Starting here a rather long post regarding some comment which was a little off the main topic of episode 96. But it seems to be a repeating issue and I need to start somewhere…
So, in this episode, you repeated the statement that the Nazis “persecuted a Religion”, which sounds a bit dissonant to me.
Like in the case of my previous correction (about “Galileo & Round Earth”), I think that the reason that it irks me is because it reinforces a misconception which is effectively used for the propaganda of certain groups.
However, in this case I believe that your usage of this terminology comes from trying to avoid using the word “race”, which in turn
goes back to to episode 22 (“Stand together not divided”), and some related topics, on which I have comments, but believe that explaining clearly where my views differ from yours would take me a long time. That is why I kept postponing this feedback until now (for me, this kind of writing is not a regular effort, and it takes several iterations to become coherent enough).
I will try to fulfill this debt in upcoming posts or email. But for now I will just focus on clarifying this particular irk, starting with facts that I am sure you (and probably most people in this forum) already know.
First of all, although the Nazi leadership cared a lot about political beliefs, to the best of my knowledge they did not care much about religion (other than as a tool to serve the state).
Certainly the persecution of the Jews and the Roma people did not depend on their religious beliefs.
The persecuted people were identified by external appearance, as taught in race class
and by their ancestry
If you were a Jew by birth, you were an enemy of the state. No belief or statement of loyalty could save you from that - only documents proving the “aryan blood” of your grandparents (well, if you only had one jewish grandparent, then you would be a “Mischling zweiten Grades”, so you could live as a German without getting castrated, provided you followed the restrictions and did not look too jewish).
Saying that the Nazis persecuted a religion reinforces the misconception that the persecution depended on anything that the persecuted people thought, did or believed. This misconception serves the cause of people who want to deny or diminish the holocaust, through the usual “divide and conquer” thinking (“surely that would not happen to me”…).
Sure, persecution due to religion is also a bad thing that should be banned, but it was certainly not the main case in Nazi Germany.
So, I would not try to convince you to use the word “race” in this context (well, not for now, at least ), but maybe we could settle on something that would sound less “disinformative” to me (I think you ment religion as the suspected original trigger of xenophobia rather than as the target of actual persecution, but I would prefer to just not leave room for such doubts).
Maybe “nationality”? “ethnic group”? “ancestry”? even “culture” is a little better, because it includes things like language, clothing and customs rather than just belief.
Or course, I could just get used to any language you use. I do understand what you were trying to say, and certainly not offended. I only went into these details to ensure that the background is fully understood.