October 4th, 2013

The Jews of Germany and Europe: why didn’t they leave in time?

It occurs to me from a recent exchange in the comments section that it might be a good idea to visit the topic of the reaction of the Jews of Germany to Hitler.

First I’d like to clear up one thing: the question of what percentage of the German population was Jewish back then. I wrote a post about the topic in September of 2005. Here’s an except:

…[I]n the course of doing some research on World War II and the Holocaust, I came across a statistic that absolutely stunned me: the percentage of Jews in the population of Germany prior to World War II and Hitler’s rise.

Since then, every so often I will ask people if they can guess what it might have been, and no one’s ever gotten it right off the top of their heads, or even come close.

So, what percentage of the population of pre-WWII Germany do you suppose was Jewish? Take a moment and think about it. Then guess.

You can do that now.

Here’s the answer, and it will almost undoubtedly surprise you (unless, of course, you were reading neo-neocon eight years ago and remember that previous post):

According to the census of June 1933, the Jewish population of Germany consisted of about 500,000 people. Jews represented less than one percent of the total German population of about 67 million people.

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s go to the larger topic: did the great majority of these Jews naively and hopefully fail to see the Nazi menace, and did they stay in Germany too long?

The answer to that is: it doesn’t seem that way. Actually, the majority of them left rather than wait it out. And many who waited it out did so because they could not leave—either because they were old and ill, and/or poor, and/or because all avenues of escape were closed to them.

Here are the statistics:

Increasing antisemitism prompted a wave of a Jewish mass emigration from Germany throughout the 1930s. Soon after their rise to power in 1933, the Nazis negotiated the Haavara Agreement between Zionist authorities in Palestine, which was signed on August 25, 1933. Under its terms, 60,000 German Jews were allowed to emigrate to Palestine and take $100 million in assets with them. Between 1929 and 1939, a total of 250,000 Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine, mostly from Germany. Of these, 174,000 arrived between 1933 and 1936. After that, the British Mandatory authorities imposed limits on Jewish immigration, which led to clandestine illegal immigration. This wave of immigration was part of the Fifth Aliyah, and saw many Jewish doctors, lawyers, professionals, and professors leave the country.

The United States was another destination for German Jews seeking to leave the country, though the number allowed to immigrate was restricted due to the Immigration Act of 1924. Between 1933 and 1939, more than 300,000 Germans, some 90% of them Jews, applied for immigration visas to the United States. By 1940, only 90,000 German Jews had been granted visas and allowed to settle in the United States…

Overall, of the 522,000 Jews living in Germany in January 1933, only 214,000 were left by the eve of World War II.

It was probably easier to leave earlier in the 1930s as opposed to later. But from the above numbers you can see that a lot of people were trying—and even succeeding—during the mid-30s. For example, by my calculations, one-third of the entire German Jewish population managed to get to Palestine by 1936, before things tightened up and it became much more difficult to emigrate there (but even before that, numbers were limited by law).

What’s more, some who did leave Germany early on got trapped in their supposed places of refuge as time went on:

Some 100,000 German Jews also moved to Western European countries, especially France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. However, these countries would later be occupied by Germany, and many of them would still fall victim to the Holocaust.

In most cases emigration required cunning, connections, and money, and even then it often failed. The German Jews were generally more well-off and assimilated than Jews in countries where the Jewish population was much larger, such as Poland. I’ve talked mostly about Germany so far, but as is evident from the statistics, the Jews of Germany constituted a very small minority compared to the Jews of Europe. However, German Jews were more directly affected early on by Hitler and the Nazis and their restrictive laws. In other parts of Europe, the Jews would have been alerted to the dangers only later. But they were subject to all the restrictions mentioned, and it’s actually quite amazing that many made it out at all.

For every person who managed to leave, I would guess (although I have no way of knowing for sure) there were many many more who tried very hard and yet failed. A personal anecdote: I have read the translation of a series of letters written by a Polish Jew who was the brother of one of my ex-husband’s uncles. These documents are utterly heartbreaking and chilling. They begin in 1936 and continue to 1939, although there is one very brief one written in the early 1940′s. They consist of reports of what’s happening in Poland and requests for help in order to emigrate to America, where my ex-husband’s uncle (the recipient of the letters) was living at the time.

The writer was eventually trapped in Poland and murdered in the Holocaust. He was an ordinary man in the sense of having no particular wealth—as I recall, he had a small textile business—and he even had a brother in the US willing to help and pull every string he could find, including promising the US government that he would take financial responsibility for him. All to no avail.

The following excerpts will give you a flavor of the sentiments and thoughts expressed in these missives. Here’s a quote from the earliest letter that survived (from 1936):

Our situation here grows worse from day to day. A Jew here is worse off than a dog that runs about the streets…The burden of taxes is unbearable. Not a week goes by that there isn’t something new. And it is always on the Jew. It is truly indescribable. You Jew, you have money for everything. And on the other hand, the Jew is persecuted as a Communist. The whole story of the Middle Ages is being repeated.

…Polish Jewry is in a desperate state. Above all, there are no prospects in life for the young people. Very few marriages are taking place among Polish Jews, and so on. The young people see no future for themselves here. They want to emigrate, but unfortunately the world is completed closed to them…Above all, we are very frightened…These days, the people in high places speak openly about how they need to rid Poland of at least 100,000 Jews. Anti-Semitism is growing by leaps and bounds. They send free anti-Semitic newspapers into every village. The Jew is blamed for everything.

Here is one from 1939:

Now, my dear brother, let’s get down to business. You write that you spoke to a “lawyer” [Eng.] and he told you that he would find out everything that needs to be done. My dear brother, you should know that I dwell on this day and night; I simply don’t sleep.

Most importantly, you must understand what I write you. First, the American consulate here is very strict about the papers it receives. First, the papers must indicate that the person submitting them is in a good financial situation –mainly that his income exceeds his expenses, that he can support [the immigrants.]. If so, they grant a visa. I don’t know if you can show this. If your boss [Eng.] can provide certification that you are paid, for example, $70, and that you require only $40, and you can also show that you have a couple of thousand in the bank, that is good. My dear, I would very much like to rescue the children from this fire. I believe that there is sure to be a war in Europe, and you are well aware what the word “war” represents.

They do everything they can to get rid of the Jews. A young person, if only he has the wherewithal, wants to escape, as if from hell. Oh, my dear brother, we must do everything with great care and deliberation, to see that things go well, because in the American consulate in Warsaw they look to see who has better papers, and better guarantees, and those people get a visa sooner. That’s the thing you have to see to. There are people whose papers have been lying in the consulate for three years already, and still nothing has happened. And whoever has papers that show that someone can put up a lot of money as a guarantee, and also makes a good living, then it’s OK. May God help us get this done successfully.

Here is one from later in 1939:

If I had something happy to write, I would write to you twice a week. Unfortunately, such terrible things happen occasionally, they are indescribable. What times we are living in! People were mistaken in their belief that the aristocracy will win, and that courtesy and decency will rule. Instead, we have barbarism, ferocious violence, concentration camps and women buried alive with babies in their arms. This continues, and England still supports it and gives [untranslatable word] and so on.

…And it’s now clear that war is inevitable. Hitler has arms and people; he needs bread. All of world Jewry must be ready to fight all on fronts with strength and money and influence, to make sure that he fails. For he has decreed that Jews are bad and must be stamped out and their possessions taken.

Now, my dear brother, I know you are eager to know what has happened with the papers you sent. It is not a simple matter. Everyone loves the Jews but nobody wants them [as immigrants in their country]. The American consulate is inundated with [illegible word] and it goes with great difficulty.

From two letters late in 1939:

This week I got your letter with the [illegible word] that you wrote to the senator [word is in English]. I see that you are devoted and want to rescue my children from this powder keg. Today it said in the paper that America will be closed for 5 years…

America pities and sends wishes to the Jews. Can’t they let in a couple of million Polish, German, Rumanian and Austrian Jews?

It’s like the rich man who was very charitable. A poor man came begging at his door in winter. It was exceptionally cold. The rich man stood at the door and gave him alms. Shouts the poor man, I don’t want alms. It’s cold and I’m freezing. Let me in so I can warm myself a bit. No answer. The rich man gives him a couple more pennies, but doesn’t let him in.

There was a time when the Spanish and German Jews were chased out and Poland took them in. And now in such developed countries as America and England–they know how to give alms but they won’t allow you to come in and warm yourself.

I’ll stop there, but I’ll add that these represent only a few short excerpts from a much lengthier series of letters that show a man who knows that he and his children are almost certainly trapped and doomed, and yet is fighting with all his might to escape. It is inexpressibly sad to read these letters and know what happened.

How typical this man’s sentiments and knowledge were at the time I do not know. But to me they suggest that a substantial number of the Jews who stayed in Europe in the 30s and died there in the 40s were quite aware of the fate that awaited them, either in general or very specific terms, and had tried their best to escape. But for most of them there was no way to do it and nowhere to go.

80 Responses to “The Jews of Germany and Europe: why didn’t they leave in time?”

  1. Mike Says:

    The spiritual and intellectual ground is being laid now to harass, and intern, and probably exterminate entire classes of Americans.

    Whenever socialism takes hold, it finds a scapegoat, rounds them up, and you know the rest. It brooks no dissent. It cannot. Socialism is all or nothing on several fronts.

    Russia, Germany, China, Cambodia…..

    America is now on the Socialist agenda. To them, we have been for a century what we are to Iran now – the great prize, the great Satan.

    The scapegoating will start with the outlandish rhetoric we hear from the other side every day now. That is the prelude to the actual scapegoating.

    Then comes the hell.

  2. expat Says:

    OT: Did you hear that Erdogan is pushing to have children of Turkish families, even integrated ones , be instructed in Turkish in German and other European schools? Merkel won’t even consider this, I’m sure, but he is latching on to the multiculti diversity BS. Another victim group that has no idea what real victims went through.

    I remember seeing a photo of a Jewish pair standing bbefore their stationery shop in a German village. Most of the residents probably got the supplies for their first schoolday from this couple, yet they all fell for the Hitler scapegoat propaganda.

  3. sharpie Says:

    It isn’t quite working: American socialism. Thank you Constitution founded on Scripture and rationalism.

    Further, all over the globe, socialism is being resisted. Wished I could say fumigated.

    (Zed, we have a bug!).

    If ever Bible prophecy looked credible, now is the time. Israel, miraculously resurrected, now faces the whole world alone. The problems (especially if you believe the socialists ) are apocalyptic. Those three things were predicted long ago.

    I believe there is a plan to create chaos and subvert our government if socialism cannot be “peacefully” installed. And the plan is focused on the Jews.

    And the parallels to Nazi Germany are credible. But not yet weighty or final. I hope.

    Most ironic, is the liberal Jewish strategy. All but the Orthodox (that is all the reform and most of the “conservative”) Jews advocate “tolerance” and not Hashem. Supposedly, tolerance is their salvation. Therefore, in the name of tolerance, they violate Torah and their contract.

    When the chosen people reject the One who chose them, the loss of their protection is not far behind. America, the now protector of the chosen people, may not be able to subdue G-d’s judgment for the breach of contract. Americca has G-d’s blessings for that protection, but what if G-d decides otherwise.

    Ironic, isn’t it, that evangelical Christians, the historic persecutors of Jews, plead and hinder G-d’s judgement of Jews, which is the trigger or our end?

  4. Mr. Frank Says:

    For quite awhile I’ve wondered why the Christians in the ME don’t look for a way out. Maybe they do.

  5. Don Carlos Says:

    I posted this on the earlier thread:

    “A little-known thing:
    FDR kept Jewish immigration down to (appallingly) low levels, because he did not want to provoke Adolf into defaulting on the $1 B per year ‘reparations’ to the US mandated by the Versailles treaty.
    I disremember the usually reliable source of this.”

    The letters quoted by Neo above attest to the FDR admin.’s reluctance to admit European Jews in their time of great need.

    BHusseinO et al. treat American conservatives like Adolf blaming the German Jews. Fortunately we are way more than a 1% minority, and many of us are armed. But, like those Jews, we are way too deferential to the “Rule of Law”, even when those Laws are promulgated by the evil and the corrupt.

  6. Glen Says:

    There is a recent book “Bloodlands” which is an excellent book on a horrible subject. Difficult to get through. Fills in many gaps in understanding what happened. Talks about the millions killed by Stalin that started things in the region. People hoped Germany would come save them, they did come but killed millions more. Lots of stats and references. Big question is how did the people manage to recover from what they went through.

  7. Sgt. Mom Says:

    There is a book which you might find interesting – about how a large portion of Jews fled Germany and Austria in the Thirties, precisely because of the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis –
    http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Rescue-Democracies-Could-ebook/dp/B000FBFAOK/ref=la_B001H6KWDQ_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380925112&sr=1-2
    The ukase of the first part of the book is that Jews departed Germany expeditiously and in large numbers during the Thirties, precisely because they saw the threat the Nazis posed to them. The tragedy is that many of them only went as far as other European countries, and were rounded up as the German occupation caught up to them. By 1941 – there was no way out, no escape, no matter how much it was wished for. The Germans wanted every Jew they captured dead, deader, deadest. There was no way to save them, unless by beating the Nazis entirely.
    One of the other themes is that the general public in the US (and England and Canada to a lesser extent) many have been – by the standards of today – casually anti-Semitic – but the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis horrified them all. Within limits – and remember, this was when the US was only beginning to recover from the Depression – the various Western countries did what they could. Remember also – that the full horror of the extermination camps didn’t become public knowledge until Allied forces actually liberated the camps in 1945; took pictures, made newsreels, looked at the stacks of skeletal bodies, the crematoria, talked to survivors. It was all too awful to believe, until that moment.
    Another thing – Charles Lindbergh was an American hero in the 20s and 30s – there was hardly anyone more admired. But when he made a speech in 1940 blaming the Jews for having started the war and any misfortunes resulting being on their heads (this is the short version, basically), he basically became persona non gratia. (http://www.ncobrief.com/index.php/archives/vino-veritas-and-lucky/)
    The general American public might not have been wildly philosemitic, but they detested the way that the Nazis were treating Jews and the citizens of occupied countries.
    As for the treatment of Christians and Jews in Islamic countries … that is something that our mainstream press doesn’t want to touch with a bargepole.

  8. Bill Jones Says:

    So this probably wasn’t smart

    http://nspcanada.nfshost.com/graphics/judeawar.gif

  9. DNW Says:

    “So, what percentage of the population of pre-WWII Germany do you suppose was Jewish? Take a moment and think about it. Then guess.”

    It’s the kind of thing many might have learned once, in high school maybe, never to really revisit with any specificity again.
    Gradually, the six million figure (“Probably 4.6 to 6 million”) we are all familiar with, somehow becomes one blended mass of which a third or half at least must be German nationals …

    I did some reviewing of the figures a dozen years ago, and think I had read a figure of about 600,000 Jews as living in Germany before the rise of the Third Reich. I don’t recall how many of those killed in concentration camps were Jewish German nationals, but 146,000 or more seems the number I recall; or would have guessed – after having updated myself.

    Before that updating, I would have subtracted 2 million Poles and/or Russians and said 800,000 German Jewish nationals maybe …

    The real population percentage figures, which are less than what I would have thought was an intelligent guess as to the number of German Jewish nationals killed, makes you wonder how they could even be scapegoated effectively.

    I wonder now how many Non-Jewish Germans would have even met Jews on a day to day basis.

  10. Oldflyer Says:

    Neo, heartbreaking.

    I have read several fiction books by Alan Furst who writes almost exclusively about pre-war, and the war years in Europe. A recurring theme is the plight of the Jews in Europe and the to-be occupied countries.

    One theme that he explores with regard to Jews in Germany in the earlier and mid ’30s was the belief that Hitler and the Nazis were a temporary evil. They held to this belief (hope?) well after 1933, probably until 1939 at least; expecting that the Army would not tolerate them. So, they tried to wait it out; and paid dearly for their error.

    Another theme is that those who left Germany actually preferred to stay in Europe. The United States was not a particularly attractive destination for many of the more cultured people. So, many went from the frying pan to the fire.

    It is also true that the U.S. seriously restricted the immigration of Jews from Europe, as did England. There may be various excuses, but I believe the basic reason is obvious. Apparently Canada was somewhat better. I think South America may have been an option. But for many the potential destinations probably seemed little better than the Fascist states of Europe as a home for Jews.

    For safe and secure Americans, it is simply not possible to understand the depth of helplessness and despair that so many had to experience as the options were closed and the (then) unknown, but universally feared, monster approached.

  11. Matthew M Says:

    Thanks for sharing. Personal, concrete details are crucial for understanding broad concepts and epic events.

    The excerpts from the letters are heartbreaking. That so many roadblocks prevented more Jews from emigrating to the US, UK or British Mandate is both tragic and infuriating.

    Based on the fact that the letters date back to 1936, did the persecution of Jews in Poland began before the Germans invaded?

  12. Walter Sobchak Says:

    My wife’s father lived in Vienna before WWII. He left after the Anschluss and Kristalnacht. His brother and parents also got out.

    The Soviets actually saved most of the Jews of the Ukraine by evacuating them to the east after the German invasion. This included more than 40 members of my mother’s family. My mother had emigrated to the US in 1935.

    The burden of the Holocaust fell very largely on the Jews of Poland, Hungary and other East European Countries that Germany conquered during the war. They were trapped behind enemy lines and had no way to escape.

    As you noted some German Jews went to France in the 1930s thinking they would be safe from Hitler. They too wound up trapped behind enemy lines and among a people who were almost as anti-semitic as the Germans.

    Never trust the French.

  13. waltj Says:

    The ones who best succeeded in frustrating the Nazis in their Jew-hunting were the Danes. In October 1943, they got almost all of their small Jewish population out of the country to neutral Sweden from under the noses of the occupiers. The Danes had some advantages: first, the small number of Jews, only about 7,800. Second, their integration into Danish society–there was no “Jewish Quarter” in Copenhagen or elsewhere, and many Jews had taken Danish-sounding surnames, so the Nazis or even their local flunkies couldn’t tell who was Jewish and who wasn’t just by reading a list of names. Third, a maritime tradition and infrastructure (i.e., boats, lots of them), and proximity to Sweden. Most important was the will to do the right thing, among Danes of all persuasions, and the Swedish government, which agreed to accept all Danish Jews. The survivors recognized this effort with a tree at the Garden of the Righteous (as it was called when I saw it) at Yad Vashem. Most of the people honored there, like Oskar Schindler, Corrie ten Boom, and Raoul Wallenberg, are individuals, couples, or siblings. But the marker to the Danes is unique: “King Christian X and the People of Denmark”.

  14. mike Says:

    Yes, thank you for sharing the letters. It really personalizes the dilemma faced by the “left behind” in that time. Parallels to the “progressive” movement of today are sobering.

  15. Richard Aubrey Says:

    waltj
    Considering the hideous consequences of being caught at it, it was well done of them.
    Maybe Holger woke up for a bit. Hard to figure getting it done so well without some, you know, special help.

  16. southpaw Says:

    Terrible.
    I always assumed they knew they needed to get out, but wasn’t aware that emigrating to friendlier countries was so difficult. I have always wondered how much the American public was informed about the danger Hitler posed to the world at the time- the unbiased nature of the American media is probably not a new development; perhaps it had a different agenda then.
    Just thinking out loud, I suppose Americans were preoccupied with a severe depression that had lasted for years, while politicians being the same then as they are now, viewed letting in a million or so Jews which would and add to the unemployment rolls as political suicide. Their natural impulse was, is, and shall always be self preservation.
    To Mr Frank’s question – I wonder if they’re welcome here. And for that matter, should Iran actually follow through and launch missiles on Israel, what would Obama’s administration do if a few million Jews were suddenly homeless? I don’t believe he’d roll out the welcome mat- too many new voters for generations, who would hold him and his party responsible.

  17. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I had just gotten a book to review for Amazon Vine about the Danish Jews – Countrymen, by Bo Lidegarrd. It’s very good, although ponderously detailed. The Danish Jews were in the main, well-integrated into the larger society, and Denmark was quite ‘clannish’ regarding all citizens. Which was fortunate for all their citizens.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385350155

  18. carl in atlanta Says:

    “They held to this belief (hope?) well after 1933, probably until 1939 at least; expecting that the Army would not tolerate them. So, they tried to wait it out; and paid dearly for their error.”

    Haunting, that. I don’t feel qualified to opine much on this subject, but can’t help noticing that there seem to be recurring themes at work here; even today. There is something about human nature — the need to belong to some cause, to fit in, to be a member of the in-crowd (sociologically, the ‘in-group’) that can be diabolically evil when it plays out to a logical conclusion: Nazis, Stalinist USSR, Pol Pot, Jonestown, all come to mind. It scares the bejeesus out of me (sorry) to see strains of this phenomenon at work right now in America: celebrity worship, the Gramscian Tide in academia and government; the fawning, compliant – - compliant! – - MSM, the bread and circus politics, the political correctness. We’re witnessing the last days of the Enlightenment. What comes next?

    But don’t mind me; I’m just a crazy-ass cracker from Georgia.

  19. rickl Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    October 4th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    One theme that he explores with regard to Jews in Germany in the earlier and mid ’30s was the belief that Hitler and the Nazis were a temporary evil. They held to this belief (hope?) well after 1933, probably until 1939 at least; expecting that the Army would not tolerate them. So, they tried to wait it out; and paid dearly for their error.

    Now where have I heard that before?

  20. sharpie Says:

    From Oldflyer:

    “For safe and secure Americans, it is simply not possible to understand the depth of helplessness and despair that so many had to experience as the options were closed and the (then) unknown, but universally feared, monster approached.”

    The monster was popular in America. That is the unfortunate fact. Eugenics, socialism and anti-Semitism were, in varying degrees, taught by progrssives (Wilson, Roosevelt) and desired by the Washington elite and ruling cliche. It is time to purge our country and catch those chickens by the neck.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    This is just some crazy talk. Let’s declare all anti Leftist opinions Islam, since Islam hates Hollywood too.

    Thereby, Think Progress everyone!

  22. sharpie Says:

    This isn’t 1776, or the civil war, or the 1930s.

    This is all of them and none and more.

    Dedicate yourself and fight. That’s all.

    Fight.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    This is Civil War II. Since it’s based on a lot of issues that weren’t resolved in the first civil war.

  24. rickl Says:

    Meanwhile, there are many of us who know exactly what needs to be done, but are afraid to say it openly.

    I fully expected a hot civil war to break out in 2009. That it hasn’t four years later is cause for concern.

    The federal government–all branches–has nothing but contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law. They are lawless, and therefore illegitimate. In other words, they are tyrants.

    I thought our tradition of widespread civilian gun ownership along with clear historical examples would preclude what has happened in many places from happening here.

    But here we sit like deer in the headlights, knowing what is coming.

    The only way for rational and civilized men and women to deal with tyrants is to kill them.

  25. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The percentage of Jews in denial as to the actuality of the threat from Hitler and the Nazi’s obviously decreased as the 30′s progressed. A case of “he who hesitates is lost”. It is heartbreaking and Ann Frank’s story still resonates because it spoke for millions.

    I too found myself substituting “American conservative” for European Jew and it is not hyperbole to suggest that, given the opportunity, the left have many who would joyfully participate. The situation however is not analogous, we are armed and even more importantly, constitutional guarantees are not considered an obsolete notion on our side. And while we do respect the rule of law, when the offense is egregious enough, (WWII veterans denied access to their memorial) the right will fight rather than submit to injustice and tyranny. Nor will the US military cooperate with civilian political prisoner camps and summary executions.

    Don Carlos,
    I found the claim of $1 billion in reparations to the US more than a bit problematic, given the US’ late entry into the war and relatively light casualties. So I Googled it and it turns out that it was actually much less, “The actual total payout from 1920 to 1931 (when payments were suspended indefinitely) was 20 billion German gold marks, worth about 5 billion US dollars…Germany was the only country rich enough to pay anything; it owed reparations chiefly to France, Britain, Italy and Belgium; the US received $100 million.” As the payments were suspended after 1931 ( I imagine the great depression had made Germany’s money worthless) FDR could not have feared offending Hitler. I suspect that the depression, which actually lasted until the war and a low-grade antisemitism, which was much more common then, were the actual reasons.

    “I have always wondered how much the American public was informed about the danger Hitler posed to the world at the time” southpaw

    Well my father, in march of 1940, one month away from his 18th birthday, convinced my very reluctant grandfather to agree to my father enlisting in the army upon graduation from high school, the argument that persuaded my grandfather was my dad arguing that “everyone without their head in the sand” knew that war was coming and that my dad had a better chance of surviving if he had some training rather than, once the US declared war, the six weeks of ‘training’ WWI inductees had received.

    My Dad saw action on Attu Island (alaskan campaign with actual japanese bayonet charges, [out of ammo]) then volunteered for MP assignment to get out of hauling that “d**n heavy browning BAR”, spent much of the rest of the war patrolling the Alcan Highway (alaskan trans canada highway) and got out injury free after six years service. Lots of interesting ‘war’ stories but he’s only talked once of combat.

  26. Don Carlos Says:

    Oldflyer: If you like Furst (I have read all of his, and do), you will also like David Downing’s 5-book “Station” series. But read them in chronologic order *by publication date*.

  27. Don Carlos Says:

    Geoffrey:
    I stand partially corrected. Thank you. But I was winging it, memory-wise, as I said.
    FDR was not responsible for any reparations issues as President. I was wrong. So his reasons for limiting Jewish immigration where what? Just didn’t like them, like Lindy?

    However, the issue is perhaps more complex than the Google result you quoted implies. I offer this from my own Googling:
    http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/World_War_I_reparations.html

    Nest time I shall Google first, comment second!

  28. david foster Says:

    One thing that is frightening about the German example is the SPEED at which murderous anti-Semitism (as opposed to the base level of anti-Semitism which was present in every European country and even the US) came to dominate the culture. If in 1913 one had been trying to predict in which country something like the Holocaust would be most likely to happen, you probably wouldn’t have picked Germany. Russia would have been a very good bet, or France…consider the Dreyfus case. Jews in Germany were mostly pretty assimilated (lots of intermarriages), a relatively small % of the population, and mostly considered themselves as patriotic Germans (a considerable number would die fighting for Germany in WWI.) Indeed, as recently as the 1920s, Jews from Eastern Europe were moving TO Germany.

  29. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Jews in this country are safe, presuming they stay off university campuses.
    My guess is, if more of the Righteous are necessary, they’ll be found among conservative Christians.
    Read a survey of those Righteous in Europe. Turned out a great number of them thought their Christian religion required it of them.
    Difference is, here they’re armed.

  30. Ann Says:

    I recommend the book In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin for a close look at how craven, and, if not downright anti-Semitic, at least indifferent, our State Department was with regard to what was happening to the Jews in Germany. Makes for sickening reading.

  31. Oldflyer Says:

    Don Carlos, thank you for the recommendation. I do like Furst. Some authors seem to capture a period or culture very well. I think Furst does a great job of capturing the mood in the years leading to WWII. I thought Stuart Kaminsky did the same with the bureaucratic culture of the USSR in his Porfiry Rostnikov series. ( I once wrote to Kaminsky and asked if he had Russian roots. He replied that it was pure research.)

    I was going to comment on the reparations issue, but see that it has been discussed. My belief was the U.S. generally opposed debilitating reparations demands on Germany, but France and Britain wanted revenge, as well as to break the back of Germany economically. Unfortunately, the strategy backfired because the humiliation and economic distress opened the door to the Nazi appeal.

    I think FDR’s deaf ear to appeals for increased Jewish immigration was pure politics. He would not oppose the anti-Semitic elements in the country.

  32. M J R Says:

    sharpie, 8:51 pm — “This isn’t 1776, or the civil war, or the 1930s. This is all of them and none and more. Dedicate yourself and fight. That’s all. Fight.”

    Germane, somewhat? –

    http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/26/dehko-bullied-by-the-irs/

    (also Geoffrey Britain, 9:18 pm.)

    (also the very first comment in this thread: Mike, 4:48 pm.)

  33. M J R Says:

    http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/26/dehko-bullied-by-the-irs/

    The Washington Times laid out, over many paragraphs, the putative reason — the pretext — why the guy is being bullied by the IRS [read: the regime].

    But does this one solitary sentence contain the *real* reason?:

    “In 1970, I left Iraq for the United States so I could practice my Christian faith free from persecution and truly live the American Dream.”

  34. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Considering how powerful rartionaization can be in the face of circumstances ostensibly requiring a massive change in one’s life situation, the omens must have been particularly ominous to get so many people to upsticks and head for the unknown.

  35. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Terrific review on Amazon of “The Quiet American” by Marino. Talks about Varian Fry, sort of a diplomat trying to get potential victims out of Vichy France.
    Many years later, the US formally apologized to Israel for all the difficulties State had placed in front of the Jews trying to get out.

  36. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    For the most part those commenting here see the situation in the U.S. as being much different than Obama, his supporters and the MSM portray it to be, in fact, I think it is fair to say that most of us see/sense that we are in the midst of some sort of major crisis, a major turning point, such as that in the years when Hitler was starting to take power in Germany, with the decadent Weimer Republic’s culture (cause or symptom?) mirrored in ours today; two almost entirely different sets of interpretations and therefore two different realities.

    Given our particular situation today, of interest might be a supposedly remarkable and fascinating post WWII book (got a copy on Amazon, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet) by University of Chicago trained, liberal journalist Milton Mayer (of German descent but Jewish religion, who did not let on that he was a Jew) “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-1945,” the result of his depth interviews of ten ordinary Germans soon after the war, trying to discover what ten ordinary Germans perceived as happening and thought was going on and how they reacted as Hitler came to power and Nazism took over i.e. how things were viewed from the inside and at ground level and what people thought and did as a result.

  37. sharpie Says:

    I’m glad for Neo’s post as it changed my perception. Part of that perception was made (enforced) by a very well-made and watchable movie, “Invincible.” Great storyline based on an actual man named Zishe Breitbart (yeah, I liked that allusion, especially) who is a natural strongman both in body and spirit. At the end of the film, he has a premonition of the Holocaust and returns to his native Poland to warn people, but no one will listen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invincible_(2001_film)

    M J R, I’ve read that Mr. Dekho has a lawsuit that is before a court. I’ll try and find where I ran across that.

  38. sharpie Says:

    I attended a speech by Dennis Prager at Chapman University where he extolled the friendship and support of evangelical Christians (Prager is a close friend of Texan John Hagee) to a room of mostly Jews. It was great. Mr. Prager pulled no punches in identifying that the religion of most American Jews isn’t Judaism but secular humanism (ohh the inefficasiousness of that phrase).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5as5_VjK62M

  39. NeoConScum Says:

    500,000 Jews in Germany at the time of Hitler’s coming to power. Take that number—half a million—and flash forward 11-years to the summer of 1944. That number of Hungarian Jews went into the gas chambers/crematoria at Auschwitz-Birkenau in a 2-month period. Try and wrap your heads around that. With the Red Army on the march in the east and the Americans and Brits having invaded Normandy and begun their offensives on Continent Europe. With ALL that happening the SS were able to claim primacy on trains necessary to bring the HALF MILLION Hungarian Jews to their end. And those gifted servants, Eichmann and Rudolf Hoess, went home to their families each evening.

  40. Shouting Thomas Says:

    Used to be a lot more sympathetic to Jews. Not so much any more.

    Jewish intellectuals in the U.S., particularly feminists, reflexively scapegoat white redneck men as Nazis and bigots. The SPLC lives off this scapegoating.

    Those same Jewish intellectuals keep thinking of new ways to punish redneck white men with quotas.

    My first wife was a Ukranian-American Jew. Wouldn’t be involved in that again. Since Jews scapegoat me and my kind as evil incarnate, I’ve learned to respond in kind. Not interested in being the patsy.

  41. sharpie Says:

    Cooper lake (and a proper redneck guide) could turn alot of SPLC types. If only the urban challenged knew the joys of the outdoors.

  42. Don Carlos Says:

    sharpie:
    Thanks for the link. Hagee is the anti-Jeremiah Wright. But his speech was 6 years ago, and we are still lost in the wilderness.

    Shouting Thomas:
    The Jewish “intellectuals” of which you write are Jewish in name only. There are lots of non-Jewish “intellectuals” (way more than the Godless nominal Jews) who are just as poisonous. Among those are the Clintons, the Obamas, the Reids, the Pelosis, the Harkins, the Rangells, the Dingels…. and the list goes on. Those are the Best and the Brightest, because they say they are, and they are believed by so many.

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    Shouting Thomas:

    “Jews” do this and “Jews” do that. Generalize much?

    Furthermore: what Don Carlos said.

  44. neo-neocon Says:

    Wolla Dalbo:

    On They Thought They Were Free: see this and this.

  45. sharpie Says:

    DC,

    The “wilderness” (it seems to be a theme) brings up an interesting and usually unknown factoid of Torah. The Israelites, after receiving the prohibition to advance into the Promised Land, did anyway. And failed.

    Wilderness builds character. Wilderness parses the issues. Wilderness clarifies.

    Poverty. What is poverty. It’s not Cooper lake. It’s TV and twitter and hook ups and Lean and an overabundance of goods and trash on the street and ugliness of manners. That’s poverty.

    I have my own Cooper lake. Here it is and it is just one among many:

    http://rideoregonride.com/road-routes/dorena-lake-loop/

    See the photos.

    There used to be a small country general store, probably still is, on the road leading south from Dorena Lake. It has the wood walkway and the smell of deep fried chicken and potatoes in the air. There’s bound to be a couple trucks w/boat trailers in the lot. If it’s morning, you’re going to get an insouciant teenage girl popping gum, wishing she didn’t have to tend her parent’s store.

    The leaves are in full agony and the trees are happy to drop them. In Maine and Oregon and Iowa and all across this exceptional land, the power of Nature cleans and clears the way for the next coming season.

    It is fine and it is good and I hope we can shape our way to appreciate the wilderness.

  46. Shouting Thomas Says:

    Jewish women in NYC were the early feminist movement, neocon. My take is that they were furious with Jewish men for failing to defend them from the Holocaust.

    Jewish men responded by pointing to the Gentiles and accusing them of treating their women even worse, establishing the practice of pointing the finger of blame down the ladder that continues to this day among men. That’s how feminism wins.

    I’m hardly generalizing. I believe what I see with my lying eyes. The common tactic of Jewish intellectual men is to pat themselves on the back about their enlightened views, then to point at the savage rednecks as the bigots.

    You don’t experience this daily like I do.Easy for you to call this generalizing.

  47. Shouting Thomas Says:

    When the Jewish guys really want to twist the knife, they accuse me of genetic guilt of Nazi-ism.

    My dad was second Louie in artillery in WWII. Highest casualty rate of any rank. He was as terrified of his own men as he was of the enemy. Second Louie’s were as likely to be assassinated by their own troops.

    My dad fought for four years in the most horrific combat zones and was among the liberators of Dachau. He left half his will to live on the battlefield, and he collapsed into private family life to escape on his return.

    Frankly, I’m tired of hearing that other people’s suffering trumps that of my family.

  48. Don Carlos Says:

    Shouting Thomas:
    How should we know about your family? Said “suffering” is hardly unique to your family. You don’t know of my family, or others, and I see no need for you to know.
    You are full of self-pity, extended to your dad, and doubtless blame the War, the Jews, his own troops, for the father you wish might have been, but was not.

  49. Don Carlos Says:

    sharpie: good one. From one wilderness fan to another.

  50. Shouting Thomas Says:

    Stupid shit. My dad was a great father and a true Christian. He would have even found something good in an SOB like you.

  51. Don Carlos Says:

    Q.E.D.

  52. NeoConScum Says:

    S-Thomas: What Don Carlos said. (Ooops..Think I just shamelesssly plagerizwd N-Neocon.)

    Furthermore, fitting in S-T’s specific case: There are no victims, only volunteers. Baa-Daa-Bing. (Not fitting in the case of True Evil.)

  53. Ymarsakar Says:

    Shouting Thomas,

    Humans need to build up some kind of self sufficiency here, a mental, spiritual strength that doesn’t rely on what “Jews” or other groups “say” or “think”. People act like the opinions of Greater Society matters a damn one way or another.

    The power of Nazis matter, yes, because they can kill you. If the Jews have emotions, this somehow matters to people who disagree with those emotions? It doesn’t. If you don’t like them, cut them off from the resources you provide to the community. Go some place else where they aren’t there using up the resources.

    Instead of hating Jews or returning the favor, learn to accept that you can’t change them and they can’t change you. You can change your own perspective and emotions though, if it really bothers you that much.

    Allowing other people to have free rent space in your head is a weakness, and the defense is to hate them back, that isn’t particularly much better.

  54. Shouting Thomas Says:

    Jesus, what a shitload of projection!

    Reminds me of when I had a conversation with a Jewish woman who complained that she was subject to constant “anti-Semitic” remarks from Gentiles, after she’d just spent half an hour ridiculing southern whites as dumb Bible thumpers and KKK members. She was offended and outraged because I called her on it.

    Criticizing the ways in which Jews scapegoat redneck white men does not equal hate, you fucking fools. That idiot tactic has become the common currency of assholes on the web. That’s for sure. You can identify vicious game players by their resort to that tactic. Boys, I’ve played this asshole game plenty. Bring it on!

  55. Shouting Thomas Says:

    The tactic of inferring that I obsess over Jews is another bullshit tactic. I addressed a single topic on one occasion.

    Three fuckers in a row playing vicious backstabbing games with me. What vile fucking idiots. This is the sort of shit that makes me yearn for the good old days of face to face conversation. Lowlife fucks minded their manners better because they preferred not to lose their teeth.

    [NOTE from neo-neocon: warning issued here.]

  56. FOAF Says:

    “The tactic of inferring that I obsess over Jews is another bullshit tactic.”

    So how many posts have you made here, Cedarford? How did you expect people to react when you make a comment attacking Jews in a post about the Holocaust?

  57. Ymarsakar Says:

    Criticizing the ways in which Jews scapegoat redneck white men does not equal hate, you fucking fools.

    There are no Jewish scapegoating redneck white men here.

    So who is the fool and who is the one living in delusion, my friend?

  58. Ymarsakar Says:

    I find it pathetic that humans are so low on their self awareness that they don’t even realize where their emotions and motivations come from.

    No wonder they are so easy to enslave and manipulate by Master Races.

    People need to suffer to learn. if they don’t learn it yet, they need to suffer more. Eventually it’ll click, or they expire, whatever works.

    Unlike most people on the internet, I basically say the same thing on here I say in real life. Generally because physical violence is not something that can be used to intimidate or control my behavior. It’s a benefit to having left the human slave plantation where emotions and society make you do things because they say so.

    You got “plenty of Jews” who told you to your face, X, Y, and Z. so whatja going to do about you? You going to stay quiet with them, because they are face to face, but you complain about it to us here on the virtual realm, is that it.

  59. neo-neocon Says:

    Shouting Thomas:

    I left your comment up rather than erase it because I’m issuing you a warning based on it. I would ban you immediately were you not a long-time commenter here. I don’t allow that sort of language here, nor attacks on other commenters of that nature. One more violation and you are banned.

  60. Don Carlos Says:

    Neo, based on his appalling msg on which you base your warning, what could ST do worse?

    ST said, “This is the sort of shit that makes me yearn for the good old days of face to face conversation. Lowlife fucks minded their manners better because they preferred not to lose their teeth.” I believe he means me, inter alia.

    Is it unreasonable to conclude he is vicious and a barely disguised bully? He is surely not a persuader.

    I vote for a ban now. How much rope you gonna give him? Maybe, being Saturday, he’s in his cups and watching football, but even that excuse don’t cut it. He’s not just disagreeing. We have seen what he really is, and his future words will go unread and unheeded, by me at least.

  61. Don Carlos Says:

    PS: If he changes his nom-de-plume, please so post.

  62. Ymarsakar Says:

    Without love, it cannot be seen. Without hate, it cannot be discerned.

    While hate and love are utilized by the Left for simplistic propaganda and demonization purposes, the subjects in and of themselves are more worthy, deeper, and more valuable than merely as propaganda props by Leftist agents.

    That is because without love, Hitler’s motivations and Germany’s fall could not be seen. Without feeling the love of the Aryans, one cannot understand the feeling against the sub humans. Without feeling the hate for German’s corrupt leaders, Germany’s tyrannical Nazis, without hating Hitler himself deeply, people couldn’t face the truth. It could not be discerned.

    That is why love and hate are still important. What is it the Left loves? What is it their minions and zombies hate? What is it they spend 2 hours a day doing the hate hour on and for? If a human, properly socialized, cannot feel these emotions, they cannot relate to situations where others feel such emotions.

    However, there’s a big difference between using your emotions for a strategic victory and being used by your emotions.

    This is a topic I mentioned a few months ago. To some, it sounded incomprehensible. Perhaps now people can understand it better, as they have had a bit more time to experience two very powerful human motivators: love and hate.

    The greater you understand your allies, the more you will come to love them as allies of humanity. And thus the more you will hate the enemies of humanity, they who have destroyed your allies and made them suffer. Love alone is not enough to win a war. Hate alone is not enough to win a war, although it’s good for motivating people to kill.

    People who wish to fight against the Left, will not be able to exert their full power if their emotions are controlled by puppetmasters and necromancers.

  63. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    You’d be surprised how many people—regular commenters here—have had at least one meltdown like that. Usually I remove their offending comment and give a warning, and often I remove it before anyone else had seen it so I am usually able to convey the warning by email (privately) to the person who made the offending comment.

    I was very busy today and away from my computer, so I wasn’t able to nip this one in the bud. Since people had already responded to the offensive comment, I left the original comment up and gave the warning publicly. But my previous experiences have told me that every now and then someone loses it online (as Shouting Thomas did today)—perhaps, as you suggest, because of drinking or who knows what else—and yet that person never does it again after the warning. Therefore I prefer to err on the side of not banning someone for a first offense if that person is a regular commenter.

    Sometimes even with just a warning, people are mortified and/or ashamed and/or annoyed and don’t return. I have no idea what Shouting Thomas will do, but I wanted to treat him as I have treated others, so far with good results in the majority of cases.

    Sometimes, of course, I’ve had to ultimately ban someone because it happens again.

  64. NeoConScum Says:

    S-Thomas: Read “Five Chimneys” by Olga Lengyel. Go ahead, Little Dude, make our day. (-:

  65. Don Carlos Says:

    Neo-
    You are perhaps tolerant to a fault. You always have my respect, if not always my 100% agreement.

  66. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    Well, I’ll take respect—I certainly don’t expect 100% agreement (in fact, I don’t agree with myself 100% of the time).

    I’ve learned that if I get too Draconian about commenter rules, it’s not really conducive to a free flow of ideas. And if I’m not Draconian enough, likewise. The trick is finding the sweet spot.

  67. Charles Says:

    Neo, thank you so much for sharing these – they really could make a very good history book. One that should be read in many history classes so that we don’t fall into “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”

    One short sentence that jumps out at me is this:

    “The whole story of the Middle Ages is being repeated.” he writes in one letter.

    I think that sentence helps to explain the mind set of most “modern” people in the early part of the 20th century. It was a new century and all that “old stuff” was in the past. Or, at least, most people may have thought so. Too bad they were wrong.

  68. Richard Aubrey Says:

    The urban, wannabe urban, coastal, wannabe coastal libs as a group sneer at rednecks and denizens of flyover country (our motto in flyover country, “Keep flying, our airport’s broken”) and you don’t need to be Jewish to do it. See Obama and the bitter clingers.
    Problem is, out in flyover country, the subjects of the sneering are likely to be descendants of those who liberated the Europe. The sneers seem particularly lacking in good grace if the sneerer is associated with a group thus rescued.
    The combination could engender some resentment.

  69. neo-neocon Says:

    Charles:

    You’re welcome. I, too, found the letters very moving, dramatic, and impressive.

  70. Ymarsakar Says:

    Is it unreasonable to conclude he is vicious and a barely disguised bully?

    I would say it’s just a mere case of being dehumanized and hated, breeding hatred in response.

    It’s natural and normal to want to lash out and do something about the source of one’s anger. However, there are productive ways to do so and unproductive ways to do so.

    The internet is a place where things are very free or unrestricted, but you cannot escalate things past a certain point to prove your sincerity, which humans were evolutionary inclined to do. At least for males. So this is true and a fact, but humans often can’t accept it. It’s unsatisfactory.

    I understand the emotions behind such things, but I don’t go easy or soft because of it. Understanding is not approval from my end.

    While it might feel better to be in a non judgmental crowd and review one’s personal grievances, hatred does not decrease itself.

    Anyone that doesn’t like being judged by internet denizens, can just keep their private life private. Humans being humans though, people seek “social affirmation” eventually. Somewhat worthless an evaluation if you ask me. A single soul’s worth cannot be determined by society’s rules or values. Although certainly better people are produced from a good society than an evil one.

  71. Ymarsakar Says:

    Neo has become much more direct since 2003 or so. The First Troll, some Greek self hero-ificiation name I forget, was kept around for a long time.

    At the time, I wished she would become more hardened to the fact that agents/trolls existed, even though at the time even I didn’t accept that they (the Left) were evil.

    I think she has progressed a lot on this dichotomy of central control vs free expression, keeping a solid balance. But then, my single opinion isn’t worth all that much in the wider picture.

    What matters are results, victory or defeat in war. Not whether a methodology is clean or looks good.

  72. neo-neocon Says:

    Ymarsakar:

    Actually, until some time in 2007 this blog was on Blogger rather than WordPress, and I had far fewer tools to effectively ban trolls if the trolls were persistent enough. A lot of them were very persistent. That’s why I took the trouble to move my entire blog to WordPress, where I have many more effective ways to ban commenters if I choose to. That’s actually what happened, rather than that I used to have such high tolerance for trolls. I just didn’t have as many effective ways to deal with them back then.

  73. Ymarsakar Says:

    Okay, I remember that now.

  74. Steve Says:

    Only 500,000 Jews in Germany in the 1930s? That leaves 5,500,000 Jews (approx 90%) who were not from Germany and were killed in the Holocaust. It really is stunning.

  75. Ymarsakar Says:

    France was going around picking up Jews and send it to Germany via the Vichy regime.

    Although a lot of Canadians and anti Americans, or pro European Union guys, like to downplay Vichy France’s crimes against humanity.

  76. FOAF Says:

    “That leaves 5,500,000 Jews (approx 90%) who were not from Germany and were killed in the Holocaust. It really is stunning.”

    It has long been known that the majority of Jews killed in the Holocaust were from the areas further to the East (eastern Poland/western Russia) which had large concentrations of Jews. That is also the area which is ancestral to the majority of American Jews including myself.

  77. david foster Says:

    Consider this sequence: a Jewish family leaving Eastern Europe or Russia, in the mid-1920s, for the then-friendlier climate of Germany. In 1935, our hypothetical family manages to get out of Germany and get asylum in France. After France is overrun in 1940, they somehow make it to Italy, where the Italian Fascist regime had not *yet* adopted the full panoply of Nazi-level anti-Semitic policies. But in 1944, as these policies did come into effect, they are rounded up and killed.

    Germany, France, and Italy all *looked* reasonably civilized and reasonably safe in the time periods I hypothesized for their migration.

  78. ErisGuy Says:

    The Jewish “intellectuals” of which you write are Jewish in name only.

    A better example of “No True Scotsman” couldn’t be found.

    —-

    After learning from the bad example of the USA prior to WW2, I look forward to Israel accepting millions of evangelical Christian refugees from this Obamunation.

  79. Lee Says:

    I read Nathaniel Benchley’s “Bright Candles” when I was a kid–it was about the effort to spirit Denmark’s Jews out of the country.

    Many years ago, a friend told me story. They were serving as the gabbai at a synagogue. This synagogue usually invited new people up for an aliyah. One shabbat, a man showed up for the first time there. He was invited up. On the bima, they asked his name: “Christian.” The first thought was “Oops.” But he had on a tallit… He explained: His parents had fled to Denmark during the war. While his mother was expecting him, they were among the Jews in Denmark who were spirited out to Sweden. His parents were so thankful to the King of Denmark for everything he did, that they named their son after him. So, he was a Jewish Christian.

  80. neo-neocon Says:

    Lee:

    That’s a great story.

    When I was a kid, I knew a Jewish girl whose LAST name was “Christian.”

    Never quite figured out what that was all about.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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