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izzieamy | 22:04 Tue 03rd Nov 2009 | Religion & Spirituality
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Should jews forgive those who were responsible for the holocaust ? what do you think ?


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If you care to visit us,you could ask my 85 year old wife who was a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp(as was her now deceased Mother).
I don't think you would have to seek very far for the answer.
As I have said(on to many answers on AB) I was with one of the first British regiments to relieve a concentration camp, I cannot (and will not) relive what I saw there.Only to saw that none of the newsreels can adequately show the horror of it,nor can they convey the disgusting stench of rotting bodies.
My wife has tried (iwith varying degrees of success) to forget her experiences.
She even changed her religion to try and put ia ll behind her.
She can TRY and forget,but she will NEVER forgive!
why was my answer removed? I only said I wouldn't forgive someone who'd killed my relatives.
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Do you mean individuals or nations?

I can't believe there are many individuals left that were really responsible - if they were just 30 in 1945 they would be nearly 95 now.

So the question becomes more hypothetical with each passing year.

This does concern me that the fact that many of those truely responsible are now dead may lead to those with only a small association with the holocauset bearing the brunt. Conscripted guards etc.

Some people though seem under the impression that the entire German nation is responsible - that of course is not disimilar from blaming the modern British nation for the slave trade and about as sensible
And neither should anyone forget.

Forgiveness brings peace of mind. There is one particular person that I hate. When he pops into my head I find myself tensing up and clenching my teeth. I want to forgive him but I can't.
There was nothing particularly special about the Holocaust other than how sucessful it was

800,000-1 million were exterminated in Rwanda 15 years ago
1.4 - 2.2 million died in Cambodia's killing fields 30 years ago

and many others

The other notable difference is that jewish people have a voice in the western media which is why we have continual rememberance of the holocaust and not of Stalin's Gulag

Had the war played out differently and Mr Vertias found himself relieving prison camps in Siberia he would doubtlessly be telling us of those rather than Auswitz
My thoughts are similar Jake but you get criticized for expressing them.

Do you notice how often there is a programme about the Holocaust or Hitler?
Zionists used the Holocaust as part justification for the foundation of the state of Israel. It's ironic that the descendants of the victims of Nazism are using racist tactics in their lebensraum policy in what was Palestine.
I'm not suggesting that we should forget the holocaust - only that we should remember the others a bit better.

A positive note on this though is that my daughter is currently doing GCSE History and they are studying Yugoslavia since the first world war. So they are learning about events like srebrenitza which gives them context
No, never - I don't think any atrocity should ever be forgiven. As to forgive is to accept what happened. On that I sympathize with Mr Veritas' wife.
And I can't say this enought but I do recommend Laurence Rees' book Auschwitz: The Final Solution because it shows how the Jews were considered a 'problem' and how the system process of dealing with this 'problem' developed and finalized into such an inhuman, horrific sort of factory process which finally accumulated into the killing of 6 million Jews.

The book is not solely an historical account but a very important insight into the state of a person's mind and another step to understanding man's inhumane behaviour in certain situations as well as the 'logical reasoning' that seemed apparent to those who were implicated in the whole process. That is what is so horrific and unforgivable about the Holocaust in particular.
The answer is no. Not only shouldn't they forgive it, but they can't. The crime is so big it's simply not within any persons or even nations capability to forgive it. If the israeli leadership was to issue a pronouncement forgiving the holocaust, it wouldn't mean a thing.
They do not and cannot have a right to speak on behalf of every victim, not least because most of the victims are dead. Also who are they forgiving? Most are the perpetrators are dead too, so it's simply not possible to forgive them as they're not around either.

The whole concept of forgiveness for this type of event is ridiculous. Just like the concept of anyone deciding they were going to forgive the slave trade or conversely apologise for the slave trade.
The difference that jtp and others overlook is that as horrific as Rwanda, the Russian extermination, the "Killing Fields" of Cambodia and all other such atrocities and true crimes against humanity are, as compared to the "Shoah" is that they were one time events. By that I do not intend to diminish the inhumane (to mild a word) effects such actions had on the populations, of which, we can't begin to imagine. But, they weren't systematic attempts at exterminating a single race of people that has lasted for millenia.

The Jewish "problem" wasn't one confined by the electrified, barb wire fences of Aushwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and all the others. No, it's a matter of fact that history is replete with such attempts to permanently destroy the Jews, beginning with the Egyptians, continuing with the Persians, Romans, and Muslims, not to mention the Crusaders and all the others. It, of course continues today with the Iranian led goal to remove them "from the face of the Earth", a la Ahmadinejad.

The Israeli National Motto is "Never Again" (לעולם לא עוד) and appropriately so.
I was going to say more or less the same thing as Sandy Wroe.
I don't know that I agree with you Clanad

The massacres and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans has it's roots in the religious wars between Christians and Muslims that have been going on since the Crusades.

Not that I am in any way condoning any ethnic cleaning in any instance - but I believe I am right in saying that the Old Testament tells the story of how people like Joshua conquered the promised land carrying out a process of ethnic cleaning under the justification that "God gave it to them".

Much earlier times and different values etc. but I don't think I've ever heard any Jewish critism of this
like jake said in his 1st post, the sins of parents cannot be visited upon children. german children today are educated about the horrors inflicted during ww2, but not about how bad germany was, it is primarily aimed at adolf hitler and nazism, and how that was not how a true german should behave. nazism and holocaust denial are listed as criminal offences in germany.

i don't think there would really be much point in offering forgiveness really. people will still remember and annual remembrances/reminders will continue for some time, any forgiveness aimed at a 'german' nation would probably be recieved with a 'it weren't us, it was the nazi party and adolf, not us'. so generally who would it benefit ?
The Balkan conflicts go deeper than religion, they are more to do with Ottoman Turk rule.
Serbia was the only country to free itself from Turkish rule, Croatia had close ties with Germany (if memory serves German rcognition of an indepedent Croatia hastened the breakup of Yugoslavia), Bosnia itself was pro Turk, when you add that Bulgaria promised Turkey Macedonia to participate in The Great War you get a grasp of the ethnic and imperial tensions in the region.
I think the last Balkan war was the third this century, the tensions in the region were so high that western powers were concerned about it as early as 1913 in the Montenegin crisis and then you had Essad in Albania...
Yugoslavia itself was a modern invention that had no basis in a local political mandate, Tito railed constantly against the breakup of it and the consequences of such a move. He was almost Cassandra like in his perception. Yugoslavia was a bit like an old married couple moderately unhappy but largely prosperous productive and stable.
Serbia was twice betrayed by Britain in two world wars and the Serbs suffered horrendously under pro Nazi Croats, you don't forget that kind of torture quickly, Turkey and Armenia are only now willing to talk to each other and it's more than 90 years since the Amenian genocide.
To forgive the guilty need to repent, was Milovesic repentant? Karodicz? Heydrich? Eichmann?
It's a tough one to call.
to forgive a person or a nation does not mean forgetting the crimes.

I think it is up to the individual whatever they feel in their heart/brain to do.

One of myy previous bosses could never forgive the Japanese, my father however was inBurma, an Uncle in Italy during WW2 and none of them spoke of the sights they saw.

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