Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jansson vents his frustration …

… in another dreary piece of hollering against Jonathan Harrison and me, regarding the familiar subject of what Ausrottung means or can mean in certain contexts.

In doing so, Jansson again exemplifies a problem he shares with other "Revisionist" propagandists, namely that he is more concerned with pointing out actual or supposed errors in the arguments of whoever criticizes his ideologically motivated propaganda (and in calling such critic "incompetent", "stupid", etc.) than with actually making a case in support of that propaganda.

Jansson also shares a further problem with others of his persuasion, namely that, like the hysterics aptly characterized by Peter Bamm, he is not able to admit an error of his about any issue. He always has to be right, or make it look to his fellow "Revisionists" as if he is right. Accordingly he will incessantly belabor issues on which he thinks he has a point, while keeping silent about issues on which he has been proven wrong or run out of arguments, hoping that who is following the discussion will sooner or later forget about them.

I for my part consider it perfectly normal in a discussion that my arguments are not always the better ones, and have no problem with being corrected on one or the other opinion or position I have maintained or defended.

Thus I have no problem with conceding that, indeed, I was persuaded by Jonathan Harrison’s quote of Peter Longerich, in the blog Ausrottung revisited, that the term ausrotten can be used, when describing something done to a population or group of people, in a sense that does not imply mass killing of the members of such population or group.

Accordingly I’ll let Jansson be happy with his lengthy Luther bible sermon. Instead of wasting my time on arguing whether ausrotten was meant in a homicidal or in a non-homicidal sense in this or that passage of the Luther bible (or, for that matter, on the merits of Jansson’s Deutsches Wörterbuch wisdom), I’ll focus on what is the subject matter of this discussion, namely on whether the noun Ausrottung or the expressions ausrotten, ausgerottet or auszurotten, when used by Nazis to describe what they intended to do or what was being or had been done to the Jewish population of Europe or to certain parts of that population, were meant in a homicidal sense, in a sense implying mass killing.

In this context, I would like to remind Jansson of what I wrote in the update of my blog Jansson thought of quitting our discussions …:
As he has compiled a list of usages of “ausrotten” which he imagines to be homicidal, Muehlenkamp asks me to explicate the meaning of each entry on his list. There is no reason for me to do this. First of all, even if all of his examples did mean killing, this would not establish his claim that the word implies killing whenever it is applied to a group of people, for giving some examples where a proposition is true does not establish that it is always true.
First of all, it’s not each entry in my list. It’s just Fegelein, Frank and Himmler.

Second, if killing is meant in this three examples, it would not establish that Ausrottung means killing in each case in which it is used, but it would establish something far more important in the context of our discussion, namely that Fegelein, Frank and Himmler were talking about the physical, homicidal extermination of the Jewish populations they were referring to (which in Fegelein’s case were just the Jews living in areas entered by his unit, while Frank was referring to all Jews of Poland and Himmler to all Jews that he had taken care of).

We’re not doing an academic language exercise here, after all.

We are discussing whether Nazi bigwigs used the term Ausrottung and/or its verbal forms to describe the physical, homicidal extermination of Jews or the endeavor to do so.

(Emphasis added.)

What follows the above is also of interest in this context, so I’ll quote it as well:
A list of examples of “ausrotten” being used to mean killing would not prove the non-existence of cases where it is applied to a group of people in a non-lethal sense, for example with respect to expulsion.
Same as above.

Second, Muehlenkamp has not offered any proof that ausrotten means killing in all of his examples. He has simply asserted it without evidence. Such unevidenced assertions require no response.
So now I have to provide evidence of homicidal meaning before Jansson issues his erudite opinion on the meaning of certain terms in a certain context?

That’s a very comfortable position Jansson is putting himself into, but also one that stinks (guess of what).

Nevertheless, it’s not hard to prove that ausrotten meant killing in the statements quoted, for the statements themselves and the context in which they were made clearly point in that direction.

Fegelein ordered that Jews were to be put in Jewish quarters or ghettoes if they could not be immediately ausgerottet. The only alternative to ausrotten by killing (which was what Fegelein’s unit abundantly did and reported about) would have been ausrotten by expulsion, assuming for a moment that there is such a thing as ausrotten by expulsion, from the area in question to some adjacent area. That alternative was not practicable, however, as it would imply either saddling another German authority with those undesirable Jews or increasing the ranks of the partisans. So the only form of ausrotten that would serve the purpose of removing the local Jews rather than turn them into a burden or hazard was to kill them.

Frank claimed that the Ausrottung of Poland’s Jews had destroyed the biological basis of Jewry because Poland’s Jews were the only reproductive ones. Such claim would make no sense of the reproductive Polish Jews had been moved to a place where they could go on breeding like rabbits. It only made sense if the reproductive Polish Jews were dead.

And as to Himmler, he was as explicit as can be about what he meant by ausrotten:
I ask you that what I tell you in this circle you will really only hear and never talk about it. The question came up to us: What do to with the women and children? I decided to find a very clear solution also in this respect. This because I didn’t consider myself entitled to exterminate the men, that is, to kill them or to have them killed, and to let the children grow up as avengers against our sons and grandsons. The difficult decision had to be taken to make this people disappear from the earth.
Jansson’s pathetic attempt to chicken out of addressing these statements is duly noted.

The remark at the end of the above quote, which is quite appropriate considering Jansson’s repeated evasion of the mentioned statements by Fegelein, Frank and Himmler, as well as other arguments and questions of mine in the course of our discussions, is what most probably explains a particularly silly bolded subtitle in Jansson’s latest production, as he blusters that "Muehlenkamp runs away".

Of course inveterate liar Jansson knows me well enough to be aware that, quite unlike him, I have no inclination to "run away". If he claims the contrary against better knowledge, he obviously does so a) in order to give his fellow "Revisionists" the impression that he’s achieving something, and b) out of an immature person’s infantile impulse to "get even" for my having pointed out his repeated and conspicuous avoidance of my arguments and questions.

Even considering these apparent motivations dictated by Jansson self-importance and vindictive character, I cannot but marvel at the rank stupidity of such remarks. Could it be that Jansson is so dumb as to be unaware of how easily such remarks can be used against him, considering his own somewhat-less-than-commendable behavior in our discussions? The proverb whereby "he who sits in a glass house should not throw stones" comes to mind once again.

The following remark of Jansson’s is not much better than the subtitle under which it was written:
Muehlenkamp now states that the various 19th century examples I’ve given of the application of ausrotten to groups of people in a sense not indicating killing are “of little if any relevance to Nazi uses of the term in connection with what they meant to do, were doing or had done to Jews”. This is rather odd, as Muehlenkamp had included 19th century examples on his list of uses of ausrotten which he thought to be homicidal. Apparently evidence only becomes irrelevant when it disproves Muehlenkamp’s (former?) thesis that ausrotten applied to groups of people always means killing.
It takes patience to respond politely to an "argument" as puerile as the above, but fortunately I have that patience.

First of all, there’s nothing "odd" in this context about my having also provided 19th Century examples of ausrotten or Ausrottung being used in a clearly homicidal sense. These examples were meant to forestall a favorite "Revisionist" argument whereby the terms ausrotten or Ausrottung have acquired a (predominantly) homicidal meaning after the Second World War whereas their previous (predominant) meaning was another. Jansson himself has, quite predictably, argued along these lines in this blog (discussed here), as follows:
This is not the case for ausrotten (particularly not at the time; postwar re-education has emphasized the lethal meaning of this word and its derivatives, which has led this sense to dominate in contemporary German, but this is irrelevant and anachronistic for the period we are studying).
Second, the reason why Jansson’s 19th Century examples of "the application of ausrotten to groups of people in a sense not indicating killing" are irrelevant to the discussion at hand is that, as I pointed out in the above-quoted blog, we are not doing an academic language exercise here. We are also not discussing whether Fürchtegott Leberecht Christlieb et al used the term in a homicidal or in a non-homicidal sense. We are discussing whether Hitler, Himmler, Rosenberg and other Nazi big-wigs used the term in a homicidal sense when referring to what they planned to do, were doing or had done to the Jewish population of Europe or to certain parts of that population. Or are we not, Mr. Jansson?

Reasonably assuming that the answer to the above question will be a resounding "yes, that’s what the discussion is all about", I move to Hitler’s speech on 30 January 1942, and note with some amusement that Jansson again exemplified his "run away" habit that he mendaciously projected onto his opponent, as he preferred to lamely argue that Hitler may have considered the "Bolshevization of Europe" a form of Ausrottung (one wonders how that was supposed to work, unless the Bolsheviks were expected to kill off Europe’s "Aryan" peoples or a substantial part thereof), and to indulge in long-winded considerations about the Luther bible and the Deutsches Wörterbuch, in squabbling about Jonathan Harrison's knowledge of German, etc., to addressing what I wrote regarding that speech in the update of the blog Jansson and the Luther bible (to which update Jansson, contrary to his habit, did not provide a link, unless I missed something):

Actually the understanding of ausrotten as meaning physical extermination, or at least massive killing, is the one that best fits these occasions. Wipe the Jews off the earth, or they will wipe us off the earth. Kill them before they kill us, or kill them as they are killing us. The speech of 30 January 1942, transcribed here, is particularly clear in this respect:
Wir sind uns im klaren, daß dieser Krieg ja nur damit enden könnte, daß entweder die germanischen Völker ausgerottet werden, oder daß das Judentum aus Europa verschwindet. Ich habe am 1. September 1939 im Deutschen Reichstag es schon ausgesprochen - und ich hüte mich vor voreiligen Prophezeiungen -, daß dieser Krieg nicht so ausgehen wird, wie die Juden sich es vorstellen, nämlich daß die europäischen arischen Völker ausgerottet werden, sondern daß das Ergebnis dieses Krieges die Vernichtung des Judentums ist. Zum erstenmal werden nicht andere allein verbluten, sondern zum erstenmal wird diesesmal das echt altjüdische Gesetz angewendet: Aug' um Aug', Zahn um Zahn!
My translation, emphasis added:
We are clear that this war can only end with either the Germanic peoples being ausgerottet or Jewry disappearing from Europe. I already declared this before the German Reichstag on 1 September 1939 – and I take care not to make premature prophecies – that this war will not end like the Jews imagine, namely with the European Aryan peoples being ausgerottet, but that the result of this war will be the destruction of Jewry. For the first time not others alone will bleed to death, but for the first time the genuine ancient Jewish law will be applied: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!
So being ausgerottet was synonymous with bleeding to death, with the dying of all or a substantial part of a people, with the bloodbath of a world war supposedly instigated by the Jews for the purpose of causing the Germanic peoples to be ausgerottet, to bleed to death. Except that this time Jewry would bleed alongside the peoples it had supposedly thrown into a war so as to cause them to bleed to death. It would be punished with the same evils it had supposedly inflicted on others. Those evils being death and suffering on an enormous scale, death and suffering on an enormous scale was to be visited on Jewry in retribution.

One may argue – as Rosenberg, quoted by Jansson, lamely did in his defense at Nuremberg – that Hitler was not threatening to kill every last Jew on earth as he also did not expect the Germanic peoples to be completely wiped out in the war or following defeat.  But this wouldn't change the fact that Hitler obviously meant the term ausgerottet in a sense of extreme physical violence, of massive killing.

So it looks like Jansson shot himself in the foot by invoking Hitler’s speech on 30 January 1942.

Or maybe I’m being too harsh on poor Jansson. Maybe his silence, deafening though it seems to be, does not mean that he is running away from my above-quoted argument regarding the meaning of his beloved Führer’s hallowed words. Maybe his silence is meant to signal that he wholeheartedly agrees with my interpretation.

Is that so, Mr. Jansson?

And if it is so, do you also agree that the context in which Rosenberg used the term "biologische Ausmerzung" on the occasion discussed here, considering a previous statement of Rosenberg’s, implies that he was using this term in a sense of mass murder?

Or that the terms ausgerottet, Ausrottung and auszurotten, used by, respectively, Fegelein, Frank and Himmler in the examples quoted here, had a clearly homicidal meaning?

Please let me know, Mr. Jansson.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

This has been done to death

Ausrottung = Killing. Full stop. You gentleman have done admirable work in establishing this fact.

Until such a time as he moves on to something different, I think it's time to consign Jansson to the dustbin of human history.