Amid the horrors of the Holocaust, the atrocities perpetrated by a few brutal women have always stood out, like aberrations of nature.
There were notorious camp guards like Ilse Koch and Irma Grese. And lesser known killers like Erna Petri, the wife of an SS officer and a mother who was convicted of shooting to death six Jewish children in Nazi-occupied Poland; or Johanna Altvater Zelle, a German secretary accused of child murder in the Volodymyr-Volynskyy ghetto in Nazi-occupied Ukraine.
The Nazi killing machine was undoubtedly a male-dominated affair. But according to new research, the participation of German women in the genocide, as perpetrators, accomplices or passive witnesses, was far greater than previously thought.
The researcher, Wendy Lower, an American historian now living in Munich, has drawn attention to the number of seemingly ordinary German women who willingly went out to the Nazi-occupied eastern territories as part of the war effort, to areas where genocide was openly occurring.
In this new wave of research done by historian Wendy Lower found that as much as 10 percent of the concentration camp guards were German women. Lower describes the surreal spectacle of German women serving up refreshments for German soldiers tired from killing Jews and other prisoners in mass executions.
There’s been enough coverage of Mel Gibson without me joining, but Jonah Goldberg of The national Review who imagines himself a historian of sorts and an astute observer of contemporary public figures writes – On Mel Gibson, “Conservative”
But I’m much less inclined to buy this conventional wisdom that he’s a mainstream conservative of some kind. I know he’s a committed old school Catholic, or so he says. I know he made a film about Jesus that was very warmly received by many conservatives and criticized by many others. But I’ve seen interviews with him where he could be a commenter on Daily Kos. The most recent movie I saw him in, Edge of Darkness, hinged on an absolutely asinine attack on the U.S. government in general and the Bush administration in particular.
I saw the Edge of Darkness before Gibsons’ latest melt-down and thought it was a good political thriller. It did have a liberal anti-government slant to the narrative, but Goldberg does understand it was a work of fiction and Gibson was hired as an actor to create the illusion of reality. For Goldberg the whole piece would count as a subtle – let’s hurry and get on the record as conservatives distancing themselves from the mad woman beating racist anti-Semite from Hollywood. The problem is this drooling fan boy piece by Ben Domenech from The National Review s still available in NR’s archives 6/27/2000- Mel Gibson, Conservative, As if he needed defending…
Gibson isn’t just a good conservative because of his work onscreen — married to his wife Robyn for 20 years, a devoted Catholic and father of seven children, Gibson has distinctly avoided the pull of the Hollywood scene, speaking out on the importance of family and faith in modern culture despite being routinely named as one of the “Most Beautiful People.” In a recent interview, Gibson criticized the “culture of divorce” that plagues celebrities: “There’s nothing more important than your family . . . If you ruin that part of your life, what’s left? Work, money, screwing around? I see a lot of people living like that who tell themselves they’re having a good time, but if you look under the surface, you only see corpses masquerading as human beings.” Gibson added, “It’s my duty to be a good husband and father, and that’s probably the only thing in life that I take seriously.”
A good actor, a good father, and a good conservative — Mel Gibson is a rarity worth hailing in this day and age. (emphasis mine)
Domenech shares Goldberg’s affinity for conflating the actor with the roles he played. You don’t have to go back to 2000 to read a Con defense of Gibson – Why does the right keep defending Mel Gibson?. Michael Medved’s CNN appearance in which he claimed Michael Moore has done more “damage” to the Jewish community than Gibson should be recorded and released as a comedy album. Neither has done any great harm to the Jewish community per se. Gibsons’ antisemitism is abhorrent, but has hurt him more than anyone else. Moore’s supposed antisemitism is nothing more than the usual far Right math where anything less than unquestioning loyalty to the government of Israel equals antisemitism.
* Farmers markets and farm stands near you
* What’s fresh near you in real time! Find what produce, pantry goods, and plants are available now!
Great idea but needs more localities to put up lists of local farmer’s markets and co-ops.