sasuke deserves rights
trying to go a week without feeling gross
growth feels like shit
I think one of the most disturbing things about the popular narrative we teach around the Holocaust is how the “No one knew,” myth still flourishes and is still widely spoken and believed. “No one knew what was happening until the camps were liberated! The world was shocked!” was taught to me when I was a child and was likely taught to many of you too. I’ve even heard it said aloud in Holocaust testimonies classes, even after we’ve read testimonies that directly contradict this falsehood. People are really fucking attached to it.
“No one knew!” has been repeatedly disputed and disproven, to the point where the mass narrative of it has become terribly indicative of people’s need to dispel feelings of guilt and shame above all else. Even above telling the truth.
Im p sure the original narrative of “no one knew!” was in part the result of low-level German and Polish bureaucrats seeking to avoid arrest and prosecution, because there was a dearth of specific written orders in regards to outlining the machinations of The Final Solution. Which allowed many to claim ignorance and innocence. But it also has been useful in the reimagining of the allies role in the Holocaust, reimagining their complicit silence and inaction into the shock and disgust of witnesses and good liberators.
Because people DID know. Jan Karski infiltrated the Warsaw ghetto before it was liquidated and witnessed firsthand exactly what was happening to the Jewish people. He was sent by the Polish Underground to the UK carrying a message for the UN titled “The Mass Extermination of the Jews in German Occupied Poland.” He had a direct audience with Roosevelt, where he attempted to provide details of what was happening to compel the allied forces to act before it was too late. This was in 42-43.
In 1944, the New York Times published a story about the Warsaw ghetto uprising WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING. This wasn’t a mystery in the states. People knew about the forced ghettoization of the Polish Jews and what they faced as they fought back.
Lanzmann’s Shoah presents several interviews with Polish onlookers outside of Treblinka who, in laughing and awkward remembrance, explained how they would slash their fingers across their throats at Jewish people arriving in cattle cars to “warn them about their fate.” This was in the early period of the Holocaust, before the mechanized, mass exterminations of Auschwitz.
Also in Shoah, several Polish women and men in villages outside of Sobibor (who smilingly explain that their lot in life improved after the local Jews were rounded up and transported to the death camp) acknowledged that yes, at the time, they knew of the fate of their neighbors. They knew they were going to their death and would not be returning. Which is the only way we can explain how quickly Jewish homes and businesses were taken over by their neighbors and city councils.
Like. I’m neck deep in Holocaust testimonials lately and keep knocking my head against this specific Holocaust myth and I feel horrified that it continues and people keep fucking saying it with little introspection on why the narrative is so attractive to them.