Did War on Hitler Actually Cause the Holocaust?

Despite turning 180o on almost all of my historical perspectives, there are some establishment positions that, even for me, are hard to give up. Some of my reversals are well known to the readers of TJL. For example, The United States government is the cause of evil not good. Abraham Lincoln was a murderer, not a hero. The South was justified in seceding from the US, and the North was the aggressor for invading the South. Iran is not going to nuke anybody. AIPAC is a detrimental organization and should be shut down. Those who claim Israel controls much of US foreign policy are correct, not anti Semitic. The US should have sent Japan a letter of apology for the oil embargo after Pearl Harbor instead of declaring war.

And so on.

But for me, there was one major establishment position that still stuck in me like a dagger and was only loosened last week. That is, declaring and winning World War II was justified if only in order to save what was left of European Jewry.

On the face of it, this makes sense. Hitler is exterminating us wholesale, so naturally you want Britain, Russia, America to invade and stop it. They liberate death camps in 1945 and save what is left of the survivors. Obviously they should have invaded much sooner to stop it that much quicker, no? If only Britain and America had declared war in 1933 immediately when Hitler rose to power.

But then I read Ralph Raico, a libertarian historian and student of Ludwig von Mises. And he said something that totally took me for a loop. Here’s Raico, in his collection of essays, Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal: (My bold.)

In 1940 Churchill at last became Prime Minister, ironically enough when the Chamberlain government resigned because of the Norwegian fiasco—which Churchill, more than anyone else, had helped to bring about.80 As he had fought against a negotiated peace after the fall of Poland, so he continued to resist any suggestion of negotiations with Hitler. Many of the relevant documents are still sealed—after all these years81 —but it is clear that a strong peace party existed in the country and the government. It included Lloyd George in the House of Commons, and Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, in the Cabinet. Even after the fall of France, Churchill refused even to consider Hitler’s renewed peace overtures, whether sincere or not.

This, more than anything else, is supposed to be the foundation of his greatness. The British historian John Charmley raised a storm of outraged protest when he suggested that a negotiated peace in 1940 might have been to the advantage of Britain and Europe. A Yale historian, writing in the New York Times Book Review, referred to Charmley’s thesis as “morally sickening.” Yet Charmley’s scholarly and detailed work makes the crucial point that Churchill’s obdurate refusal even to listen to peace terms in 1940 doomed what he claimed was dearest to him—the Empire and a Britain that was non-socialist and independent in world affairs. One may add that it may also have doomed European Jewry.84 It is amazing that half a century after the fact, there are critical theses concerning World War II that are off-limits to historical debate.

Churchill’s refusal to listen to Hitler’s peace overtures may have doomed European Jewry. When I first read that sentence I did a double take. I didn’t even understand what Raico was saying on a basic level, the thought was so foreign to me. So I read it again. And again. Was I reading this right? How can that be?

Then I saw that little 84 footnote. And I read that. Here’s what the footnote said:

84 On March 27, 1942, Goebbels commented in his diary on the destruction of the European Jews, which was then underway: “Here, too, the Führer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions and therefore inexorable. Fortunately, a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this.” The Goebbels Diaries, 1942–1943, Louis P. Lochner, ed. and trans. (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1948), p. 148.

When I read the footnote I understood. It was very possible that World War II cemented the Final Solution. Straight out of Goebbels’ diary. Without an all-out war, Hitler would not have been able to exterminate us on a systematic global scale. War enabled him to enact radical measures and we were doomed.

Had Churchill made peace with Hitler in 1939, it is much more likely that the worst that would have happened to the Jews is that most would have been slaves rather than be exterminated. Yes, Hitler would have killed Jews. Perhaps even hundreds of thousands. But in order to embark on a project to exterminate millions, you need the full support of an entire country, and Hitler could have only gotten that through war.

And then I just stared into space for a minute and said to myself, “Oh my God.”

It may have been Winston Churchill who set the Final Solution and the Holocaust in motion. Adolf Hitler was only the vehicle and the direct cause. Winston Churchill may have been the ultimate enabler.

And for all the naysayers out there who will point to British and American liberation of death camps in 1945, we all know that World War II had absolutely nothing to do with saving Jews. Churchill and Roosevelt could have saved every single Jew before the war by buying them out. They didn’t. They could have saved hundreds of thousands by bombing the camps or the tracks leading to them. They specifically didn’t. They were both complicit.

And deeper than that, the whole war, allying with Stalin against Hitler, made no sense. Stalin had killed many more innocent people by 1939 than Hitler did. And yet the allies sided with Stalin over Hitler. Here’s Raico again:

But the Churchill–Roosevelt intrigue should, one might think, matter to Americans. Here, however, criticism is halted before it starts. A moral postulate of our time is that in pursuit of the destruction of Hitler, all things were permissible. Yet why is it self evident that morality required a crusade against Hitler in 1939 and 1940, and not against Stalin? At that point, Hitler had slain his thousands, but Stalin had already slain his millions. In fact, up to June, 1941, the Soviets behaved far more murderously toward the Poles in their zone of occupation than the Nazis did in theirs. Around 1,500,000 Poles were deported to the Gulag, with about half of them dying within the first two years. As Norman Davies writes: “Stalin was outpacing Hitler in his desire to reduce the Poles to the condition of a slave nation.”103 Of course, there were balance-of-power considerations that created distinctions between the two dictators. But it has yet to be explained why there should exist a double standard ordaining that compromise with one murderous dictator would have been “morally sickening,” while collaboration with the other was morally irreproachable.

What is the moral difference between siding with Stalin to defeat Hitler, and siding with Hitler to defeat Stalin?

Nothing really.

Had I been stuck in the Nazi death camps in 1945, would I have rooted for the Americans, British, and Russians to save me? Of course I would. But that doesn’t change any of the facts written above.

There were millions of innocent Russians that were surely rooting for the Americans to save them from Stalin, to no avail. In fact, America forcibly repatriated hundreds of thousands of terrified Russian political dissidents back to the Soviet Union after World War II. To their deaths. That is why the question of who killed more innocent people – Roosevelt/Truman or Hitler, is indeed not such a clear cut answer at all.

The few Jewish Holocaust survivors liberated by the Americans and British were simply the beneficiaries of a historical accident. Nothing more. If Stalin had specifically gone after Jews, Roosevelt and Truman would have, and indeed did – hand over to Stalin every Russian Jew they could get their hands on.

In the end, what I’m saying is this on a calculus basis. On a scale of horror 1-1000, 1000 being the most horrific, the Holocaust was a 998. Very few survived. Total annihilation would have been 1000. It happened together with World War II. The war did certainly did not help stop the genocide. Therefore, the chances of the scale of horror lowering to 600 or 700 without World War II are greater than it rising to 1000. And perhaps, World War II is what brought the Holocaust from a 600 to a 998 in horror.

Sure, historical hindsight is 20/20. But the point is, not even the most seemingly justified offensive wars are so clear cut.

The Nuking of Japan Led to the Spread of the Soviet Union

There’s this guy that always comments here about how great war is and how it’s always justified. He’s annoying. His last comment:

Yet again, a “libertarian” regurgitates Soviet/Fascist anti-capitalist propaganda as if it’s just an obvious fact. There’s a well known theory that peoples’ negative views towards Truman’s use of the bomb is in inverse proportion to their knowledge of Japanese conduct in WW2. You certainly conform to the rule perfectly.

Reflective people are happy that Japan was crushed and is now a productive and peaceful part of the international division of labour, rather than the epitome of bloodthirsty, destructive statism and are aware of the chain of causation that brought about this change. Infantile “libertarians” not so much.

First of all, I’m very aware of Japanese war crimes, but he thinks I’m not. I wonder if Gavriel has ever seen the movie “City of Life and Death.” There was a period about two years ago that I watched a whole litany of films on Japanese war crimes during the 1930’s. It started when I saw Ip Man, the movie about Bruce Lee’s martial arts Rebbe. Then I read about him and how he had run away from the Japanese.

I then saw this movie with Christian Bale called the Flowers of War. It’s about the Japanese rape of Nanjing, then capital of China. A mortician is trapped in a monastery with Chinese girls, preteens. The Japanese have conquered the city and attempt to rape the girls. One Chinese soldier saves them. Then the Japanese army demands the girls, and thankfully prostitutes replace them in a clandestine operation and the girls escape the city.

That was nothing compared to the movie City of Life and Death, which is a more historical account of the sickness that happened there. In that movie, the only good guy was a Nazi named John Rabe, who was trying to protect Chinese civilians from Japanese rapist soldiers. The movie had me rooting for a Nazi. The movie was sickening.

After that movie I read more about Nanjing, but Gavriel wants to think that I’m ignorant. The fact is that Gavriel justifies the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese people because of what the Japanese army did. Here’s Ralph Raico on that:

Puzzlingly, high decision-makers continued to justify the mass murder of Japanese civilians by reference to atrocities committed by Japan’s military. In May, for instance, Marshall met with General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project and Henry (“Hap”) Arnold, commander of the Army Air Force. Marshall cautioned that “we should guard against too much gratification” over the success of the air campaign because of the number of innocent casualties. Groves replied that he wasn’t thinking of those victims but rather of the victims of the Bataan death march. When Groves and Arnold left, Arnold slapped his companion on the back, saying, “I’m glad you said that—it’s just the way I feel.”89 Arguments along these lines were used by many leaders, up to and including Truman.

It is difficult to come to grips with what these men were saying. How could cruelty on the part of the Japanese army—at Bataan, in China, or anywhere else—possibly validate the deliberate killing of Japanese innocents, let alone hundreds of thousands of them? Those who employed, or continue to employ, such a calculus live in a strangely amoral mental world.

Genocidal fantasies flitted about in the minds of some. Admiral Halsey, commander in the South Pacific, compared the Japanese unfavorably to the Germans. While the Germans were at worst misled, “at least they react like men. But the Japanese are like animals. . . .

They take to the jungle as if they had been bred there, and like some beasts you never see them until they are dead.” Such beasts had simply to be annihilated. At the first interdepartmental meeting of a committee on how Japan was to be treated after the war, a representative of the Navy recommended “the almost total elimination of the Japanese as a race.” Paul V. McNut, former Democratic governor of Indiana and before and after the war U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines, was chairman of the War Manpower Commission. His recommendation was “the extermination of the Japanese in toto.”

Elliot Roosevelt, one of the President’s sons, proposed bombing Japan until “half the Japanese civilian population” was killed off.

Gavriel also says it is Soviet/Fascist anti-capitalist propaganda to be against the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Anti capitalist? What the hell is he talking about? In order to be a capitalist you have to support the nuclear bombing of civilians? How can Gavriel not be insane?

But there’s something even he, חכם שאין כמהו hasn’t considered. Maybe the nuking of Japan contributed to the spread of the Soviet Union and Maoist China. Raico again:

Establishment writers on World War II often like to deal in lurid speculations. For instance: if the United States had not entered the war, then Hitler would have “conquered the world” (a sad undervaluation of the Red Army, it would appear; moreover, wasn’t it Japan that was trying to “conquer the world”?) and killed untold millions. Now, applying conjectural history in this case: assume that the Pacific war had ended in the way wars customarily do—through negotiation of the terms of surrender. And assume the worst—that the Japanese had adamantly insisted on preserving part of their Empire, say, Korea and Formosa, even Manchuria. In that event, it is quite possible that Japan would have been in a position to prevent the Communists from coming to power in China. And that could have meant that the many millions of deaths now attributed to the Maoist regime would not have occurred.

Like all ignorant shills for murder, and Keynesians on economic theory, Gavriel does not think more than one step deep. The Japanese army committed war crimes. The Chinese army did too under Mao. The Soviets did as well. And the Nazis. And the American army just as well.

By Gavriel’s logic, the nuking of innocent civilians in America, Russia, China, Germany and Japan that had absolutely nothing to do with their respective army’s atrocities would all be justified and good. And if he doesn’t agree with that, he is “anti-capitalist”. That is the kind of world that Gavriel and other apologists for the nuclear atrocities are logically advocating for.

Because of people like Gavriel, there are atrocities in this world.

Why Donald Trump Will be a Disaster

In the end it doesn’t matter who is president of the US, but Donald Trump is especially scary because he’s even more bloodthirsty than Lincoln or FDR or Truman or Bush, יימח שמם. Economically he’s a lunatic, not any more lunatic than any of the other candidates, but only because he may be insane enough to try to force his policies by sheer might.

As for bloodthirsty, of all the candidates he may be the one to invade China or Russia, or both, because he’s so awesome that it would work just because. He believes China is devaluing its currency to hurt American exports (and what’s America doing?), and on that pretext he wants to “punish” them. He can do this by either restricting trade, in which case Americans will no longer have cheap stuff from China anymore, or by bombing China, which is bat guano crazy.

Here’s a good analogy that illustrates how bloodthirsty Trump is. The classic argument for Truman murdering 200,000 innocent people is that it somehow saved American lives. Truman could have simply stopped the war unilaterally after Hitler was defeated and just leave the Japanese the hell alone. That would have saved American lives without murdering 200,000 more. He did not have to continue conquering Japan.

He could have easily sent a video of the first nuclear bomb test to Horohito and the Japanese government, pulled all the troops out of the Pacific, and said to Japan, “Look, if you ever touch US territory again, we’ll drop one of these on your head.”

For the love of God there were better ways of saving American lives than dropping two nuclear bombs on civilians. It’s so ingrained that this was the justification that nobody questions it. Even if you want to say the first one was justified (which it categorically was not), there was no point in bombing Nagasaki 3 days later for God’s sake.

It took Japan another 3 weeks to surrender unconditionally. In those three weeks, Truman’s generals were urging him to bomb another city with yet another nuke that was almost ready, and Truman said no, that’s enough. He stopped the carnage.

Donald Trump would have destroyed another city and murdered another 100,000 people or more. Because remember, Japan’s surrender was not unconditional. They insisted that Horohito retain the title of “Emperor”. Truman said fine. Trump would have said no, and obliterated another city, just so some guy can’t call himself “Emperor”.

He’d say some snappy bloodthirsty line that makes the masses cheer like, “God help me if I let him call himself Emperor. I’ll nuke his country until he’s the last Jap standing! I’ll make him pay for bombing Pearl Harbor! Then we’ll see who he’s Emperor of!” and everyone would cheer and he’d keep murdering away. (Pearl Harbor, by the way, was a military installation of warships. It is therefore a legitimate target if you’re trying to retaliate against an oil embargo enforced by those ships. Yes, Japan committed lots of war crimes against the Chinese in particular, but Pearl Harbor was not one of them.)

Why? Because Trump is so arrogant that his bloodthirsty psychopathy knows no bounds. Had he been German in the 1930’s, he would have been an enthusiastic supporter of the Final Solution, instead of just a guy following orders. That is his personality.

Economically, he came out with a statement a few days ago on how he would not allow Ford to ship any factories outside the US. He said he would force Ford to move the factory back to the US if elected. And why are they moving it to Mexico in the first place? Because labor is cheaper there, and they need to keep costs down. If they keep the factory in the US, who pays the difference? Ford?

Ford is already $123 billion in debt. And unlike the US Government, Ford cannot inflate its way out.

The difference will be paid by the taxpayer in the next round of bailouts signed into law by President Trump.

Goods need to be made where they can be made cheapest, so we can have those goods for cheap. Those who would have been manufacturing cars here should do something else.