Mamook Closhe--Using art to make good

Genocide of Native Americans

a Model for Hitler’s Attempt to Exterminate the Jews

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, John Tolland, notes in his book Adolf Hitler: Hitler's concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the Wild West; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America's extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.

He was very interested in the way the Indian population had rapidly declined due to epidemics and starvation when the United States government forced them to live on the reservations. He thought the American government's forced migrations of the Indians over great distances to barren reservation lands were a deliberate policy of extermination.

David A. Meier notes in Hitler's Rise to Power:

Some of the parallels include the death marches when the Nazis forced hundreds of thousands of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps and prisoner of war camps near the eastern front to camps inside Germany away from front lines and allied forces.  I saw an image from May 11, 1945, where German civilians were walking past bodies of 30 Jewish women starved to death by German SS troops in a 300-mile march across Czechoslovakia. It made me think about how The Long Walk of the Navajo was also 300-miles, and many of the Native Americans on that trip died of starvation.

I thought about how the Nazis were burning Jewish books and burying bodies in mass graves, and the parallels of how Indian cultures were also erased, libraries of oral tradition functionally burned, and many were buried in mass graves under bibles.

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