- Mar 2019
Well the title of the thread is inviting us to compare Stalin's and Hitler's record of mass murder.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).