecutions.

For example, the early propaganda and scapegoat development, in Hitler's speeches and in Mein Kampf, the Sturmabteilung (SA) activities under Ernst Rohm, Julius Streicher's Der Sturmer, Alfred Rosenberg's Der Mythus des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts (the Myth of the Twentieth Century), etc., are all missing. To understand Hitler's idea of a racial enemy, one must have some idea of his idealized racial, mythic, and social theories. I'm too tired to do the racial theorists like Chamberlain off the top of my head, much less Hegel.

There's only vague mention of the T4 Euthanasia Program; there are multiple views as whether that was a training ground for large-scale killing.

There's nothing on the linkage between Jews and Communists as an all-encompassing enemy. Kristallnacht was the culmination of economic persecution as well; it was far more than an attack on synagogues. The very name is a metaphor for the broken "crystal" shop windows of Jewish stores.

Jumping forward, the leadership description is very incomplete. For example, the concentration camps were under the WVHA, or Reich Main Economic Administration under Oswald Pohl; until, and even after the Wannsee Conference, there was an internal struggle between the economic exploitation in Pohl's view, versus the security and killing under the RSHA of Heydrich, and then Ernst Kaltenbrunner.

Himmler was indeed the manager of the Final Solution, but the verbal orders from Hitler probably came to him from Hermann Goering and possibly Josef Goebbels. Adolf Eichmann was indeed an important middle manager, but Christian Wirths, Odilo Globocnik, and others had key roles.

The "bystanders" situation is complex; I do have material on what Western intelligence had as raw material, actually believed, and what decisions were made, both before and after 1939. There's some retrospective material in U.S. intelligence involvement with World War II Nazi war criminals. Howard C. Berkowitz 07:47, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Fresh thoughts in the morning

Somewhat better rested and hopefully less irritable that when I made the comments above, and went off to do some related articles both for this article and National Socialism, an article that I will argue is incorrectly titled. Since I make the assumption that articles link to further detail, I also believe that there need to be separate articles (titles TBD) for National Socialism, the Nazi Party, and both pre-Nazi/Weimar and Nazi Germany. Having them mushed together hides a lot of significant material; the material doesn't have to be at the top of the hierarchy, but the existing redirects leave little place for things that I think are necessary for understanding.

In the light of day, I'd like to make some proposals. First, I'm not sure simple editing of those two articles will clean up the flow, or bring in some widely accepted source material while removing things that I can't even call original research -- personal opinion at best.

So, I'd like to create two (at least) four new primary clusters. Shall we call them The Holocaust (Edit 1), National socialism (edit 1), NDSAP (edit 1) and Nazi Germany (Edit 1)? Consider, for example, that the massive deaths among Soviet POWs is not usually considered part of the Holocaust, but certainly was policy of Nazi Germany? While the war against the Jews must never be forgotten, let us also not forget the millions who died for other Nazi reasons.

My proposal would be that I put most writing effort into Related Articles pages, some of which will point to Related Articles for subtopics. This is not a topic I would seriously expect to cover on my own, so it doesn't make sense to do this unless there's some informal agreement that there will be collaboration.

A lower- and upper-case editor question here. Preface: I'm going to assume that this is sufficiently Military as well as History such that I can give certain observations as a Military subject matter expert. This happens to be an area where, at least in part, I have done substantial research and a certain amount of non-general-public, but not classified, writing for military organizations. If desired, I'll make a disclosure statement of some general personal/professional views that should be known to reviewers. Now, moving to the question ttself, naming is a significant challenge here.

In dealing with organizations under Hitler, first, there may be one or more official German names and sets of initials for it. Some of the initials, such as SS, may be familiar. The German names may, such as Schutzstaffel, may not be as familiar, and a direct translation also may not help. There are also informal English names (e.g., "Blackshirts") that may be familiar to some.

Also, Hitler, even more than Stalin, put Party, State, and Military organizations into deliberate bureaucratic conflict, so only he and very selected intimates had final control. In particular, a good many responsible authors consider the SS a "state within a state", and it is impossible to understand Nazi operations without having an idea of the role, structure and motivations of the SS. It is quite important to know the conflict (and cooperation) between the SS and the regular military. It is also essential to recognize that the reporting lines can seem bizarre.

My usual writing style here is top-down. That works when a topic is inherently structured. The Third Reich really was not, in any particularly rational sense of efficiency; perhaps that was just as well. There is substantial evidence, for example, that the Allies assassinated Heydrich because he was efficient, but deliberately did not try to kill Hitler himself because once an actual war started, he was a hindrance rather than a help to military decisionmaking.

For example, the SS, at the highest level, was a Party organization. Skipping some reorganizations, there came under it the Reich Main Security Administration (German abbreviation RSHA). Under the RSHA were a number of organizations such as the Gestapo, which was a national/state organization that actually started out as a Prussian, not German, office. Under the RSHA was the SD, a Party intelligence organization. There were, however, at least two other intelligence organizations, the military's Abwehr (and, for that matter, more specifically warfighter intelligence staff, FHW and FHO for the Western and Eastern Fronts). The firefighting service, usually as nonpolitical an organization as one would want, was under various parts of the SS. Neither the RSHA nor its subcomponents actually ran the concentration camps, but were in charge of arrests for them. Two other SS organizations variously created the concentration and death camps, as well as arrests for them. Some of the pre-camp field killing organizations were SS, but ad hoc in their reporting.

Unless one understands the bureaucratic infighting that Hitler deliberately created, a lot of Nazi actions make even less sense than they do in humanitarian terms. It is not trivial to know that rather than being, as many believe, in a recognizably high position, Eichmann was a lieutenant colonel who ran the suboffice Amt IV(B) in the Gestapo, in the RSHA, in the SS. Of course, looking to Japan, Matsunobo Tsuji was "only" a colonel, but escaped punishment for immense war crimes.

So, does it make sense for me to do a hierarchy of related articles first, see if people want to work as a team, and decide where to go from there? I'm willing to write a concise introduction to the two (minimum) new "edits" that are primarily overviews that point to detail; I am not willing to agree with some of the sweeping, unsourced, idiosyncratic opinions in the current versions. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:00, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Needs total rewrite

In this case, some bottom-up work convinces me this needs a restart. It's shorter than I remembered, so this may be something for the shorter term.

I'll probably start by cleaning up Related Articles. Howard C. Berkowitz 07:59, 11 November 2010 (UTC)