By in Politics

Xenophobia is much more than just an impressive Scrabble word

Having read DWDavisRSL 's Thoughts on Diversity , I was reminded that the intent of those who want to wage fear in our hearts are far less likely to be successful than media or special interest groups may want us to believe.

Mr. Davis is correct in suggesting that this reeks of days gone by--Soviet Union, Hitler-ism, and Orwellian tactics.

In the spring of 2011, I wrote a piece for my blog-- X is for Xenophobia -- sharing my personal story of how I came to know the word itself from a high school teacher.

More importantly, I recognized how I threw off some of the more xenophobic influences that had been dumped in my lap by society and family.

I am glad to know that there are others, like DW, who join me in making sure this is a topic that we never let remain silent.

© 2015 Coral Levang

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Image Credit » by geralt

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LoudMan wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:25 PM

Everybody dogs on Mr. Hitler when his "crime" was throwing criminal banisters out, much like Iceland recently did. (What saved them from being maligned as monsters is the Internet). The rest of the allegations are simply fostered by the same lying media and special interest groups we catch constantly lying, today.

Last Edited: December 5, 2015, 8:43 PM

CoralLevang wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:31 PM

LoudMan I am not sure what you mean by "...(Hitler's) 'crime' ..." being reduced to something that suggests you do not find this part of history as abhorrent.

I really do hope that DWDavisRSL also gets involved in THIS discussion.

LoudMan wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:37 PM

If you don't know by now, I am a holocaust denier, then you do not know me. It never happened. It was just communist wartime propaganda.

Enjoy the rain of page views, though.

CoralLevang wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:43 PM

No, LoudMan , I did not know that you denied this. But I will give you the benefit of the doubt here for the moment and for the sake of argument, however, and entertain that there was no Holocaust.
Aside from this piece, you think that Hitler was a great guy? He did nothing wrong? He was no different than any other world leader?

What actually did happen, then, at Auschwitz and other places? (By the way, a German friend of mine who is no longer with us, was old enough to remember what was, and saw things of which we spoke.) He was there when things went T.U.

I would be interested in hearing of your understanding of this propagandizing of world history. You do not get to simply thrown in some provocative little tidbit and make a snide remark about my enjoyment of a "rain of views." (What the f*** was that all about?)

Something happened. So, I look forward to your understanding of it.

Last Edited: December 6, 2015, 11:30 AM

wolfgirl569 wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:50 PM

I agree that we need to stop being afraid of something that is different. It dos not make them wrong or evil. I too am interested in LoudMan s explanation

BarbRad wrote on December 5, 2015, 9:05 PM

I have known people personally who were in Hitler's concentration camps and lost loved ones there. I consider them credible witnesses.

BarbRad wrote on December 5, 2015, 9:17 PM

Sometimes fear is reasonable. I live just a few hours from that massacre in San Bernardino. It was perpetuated by people who seemed no different except for culture than their neighbors excpet for all those packages arriving and late nights spent working in the garage with friends from that same culture. One does not want to fear one's neighbors because their skin or religion is different, but sometimes there are reasons to be afraid. One has to be careful. It was fear of being considered Islamaphobic that kept the people next door from reporting the suspicious activities they observed to the police. Had they not been afraid of racial profiling, 14 lives might have been saved. Perhaps the answer is to try to get to know those who live around us on more than a superficial level, but people are so busy they don't have time or opportunity to socialize much with neighbors.

Our neighborhood recently started an email list for the neighborhood and the lists for other neighborhoods can also be subscribed to. We share what's going on in our neighborhoods, whether someone sees a loose dog or cat that looks lost or whether someone is looking for a lost pet. People report suspicious things they see, since we've had burglaries in the neighborhood. Even my house was burglarized two years ago, but we didn't have the list then. Police also alert us when robberies take place near us so we can be alerted to the entrance methods and times of day or night. We are also planning get-togethers to meet each other.

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 5, 2015, 9:33 PM

Yes, I would like to know what LoudMan thinks happened to all those people who died in the holocaust? They did die.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 9:50 PM

Thank you for the shout out, CoralLevang . I enjoyed your blog post and understand where you were coming from. My time in the Army, especially my 22 months in Korea, radically changed my world view.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 10:10 PM

I did not know you were a Holocaust denier. I have met Holocaust survivors and seen the tattoos on their arms. I don't believe for a moment this is all part of a communist propaganda campaign. I have also read Mein Kampf, wherein Hitler outlined his plan to rid the world of the Jewish race. The Nazis ran Concentration Camps from 1933 until the war ended in 1945. The physical evidence is overwhelming. I had friends in the military who'd been through the camp at Dachau, which was liberated by US Forces, not Soviet, and I've seen pictures of the ovens and gas chamber. Did you know they had to build a bigger crematorium at Dachau because the first one couldn't burn bodies fast enough to satisfy the need to get rid of the bodies?

Even without the Holocaust, Hitler's crimes went far beyond running out the lawyers. To cozy up to the Army, he had hundreds of his most loyal followers, those who'd helped him rise to power through terror and intimidation, murdered in cold blood on what has become known as the Night of the Long Knives. Or do you deny that event also?

Jews were not the only ones killed in the Holocaust. Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, the physically handicapped, and Catholic priests who would go along with the Nazis, all found their way to the death camps.

I don't know why you choose to deny the undeniable when the evidence of the atrocities are some of the most well documented crimes in history, but I fear I am wasting my effort in trying to convince you otherwise.

P.S. Tagging in CoralLevang

Last Edited: December 5, 2015, 10:11 PM

Paulie wrote on December 6, 2015, 12:09 AM

Xenophobia is caused by a lack of understanding of foreign cultures. This causes the fear that many uneducated people have. I suffered from xenophobia before I joined the Navy and started experiencing the world.

markgraham wrote on December 6, 2015, 9:26 AM

As FDR said in his now historic speech. "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."
You can only live your life. In this day and age you can only hope and give hope to whatever.

FourWalls wrote on December 6, 2015, 11:36 AM

Holocaust denial is a byproduct of antisemitism. I've never heard or read of any Holocaust denier who said, "Y'know, the Holocaust never happened, but I love Jews.*" (*This discounts the "replacement theology" people who claim that the Jews aren't real Jews, and only the "lost tribes" who are now Christians are "real Jews.")

There's the story about Eisenhower forcing his troops and Germans to tour a concentration camp. When asked why, Ike replied, "there must not ever be a denial of this." Similarly, Patton forced the townspeople to go throug Buchenwald, even though they got physically sick at the sight. When a reporter asked Patton why he said something along the lines of, "Someday some son-of-a-bitch is going to come along and say this never happened."

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 11:39 AM

You are right, BarbRad , in that there are reasonable reactions to fear. I people who have died at the hands of horrible atrocities, and I think that a healthy view of life, and fear, and all that it entails is quite reasonable. We cannot sit with our heads in the clouds and refuse to look at the world through the lenses of reality. But when we allow fear to distort our view of the world and human beings,then we have become no different than the rabid dogs that spread their disease. FEAR means we become watchful and face what can happen. WORRY is when we allow fear to tell us lies and we are convinced that things will happen and that nothing can stop it, unless we massacre them before they do us.

I get it. I SO get it. I just choose not to LIVE in fear to the point where I become one of them. Or so afraid that I let them keep me bound to my own issues.

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 11:40 AM

I have never read "Mein Kampf".....I'm not sure I want to...even now.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 6, 2015, 12:02 PM

Other than being a book full of horrific ideas, it is a very poorly written book. Hitler may have been a decent painter, but he was a lousy writer. I read it as part of a history project in high school when I was trying to understand how anyone could let the Holocaust happen.

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 12:10 PM

My former HIstory and German professor, Bernd Richter, was forced to stay in East Germany, because he was born in the wrong side of Berlin. He had two PhD's ... and extremely learned by anyone's standards. He was never allowed to travel except to countries approved by the USSR. Each year, he took his students to Auschwitz to tour the camps and also other parts the world that participated.
When the Berlin Wall came down, he left his family in Germany and he came to the United States. He began a new life, and would not go back to Germany, because of what it represented to him and the disgust for what his homeland and its leaders had done. This is what he told me.
When I met him, we had many discussions, and I appreciated that he would share with me his heart, his stories, and the turmoil he lived each day. We had a short discussion of those who suggested that much of how history was reported was fabricated. It was not an easy discussion. He told me that when he was in Europe he made the yearly trek with his students to Auschwitz so that "no one EVER forgot how power and evil can destroy a person or a country to the point that they would treat others as his Germany or others had treated any other human being."

I lost touch with Bernd around 2004. The next year, he ended up taking his life (10 years ago) in November. He was found several weeks later. He was 53 years old.
I only found out a few years ago...
I will never forget him, nor the discussions we had and all that I learned from him about life and people, as well as history.

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 12:11 PM

I wrote about a professor I had in one of my responses here....
I wish he were alive to get into this discussion.

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 12:13 PM

Thanks, DW. Being around others, even having lived around the US, will do the same.

My experiences did not allow me the opportunities to live abroad, other than Guam, but I have always looked for people who were "foreign to me" to get to know and understand. Yes, including the "Rednecks."

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 12:19 PM

Loudman , please...share with us all how and why you believe what you do. We are open to discussion.

If you were to join in the discussion with us, like DWDavisRSL , or me, I can promise you a good discussion/debate. I think I can speak for the two of us here that we would both keep it civil. I am here to understand, not vilify.

BarbRad wrote on December 6, 2015, 1:54 PM

Sometimes, though, fear may be caused by understanding another culture's history and methods of warfare and even by observing how those cultures act under certain circumstance. Sometimes the "It could never happen here" mentality is precisely what makes it possible for it to happen here.

MegL wrote on December 6, 2015, 6:12 PM

Xenos is a Greek word, meaning "stranger", so Xenophobia is the "fear of strangers". Concerning loudman 's post below, my father fought in WWII and was in one of the regiments that went into the concentration camps at the end of WWII. He would never tell us children what he saw there but my mother and grandmother told us bits of what he saw and told to them. A local political leader here in Northern Ireland (now dead) also went into the concentration camps at the end of WWI. He gave a talk on it one time on the radio and spoke of having to have the horns on jeeps taped over, so they could not be sounded. The people in the camps were so weak that a horn sounding nearby could frighten them enough to kill them.

CoralLevang wrote on December 8, 2015, 5:17 PM

LoudMan Again, I will encourage you to get into a discussion in here with us, otherwise it was nothing more than a drive-by shooting.

&VisionofHope You might also like to have discussion here, concerning this topic. Perhaps, you could write about it? I would be one of the first to read what you had to write, as I am sure that like DWDavisRSL you have read and are more learned than I am, who is open to more learning and education on the topic.

LoudMan wrote on December 8, 2015, 9:01 PM

CoralLevang , if my phone.will hold up, I will.

LoudMan wrote on December 8, 2015, 9:11 PM

There is no doubt the concentration camps existed. What there is no evidence of is theillions of murders by cyanide poisonings. According to census data, there were 2.4/million jews in.all of Geany - prior to a mass exodus to the US.edoately after the war, 3.8 million Jews applied for holocaust reparations. The other six million were lost.

Also, there is no evidence of cyanide.gassing,.itself, anywhere. Hundreds of very.intelligent, highly educated people have researched it, the and again. They.fond no evidence.and have.even.served prison te, simply for questioning the official account.

It was, the.biggest problem is, once any one individual claim is disproven,the claim changes and, so few seem to notice this.

In the majority of mu requests for evidence, what I encounter is vitriol. Those few who even try to offer anything.offer up the Nizkor (sp?) Project, which see nothing more than more of the claim - which can never be considered evidence.

CoralLevang wrote on December 8, 2015, 9:21 PM

Good to see you back here. I'm hoping that both DwDavisRSL and &VisionofHope have seen that you have shown up here and are willing to have that discussion.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 8, 2015, 9:59 PM

They did use cyanide gas, called Zyklon B, at Dachau and Auschwitz (and possibly at the other camps). Canisters and labels were found at both camps and captured guards and workers admitted to using it on prisoners from the camps at the orders of the SS.

Many of the people killed in the concentration camps were simply machine gunned in large groups and buried in mass graves. Many more died of starvation and deprivation.

When the war began to go against Germany, they began a massive campaign to dig up the machine gunned bodies and burn them in the crematoriums. At Dachau, the original crematorium was much to small for the task, and they built a new, larger pair of them to handle all the bodies.

Even many of those who managed to survive the camps until liberation were so malnourished that they died within days or weeks of liberation despite the best efforts to save them.

Also, many of the Jews killed were from Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, the occupied parts of Russia, and elsewhere in Europe controlled by the Nazis. So quoting German census numbers alone is meaningless. The estimates of German Jews killed in the Final Solution are approximately 210,000. The vast majority came from Poland and Ukraine. Altogether, Jews from at least 18 countries around Europe that fell under control of the Nazis or their allies died in the Holocaust.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 8, 2015, 10:01 PM

CoralLevang and LoudMan , I have added to the discussion on the thread above. However, I fear all the facts and evidence in the world will not change a mind that wants to believe otherwise.