Tuesday, October 25, 2022

GOP Official Demands Schools Teach "Socialism Caused The Holocaust" - Why This Amounts To Educational Malpractice


Insane conflation of Milwaukee's Socialist Mayor Frank Zeidler with Nazis, top- and general conflation of Hitler's National Socialism with Communist regimes in USSR, China

A 2020 Colorado state law requires students to learn about the Holocaust and other genocides. The revised academic standards reference the Holocaust, as well as the Armenian Genocide, Cambodian Genocide, Stalin’s pogroms and genocides perpetuated by the Communist Party of China, among others.  All these are significant but the Holocaust - the Nazi extermination of the Jews of Europe during World War II (two -thirds of all Jews were killed)  is the most important.  It eliminated 6 million Jews in what was called "the Final Solution" - herding thousands into gas chambers at a time (as at Auschwitz) then killing them en masse and incinerating the corpses. 

We only knew about the full scale of horrors inflicted when the Allies finally liberated the remaining camps (e.g. Majdanek, Auschwitz, Mauthausen) after the D-Day invasion in June, 1944. One such scene came from the concentration camp at Mauthausen:

But the question elicited here is why would a fairly progressive state (like Colorado) endeavor to teach students in high schools about the Holocaust but conflate it with Socialism?  I.e. teach that the economic-political ideology of Socialism was at the root of the Nazi genocide.  One major reason this is trash is that one of the major U.S. cities (Milwaukee) in which I was born and lived had Socialist mayors such as Frank Zeidler.  See e.g.   

There were no massacres or bloodletting, but rather sane leadership with the city thriving as it never had under assorted Repug mayors, governors (especially Scott Walker).  The very fact of the existence of such a constructive, progressive leadership puts the lie to the notion Socialism is evil.  No, it is the perversion of it into tyrannical, single state communism (often conflated with Socialism) that is evil.  

 Yet a Colorado Board Of Education member – Steve Durham-  wants a false  Socialism = genocide narrative taken seriously in fulfilling the state mandate for teaching the Holocaust.  Indeed we learned in The Denver Post (Oct. 12, 'How one Colorado Republican shaped what students will learn about the Holocaust;, p. B1 )  this Reepo kook:

 "believes socialism poses grave dangers at home and has put his stamp on how students will learn about the Holocaust.".       

The Post goes on:

"Over the last year and a half, Steve Durham has pushed for the state’s academic standards to connect the Holocaust and other genocides to socialism. Durham succeeded in omitting the word Nazi from an early version of the standards in favor of the party’s full name, the National Socialist German Workers Party.

Durham agreed to include the word Nazi after Jewish community members lobbied the State Board of Education — so long as the full name with the word socialist remained.

“People don’t know and have a right to know that this party was and is a socialist party,” Durham said at an August State Board meeting."

People, especially parents in Colorado, also have a right to know Steve Durham's a moron and an uneducated fool who has been played by Hitler from beyond the grave.  This is particularly important given Durham “has wielded outsized influence over the standards related to the teaching of the Holocaust and genocides in general".

The Holocaust especially has been miscast, given that vicious,  anti-Semitic Nazi fascists conceived and carried out the Final Solution. Not any genuine socialists!

What do I mean by miscast?  Well, that everyone with common sense and a complete 20th century history background knows Hitler deliberately chose the term "National Socialist" to distract and divide - given he and his Nazi party (NSDAP, or Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei ) actually regarded socialists and communists as his sworn enemies - along with Jews - whom he conflated with the aforementioned political groups

 Since Marxists were, in fact, Socialists first and foremost, it would make no sense for a true Socialist party to encourage anyone to do that.  But the ongoing mayhem had the desired effect of turning millions of Germans off their government in much the same way so many Americans are being turned off now by the ongoing political animus and tribal warfare. Yet virulent anti-Semitic tropes are being spread by the likes of the clown Kanye West (see below).

Ian Kershaw in his magnificent account of Hitler’s rise to power (‘Hitler Nemesis’) relates how the NSDAP party members would regularly beat Marxists, socialists, and any leftists on the streets while holding up signs that read: “Tot dem Marxem!” (Death to Marxists!)

Kershaw again (p. xxxiii):

“Leaders of big business, though often harboring private concerns about current difficulties and looming future problems for the economy, for their part were grateful to Hitler for the destruction of the left-wing parties and trade unions. They were again ‘masters in the house’ in their dealings with their work force”


The oppositional forces on the Left, such as the Communists and Socialists were crushed, cowed and powerless

Thus, Durham’s critics correctly assert that the Nazis were not socialist, their party name notwithstanding, and Durham’s effort to associate Socialism with genocide and especially the Holocaust is misleading. 

Why did Hitler hate Socialists so much, with such intensity? Robert Payne in his biography of Hitler (The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler)) acknowledges it was because the originator of Marxism, Karl Marx, was a Jew. Hitler thereby erroneously inferred that Socialism was an inherently Jewish economic philosophy and its practitioners were also Jews. Hitler, like so many Americans today, committed the fallacy of composition - a logical error attributing to an entire class (the whole) what is true of only one part, or in this case one person (Marx).

 Why can't these conflaters just admit their error and walk away? Because most are Right extremists and to admit that would be to admit ideological kinship with the Nazi Right or "National Socialists" - who merely employed the S -word to misdirect the gullible, or historically uneducated masses. Hitler is associated with the RIGHT because he espoused FASCISM, which is RIGHTIST!    This is also easily proven secondarily when one appreciates the O.S.S. - the forerunner of the CiA - recruited former Nazis as spies to fight against communism

 Kind of a damned funny way to show kinship with REAL Left Socialists! IF the fucking Nazis were real Socialists why did they regularly beat the living crap out of actual Socialists?  Why did the CIA recruit Nazis to fight commies?  So far none of the geniuses - like Steve Durham-  that make these false claims about socialism and the Holocaust have been able to answer that question.  

Perhaps there is a "method to the madness" of Durham's approach, i.e. to deflect attention from the Nazi entanglements of the Republican Party itself  - which would explain why it's so hot now to promote anti-Semitism and white (Aryan-style) supremacist nationalism - also carry Nazi swastikas like at the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville in 2017, e.g.

Now maybe given this it's fair to ask Steve Durham how he explains away the clear Nazi associations. Or is he going to say these renegades were all Antifa decked out like Nazis attending the Right's VA rally? Oh, and marching with torches screaming "Jews will not replace us!" like the original Nazis did at Nuremberg more than 85 years earlier, e.g.

Perhaps also we might also query Durham about the Republican entanglements with Nazis that author Russ Bellant dug up and exposed in his stunning book: Old Nazis, The New Right and The Republican Party, South End Press, 1990) 

We owe Bellant a debt of gratitude for documenting the Republican ties to Nazis via its Ethnic Division and the Republican Heritage Groups.   As Bellant notes (p. 4):

"In a sense...the foundation of the Republican Heritage Groups Council lay in Hitler's networks into Eastern Europe before World War II. In each of those Eastern European countries the German SS set up or funded political action organizations that helped form SS militias during the war."

He cites, for example, that in Hungary the "Arrow Cross" was the SS affiliate. In Romania it was the "Iron Guard". In Latvia, it was the "Latvian Legion". And members from ALL of these - and others - obtained passage to the U.S. and found a home in various groups after the War. Under the umbrella of the Republican Heritage Groups Council and later its "Ethnic Division". Their main purpose was in Republican campaign fund raising but they were also used for assorted "dirty tricks" against Democrats and may well have come up with the noisome plan to bargain with Iran to keep American hostages there, until after Reagan was elected (as opposed to Carter, in 1980).

No connection between the Nazis and American Right? Hell, they're freakin' bedfellows.  Also explaining why the likes of Kanye West keeps the anti-Semitic tropes and memes going including barking that he "wants to go Defcon 3 on Jews" - as highlighted in an LA Times piece yesterday,  e.g.

And little wonder the Repukes  found a kindred spirit in West to help evangelize and energize their anti-Semitic, hate-filled allies. Easily seen when "Ye" appeared on Tucker Carlson, with Carlson fawning over him and his anti-Semitic tropes as he interviewed him.  (While editing out the most vile segments, as Chris Hayes revealed on an ALL In segment last week e.g.

Hayes' segment and the LA Times piece ought to wake Colorado's Board of Education up to the need to fire Durham as nothing more than a pro-Nazi propagandist, little better than Kanye West or Tucker Carlson.  In addition, the knowledge - as reported on CBS this morning - that the U.S. Holocaust Museum website was defaced with multiple hate messages after West was invited to learn about the Holocaust and its historical basis.  In the meantime, American educators (and citizens) can do themselves a major favor - and avoid infection by the mind virus of Steve Durham and Kanye West  - by availing themselves of the excellent PBS documentary, 'The U.S. and the Holocaust'.   Especially the last part:

If the Holocaust is to be taught properly then the historic connections need to be exposed, not the spurious ones used by political poseurs, anti-Semitic rabble rousers and Nazi sympathizers like Steve Durham and Kanye West among others.  Make no mistake that any Jewish person (say in Pennsylvania) voting for a Republican in these midterms would be analogous to a Jewish citizen of Germany voting for Hitler in the 1932 'runoff' election.

See Also:



by Jaime O’Neill | October 21, 2022 - 6:13am | permalink



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