Auschwitz teaches us that suppressing nationalism is a deadly error and that there is only one place where Jews are ever truly at home, no matter how much we wish to believe otherwise
The world we live in today was made by the Holocaust. World War One was in many ways more horrific than its successor, as any cenotaph in Western Europe and in Canada can attest to. The numbers of dead in WWI, even in the tiniest of villages in France and in England are simply staggering. Their names crowd each other out from the limestone of the cenotaphs and dwarf the numbers of the dead from WWII.
WWII was unprecedented because of the Holocaust and only because of that. The Holocaust was and is a singularity in the literal sense. It stood and still stands alone. The systematic slaughter of a genetically and culturally cohesive people, a nation, a culture, by another cohesive nation, one that was among the most technologically advanced in the world, was and still is without precedent.
In the aftermath, there had to be an accounting, an understanding. How could a nation of Goethe do this, especially to people who have never harmed it in the least, the poor Jewry of Eastern Europe, millions of people who have never as much as set foot within hundreds of miles from Germany’s borders. And how could the Gentile populations of the countries in which the slaughter was taking place, Poland, Belarus, the Baltics, facilitate the slaughter rather than, at least passively, resists it?
The correct culprit has indeed been found: nationalism. As Theodor Herzl has envisioned more than five decades earlier, the nationalist tendencies that are part of human nature could not for long tolerate the embedding of a foreign nation, the Jews, inside lands and countries that were the home of other nations.
Antifa protesters against Trump in Phoenix in 2017
Image by Carptrash
Jews, of course, have lived in the diaspora, specifically the European one for over a millennium, so what has changed? First, Jews suffered severe persecutions and genocides in Western Europe for many centuries, so in one sense, nothing changed. As Western Europe led the way with consolidation of power from feudal lords to nation states governed by an alliance of temporal power held by kings and spiritual power held by the Christian Church, history saw the emergence of the European nationalities we know today: Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English. As those nations coalesced, they could not and would not contain within their territories ethnic and religious minorities. The Jews were not the only ones that paid the price of these consolidations. So did the Spanish and Portuguese Muslims, the French Protestants, and the English Catholics. Ethnic and religious homogeneity was the word of the day.
Jews and other ethnic and religious minorities were thus squeezed out to smaller countries like Holland and eastward to were the ethnic and religious consolidations have not yet been completed: the dukedoms and principalities of what is now Germany, Austria, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. As longs as Europe contained within itself nation states like France, but also multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-religious empires like Austro-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey, and Imperial Russia, Jews could find safe harbor within the confines of these empires as simply yet another ethno-religious minority, one among many.
The end of the First World War saw the fall of all three empires and their fracturing into a large number of ethno-religiously homogeneous polities. Out of the ashes of that war sprung Austria and Hungary, Poland and Lithuania, to name but a few. Free from the forced ethnic and religious homogeneity of imperial rule, these new countries were led by fierce nationalists who instantly became acutely aware of the presence within their borders of a sizable and very foreign etho-religious minority – the Jews.
As these East European countries were struggling with the so-called Jewish question, along came Germany in its quest for lebensraum, living room to the east of its borders, and solved the problem for them. Germany exterminated Jews not because it was harmed by them, even though that is what some of their propaganda claimed. It did so because it too had no desire to contain within its new territories a large foreign minority population.
If it were possible to perform an unbiased poll of Eastern Europeans, of Hungarians and Poles and Lithuanians and Ukrainians to name but a few and ask them if they were happy or sad that their countries no longer had Jewish minorities of five to ten percent, if they could answer freely and without fear of any repercussions, the answer would be overwhelming: they are all very glad that there are no more Jews in any significant numbers living in their countries and they wish to keep it that way.
Nationalism is a fundamental part of human nature that can no more be eradicated than the love we feel towards our children. This is something Herzl understood and something that the leaders of Western Europe in the days after the Second World War chose to ignore. Herzl, acting like all people of reason do, created Zionism, a Jewish nationalist movement that took it upon itself to create a Jewish ethno-state as the only solution to the Jewish question. Nazi Germany undertook another solution, one in which it was, alas, substantially successful. Herzl strove to save Eastern European Jewry by creating for it a Jewish state in the Jewish ancestral homeland. Nazi Germany chose to simply exterminate it.
Image by Lorie Shaull
In the race between these radically different solutions, Nazi Germany had the upper hand. Not by much, only by a few years, but enough to destroy most of European Jewry and change the fate of the world forever. The destruction that the Nazis had wrought during their short tenure has not stopped when they were defeated and it continues today. It continues because in the early post-war years, a coalition of Germany, France, and liberal progressive elements from the United States decided that the only way to stop another Holocaust was to change human nature itself and eliminate nationalism.
The belief that human nature can be changed, that the world can be perfected not through the righteous behavior of each of us as individuals, but through some sort of policies, five-year plans, and centralized meritocratic “science-based” decision-making is the source of every calamity in the last 150 years. The Holocaust itself was the result of an unholy union between progressive socialist ideology and nativist German nationalism.
The idea that something as fundamental to human nature as our nationalist instincts can be suppressed, reversed, eliminated by orders from unelected elites that are accountable to no one is already wreaking havoc across the world. Globalism, like communism and fascism from which it has sprung, is a toxic combination of inhumanity and unbridled, limitless power lust. It is already well on its way to destroying Western Civilization, the only civilization that substantially achieved the elimination of poverty and human suffering in its domains.
The destruction of the West has already resulted in increased crime, resurfacing of long-since conquered diseases, and the collapse of societal norms. This, however, is just the beginning. All progressive ideologies go supernova and leave nothing behind but piles of smoking bodies and uninhabitable landscapes of death. This is not at all an exaggeration. Visit the local Holocaust museum in your city, find footage of the killing fields of Cambodia, read the Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn, open your eyes to the no-go zones that ring every major European city, and you will see for yourself.
The lesson of Auschwitz is that there is such a thing as being too late. The lesson of Auschwitz is that nations must be able to chart their own destiny freely, in accordance with the wishes of their people and no one else. The lesson of Auschwitz is that progressive ideology kills, always. The lesson of Auschwitz is that Jews should respect the wishes of any nation that does not wish them to live among it, be it Poland, Hungary, or America. Seventy-five years have passed and these lessons are still unheeded, nor are they any closer to being understood. Yet it is within each of our own power to learn them and act accordingly. Just remember, too late is definitely a “thing”.