[url=http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/20080215_the_forgotten_suffering_of_soviet_jews/]Timothy Snyder on the Forgotten Holocaust
By Timothy Snyder
“I felt a strong desire to sprinkle my head, my whole self, with ashes, to be nothing, to be changed into dust.”
-- Ida Belozovskaya, quoted in “The Unknown Black Book”
Though she survived the Holocaust, Ida Belozovskaya was not invoking the crematoriums of Auschwitz. In the Kiev of September 1941 that she was describing in one of the interviews published in “The Unknown Black Book,” the Germans were killing the Jews, but without the help of gas chambers. These had not yet been invented, but the Holocaust was under way. What she was trying to describe was the fear and shame of hiding in a city where 30,000 Jews could be shot in a single day, where her father had just been seized on the street.
Her references jar the ones we have come to know, but her experience is just as representative, and important, as that of Jews who lived through Auschwitz. Half of the Jews who died in the Holocaust were killed by bullets rather than by gas, in death pits rather than in death camps. Some 2.2 million Soviet Jews were killed by shooting; 350,000 more were asphyxiated in mobile gas vans. Compare this to the 1.1 million deaths at Auschwitz, or the approximately 800,000 deaths at Treblinka. Even had the death camps never existed, this eastern Holocaust would have to be regarded as the most horrible of atrocities. Yet we have all but forgotten it.
I also recommend PlagueMaker
by Tim Downs:
Desiring payback for the atomic bomb that killed his sister back in World War II, a Japanese madman named Matsushita plots the release of a biological weapon over New York City via a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. FBI agent Nathan Donovan is tipped off to the terrorist’s plans by an elderly Chinese man. This Mr. Li has his own reasons for revenge on Matsushita, and only agrees to disclose what he knows if Donovan promises to take him along on the search. Reluctantly, he does.
This story reveals a lot about another part of history that has been forgotten, the infamous Unit 731, the human experimental program in which the Japanese used Chinese peasants, POWs, and some captured American fliers as human guinea pigs. They make Mengele look like a walk in the park.