Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Armistice or Veterans Day /RaP

RaP wrote

The war that began on 9 Av in 1914 in which Jews by the millions were members in all the armies, from Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Britain, America, Russia killing each other finally stopped
91 years ago, at 11 AM Paris time, on the 11th day of the 11th month, November, 1918, World War One came to an official end: See Armistice Day also known as Remembrance Day and Veterans Day or the Armistice with Germany (Compiègne)

The armistice treaty between the Allies and Germany was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on 11 November 1918, and marked the end of the First World War on the Western Front...The Armistice was agreed at 5 AM on 11 November, to come into effect at 11 AM Paris time (that is 10 AM GMT), for which reason the occasion is sometimes referred to as "the eleventh (hour) of the eleventh (day) of the eleventh (month)". It was the result of a hurried and desperate process...The peace between the Allies and Germany would subsequently be settled in 1919, by the Paris Peace Conference, and the Treaty of Versailles that same year..." See the full page from the NY Times announcing the armistice:

But sadly, World War one would lead to World War Two and the Holocaust, 1939-1945.


  1. In what sense did WWI begin on the 9th of Av?

    Germany declared war on Russia, but Austria was already in Serbia three days before. The Czar mobilized his forces two days before, on Av 7.

    To tie one major early event in WWI to being "the" cause of the Holocaust, more than any other definition of the "start" of WWI, or the Great Despression or any other link in the chain that lead to the Nazis y"sh, involves some creativity.

    With that much leeway, we could probably tie any event to have "really began" on any date you choose.

  2. Recipients and PublicityNovember 12, 2009 at 4:31 AM

    History is all about chains of inter-related events. Even in Yiddishkeit the greatest knowledge is called "ma'ase merkava" partly because it ties together how Hashem "rides" throughout an interconnected chain of world events, from the largest to the smallest, everything is ultimately interconnected. But here it isobvious.

    You answer your question with your own statements:

    "Germany declared war on Russia,"

    On 9 Av 1914. That is when the war began officially. Once Germany declared war on Russia, it thereby obligated Britian and France to attack Germany as part of treaty obligations and that is the crux of WWI.

    "but Austria was already in Serbia three days before."

    It was not a world war yet, as long as Germany did not come into it. This is also close enough to 9 Av as it is, even the original 9 Av is preceded by 10 Teves, then 17 Tamuz a three week build up before the 1st Bais Hamikdash was destroyed, and the 2nd Bais Hamikdosh burnt for at least until 10 Av. Hey, and the "spiritual source" of it all is the Chet Hemeraglim millienia before (but do you accept/reject that too?) What are you quibling about?

    "The Czar mobilized his forces two days before, on Av 7."

    Mobilization is not war.

    WWI was a direct historical trigger for WWII. The humiliating conditions imposed on Germany that both bankrupted it and created political chaos. The rise of Hitler blaming the "November criminlas" for stabbing Germany in the back. Hitler's own bitter battle experiences as a coporal in the German Army (he was gassed and hospitalized a few times, one reason he did not use it in battle but maybe why he liked the idea of gassing Jews in death camps.) Not sure what you are perplexed about.

    Nazism and Hitler rose in the wake of the chaos, desperation and angst in Germany after WWI. It is a mere 20 years from the harsh Treaty of Versailles and the outbreak of war in 1939. It's so obvious, every historian seems to get it, why not you?

  3. IOW, you pick one possible start date out of perhaps a half dozen for the wrong war, choose that war rather than any of at least a half-dozen other necessary causes for WWII, and thereby tie the Shoah to 9 Av.

    WWI could have run the exact same course and the Treat of Versaille could have had terms that allowed Germany to survive economically. So WWII doesn't naturally follow WWI. And what if the treaty were the same, but there were no subsequent Great Depression? Germany might still not have gotten so bad as to make voting Hitler into power a tempting choice. Etc...

    I didn't say the two weren't connected. I said that there are so many connections, you were bound to find a way to say the Holocaust "really" started on 9 Av.

    It's not like we're talking about the date the Nazis were voted in, the date of Kristalnacht, the Wansee congress... You found some tenuously connected date -- the one where Germany and Russia entered WWI. You then say that that's the only real start of WWI as a world war. Possible, but not the only meaningful way to read history. You then decide to read the chain of events from there rather than from other point in history... And basically you found one thing out of hundreds; enough possibilities that one of them was bound to be on 9 Av.

    That's not talmud Torah, that's marketing.

    "Every historian" does not get it. Historians generally point to that event as the start date for WWI, not when the two players you point to entered the battle. Do you not recall learning in HS that WWI was inevitable from the moment they shot Archduke Ferdinand (6 Av)? And being obnoxious about something you are not a particular authority in is just more marketing. A way to shove a faulty idea down others' throats.

    The Holocaust had many causes; choosing when Russia and Germany entered WWI is far from the most compelling one to call "the start".

    How many FFB teens and BTs do we lose because we sell them an oversimplistic "life the universe and everything nicely answered and tied up in a bow" and they chafe at its absurdities or how it doesn't address real life?

    BTW, to bring this back to what appears to be this blog's primary topic... That, even more than it's lack of emes, is what's dangerous about R' Tropper's insistence that its either his maximalist hashkafah or nothing.


  4. Recipients and PublicityNovember 13, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    To micha:

    "History" From Latin historia < Ancient Greek iστορία (historia), “‘learning through research, narration of what is learned’”) < iστορέω (historeō), “‘to learn through research, to inquire’”) < iστωρ (histōr), “‘the one who knows, the expert, the judge’”), , from * (“‘iίδτωρ’”), from Proto-Indo-European *wid- (“‘know, knowledge’”)."

    The COD defines history as "Continuous methodical record of public events; study of growth of nations; whole train of events connected with nation, person, thing etc; aggregate of past events, course of human affairs, sytematic account of ntural phenomena;..."

    "what if the treaty were the same, but there were no subsequent Great Depression?"

    RaP: Historians have a dictum (there are many): "there are no IFS in history"! As the saying goes, "IF my grandmother had wheels she would be a bus"!

    "'Every historian' does not get it."

    RaP: So obviously you are neither a historian nor do you respect the way professional historians study and interpret history academically and in a scholarly fashion.

    "Do you not recall learning in HS that WWI was inevitable from the moment they shot Archduke Ferdinand (6 Av)? And being obnoxious about something you are not a particular authority in is just more marketing. A way to shove a faulty idea down others' throats."

    RaP: HS? Since when does any real knowledge come out of there??? I am way long out of HS buddy! I may not be an "authoriy" (how would that be defined by you in any case, since you think even famous and respected historians who are real authorities don't know what they are talking about?) and how exactly do you know what my qualifications are to speak about the subject of history?

    I assure you that my "qualifications" go way beyond your evidently high school-level outlook of history (at best it seems) which is not the favorite subject of most people, and in fact in the USA the subject as such has been subsumed into "social studies" but it doesn't mean that the study of history by historians has come to an end. Far from it.

    "How many FFB teens and BTs do we lose because we sell them an oversimplistic "life the universe and everything nicely answered and tied up in a bow" and they chafe at its absurdities or how it doesn't address real life?"

    RaP: FFBs and BTs??? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China??? Anyhow, "History only starts with WRITTEN records" (another dictum of historians worth noting) and therefore the life of the universe has NOTHING to do with the study of CONVENTIONAL ACADEMIC history, because written records only start in the times of Ur of the Chaldees when the Mesopotamians write down some things on clay shards in Cuneiform about 3500 BCE that can be read today.

    So-called "natural history" is not history per se or at all, it is just a modern name used for the study of nature (botany, biology, geology -- subjects that do not leave written records like humans!) before human history came on the scene of the world with written records approximately about 5,500 years ago, which actually helps the literal creationist argument that there was no intelligenet life on earth prior to ma'ase breshis 5,770 literal human-as-we-know-them-to-be-today years ago (but don't worry your little head over such ideas)...

  5. Recipients and PublicityNovember 13, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    To micha:

    Simply put, "where there are no human WRITTEN records there can be NO study of history." Archaelogy can help, but even that does not show any civilization as we know it today older than 5,500 years ago (cavemen and the stone and metal ages do not count in history. That subject is called EVOLUTION and it has NOTHING to do with history).

    There is even very good historical and geological evidence for the Flood (Mabul in Hebrew) exactly at the time that the Torah says it happened. But that was a long time ago and even historinas have a hardd time accepting facts that are not from five years ago. Just look at the ways so many are willing to forget about the Holocaust, if not outright deny it. But we are getting way off track here.

    You are over-reacting and throwing everything including the proverbial kitchen sink into your response, and it only proves that your real issues here are the negative experiences you seem to have suffered at the hands of primitive unsophisticated (academically) rebbeim in yeshivas or day schools who while they may have known Shas (maybe) are not historians in the accepted academic sense by any measure.

    But that has nothing to do with the study of history per se, and it just so happens to be that in the case of the onset of WWI in was on the same day/s as when both the two Jewish Temples were destroyed, a fascinating convergence of both world history and Torah events, notions that are not mutually exclusive to many JEWISH HISTORIANS, or STUDENTS OF JEWISH HISTORY.

    By the way, in the Torah world there is no such thing really as studying "history" as an independent academic subject.

    There is no such thing as study of the Liberal Arts, the Pure Scineces and the Social Sciences either in the Torah part of the yeshiva curriculum, except what is MINIMALlY needed for secular high school diplomas sometimes in those cases where secular studies are even allowed.

    It should be very evident from the way I presented here that I am competent in both spheres, or else I would have not said anything. Your emotional outburst is therefore not to the point, personal insults were therefore uncalled for and were out of place. I forgive you.

  6. Recipients and PublicityNovember 13, 2009 at 4:58 AM

    Worth noting, connecting afew recent threads, from the serious "Jihad Watch" blog run by Robert Spencer:

    "On Armistice Day, a note of gratitude

    This year, Armistice Day is marred by the recent jihad attack upon those who had dedicated their lives to protecting us. It was a vivid reminder, as was its hyper-politically correct aftermath, that the jihad against the U.S. is far from over, and we have hardly even begun to fight it.

    Will we?

    For many in the U.S. today, Constitutional law, including the non-establishment of religion, is as certain as the air we breathe, and we cannot conceive of the possibility that anything could weaken the principles upon which this nation was founded. The freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law -- all these things are unassailable, aren't they?

    No, they are being assailed today by increasingly assertive global forces, both non-violent and violent. The mainstream media, government, and law enforcement, deathly afraid of spurious charges of "bigotry," lie about what led Nidal Hasan to commit mass murder. And hardly anyone today is even aware of, much less interested in, the Muslim Brotherhood's "grand jihad" to eliminate and destroy Western civilization "from within, sabotaging its miserable house."

    That unawareness and indifference allow this endeavor to proceed apace.

    Today, then, we should remember and be grateful to those who gave their lives to secure and protect these freedoms for us -- as if our gratitude could ever be sufficient or adequate. We should ponder the fact that they had to give their lives in order to secure these freedoms. We should remember that if we are not willing to give our own lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to protect the unalienable rights enumerated at the founding of this Republic, we will most assuredly lose both them and the Republic itself -- lose them for ourselves and for our children.

    Let us never shrink from the task before us: the great struggle to defend human rights, human dignity, and freedom from oppression and injustice -- particularly the oppression and injustice, and assaults to human dignity that are enshrined in the Sharia that is coming, step-by-step, steadily and apparently inexorably, to a willfully ignorant and indifferent West.

    Happy Veterans' Day.

    Posted by Robert on November 11, 2009"


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