Always a good read, but I feel he makes too many generalised comments in this months blog.
I must admit that I agree with the view that the Holocaust should be treated in broader terms than those narrowly dealt with in by some Hollywood films. The causes of the WWII were many and varied, as were the victims of the Nazis.
In the blog Dominic quite rightly draws attention to the chequered history of British anti Semitism with his highlighting of the York Pogrom of 1190. This led to years of exile for Jews from Britain (until Cromwell I believe invited them back) but he fails to put it into context of what was happening across the rest of the Medieval world giving an impression that it was just a English phenomenon. Ultimately anti Semitism was not just an invention of Christianity. For example, in 1066 the entire Jewish population of Granada, including the Jewish Vizier, were put to death by the local Muslim population in a riot where over 4500 were killed. And making Jewish people wear yellow to distinguish them from the rest of the population wasn’t a German invention either. The same could be said of concentration camps.
Religious persecution comes in many forms and is not the preserve of any one religion either. The history of Jerusalem shows many examples of this, for example the Persians, with the aid of the local Jewish population slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians after they conquered the city in 614. And 600 years later both local Jews and Christians alike were killed when the Khwarizmi Tartars sacked the city in 1244.
Dominic then tries to connect the events of 1190 with the Race Riots of 1958 in Notting Hill, a tenuous link indeed. Sure it is all part of a continuum of racial hatred, but at totally different ends of the scale. The riots in 1190 were undoubtedly state sponsored; this is hardly what happened in 1958. Just 50 years after these events in London, the Afro Caribbean population is a well established and welcome component of British Society, and has contributed greatly to what modern Britain is today. There were no 'Rivers of Blood', death camps or mass expulsions.
I also question his borrowing of Haneke theory about Protestantism being naturally amenable to Fascism. Surely Catholic Bavaria in Southern Germany was the spiritual home of Nazism? Catholic Italy was the home of Mussolini's Black Shirts, Catholic Spain had Franco in power for 40 years and Catholic South America has had countless Right Wing dictators, so how does that stand up to scrutiny?
Finally as someone who lived in Cable Street in East London for many years I am proud of how my East End forebears successfully fought against those same Fascist that Dominic seems to think we are all so much alike. Maybe he should take a walk down Cable Street and look at the mural on Shadwell Town Hall that celebrates those events. He may think that those 30s Fascist may be possibly like him but they are definitely not like me or those people living in East London back then either.