January 27th, 2019 § 0 comments

HG Read Vasily Grossman’s essay, “The Hell of Treblinka”, yesterday. Grossman commented about the essay: “If it is difficult to read, it was equally difficult to write.” Some 700,000 to 900, 000 Jews (mostly from Poland) plus 2,000 Romani were murdered at this Nazi extermination center in Poland. Gassed, incinerated and buried. Grossman, war correspondent of the Soviet Army newspaper, Red Star, during World War Two, was the first journalist to view and write about Treblinka. His account is so vivid, detailed and frightening that it leaves the reader shaken. Stalin waged an incessant attack on Grossman since writing about the Holocaust was viewed, by Stalin, as forbidden “exceptionalism.” Soviet policy was not to single out the victims of the Holocaust as Jews, only Soviet citizens. (Trump followed Stalin’s policy in his first statements about the Holocaust when he made no mention of Jews). Among the Treblinka horrors detailed by Grossman are not only the mass murders, but the individual killings of Jewish men and children. It is hard to believe these German and Ukrainian perpetrators were human rather than a sub species of monster (one delighted in ripping the heads off living children). Reading about Treblinka gives an insight into Israel’s intransigent “Never Again” policies.

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