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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Godwin'd in one

60+ years after the conclusion of World War II, the Holocaust is still a touchy subject. We have Neo-Nazis, "Holocaust Deniers" (or "Revisionism," as they would like to call themselves), and people who just hate Jewish people continue to attack them in any way possible.

Holocaust Deniers astutely try to establish that either it never occurred, or that it didn't occur in the way we read about it in history books. I tend to put these people in the same category as those who believe we faked the moon landing, or that 9/11 was perpetuated by the Israeli government. Crackpots, the lot of 'em.

So it's incredibly disheartening to see some people will kill over this blind, misdirected hatred. I was talking last night with Tara about seeing the Holocaust museum in DC, which was an incredible experience for me nearly 10 years ago when I was enroute to the NAD conference in Norfolk, VA. That was a true treat for the history buff in me - from the first stop seeing the shoes of those who have left us, to the experiments and treatment of those incarcerated - it's left an indelible mark on my soul. I want to go back again and really spend time analyzing instead of memorizing key points for College Bowl.

My grandparents on my Dad's side are Jewish and had many relatives throughout Europe, mostly in Russia but quite a few in Poland and westward. It's not a subject my grandma Bubie ever likes to clarify, so I'm left with the understanding that them leaving Moscow in the '20s is the reason I'm even around today.

I'm a tad bit upset this morning - yesterday, there was a shooting at that very DC Holocaust Museum - a security guard was killed. All because some Neo-Nazi rationalized that Jewish people are the root of some conspiracy, and his lashing out has killed some random guy who just wanted a paycheck. *furious*

So what's that got to do with Godwin? Well, I'm a member of some discussion forums, and apparently there is a 'net meme that has to do with Nazism, called "Godwin's Law." To paraphrase, the law is "As a discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

Statistically speaking, it's true - the longer you discuss something, the likely you'll compare it to anything, even Nazism. ;-) What did fascinate me is that not too long ago, I went looking for who was the most written-about person in the history of books.

The answer: Jesus
Who is #2? Hitler.

Hitler's only been around for 100 years. Quite a feat to accomplish that level of notoriety!

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