A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘genocide

[LINK] “Czech Roma Under the Swastika”

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Sylvie Lauder’s article describing the near-complete genocide of the Roma of what is now the Czech Republic, published at Transitions Online, makes for chilling reading.

Seventy years ago Czech and Slovak Roma embarked on a grim path to nearly complete annihilation. In the spring and summer of 1943, 4,500 Roma were shipped off to the so-called Gypsy camp in Auschwitz: one-third were from camps in Lety and Hodonin, in the south and southwest of the country, and two-thirds were taken from their homes. The fates of local Roma remain one of the least investigated chapters of the war, and one part of this story is completely unknown – that some Roma survived the Nazi attempt at extermination thanks to the help of “white people.”

Even after decades 87-year-old Emilie Machalkova’s voice shakes and tears fill her eyes when she recalls those scenes. The spring sun was not yet very warm when one Monday afternoon she stood, a 16-year-old girl, at the railway station in Nesovice, a village 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Brno. She, her parents, two brothers, grandmother, and 3-year-old cousin were waiting for a train to take them to the stables of the protectorate police in Masna Street in Brno, where they had been told to report. Nearly all their neighbors accompanied them to the station, Machalkova recalls: all her childhood friends and family friends came. Someone brought a traditional Czech pork dish, others bread. “All of us were crying a lot because we thought that we wouldn’t come back.”

They were right to be afraid. A few weeks earlier much of Machalkova’s extended family in Moravia had been summoned to Masna Street. Lugging a suitcase, her grandfather Pavel had left, along with three of her uncles, some cousins, and other relatives – all together 33 members of the large Holomek family, a known clan of Moravian Roma. Even though it was not until after the war that they found out the whole truth, at the time everyone suspected that Roma, just like Jews, were being sent to their deaths. “In ’42 they took away the entire Jewish Fischer family, who had an estate and a restaurant in Nesovice. We knew our time was coming too,” Machalkova says.

Last year Machalkova and her husband, Jan, celebrated their 50th anniversary in a comfortable apartment in Brno. On the walls and shelves is a flood of smiling photographs of their three daughters, son, grandchildren, and great grandchildren – reminders that thanks to the bravery of some, they were among the few protectorate Roma who escaped the extermination machine.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • The Big Picture shares photos from the Asian Games.
  • blogTO notes that Loblaws in Toronto will pioneer drive-through grocery sales.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly describes her issues with being an adjunct professor.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the ongoing disputes within the European Space Agency behind the creation of the next generation of Ariane rockets.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas notes some good recent criticism of Arendt and her Eichmann in Jerusalem.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money and the New APPS Blog both note the expanding controversy surrounding philosopher Brian Leiter.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the beginning of drone delivery in Germany.
  • pollotenchegg notes the scale of demographic collapse and rapid aging in Ukraine’s Donetsk.
  • Torontoist notes that a Toronto policeman has been acquitted on charges of assaulting a former Torontoist contributor at the G20 protests.
  • Towleroad notes the Serbian Orthodox Church’s opposition to Belgrade Pride and observes that France has streamlined the adoption process for lesbian mothers.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Crimean Tatars should prepare for another deportation and notes that Russia’s economic travails are weakening its influence in Central Asia at China’s expense.

[BLOG] Some politics-related links

  • 3 Quarks Daily links to an essayist wondering why people talked about Gaza not the Yezidis as a way to dismiss Gaza.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly notes how Americans subsidize Walmart’s low wages by givibng its employees benefits.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Chinese plans to reforest Tibet could accelerate the dessication of its watershed since trees suck up water, observes the existence of a new Chinese ICBM and links to a report of a Chinese drone, notes that the ecologies of Europe are especially vulnerable to global warming owing to their physical fragmentation, and notes that Canadian-Mexican relations aren’t very friendly.
  • Eastern Approaches notes Russia’s reaction to the shootdown of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine and observes the issues with Poland’s coal industry.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis calls for American military intervention to protect the Yezidis from genocide.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the plight of the Yezidi, examines the undermining of liberal Zionism, wonders how Russian relations with Southeast Asia will evolve, and after noting the sympathy of some Americans on the left for Russia analyses the consequences of a Russian-Ukrainian war.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if Russia’s food import ban is a sign of a shift to a cold war mentality, notes the collapse of the Ukrainian economy, wonders about the strategy of Hamas, and comments on the weakness of the economy of Ghana.
  • The New APPS Blog comments on the implications of the firing of American academic Steven Salaita for his blog posts.
  • The Pagan Prattle looks at allegations of extensive coverups of pedophilia in the United Kingdom.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the decreasing dynamism of the ageing Australia economy.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer doesn’t think there’s much of a crisis in Argentina following the debt default, notes ridiculous American efforts to undermine Cuba that just hurt Cubans, examines implications of energy reform and property rights in Mexico, has a good strategy shared with other for dealing with the Islamic State.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little contends with Tyler Cowen’s arguments about changing global inequality, and studies the use of mechanisms in international relations theory.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy touches upon Palestine’s case at the ICC against Israel, looks at Argentina’s debt default, and wonders if Internet domain names are property.
  • Window on Eurasia has a huge set of links, pointing to the rivalry of Russian Jewish organizations in newly-acquired Crimea, looking at Ukrainian ethnic issues in Russia, suggests that the Donbas war is alienating many Ukrainians in the east from Russia, notes Islamization in Central Asia, suggests that Russia under sanctions could become as isolated as the former SOviet Union, suggests Ukrainian refugees are being settled in non-Russian republics, wonders if Ukraine and Georgia and Moldova will join Turkey as being perennial EU candidates, suggests that Belarusians are divided and claims that Belarusian national identity is challenging Russian influence, looks at the spread of Ukrainian nationalism among Russophones, looks at the consequences of Kurdish independence for the South Caucasus, and notes that one-tenth of young Russians are from the North Caucasus or descend from the region.

[LINK] “Armenian genocide: Turkey has lost the battle of truth”

Turkish scholar Cengiz Aktar‘s Al Jazeera opinion piece suggesting that, one year before the centenary of the Armenian genocide, Turkish civil society is pushing to acknowledge the genocide is hopeful.

Today, there is an ever growing awareness regarding the bad as well as the good memory. Public actions, perhaps not so numerous, but certainly momentous, are building up at all levels. So far unhampered by the authorities, they primarily rely on voluntary citizens’ initiatives. These memory works take place in four major areas: academia and publishing; individual and collective memory search; public awareness and visibility; religious and cultural discovery.

Regarding academic interest, following pioneering publishers, many publishing houses now produce works in connection with the painful memory, but also in relation to the rich cosmopolitan past of the Ottoman Empire.

On the individual and collective memory search, many people proudly seek, discover or rediscover ancestors of non-Muslim origin in their families.

Public awareness and visibility is growing by the day. Non-Muslims literally discover themselves and are “discovered” by the society. Since 2010, April 24 is commemorated in more and more cities. Moreover, accounts on righteous people who saved their neighbours’ lives, descendants of Armenians who had to convert to Islam to save their lives are made public.

On religious and cultural area, remnants of monuments that survived are painstakingly taken care of, masses are celebrated again in Anatolia and the cultural heritage is dealt with.

It should be noted that the emergence of this process wasn’t due exclusively to the external push and the government’s early reformism. The society has paid a substantial price for it, probably symbolised by the murder of Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink. Social maturation and empowerment is Turkey’s key to facing the challenges of the aching past.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 10, 2014 at 2:05 am

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • io9 links to a map showing the Milky Way Galaxy’s location in nearer intergalactic space.
  • The Big Picture has pictures from the Sochi Paralympics.
  • blogTO shares an array of pictures from Toronto in the 1980s.
  • D-Brief notes the recent finding that star HR 5171A is one of the largest stars discovered, a massive yellow hypergiant visible to the naked eye despite being twenty thousand light-years away.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes recent studies suggesting that M-class red dwarfs are almost guaranteed to have planets.
  • Eastern Approaches argues that the lawsuits of Serbia and Croatia posed against each other on charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice will do little but cause harm.
  • Far Outliers explores how Australian colonists in the late 19th century feared German ambitions in New Guinea.
  • The Financial Times World blog suggests that, in its mendacity, Russia is behaving in Crimea much as the Soviet Union did in Lithuania in 1990.
  • Geocurrents notes that the Belarusian language seems to be nearing extinction, displaced by Russian in Belarus (and Polish to some extent, too).
  • Joe. My. God. notes the protests of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews in New York City against mandatory conscription laws in Israel that would see their co-sectarians do service.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that, in pre-Israeli Palestine, local Arabs wanted to be part of a greater Syria.</li?
  • Otto Pohl notes the connections of Crimean Tatars to a wider Turkic world and their fear that a Russian Crimea might see their persecution.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Venezuela has attacked Panama in retaliation for a vote against it by confiscating the assets of its companies there. In turn, Panama has promised to reveal the banking accounts of Venezuelan officials in Panama.
  • John Scalzi of Whatever is unimpressed with the cultic adoration of Robert Heinlein’s novels by some science fiction fans.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • io9’s link to the eye-catching pictures of spaceships pictured on British science fiction paperback novels remains appreciated.
  • The Globe and Mail notes the growing Iranian community in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill.
  • BusinessWeek observes that video chain Blockbuster, defunct in most of North America, is doing fine in Mexico and on the Mexican border.
  • Bloomberg notes that Japan outside of Tokyo is hoping to attract foreign investors to property outside the Japanese capital.
  • Der Spiegel points to a new study suggesting that Bavaria’s famed mad King Ludwig II wasn’t clinically insane at all, and notes evidence of truly massive campaigns of state-sponsored torture and massacre in Syria.
  • An older link from the New Zealand Herald: is the large emigration from New Zealand to Australia, driven by the search for a higher standard of living, about to run down?
  • The Village Voice critiques the urban myth that sex traficking peaks at the time of major sporting events like the Superbowl.
  • National Geographic tracks down the magazine photo that inspired Lorde’s hit song “Royals” and observes the ways in which Mexicans of indigenous background immigrate to the United States.
  • Jezebel takes a long, hard look at gay male sexism directed towards women.
  • Rolling Stone‘s extended article arguing that Miami is set to drown as sea levels rise is a gripping read.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Writing for the Postmedia syndicate, Andrew Coyne argues from a conservative perspective that the current situation in Canada, where moral and legal standards are defined by evidence of harm or not, is better than the traditional treatment.
  • CBC notes that migration from Quebec is up substantially.
  • Mini-Neptunes might be the most common form of planet, Universe Today suggests, or at least more common than imagined. These worlds would have the mass of super-Earths but have substantially hydrogen-helium atmospheres.
  • The National Post reports that some Canadians argue that the lobster should become a national symbol. I’m up with that.
  • Pacific Standard argues suburban sprawl may aid innovation.
  • The Calgary Herald notes some photographers in Banff National Park are trying to get pictures of wild animals by baiting or provoking them. The failure modes are, well, imaginable.
  • The good news is that reports Kim Jong Un’s uncle was executed by being fed to wild dogs are quite likely false, The Guardian notes.
  • Lily Tomlin, it is reported, has married her long-time partner Jane Wagner in New York.
  • The Independent reports that an Alfred Hitchcock documentary on the evidence shelved by–among other things–post-war politics and Hitchcock’s own upset is going to be released.
  • Japan’s population, the Japan Times notes, has fallen by a record near quarter-million in 2013.
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