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Last Warsaw Ghetto uprising fighter dies in Israel

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By Janek SKARZYNSKI

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Brave people who fought against Socialism (the zi in Nazi stands for sozialismus)

The world thanks you, but regrettably, the fight is not yet finished. The Socialists are rearing their ugly head again.

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RIP Mr Rotem

Brave people who fought against Socialism (the zi in Nazi stands for sozialismus)

Brave people who had to fight the two most evil regimes of the first half of the 20th century, Nazism and Stalinism. The Poles, particularly the Polish Jews, were brutalized by both evil forces.

Worrying that the world is seeing an increase in ultranationalism and fascism (*a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible *suppression of opposition https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism) in Poland's neighbor and former dominator Russia.

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Brave people who fought against Socialism (the zi in Nazi stands for sozialismus)

They were brave people, but I doubt whether many of them would acknowledge the simplistic Nazis=Socialists claim that right wingers are trying to promulgate in the world today.

They might, however, recognise an inherent Fascism in the attitudes and aims of those same right wingers who are now trying to take political advantage of their bravery and sacrifice.

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They were brave people, but I doubt whether many of them would acknowledge the simplistic Nazis=Socialists claim that right wingers are trying to promulgate in the world today.

I wouldn't mind if we could get back to the words "Germany/Germans" though. This article by AFP obviously takes trouble to avoid the association, even in reference to the invasion of Poland.

It's hard to think of other countries that are cut a break in this way.

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I wouldn't mind if we could get back to the words "Germany/Germans" though.

I think it is important, sometimes, to distinguish between the people of a country and the regimes that rule them, especially when the regime in question was as extreme as the Nazi one. There's nothing to be gained by using the words "Germany/Germans" rather than "Nazi" in this context, especially when modern Germany is a completely different nation to what it was in 1933-45 and is the only country worldwide to have comprehensively admitted its Second World War guilt.

I believe what we have to preserve in our memory is the association of that specific word "Nazi" with ultimate evil. I think what we're seeing when some people try to create a false equivalence between a broad term like "socialism" and the very specific term "Nazism" is an erosion and a dilution of that memory. I'm sure that's not what the Warsaw Ghetto fighters, and all those other fighters who fought against the Nazis, would have wanted.

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I think it is important, sometimes, to distinguish between the people of a country and the regimes that rule them, especially when the regime in question was as extreme as the Nazi one. 

It's equally important not to gloss over what countries have done in the past, and conventionally, we do not separate the country from the acts committed in the name of that country. Germany invaded Poland, that's not even open to debate.

There's nothing to be gained by using the words "Germany/Germans" rather than "Nazi" in this context, especially when modern Germany is a completely different nation to what it was in 1933-45 and is the only country worldwide to have comprehensively admitted its Second World War guilt.

Acceptance of guilt has nothing to do with it, it was Germany that went to war against Europe. Trying to reassign everything done by Germany in those years to Nazis and Nazism is evading the truth. After two world wars and tens of millions of lives lost, we don't have to pussyfoot around the subject of Germany's responsibilities.

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Trying to reassign everything done by Germany in those years to Nazis and Nazism is evading the truth. After two world wars and tens of millions of lives lost, we don't have to pussyfoot around the subject of Germany's responsibilities.

I don't agree that using the term "Nazi" instead of "German" is evading the truth, or lets those responsible for the war off the hook. We all know what the Nazis were - a specifically German form of Fascist. You say "Nazi" it also, and only, means German. It doesn't mean Italian, or Croatian, or Hungarian, or Spanish, or any of the other Fascist movements in Europe at the time. So it's not a "reassignation" of war guilt to use that term, rather than the general term "German". It's a pretty specific identifier, and it acknowledges the fact that the barbarities of Hitler, Goebbels and the rest arose from the particular poisonous ideology of a specific period of time, and not from, say, some essential and unchanging character flaw of the German people.

We continue to this day to "pussyfoot" around the subject of the war crimes responsibilities of some of the nationalities I've mentioned above, and many others I haven't. I haven't noticed that we've ever pussyfooted around the responsibilities of the Germans, and it's to the post-war Germans' credit that they haven't either.

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So it's not a "reassignation" of war guilt to use that term, rather than the general term "German". It's a pretty specific identifier, and it acknowledges the fact that the barbarities of Hitler, Goebbels and the rest arose from the particular poisonous ideology of a specific period of time, and not from, say, some essential and unchanging character flaw of the German people.

It ducks the issue to insist on saying "Nazi" where German/Germany would do. The British/French and American declarations of war on Germany made no mention of Nazism or any equivalent of the word, nor did the instrument of surrender. They were at war with Germany.

Come to that, Rotem himself had no hesitation about using the word "Germans" when describing his experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He was interviewed for the film Shoah, and didn't use the term "Nazi" at all. I don't think anyone should find this at all surprising, or inappropriate. You'll find it repeated again and again in historical accounts.

https://collections.ushmm.org/film_findingaids/RG-60.5048_01_trl_en.pdf

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Well, it's not like we're a million miles apart on this, or that one of us is trying to defend Fascism while the other one attacks it. Perhaps we can just agree that Rotem and his fellow fighters were brave souls who did what they felt they had to do against one of the very worst political bacilli ever to infect Western civilisation?

And to hope that the memory of the Warsaw ghetto lives on for at least a little while longer and influences the development of European and world politics?

That would be a fitting salute to the memory of this man and these people.

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Perhaps we can just agree that Rotem and his fellow fighters were brave souls who did what they felt they had to do against one of the very worst political bacilli ever to infect Western civilisation?

Certainly. And I agree with you about people who try to get mileage out of the "socialism" in National Socialism: idiotic, a total distortion of the truth, and an insult to everyone who fought against Nazism (and fascism), which, obviously enough, included huge numbers of socialists. They were among the first opponents.

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