Today, fascism, Nazism, and communism inspire only some relatively minor political groups. Although they caused untold destruction, and left behind ugly buildings and tasteless monuments, a young European can grow up in ignorance of his country’s fascist or Communist past. Hungarian high school students nonchalantly confuse the 1944–1945 National Socialist dictatorship of Ferenc Szálasi with the 1947–1953 Stalinist dictatorship of Mátyás Rákosi, and the Nazi struggle against Bolshevism with the American struggle against the same enemy. But no Hungarian and, in general, not many Europeans can ignore the ethnic cleansing that has been taking place in Europe for the last one hundred–odd years. Because of ethnic cleansing, millions of people can no longer live where their ancestors did.
Aside from those who were killed outright, masses of Jews, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Ukrainians, Bosnian Muslims, Croats, Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, Turks, Finns, Tatars, Chechens, Armenians, and other ethnic minorities were deported or expelled from their homelands during the past century. In most cases, the people expelled had neither the right nor the chance, and often not even the desire, to return home. Jews will never go back en masse to Ukraine; nor will the Germans resettle in Latvia, or the Greeks in Turkish Anatolia. Indeed, what has definitively changed Europe during the last century was not so much the rise and fall of totalitarian ideologies and political movements as ethnic cleansing in which fascists, Nazis, democrats, Communists, and religious fanatics all participated. At the price of stupendous suffering, the ethnic and religious map of Europe has been considerably simplified.
As far as I can judge, the recent NATO military intervention in Yugoslavia, which led to the large-scale repatriation of the expelled Kosovo Albanians, is unprecedented in European history; it may prefigure a fundamental shift in international policy and the practices of great powers. Before that event, as Norman Naimark suggests in his superb Fires of Hatred, the response of such great powers as the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the US, and France was to encourage, or at least to condone, and to legitimize ethnic cleansing. In signing the peace treaties of 1919–1920 and 1947 in Paris, the great powers put a stamp of approval on territorial seizures and ethnic cleansing previously carried out by local forces. Remember that ethnic cleansing was by no means the specialty of dictators; it was practiced with equal zeal by the democratic state of Czechoslovakia after World War II when the Sudeten Germans were deported to Germany. In fact, in Czechoslovakia it was the Communists who put an end to the persecution of the few remaining ethnic minorities after they seized power in February 1948.
Ethnic cleansing in one form or another, then, is a crucial and a much-ignored strategy, and it is only recently that carefully researched literature has been appearing on the subject. In Fires of Hatred Norman Naimark, who teaches history at Stanford University, concentrates on the cleansing of the Armenians and the Greeks in Anatolia following World War I; the Nazi attack on the Jews; the Soviet deportation of the Chechen-Ingush and the Crimean Tatars; the expulsion of the Germans from Poland and Czechoslovakia; and the wars of the Yugoslav succession.
The book of essays entitled In God’s Name, which was edited by Omer Bartov of Brown University and Phyllis Mack of Rutgers University, deals with how religion has been used to motivate and give legitimacy to various twentieth-century killings and expulsions. As with Naimark’s book, their collection devotes considerable attention to the Armenian tragedy; it also discusses such topics as anti-Semitism in the Christian churches and the position that German Protestants and Catholics took regarding the Holocaust. Moreover, by going beyond the boundaries of Europe, In God’s Name is able to describe, among other things, the appalling part that Rwandan Catholic clerics, especially monks and nuns, had in the slaughter of nearly a million Tutsis in the early 1990s. This inevitably evokes the memory of the Franciscan monks in Croatia and Bosnia during World War II, some of whom enthusiastically participated in the persecution of the Orthodox Serbs. It comes as a relief to find that the book is devoted not to the killings alone but also to such rescuers of Jews as Margit Schlachta and her Catholic Gray Sisters in Nazi-occupied Hungary.
Some fifteen sober and chilling essays on different varieties of mass killings in history have been collected in Massacres in History by Mark Levene and Penny Roberts, both historians at the University of Warwick. The essays include accounts of medieval depictions of the imagined massacre of innocent children in the Holy Land during King Herod’s fruitless attempt to prevent the birth of Christ, the slaughter of Jewish converts in late medieval Spain, as well as the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Chinese and real or suspected Communists in Indonesia in the Sixties.
Not all massacres described in this book amount to genocide or to ethnic cleansing. An essay by Peter Coates in The Massacre in History makes a surprising shift from people to animals. In “‘Unusually Cunning, Vicious and Treacherous’: The Extermination of the Wolf in United States History,” Coates argues that Europeans and, in turn, white Americans, have endowed the wolf with evil human characteristics, and thus their deep hatred and killing in many ways have resembled genocide. Coates blames Western civilization for the annihilation of the wolves. Yet I am sure that people growing domestic animals have always seen wolves as a threat to them and have hunted them down; perhaps whites were more efficient than others.
What The Massacre in History mainly shows is that there were many pre-modern massacres, and that they had the characteristics of ethnic cleansing. They, too, were attempts to rid the majority of the population, once and for all, of a despised religious, ethnic, or political minority, or even of an animal species.
The basic thesis of Stuart J. Kaufman, a political scientist at the University of Kentucky, in Modern Hatreds, is that, in ethnic cleansing, people make political choices based on emotion and in response to myths and symbols, and thus ethnic cleansing is usually not a rational decision. In an attempt to distinguish between outbursts of public violence led by elites and those led by masses, the author takes as his examples such contemporary horrors as the killings in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan in which two Soviet successor states fought a bitter ethnic war; Georgia, another Soviet successor state which is still unable to solve the problem of its minorities; and Moldova, a small new state, where a Russian-speaking minority has set up a dissident Stalinist mini-state. According to Kaufman, the evidence strongly suggests that the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia originated in mass action, and yet there is a crucial difference between them. While in Nagorno-Karabakh nationalists mobilized in the face of the efforts of incumbent leaders to prevent them from doing so, the escalation of the struggle in Georgia was caused by the leaders’ “penchant for warlordism” and their use of emotionally loaded slogans.
Whatever one thinks of Kaufman’s attempts to work out a systematic scheme to explain ethnic wars, he is convincing when he argues that ethnic violence is not the result of “ancient hatreds,” and that contemporary politics and the struggle for power among individuals and elite groups largely determine who will engage in violence and who, ultimately, will get killed. In Yugoslavia, for instance, he describes how President Milosevic combined his scapegoating policies with attempts to encourage excessive Serbian nationalist self-importance, while simultaneously demonizing the Bosnian Muslims and the Kosovo Albanians.
As Naimark and the other writers show, the forcible expulsion of a minority is almost always accompanied by an attempt to eradicate the memory of its presence. Buildings are remodeled; monuments torn down; cities, streets, and statues renamed; inscriptions erased. Today, it is hard to find traces of German culture in Russian Kaliningrad, which used to be Immanuel Kant’s East Prussian Königsberg. Only now are efforts being made in some Polish and Ukrainian towns to revive the memory, with Western financial aid, of the Jews who were once the majority of the population. A few years ago, when I visited Gdansk, our official guide failed to mention that until quite recently, the place was called Danzig, and that it used to be a great German city.
Ethnic cleansing has a satanic partner: genocide. Both are relatively new terms for practices that are very old indeed. The expression “ethnic cleansing” was first used in 1992, during the Bosnian war, to describe the systematic killing, rape, and deportation of Bosnian Muslim civilians by Serbian and Croatian soldiers and paramilitaries. The word “genocide” was coined in 1944 by the refugee Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in response to the Nazi efforts to eliminate Jews and others; it achieved political significance at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, when it was one of the main charges against the principal Nazi war criminals. Somewhat embarrassingly, it became a punishable international crime two years after the trial, on December 9, 1948, as Article II of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a treaty that the US did not ratify until 1986.
According to Naimark, what differentiates ethnic cleansing from genocide is its ultimate intent. The aim of ethnic cleansing “is to remove a people and often all traces of them from a concrete territory”; genocide, on the other hand, “is the intentional killing off of part or all of an ethnic, religious, or national group.” However, as Naimark readily admits, because people are generally reluctant to give up their homeland, violence becomes both inevitable and the preferred method of those who engage in ethnic cleansing; people are killed anyway. The main difference between genocide and ethnic cleansing is that in one case the emphasis is on making people leave and in the other on causing people to die. In 1915, the Turkish authorities both cleansed and killed Armenians, but mainly those among them who were living in particular, actually very large regions of Turkey. Therefore, whether or not their action amounted to genocide is still the subject of heated debate.
Hitler at first practiced the ethnic cleansing of the Jews, wanting them to remove themselves as far as possible from Europe. Later, however, the cleansing of Jews turned into genocide, with the aim, unique in the history of human extermination, of killing all those whom the Nazis saw as Jews, irrespective of their geographic location, age, gender, nationality, citizenship, and religion. Strangely, however, the Germans did occasionally respect “race,” as in the case of the Jewish Karaites in Russia whom Himmler was persuaded to see as not of the Semitic but of the Turkic race.
All the writers under review show considerable courage in treating their subjects with detachment; by so doing they defy those who jealously claim that the suffering of their own people is unique and even morally superior. All agree, too, that, despite the recurrence of ethnic cleansing during the past century, ethnic groups are extremely hard to define because the borders and the meaning of ethnicity are constantly shifting. Kaufman defines an ethnic group as “sharing five characteristics: a group name, a believed common descent, common historical memories, elements of a shared culture such as language or religion, and attachment…to a specific territory.” But Naimark makes it clear that “ethnicity…is specific to a time, place, and culture, and even to the individuals shaping its meaning.” In other words, ethnic identity often exists only in the eyes of one’s enemies; moreover, millions of people, especially in Eastern Europe, are ready to change their nationality with every change of regime. During the twentieth century, for example, many Silesians rushed to alter their national identity from German to Polish and from Polish to German in order to protect their homes and lives. Not all survived the attempt.
The books under review demonstrate the ancient origins of ethnic cleansing: “Homer’s Iliad,” writes Naimark, “is full of brutal and shocking examples of what one might call ethnic cleansing, as is the Bible.” Still, at least for Naimark, ethnic cleansing is intimately tied to modern tendencies. It results from the popularity of modern racist nationalism, of exclusionist social Darwinism, and, most importantly, of the development of the all-powerful state. “The modern state takes the census, organizes cadastral surveys, counts, measures, weighs, categorizes, and homogenizes.” Without these, and without modern technology, it would be far more difficult to deport or to kill millions. Indeed, the driving forces in genocide and ethnic cleansing are generally modern governments, armies, police, administrators, clerics, politicians, medical doctors, historians, writers, poets, and other creative intellectuals.
From the rich collection of pre-modern instances of man’s inhumanity which are assembled in the book edited by Levene and Roberts, I should mention John Edwards’s essay on the massacre in 1473 and 1474 at Córdoba in Spain of Jewish Christians, or conversos. Edwards calls this ethnic cleansing because earlier religious prejudices soon deteriorated into racial hatred. In fact, late medieval and early modern Spain was the only place in pre-Nazi Europe where converts could be doomed by their ancestry. Edwards, however, also demonstrates the social and economic origins of the outbursts against the converts, who were hated for having accumulated considerable wealth.
Despite its many excursions into older histories, The Massacre in History mostly concentrates on recent times. It can be argued that modern horrors began with the massacre of the indigenous Herero people in German Southwest Africa in 1904. Yet there are wide varieties even in genocide, as Tilman Dedering argues in his essay in the collection. Although vastly outgunned, the Hereros put up a fight; their massacre was the outcome of a war initiated by the victims, and their elimination shocked the German public, leading to a fierce debate in the Reichstag. None of this can be said about the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” in Germany under the Nazis.
Imperial Germany’s brutality against the Hereros was succeeded by imperial Japanese brutality during Japan’s undeclared war against China in the late 1930s, in which the most terrible event was the infamous Nanking Massacre. This, too, is discussed in The Massacre in History. Whether these killings were the result of “battlefield frenzy” or part of a considered official policy is still unclear, mainly because both the authorities and many historians in Japan try to deny or to ignore what happened. There can be no doubt, however, that Japanese soldiers were trained to treat people with great cruelty and that they had deep contempt for the Chinese. And yet there was nothing new about the soldiers’ slaughtering of the inhabitants of a besieged city. In Europe, too, tradition prescribed that the inhabitants of many fortified places that had put up too strong a resistance to the besiegers should be slaughtered. The massacre of the Armenians in Turkey was, however, a more modern affair, because it aimed at the elimination from the country of large parts of the population for no other reason than that they belonged to a religious minority.
The ethnic cleansing of Armenians, especially in 1915, was closely connected to the rise of the new Turkish national state. The old Ottoman Empire, which had no concept of nationality, treated its non-Muslims as inferior to the True Believers, but it welcomed converts; and because it discouraged Muslims from participating in commerce and banking, it allowed Greeks, Armenians, and Jews to thrive. The empire’s gradual decline in the nineteenth century led to the rise of Turkish as well as Armenian and other nationalist movements, which culminated in a political takeover by the so-called Young Turks in 1908. By then, the Turkish government had organized several pogroms against Armenians but this, Naimark writes, was not yet ethnic cleansing. The great massacres would need the complete triumph of modern nationalist sentiments.
At first, the Turkish revolutionaries were allied with the Armenian radical reformers; together they had hoped to establish a modern Ottoman state in which all ethnic groups would find a place. Soon, however, Pan-Ottomanism turned into Pan-Turanism, a hare-brained plan to unite all Turkic-speaking peoples from the Bosporus to eastern Asia under the guidance of the Young Turks. “Turkey shall become Turan,” proclaimed Ziya Gökalp, the movement’s leading intellectual. This led nowhere, except to make clear to non-Turks that they would have no future in a Pan-Turanic state.
It was World War I that led to the great Armenian and Greek tragedies. When, early in the war, the Russian armies were threatening Turkey, some Armenian nationalists took up arms against the Turks. Turkish leaders such as Talat Pasha and Enver Pasha decided to deport the Armenians from the militarily threatened provinces to somewhere in the Mesopotomian desert. The cruelties that accompanied this process included the “shoeing” of victims with horseshoes, endless beatings, robbery, rape, and depriving people of food, water, and shelter. Many of the atrocities were committed by Kurds and Circassians—national minorities that prepared the way for their own devastation by participating in the crushing of other minorities. But the organization of these atrocities was in the hands of the highest Turkish authorities.
No one knows how many Armenians died in 1915, although one million is not an unrealistic figure. However, as Naimark demonstrates, this was still unlike the German genocide of the Jews for several reasons: the Armenians were able to fight back; those in Constantinople and Smyrna were generally not harmed; and conversion to Islam provided a means of escape, at least for some women and children. Curiously, the Turkish leaders still perceived Armenian identity as a religion and not as a nationality; therefore, the Protestants and the Catholics among them were generally spared. What foreshadowed Nazism, however, were the nearly unimaginable brutality of the persecution and the language of hate and contempt that was used to justify the massacres.
At the end of the war, the new Turkish government, acting under British tutelage, punished a handful of Turks who had taken part in the massacres; later, Armenian terrorists killed some of the chief culprits in exile. Still, Hitler, in claiming that the Nazis could go ahead with the extermination of the Jews, was correct when he said, “After all, who today speaks of the massacre of the Armenians?”
Following the First World War, Naimark writes, Armenians carried out their own terror under the protection of the triumphant allies; and the Treaty of Sèvres, in 1920, ratified the dismemberment of the Turkish state. The Turkish revolutionary leader Kemal Atatürk, however, repudiated the Sèvres treaty and rejected any territorial claims by either Kurds or Armenians. Here he behaved differently from the Hungarians, the Bulgarians, and the Austrians who, after reluctantly accepting punitive peace treaties, could do no better than wait for a revisionist Germany to rise and to lead the way to territorial restitution. Under Atatürk’s command, the Turks easily defeated the Greek army, which in 1921 had foolishly penetrated into the heart of Anatolia.
The result was ethnic cleansing, massacres by both sides, and the flight of the huge Greek colony from Anatolia. In the Treaty of Lausanne, in 1923, the great powers put their stamp of approval on Turkish victory and on mutual ethnic cleansings between Turks and Greeks, for which they used the euphemism “population exchanges.” Even earlier, as a consequence of the Balkan wars of 1912–1913, hundreds of thousands of Greeks, Bulgarians, and Turks were “exchanged”; but now the numbers amounted to 1.5 million Greeks and 356,000 Turks being dumped into each other’s country. Many of the so-called Greeks either spoke not a word of Greek or spoke a dialect that proved to be incomprehensible in the home country. Many of the so-called Turks did not know any Turkish because they were Muslim Greeks, Gypsies, Slavs, and Vlachs. Smyrna, a beautiful old Greek settlement on the Aegean coast, burned down during the flight of the Greeks; today it is called Izmir, and it is thoroughly Turkish. At the cost of indescribable suffering, the Greek and Turkish nationalists had created their nation-states, thus setting an example for all those working toward the same goal.
As for the Holocaust, Naimark concentrates on the question of how and when the cleansing of the Jews turned into their systematic murder. The cleansing of undesirable elements, or Flurbereinigung, in the words of Himmler, was talked about in Germany as well as elsewhere during the 1920s and 1930s. A law of July 14, 1933, led first to the sterilization and then to the killing, mostly by gas, of at least 70,000 Germans because they were retarded, mentally ill, crippled, or otherwise seen as defective. The maximum effort at cleansing was, however, reserved for the Jews, who, in Nazi eyes, were both a weak, cowardly, and worm-like race and also a super-race, endowed with supernatural evil powers against whom any and all methods of self-defense were permissible.
At first, there were efforts to make life miserable for Jews in Germany in order to get them to leave the country; unfortunately, many Jews were reluctant to go; nor were there many places that would receive them. Naimark sees both the Kristallnacht in November 1938 and Hitler’s notorious Reichstag speech of January 1939, which, in case of a war, threatened European Jewry with extinction, as driven by exasperation. Because the Jews would not go and because others did not want them, a situation had to be created in which even the most reluctant would leave no matter how, where, and in what condition. Wild plans were concocted for sending the Jews to Madagascar, or settling them in the Lublin area, in occupied Poland; in both places, the Nazis reckoned, most Jews would soon die of illness or exhaustion.
Only after these plans failed and after Germany became involved in a titanic struggle against the Soviet Union did the Germans engage in genocide. The Soviet enemy and the Jews melted into a combined vision of evil; together, they became the devil incarnate. According to Naimark, Jews had to suffer the ultimate punishment for an increasingly painful war. This view is not far from that of the historian Arno Mayer, who in Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?1 wrote that the genocide of the Jews was a direct consequence of Germany’s first defeats on the eastern front. Because Hitler could not kill all the Bolsheviks, he tried to kill all the Jews. Naimark writes: “The intensity of Nazi racial ideology and its maniacal pseudo-biological underpinnings in the end distinguishes the Holocaust from the Armenian genocide.”
At the Twentieth Soviet Party Congress in February 1956, General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev created a sensation by confessing that during World War II both the Chechen-Ingush people and the Crimean Tatars had been deported from their homelands. Stalin and his police chief Lavrenty Beria charged the two ethnic groups with collaboration with the German occupiers, which was true for many Tatars but not for the Chechen and the Ingush peoples in the Caucasus. Some of those peoples, however, used the opportunity of the German military campaign to renew the fight against Soviet Russian colonialism. In any case, the deportations were ordered in 1944, after the German danger had passed and there was no more chance for collaboration. Altogether, more than 600,000 people were taken away on a moment’s notice, mostly to miserable towns in Kazakhstan, where they starved. According to Naimark, between 35 and 45 percent of the deportees died, many in the sealed boxcars that were carrying them to Kazakhstan, others when in exile. The Chechen and Ingush survivors were eventually allowed to go home, but not the Tatars.
What distinguishes the Chechen-Ingush and Tatar cases is that every member of these ethnic groups was included in the deportation: the sick, the dying, party secretaries, decorated war heroes, high-ranking provincial admin- istrators. This was no genocide because dying was not part of the Soviet plan, but the thoroughness of the ethnic cleansing surpassed even that of the Nazis. In Nazi Germany, the Jewish Victor Klemperer, whose wife was Aryan, as well as a number of other German Jews such as the holders of the very highest military decorations, were exempted from deportation2 ; in the Soviet Union, a mixed marriage did not exempt a Chechen, an Ingush, or a Crimean Tatar from the same fate. Characteristically, the Soviet authorities tried to efface the memory of the deported peoples not only from all the monuments but also from textbooks; none of them had ever existed, nor had the Volga Germans and many others who had shared the same fate. Obviously, the Soviet plan didn’t work; today, the descendants of the deported Chechens wage a ruthless war against those whom they perceive as their Russian overlords.
History’s largest single migration in a short period was undoubtedly the withdrawal, flight, and expulsion of the German people from East Central and Eastern Europe. The process started, Naimark explains, with Hitler’s recalling to the homeland the Germans who had been living in the Baltic countries for hundreds of years. It continued with other mad withdrawal schemes and colonization drives and with the flight of millions of Volksdeutsche before the advancing Soviet armies. It ended with the killing or expulsion of the rest of the Germans from everywhere east of the frontiers of the new, diminished, and divided Germany.
Naimark concentrates on what happened in Poland and Czechoslovakia. He shows sympathy for the wrath of the Poles who had suffered under the Germans, whether the Reich Germans or Poland’s own Volksdeutsche; but he is indignant over the horrors to which the German civilians in Czechoslovakia were submitted. During the war, the Czechs enjoyed nearly the same living standards as the Germans; they worked diligently in the factories and the offices under German surveillance, and even though the Czech Protectorate had become a part of the Reich, Czechs were spared the lethal obligation of having to serve in the war. No doubt, there were many brave anti-Nazi fighters in the Czech Protectorate, but their resistance was incomparably weaker than the one in Poland, or even that in fascist Slovakia.
Yet when the Soviet army arrived, thousands of partisans and other freedom fighters suddenly arose from nowhere and engaged in a bloodbath that had few parallels in post–World War II Europe. Naimark provides plenty of examples, including the massacre, by their neighbors, of German villagers. In the Sudetenland town of Ústí nad Labem (Aussig), on July 31, 1945, several hundred and perhaps more German civilians were killed, many of them thrown into the Elbe River and drowned. In general, Germans—and for a while, Hungarians as well—were treated the way Jews were treated in Germany before the Holocaust: thousands were thrown into prisons and concentration camps; all of them had to wear special badges; all were given greatly reduced food rations; and they were not allowed to go to restaurants or to sit on park benches. The Germans in Czechoslovakia had for the most part voted for the pro-Nazi Sudeten German Party in the 1930s and they had been incorporated into the Reich in 1938. Many a Volksdeutsche might have been said to have deserved severe treatment, but far from all of them and certainly not their children. Characteristically, just as Hungarian Jews like to recall cases when German soldiers defended them in 1944 against the fury of the Hungarian gendarmes, so German exiles like to remember, whether or not it was true, the Soviet soldiers who in 1945 protected them against the fury of their Czech countrymen.
The so-called wild purges in Czechoslovakia and Poland were followed by the systematic expulsion of the remaining German population. Naimark sees these acts as ethnic cleansing and not as genocide; after all, German miners and other valuable workers were allowed to remain, as were the spouses of Czechs.
The Great Powers had no objection to these events in Czechoslovakia, mainly because of the dedicated propaganda efforts of former Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes, who, while in exile, gradually expanded his plans for deportation. He received the silent permission of both the British and the Soviet governments not to spare even the anti-Nazi German Social Democrats or the Jews who had stated that they were of German nationality. The Polish democratic leader in exile, Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, did not act differently; in fact, Poles and Czechs, whether Communists or non-Communists, agreed that the German problem should be solved ruthlessly. Traces of the German presence were everywhere systematically eradicated. It is a final irony that those Germans who survived the expulsions generally fared well in the Federal Republic, and became an influential political force in Bavaria while those who were allowed to stay were forced to share in the hardships of communism.
After the expulsion of the Germans from Eastern Europe the next episode of ethnic cleansing took place in Yugoslavia, beginning in the late 1980s; to that tragedy hundreds of writers, including the authors of one of the books under review, have devoted much attention. It may be, as I wrote earlier, that the NATO-led return of the Albanian refugees to Kosovo a few years ago will mark the beginning of a new epoch, one that no longer tolerates the expulsion and annihilation of ethnic groups. But perhaps also the return of the Albanians prefigured the completion of the process of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. Once NATO forces leave Kosovo, the Serbian minority will probably have to leave with them. With some exceptions, such as immigrants from Africa and Asia, Europe’s political boundaries have become ethnic boundaries as well, signifying the triumph of the great French revolutionary idea of securing a sovereign state for every nation. That it cost millions and millions of dead will, regrettably, be more forgotten than remembered.3
September 26, 2002
Pantheon, 1988. ↩
The historian Nathan Stoltzfus, writing in Resisting the Holocaust, edited by Ruby Rohrlich (Berg, 1998) p. 168, fn. 1, shows that as of September 1944 there were 13,217 officially registered Jews in Germany, all but 230 of them married to Aryans. The Aryan spouses were almost invariably women. Most of these Jews survived the war. ↩
I wish to thank Ms. Ann Major of Sydney, Australia, for her valuable research assistance in preparing this essay. ↩