The ADL and Gun Control

The Anti-Defamation League's recent attack on Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson for citing the role of Nazi Germany's gun laws in the Holocaust shows that the organization has subordinated its charter and its good name to advocacy of the Democratic Party. Abraham Foxman's departure from the ADL's leadership has done little to improve matters because, as reported by the Washington Post,

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, responded in a statement that Carson 'has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate.' He added that 'gun control did not cause the Holocaust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.'

If we take note of ADL's 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, ADL has no business at all taking sides as to what issues belong in the presidential debates. Greenblatt's paramount goal is clearly to help the Democratic Party keep control of the White House by using ADL's Jewish identity and the Holocaust to attack one of the leading Republican candidates. If he has to engage in historical revisionism to do that, so be it.

Greenblatt is tells a half-truth when he says gun control did not cause the Holocaust. Zyklon B and crematoria did not cause the Holocaust either, but all three were used to perpetrate it. Greenblatt's half-untruth consists of his statement that Wilhelm Frick's "Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons" did not contribute to the Holocaust.

The Nazis passed laws to disarm Germany's Jews after Kristallnacht because, when you want to murder Jews and destroy their homes, it's a lot safer if they have no weapons, just as a Ku Klux Klan lynching is a lot more fun if the black person is unarmed. It's also a lot easier to herd people into cattle cars if you are in no danger of being shot or even stabbed (the Nazi weapons control laws also banned Jews from owning knives or truncheons). Stephen P. Halbrook adds more explicitly,

Later that year, in Kristallnacht (the Night of the Broken Glass), in one fell swoop, the Nazi regime disarmed Germany’s Jews. Without any ability to defend themselves, the Jewish population could easily be sent to concentration camps for the Final Solution.

American Thinker editor J.R. Dunn pointed out another very key talking point, which is the effectiveness of small arms in any resistance movement. Greenblatt speaks out of both sides of his mouth when he argues as follows:

It is mind-bending to suggest that personal firearms in the hands of the small number of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000 remaining in Germany in 1938) could have stopped the totalitarian onslaught of Nazi Germany when the armies of Poland, France, Belgium and numerous other countries were overwhelmed by the Third Reich." Greenblatt then continues out of the other side of his mouth, "Despite the overwhelming military force of the Nazi regime, there were thousands of brave civilians -- Jewish and gentile -- who indeed often resisted with every fiber of their being.

Small Arms are Vital to Partisan Warfare

Resistance with every fiber of your being is far more effective when you have a weapon capable of causing death or serious injury to enemy personnel who are not inside tanks or armored personnel carriers. The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto destroyed some of those with gasoline and petrol bombs, as did Hungarians in Budapest in 1956. HistoryNet adds more detail:

The first armed resistance occurred when a 17-year-old girl named Emily Landau flung a grenade into a cluster of SS men from a rooftop on Gesia Street, killing or wounding a dozen of them. The SS promptly assaulted the building with submachine guns blazing, only to be met by a volley of return fire that felled four or five Germans and drove the rest back in disorder. Emily Landau was bending down to recover a pistol from a slain SS officer when she was struck by a bullet fired by a German rifleman covering his comrades’ retreat.

If, as Mr. Greenblatt contends, small arms are not useful for resistance against armies -- and pistols have sometimes been dismissed as what you use to fight your way to your rifle -- why did Emily Landau risk and lose her life to try to recover a handgun? Come to think of it, if handguns are not useful on modern battlefields, why did the SS officer bother to carry one in the first place?

While the Nazis eventually destroyed the Warsaw Ghetto and killed or drove out the Jews, they lost men and material that could have otherwise been used against the Allies. The Nazis later had to destroy Warsaw when better-equipped Polish resistance fighters fought them and, had the Poles not been betrayed by the Soviets, who were supposed to reinforce them, the Poles might have won. As matters stood, the Nazis still lost a division's worth of soldiers and equipment. The Warsaw Ghetto is far from the only example of just how much damage lightly-armed resistance fighters can do to an army.

(1) Polish partisans turned their country into a living hell for Swedish invaders during the Deluge of 1655.

(2) Spanish guerrillas (from "little war," a word created during the French occupation of Spain) played as great a role as the Duke of Wellington's army in winning the Peninsular War. Wellington waged primarily a Fabian strategy of not allowing himself to be beaten by overwhelming French forces while guerrillas attacked vulnerable French foraging parties. The result was that the French were usually desperate for supplies while Wellington, who insisted that his army pay the Spanish peasants for any supplies they requisitioned, could always keep his soldiers and horses fed. This was not to say that Wellington (he earned the title at Talavera) shunned anything that resembled a fair fight with Napoleon's marshals, but the guerrillas' activities helped make those fair fights possible.

(3) The French Resistance (Maquis) caused the Nazis endless trouble in occupied France, and I remember a French lesson from junior high or high school called "In the Maquis." The text said that any loss of a weapon would be punished by death, apparently because weapons were so hard to acquire.

(4) Israel's Jews used whatever weapons they could buy, borrow, or steal (contrary to the United Kingdom's gun-control laws) to win their War of Independence. Had it been up to Mr. Greenblatt and his cohorts in the Union for Reform Judaism and the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Arabs would have driven the unarmed Jews into the sea.

(5) Hungarians armed primarily with rifles, pistols, and submachine guns inflicted horrific losses on Soviet troops in Budapest in 1956. James Michener's The Bridge at Andau provides details.

The effectiveness of small arms in the hands of the bad guys also shows why law-abiding citizens should have unrestricted access to them.

(1) Terrorists with small arms and knives are currently terrorizing Israelis in their own country.

(2) Suspected cop killer Eric Frein kept more than a hundred law enforcement officers occupied for weeks in Pennsylvania's forests, thus underscoring how much damage one man can do with a rifle. This is entirely consistent with Colonel Jeff Cooper's To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth, which says that two riflemen who know their work can keep any number of opponents busy. Frein's ability to evade detection by helicopters equipped with night vision equipment suggests that a handful of partisans could cause invaders damage far disproportionate to their numbers and equipment. In addition, Frein was captured partially because law-abiding citizens gave tips to the police. Had he been shooting at enemies of the United States instead, people would have ignored him or even left supplies for him.

(3) A single gunman, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, locked down the entire city of Boston even though police equipped with rifles, automatic weapons, and armored vehicles were looking for him. This caused more than a billion dollars in economic damage. Tsarnaev also was turned in by a local citizen, a form of aid that invaders of the United States would receive only from collaborators and traitors.

One wonders how much harm even a few hundred armed Jews could have done to Nazi Germany even if it cost their lives, which they were going to lose anyway. The idea of aiming a flashlight at the sky from the middle of a city during an Allied night air raid (or setting combustible waste on fire to provide an aiming point), and using a handgun or rifle to kill any Nazis who tried to interfere, comes to mind immediately along with severed power lines and other acts of sabotage. Any assets the Nazis had to divert to internal security would not have been available for the Russian, and later the Western, fronts.

Here is an interview with a genuine Holocaust survivor who knows more about Nazi gun laws than Jonathan Greenblatt will ever want to know. Jerusalem's mayor is meanwhile encouraging Jews who, unlike Jonathan Greenblatt, must live in close proximity to genocidal Jew-haters, to arm themselves, while Russia's Vladimir Putin also has made his position on gun control very clear. Putin is controlling the rifle very well although, as he is not wearing hearing or eye protection, it is doubtful that he is actually firing it in the publicity photo.

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.