18 (pt. 1)
THE HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE
Jewish history, many Jews and non-Jews in America
now learn the whole of Jewish history through the lens of the
Holocaust." -- James Young, p. 304
"[The Holocaust had been] hardly talked about for the first twenty years or so
after World War II; then, from the 1970s on, [it became] ever more central in
American public discourse -- particularly, of course, among Jews, but also in the
culture at large. What accounts for this unusual chronology?"
-- Peter Novick, 1999, p. 2
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted continued popular promotion of Anne Frank in 2001, half a century after her death:
"A four hour miniseries, following Anne's life from her happy school days
through her two years in hiding in Amsterdam and to her final days in the
concentration camp, air nationally over ABC TV on May 20 and May 21.
The 20th Century Fox studio is developing a feature move based on
'The Diary of Anne Frank.'
A new edition of the diary, including five previously unpublished pages
describing her parents' difficult marriage, was released in March.
The Helos Dance Theatre premiered 'About Anne: A Diary in Dance'
in Los Angeles last month.
An interactive CDROM titled 'Anne Frank House: A House with a Story'
was released earlier this year, offering a virtual tour of the building and
the 'secret annex' where the Frank family hid.
In Boise, Idaho, ground has been broken on a $1.6 million Anne
Frank Human Rights Memorial Park." [TUGEND, T., 5-13-01]
"the child is 'twinned' with a young vicitm of the Holocaust who never lived to
have the ceremony, and by all reports the kids like it a lot. Adolescent Jews
who go on organized tours to Auschwitz and Treblinka have reported that
they were 'never so proud to be a Jew' as when, at these sites, they vicariously
experienced the Holocaust. Jewish college students oversubscribe courses on the
Holocaust, and rush to pin yellow stars to their lapels on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust
Remembrance DAy). And it's not just the young. Adult Jews flock to Holocaust
events as to no others and give millions unstintingly to build yet another Holocaust
memorial." [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 8]
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, one of the greatest Holocaust centers, built a multi-million dollar high-tech environment to "recreate the Holocaust experience" for Jews who missed it. The director of a Jewish education committee even proposed a high school course about the Holocaust so that all students could be able to understand "what it means to be Jewish." [LIPSTADT, p. 356] By 1986, a quarter of all new books reviewed in Judaica Book News had a Holocaust subject and more college students were taking courses about the Holocaust than any other Jewish concern. [SILVER, p. 460] In 1985, 86% of American Jewry, as evidenced in one survey, believed that "there's no doubt that the Holocaust has deeply affected the way I think and feel about being Jewish." [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 33] "For American Jews," notes David Schnall, "Israel has become vitally important not as a living alternative [as a place to live] but more so as a refuge, a final port in the storm of humanity, should the unthinkable occur once more." [SCHNALL, p. 124]
." [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 5] In the 1960s the Israelis kidnapped former Nazi official Adolph Eichmann from Argentina, and sentenced him to death in the Jewish state. One staff member at the American Jewish Committee worried that, because of the trial, "gentiles might learn that 'for over 2,000 years Jews have cheered joyously in the synagogues when the Megillah readers annually told of the hanging of [Queen Esther's arch-rival] Haman and his ten sons with him.'" [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 1323]
Because so much of the Jewish disaster occurred in Poland, this country is especially singled out for attack in Jewish polemic. "Over the last thirty years," notes Lawrence Weinbaum,
"The Nazi leaders," noted Jewish author Raphael Lemkin (the inventor of the term genocide,"), "had stated very bluntly their intent to wipe out the Poles, the Russians; to destroy demographically and culturally the French element in Alsace-Lorraine, The Slavonians in Carniola and Carinthia. They almost achieved their goal in exterminating the Jews and gypsies in Europe." [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 100]
(Adamant Jewish conviction of intrinsic superiority -- and elitist distinction -- over Gypsies is reflected in famous Jewish novelist Judith Krantz's autobiography:
"'I admire old tribes,' said [a German baron], 'I once traveled for weeks
with Gyspies, and I found them fascinating . You realize Gypsies have a
tradition as old as the Jews, don't you?' I confessed ignorance of Gypsy
tradtion, but the next day, as the baron and I sat at the airport, I said
thoughtfully, 'I've been thinking about the Gypsies and the Jews, and it
seems to me that for better or worse, the Jews have given the world
Einstein, Freud, Marx, and for that matter, Jesus Christ himself -- but I
can't think of many Gypsies who've changed the world, can you?'
Even that bloody awful baron had to laugh and say, 'Touche.'"
[KRANTZ, J., 2000, p. 306] )
In 1999, in Atlanta, Georgia, Jewish-dominated Holocaust politics explicitly censored the Nazis' mass murder of homosexuals. As the Atlanta Jewish Times notes
"The Georgia Holocaust Commission caused a rift with the city's gay community.
The commission made repeated headlines in January with the deletion of two
paragraphs from a Holocaust teacher's guide about gay and lesbian
persecution. The incident triggered a confrontation between the gay
community and the commision ... The drama peaked with the forcible
removal of gay activist Harry Knox from a commission meeting at
[Jewish commission director Sylvia] Wygoda's order." [ATLANTA
JEWISH TIMES, 6-18-99]
Alan Levy notes famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal's attitude towards his non-Jewish neighbors in Poland:
"Having lived among Poles from birth, grown up with them, and attended their
schools, Simon knew that 'to them we were always foreigners. Mutual understanding
was out of the question. And even now that the Poles, too, had been enslaved and
were next on Hitler's list for extermination, nothing had changed: there were still
barriers between us.' Sometimes, this estrangement grew so strong that Simon 'no
longer even wanted to look at Poles. In spite of the conditions and the risks inside
the [concentration] camp, I would have preferred to stay there. But I didn't always
have the choice.' [LEVY, A., 1993, p. 42]
That isn't really fiction. Moshe Rozdial reflects the usual Jewish polemic and apologetic about Jewish racism and hatred of those around them:
"If I could be really honest, growing up around holocaust survivors, especially
grandparents who had been part of village life in Poland, my clearest memory
of anything that relates to churches was the way my grandmother would spit
three times, you know, tu! tu! tu!, like in Fiddler on the Roof, to ward off
evil spirits, every time she would walk past a church steeple. The cross has
really been more a burden to Jews, than for Christians to bear. For my Bubbe,
my grandmother, it represented the wrath of Satan, swooping down on a
helpless people when they were not vigilant to warding off the evil eye. She
saw Nazism as just another version of Christianity, hoardes of Aryan
barbarians, swooping down with their broken cross, to do the work that the
church had laid the foundation for, for a thousand years. I remember walking
down the street with my hand in hers, feeling that tug and knowing, almost
instinctively that if I look up I'd see a cross atop a roof, as she reflexively
crossed the street to avoid walking directly in front of the church. Muttering,
Do you know what that means? The impurity of the dead. Any dead thing.
Any dead thing, that by Jewish law, could not be touched in any way, so
as not to be defiled by spiritual purity. That's what Bubbe thought of the
crucifix and ultimately, the church ... She'd spit three times, more if she
was in a dark mood, and walk out of her way to avoid the site. The
dead Jew on the cross was a Nevelah to her, a presence that has always
defiled her life, Jewish life. A symbol of death and human corruptness, to
to my people. I know it's not politically correct to say these things to you.
We Jews are always watching our tongues, when it comes to Christianity."
[RODZIAL, M., WINTER 1999]
Stephen Bloom's 2001 book about an ultra-Orthodox Jewish enclave (the Chabad Lubavitchers, founded in Lithuania) in Postville, Iowa, give a clear example of what relations must have been like between many Jews and Poles and Eastern Europe before the rise of the Nazis. Jews in the Iowa town don't want to touch Gentiles [BLOOM, S., p. 96], they resist eye contact with them as they walk down the street [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 86], they have no knowledge or interest in Gentile life around them [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 114], they appeared "obnoxious and imperial" to local people, [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 161], they cheat local merchants [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 323], and they use oil in their candelabras because oil, which doesn't mix with other liquid, symbolizes Jewish separateness from all others. [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 182] "Wherever we go," one Chabad leader said, "we don't adapt to the place or the people. It's always been like that and always will be like that. It's the place and the people who have to adapt to us." [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 209] "Postville people, by and large, were tolerant," says Bloom, "... [But the Hasidic Jews] were downright rude. They seemed to go out of their way to be obnoxious, especially when it came to business dealings ... At first, the locals welcomed the Jews, but even the simplest offer -- a handshake, an invitation to afternoon tea -- was spurned. The locals quickly discovered that the Jews wouldn't even look at them. They refused to acknowledge even the presence of anyone not Jewish." [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 48, 51]
In 2000, Lithuanian requests for the extradition of Nahman Dushanski and Simion Borkov from Israel, for the mass murder of Lithuanians during World War II, were denied by the Jewish state. [MELMAN, 2-10-2000]
Some Jewish Council members, notes Simon Wiesenthal, "did the only thing they couild, under the circumstances, by following Nazi regulations to the letter. Others were corrupted. They accepted favours, juggled names, hoping against hope that they might save their own skins. Other Jews collaborated with the Nazis of bartered others' lives for their own. Some Jews were concentration camp trustees. Sometimes they helped their fellow inmates; sometimes they didn't." [LEVY, A., 1993, p. 85]
(For what it's worth, although of enormously less gravity, this harsh treatment in some ways echoes that afforded fellow Jews by Jewish overseers in an immigration barracks in America in 1882: "The Father, or manager and taskmaster over the immigrants, was an American Jew who looked down upon the earthly beings, as the immigrants were called and not in a friendly tone. His assistant, the Hungarian Jew, was a brazen scoundrel and treated the immigrants like cattle. The other Russian Jews, who through flattery managed to secure soft jobs, imitated them in behavior ... [Leading to a an eventual riot of Jewish immigrants that was quelled by 100 policemen], the Father's assistant slapped a weak woman who had implored him [to give her] several drops of a certain medicine. He also threatened her lady friends with a revolver when they reprimanded him. After breakfast, a delegation went to see the Father with complaints agaisnt his assistant, but the latter gave them a rude reception.") [SHPALL, L., 1957, p. 103, 107, 108]
Holocaust survivor Marcus David Leuchter recalls that "the brutality of the Jewish police force was unexpected; in the number of people they caught, they even exceeded the demands of the Germans." [LEUCHTER, M., 2000]
Famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal notes the case of an "ex-Gestapo agent named David Zimet -- a Jew!" Zimet was "the right hand of a very known Gestapo sadist with the name of Grunov ... In one truck of Jewish women [deported by the Nazis] were the wife and the daughter of Zimet. And the hatred against him was so great that the Jewish women in that truck taking them all to die killed his wife and his daugthter then and there' ... Years later, Wiesenthal was looking over a confidential list of cases being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when he read: 'ZIMET, David. A policeman in ghetto in Tarnow. Witnesses have attested to his brutality.' 'Zimet!' Wiesenthal exclaimed. 'This is my old case!' He informed the Canadian authorities of his evidence against Zimet, but they proved unwilling to prosecute a Jew for Nazi crimes. The Canadian Jewish Committee intervened and Zimet agreed to submit to a council of arbitration established by the committee. 'Nothing ever came of it,' says Wisesenthal, 'because the Jewish community was reluctant to publicize the case since Zimet was himself Jewish.'" [LEVY, A., 1993, p, 83, 84]
(As Jewish scholar Peter Novak notes about Jewish collaborators with the Nazis: "With only one exception known to me -- an article in Life in 1950 about a New York rabbinic court proceeding against a surviving Jewish camp official accused of beating another person to death -- discussion of the phenomenon was confined to Jews. Much of [Jewish scholar Hannah] Arendt's offense [to fellow Jews] was that she had written of these matters before a large gentile audience.") [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 140-141]
The authors of articles that dare to discuss the Jewish Councils that functioned as bureaucracies for Nazi overseers, notes Polish scholar Piotr Wrobel, "have been accused of slander, ignorance or even anti-Semitism ..." [WROBEL, P., 1997, p. 225] Wrobel's own article in 1997 addressed the profound double standard applied to Jews on the question of Jewish responsibility during the Holocaust epoch. In Holland, for example, two presidents of the Dutch Joodse Raad, Cohen and Asscher, "were arrested by Dutch authorities. The prosecuting attorney stated that 'Cohen and Asscher, as Jews, collaborated with the enemy, and shall not see the light of freedom.' Eventually, the Dutch Miniser of Justice decided to drop the case, adding that 'this should not be construed as a rehabilitation of the party in question.'" [WROBEL, P., 1997, p. 227]
Under post-war Jewish "Courts of Honor," which tried Jewish collaborators with the Nazis, notes Wrobel,
"punishment tended to be lenient ... Altogether, between 1946 and 1950, there were
about 160 trials of former members of the Jewish Councils, their officers, Jewish
policemen and kapos ... According to its governing statute, the Court could
pass only relatively mild sentences: exclusion from the Jewish community for
a period of time from one to three years, withholding someone's electoral rights
in a Jewish community, and public reproach ... It appears that major Jewish
collaborators, who managed to survive, left Poland very soon after the war or
changed their identitites and the People's Court tried only a small fraction of
them." [WROBEL, P., 1997, p. 228-230]
And Wrobel's perspectives about all this, as a Pole, and the incessant Jewish condemnation of the Polish people for an alleged reluctance to save Jews? "How can non-Jewsh bystanders," concludes Wrobel,
"be condemned for their passivity when Jewish Kapos, policemen, and
former Judenrate leaders were rehabilitated? Many similar questions appear when
we study the Holocaust and most of them have no satisfactory answer yet.
This aspect of the Holocaust is still far from settled." [WROBEL, P., 1997,
[I] in many cases, such people after the war found jobs with Jewish organizations. Maybe they were trying to atone; maybe they thought this was the best place to hide. Once, I was going special to Paris to see the director for Europe of the [Jewish] Joint Distribution Committee, because working for him was a man -- a Jew! - who had been in a concentration camp the head of the transports to the death camps. According to Wisenthal, the JDC director, an American, responded, 'So what? This was a time when everyone had to serve.'" [LEVY, A., 1993, p. 85]
(Note: famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wisenthal once noted that even many Jewish administrators for German Nazis ended up as officials in American Jewish organizations: "