Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Were there "circumcised Nazis"?

In commenting on my Nov. 23 post, "The man who attended my father's bris," Joared, who publishes a wonderful blog, "Along the Way," raised an interesting question. She wanted to know whether a non-Jewish German who had been circumcised would be condemned to the same fate as the Jews--shipment to a Nazi concentration camp.

(I tried twice to respond to her via a personal e-mail message using her gmail address. According to my own gmail "sent" file, neither message got through to her. There is apparently a technical conflict between my gmail program, which I use only to respond to messages originated by the sender in gmail, and my primary ATT e-mail program. Just another one of those Internet mysteries that cause almost as much frustration and aggravation as pleasure!)

I doubt whether there is any data that would provide an answer to the question. I assume that there were non-Jewish Germans who had been circumcised for medical reasons. I can only speculate that they would have escaped the fate of the Jews if they had official documents showing that they were pure Aryans. Considering the hysteria about a person's genetic background then raging in Nazi Germany, I would guess that such documentation was readily available.

Circumcision was certainly not an issue for the many Muslims fighting as allies along side the German army--Bosnians,Turks, Palestinians, Iraqis, and natives from the Muslim-dominated republics in the former Soviet Union.

Like Jewish boys, Muslim boys are circumcised during religious ceremonies. But unlike Jewish boys, who are circumcised eight days after birth, my understanding is that Muslim boys are circumcised several years after birth-- when they are as old as nine or ten years of age. That is one important advantage that Jewish boys enjoy.

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Blogger joared said...

Thanks for answering my question, as I thought it was possible in the Nazi's jaded thinking they might latch on to all sorts of criteria as being reason(?) enough to commit their atrocities. I was unaware that Muslims also had such a religious ceremony though much latter in a boys life.

Sunday, December 02, 2007 2:43:00 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

This discussion came up years ago at dinner (the things we talked about!)when I was living in Florida.
A friend of mine said her husband wasn't circumcised by his parents as they had been survivors of the holocaust and bits of fear still lingered.

Sunday, December 02, 2007 6:53:00 AM  
Blogger masdevallia said...

You posed an interesting question Joared. I know the history of the Jewish circumcision but am ignorant about the Muslim tradition. I know that the Muslims sometimes wait until the boy is able to recite the Qur'an. But what started this tradition?

Monday, December 03, 2007 3:00:00 PM  
Blogger joared said...

masdevallia, you posed an interesting question, too. I'm interested in that answer, also.

Saturday, December 08, 2007 3:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Mortart said...

Circumcision was one of the many Jewish religious practices borrowed by Mohammed in establishing Islam. During his lifetime, there were Jewish tribes inhabiting the Arabian peninsula, and he obviously became familiar with their religion. Among other religious Jewish traditions incorporated into Islam: the worship of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other Biblical figures; the ban on eating pork.

Saturday, December 08, 2007 1:33:00 PM  
Blogger joared said...

Interesting about Mohammed adopting Jewish religious practices that were incorporated into Islam. Why did the Jewish people adopt the practice of circumcision in the first place?

BTW hope Sybil is continuing to do well. Also, hope you're taking good care of yourself, Mort.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Mortart said...

I'm not much of a Biblical scholar. But based on what I can recall from my boyhood religious education, the rite of circumcision is prescribed in Genesis in which God called upon Abraham and his descendants to circumcise infant boys. The rite has always been regarded as a sign of loyalty and adherence to Judaism. Moreover, the presence of the foreskin was regarded as a blemish and that "perfection" was to be attained by its removal. Actually, I have never seen any evidence that I have achieved "perfection."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jews circumcise because it is very strongly mandated by Genesis 17.
Moslems circumcise as part of a short list of hygienic requirements that include removing pubic hair every 40 (women) or 80 (men) days.
The word "circumcision" is absent from the Koran.

I've read (but not seen) that Islamic and Jewish circs are different. The Third Reich employed Arab experts to help them distinguish, supposedly, between the two.

In France, during the Nazi occupation, there were doctors who, for a substantial sum, would prepare false affidavits claiming that they were responsible for X's circumcision, and that they had done it for purely medical reasons. I know nothing about what happened within Germany. I do not know whether a German was sent to the gas chambers only because he was circumcised. I do know that many European Jews who do not attend temple regularly stopped circumcising after WWII.

Sunday, March 30, 2008 5:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am doing research on Nazis who were circumcized after the war to try to pass as Jews. Do you hae any suggestions where I could look for information?

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 2:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something somewhat related, and weird, is that in many Holocaust photographs, there are a significant number of uncircumcised men. I've tried researching who these were and can't really find anything. Does anyone have any ideas??

Monday, May 04, 2015 9:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many non-religious Jews in Eastern Europe were uncircumcised due to the fear of persecution by anti-semitic Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Baltic state, and others. There had been many persecutions, pogroms, massacres, etc. During WWII many Jews did not circumcise their children hoping that they could be given to a Christian family to raise as one of their own and be undetectable as being Jewish. After WWII, many Jews in Europe, even somewhat religious ones, did not circumcise their babies.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:23:00 PM  

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