General Antisemitism

The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins is tired of our “obsession” with Nazism and the Holocaust

The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins is just bored to death with the continuing pedestrian “Nazification of evil”.

In “Britain’s Nazi obsession betrays our insecurity“, Jenkins complains that the topic of Nazi genocide, in one form or another, continues to pervade the British national curriculum, the arts, history, and our politics – what he refers to as a national “obsession”.

Jenkins writes:

“We might have hoped that the new century would see this phase of Germany’s past set in some historical context. It was not to be.

[Yet] The British book-writing, book-selling and book-buying public seems obsessed with recounting its forefathers’ triumphs over the Germans… In 2000 there were 380 English-language titles on the Third Reich, adding to some 30,000 with the word Hitler in the title. [emphasis mine]”

Jenkins adds, wearily:

“Nazis are still a favourite [representation of evil within] the cultural wild west, the video games industry, with little sign of their being replaced by Russians or mujahideen.”

Jenkins’ diagnosis of the UK’s Nazi obsession:

“Only insecure nations should rely on creating or memorialising “necessary enemies”, as Britain appears to do with Nazism. Only frightened people seek sustenance from ancient rivalries and past victories. [emphasis mine]

Evidently, for Jenkins, Nazism should not be seen as history’s most dangerous and murderous political movement, but, rather, just one political actor in a tired national rivalry which needs to be put to rest.

Of course, Jenkins’ waning patience for the West’s continuing historical reckoning with the moral lessons learned from a Europe which allowed a totalitarian movement to arise which attempted to enslave a continent, and annihilate every Jew on the face of the earth, is a broader commentary on the post-modern relativism which informs the political zeitgeist of our day.

History since the Holocaust has demonstrated that the antisemitic evil which was presumed to be buried in Auschwitz, Dachau and Treblinka may have changed form but is still, most certainly, alive and well.

But, those intent on denying this tragic fact are typically the ones who also arduously attempt to frame the West’s war with militant Islam as merely a political rivalry to be negotiated or appeased rather than an existential threat and a moral challenge to the values of tolerance, pluralism and liberalism to be ardently resisted.

The Guardian’s endemic hostility to Israel is partially informed by this moral failure – an incapacity to see the annihilationist antisemitism which informs the Jewish state’s Islamist enemies (as with evil more broadly) clearly and without illusions.

As Barry Rubin observed recently:

“Part of the problem here is that all too many Western intellectuals no longer believe in fighting—or even sacrificing–for your country; patriotic pride or nationalism or religion; or even the nation-state itself.”

Israel’s fierce willingness to use force in defense of its existence, and the Jewish state’s unique national purpose, may lie at the root of Europe’s hostility towards Zionism.

Again, Rubin:

“Yet all of this also shows why Israel is the key to understanding today’s world. Israel’s survival shows that democratic societies can fight and defeat dictators and totalitarian ideologies.” 

The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins isn’t merely tired of hearing about Hitler, Nazism, and the Holocaust. 

He’s tried of the moral burden of waking up each day with the sober realization that there are real threats to our existence, and that there are some things in life worth sacrificing,  fighting, and even dying for. 

33 replies »

  1. Jenkins fails to make the connection between Hitler’s crazy, one-track-minded intention to sacrifice his people and murder whoever got in his way in order to pursue his own demon-driven agenda, and the modern day equivalent of that murderous intent, Islamism. But Jenkins writes for the Guardian, so he has probably never allowed himself even to think it.

    Christopher Hitchens makes the following comparison:

    “The most obvious points of comparison would be these:

    “Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. (“Death to the intellect! Long live death!” as Gen. Francisco Franco’s sidekick Gonzalo Queipo de Llano so pithily phrased it.)

    “Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories.

    “Both are obsessed with real and imagined “humiliations” and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia).

    “Both are inclined to leader worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book.

    “Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression—especially to the repression of any sexual “deviance”—and to its counterparts the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine.

    “Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence; both burn books and destroy museums and treasures.”

    I would add one more: that both are determined to ensure the continuation their evil ideology by educating their young to perpetuate them – in Hitler’s case, the Hitler Youth, in Islamism’s case Hamas and the PA’s school curricula, Hamas summer camps, and Hamas and PA television.

  2. Alright. We’ll also be tired of, and stop using, comparisons of Zionism to Nazism, Israel to Nazi Germany and Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto and call it a deal.


    (Somehow, I don’t think so. I mean, it’s the Guardian we’re talking about.)

  3. “Part of the problem here is that all too many Western intellectuals no longer believe in fighting—or even sacrificing–for your country; patriotic pride or nationalism or religion; or even the nation-state itself.”

    silly me. all along i thought they were just cowards (or just traitors).

  4. I never say Nazi considering i am a welsh National Socialist .. We say Bolshevik .. well they did murder 40.000.000 .. The Germans didn’t come close to murdering that many Thats unless you believe the lives of the several Million are worth more than the 40.000.000 christians !

    • . “Thats unless you believe the lives of the several Million are worth more than the 40.000.000 christians”

      You really don’t understand this, do you Chris?

      Where and when did a cross-national massacre of people occur simply because they were Christians and for no other reason whatsoever?

      It was a civil war that claimed millions of lives – not the systematic persecution of Christians.

      • Are you suggesting Jews were put to the sword because they were Jews ? Judging by 1933 i think you have some serious soul searching to do .. Here’s an example of what i mean .. When the Japs attacked Pearl Harbour the US government signed an executive order that made Japanese who live in the USA enemies of the state and they were rounded up and put in concentration camps for the duration of the War .. Hitler did the same to the Jews after the Jewish declaration of war against Germany in 1933 and many Jews in Germany supported Bolshevism .. Hitler hated Communists with a passion ! After the War the US government fearing a rise in Communist activity in the US started rounding up Communists .. In 1954 Sylvester and Ethel Rosenberg were tried and executed for passing Nuclear secrets to the Soviets ….20 years later Jonathan Pollard was caught spying for Israel ..

        • Are you suggesting Jews were put to the sword because they were Jews?

          Rather their good sense of taste in contemporary art??
          (I can hear the woosh as that comment goes straight over your head)

    • i am a welsh National Socialist ..

      That’s you, Aled, Gwen and, erm … who was the fourth one again?

  5. Excellent post, Adam. I think you nail the problem with Jenkins perfectly. And I agree with Rubin – isn’t the irony so rich – that Jews (Israel) are once again central to understanding an ailment of the Western world. But I think he gets it wrong by identifying the central issue visa-a-vis relativism as concerning patriotism or nationalism. Those comittments can be misappled as well as honorably and justly. History wouldn’t have us here with the concerns of this blog if that weren’t so. What matters are the ideas and values to which the nation is committed and the reasoned and intellectually tested conviction that they are superior to those found intellectially and morally wanting.

  6. It´s so amusing to see how europeans are always “tired”. They seem to be tired of working, tired of creating, tired of thinking, tired of life. But there´s one thing they are never tired of: moralizing, preaching, sermonizing, lecturing. And there´s no other subject more capable of energizing the “tired” europeans than lecturing Israel: they get really excited, as if brought back to life. This borderline hysterical obsession is a clear sign that europe´s old “Jewish question” is back and alive.

    • Are you implying ALL Europeans are “Tired?” As for lecturing you don’t listen to a single word if it comes from a Gentile the same way you’ll never risk the wrath of your kinspeople by saying anything that might make you a Moser.. Is that why you perpetuate lies for your own self serving greedy ends ?

      You accuse people of hate speech and anti semitism for reasons which are baseless …

      I’ll be making it my personnal mission to have Anti Gentilism recognised as Hate speech ..See how you like it when you are having your accounts blocked for criticising Gentiles .. I might even push to have Bolshevik crimes recognised as a Holocaust..

      • That’s what I’d call an incoher-rant

        Get some help with your feelings of helplessness or with your writing style or both.

        • Germolene some individuals are beyond help.
          This clown who brings shame upon the people of Wales by claiming to be Welsh is, as are all anti-semites, an obnoxious pus-filled pox scab on the body of humanity.
          There should never be a platform given to Fascists or neo-Nazis, which is why I’m now refraining from responding to the glaringly obvious distortions of historical fact in his rambling and incoherent posts.
          Ignorance can be cured, malignancy needs to be removed.

          • Please do not refer to Mister Walters as a “clown.” Clowns are performers willing to make themselves the butt of a joke for your amusement. Fascists and neo-Nazis, on the other hand, take themselves terribly seriously.

      • “chris j walters (@glyndwr1416)”

        I would have thought that Simon Jenkins had better things to do with his Sunday.

      • When I was an undergrad and studying for the sociology part of my degree, it was said in a way which brooked no argument that the few can never be racist towards the many – invariably the majority population, being more powerful, were racist (at that time it was white people who were assumed to be constitutionally racist towards black people.

        Something of a generalisation no doubt, but nevertheless it became the received wisdom which prevails today – shown for example, in the belief that the indigenous (white) populations of western countries are assumed to be “Islamophobic” – simply because there are more of them than Muslims (at least for the moment) and they are more powerful, and they protest whenever Muslims take the p*ss. Of course and often too easily, as the tenor of your post shows, this can translate into the residual antisemitism in many of them as well.

        You are an anti-Jewish racist, glyndwr1416, who can’t stand the thought that Jews can and will stand up for themselves, and your antisemitic racism shows in every post where you argue from your emotions, like the one above.

        You are a disturbed, one-track-minded kind of Jew-hater, too, who appears here only to express his hatred, no doubt because he feels that this should be his mission, his being a “Welsh National Socialist” an’ all 🙂 (Well, I suppose everyone has to be something, but honestly…. a WELSH National Socialist????? – and actually proud of it too!!!) How many “Bolsheviks” are there in Wales, then?

        Editors, are we so hard up that we need to give a platform to a Jew-hater of any National Socialist stripe?

    • What a nasty and utterly stupid generalisation about 300+ million poeople. Shame on you and the idiots recommending the above.

  7. As a mature student studying history at a north east University in England, UK I feel that the evil of Hitler and his regime is understated to say the least. I have just started my module on the Third Reich and came home from the lecture and seminar feeling despair. Personally the lecturer is going to try to control what people think and he does not portray the evil and horrors. Instead he attempted to sanitise Hitler and his regime and made a vapid argument that Hitler was a product of his times and had circumstances beyound his control. I disagreed and argued that Hitler was culpable for what he believed and how he and his regime behaved (we are free agents). He mumbled some vapid reply which did not answer my question and a student straight away reinforced his position. History defanged, without salt, not fit for purpose. He may be a professor I contest he is 3rd rate and that he got his professorship probably due to going down a certain road and those with power rewarded him. He is not a good communicator and has told us in no uncertain terms to avoid linear interpretations and not to use the word inevitable. This is not sour grapes I have other lecturers, tutors and he is not in my opinion up to the standard. In fact in the world outside academia doubt he would survive. Unfortunately he is doing the lecturing, teaching, and marking of that module, so do the maths really a simple equasion. Personally in my opinion history is dealing with what happended to people, what people did etc, and his version of events suggests he would be better employed poking amoeba in a petrie dish in a lab. Presenting a serious subject such as the Third Reich, of which the Holocaust is integral requires moral clarity, and a passion to tell the truth. With people such as said lecturer spreading thier propaganda and obfuscating the truth whilst couching it in linguistic postmodern verbage, the ignorant sewage spouted by said Guardian et al. then comes as no surprise.

  8. “I feel that the evil of Hitler and his regime is understated to say the least.”

    To blame Hitler and his regime alone is a total cop-out. The Nazis could not have achieved what they did in terms of the extermination of the Jewish people without the almost total and joyful collaboration of much of Europe and the, at very best, complete insouciance of the Allies. In their own way, Holland and Poland and Britain were every bit as evil as Nazi Germany.

  9. Michael White of the Guardian also has a thing about the Holocaust. Here he writes about the recent Demjanjuk trial:

    John Demjanjuk should not be on trial

    White and Buchanan: brothers under the skin:

    The True Haters


    And here are just a few of the other articles Michael White has written about the Holocaust:

    1) Here’s Michael White in early 2008 (my titles):

    The Holocaust is such a bore

    “MPs had a short debate yesterday to mark Holocaust Day, a familiar ritual in many countries which causes backbenchers like Hendon’s Andrew Dismore (not Jewish himself, but hot on anti-semitism) to be dismissed in newspapers as ‘Holocaust bores.’ ”

    Don’t be mean to the Nazis

    “My own favourite parliamentary speech on this subject remains that of the late Thatcherite economist, Lord Peter Bauer. In opposing Lady Thatcher’s 1990 war crimes bill – she used the parliament act to force it through – Bauer said approximately this: ”My Lords, I am a Jew who lost much of his family in the Holocaust. But I oppose this legislation because it is retrospective and therefore undermines the rule of law.” He then sat down. Not bad. I must check which way Mr Howard voted at the time.”

    [Links no longer working]

    2) Here, in late 2008, White criticises the extradition of Holocaust deniers, purely on principle, naturally. Look out for these special titbits: “an abuse of process in a country which has not – yet – succumbed to Germany’s “witch-hunt mentality”; “We should not forget, but it smacked of retrospective legislation, pandering again.” Jolly decent of White, however, to suggest that we should not “forget” the Holocaust:

    “Two strands of the affair trouble me. One is the restriction on free speech inherent in the laws that some countries – not Britain – have against Holocaust denial. We have broader laws against racial incitement in general, which seems acceptable to me, though not to those who believe that older public order laws would have proved sufficient.”

    “The other problem I have with this is process. When the European Arrest Warrant came into force in 2004 to help police fight cross border crime – and post 9/11 terrorism – more effectively it abolished the “dual criminality” principle.”

    Once again, in the same piece, White attacks the War Crimes Bill:

    “Holocaust denial is a lesser offence than involvement in war crimes themselves. Britain has a different problem here in that, in the chaos after 1945 when it was often hard to sort victim from persecutor, a lot of bad people slipped into this country and led quiet, guilty lives.

    In 1991 Margaret Thatcher used the parliament acts to override the House of Lords, which had thrown out her war crimes bill, passed by the Commons. The average age of current MPs in 1939 was six, one peer remarked during the debate: let it go. But some 300 suspects live on in the UK, countered the bill’s supporters.

    At the time I sympathised with the critics. It was all a long time ago, witnesses and accused were old, far away or even dead, their memories faulty at best. We should not forget, but it smacked of retrospective legislation, pandering again.

    Last time I looked there had not been a single successful prosecution. Other more recent war crimes dominate the headlines. Who’s right?”

  10. Is Chris J Walters being economical with the actualite? His Tweets are protected (if he’s a national socialist then paranoia goes with the territory) but his profile says that he is not afraid of speaking his mind.

    And therein lies the rub. I doubt that he has one.

  11. Yohoho you are wrong. He must have a mind. Hardly awash with originality given his posts here but all national socialists in Wales have minds.

  12. Chris J Walters is passive-aggressive and probably has a very poor self concept and image. This is why he needs to overidentify with what he sees as powerful – national socialism – which channels his rage and pernicious envy of those he believes have what he is entitled to.

    Editors, I agree with HairShirt above. Looking at Walters’ posts I note that they are escalating in offensiveness. He is probably looking to get noticed (unfortunately he has been noticed) so that he can feel that he has scored some sort of victory.

    The best way to deal with any of Walters’ ilk is not to let him be among mature adults.

    Please ban him forthwith and do whatever is necessary to stop him returning in whatever guise.

    As HairShirt says, we certainly don’t need contributions from national socialists, self-proclaimed or otherwise. Their hatred shows them up, it’s true, but it also brings down the tone of this excellent blog.

    Mr Walters. I would suggest that you post your rants on Stormfront, but that probably wouldn’t give you the frisson you get from winding up decent Jews and their friends.

    • “Israel’s fierce willingness to use force in defense of its existence, and the Jewish state’s unique national purpose, may lie at the root of Europe’s hostility towards Zionism.????”

      Spoken like a true Bolshevik genocidal maniac !! Your all too willing to use force …

      The arguments are wearing thin judging by how many people around the world are Pro Palestinian/Iranian..

      • Walter, may I remind you of a variation of a commonsensical viewpoint – that even though many people may believe a stupid thing (and in this case their mindless support of Palestinian terror against Israel) it is still a stupid thing.

        And of course you are hardly sensible to believe it either, are you?

  13. Winston Churchill Announces Nazi Surrender 1945

    national socialist filth surrender to the US, UK and soviet socialists.

  14. This in unfair on Jenkins. He is not – as this article suggests – saying we should sweep the Holocaust under the carpet. And nowhere does he say – as this article suggests – that anti-Semitism is not an evil to this day that must be battled.

    It’s more about the excessive amount of WWII references in general that continue to pervade British society and culture.