Nazism worser than Stalinism?

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,211
Kansas
Perhaps there's too much fixation with Stalinist atrocities here. If you want to argue that the Holocaust is one of a kind, you have to compare it to all other atrocities. So what about the Khmer Rouge, who butchered people just for not being peasants. Is killing someone because they can speak French really that different from killing someone because they have a Jewish grandparent? Or what about killing someone because they are Armenian or Tutsi?

You can argue that one genocide is worse than another, but the fact that this is even a point that can be argued shows that they are all comparable, which in turn means that none is far far worse than the others. To make an analogy: it's easy to say that murder is definitely a worse crime than stealing a bike. But is killing someone with a knife better or worse then killing someone with a gun? Does it even matter? It's useful and natural for society society to treat murder and bike theft differently, with different punishments and effort to catch the culprit. But what's the point of saying knife murder is better/worse than gun murder?

So why does it matter if the Holocaust is the very worst or only the 5th worst atrocity in history? It was terrible, and it is important to remember it and learn its lessons (perhaps most of all for the Germans).
Well the title of the thread is inviting us to compare Stalin's and Hitler's record of mass murder.
 
Mar 2018
896
UK
Well the title of the thread is inviting us to compare Stalin's and Hitler's record of mass murder.
Fair enough.

But the OP also contains the lines:
"My value judgement as a non-historian is that the Nazis were "special" (or perhaps "unique") with their notions of "race" as if all humans on this earth were not the same and only some of a particular race have the right to prosper and dominate the others."
and
"the conservative historian Andreas Hillgruber asserted that there was no moral difference between Allied policies towards Germany in 1944–1945 and the genocide waged against the Jews."
and
"The position taken by the right-wing intellectuals led by Ernst Nolte was that the Holocaust was not unique"
This does invite a broader slightly perspective than just Nazis vs Communist.

Even if we do just focus on these two cases, I don't think we can say that either was very much worse than the other. I might tend on the direction of saying Nazi crimes were a bit worse, but what does it mean to say that one genocide is 10% more evil than another? Its entirely subjective on how you weigh up your different values, and it certainly should not affect how a reasonable person views, or feels about, either event.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,211
Kansas
Fair enough.

But the OP also contains the lines:
"My value judgement as a non-historian is that the Nazis were "special" (or perhaps "unique") with their notions of "race" as if all humans on this earth were not the same and only some of a particular race have the right to prosper and dominate the others."
and
"the conservative historian Andreas Hillgruber asserted that there was no moral difference between Allied policies towards Germany in 1944–1945 and the genocide waged against the Jews."
and
"The position taken by the right-wing intellectuals led by Ernst Nolte was that the Holocaust was not unique"
This does invite a broader slightly perspective than just Nazis vs Communist.
Well fair point. If we are going to broaden the discussion, we are going to end up in some pretty ugly places :(
 
Jan 2016
332
Boland
The link says that the holodomor never happened, and calls everyone Nazis. I don't have time to argue with Stalin apologists who ignore basic facts. I'll treat you with the same disdain I have for holocaust deniers, and ignore you.
By your response I'm assuming you didn't read the article.

It doesn't say the famine never happened. It challenges it being identified as a genocide, that it was purposely instigated to kill the Ukrainian population. It uses research done by Mark Tauger. This is not the first time a famine would occur in the Ukraine, funny how when it happened when Soviets were in power it is declared a genocide. Anna Louise Strong also wrote on the topic and she was in the Soviet Union during those times and denounces any sort of genocide. Molotov also was in the Ukraine during that time and also denies anything of that magnitude occurring.

But again, I used Communists as sources, of course we should stick to the western experts:

"There is no evidence it was intentionally directed against Ukrainians," said Alexander Dallin of Stanford, the father of modern Sovietology. "That would be totally out of keeping with what we know - it makes no sense."

"This is crap, rubbish," said Moshe Lewin of the University of Pennsylvania, whose Russian peasants and Soviet Power broke new ground in social history. "I am an anti-Stalinist, but I don't see how this [genocide] campaign adds to our knowledge. It's adding horrors, adding horrors, until it becomes a pathology."

"I absolutely reject it," said Lynne Viola of SUNY Binghampton, the first US historian to examine Moscow's Central State Archive on collectivization. "Why in god's name would this paranoid government consciously produce a famine when they were terrified of war [with Germany]?"


Sorry for going a bit off topic.
 
Jan 2016
332
Boland
Anyone read Edwin Black's "War against the weak"? It's quite interesting that most of the Nazi party's ideas on racial hygiene actually was borrowed from the American Eugenics program. Hitler was actually a fan of the work and wrote to them letter of admiration. The first mention of a gas chamber was also mentioned first in the American Eugenics society.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,211
Kansas
Anyone read Edwin Black's "War against the weak"? It's quite interesting that most of the Nazi party's ideas on racial hygiene actually was borrowed from the American Eugenics program. Hitler was actually a fan of the work and wrote to them letter of admiration. The first mention of a gas chamber was also mentioned first in the American Eugenics society.
Hitler's interest Eugenics dates before the foundation of the American Eugenics society
 
Dec 2011
1,369
Belgium
Perhaps there's too much fixation with Stalinist atrocities here. If you want to argue that the Holocaust is one of a kind, you have to compare it to all other atrocities. So what about the Khmer Rouge, who butchered people just for not being peasants. Is killing someone because they can speak French really that different from killing someone because they have a Jewish grandparent? Or what about killing someone because they are Armenian or Tutsi?

You can argue that one genocide is worse than another, but the fact that this is even a point that can be argued shows that they are all comparable, which in turn means that none is far far worse than the others. To make an analogy: it's easy to say that murder is definitely a worse crime than stealing a bike. But is killing someone with a knife better or worse then killing someone with a gun? Does it even matter? It's useful and natural for society society to treat murder and bike theft differently, with different punishments and effort to catch the culprit. But what's the point of saying knife murder is better/worse than gun murder?

So why does it matter if the Holocaust is the very worst or only the 5th worst atrocity in history? It was terrible, and it is important to remember it and learn its lessons (perhaps most of all for the Germans).
Olleus,

you can be right that I am broadening the discussion with my connotation of Nazism and their atrocities as special, unique and MG1962a made the same comment that it goes further than the comparison Nazism-Stalinism.

You said:
"You can argue that one genocide is worse than another, but the fact that this is even a point that can be argued shows that they are all comparable, which in turn means that none is far far worse than the others. To make an analogy: it's easy to say that murder is definitely a worse crime than stealing a bike. But is killing someone with a knife better or worse then killing someone with a gun? Does it even matter? It's useful and natural for society society to treat murder and bike theft differently, with different punishments and effort to catch the culprit. But what's the point of saying knife murder is better/worse than gun murder?"

Olleus, I agree that "worser" is perhaps not the right description of what I meant, but as I already said in the thread, it is the "intention", which makes the difference between the different atrocities, not the number of deaths or method. And it is only "my" opinion and "my" take of the events.

In my opinion Nazism differed from all the others up to now, that they branded specific groups of people because of their racial (in their Nazi connotation of the German "race") identity and said that they polluted and feebled their German race and in that intention they exterminated those peoples.
And those people were not allowed to "convert" as they were doomed by their genetic inheritance and physiognomy.

Perhaps the nearest of your comparisons is the Hutu-Tutsi atrocities in the former Belgian Mandate Ruanda-Urundi, which are btw also caused by the Belgians, while they made during their mandate a discrimination between the minority Tutsis and the Hutus (as did the Germans before them)
And yes there you could perhaps also speak from ethnic and also differences of physiognomy as in the Nazi "racial" context, but in my humble opinion, as you read in my link, there were a lot of other political circumstances, which played a role in the atrocities.

Kind regards, Paul.
 
Sep 2019
404
Slovenia
@PaulRyckier communists were also killing people based on their nationality or just because they lived on farmland for example. It is just an appearance that communist crimes are different somehow from Nazi crimes. Guilt was so much collectivized and crimes so large and widespread that there is no real difference. We should just remember deportations of Chechens or Tatars ( both had extremely high mortality rates in exile because of their poor living conditions and forced labour ) and others under Stalin and state sponsored famines in Soviet union in eraly 30s and in China in early 60s. Rogue Khmers were killing people because one of their ancestors was Vietnamese for example and punished with massacres Cham people colletively.
 
May 2019
214
Northern and Western hemispheres
@PaulRyckier communists were also killing people based on their nationality or just because they lived on farmland for example. It is just an appearance that communist crimes are different somehow from Nazi crimes. Guilt was so much collectivized and crimes so large and widespread that there is no real difference. We should just remember deportations of Chechens or Tatars ( both had extremely high mortality rates in exile because of their poor living conditions and forced labour ) and others under Stalin and state sponsored famines in Soviet union in early 30s and in China in early 60s. Rogue Khmers were killing people because one of their ancestors was Vietnamese for example and punished with massacres Cham people collectively.
Also remember the Cossacks and the Kulaks.
 
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Decembrist

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
2,702
the Nile to the Euphrates
Thats pretty much where I come from. Example, under Stalin, you had a reasonable chance to survive by keeping your head down and not being a target. With the Nazis you could die because your grand mother had the wrong last name.
In the USSR, a stigma of "wrong" social origin was as indelible as nationality. The family connection with the "hostis publicus" was in itself seen as a crime.
 
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