How comics are tackling the last taboo: Holocaust humor – New York Post

Sex, death, race, religion seemingly nothings off-limits to comedians. Only one subject seems taboo, even for the likes of Louis C.K. and Chris Rock: the Holocaust.

Ferne Pearlstein, director of the documentary The Last Laugh, found this out the hard way when she had difficulty raising money for her movie. People told me I had a great idea and I should let them know when [other] people invested, she says of her film, which premieres March 3 and focuses on humor in and out of the Nazi concentration camps.

It took her 18 years, but she raised the money for her modestly budgeted independent film, for which she corralled a Whos Who of comics Sarah Silverman, Carl and Rob Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried and Larry Charles among them to speak about the unspeakable.

Mel Brooks, the man who wrote The Producers and its show-stopping song Springtime for Hitler, explained where he draws the line: He mocks the Nazis, but considers the Holocaust itself off-limits.

Joan Rivers had no such boundaries: During 2013s Fashion Police Oscars wrap-up, she focused on Heidi Klum, quipping, The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into ovens.

Contemporary jokes about Hitler and his henchmen are put into perspective by the films most interesting revelation: Humor, however dark, helped some endure the misery of the camps.

I went to a survivor who was the emcee of a comedy show at Auschwitz, says Pearlstein, whose family came to America ahead of World War II. These shows took place behind the barracks and prisoners told jokes that could have cost them their lives. Pearlstein recalls the daughter of a survivor whose father told her, If you were funny before the camps, you were funny in the camps.

One of those she interviewed was Robert Clary, who played the French POW Corporal Louis LeBeau on the 60s TV show Hogans Heroes. A survivor of Buchenwald himself, Clary (born Robert Max Widerman) was criticized for appearing in a sitcom about a German prisoner of war camp (the concentration part went unmentioned).

Clary, who recently turned 90, told Pearlstein that entertaining under duress kept him alive. He lost his entire family [to the Nazis] and would not have survived if he couldnt sing, Pearlstein says about the actor, who kept his captors at Buchenwald amused. He was spunky and funny, and being able to make people laugh … saved his life.

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How comics are tackling the last taboo: Holocaust humor – New York Post

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand About Anti-Semitism – The New Yorker

Hatred of Jews, like hatred of Muslims, is embedded more deeply in the Western consciousness than President Trump seems to understand.CreditPHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVIER DOULIERY / GETTY

The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil, President Trump said Tuesday at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C. He was referring, rather obliquely, to a spate of recent bomb scares and acts of vandalism, part of an uptick in hate crimes that has occurred since his arrival on the political scene. Trumps sentiment, however forced, was welcome, given the obtuseness, ambivalence, and even denial that have characterized his past responses to the problem. As a candidate and a President, he has seemed oddly untroubled by the license that anti-Semites derive from the us-against-them motif of his rants. But now, Trump says, the bigotry has to stop, and its going to stop.

Would that it were that simple. Anti-Semitism is not a run-of-the-mill example of hate and prejudice and evil, which is why contempt for Jews keeps showing up as a symptom of social stresseven now, and even in the United States. One neednt posit an eternal anti-Semitism, in Hannah Arendts warning phrase, to know that the imagination of the West has always defined itself positively against the negative other of Jewishness. That was blatantly the case in Germany in the sixteenth century, when Martin Luther characterized Jews as vermin within the German body politic, a pest in the midst of our lands. That belief ultimately came to flower, of course, in the exterminating anti-Semitism of Hitler, who saw the very existence of Jews as a mortal threat to the Thousand-Year Reich. But, as the Holocaust revealed, this fear infected both Nazi ideology and the broader Western consciousness. The crime of genocide may have been enacted by the Nazis, but Jews died as they did because the rest of Europeand America, tooexcluded them from moral concern.

Religious anti-Judaism, which became racial anti-Semitism, began long before Luther, stretching all the way back to the Gospels themselves. It is not just that Jews are labelled as Christs killers in the Passion narratives, but that Jesus is fully portrayed throughout the texts as fiercely opposed to his own Jewish people. (He came unto His own and His own received him not, John 1:11 says.) If Jesus was merciful, Jews were condemning; if Jesus was egalitarian, Jews were hierarchical; if Jesus was generous, Jews were greedy. Soon enough, Christians imagined that Jesus had never really been Jewish to begin with. Never mind that this was a terrible mistake of memory, that he was a faithful, law-observing, Shema-proclaiming Jew to the end, and that, Johns words notwithstanding, the only ones to receive Jesus in his lifetime were Jews. The imagined conflict persisted, and it informed the structure of Christian theologychurch against synagogue, New Testament against Old, Christian god of mercy against Jewish god of judgment. Down through the centuries, this positive-negative bipolarity formed the twin pillars of European consciousness, and, whenever the social equilibrium shook, Jews were targeted. When the targeting reached its genocidal peak, in the twentieth century, the old hatred was exposed once and for all.

Well, not quite for all. The Holocaust was a world-historic epiphany, but not to the Trump Administration, which last month erased the Holocausts most salient feature by deliberately omitting any reference to Jews from the White Houses official statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Trumps generalizing in that statementthe victims, survivors, heroeswholly ignored the fact that Hitlers industrialized death machine was created expressly to eliminate one particular people. To neglect that purpose is to restrict responsibility for the broad civilizational crime, with roots in the religious anti-Judaism of the Christian Church, to a small gang of Nazi thugs, as if no one else were guilty. Both the neglecting and the restricting are forms of Holocaust denial.

If it is too much for Trump to grasp anti-Semitism as the bug in the software of the West, it is not likely that he will see how his own Islamophobia comes from the same malicious code. When Christendom launched the Crusades, the holy wars that shaped Europe, in the eleventh century, Jews were the paradigmatic enemy inside (the infidel near at hand), and Muslims became the defining enemy outside (the infidel far away). Little wonder, then, that the First Crusade coincided with some of the earliest German pogroms, known as the Rhineland massacres. Within a few hundred years, the Spanish Inquisition had instituted its blood-purity laws, which lumped Muslims and Jews together in a new category of biological inferiority. In 1492 and 1502, first Jews and then Muslims were declared personae non gratae in Spain, facing forced conversion, expulsion, or death. The invention of racism in Europe, in other words, aligned neatly with the discovery of the New World and the advent of colonialism. Genocide and slavery followed.

Islamophobia is thus, to use the phrase that Edward Said applied to Orientalism, a strange secret sharer of Western anti-Semitism. This hidden alignment was particularly discernible in the ease with which the Cold War, with its ubiquitous, if subliminal, anti-Semitism, morphed into the clash of civilizations, with jihadists replacing Reds as figments of the American nightmare. Trump no doubt regards himself as an American original, but he is only the latest ringmaster of this binary circus. In fact, our temperamental President is bigotrys clich. Even the cult of white supremacy on which his movement depends has its origins, too, in the positive-negative structure of the Western imagination, a structure erected in the first place to keep Jews in their place. It may offend Donald Trump to be linked to an ancient current, but while his arrival, with all its mayhem, is an unprecedented crime against democratic values, it is also evidence of the deeper disorder from which our culture has yet to recover.

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What Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand About Anti-Semitism – The New Yorker

Stolen ‘Arbeit macht frei’ gate returned to Holocaust memorial in Dachau – Deutsche Welle

The original wrought-iron gate carrying the infamous Nazi slogan “Arbeit macht frei” (“work sets you free”) was returned to Dachau from Norway on Wednesday.

It willbe restored and publicly unveiled this April onthe 72nd anniversaryof the camp’s liberation. The gate will not be returned to its original location, but rather be displayed in the museum on the grounds of the former concentration camp near Munich inBavaria that now serves as a memorial.

A replica of the stolen gate was installed in April 2015 for the 70th anniversary of the camp’s liberation

The replica that replaced the stolen gate in 2015 will remain on site.

“This is a meaningful day for the memorial,” said Ludwig Spaenle, the Bavarian minister of cultural affairs. He called the theft of the gate an attack on a place of remembrance and said that the integrity of the memorial could now be “somewhat healed.”

Karl Freller, who heads thefoundation responsible for the Dachau memorial, said he was “happy and grateful,”stating “now that we have the gate back we will not let it out of our sight.”

The gate, measuring roughly two meters by one meter (7 by 3feet) and weighing around 100 kilograms (220 pounds), was stolen in November 2014, sparking outrage at home and abroad. Two years later, the gate wasfound in a parking lot near Bergen, Norwayafter an anonymous tipster contacted the police. Forensic tests did not reveal any fingerprints or DNA.Investigators have not yet been able to identify any suspects and the motive for the crime remains unclear.

The Dachau theft is not the first case where a relic bearing the Nazi slogan was stolen from a former concentration camp. In 2009, a sign was stolen in Auschwitz. The Swedish neo-Nazi and five Poles responsible for the theft were quickly found and sentenced to up to two and a half years in prison.

A cynical propaganda slogan

The sign “Arbeit macht frei” was displayed in several large extermination camps. The phrase is considered one of the most cynical examples of Nazi propaganda language. Many of the people forced into extermination campswere forced to work without any compensation, literally working themselves to death in countlesscases. The iron gate itself was a productofforced laborat the Dachau: communist prisoner Karl Rder was forced by Nazi officials to forge the “Arbeit macht frei” slogan.

US Vice President Pence passed through a replica of the gate during his visit last Sunday

Set up in 1933, the Dachau concentration camp was first such camp established by theNazis and became a prototype for similar detention facilities interritories controlled by the Germansduring World War II. The camp just north of Munich was initially set up to incarcerate political prisoners, but was later turned into a death camp for Jews, Sinti and Roma, homosexuals, Christian activists and other dissidents. More than40,000 inmates died at Dachau.

Today, the former camp serves as a memorial, offering tours to teach about the horrors of the Holocaust. Dachau attracts more than800,000 visitors a year, including prominent international state officials, such as US Vice President Mike Pence, who visited the memorial last weekend.

As Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, the virulently anti-Semitic Goebbels was responsible for making sure a single, iron-clad Nazi message reached every citizen of the Third Reich. He strangled freedom of the press, controlled all media, arts, and information, and pushed Hitler to declare “Total War.” He and his wife committed suicide in 1945, after poisoning their six children.

The leader of the German National Socialist Workers’ Party (Nazi) developed his anti-Semitic, anti-communist and racist ideology well before coming to power as Chancellor in 1933. He undermined political institutions to transform Germany into a totalitarian state. From 1939 to 1945, he led Germany in World War II while overseeing the Holocaust. He committed suicide in April 1945.

As leader of the Nazi paramilitary SS (“Schutzstaffel”), Himmler was one of the Nazi party members most directly responsible for the Holocaust. He also served as Chief of Police and Minister of the Interior, thereby controlling all of the Third Reich’s security forces. He oversaw the construction and operations of all extermination camps, in which more than 6 million Jews were murdered.

Hess joined the Nazi party in 1920 and took part in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, a failed Nazi attempt to gain power. While in prison, he helped Hitler write “Mein Kampf.” Hess flew to Scotland in 1941 to attempt a peace negotiation, where he was arrested and held until the war’s end. In 1946, he stood trial in Nuremberg and was sentenced to life in prison, where he died.

Alongside Himmler, Eichmann was one of the chief organizers of the Holocaust. As an SS Lieutenant colonel, he managed the mass deportations of Jews to Nazi extermination camps in Eastern Europe. After Germany’s defeat, Eichmann fled to Austria and then to Argentina, where he was captured by the Israeli Mossad in 1960. Tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity, he was executed in 1962.

A participant in the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Gring became the second-most powerful man in Germany once the Nazis took power. He founded the Gestapo, the Secret State Police, and served as Luftwaffe commander until just before the war’s end, though he increasingly lost favor with Hitler. Gring was sentenced to death at Nuremberg but committed suicide the night before it was enacted.

Author: Cristina Burack

mb/se (epd, dpa)

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Stolen ‘Arbeit macht frei’ gate returned to Holocaust memorial in Dachau – Deutsche Welle

Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism

A Revisionist Chronicle

Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism

By Robert Faurisson

The following is the remark, not of a revisionist, but rather by an anti-revisionist: note 1

“Holocaust denier,” “revisionist,” “negationist”: everyone knows what such an accusation means. It effectively means exclusion from civilized humanity. Anyone who is suspected of this is finished. His public life is destroyed, his academic reputation ruined.

And he went on to add:

One day people will have to discuss the state of public affairs in a country where to brand a renowned scholar as a Holocaust denier (by hitting him with the ‘Auschwitz Lie’ club [die Keule der Auschwitz-Lge]) is enough to destroy him morally, in an instant.

Writings such as this essay cannot be sold openly in my country. They must be published and distributed privately.

In France, it is forbidden to question the Shoah — also called the “Holocaust.”

A law on the “freedom of the press” enacted on July 13, 1990, makes it a crime to question the Shoah, in its three hypostases: the alleged genocide of the Jews, the alleged Nazi gas chambers, and the alleged figure of six million Jewish victims of the Second World War. Violators are subject to a prison term ranging from one month to one year, a fine of 2,000 to 300,000 francs ($333 to $50,000), an order to pay considerable damages, and other sanctions. More precisely, this law makes it a crime to question (“contester”) the reality of any of the “crimes against humanity” as defined in 1945 and punished in 1946 by the judges of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, a court established exclusively by the victors exclusively to judge the vanquished.

Debates and controversies about the Shoah are, of course, still permitted, but only within the limits set by the official dogma. Controversies or debates that might lead to a challenging of the Shoah story as a whole, or of a part of it, or simply to raise doubt, are forbidden. To repeat: on this issue, even doubt is proscribed, and punished.

In France, the impetus for such a law (which is of Israeli inspiration), note 2 came in 1986 from several historians of Jewish origin, including Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Georges Wellers, and Franois Bdarida, together with Chief Rabbi Ren-Samuel Sirat. note 3 The law was enacted in 1990 on the initiative of former prime minister Laurent Fabius, then a member of the Socialist government, president of the National Assembly, and himself a Jewish militant of the Jewish cause. During this same period (May 1990), a desecration of graves in the Jewish cemetery of Carpentras, in Provence, had given rise to a media furor that nullified any inclination on the part of opposition lawmakers to mount any effective resistance to the bill. In Paris some 200,000 marchers, with a host of Israeli flags borne high, demonstrated against “the resurgence of the horrid beast.” Notre Dame’s great bell tolled as for a particularly tragic or significant event in the history of France. Once the law was on the statute books (promulgated in the Journal officiel on the 14th of July, the national holiday: the same issue, incidentally, that announced Vidal-Naquet’s nomination to the Order of the Lgion d’honneur), the Carpentras outrage was mentioned only, if at all, with a certain distance, as a mere reminder. Only the “Fabius-Gayssot” Act remained.

Under pressure from national and international Jewish organizations, and following the Israeli and French examples, other countries similarly adopted laws forbidding any questioning of the Shoah. Such has been the case for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Lithuania. In practice, such specific laws are not absolutely necessary to combat and suppress historical revisionism. In France, as elsewhere, the practice has often been to prosecute questioners of the Shoah under other laws, according to the needs of a given case, on the basis of laws against racism or anti-Semitism, defaming living persons, insulting the memory of the dead, attempting to justify crimes, or spreading false news, and — a source of cash indemnities for the plaintiffs — using personal injury statutes.

In France the police and the judiciary rigorously ensure the protection thus accorded to an official version of Second World War history. According to this rabbinical version, the major event of the conflict was the Shoah, in other words the physical extermination of the Jews that the Germans are said to have carried out from 1941-1942 to 1944-1945. (Lacking any document with which to assign a precise time span to the event — and for good reason, as it is a matter of fiction — the official historians propose only dates that are as divergent as they are approximate.)

Since 1974 I have had to fight so many legal battles that I’ve been unable to find time to compose the systematic exposition that one is entitled to expect from a professor who, over so many years, has devoted his efforts to a single aspect of Second World War history: the “Holocaust” or the Shoah.

Year after year, an avalanche of trials, entailing the gravest consequences, has thwarted my plans to publish such a work. Apart from my own cases, I have had to devote considerable time and effort to the defense, before their respective courts, of other revisionists in France and abroad. Today, as I write these words, two cases are being brought against me, one in the Netherlands, the other in France, while I must also intervene, directly or indirectly, in proceedings pending against revisionists in Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. For lack of time, I have had to decline helping others, notably two Japanese revisionists.

Around the world, our adversaries’ tactic is the same: use courts to paralyze the work of the revisionists, if not to sentence them to prison terms or to order them to pay fines or damages. For those convicted, imprisonment means a halt to all revisionist activity, while those ordered to pay large sums are compelled to set off on a feverish pursuit of money, goaded by threats of bailiffs, “writs of seizure,” “notices to third parties,” and freezing of bank accounts. For this reason alone, my life over the past quarter of a century has been difficult. It still is and, in all probability, will remain so.

To make matters worse, my idea of research has never been that of the “paper” professor or historian. I consider it indispensable to see the terrain for myself: either the terrain of the forensic investigation, or the terrain where the adversary is deployed. I wouldn’t be entitled to talk about the camps of Dachau, Majdanek, Auschwitz or Treblinka without first having visiting them to examine for myself the buildings and the people there. I won’t talk about anti-revisionist activities, such as demonstrations, conferences, symposia, and trials, without having attended them, or at least delegating an instructed observer to the events — a practice that is not without risk, but which enables one to obtain information from a good source. I have friends and associates produce countless letters and statements. Whenever possible, I go myself to the ramparts. To cite but one example: the impressive international “Holocaust” conference organized in Oxford in 1988 by the late billionaire Robert Maxwell (also known as “Bob the Liar”). I believe I can justifiably say that it aborted so pitifully (as Maxwell himself admitted), note 4 thanks to an operation on the spot that I personally organized — with the help of a female French revisionist who lacked neither courage, nor daring, nor ingenuity: her activism alone was certainly worth several books.

To the hours and days thus spent preparing court cases or various sporadic actions should be added the hours and days lost in hospital, recovering from the effects of an exhausting struggle or from the consequences of physical attacks carried out by militant Jewish groups. (In France armed militias are strictly prohibited, except for the Jewish community.) note 5

Finally, I have had to encourage, direct, or coordinate, in France and abroad, numerous activities or works of a revisionist nature, shore up those whose strength has faltered, provide for the continuance of action, answer requests, warn against provocations, errors, digressions from the goal, and, above all combat ill-conceived accommodations given that, for some revisionists, there is a great temptation in such a struggle to seek compromise with the adversary and, sometimes, even to back down. Examples of war-weary revisionists who have sunk to public contrition are, sad to say, not lacking. I shall not cast a stone at them, though. I know from experience that discouragement is liable to befall each of us because the contest is so unequal: our resources are laughable, while those of our opponents are immense.

Revisionism is a matter of method and not an ideology.

It demands, in all research, a return to the starting point, an examination followed by re-examination, re-reading and rewriting, evaluation followed by revaluation, reorientation, revision, recasting. It is, in spirit, the contrary of ideology. It does not deny, but instead aims to affirm with greater exactitude. Revisionists are not “deniers” (or, to use the French expression, “negationists”). Rather, they endeavor to seek and to find things where, it seemed, there was nothing more to seek or find.

Revisionism can be carried out in a hundred activities of everyday life and in a hundred fields of historical, scientific, or literary research. It does not necessarily call established ideas into question, but often leads to qualifying them somewhat. It seeks to untangle the true from the false. History is, in essence, revisionist; ideology is its enemy. Because ideology is strongest during times of war or conflict, and because it then churns out falsehood in abundance for propaganda needs, the historian working in that area is well advised to redouble his vigilance. In probing deep into the “truths” of which he has been reminded so often, he will doubtless realize that, when a war has led to tens of millions of deaths, the very first victim is the ascertainable truth: a truth that must be sought out and re-established.

The official history of the Second World War comprises a bit of truth mixed with a great deal of falsehood.

It is accurate to say that National Socialist Germany built concentration camps; it did so after, and at the same time as, a good number of other countries, all of which were convinced that their camps would be more humane than prison. Hitler saw in them what Napolon III had thought he saw in the creation of penal colonies: progress for humanity. But it is false to hold that Germany ever established “extermination camps” (an expression invented by the Allies).

It is accurate to say that the Germans manufactured gas-powered vehicles (Gaswagen). But it is false to say that they ever built homicidal gas vans (if a single one of these had ever existed, it would be on display at an automobile museum, or at one of the various “Holocaust” museums, at least in the form of a drawing of scientific value).

It is accurate to say that the Germans employed Zyklon (made from a base of hydrocyanic acid and in use since 1922) to safeguard, by disinfestation, the health of large numbers of civilians, troops, prisoners, and internees. But they never used Zyklon to kill anyone, let alone to put to death throngs of human beings at once. In light of the draconian precautions for the use of hydrogen cyanide gas, the gassing of inmates as allegedly carried out at Auschwitz and at other camps would have been fundamentally impossible. note 6

It is accurate to say that the Germans envisaged a “final solution of the Jewish question” (Endlsung der Judenfrage). But this solution was a territorial one (eine territoriale Endlsung der Judenfrage), and not a murderous one. It was a project to induce or, if necessary, to force the Jews to leave Germany and its European sphere of influence, thereafter to establish, in accord with the Zionists, a Jewish national home, in Madagascar or elsewhere. With a view toward such a solution, many Zionists collaborated with National Socialist Germany. note 7

It is accurate to say that a gathering of German officials was held at a villa in Wannsee, on the outskirts of Berlin, on January 20, 1942, to discuss the Jewish question. But the subject of their discussions was the forced emigration or deportation of the Jews, as well as the future creation of a specific Jewish territorial entity, not a program of physical extermination.

It is accurate to say that some German concentration camps had crematories to incinerate corpses. But their purpose was to combat epidemics, not to incinerate, as some have dared assert, living human beings along with corpses. note 8

It is accurate to say that many Jews experienced the hardships of war, of internment, deportation, the detention camps, the concentration camps, the forced labor camps, the ghettos; that there were, for various reasons, summary executions of Jews, that they were the victims of reprisals and even massacres (for there are no wars without massacres). But it is equally true that all of these sufferings were also the lot of many other nations or communities during the war and, in particular, of the Germans and their allies (the hardships of the ghetto aside, for the ghetto is first and foremost a specific creation of the Jews themselves). note 9 It is above all most plausible, for anyone who is not afflicted with a hemiplegic memory, and who seeks to acquaint himself with both sides of Second World War history (that is, the side that is always shown, as well as the side almost always hidden), that the sufferings of the vanquished during the war and afterwards were, in number and in nature, greater than those of the Jews and the victors, especially as concerns deportations.

It is false that there ever existed, as some have long dared to assert, any order whatever, given by Hitler or any of his associates, to exterminate the Jews. During the war, German soldiers and officers were convicted by their own courts martial, and sometimes shot, for having killed Jews.

It is a good thing that the exterminationists (that is, those who believe in the extermination of the Jews) have grown weary to the point that they now acknowledge that no trace of any plan, instruction, or document relating to a policy of physical extermination of the Jews has ever been found and that, similarly, they have at last admitted that no trace of any budget for such an undertaking, or of a body responsible for running such a project, has been found.

It is a good thing that the exterminationists have at last conceded to the revisionists that the judges at the Nuremberg trial (1945-1946) accepted as true certain pure inventions, such as the stories of soap produced from Jewish fat, of lampshades made of human skin, of “shrunken heads,” and of homicidal gassings at Dachau.

It is an especially good thing that the exterminationists have finally recognized that the most spectacular, the most terrifying, the most significant part of that trial — that is, the session of April 15, 1946, in the course of which a former commandant of the Auschwitz camp, Rudolf Hss, testified openly that, in his camp, millions of Jews had been gassed — was merely the product of the tortures inflicted on him. His “confession,” presented for so many years and in so many historical works as the Number One “proof” of the genocide of the Jews, is now consigned to oblivion, at least as far as historians are concerned. note 10

It is fortunate that exterminationist historians have finally acknowledged that the famous testimony of SS officer Kurt Gerstein, an essential element of their case, is devoid of value. It is loathsome that the French University revoked the revisionist Henri Roques’ doctorate, earned for having demonstrated that fact in 1985. note 11

It is pitiful that Raul Hilberg, the “pope” of exterminationism, ventured to write, in the first, 1961 edition of his study, The Destruction of the European Jews, that there were two orders by Hitler to exterminate the Jews, and then later to declare, in 1983, that the extermination had come about on its own, without any order or plan, but rather through “an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus — mind reading by a far-flung [German] bureaucracy.” So it was that Hilberg replaced a gratuitous assertion with a magical explanation: telepathy. note 12

It is a good thing that the exterminationists have, in effect, finally (or very nearly) abandoned the charge, based on “testimonies,” according to which there were execution gas chambers at the camps of Ravensbrck, Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen, Hartheim, Struthof-Natzweiler, Stutthof-Danzig, Bergen-Belsen … note 13

It is a good thing that the most-visited “gas chamber” in the world — that of Auschwitz I — has at last (in a January 1995 article) been recognized for what it is — a fabrication. It is fortunate that it has at last been admitted that “Everything in it is false.” I personally delight in knowing that an Establishment historian has written: “In the late 1970s, Robert Faurisson exploited these falsifications all the better as the [Auschwitz] museum administration balked at acknowledging them.” note 14 I delight all the more given that the French courts, in their iniquity, convicted me for basically saying just that.

It is a good thing that, in that same 1995 article, this same historian revealed that such a figure in the Jewish world as eminent as Tho Klein sees in that “gas chamber” only a “trick” (“artifice”).

It is also a good thing that, in that same article, this same historian revealed, first, that the Auschwitz Museum authorities are conscious of having deceived millions of visitors (500,000 yearly in the early 1990s), and second, that they will nevertheless continue to deceive their visitors, for, as the Museum’s assistant director put it: “[Telling the truth about this 'gas chamber'] is too complicated. We’ll see to it later on.” note 15

It is fortunate that in 1996 two historians of Jewish origin, the Canadian Robert Jan van Pelt and the American Debrah Dwork, finally denounced some of the enormous fakeries of the Auschwitz camp-museum, and the cynicism with which visitors were being duped there. note 16

It is, on the other hand, unconscionable that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) should maintain its patronage (as it has done since 1979) of a site such as Auschwitz, whose center upholds, in its fake “gas chamber” (to say nothing of other enormous falsifications), an imposture now avowed as such. UNESCO (based in Paris and headed by Federico Mayor) has no right to use the dues of the member countries to sanction such a vast swindle, one so incompatible with the interests of “education,” “science,” and “culture.”

It is fortunate that Jean-Claude Pressac, after having been praised to the skies, has fallen into discredit. Promoted by the Klarsfeld couple, this French pharmacist thought it wise to stake out a half-way position between those who believed in the gas chambers and those who did not. For him, in a sense, the woman in question was neither pregnant nor unpregnant, but rather half-pregnant and even, with time, less and less pregnant. An author of writings that were supposed to be about the Nazi gas chambers, but in which not one comprehensive photograph or drawing of a single one of those chemical slaughterhouses was to be found, this pitiful scribbler would, in a Paris court on May 9, 1995, go on to give a demonstration of his total inability to reply to the presiding judge’s questions as to what, concretely, such a mass murder machine might actually have been. note 17

It is fortunate that, although in ruins, “the gas chamber” of Krematorium II in Birkenau (Auschwitz II), plainly shows that there never was a “Holocaust” in this camp. According both to a German defendant’s statements under interrogation, as well as 1944 aerial photographs “retouched” by the Allies, the roof of this gas chamber seems to have had four special openings (about ten inches square, it was specified), through which Zyklon was poured in. But as anyone at the site can observe for himself, none of those four openings ever existed. Given that Auschwitz is the capital of the “Holocaust,” and that this ruined crematory is at the core of the alleged extermination process of the Jews at Auschwitz, in 1994 I said (and this phrase seems since to have caught on): “No holes, no ‘Holocaust’.”

It is equally fortunate that a plethora of “testimonies” that supposedly confirm these homicidal gassings have thus been invalidated. By the same token, it is extremely deplorable that so many Germans were tried and convicted by their victorious adversaries for crimes they could not have committed, some even being put to death.

It is a good thing that, in the light of trials resembling so many judicial masquerades, the exterminationists themselves voice doubts as to the validity of numerous testimonies. The defective nature of these testimonies would have been much more obvious if one had taken the trouble to carry out a expert examination of the supposed weapon of the alleged crime. But in the course of hundreds of trials concerning Auschwitz or other camps, no court ordered any such inquiry. (The one exception, very little known, was carried out at Struthof-Natzweiler in Alsace, the results of which were kept hidden until I revealed them.) It was nonetheless known that a good number of testimonies or confessions needed to be verified and checked against the material facts and that, in the absence of those two conditions, they were worthless as evidence.

It is fortunate that official history has revised downwards — often quite drastically — the supposed number of victims. It was only after more than 40 years of revisionist pressure that Jewish authorities and those of the Auschwitz State Museum removed the 19 plaques that, in 19 different languages, announced that the number of victims there had been four million. It then took five years of internal bickering for agreement to be reached on the new figure of one and a half million, a figure that, in turn, was very quickly challenged by exterminationist authors. Jean-Claude Pressac, Serge Klarsfeld’s protg, has more recently proposed a figure of 600,000 to 800,000 Jewish and non-Jewish victims during the entire period of the Auschwitz complex’s existence. note 18 It is a pity that this quest for the true figure is not followed through to reach the likely figure of 150,000 persons — most of them victims of epidemics — in the nearly 40 camps of the Auschwitz complex. It is deplorable that the film “Nuit et Brouillard” (“Night and Fog”), in which the Auschwitz death toll is put at nine million, continues to be shown in French schools. This film perpetuates the myths of “soap made from the bodies,” or lampshades of human skin, and of scratches made by fingernails of dying victims on the concrete walls of the gas chambers. The film even proclaims that “nothing distinguished the gas chamber from an ordinary barracks”!

It was a good thing that Arno Mayer, a Princeton University professor of Jewish origin, wrote in 1988: “Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable.” note 19 But why was it affirmed for so many years that the sources were countless and trustworthy? And why was scorn poured on the revisionists who, since 1950, had written what Arno Mayer affirmed in 1988?

It was a particularly good thing that the French historian Jacques Baynac, who had made a speciality, in Le Monde and elsewhere, of labeling the revisionists as forgers, should finally acknowledge in 1996 that there was, after all, no evidence of the existence of homicidal gas chambers. It was, he made clear, “as painful to say as it is to hear.” note 20 Perhaps, for certain persons, and in certain circumstances, the truth is “as painful to say as it is to hear.” For revisionists, though, the truth is as pleasant to say as it is to hear.

Lastly, it is fortunate that the exterminationists have allowed themselves to undermine the third and last element of the Shoah trinity: the figure of six million Jewish deaths. note 21 It seems that this figure was first put forth by Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel (1903-1956). Based in Slovakia, this rabbi was the main inventor of the Auschwitz lie based on the alleged testimonies of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler. He organized intensive “information campaigns” aimed at the Allies, at Switzerland, and at the Vatican. In a letter of May 31, 1944 (that is, nearly a full year before the war’s end in Europe), he did not shrink from writing: “Till now six times a million Jews from Europe and Russia have been destroyed.” note 22

This six million figure was also published before the end of the war in the writings of the Soviet Jew Ilya Ehrenburg (1891-1967), perhaps the most hateful propagandist of the Second World War. note 23 In 1979 the six million figure was suddenly termed “symbolic” (that is, false) by the exterminationist Martin Broszat during the trial of a German revisionist. In 1961, Raul Hilberg, that most prestigious of conventional historians, estimated the number of Jewish wartime deaths to have been 5.1 million. In 1953, another of those historians, Gerald Reitlinger, put forth a figure of between 4.2 and 4.6 million. In fact, though, no historian of that school has offered any figures based on the results of an investigation. It has always been a matter of each one’s own more or less educated guess. The revisionist Paul Rassinier, for his part, proposed the figure of “about one million” Jewish deaths. As he pointed out, though, he did so on the basis of numbers furnished by the opposing side. His figure was thus also a product of guesswork.

The truth is that many European Jews perished, and many survived. With modern calculation methods it should be possible to determine what, in each case, is meant by “many.” However, the three sources from which the necessary information might be obtained are, in practice, either forbidden to independent researchers or are accessible only with great limitation:

Even 52 years after the end of the war, the State of Israel put the official number of “Holocaust” “survivors” around the world at some 900,000. (More precisely, it gave figures of between 834,000 and 960,000.) note 24 According to a computation made by the Swedish statistician Carl O. Nordling, to whom I submitted that Israeli government evaluation, it is possible, postulating the existence of 900,000 “survivors” in 1997, to conclude that there were, at the end of the war in Europe in 1945, slightly more than three million “survivors.” Even today, a diverse range of organizations or associations of “survivors” flourish around the world. These include associations of veteran Jewish “rsistants,” of former children of Auschwitz (that is, Jewish children born in that camp or interned there with their parents at a very early age), of former Jewish forced laborers, and, more simply, formerly clandestine Jews or Jewish fugitives. Millions of beneficiaries of “miracles” no longer constitute a “miracle,” but are rather the result of a natural phenomenon. The American press has reported fairly often on moving reunions of family members, “Holocaust” survivors all, each of whom, we are assured, was at one time convinced that his or her “entire family” had been lost.

To sum up, in spite of the dogma and the laws, the pursuit of the historical truth about the Second World War in general, and about the Shoah in particular, has made headway in recent years, but the general public is kept in the dark about this. It would be stunned to learn that, since the early 1980s, establishment historians have relegated many of the most firmly held popular beliefs to the rank of legend. From this point of view, one can say that there are two levels of “the Holocaust”: on the one hand, that of the public at large and, on the other, that of the conformist historians. The first seems to be unshakable, while the second (to judge by the number of hasty repairs being made to it), seems on the verge of collapse.

Year by year (and especially since 1979), the concessions made to the revisionists by the “orthodox” historians have been so numerous and of such quality that today the latter find themselves at a dead end. No longer having anything of substance to say about the “Holocaust,” they have handed the baton to the filmmakers, novelists, and theater people. Even the museum people are at a loss. At the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the “decision” has been made not to offer for public viewing “any physical representation of the gas chambers.” (This is according to a statement made to me, and in the presence of four witnesses in August 1994, by the Museum’s Research Director, Michael Berenbaum. He is the author of a guide book of more than 200 pages in which, in effect, no physical representation of gas chambers appears, not even one of the miserable and fallacious mock-up on display for Museum visitors.) note 25 The public is forbidden to take photographs there. Claude Lanzmann, maker of “Shoah,” a film remarkable for its utter lack of historical or scientific content, today no longer has any recourse but to pontificate in deploring the fact that “the revisionists occupy the whole terrain.” note 26 As for Elie Wiesel, he calls on everyone to show discretion. He requests that we no longer try to closely examine, or even to imagine what happened in the gas chambers: “Let the gas chambers remain closed to prying eyes, and to imagination.” note 27 The “Holocaust” historians have turned into theoreticians, philosophers, and “thinkers.” The squabbles among them, between “intentionalists” and “functionalists,” or between supporters and adversaries of a thesis such as Daniel Goldhagen’s on the near-innate propensity of Germans to descend into anti-Semitism and racist crime, ought not to conceal from view the poverty of their historical work.

In 1998, an appraisal of the revisionist enterprise could be briefly put as follows: a sparkling success on the historical and scholarly front (where our opponents capitulated in 1996), but a failure on the public relations front. (Our adversaries have closed off all access to the media except, for the time being, the Internet.)

In the 1980s and early 1990s, anti-revisionist authors attempted to cross swords with the revisionists on the field of historical scholarship. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Nadine Fresco, Georges Wellers, Adalbert Rckerl, Hermann Langbein, Eugen Kogon, Arno Mayer, and Serge Klarsfeld, each in turn tried to persuade the media that answers had been found to the revisionists’ material or documentary arguments. Even Michael Berenbaum, even the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, in 1993 and in early 1994, wanted to pick up the gauntlet I had thrown down, and try to show just a single Nazi gas chamber, just a single proof — of their own choosing — that there had been a genocide of the Jews. But their failures were so stinging that thereafter they abandoned, ever more progressively, the fight on that turf. More recently, in 1998, appeared a thick book by Michael Berenbaum (together with Abraham J. Peck) entitled The Holocaust and History. note 28 But far from examining, on the level of historical scholarship, what the authors call the “Holocaust,” instead they unintentionally show that the “Holocaust” is one thing, and “History” quite another. The work, moreover, is quasi-immaterial, presenting neither photographs, nor drawings, nor the least attempt to represent physically any reality whatever. Only the dust jacket offers a view of a heap of shoes. Reputedly possessing a certain graphic eloquence, at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum they supposedly tell us: “We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.” This book is merely a compilation of 55 contributions written and published under the watchful eye of Rabbi Berenbaum: in it even Raul Hilberg, even Yehuda Bauer, even Franciszek Piper, abandon any real effort at scholarly research, while at the same time anathema is pronounced against Arno Mayer who, in his 1988 study, tried to put the “Holocaust” back into the realm of history. note 29 The irrational has prevailed against attempts at rationalization. Elie Wiesel, Claude Lanzmann, and Steven Spielberg (in his film, “Schindler’s List,” inspired by a novel), have in the end triumphed over those in their own camp who once tried to prove the “Holocaust.”

In future years it will be seen in hindsight that in September 1996 the death knell sounded for the hopes of those who wanted to combat revisionism on historical and scholarly grounds. The two long articles in a Swiss daily paper written by the anti-revisionist historian Jacques Baynac definitively closed the book on attempts at a rational response to revisionist arguments.

In the mid- and late 1970s, I offered my own contribution to the development of revisionism. I discovered and formulated what has since come to be known as the physical and chemical argument, that is, the physical and chemical reasons why the alleged Nazi gas chambers were quite simply inconceivable. At the time, I commended myself for having presented to the world a decisive argument that had never before been expounded either by a German chemist or an American engineer. (Germany is not short of chemists, and the United States has engineers who, given the forbidding complexities involved in making and operating an American penitentiary gas chamber, ought to have realized that, because of certain physical and chemical realities, the alleged Nazi gas chambers could not possibly have operated as claimed.)

If, during that period, amidst the fracas prompted by my discovery, a clairvoyant had predicted that, 20 years later, my adversaries, after many attempts to show that I was wrong, would (as Baynac did in 1996) resign themselves to acknowledging that, after all, there existed not the least evidence with which to prove the reality of a single Nazi gas chamber, I certainly would have rejoiced. I might have also concluded that the myth of the “Holocaust” could never survive such a direct hit, that the media would then quit propagating the Great Lie and that, quite naturally, the legal repression of revisionists would end by itself.

In so reckoning I would have committed an error both of diagnosis and of prognosis.

For the spirit of superstitious belief is different than that of science. It makes its own way in the world. The realm of religion, of ideology, of illusion, of the media, and of fictional cinema can develop at a certain remove from scientific realities. Even Voltaire never succeeded in “crushing the vile foe.” One may therefore say that, like Voltaire denouncing the absurdities of the Hebraic tales, the revisionists — in spite of the scholarly character of their work — are doomed never to carry the day against the wild imaginings of the Synagogue, while the Synagogue, for its part, will never succeed in stifling the voices of the revisionists. The “Holocaust” and “Shoah business” propaganda will continue to flourish. It still remains for revisionists to show how this belief, this myth was born, grew and flourished before, perhaps, one day disappearing to make way, not for reason but for other beliefs and other myths.

How are men deceived, and why do they deceive themselves so readily?

The masses are most easily fooled through manipulation of images. With the liberation of the German concentration camps in April 1945, British and American journalists rushed to photograph and film true horrors that were then, one may say, made into truer than life horrors. In the language dear to media people, the public was presented with a “put-up” job. note 30 On the one hand, we were shown real dead bodies as well as real crematories, and, on the other hand, thanks to some misleading comments and a cinematic staging, a deft artifice was effected. I describe this fraud with a phrase that may serve to help unmask all such impostures: We were led to take the dead for killed, and crematories for execution gas chambers.

Thus was born the confusion, still so widespread today, between, on the one hand, the crematories, which actually existed (but not at Bergen-Belsen) for the incineration of corpses and, on the other hand, the Nazi gas chambers allegedly used to kill whole crowds of men and women, but which, in reality, never existed nor could have existed.

The myth of the Nazi gas chambers and their association with the crematories originated, in its media form, in the press and newsreel photographs and media commentary from the Bergen-Belsen camp — which, orthodox historians now admit, possessed neither mass-execution gas chambers nor even simple crematories.

At a news conference in Stockholm in March 1992, I issued a challenge to the audience of newspaper and television reporters. That challenge was made in the nine words: “Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber.”

The next day, the journalists’ reports on the news conference indeed appeared, but they passed over in silence its essential object: precisely that challenge. They had looked for photographs and had found none.

Billions of people over this past half-century assume (or imagine) that they have seen images of Nazi gas chambers in books or in documentary films. Many are convinced that, at least once in their lives, they’ve come across a photograph of a Nazi gas chamber. Some have visited Auschwitz or another camp where guides told them that this or that structure was a gas chamber. Such visitors are told that before their eyes is (as the case may be) a gas chamber “in its original state” or “a reconstruction” of an original gas chamber. (This latter expression implies that the “reconstruction” is faithful, that it conforms to the “original.”) Sometimes visitors are shown remains of what they are told are “ruins of a gas chamber.” note 31 Yet, in all such cases, they have been deceived or, better, have deceived themselves. This phenomenon is easily explained.

Many people imagine that a homicidal gas chamber is merely a room with poison gas inside. This reveals confusion between an execution gassing, and a suicidal or accidental one. An execution gassing, such as those of individuals in some United States prisons, is unavoidably a very complicated undertaking. In such a case, care must be taken to kill only the condemned prisoner without causing an accident, and without putting one’s own life, or that of one’s associates, in danger, especially in the final phase, that is, when the chamber must be entered to remove the contaminated corpse. Most “Holocaust” museum visitors, readers, film-goers, and even most historians, are obviously unaware of any of this. Those in charge of “Holocaust” museums exploit this lack of awareness. For an effective Nazi gas chamber exhibit, they need only show the credulous public a gloomy space or room, a cold morgue room, a shower room (preferably located below ground), or an air raid shelter (with a peephole in its door), and the trick will work. The tricksters can manage with even less that this: it’s enough merely to show a door, a wall, or a roof of a purported “gas chamber.” The most clever ones will get by with just a bundle of hair, a pile of shoes, or a heap of eyeglasses, while claiming that these are the only traces or remains left of the “gassed” victims. Naturally, they will refrain from mentioning that, during the war and the blockade, in a Europe beset with general shortages and penury, vast “recovery” and “recycling” programs were organized to reclaim all recoverable materials, including hair, which was used, for example, in textile products.

A similar confusion reigns with respect to the witnesses. We are presented with bands of witnesses to the genocide of the Jews. Whether orally or in writing, these witnesses claim to assert that Germany carried out a plan for the overall extermination of the Jews of Europe. In reality, these witnesses can truthfully attest only to such facts as the Jews’ deportation, their internment in detention camps, concentration camps or forced labor camps, and even, in some cases, the functioning of crematories. The Jews were to so great a degree not doomed to extermination, or to end up in mass-execution gas chambers, that each one of these countless survivors or escapees, far from constituting, as some would have us believe, a “living proof of the genocide,” is, on the contrary, a living proof that there was no genocide. As has been seen above, at war’s end the number of Jewish “survivors” of the “Holocaust” probably exceeded three million.

For Auschwitz alone, a lengthy list may be made of former Jewish inmates who have borne witness — in public, orally or in writing, on television, in books, in the law courts — to “the extermination of the Jews” in the camp. note 32

I shall also mention the resounding case of a late arrival — the Swiss clarinettist Binjamin Wilkomirski. It is not clear why, but this false witness was publicly exposed after a three-year spell of glory during which he was honored with the US National Jewish Book Award, the Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize in Britain, the Mmoire de la Shoah prize in France, and an impressive series of dithyrambic articles in the press worldwide. His purported autobiography, in which he relates being deported as a child to Majdanek and to Auschwitz (?), was originally published in Germany in 1995. It appeared in English under the title Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood. note 33 Jewish author Daniel Ganzfried concluded, on the basis of his investigation, that Binjamin Wilkomirski, alias Bruno Doessekker, born Bruno Grosjean, indeed had some experience of Auschwitz and Majdanek, but only after the war, as a tourist. note 34 In 1995 the Australian Donald Watt successfully deceived much of the English-language media with a memoir that told of his alleged life as a crematory “stoker” at Auschwitz-Birkenau. note 35 Between September and November 1998, a vast media operation was organized in Germany and France based on the sudden “revelations” of Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Mnch, one-time SS physician at Auschwitz. The vein is decidedly bountiful.

Primo Levi is still generally treated as a reliable witness. While this reputation was perhaps deserved in 1947, with the publication of his book Se questo un uomo (published in the US under the title Survival in Auschwitz), Levi later conducted himself rather unworthily. Elie Wiesel remains the undisputed “star false witness” of the “Holocaust.” In his autobiographical account Night he does not mention “gas chambers.” For him, the Germans threw Jews into blazing pits. (As recently as June 2, 1987, he testified under oath at the Klaus Barbie trial in Lyon that he had “seen, in a little wood, somewhere in [Auschwitz] Birkenau, SS men throwing live children into the flames.” (The translator and editor of the German version of Night resuscitated the “gas chambers” in Wiesel’s account of Auschwitz. In France, Fred Sedel in 1990 similarly proceeded in re-editing a book that had appeared in 1963, putting “chambres gaz” ["gas chamber"] where, 27 years earlier, he had mentioned only “fours crmatoires” ["crematory ovens"].) note 36

In this same boat of “pious lies” one may also include the testimonies of some non-Jews, in particular that of General Andr Rogerie. In the original 1946 edition of his memoir, Vivre, c’est vaincre, he wrote only of having heard talk of “gas chambers.” But fortified by support from Georges Wellers, he presented himself in 1988 as a “Holocaust witness” who had “beheld the Shoah at Birkenau.” note 37 As he himself has related, his lot as a prisoner in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was a privileged one. He lodged in the barracks of the “bosses” and enjoyed a “royally cushy position” of which he “has fond remembrances.” He ate pancakes with jam and played bridge. Of course, he wrote, “not only merry events take place [in the camp].” Still, upon leaving Birkenau he had this thought: “Unlike many others, I have been better off here than anywhere else.” note 38

Samuel Gringauz got through the war in the ghetto of Kaunas, Lithuania. In 1950 — that is, at a time when it was still possible to speak somewhat freely on the subject — he gave an appraisal of the literature thus far produced by the survivors of the “great Jewish catastrophe.” Deploring the trespasses to which their “hyper-historical complex” was then giving rise, he wrote: note 39

The hyper-historical complex may be described as judeocentric, lococentric and egocentric. It concentrates historical relevance on Jewish problems of local events under the aspect of personal experience. This is the reason why most of the memoirs and reports are full of preposterous verbosity, graphomanic exaggeration, dramatic effects, overestimated self-inflation, dilletante [sic] philosophizing, would-be lyricism, unchecked rumors, bias, partisan attacks and apologies.

One can only assent to this judgment, which could perfectly well apply today to a Claude Lanzmann or an Elie Wiesel. For the latter’s “hyper-historical complex,” for the “judeocentric, lococentric and egocentric” character of his writings, one may refer to Wiesel’s two recent volumes of memoirs, published in the US under the titles All Rivers Run to the Sea, and, And the Sea is Never Full. In so doing, one may also realize that, far from having been exterminated, a great many of the members of the Jewish community of the little Romanian-Hungarian town of Sighet in all likelihood survived deportation, notably to Auschwitz in May and June of 1944, and internment. Himself a native of Sighet, Wiesel endured the fate of his fellow townspeople. In journeys to various places around the world after the war, he came upon an amazing number of relatives, friends, old acquaintances, and others from Sighet who, thanks to a succession of “miracles,” had survived Auschwitz or the “Holocaust.”

Just as perplexed as today’s generation, those of the future will ask themselves identical questions about a number of Second World War myths besides that of the Nazi gas chambers: in addition to the stories already mentioned of “Jewish soap,” tanned human skins, “shrunken heads,” and “gas vans,” one may also cite the stories of the insane medical experiments attributed to Dr. Mengele, Adolf Hitler’s orders to exterminate the Jews, Heinrich Himmler’s order to halt said extermination, and the mass killings of Jews by electricity, steam, quicklime, crematories, burning pits, and vacuum pumps. Let us also cite the purported exterminations of Gypsies and homosexuals, and the alleged gassings of the mentally ill. Future generations will also wonder about many other subjects: the massacres on the Eastern front as related in certain writings, and in writing only, at the Nuremberg trial by the professional false witness Hermann Grbe; such now-acknowledged impostures as the book supposedly by Hermann Rauschning, which in fact was written chiefly by the Hungarian Jew Imre Rvsz, alias Emery Reves, but used extensively at the Nuremberg trial as though it were authentic; note 40 the mass killing of Jews near Auschwitz with an experimental atomic bomb, a claim also brought up at the Nuremberg trial; note 41 the absurd “confessions” extorted from German prisoners; the reputed diary of Anne Frank; the young boy in the Warsaw ghetto shown as going to his death, whereas he most likely emigrated to New York after the war; note 42 along with various false memoirs, false stories, false testimonies, and false attributions, the true natures of which would, with a minimum of effort, have been easy to ascertain.

But those future generations will probably be astonished most of all by the myth that was instituted and hallowed by the Nuremberg trial (and, to a lesser degree, by the Tokyo trial): that of the intrinsic barbarity of the vanquished and the intrinsic virtue of the victors who, as becomes apparent upon a close look at the facts, themselves committed acts of horror that were far more striking, both in quantity and in quality, than those perpetrated by the vanquished.

At a time when one might be led to believe that only the Jews really suffered during the Second World War, and that only the Germans behaved like veritable criminals, an impartial examination into the true sufferings of all peoples and the real crimes of all belligerents seems overdue.

Whether “just” or “unjust,” every war is a butchery — indeed, notwithstanding the heroism of countless soldiers, a competition in butchery. At the end of it, the winner turns out to have been nothing more than a good butcher, and the loser a bad butcher. So when hostilities have ceased, the victor may perhaps be entitled to give the vanquished a lesson in butchery, but certainly not in Right and Justice. Yet that is just what happened in the great Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946, when the four big winners, acting in their own names and in the name of the 19 victorious entities (not counting the World Jewish Congress, which enjoyed the status of amicus curiae or “friend of the court”), had the cynicism to inflict such a treatment on a beaten nation reduced to total impotence.

According to Nahum Goldmann, President of both the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization, the idea of such a trial was the brainchild of a few Jews. note 43 As for the role played by Jews in the actual proceedings at Nuremberg, it was considerable. The American delegation, which ran the entire business, was made up largely of “re-emigrants,” that is, of Jews who migrated in the 1930s from Germany to America, and then returned to Germany after the war. Gustave M. Gilbert, the famous psychologist and author of Nuremberg Diary (1947), was a Jew who, working behind the scenes with the American prosecutors, did not miss the chance to practice psychological torture on the German defendants. Airey Neave, a member of the British delegation, remarked, in a book prefaced by Lord Justice Birkett, one of the panel of judges, that many of the American examiners were German-born, and all were Jewish. note 44

For reasons I deal with in detail in my crits rvisionnistes collection, the Nuremberg trial can be regarded as this century’s crime of all crimes. Its consequences have proven tragic. It accorded the status of truth to an extravagant volume of lies, calumnies, and injustices that over the years have served to justify all kinds of wickedness: in particular Bolshevik and Zionist expansionism at the expense of nations in Europe and Asia, and of Palestine. Given, however, that the Nuremberg judges found Germany guilty, first and foremost, of having unilaterally plotted and instigated the Second World War, we must begin by first examining this point.

Because history is primarily a matter of geography, let us consider a desktop globe of the year 1939 on whose surface a single color would cover four immense aggregates: Great Britain and her empire of a fifth of the Earth, and upon which “the sun never set,” France and her own vast colonial empire, the United States and its vassals, and, finally, the impressive empire of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Then, another color would mark the modest Germany within her pre-war borders, the meager Italy and her little colonial empire, and finally Japan, whose armies at the time occupied territory in China. (We shall not consider here the countries that were later to join the ranks, at least provisionally, of one or the other of these two belligerent blocs.)

The contrast between the geographical areas covered by these two groups is striking, as is the contrast between their natural, industrial, and commercial resources. Of course, by the end of the 1930s, Germany and Japan were starting — as the postwar years further proved — to shake off their yokes, and to build an economy and an army capable of disquieting the bigger and stronger powers. And, of course, the Germans and the Japanese, during the first years of the war, deployed an uncommon measure of energy and succeeded in carving out their short-lived empires. But, all things considered, Germany, Italy, and Japan were mere dwarfs, so to speak, beside the four giants that were the British, French, American, and Soviet empires.

Who today can seriously believe — as was maintained at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials — that during the late 1930s these three dwarfs deliberately sought to provoke a new world war? Better still: who today can believe for an instant that, during the general slaughter that ensued, the first of these three dwarfs (Germany) was guilty of every imaginable crime, while the next (Japan) came a distant second, and the third (Italy), which changed sides in September 1943, committed no really reprehensible acts? Who today can accept the notion that the four giants did not, to use the Nuremberg terminology, commit any “crimes against peace,” any “war crimes,” or any “crimes against humanity” that, after 1945, would have warranted judgment by an international tribunal?

It is nevertheless easy to show, with solid proof, that the winners, in six years of war and in a few years afterwards, accumulated, in their massacres of prisoners of war and of civilians, in massive deportations, in systematic looting, and in summary or “judicial” executions, more horrors than the losers. Katyn forest, the Gulag, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the expulsion, under horrible conditions, of 12 to 15 million Germans (from East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia), the handing over of millions of Europeans to the Soviet moloch, the bloodiest purge ever to sweep the continent: was all of that really too small a matter for review by an international tribunal? During this past century, no military force has killed as many children — in Europe, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Central America — as the US air force. And yet no international authority has held it to account for these slaughters, which the “boys” have always been ready to carry out anywhere in the world, for such is their “job.” note 45

“Cursed be war!” reads the inscription on the war memorial in the small French town of Gentioux. In the town of Saint-Martin-d’Estraux, the inscription on the memorial is lengthier, but its “assessment” of the war sends forth the same cry. note 46 The lists, in churches and on monuments throughout France, of the dead from the 1914-1918 war are heart-rending. Today no one is really able to say for just what reason the youth of France (just as, on its side, the youth of Germany) were thus mown down.

On some of these same memorials in our towns and villages one can also find, though in markedly smaller numbers, the names of young Frenchmen killed or missing during the campaign of 1939-1940: about 87,000 altogether. Occasionally one also finds lists of civilian victims. During the war years, the British and Americans alone killed some 67,000 in their air attacks on France. Occasionally, to round out the list, one can sometimes find the names of a few Rsistance members who died in their beds well after the war. Almost never can one find the names of French victims of the “Great Purge” of 1944-1947 — probably 14,000, and not 30,000 or, as is sometimes claimed, 105,000 — in which Jews, Communists, and last-minute Gaullists played an essential role. With rare exceptions the names of the colonial troops who “died for France” are also missing, because they were not natives of the French towns.

For France, the two world wars constituted a disaster: the first, especially because of the sheer volume of human losses, and the second because of its character as a civil war that has persisted to this day.

When reflecting on these lists of First World War dead, including those “missing in action,” when remembering the whole battalions of men who survived with ruined faces, of those wounded, maimed, and crippled for life, when taking stock of the destructions of all sorts, when thinking of the families devastated by these losses, of the prisoners, of those “shot for desertion,” of the suicides provoked by so much suffering, when remembering as well the 25 million deaths in America and Europe in 1918 from the epidemic of a viral illness wrongly called “Spanish influenza” (brought into France, at least in part, by American troops), note 47 can one not understand the pre-1939-1945 pacifists and supporters of “Munich,” as well as the Ptainists of 1940? What right today has anyone to speak blithely of “cowardice,” either with regard to the Munich accords of September 29 and 30, 1938, or to the armistice signed at Rethondes in Picardy on June 22, 1940? Could the Frenchmen who, in the late 1930s, still bore the physical and emotional scars of the 1914-1918 holocaust (a veritable one), and its aftermath, consider it a moral obligation to hurl themselves straight into a new slaughter? And, after the signing of an armistice that, however harsh, was by no means shameful, where was the dishonor in seeking an understanding with the adversary, not in order to wage war but to make peace?

“Hitler [was] born at Versailles”: that sentence serves as the title of a work by the late Lon Degrelle. note 48 The 1919 Versailles Diktat — for it was not really a treaty — was so harsh and dishonorable for the defeated nation that the American Senate refused to recognize or adopt it (November 20, 1919). And in the years that followed, it was ever more discredited. It dismembered Germany, submitted it to a cruel military occupation, and starved it. In particular, it obliged the defeated nation to cede to the newly created state of Poland the regions of Posen, Upper Silesia, and part of West Prussia. The 440 articles of the “Treaty of Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany” (together with its annexes) signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, constituted, along with the related treaties (Trianon, Saint-Germain, Svres), a monumental iniquity which, if anything, only the fury of a recently ended war can explain. As one French writer has put it: “It is easy enough to find fault with the Germans for not having respected Versailles. Their duty of honor as Germans was, first, to get round it, and then to tear it up, just as that of the French was to maintain it.” note 49

Twenty years after that crushing humiliation, Hitler sought to recover some of the territory turned over to Poland, just as France, after its defeat in 1870, sought to recover Alsace and a part of Lorraine.

Unless he chooses to speak flippantly, no historian is in a position to state who in fact is mainly to blame for a worldwide conflict. It is thus wise not to ascribe to Hitler exclusive responsibility for the 1939-1945 war under the pretext that, on the 1st of September 1939, he went to war against Poland. On the other hand, the attempt to justify the entry into war of Britain and France, two days later, against Germany on the basis of a pledge to come to the aid of Poland seems rather unfounded given that, two weeks later (September 17, 1939), the USSR invaded Poland and occupied a good part of its territory, without prompting any military reaction on the part of Britain or France.

Worldwide conflicts resemble tremendous natural disasters in that they cannot accurately be predicted, even if one can sometimes feel them coming. Only after the fact can they be explained, laboriously and, too often, affected by reserves of bad faith in the form of mutual accusations of negligence, blindness, ill will, or irresponsibility. All the same one can note that in Germany during the late 1930s, the pro-war camp, that is, those who urged military action against the western powers was, to all intents and purposes, non-existent. The Germans envisaged only a “push to the East” (Drang nach Osten). On the other hand, in Britain, France and the United States, the anti-German hawks were powerful. The “war party” wanted a “democratic crusade,” and got it. Among these new crusaders figured, with a few noteworthy exceptions, the whole of American and European organized Jewry.

During the First World War, the British cynically exploited all the resources of propaganda based on wholly fictitious atrocity stories. note 50 During the Second World War they remained true to form.

Today people widely condemn Neville Chamberlain for his policy of “appeasement” in dealing with the Germans, whereas people hold, or pretend to hold, Winston Churchill in high esteem for his determination to carry on war against Germany. It is not yet certain that history, with time, will uphold this judgment. New discoveries concerning Churchill’s personality and wartime role raise questions about the dubious justifications for that determination, along with questions about the fruits of his policies. At least Chamberlain had foreseen that even a British victory would entail disaster for his country, her empire, and for other victors as well. Churchill did not see this, or did not know how to see it. He promised “blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” to be followed by victory. He did not anticipate the bitter morrow of victory: the hastened disappearance of the empire he held dear, and the handing over of nearly half of Europe to Communist imperialism.

During an address given several years ago, David Irving, Churchill’s biographer, showed the illusory nature of the justifications given by Churchill, first, to launch his countrymen into the war, and then to keep them in it. The business, if one may so term it, was carried out in four phases.

Continued here:
Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism

In 2012 Speech, Incoming National Security Adviser HR McMaster Emphasized Importance of Remembering the … – Algemeiner

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Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. Photo: US Army Public Affairs via Wikimedia Commons.

US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has been chosen to serve as his next national security adviser, replacing Michael Flynn, who resigned last week less than a month into the job.

McMaster, 54, is a 1984 West Point graduate who served overseas in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the course of a decorated three-decade military career.

He is a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience, Trump said on Monday of McMaster. I watched and read a lot over the last two days. He is highly respected by everybody in the military, and were very honored to have him.

February 21, 2017 9:47 am

On August 26, 2012, McMaster spoke at the dedication of a new Holocaust exhibit at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning in Georgia. The transcript of his remarks in which he talked about theimportance of remembering the Holocaust was unearthed by The Algemeineron Monday and can be read below:

Good afternoon.

It an honor to represent the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning at this opening of the National Infantry Museum exhibit dedicated to victims of the Holocaust and in memory of Colonel Aaron Cohn, soldier, fellow Brave Rifles cavalry trooper, public servant, example for all of us.

Members of the Cohn family, community leaders, leaders of the National Infantry Foundation and the National Infantry Museum, fellow soldiers, Fort Benning civilians and family members, distinguished guests:

In the Germany of the 1920s and 30s, humanity was eroded by xenophobia in general and anti-Semitism in particular and then in the 1940s, gave way completely. The scale of the human toll, the suffering during the holocaust, is really unimaginable six million Jews, five million others systematically murdered.

On a recent trip to Israel, I made my third visit to the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. One enters the memorial and is immediately gripped by a sense of foreboding. It is Europe in the early 1930s. Grey granite walls narrow toward the ceiling and squeeze out the light as one walks downward, descending as humanity descended during a period when good men did nothing.

By the time one reaches the lowest point in the memorial, knees are weak. The mass murder of Jews, prisoners of war, homosexuals, people with certain disabilities, had already begun. But Germanys colossal genocidal project grew in scale in the beginning of 1942 when the SS took the lead. The criminals who led the SS quickly determined that mass shooting, although it would remain a significant element in their process did not work with the speed and efficiency they desired. They began to use gas vans which they first tried out on Russian prisoners. They then decided to reverse the approach they adopted in the summer of 1941; instead of bringing the murderers to the victims, they would bring the victims to the murderers. Large shipments of German Jews began on October 15, 1941. At the Wannsee conference in December of that year, leaders and bureaucrats of government agencies deliberately planned the implementation of the program to kill all the Jews of Europe. Their plans included not only all Jews in German-controlled and influenced areas, but those like the ones in England, Spain, Sweden, and Portugal which it was assumed would soon also be under Nazi domination.

It was around this time that The United States entered the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. America mobilized. The war involved all of America. The U.S. Army grew from an army of 190,000 to an army of almost 8.5 million a 44 fold increase. A total of 16 million Americans served in uniform in WWII; virtually every family had someone in harms way, virtually every American had an emotional investment in our Army. That WWII army of 8.5 million existed in a country of about 130 million; by comparison, today we have an army of roughly 500,000 in a country of 307 million.

It is when that American Army, alongside British forces crossed the English Channel in June 1944 that the floor at the Yad Vashem memorial begins to slope upward toward sunlight streaming in through the window at the far end of the memorial.

Hitlers and Nazi Germanys genocidal campaign would continue until soldiers liberated the concentration camps and Hitlers murderous regime was defeated.

Mass murderers had to be stopped physically. Their inhuman, fascist ideology of hatred and violence and murder also had to be defeated. And, ultimately, it would fall of the shoulders of American soldiers to stop these mass murders and defeat their ideology soldiers like Colonel Aaron Cohn of the 3rd United States Cavalry who led his troopers into the concentration camp at Ebensee, Austria on 9 May 1945. What he and his troopers found was deplorable. The 25 Ebensee barracks had been designed to hold 100 prisoners each; each of them held over 700 emaciated men. In the weeks prior to liberation, the crematorium was of course unable to keep pace with those who were murdered or starved to death; the death rate had reached about 350 per day. Naked bodies lay stacked up outside the blocks and the crematorium itself. American soldiers found a ditch outside the camp where bodies were flung into quicklime.

We should celebrate the end of this horror it was a real victory for our nation and for all of humankind. A victory won by men like Judge Cohn. But this memorial and this museum also reminds us that victory in war is only possible through sacrifice. In World War II, the U.S. military sustained almost 300,000 battle deaths and about 100,000 deaths from other causes. The war lasted 2,174 days and claimed an average of 27,600 lives every day, or 1,150 an hour, or 19 a minute, or one death every three seconds.

The human toll of World War II and the Holocaust is hard to imagine. But we must not be numbed by statistics and remember the singularity of every death.

At the end of Yad Vashems historical narrative is the Hall of Names a repository for the Pages of Testimony of millions of Holocaust victims. A memorial that helps bring home the singularity of those who perished. As our fellow citizens enter this wonderful museum and come to this spot, I hope that they realize that the vast host memorialized here, the victims of the Holocaust died one by one. And I hope that they also realize that the American soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines who gave their lives to defeat Nazi Germany and end the Holocaust gave their lives one by one and that they died for all of us and all of humanity. We must, as author Rick Atkinson has said so well, remember that every death was as unique as a snowflake or a fingerprint.

As President Obama observed in Oslo on 10 December 2009, To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason. He observed that a non-violent movement could not have stopped Hitlers armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaedas leaders to lay down their arms. America, he observed, has used its military power because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

Our Army is a living historical community. That is why this memorial and this museum are important to us. The American soldiers memorialized in this great Infantry Museum and those serving today are both warriors and humanitarians. Colonel Judge Aaron Cohn was a warrior and humanitarian.

Proverbs 22:1 says that a good name is to be valued more than riches. We come together to commemorate the human tragedy of the holocaust. And we also come together at this memorial and in this great Infantry Museum to celebrate two good names Colonel Aaron Cohn and the American soldier.

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In 2012 Speech, Incoming National Security Adviser HR McMaster Emphasized Importance of Remembering the … – Algemeiner

Act on rising anti-Semitism, Jewish students tell UK universities | The … – The Times of Israel

Jewish students and academics in the United Kingdom have become increasingly worried about growing anti-Semitism on British university campuses and are calling on university administrations to do more to combat the rising trend.

According to a Saturday report in the Guardian, the concerns were raised following a spate of anti-Semitic incidents at British universities. Most recently, a swastika was found carved into a door and a sign reading Rights for Whites was hung at the entrance to a dorm room at the University of Exeter earlier this week.

Other recent incidents include the appearance of flyers praising Holocaust denier David Irving and swastikas drawn around the campus at Cambridge University earlier this month.

The Community for Security Trust, a British anti-Semitism watchdog, stated in its most recent annual report that there were 41 cases of reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2016, nearly double 2015s tally of 21, showing that anti-Semitism on campuses is indeed growing rapidly.

Baroness Ruth Deech, a Jewish cross-bench peer in the House of Lords and first ever independent adjudicator for higher education handling student complaints, called on universities to rise up and condemn anti-Semitism on campuses. She told the Guardian that she sees parallels between the current situation and how her parents were attacked for being Jewish while at European universities in the run-up to the Holocaust.

Baroness Ruth Deech (Wikimedia Commons, John Cairns, CC0)

In the 1920s and 1930s discrimination against Jews started in German, Austrian and Polish universities, long before the second world war, Deech said, while adding that attacks on Jewish students in universities today should be seen as the canary in the coalmine. It starts there and it spreads.

In an interview in December with The Telegraph, Deech pointed to the large sums of donations many British universities receive from countries such as Saudi Arabia as a possible reason for why so little has been done by campus administrations to combat anti-Semitism, speculating that maybe they are afraid of offending potential donors from Gulf states.

While much of the attention has been focused in recent years on anti-Semitism emanating from the far-left, most notably as a result of a number of controversial statements made by Labour Party politicians, David Feldman, director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, University of London, claimed the most recent cases instead seem to be the work of the far-right.

My impression is this is coming from a different place to incidents that arise in the context of criticizing Israel. This is straightforward anti-Semitism and its coming from the right, he said.

The National Union of Students President Malia Bouattia echoed Feldmans claim, telling the Guardian that the uptick is attributable to Brexit and the election of US President Donald Trump, both of which drew support from anti-Semitic fringes on the far-right.

Oxford University (Shutterstock)

Josh Nagli, the campaigns director for the Union of Jewish Students, told the Guardian that while he does not consider the recent rise in anti-Semitism to be of serious concern, the multiplicity of incidents at different campuses suggests a level of coordination.

While statistics suggest that reported incidents of anti-Semitism in universities remain low, Universities UK, a representative organization for British universities, told the Guardian, even a single incident is one too many.

Universities UK called on students to be vigilant in reporting any cases of anti-Semitism.

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Act on rising anti-Semitism, Jewish students tell UK universities | The … – The Times of Israel

‘The Jewish community is being targeted from all directions’ – Arutz Sheva

Conference of European Rabbis hosts antisemitism discussion at the Munich Security Confere

David Friedmann

At the Munich Security Conference (MSC) on Sunday, Conference of European Rabbis (CER) President Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt said, “The Jewish community finds itself targeted from a number of directions; from the extreme right, the extreme left and Islamic terrorism.”

Speaking for the first time to the MSC, at an event organised by CER, Chief Rabbi Goldschmidts comments were part of a breakfast he hosted entitled, “Securing Jewish Communities across Europe.”

The event took the form of a panel discussion including MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union), Maram Stern (World Jewish Congress), International Center for the Study of Radicalization Director Dr. Peter R. Neumann, and former Director of Europol Jrgen Storbeck. The discussion was moderated by German journalist Richard Schneider.

In his closing remarks, Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt, “Within the last few years, high-profile, and devastating attacks across the continent, have targeted Jews. Many Jews in Europe feel themselves being targeted from all sides.

“Synagogues are no longer a safe haven, where citizens go to pray, celebrate or mourn. At the back of almost every Jews mind is the possibility of what could happen. Sadly, in Copenhagen, Brussels and in Paris, that has become a reality.”

During the discussion, Dr. Neumann said, “Jews are a priority target, they are the first ones to be targeted. If Jews are being targeted then all citizens should be worried because there is more to come. (With authorities) there is a tyranny of the last attack.

“We focus on the last attack. The last attack was a truck and a Christmas market, so now we are worried about trucks and Christmas markets. Just because the Jewish community has not been attacked in the last year, it does not mean it is not a target.

“In the core of every far-right party there is bonafide antisemitism.”

“Every Jew should be able to walk around looking Jewish and not face discrimination. Israel does feel a responsibility, but it is the responsibility of every state to protect its citizens and we cannot take away from that,” Livni said.

“Before the Berlin attack, security services (in Germany) did not have enough money,” said Jrgen Storbeck. “After the attack in Berlin, security services got a lot of money. But you need to improve information management both nationally and internationally. But still we are not quick enough, and we do not have a good (long-term) forecast.”

Maram Stern said, “When I walk on the street alone, I have no problem. When I am on my way to synagogue, you feel uncomfortable. People are curious, who walks in and who walks out, it is like you are in a zoo.”

Original post:
‘The Jewish community is being targeted from all directions’ – Arutz Sheva

Holocaust and Survival (or, Auschwitz vs. Babi Yar) – Patheos (blog)

About 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust. This figure is sometimes cited as between 5 and 6 million because of the differences between known deaths and the results of estimates and calculations (see Wikipedias discussion of totals). Virtually the whole of the Jewish population of Poland, the Baltics, and those parts of the Soviet Union occupied by the Nazis were swept away, utterly annihilated. For example, as youll recall frommy post the other day, less than3% of Polish Jews actually survived within Nazi-occupied territory; the remainder survived only due to Stalins deportations.

And yet the story of the Holocaust, as we in the West know it, is one of survival. We have Elie Wiesels narrative, Night. Schindlers List. My son recently had a field trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum, and, as is their practice where possible, it was led by a survivor (though with something of a different story her family had fled to Shanghai). It rather seems to me that even Anne Franks diary we think of as a survival narrative at least, I recall thinking of it in those terms: reading the postscript that she died only a few short weeks prior to liberation, and thinking she was so close to surviving.

In general, the survivor narrative is considered to be crucial to understanding the Holocaust, and teaching about the Holocaust, and every now and again you come across articles worrying about the future of Holocaust education now that the survivors are aging and dying.

And thats why I was stunned to read that there were two survivors of the death factory that was Belzec. (p. 474 in Final Solution by David Cesarani, which I still have checked out from the library). In the Babi Yar massacre, 29 survived the massacre. (This comes from Wikipedia, and the footnote is a bad link. Whether these 29 are all people who played dead and climbed out of the pits, or includes Jews in Kiev who didnt report as ordered, or escaped the line somewhere along the way, isnt clear.)

Theres a high school world history textbook online. What does it have to say? One page on the beginnings of persecution in Germany, and Kristallnacht. One page that the Jews sought refuge elsewhere, and that they were placed in ghettos. The third page, on the final solution says that killing squads killed, and other Jews were rounded up and taken to concentration camps/slave-labor prisons. Then selections began at Auschwitz, and women, young children, the old, and the sick were killed. (This sentence is poorly constructed; from what I understand, women were more likely to be judged unfit, but it was not a blanket statement as was the case with children and the elderly; whats more, this paragraph implies that all such death camps had selections as Auschwitz did.) Its pretty paltry knowledge adequate to check off a basic comprehension of the past but not sufficient to have this shape your understanding of the world.

Anyway, I was thinking about this again because of an articlethe other day about the forgotten Holocaust that is, the killings in the Soviet Union, where Of the estimated less than three million Soviet Jews who lived under Nazi occupation, only around 115,000 survived. This particular article featured a filmmakers project, and the link it gives to an article with more detailson the project, reports that in the time of the Soviet Union there was simply no research on the Holocaust something Id read elsewhere, that the idea that the Jews were in any way victimized more than the rest of the USSRs citizens wasnt permitted.

Separately, in looking for a statistic on google, I came across an extended essay from 2009 by Timothy Snyder, Holocaust: The Ignored Reality. Here are some key paragraphs from that piece:

The very reasons that we know something about Auschwitz warp our understanding of the Holocaust: we know about Auschwitz because there were survivors, and there were survivors because Auschwitz was a labor camp as well as a death factory. These survivors were largely West European Jews, because Auschwitz is where West European Jews were usually sent. After World War II, West European Jewish survivors were free to write and publish as they liked, whereas East European Jewish survivors, if caught behind the iron curtain, could not. In the West, memoirs of the Holocaust could (although very slowly) enter into historical writing and public consciousness.

This form of survivors history, of which the works of Primo Levi are the most famous example, only inadequately captures the reality of the mass killing. The Diary of Anne Frank concerns assimilated European Jewish communities, the Dutch and German, whose tragedy, though horrible, was a very small part of the Holocaust. By 1943 and 1944, when most of the killing of West European Jews took place, the Holocaust was in considerable measure complete. Two thirds of the Jews who would be killed during the war were already dead by the end of 1942. The main victims, the Polish and Soviet Jews, had been killed by bullets fired over death pits or by carbon monoxide from internal combustion engines pumped into gas chambers at Treblinka, Bezec, and Sobibr in occupied Poland.

I want to be careful not to build a strawman. If I were, it would be something like this:

Americans know about concentration camps, and gas chambers, but thats about it, but the emphasis on survivors, and survivor narratives gives them the impression that the Holocaust was indeed survivable if you were healthy enough, and young enough (but not too young), and clever enough, and had sufficient Will to Live.

Thats clearly going too far. But what Ive been reading lately makes me wonder, what are the consequences of the survivor-oriented nature of the way Americans speak about and learn about the Holocaust?

Of course, I suppose you could take a step back and ask,

What are the consequences, in general, of knowing about the Holocaust, whether a crappy high-school history version of Nazis killed Jews, then end or a more detailed understanding? How does it affect your perception of world affairs, of ethnic relations, your understanding of human nature? And how does this changed perception affect the way you live your life and the decisions you make?

And thats all Ive got for you. In a perfect world, Id find someone to hire me to read and write all day. In the real world, Ive got a load of laundry to switch out.

Image: memorial at Babi Yar.

The rest is here:
Holocaust and Survival (or, Auschwitz vs. Babi Yar) – Patheos (blog)

German party condemns BDS, compares movement to pre-WWII antisemitism – Jerusalem Post Israel News

The Port of Hamburg, Germany . (photo credit:SLADER AT THE GERMAN LANGUAGE WIKIPEDIA)

German politicians from the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) in Hamburg submitted a resolution in early February calling on the state senate to take decisive action against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, deeming it as antisemitic.

The CDU is the opposition party in the government, while the Social Democrats and the Green Party make up the governing coalition in Hamburg.

The CDU politicians condemned BDS initiatives and activities as antisemitic, adding that the senate, as well as government agencies, should assess all activities as hostile to Israel and take actions against BDS.

The resolution appears to the be first state government legislative act seeking to blunt BDS. The CDU sponsors of the resolution are Carsten Ovens, Karin Prien, Andr Trepoll, Dennis Thering, Birgit Stver, Dennis Gladiator, and Jrg Hamann.

The resolution urged Hamburg to support further initiatives to strengthen German-Israel bilateral relations. According to the resolution, In previous months, many different countries have shown a clear resistance against the BDS movement. National and local parliaments and administrations for example, in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Paris decided to reject these boycott activities.

The northern port city of Hamburg is both a city and a federal German state.

The resolution stated: Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews. That is nothing other than coarse antisemitism.

The CDU compared BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the new clothes of the 21st century as anti-Zionism, the party said.

The anti-BDS resolution was in response to the University of Hamburgs appointment of Farid Esack, a pro-BDS Islamic theologian from South Africa. The advisory board of the Academy of World Religions at Hamburg University, where Esack served as a guest professor from October to mid-February, distanced itself from Esack.

In a statement to Die Welt reporter Jakob Koch, the academy said it is totally unacceptable from the view of the advisory council when a comprehensive boycott of Israel is called for and thereby a break in every form of cooperation with Israeli universities, cultural institutions and other institutions.

Die Welt further reported on Saturday that the academy said Esack has not demonstrated clear statements affirming Israels right to exist. The advisory panel said that under consideration of the now known facts a decision to appoint Prof. Dr. Esack as guest professor would have certainly been decided differently.

Esack is the chairman of BDS South Africa. In 2015, he welcomed his comrade plane hijacker Leila Khaled, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at a fund-raiser. The EU and US classify the PFLP as a terrorist organization. Esack has argued that the idea of an Islamic State in Germany must be allowed to be represented.

The Israeli Embassy in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post in January: This is a man [Esack] who expressed antisemitic statements, and who is sympathetic to Holocaust denial. A person with such views has no place as an educator in a university, in particular not in Germany; due to both professional as well as moral and probably also legal reasons.

A statement from Esack published on a BDS website in Germany read: Neither I nor anyone on the staff or board of BDS SA has ever made any statement that could be reasonably interpreted as antisemitism. These accusations are part of a hundreds of million of dollars, Israeli government-funded operation. Esack has compared Israels government to that of Nazi Germany on his Facebook page, and called former president Shimon Peres a terrorist.

The anti-BDS motion in Hamburg is a further setback for BDS activists, after German financial institutions terminated three BDS bank accounts in 2016. Chancellor Angela Merkels Christian Democratic Union Party passed an anti-BDS resolution at its party congress. The senate is slated to vote on the CDU resolution on March 1.

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German party condemns BDS, compares movement to pre-WWII antisemitism – Jerusalem Post Israel News

UK universities urged to tackle rising tide of antisemitism on campus … – The Guardian

Cambridge is among the universities where incidents have been reported. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA

Universities are being urged to act swiftly to tackle antisemitism on campuses after a series of incidents in recent weeks including Holocaust denial leaflets, fascist stickers and swastikas etched on and around campuses which have fuelled anxiety among Jewish students.

Leading academics, student representatives and experts on antisemitism expressed concern at the widespread nature of the incidents, which have affected a number of higher education institutions across the country.

Earlier this week it emerged that a swastika and a Rights for Whites sign had been found at halls of residence at Exeter, which the university described after an initial investigation as an ill-judged, deeply offensive joke.

There have also been incidents reported at Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sussex and University College London recently, which the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said indicated some level of coordination. It is thought to be part of a wider spike in hate crime targeting Jews and other minority communities.

Responding to the incidents, one leading crossbench peer said attacks on Jewish students in UK universities should be seen as the canary in the coalmine.

Ruth Deech, who was the first independent adjudicator for higher education overseeing student complaints, said her parents had been attacked as Jewish students in the years leading up to the second world war and the Holocaust. She urged UK universities to rise up and condemn antisemitism.

In the 1920s and 1930s discrimination against Jews started in German, Austrian and Polish universities, long before the second world war, Lady Deech said. Attacks on Jewish students in universities today should be seen as the canary in the coalmine. It starts there and it spreads.

Josh Nagli, the UJS campaigns director, stressed that Jewish students generally had a positive experience at university, but admitted recent events were concerning. It seems like some sort of coordinated activity. I would not say its something to be seriously concerned about, but theres a risk of seeing it more and more on different campuses.

They dont pose a physical threat to Jewish students but it shows there are people in the vicinity of where Jewish students are living and studying who hold these views on Holocaust denial. Any Jewish student would feel uncomfortable that this sort of literature is being handed out.

Flyers found in Cambridge, which appeared to express support for Holocaust denier David Irving, referred to the new Hollywood film Denial, based on the landmark legal case in which Irving sued and lost his case against American historian Deborah Lipstadt. A spokesman for the University of Cambridge said the matter had been reported to the police.

In November, Sheffield Hallam University was recommended by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for higher education to pay 3,000 compensation to a student after failing to deal adequately with his complaints about posts on the universitys Palestine Society social media accounts.

And last June, York University law student Zachary Confino was paid 1,000 compensation over antisemitic abuse when he was called a Jewish prick, an Israeli twat and subjected to an anonymous social media comment that Hitler was on to something.

Recent figures from the Community Security Trust (CST), a Jewish charity that monitors antisemitism, show a doubling of reported incidents involving Jewish students and academics, with 41 incidents in 2016 compared with 21 the year before.

David Feldman, director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, University of London, condemned the latest far-right incidents at universities. Its completely reprehensible and I think that people will find it upsetting and disturbing. But whether its dangerous depends on the extent of support there is for it and how quickly effective action is taken against it.

This is a departure from what weve seen in the recent past. The spotlight in the last couple of years has been on the far-left and the left of the Labour party.

My impression is this is coming from a different place to incidents that arise in the context of criticising Israel. This is straightforward antisemitism and its coming from the right.

Izzy Lenga, a final-year theology student at the University of Birmingham, received a torrent of antisemitic abuse and threats after posting a picture on Twitter of a sticker she and other Jewish students had seen on campus featuring an image of Hitler and the words Hitler was right.

It was horrible, it was terrifying, she told the Guardian. She received more than 2,000 messages within 24 hours from a variety of far-right fascist groups including National Action, which has since been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the government.

Lenga says her university was very supportive, but she went home from campus shaken by the experience and for a few weeks was too scared to return. Antisemitism is a hatred that has been around for so long and it doesnt look like its going away any time soon.

The National Union of Students has just completed a national survey of Jewish students experience of university life, details of which will be released later in the spring. Commenting on the incident at Exeter this week, the unions president, Malia Bouattia, said it was another example of the spike in hate crime students had witnessed in the wake of Brexit and Donald Trumps election.

This kind of blatant antisemitism should not be tolerated in our universities and colleges, and institutions need to do more to combat it. Students must be at the forefront of tackling racism and fascism in all its forms which is why NUSs current programme of work exploring hate crime could not be more timely.

Universities UK, which represents higher education institutions, admitted that universities have a difficult balancing act between protecting students from abuse or intolerance, while also allowing legitimate protest and free speech within the law. This is particularly relevant when Israel and Palestine are being discussed, a spokesman said.

The university sector has been clear that there is no place for antisemitism or any other kind of unlawful discrimination at our universities. While statistics from the CST suggest that reported incidents of antisemitism in universities remain low, even a single incident is one too many.

In the context of an increase in the number of reported hate crimes across the UK, universities have procedures in place which should give more students the confidence to report incidents.

The universities minister, Jo Johnson, said this week: Higher education institutions have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe and inclusive environment and act swiftly so that students do not face discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

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UK universities urged to tackle rising tide of antisemitism on campus … – The Guardian

Amid anti-Semitism row, Pence tours Nazi concentration camp – The Times of Israel

DACHAU, Germany US Vice President Mike Pence paid a somber visit to the site of the Dachau concentration camp on Sunday, walking along the grounds where tens of thousands of people were killed during World War II.

Pence was joined by his wife, Karen Pence, and the couples 23-year-old daughter, Charlotte, as they toured the exhibits at the former concentration camp that was established by the Nazis in 1933 near Munich.

The vice president was accompanied by Abba Naor, a survivor of the camp, and other dignitaries as he passed through the wrought iron gate bearing the inscription, Arbeit macht frei, or Work sets you free.

It was a miracle that we survived, Naor told the vice president and his family, describing a typical meal as a slice of bread.

The Pences placed a wreath beneath the International Memorial at the center of the camp, toured the barracks and viewed the ovens inside the crematorium.

The Pences also stopped at religious memorials at the site and later attended a church service on the camps grounds.

Moving and emotional tour of Dachau today, he tweeted on his official Twitter account. We can never forget atrocities against Jews and others in the Holocaust.

More than 200,000 people from across Europe were held at Dachau, and more than 40,000 prisoners died there. The camp was liberated by US forces in April 1945.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center, his wife Karen, second from left, and his daughter Charlotte, left, are lead by Holocaust survivor Abba Naor, right, as they visit the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, one day after he attended the Munich Security Conference. (Sven Hoppe/pool photo via AP)

Making his first overseas trip as vice president, Pence spoke to foreign diplomats and defense officials at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders.

Pence was traveling to Brussels later Sunday for meetings on Monday with NATO and European Union officials.

In 2015, then-US vice president Joe Biden visited the site with his granddaughter during a trip to Germany.

US Vice President Michael Richard Pence (2L), his wife Karen Pence (L) and his daughter Charlotte Pence look at the crematorium at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site at the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, Germany, on February 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)

Pences visit to Dachau follows a recent outcry over US President Donald Trumps failure to mention the Jews in his statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust, the president said in the statement. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, left, lay a wreath during a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

When pressed why no mention was made of the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the administration doubled down on its original statement, with Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks saying we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered, pointing to priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovahs Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters as other Holocaust victims.

In response to the statement, a number of US Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League condemned the administrations failure to mention the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, as well as the Zionist Organization of America and the Republican Jewish Coalition, both of which are generally sympathetic to Trump.

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC on February 15, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

During a joint press conference with Trump on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the US president and his people against charges of anti-Semitism, saying there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than Donald Trump.

Although Trump evaded a question from a reporter regarding rising anti-Semitism during the press conference, the US president acknowledged the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust in his opening statement, saying we will never forget what the Jewish people have endured and hailing the Jews for their survival in the face of genocide.

Asked by ultra-Orthodox reporter Jake Turx during a press conference the next day how his administration planned to handle anti-Semitism, Trump grew furious and accused his questioner of dishonesty, seeming to mistakenly believe he was being accused of anti-Semitism. Trump referenced Netanyahus support and insisted, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you have ever seen in your entire life.

Following the incident, Turx defended Trump, telling Fox News that its very unfair whats been done to him and I understand why hes so defensive. And Im with him when it comes to being outraged about him being charged with this anti-Semitism.

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Amid anti-Semitism row, Pence tours Nazi concentration camp – The Times of Israel

Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel ‘regrets’ Holocaust-related slur – PRI

Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel began his confirmation process in the Senate on Thursday. And the first thing David Friedman did was express regret for what he called his “inflammatory” language during the election campaign.

He didn’t specify what that language was, but it probably included the word kapo, a German word with connotations that are highly insulting to Jews.

In an opinion piece, Friedman called supporters of J Street, a liberal Jewish-American lobby group, “worse than kapos.”

He wrote that “they are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction, delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas.” J Street opposes settlement activity in the West Bank.

In the Nazi era, kapos were captives who worked in administrative roles and also in controlling their fellow prisoners.

It refers to prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps, who worked on behalf of the Nazis, explains Steven Cohen, professor of Jewish social policy at Hebrew Union College in New York City.

Some of the kapos were Jewish, and Cohen says they are seen as the most despicable example of treachery and disloyalty to the Jewish people.

However, Cohen qualifies the description. He says some people see the kapos with some sympathy, because they toowere prisoners and many of them were slain eventually.

Cohen says he believes most Jews would say Friedman had stepped over a line by using the k-word.

Firstly, says Cohen, hes accusing left-of-center, pro-Israel Jews of being disloyal or traitors or worse.

In addition, Cohen says, he has dipped into Holocaust-related language. And theres another principle in Jewish life and Jewish rhetoric that you dont play games, and you dont appropriate the Holocaust for profane purposes.

The Holocaust is seen as a very holy and sacred terrain, adds Cohen.

Friedman has been Trumps lawyer for a long time. Hes Jewish, but Cohen says that doesnt mean he will get much support from American Jews, or even just indifference.

I think we will see outright condemnation and opposition, he says. David Friedman would be persona non grata in most Jewish audiences, and every pronouncement he would make would be seen as suspect, if not actually offensive.

Polls by the Pew Research Center and J Street show that Jews voted for Clinton over Trump by a ratio of at least 2.5 to one.

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Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel ‘regrets’ Holocaust-related slur – PRI

Holocaust survivor brothers removed as plaintiffs against Auschwitz … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

BERLIN (JTA) A judge in Germany has barred two American Jewishbrothers who survived the Holocaust from being co-plaintiffs in the trial of a 96-year-old former Auschwitz SSmedic charged with being an accessory to murder.

Chief Judge Klaus Kabisch in the Neubrandenburg state court explained Tuesdaythat Walter and William Plywaski of Boulder, Colorado, themselvesAuschwitz survivors could not join the trial of Hubert Zafke because their parentsdied at the camp outside the time frame ofthe indictment, a one-month period in 1944.

The brothers had been approved initially as co-plaintiffs after ahigher court rejected Kabischs arguments about the time limit.

Zafke faces charges of accessory to the murder of3,681 people. Inhis capacity as a medic, he reportedly witnessed arriving prisonersbeing sent to die in the camps gas chambers.

Meanwhile, the trial has been delayed over concerns about the mentaland physical health of the defendant. Last year, Zafkes son pleadedwith the court to leave his father in peace.

Critics suggest that Kabisch may be trying to delay theprocedure. According to German news reports, in an unprecedented move, prosecutors have filed several petitions in vain to have Kabisch removed from the case due to bias.

The attorneys for the Plywaskis said they would appeal to have the brothers reinstated as plaintiffs.Thomas Walther and Cornelius Nestler also are considering filling bias charges againstthe court.

Germanys Central Office for the Investigation of National SocialistCrimes in Ludwigsburg made a major push to identify former death campguards after the conviction of John Demjanjuk in 2011 for his role in the murders ofnearly 30,000 Jews in the Sobibor death camp in Poland. That case setthe precedent that being a guard at a death camp was sufficient toprove complicity in murder.

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Holocaust survivor brothers removed as plaintiffs against Auschwitz … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Modern lessons from the Holocaust –

The exhibit State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, launched on Feb. 10, 2017 at the University of Santo Tomas, includes a set of posters from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is a living memorial to the Holocaust. Photo by Kristine Angeli Sabillo/

As a young girl, Hadass Nisan had nightmares from hearing stories about the Holocaust.

She imagined gas chambers, crying babies and people killed by dogs.

Should I say more? Im not sure, she tells a hundred or so students attending the Holocaust Remembrance event at the University of Santo Tomas last week.

Nisan, who is now Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Israel in Manila, explained that while she did not experience the Holocaust or the genocide of European Jews, her grandparents survived the Holocaust in Germany.

And from their stories and the things she learned in school, she was exposed to things that you could not even imagine.

For many years, seriously, I had nightmares, she said.

The Holocaust refers to the systematic and state-sponsored persecution of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime, which came to power in Germany in 1933. By the end of World War II, six million Jews have been murdered, many in concentration camps where they were subjected to forced labor.

Fearing the repeat of such harrowing experiences, Nisan asked her mother if the Holocaust can happen again. But instead of assuring her that they were safe in Israel, her mother said that since it happened in the past it might happen again.

Lessons for everyone

Today, Nisan is among those who seek to educate people in order to prevent another Holocaust.

The Holocaust is not an issue of the JewsIt is the issue of (every) human being, she said.

Narcisa Tabirara, UST Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, said remembering the Holocaust is important, especially at a time when the world is seeing images of instability.

I hope we can see how the past can impact our present lives and to ensure we all work together to create a kinder and gentler world, she said.

Meanwhile, UNICs information officer Teresa Debuque pointed out that the Holocaust was considered a turning point in history by the UN General Assembly.

It prompted the world to say, Never again, she said. Never again will the community of nations sit idly by while an entire peopleis exterminated out of a misguided, inflated sense of racial superiority of another.

Debuque said people should remember what human beings are capable of, that there are no limits to the depth that one can sink.

During the program, the audience watched the documentary The Path to Nazi Germany, which detailed the prevailing social and economic realities that led to the rise of Nazi Germany. It showed how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis gained the favor of German citizens as they promised to regain the countrys strong economy and image.

Finding balance

Asked how the present generation can avoid making the same mistakes, especially amid US President Donald Trumps earlier plan to ban travelers from seven Muslim majority countries, Nisan said people should find a balance between nationalism and globalism.

She said each nation has values that reflect its peoples character and identity.

The opposite of having an identity and being part of a nation is the pluralism, to accept everybody, to be a global person, to love everyone, she said.

These are two edges [and we] need to find balance between them, Nisan said. Between the two edges of nationalism and globalism, there is something in between.

Nisan said she decided to become a diplomat to heal the world.

She said people should not be bystanders and instead do as much as we can to prevent such catastrophes.

She called the Filipino people the kindest people on Earth who accept everybody.

During World War II, the Philippines became instrumental in the saving of lives of more than a thousand Jews by opening the countrys doors to refugees.

A documentary on the event, titled Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust was screened at Malacaang Palace in 2014.

READ: How Filipinos became heroes during the Holocaust

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Modern lessons from the Holocaust –

Holocaust becomes real through the eyes of survivors as shared by their son – Pryor Daily Times

EDMOND, Okla. For Central Middle School eighth graders, their yearly study of the Diary of Anne Frank was made even more real as Edmond resident Mike Korenblit visited them and shared the Holocaust through his parents eyes. He has written a book about his parents, Manya and Meyer Korenblit titled Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Holocaust.

Mike told the story of his parents lives for the first time 17 years ago, while in front of another group of Central Middle School 8th grade students.

His latest presentation was one of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activities Central students were emerged in on Friday. In history classes the students were learning about the St. Louis, a ship that sailed from Hamburg, Germany, to Havanna, Cuba, only to be turned away from there as well as from the United States. Most of the passengers were returned to Germany where they were put to death.

The math classes studied the numbers of the Holocaust from how many died to how they were killed as the genocide of Jews, gypsies, the physically disabled and those who helped them try to escape, some 11 million in total, was carried out.

Without trivializing the Holocaust, Mike explained to the students that the Holocaust started with a group of people being bullied. The bullies, the German soldiers, targeted certain victims, not only based on who they were, but on their appearance, sexual orientation and religion.

There were also those who stood by and watched while others were victimized, and didnt do anything to stop it. In many ways, the Holocaust shared the characteristics of school bullying, Mike said.

Just as many students stand by while others are victimized, groups of people and even countries stood by and watched as the Nazis began to perform genocide, Mike said.

He pointed out to the students that the choices they make and the actions they carry out every day make a huge difference in other peoples lives.

Historical background leading to Holocaust

W.W.I had decimated Europe and someone had to be blamed. The Germans chose to blame the Jewish population, Mike said.

He told the students that following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933, the Nazi state (also referred to as the Third Reich) quickly started taking away certain citizens basic rights. In 1933, the regime established the first concentration camps, imprisoning its political opponents, homosexuals, Jehovahs Witnesses, and others classified as dangerous.

Decrees and regulations affecting all areas of Jews in their private and public lives were made from 1933 to 1939, Mike said. This is the order in which the Jewish people were humiliated and demoralized before their lives were taken.

In 1933 the first major law prohibited Jews from working in certain professions. Jewish children could no longer attend public schools or universities. Jews were not allowed to be in the army nor could Jewish actors perform.

In 1933 Germans participated in book burning throughout the country. One hundred and eight years before a single Jewish body was burned, Heinrich Heine had written, Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn people.

In 1935 the Nuremberg Laws were passed redefining Jews as having Jewish lineage rather than religious beliefs. By 1938 the number of Jewish-owned businesses in Germany had been reduced by two-thirds.

In 1938 Kristallnacht, or the night of broken glass, synagogues were closed, damaged and burned. Jews could no longer go to theaters or movies nor sports facilities, and they only could be in specific zones within a city.

By 1939 Jews were forced to identify themselves by wearing stars sewn on their clothing, even the babies, and they had to carry cards saying Jude.

In May of 1939 the St. Louis set sail for Havana, Cuba, from Hamburg, Germany, with 927 passengers on board. Most of them were Jews. Political unrest kept them from landing in Cuba and the United States government also turned them away. They set sail back to Hamburg where most of them met their death.

On Sept. 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Nazi Germany and its allies conquered much of Europe. Jewish property was confiscated and ghettos and forced-labor camps were established.

In June 1941, Germany turned on its ally, the Soviet Union. Often drawing on local civilian and police support,Einsatzgruppen (paramilitary death squads) followed the German army and carried out mass shootings as it advanced into Soviet lands. Gas vans also appeared on the eastern front in late fall 1941.

From 19421945 Germany pursued the Final Solution. Systematic deportations of millions of Jews and more efficient killing centers using poison gas were being used. Allied troops had pushed Germany and its partners back and uncovered the crimes committed during the Holocaust.

By May 1945, the Germans and their collaborators had murdered 6 million European Jews as well as 5 million other people as part of a systematic plan of genocide the Holocaust. When Allied troops entered the concentration camps, they discovered piles of corpses, bones and human ashes testimony to Nazi mass murder. Soldiers also found thousands of survivors Jews and non-Jews suffering from starvation and disease.

For survivors, the prospect of rebuilding their lives was daunting. With few possibilities for emigration, tens of thousands of homeless Holocaust survivors were housed in displaced persons (DP) camps until they could emigrate to another country, Mike said.

Mike Korenblit tells parents story

Fifty-four years ago when Mike Korenblit was six he noticed something on each of his parents wrists. It was a KL in blue ink and on the inside of his mothers forearm was A followed by 27327.

His parents proceeded to tell him they were survivors of the Holocaust and for five and a half years they experienced the worst of hatred, bigotry, intolerance and violence.

Except for one brother each, all of their immediate family and most of their extended family were killed by the Nazis. They survived, in large part, because of three Christians who risked their lives to save them, because they knew it was the right thing to do. These three Christians were murdered by the Nazis for saving Jews.

The story of Manya and Meyer Korenblit begins in 1942 in a small town in Poland, where two Jewish families flee to hiding places, hoping to evade deportation by the Nazis.

They had escaped being taken twice but as the Germans were getting ready for their third sweep, the two families decide to go into hiding, Mike said. At the last moment, 17-year-old Manya makes the heart-wrenching decision to leave her family and join her sweetheart, Meyer, also 17, with his family. Her brother Chaim joins them in hiding in a giant hollowed-out haystack.

After a week they moved on.

For three long years, Manya and Meyer endure the loss of their parents and siblings, separation from each other, and the horror of concentration camps, including Aushwitz, but they are helped at key points by courageous Polish Catholics and are constantly sustained by their faith and their love for each other, Mike said.

In spite of the suffering and uncertainty each day brings, beauty is found in the love of the young couple and their love for their families. Courage is shown every day by the non-Jews who help hide them and provide food for them.

In fact, courage was shown throughout Europe by some countries.

The Danish Underground with the aid of almost the entire country of Denmark decided to rescue their Jews, Mike said. The majority of the Jewish population, 7,300, were ferried across the channel to neutral Sweden.The Danes followed them to make sure they were well taken care of. Five hundred would not go and were deported to camps.

Bulgaria had 55,000 Jews living in its country.

The Assistant Speaker of Parliament said they were not going to cooperate with the Nazis. Farmers laid down on the train tracks so the trains could not move. The people of Bulgaria looked at Jews as Bulgarians first, Mike said.

In Albania, the only country in Europe with a majority Muslim population, 200 Jews were living within its borders.

They started making false documents for Jews and hiding them out. Refugees, 1,800 to 2,000 came to the country and the Bulgarians did the same thing for them, Mike said. The Muslims practiced Besa. It is something engrained in the culture of the Muslim people. It means you take care of the stranger before your own family. In Albania only one Jewish family was killed.

Korenblit added that after the war Albania and Bulgaria had more Jews than before.

What made the people of these countries do this? Mike asked the students. In other countries citizens stood by or assisted in killing the Jews because of who they were, and the Nazis looked upon them as not even human beings.

Jews in ghettos and work camps were barely surviving on 300 to 400 calories a day, Mike added.

Jews were being rounded up and shot to death before the Nazis found a better, faster and more economical way to get rid of the problem, Mike said. The Nazis were ingenious and developed a mobile killing van and 40 to 80 Jews would die from the exhaust each time it was used. Even though it took anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours to die, no bullets were wasted.

Next, Zyklon B gas was used.

The Germans already used it on the mentally ill, and the Nazis were looking for a way to have a pure race, Mike said. Six extermination camps were built, all in Poland, and hundreds of concentration camps were built throughout Germany. In the extermination camps 350 to 500 Jews were told at a time they were going to be given a shower. Using shower heads for the gas to pour into the room took 20 minutes to kill the Jews. Once dead the bodies were taken to crematoriums. It is estimated that 4 million Jews were murdered in the gas chambers and their bodies burned.

It started with harassment and bullying leading to humiliation, Mike said.

After the Jews the Nazis started attacking Jehovahs Witnesses, then gypsies, communists and socialists, Free Masons, priests, pastors and bishops, Mike said.

In the last free election held in Germany, only 62 percent of the people voted and the Nazis got 33 percent of the vote, Mike said. If more people cared, 1933-1945 would not have happened.

Mike told the students in 2008 more people voted for American Idol than voted for President of the United States.

Every election is important whether it is city, state or federal. Nothing is more important than getting involved, Mike told the students. It is your responsibility to make sure no laws are passed to take away the rights of people.

As Mike tells the story of his family, listeners cant help but think what would they have done if faced with some of the same situations.

I do stand up when I see someone being bullied, and I will keep doing it, said eighth grader Lyndsey Frazier.

Although she said she has spoken up for someone being bullied, Ally Fallen said she plans to change the way she takes up for someone being bullied

I will do more when I see someone being bullied, now Fallen said.

Jackson Tarrant said he hasnt always spoken up when someone is being bullied.

If I see someone being bullied now, I would probably get an adult, Tarrant said.

In Hrubieszaw there were 8,500 Jews, and on both sides of my family there were 35-40 members each, Mike said. On Sept. 1, 1935, my mom was 15 and my dad was 16. Poland was invaded and conquered in a month.

Laws were written and rights were taken away from the people.

Jews were moved into ghettos on cattle cars. My parents were sent to 13 labor concentration camps over the next years. They separated the men from the women, Mike said. Once my dad found mom in a food line and he crawled under the barbed wire fence at night to see her, twice. He had to be back in time for roll call. If a Jew was missing the men had to stand for 24 hours. Dad made her promise to meet in their hometown after the war. They were in four more camps in the next 18 months.

His parents ended up in Auschwitz-Birkenau, an extermination camp in Poland known as “The Death Factory before being liberated. When his mother was among those liberated in 1945 she was 20 years old, 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighed 65 pounds.

As the war was coming to an end the Nazis started rounding up the Jews in the camps, and they were forced to go on death marches with the Nazis trying to walk them to death. Meyer and four friends escaped from the death march and made their way to a farmers house where they were liberated by American troops. Meyer was 21 years old, and 5 feet 10 inches tall, at a weight of 78 pounds.

This love story about two Jews who have to face their worst nightmare of separation, losing their families and getting through the Holocaust alive until they can meet again, shows the spirit of survival as it focuses on the importance of love, family, inner strength and forgiveness.

They did find each other after the war and immigrated to Ponca City where they had two boys. Thirty-nine years later they found Manyas brother in England.

As Mike told the story of his parents, one could sense the strength of the human spirit, its endurance and the ability to love.

After sharing his parents story, Mike told the students of 13 young black people from ages six to 16 years who walked into a Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City and ordered Coca Colas. They staged the first sit-in in August 1958. They then went to Browns in downtown Oklahoma City.

You wont read about this in the history books, Michael said.

In Columbine High School 20 students were killed because of bullying. Because of cyber-bullying three to 400 children a day commit suicide, Mike said. Each day 160,000 students do not go to school. Each of you have a responsibility to make sure Central Middle School is the best school in the state. Remember that once something is said it cannot be taken back. Even though we have not met I have hope and faith that each one of you will make this a better world.

Mike and his wife, Joan, are co-founders of Respect Diversity Foundation in Edmond. For information contact Joan Korenblit, executive director, at, or call 405-359-0369.

Miller writes for Edmond Sun, a CNHI News Service publication.

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Holocaust becomes real through the eyes of survivors as shared by their son – Pryor Daily Times

Holocaust novel "Mischling" is 2017 One Book, Everybody Reads selection – Chicago Tribune

A novel about Jewish twins who suffer under the deadly ministrations of Josef Mengele, the Nazi “Angel of Death,” but who remain determined to live, is the Wilmette Public Library’s 2017 “One Book, Everybody Reads” selection.

The choice of “Mischling,” by Affinity Konar, is the first time the library’s annual community reading and programming event has addressed the Holocaust, according to Betty Giorgi, the library’s head of adult services.

“With every book choice we look for universal themes. Even though this is set during the Holocaust, and even though the nature of the subject is difficult to approach, we found that her writing is so lyrical that it can draw you in to those horrible times and sweep you along,” said Giorgi, who was part of the committee that chose “Mischling.”

The committee also realized that the library could make use of many local resources to enrich the programming that accompanies the book reading, Giorgi said, particularly those offered by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie.

This year’s “One Book, Everybody Reads” campaign will offer participants the chance to tour the museum in April, as well as to hear a concert of Jewish Klezmer music, to discuss the rise of Hitler through the lens of German cinema, and to hear from a survivor of the Holocaust about her life under the Nazi occupation of Hungary.

The campaign culminates in a May 7 address and book signing by Konar at Wilmette Junior High School, Giorgi said.

“Mischling” explores the relationship between 12-year-old twins Pearl and Stasha, transported to Auschwitz in 1944 and forced to become part of Mengele’s horrific experiments. It counters the brutality of the Holocaust by sending messages of hope, beauty and resilience, according to Barbara Goodman, adult services librarian.

Goodman said the novel was named one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2016 and was one of the New York Times’ 100 notable books of 2016. Booklist described the novel as “an unforgettable sojourn of the spirit.”

Konar, who was raised in California and currently lives in Los Angeles, has said she was spurred to write the book because of her heritage as a Polish Jew, and her experience in reading about Mengele and his crimes against twins.

This is the twelfth year for “One Book, Everybody Reads,” a communal reading event that began in 2006 and brings together Wilmette and Kenilworth library patrons, as well as book lovers from further afield, to share the experience of reading one common narrative. Previous authors have included Jane Smiley, Edwidge Danticat, Simon Winchester and Ann Patchett.

Although the full line-up of events for this year’s program has yet to be completed, Goodman said, patrons are invited to check “Mischling” out of the library to begin reading. The library holds multiple copies of the novel in a variety of formats, she added.

For more information on “One Book, Everybody Reads,” including the dates and time for each of the events planned for this year’s program, visit or call 847-256-6930.

Twitter: @pioneer_kathy

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Holocaust novel "Mischling" is 2017 One Book, Everybody Reads selection – Chicago Tribune

Angela Merkel angrily cancels Israel summit over new settlements law, report says – The Independent

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly nixed a conference in Berlin with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because of a bill recently passed by the Knesset which retroactively legalises 4,000 settler Jewish settler homes.

While the annual summit with the Israeli government scheduled for May 10 was officially cancelled because of Germanys general election in September, an Israeli source connected to the German Foreign Ministry told Haaretz that the real reason for the cancellation is that Berlin is angry at both the Regulation Bill and other recent Israeli settlement policy moves.

Last week Israel voted to legalise 250 outpost settlements built without government approval on privately owned land in the West Bank.

Barack Obama uses final interview as President to slam Israeli policy on settlements

Under the new legislation – which the countrys attorney general has warned he will not defend, and could put Israel at risk of breaching international law – Palestinian owners are to be given other land, or compensated financially.

The international community, which views all Israeli construction over the 1967 Green Line as illegal, does not recognise the difference between outpost settlements and those authorised by the government.

The controversial new law came into effect almost immediately after Israel announced plans for more than 11,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem.

It is thought that the bold new moves from Israels ruling coalition have been encouraged by the election of US President Donald Trump. The new president has signalled he is far more sympathetic to Israeli interests than predecessor Barack Obama.

Berlin released a statement condemning the new policies, which it said endangered the peace process and signal that Israel is no longer committed to a two-state-solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

Haaretz Israeli source said that the German government had been instructed to express its dismay at the legislation both publicly and in diplomatic channels.

German officials approached by the paper did not deny the Regulation Bill was the reason the conference – held to show the closeness between the two countries – was cancelled.

The governments summit will most likely not take place in May, one German Foreign Ministry source said. Regarding the elections they are only in September.”

Angela Merkel angrily cancels Israel summit over new settlements law, report says – The Independent

On Mardi Gras, Are Jews Still Outsiders in New Orleans? – Culture … – Forward

The Rex parade entered the city at the port, the procession stepping from a lavishly decorated boat that drifted down the Mississippi and docked at the foot of Canal Street. It was afternoon on Mardi Gras Day, 1872. Historian Ned Sublette describes the scene in his history of the city, The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleans. Lewis Solomon waved from atop his horse, to the crowds. Adorned with crown and scepter and draped in robes, he looked the part of Rex, the first King of Mardi Gras. The theme of that inaugural parade was the Arabs, so his dukes and other krewe members were swathed in long, flowing robes as well, to fit the theme, although in an interview decades later, Solomon described the outfits as less Bedouin and more Ku Klux Klan.

Solomon dismounted his horse to address the crowd, which he had summoned in an edict, printed on pamphlets and in the papers that had circulated for the past few weeks, encouraging New Orleanians and tourists alike to flock downtown and take part in the greatest party the country had ever thrown. This was, after all, the Reconstruction-era Deep South, a struggling economy devastated by the collapse of the slavery system and the loss of the Civil War. Solomon, a banker for the citys prominent cotton merchants, was the krewes fundraising chair and worked with the rest of the new members to stir up as much excitement (and thus funding) for the citys first official Mardi Gras festivities as they could.

And draw a crowd they did. Solomon greeted the parades special guest, Grand Duke Alexis of Imperial Russia, with a warm welcome to the city of New Orleans. A collection of bands burst into the Russian national anthem before breaking into the Rex krewes theme song, If I Ever Cease to Love, a popular tune from the musical Bluebeard, which was finishing up a run in New Orleans. After all this fanfare, the parade made its procession through the choked streets of downtown, among revelers in homemade costumes. The parade kicked off a full day of debauchery that didnt shut down until midnight, when Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season officially began, plunging the city into an uncharacteristic few weeks of sobriety.

The city of New Orleans was founded by the French in 1718, and six years later colonial leaders began enforcing the Code Noir, or Black Code, of 1615, which expelled all Jews from the colony and established Roman Catholicism as the only recognized religion. But as has always been typical in New Orleans, the law was loosely enforced (and sometimes ignored outright) until 1762, when the French ceded the colony to Spain. The Spanish, with their history of anti-Semitism and the Inquisition, initiated a campaign of confiscating Jewish assets and kicking the few Jewish residents out of Louisiana. It wasnt until 1815, when the United States acquired New Orleans as part of the Louisiana Purchase, that Jews were legally allowed to live in the territory. One of the first Jews to move to New Orleans at this time, Judah Touro, quickly made his mark prominent Touro Synagogue (the oldest synagogue west of the Mississippi) and Touro Hospital still bear his name.

As happened in cities all over the United States, a flood of German Jews arrived, a population that quickly built a community of lawyers, doctors, bankers, businessmen, and other professionals. They assimilated, for the most part, and in New Orleans they established their community uptown, among the gentiles. Then, at the turn of the twentieth century, the Orthodox immigrants from Eastern Europe arrived, carving out a spot downtown, in what is now majority African-American Central City. This population was, in general, not as wealthy or as assimilated as their fellow Jews a couple miles uptown, and the German Jews often looked down on the newer arrivals, a dynamic not unique to New Orleans.

The 1872 Mardi Gras parade was not the very first there were smaller, less organized parades that meandered through the citys streets for several years. There was a handful of krewes, including one called Comus, that dressed up as masked royalty and parades in the streets for the non-krewe members to witness. As Sublette notes, crowds could watch the royalty but not take part themselves: The burlesque of the Reconstruction carnival was directed not at satirizing the concepts of kingliness and aristocracy but rather at mocking people who failed to respect these concepts. The krewes took themselves very seriously, and when Rex formed, it was no different. The difference, Sublette argues, is that Rex had business in mind when they formed they wanted to turn Mardi Gras from a quirky New Orleans spectacle into a financial opportunity. And Solomon, put in charge of fundraising, put that plan in motion.

Rex still rolls every Mardi Gras morning, directly after Zulu, the African-American krewe. Although the King and court no longer enter the city by boat, Rex is still the iconic Mardi Gras parade; krewe members throw tricolor beads adorned with little crowns, and doubloons (plastic coins painted gold, green, and purple). By Fat Tuesday, many revelers (myself included) have been going strong since Thursday night, and the neutral ground (which in the rest of the country is called a median) on St. Charles Avenue, as well as both sidewalks, is filled with charcoal grills providing daylong nourishment for one the last push of celebrating.

In the 1980s, when a few carnival krewes came under legal fire for discriminating in their membership practices, three went underground rather than let minorities into their ranks. Rex was not one of the krewes accused of discrimination, and they continued to roll, bands still playing If I Ever Cease to Love, King of Mardi Gras still waving from his throne, now a float instead of a horse.

In a February 16, 2010 article for Tablet entitled The Krewes and the Jews, Justin Vogt wrote about the Krewe du Jieux, a ragtag, whimsical Mardi Gras krewe that marches as part of Krewe du Vieux, a downtown parade that rolls a couple Saturdays before Mardi Gras and provides a satirical, informal alternative to the uptown parades that follow. When he describes the history of the citys Jews, he acknowledges that they escaped much of the prejudice that other minorities faced: Put in perspective, the barriers they [the Jews] faced paled in comparison to the monumental obstacles to equality placed in the path of black New Orleanians. However, he goes on to say that when it came to the very upper echelons of elite society, Jews got shut out when Jim Crow prejudice finally extended to Jews during the 1910s, when the rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan and nativism swept throughout the South.

Calvin Trillin wrote about the Jews being shut out of the elite Mardi Gras krewes in a 1968 expose for The New Yorker, in which he claimed that although Jews had worked their way into almost every part of New Orleans society, they couldnt break into the topmost societies and krewes. He even wrote about how some Jews left the city during Carnival, to physically escape the fact that their daughters were not allowed to attend the balls or that they wouldnt be masking with certain krewes. One notable exception, mentioned by Vogt, is the Rex krewe, which, he notes, has always included Jewish members.

I moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane, which, for the four years I was there, was presided over by a Jewish president. He lived in a mammoth white-columned mansion bequeathed to the university by its first owner, a Jew named Zemurray who made his fortune importing bananas into the Port of New Orleans. I went to High Holiday services at Touro Synagogue, whose board includes a long list of the citys philanthropists and economic elite. I caught plastic dreidels and beads studded with Stars of David from the Krewe du Jieux and Krewe of Mishigas on Decatur Street every year during Carnival.

When I moved back to the city after graduate school in New York, I was accepted into the Jewish Newcomers program, which gives financial incentives and other services to young Jews moving to New Orleans. Along with a discounted membership to the always-packed Jewish Community Center fitness center and coupons to restaurants and other Jewish-owned businesses all over the city, there are receptions and dinners where we get to mingle with the established Jewish community of New Orleans. At these events Ive met consultants, education reformers, academics, nonprofit entrepreneurs, doctors, attorneys, students, businessmen and businesswomen, and retired philanthropist uptown types basically, Jews from every part of New Orleans society. It is an incredibly far-reaching and inclusive community, and one that sticks together while also assimilating.

Jews influence even the most New Orleans aspects of all New Orleans culture: music and food. Its a well-known tale here that it was a Jewish family that gave young Louis Armstrong his first trumpet. Many of the musicians and producers here are Jewish, and Jewish-influenced bands like the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars are trendy. Irma Thomas spends the Friday of the first weekend of Jazz Fest at Touro Synagogue for Jazz Shabbat, a packed event of the festival. And both Jewish deli and Israeli food has exploded in the city, as of late, from newcomers Humble Bagel, 1000 Figs, and award-winning Shaya to the older establishments like Steins Deli and Kosher Kajun Deli.

I am a writer and a public school teacher, so Im not exactly trying to break into the elite Mardi Gras krewes or get kids into the elite schools, but I wonder if what Trillin and Vogt wrote about is true, that there is a level that New Orleans Jews were never able to break into. This feeling of not being allowed into the upper echelons fits into the peculiar role that the Jew has always held in the South, as a kind of other that could get away with some things that blacks never could, such as moving onto the private street Audubon Place (on which the Zemurray mansion, home of the Tulane president, is located) and gaining admission into Rex but still being considered not elite enough, not quite white enough, to make it to the very top of Southern society.

Non-Jewish Southerners have never understood us. Clearly they didnt, back in 1872, when they had a Jew dress up as an Arab king and greet the duke of a country that would, in less than a decade, erupt in another burst of pogroms against his people. And they still dont now, as noted by the bizarre questions posed to me by coworkers and, when I was at Tulane, classmates. We are exotic but not too exotic, white but not quite white enough, familiar but a couple degrees away from being just like our neighbors, even in the wealthiest pockets of Uptown. I wonder if Solomon felt this pushback and what it was like for him when nativism and Jim Crow began to close in. He moved to New York before his death, and I wish I knew if that move had anything to do with no longer feeling welcome in New Orleans. I also wonder how he explained that first Mardi Gras to the New Yorkers a Jewish King dressed as a Klannish Arab, welcoming the Grand Duke of Russia from beside a horse on the bank of the Mississippi River. He was a private man who was little written about, and I havent found the answer, but I hope he didnt leave because he felt discriminated against or left out, the inaugural King living in exile on Long Island.

Sophia-Marie Unterman is a New Orleans-based writer and essayist.

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On Mardi Gras, Are Jews Still Outsiders in New Orleans? – Culture … – Forward

Populist party in Germany set to oust member for denigrating Berlin Holocaust memorial – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

BERLIN (JTA) Germanys rising right-wing populist party voted to begin proceedings to oust a prominent member for calling Berlins Holocaust memorial a monument of shame.

Bjoern Hoecke, leader of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, inthe former East German state of Thuringia aroused ire nationwide withremarks in January denigrating the memorial and suggesting that moreattention be paid to German victims of World War II.

Frauke Petry, who heads the 3-year-old AfD, said Monday that theexpulsion procedure could take quite a while, but that she wasconvinced most party members would support the move.

Critics within the AfD said Hoeckes remarks threatened todestabilize the party, which hopes to become the third largest in theBundestag in national elections in September.

The partys decision followed a legal and political evaluation ofHoeckes remarks.

He had told young supporters in Dresden on Jan.17 that We Germans that is, our people are the only people worldwide that hasplanted a memorial to shame in the heart of our capital.

Ten days later, the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial barredHoecke from entering for a memorial ceremony markingInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Hoecke has enjoyed some support from party leaders in his own state, as well as those in the former East German state of Brandenburg.Alexander Gauland, chair of the Brandenburg faction, told German radiorbb that no one should be thrown out after making one mistake. He alsosaid he feared people would leave the party in protest.

In Thuringen, party leaders suggested the decision was politicallymotivated to force certain people and opinions out of the party.

Petrys co-chair, Jrg Meuthen, reportedly also opposed her on thematter,saying he did not believe the expulsion procedure was likelyto succeed, even though his speech was really very bad.

AfD President Georg Pazderski told the daily newspaper Tagesspiegelin Berlin that hethought Hoeckes speech had the potential to frighten off voters. Pazderski said Hoecke had endangered the partys goal of representing mainstreamconservative Germans.

Following Mondays vote, Hoecke told reporters he was worried for theunity of the party. But he expressed confidence that the arbitrationpanel would not find him guilty of transgressing the partys legalstatutes or principles. If he is found guilty, he can appeal.

The anti-immigrant party has been struggling with its extremeright-wing flank. Last July, it began proceedings to expel politicianWolfgang Gedeon over anti-Semitic writings. He remains a member of theBaden-Wrttemberg state parliament, though was forced to step downfrom the AfDs bloc.

One year ago, a court in Brandenburg rejected accusations that AfDparty member Jan-Ulrich Weiss had published an anti-Semitic caricature.

Elena Roon an AfD candidate for the Bundestag fromNuremberg recently shared a photograph of Adolf Hitler online with thecaption, Missing since 1945: Adolf, please call home! Germany needsyou! The German nation!

The German media reported that Roonalso shared an image of Hitler tearinghis hair out in frustration, with the caption Islamists I forgotabout them!

The party chair in Bavaria has launched an investigation.

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Populist party in Germany set to oust member for denigrating Berlin Holocaust memorial – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Holocaust survivors target a German golf sponsor over insurance billions – Miami Herald

Miami Herald
Holocaust survivors target a German golf sponsor over insurance billions
Miami Herald
South Florida's population of Holocaust survivors may be dwindling, but their spirit lived on Sunday in a protest aimed at a PGA golf tournament sponsored by the German conglomerate, Allianz AG, that they say owes $2.5 billion in life insurance

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Holocaust survivors target a German golf sponsor over insurance billions – Miami Herald