I have received the following illuminating, albeit painful, correction to my blog “What Went on in One Islam Class”:
I read your piece about Florida State University student Matthew Hickman’s revelations from his course on Islam taught by Professor Vincent Biondo. Mr. Hickman wrote a brave rebuke of this politically correct revisionist history. However, there is a small but historically important in Matthew Hickman’s refutation of one of Professor Biondo’s statements. Commenting on the professor’s comparison of Guantanamo Bay prison to a concentration camp, Mr. Hickman wrote:
I leaned over to a peer and whispered, “Did he just call Guantanamo a concentration camp?” In retrospect, I wish I would have raised my hand, and asked, “How do you think the Jewish community would feel about that comparison?” Of course, there is no comparison, as there are no firing squads, no gas chambers, and no rape rooms at Guantanamo, and Muslims detained there are provided with Korans and allowed to practice their religion.
My mother was in Auschwitz and a labor camp in Czechoslovakia. My father was a Polish soldier and prisoner-of-war. I also have to clearly state that they are both Jewish because there were a number of non-Jews in concentration camps as well. I have read a number of accounts of the Nazi era as well, trying to understand better what went on. I believe Matthew Hickman was confusing Saddam Hussein’s rape rooms with Nazi concentration camp abuses – an understandable error. For the most part, there was almost no sex with the female concentration camp inmates and guards. One camp in Romania did run a brothel of Jewish women, which was used by German officers. But Nazi laws forbade sex with “untermenchen” (less than full human beings), particularly women, with an eye to not producing more Jewish children. I am not so naive to believe there wasn’t any sexual exploitation in concentration camps, but the women there also were exposed to typhus and other communicable diseases, and the guards also had access to healthy women in town who did not their heads shaved, etc. The women in the camps slept 4-6 to a wooden “bed,” staying close against the winter cold. The possibility for typhus or some other disease to spread throughout the group was great. I recall my mother saying once that when she and her fellow inmates were freed from a labor camp in Czechoslovakia at the end of the war, one of the women with her immediately went off to have sex with a Russian soldier because she did not have the company of men for years while being a prisoner. For all these reasons and more, I believe the opportunity and desire for most Nazi guards to have sex (essentially exploitive rape) was very limited. Having recounted all that painful history, I once again wish to praise Mr. Hickman for speaking out against this leftist pig of a professor. Leftist professors who throw the word ‘Nazi’ around as if the left owned it, and as though stating it alone were proof of the charge, do cheapen the word. They also encounter the wrath of those who know how pathetic and outrageous their comparison truly is.