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If Seth Rogen were alive during the Third Reich, would he have aided Adolf Hitler in disarming the Jews?

Many people contend that the Holocaust could’ve been prevented if Jews had not been disarmed by the Nazis, as in fact they were beginning to do in 1938. That belief – which has been circulating for decades – could conveniently be called the “Heston-LaPierre thesis,” after the two NRA leaders who did the most to popularize it.

Recently, when the brain surgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson repeated the Heston-LaPierre thesis yet again, it suddenly generated controversy – mostly from Democrats, for obviously partisan reasons (and also because conservative African-Americans tend to blow liberals’ minds).

For example, Hollywood’s leading intellectual and all-around deep thinker, Seth Rogen, apparently doesn’t agree with the thesis, because he took to Twitter and tweeted, “Fuck you @realBenCarson.” However, that devastating argument somehow failed to sway anyone one way or the other. So we will have to turn elsewhere to get some perspective on this contentious matter.[1]

For those who don’t apply Rogen-esque standards when debating the Heston-LaPierre thesis, the famous Warsaw ghetto uprising is a key historical event.

Advocates of the thesis use the uprising as historical evidence to support their case. As summarized by the pro-gun legal scholar Stephen Halbrook, “Out of all the acts of armed citizen resisters in the war, the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943 is difficult to surpass in its heroism. Beginning with just a few handguns, armed Jews put a temporary stop to the deportations to extermination camps, frightened the Nazis out of the ghetto, stood off assaults for days on end, and escaped to the forests to continue the struggle. What if there had been two, three, many Warsaw ghetto uprisings?”[2]

As it turned out, however, the Nazis reacted to the uprising by burning the Warsaw ghetto to the ground, which opponents of the Heston-LaPierre thesis point to as evidence of the futility of armed uprising against a government possessing a near-monopoly on violence.[3]

In the opinion of Alan E. Steinweis, a professor of Holocaust studies at the University of Vermont, “The failure of Jews to mount an effective defense against the Waffen-SS in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 provides a good example of what happens when ordinary citizens with small arms go up against a well-equipped force.”[4] (Others have drawn a parallel to the modern-day Palestinian uprisings against tyrannical oppression, which have always provoked overwhelming violence in response.)

Gunnar S. Paulsson, son of an Auschwitz survivor and currently the Pearl Resnick Fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, goes even further, claiming that the Warsaw uprising actually made things much worse for Jews. As described in the Huffington Post, “Paulsson said it is possible that if Polish Jews had limited their resistance, Nazi troops might not have destroyed the ghetto, allowing more to survive in hiding or escape. When armed Jews shot at mobs or troops at other times in 1930s and 1940s Poland, it incited more vicious counter-attacks, he said.”[5]

As for whether or not Seth Rogen would have aided Hitler in disarming the Jews if given the chance… We at Celebrity Reputation pose that as a philosophical question, as one of our resident experts explains:

“I think advocating for gun control policies counts as helping to disarm a population. Rogen likely would not have anticipated the Holocaust and directly helped to bring that about, but had he been there and been as ideologically motivated and blind to the necessity of having an armed citizenry and the consequences of removing the right to self-defense and centralizing power into the hands of government, then he would have technically aided Adolf Hitler in disarming the Jews. By advocating gun control policies now, Seth Rogen could very well be inadvertently setting the stage for a genocide against unarmed Americans (not likely, but the analogy is still true).”[6]

It remains a matter of debate whether or not an armed American citizenry, if faced with a genocidal government, would be able to succeed where the Warsaw uprising failed. Professor Steinweis concludes: “Inside Germany, only the army possessed the physical force necessary for defying or overthrowing the Nazis, but the generals had thrown in their lot with Hitler early on.”[3] If he’s correct, does that mean the only way American citizens can resist tyranny by force is for the U.S. military to stage a coup?







[6] B.P. Bradley, interview with author, October 15, 2015.

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