Essential Equals Selektzia

The only essential business is one’s own.

The essential businesses that received permission to operate during the Coronavirus commerce restrictions and the non-essential businesses that were compelled to keep their doors shut leads me to compare this nonsensical decision to Nazi Selektzia, in German auswahl meaning selection, possibly sortierung, meaning sorting, a practice the Nazis implemented during World War Two era.

That selektzia actions were in place in the Nazi concentration camps and labor camps and also in the ghettos into which the Nazis forced Jews to cram during the Nazis’ Aktion* (*Actions) for deportation to either type camps.

The sortierung was conducted mainly by the person’s age and his or her appearing to be healthy and capable to perform work. All the unlucky rest, i.e., men and women physically impaired, children and the elderly, were sent to be exterminated. The selektzia was usually made immediately upon Jews’ arrival to the camp. The ‘survivors’ of the selektzia first round were forced to undergo repeated selection and some were exterminated for one reason or another after all.

That is exactly what we have seen being done during the coronavirus lockdown, seletktzia. What “essential=healthy body” business can remain open and operate to whatever allowed business extent and what “non-essential=impaired” business must be closed and die a slow death.

After all what is the difference between the ‘Target‘ stores, that were selected to remain open and the ‘Ross Dress For Less‘ stores that were selected to be compelled to shutter and perhaps die a slow economic death?

Downtown Beverly Hills California, Rodeo Drive all businesses are 'non-essential' - April 17, 2020., photo credit Nurit Greenger
Downtown Beverly Hills California, Rodeo Drive all businesses are ‘non-essential’ – April 17, 2020., photo credit Nurit Greenger

A new era of selective prohibition

Once upon a time, the United States went through a prohibition period.

From 1920 to 1933 the ‘Prohibition’ in the United States was an applied nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. Prohibitionists first attempted to end the trade in alcoholic beverages during the 19th century.

Today, with the virus spread restrictions the prohibition is wide-range. Businesses are prohibited from doing business, even if the prohibition makes no sense.

Why are people prohibited from going to the beach, where their body is fed with an abundance of Vitamin ‘D’ essential for a strong immune system and a natural protection against the virus? By swimming in the water can the swimmer can be infected with the non-existing in the water Coronavirus, and thus swimming is prohibited? Or, is the virus dug in the hot sand and as soon as a person sits on the sand he or she may be infected and thus no sitting on beach sand?

Why are supermarkets, 7-11, Costco, and Target, Big Lot stores, pharmacies, car repair shops and other “essential” businesses allowed to conduct commerce while other businesses, named “non-essential,” some similar to the nature of the essentials, are prohibited from conducting business? Who is in charge of the Coronavirus prohibitions and what is the named interest behind it all?

Putting a Yellow Star on Businesses

At least as far back as the 13th century, Jews who lived in Europe were legally compelled to wear badges or distinguishing garments, separating them from the rest of the local population. This practice continued throughout the Middle-Ages and Renaissance, to be largely phased out during the 17th and 18th centuries. With the emancipation of western European Jews throughout the 19th century, due to the coming of the French Revolution, the wearing of Jewish badges was abolished in Western Europe.

During the Holocaust years, as part of their degradation and persecutions of Jews, the Nazis resurrected the Jewish patch/badge practice. Shortly after Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, the local German-Nazi authorities began introducing mandatory badge-wearing. By the end of 1939, all Jews who lived in Nazi occupied Polish territories were required to wear badges. Throughout the rest of 1941 and 1942, Nazi-Germany, its satellite states and western occupied territories – except Denmark, where the Germans were unable to impose such decree because King Christian X is said to have threatened to wear the badge himself if it was imposed on his country’s Jewish population – adopted regulations stipulating that Jews must wear identifying yellow patch/badge.

Essential Equals Selektzia 1
Semi ‘essential’ takeaway restaurant with lining marks on pavement in front of restaurant on Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California, April 14, 2020-Photo credit Nurit Greenger

The German-Nazi government’s policy, forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at controlling, isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different, i.e., inferior to everyone else. Those who failed or refused to wear the badge risked severe punishment, including death.

Like the yellow patch/badge Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust, separating them from the rest of the population, the US Federal and states’ authorities’ selektzia actions to impose closure on some and not on other businesses is aiming at imposing psychological fear tactics. It is causing a business owner whose business is ‘non-essential,’ doomed for closure to feel inferior to ‘essential’ business. This practice carries an open-ended essentiality question, the essentiality of freedom and justice.

By being forced to wear a badge that distinguishes Jews from all non-Jews, it allowed the Nazis an easier facilitation of separation of Jews from the rest of society and the subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews.

Who gave the essential business the license to be ‘essential’ and conduct commerce while the ‘non-essential’ did not get that license and have to wear the distinguishing badge, meaning, if open against the selektzia, is targeted for getting fined, possible fast court hearing and jail time as we have witnessed already; a possible police knock on the door if the ‘mom-essential’ business owner does open up with all the required safety features?

Ruled by fools who have no problem ruining people’s life is the utmost of Chutzpa

Chutzpa means shameless audacity; impudence. The shameless audacity Chutzpa blame falls on many states’ governors and cities’ mayors who were forced to come out of their sheltering offices and show their true colors to us, the people. These bureaucrats had to lead and showed us they are unfit and unable to do the leading nor make the right and sensible decisions. But these ego-driven governors and mayors were perfectly okay to impose draconian decrees on the population at large in order to control the masses just as the Nazis, with the badge, were able to segregate and control the Jews of Europe.

Like the kid who murders his parents and then pleas the judge for mercy because he is now an orphan, many US states and cities are mismanaged and now turn to the federal government to fix their failures.

Governors and mayors – the like of California’s governor Newsom and the City of Los Angeles mayor Garcetti – have assumed irrational power and went beyond the pale to come up with irrational reasons to frighten the people, to kill the economy and now blame all else but themselves.

I am a daughter of Holocaust survivors. This entire lockdown which has not yet proven to be effective in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, and the applied prohibition, restrictions and many senseless selektzia choices all emulate what the Nazis did to the Jews and other people “objectionable” to the German-Nazis, but for different reasons and purpose.

We have not yet seen the full outcome of all the Coronavirus measures taken and I fear it, just like most of the world has taken to fear the virus and thus behaved rather irrational.

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the "Accidental Reporter" felt compelled to become an activist. Being an 'out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a "one-woman Hasbarah army" for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

Email Notification

Get notification of new stories by Nurit Greenger, in your Email.