Re: poly: Re: tolerance... promoted by shadows??

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Tue May 26 1998 - 11:07:27 PDT

Peter C. McCluskey, <>, writes:
> In Germany in 1940, Jews kept it secret and suffered horribly when caught.
> Today it's in the open and they are much better off.

I don't feel comfortable overemphasizing this example, because it may sound
as if I am saying that those who disagree with me are Nazis, and that is
not at all what is intended.

But surely the case of Germany and the Holocaust is one of the best
examples of a time and place where privacy led not only to freedom,
but to survival itself. Jews were first forced to identify themselves
and register with the government, a loss of privacy. They were then
moved into the ghetto, and afterwards into the camps, a loss of freedom,
which led eventually to the loss of their lives.

Those Jews who managed to escape had to keep their identities and their
religion secret in order to survive. Someone close to me went through
years of hardship working her way across France and into Spain, staying
with one family or another, before reaching America and freedom. We have
all heard the harrowing tales, the fear of identification and discovery.

Now, of course Nazi Germany is not 1990s America. One might hope
that David's proposed policy of openness would have reduced the scope
of the atrocities committed in that era. But it's not clear to me.
The documentary Shoah interviewed Germans and others from that era,
and it seemed that the facts about the concentration camps were fairly
widely known. People had few illusions about what was happening to the
Jews and others who were taken away.

Received on Tue May 26 18:19:50 1998

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