Category Archives: Zionism and the Holocaust

Why is Benjamin Netanyahu trying to whitewash Hitler?

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/why-benjamin-netanyahu-trying-whitewash-hitler

Why is Benjamin Netanyahu trying to whitewash Hitler?

Ali Abunimah Lobby Watch 21 October 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnXS146cxLE
Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly asserted that Adolf Hitler had no intention of exterminating Europe’s Jews until a Palestinian persuaded him to do it.

The Israeli prime minister’s attempt to whitewash Hitler and lay the blame for the Holocaust at the door of Palestinians signals a major escalation of his incitement against and demonization of the people living under his country’s military and settler-colonial rule.

It also involves a good deal of Holocaust denial.

In a speech to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Netanyahu asserted that Haj Amin al-Husseini convinced Hitler to carry out the killings of 6 million Jews.

Al-Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the highest clerical authority dealing with religious issues pertaining to the Muslim community and holy sites during the 1920s and ‘30s, when Palestine was under British rule.

He was appointed to the role by Herbert Samuel, the avowed Zionist who was the first British High Commissioner of Palestine.

In the video above, Netanyahu claims that al-Husseini “had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. ‘Burn them!’”

There is no record of such a conversation whatsoever, and Netanyahu provides no evidence that it ever took place.

The Mufti did meet Hitler, once, but their 95-minute conversation took place on 28 November 1941. Husseini used it to try to secure the Führer’s support for Arab independence, as historian Philip Mattar explains in his book The Mufti of Jerusalem.

By then, Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jews were already well under way.

Hitler’s orders
In her classic history The War Against the Jews, Lucy Davidowicz writes about the preparations among Hitler’s top lieutenants to carry out the genocide: “Sometime during that eventful summer of 1941, perhaps even as early as May, Himmler summoned Höss to Berlin and, in privacy, told him ‘that the Führer had given the order for a Final Solution of the Jewish Question,’ and that ‘we, the SS, must carry out the order.’”

She adds: “In the late summer of 1941, addressing the assembled men of the Einsatzkommandos at Nikolayev, he [Himmler] ‘repeated to them the liquidation order, and pointed out that the leaders and men who were taking part in the liquidation bore no personal responsibility for the execution of this order. The responsibility was his alone, and the Führer’s.’”

Davidowicz also explains that “In the summer of 1941, a new enterprise was launched – the construction of the Vernichtungslager – the annihilation camp. Two civilians from Hamburg came to Auschwitz that summer to teach the staff how to handle Zyklon B, and in September, in the notorious Block 11, the first gassings were carried out on 250 patients from the hospital and on 600 Russian prisoners of war, probably ‘Communists’ and Jews …”

According to Netanyahu’s fabricated – and Holocaust denialist – version of history, none of this could have happened. It was all the Mufti’s idea!

The Mufti in Zionist propaganda
Why would Netanyahu bring up the Mufti now and in the process whitewash Hitler?

The bogus claim that the Mufti had to persuade reluctant Nazis to kill Jews has been pushed by other anti-Palestinian propagandists, notably retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.

As Columbia University professor Joseph Massad notes in his 2006 book The Persistence of the Palestinian Question, Haj Amin al-Husseini has long been a favorite theme of Zionist and Israeli propaganda.

Husseini “provided the Israelis with their best propaganda linking the Palestinians with the Nazis and European anti-Semitism,” Massad observes.

The Mufti fled British persecution and went to Germany during the war years.

Massad writes that al-Husseini “attempted to obtain promises from the Germans that they would not support the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Documents that the Jewish Agency produced in 1946 purporting to show that the Mufti had a role in the extermination of Jews did no such thing; the only thing these unsigned letters by the Mufti showed was his opposition to Nazi Germany’s and Romania’s allowing Jews to emigrate to Palestine.”

Yet, he adds, “the Mufti continues to be represented by Israeli propagandists as having participated in the extermination of European Jews.”

Citing Peter Novick, the University of Chicago history professor who authored The Holocaust in American Life, Massad notes that in the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, sponsored by Israel’s official memorial Yad Vashem, “the article on the Mufti is twice as long as the articles on [top Nazi officials] Goebbels and Göring and longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined.”

The entry on Hitler himself is only slightly longer than the one on Husseini.

In a 2012 article for Al Jazeera, Massad explains that “Zionism would begin to rewrite the Palestinian struggle against Jewish colonization not as an anti-colonial struggle but as an anti-Semitic project.”

Keystone of Zionist mythology
The story of the Mufti has thus become a keystone for the Zionist version of Palestinian history, which leaves out a basic fact: the Zionist movement’s infamous agreement with Hitler’s regime as early as 1933 .

The so-called Transfer Agreement facilitated the emigration of German Jews to Palestine and broke the international boycott of German goods launched by American Jews.

Massad explains: “Despairing from convincing Britain to stop its support of the Zionist colonial project and horrified by the Zionist-Nazi collaboration that strengthened the Zionist theft of Palestine further, the Palestinian elitist and conservative leader Haj Amin al-Husseini (who initially opposed the Palestinian peasant revolt of 1936 against Zionist colonization) sought relations with the Nazis to convince them to halt their support for Jewish immigration to Palestine, which they had promoted through the Transfer Agreement with the Zionists in 1933.”

Indeed, the Mufti would begin diplomatic contacts with the Nazis in the middle of 1937, four years after the Nazi-Zionist co-operation had started.

Ironically, Massad adds, “It was the very same Zionist collaborators with the Nazis who would later vilify al-Husseini, beginning in the 1950s to the present, as a Hitlerite of genocidal proportions, even though his limited role ended up being one of propagandizing on behalf of the Nazis to East European and Soviet Muslims on the radio.”

It should be kept in mind that many Third World nationalist movements colonized by the British were also sympathetic to the Nazis, including Indian nationalists. This was primarily based on the Nazis’ enmity toward their British colonizers, and not based on any affinity with the Nazis’ racialist ideology. It was certainly on this basis that India’s Congress Party opposed the British declaration of war on Germany, as Perry Anderson notes in The Indian Ideology.

Indeed, the Mufti made it clear to the Germans as well as to the fascist government of Benito Mussolini in Italy, as Mattar states, that he sought “full independence for all parts of the Arab world and the rescue of Palestine from British imperialism and Zionism. He stressed that the struggle against the Jews was not of a religious nature, but for Palestinian existence and for an independent Palestine.”

That Husseini met Hitler and had relations with the Nazis is no secret. But the fabrications of Netanyahu and other Zionists should be seen for what they are: an attempt to falsely blame Palestinians for Europe’s genocide of Jews and in the process erase from memory Zionism’s own collaborationist history with Hitler’s genocidal regime.

This vile propaganda can have no other purpose than to further dehumanize Palestinians and justify Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing and murder.

Netanyahu’s attempt to blame Palestinians for the Holocaust is itself a form of genocidal incitement.

The last of the Semites

The last of the Semites

By Joseph Massad,

Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the “Jewish Question”. What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the “solution” to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.

It was the Protestant Reformation with its revival of the Hebrew Bible that would link the modern Jews of Europe to the ancient Hebrews of Palestine, a link that the philologists of the 18th century would solidify through their discovery of the family of “Semitic” languages, including Hebrew and Arabic. Whereas Millenarian Protestants insisted that contemporary Jews, as descendants of the ancient Hebrews, must leave Europe to Palestine to expedite the second coming of Christ, philological discoveries led to the labelling of contemporary Jews as “Semites”. The leap that the biological sciences of race and heredity would make in the 19th century of considering contemporary European Jews racial descendants of the ancient Hebrews would, as a result, not be a giant one.

Basing themselves on the connections made by anti-Jewish Protestant Millenarians, secular European figures saw the political potential of “restoring” Jews to Palestine abounded in the 19th century. Less interested in expediting the second coming of Christ as were the Millenarians, these secular politicians, from Napoleon Bonaparte to British foreign secretary Lord Palmerston (1785-1865) to Ernest Laharanne, the private secretary of Napoleon III in the 1860s, sought to expel the Jews of Europe to Palestine in order to set them up as agents of European imperialism in Asia. Their call would be espoused by many “anti-Semites”, a new label chosen by European anti-Jewish racists after its invention in 1879 by a minor Viennese journalist by the name of Wilhelm Marr, who issued a political programme titled The Victory of Judaism over Germanism . Marr was careful to decouple anti-Semitism from the history of Christian hatred of Jews on the basis of religion, emphasising, in line with Semitic philology and racial theories of the 19th century, that the distinction to be made between Jews and Aryans was strictly racial.

Assimilating Jews into European culture

Scientific anti-Semitism insisted that the Jews were different from Christian Europeans. Indeed that the Jews were not European at all and that their very presence in Europe is what causes anti-Semitism. The reason why Jews caused so many problems for European Christians had to do with their alleged rootlessness, that they lacked a country, and hence country-based loyalty. In the Romantic age of European nationalisms, anti-Semites argued that Jews did not fit in the new national configurations, and disrupted national and racial purity essential to most European nationalisms. This is why if the Jews remained in Europe, the anti-Semites argued, they could only cause hostility among Christian Europeans. The only solution was for the Jews to exit from Europe and have their own country. Needless to say, religious and secular Jews opposed this horrific anti-Semitic line of thinking. Orthodox and Reform Jews, Socialist and Communist Jews, cosmopolitan and Yiddishkeit cultural Jews, all agreed that this was a dangerous ideology of hostility that sought the expulsion of Jews from their European homelands.

 

The Jewish Haskalah , or Enlightenment, which emerged also in the 19th century, sought to assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture and have them shed their Jewish culture. It was the Haskalah that sought to break the hegemony of Orthodox Jewish rabbis on the “Ostjuden” of the East European shtetl and to shed what it perceived as a “medieval” Jewish culture in favour of the modern secular culture of European Christians. Reform Judaism, as a Christian- and Protestant-like variant of Judaism, would emerge from the bosom of the Haskalah. This assimilationist programme, however, sought to integrate Jews in European modernity, not to expel them outside Europe’s geography.

When Zionism started a decade and a half after Marr’s anti-Semitic programme was published, it would espouse all these anti-Jewish ideas, including scientific anti-Semitism as valid. For Zionism, Jews were “Semites”, who were descendants of the ancient Hebrews. In his foundational pamphlet Der Judenstaat, Herzl explained that it was Jews, not their Christian enemies, who “cause” anti-Semitism and that “where it does not exist, [anti-Semitism] is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations”, indeed that “the unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America”; that Jews were a “nation” that should leave Europe to restore their “nationhood” in Palestine or Argentina; that Jews must emulate European Christians culturally and abandon their living languages and traditions in favour of modern European languages or a restored ancient national language. Herzl preferred that all Jews adopt German, while the East European Zionists wanted Hebrew. Zionists after Herzl even agreed and affirmed that Jews were separate racially from Aryans. As for Yiddish , the living language of most European Jews, all Zionists agreed that it should be abandoned.

The majority of Jews continued to resist Zionism and understood its precepts as those of anti-Semitism and as a continuation of the Haskalah quest to shed Jewish culture and assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture, except that Zionism sought the latter not inside Europe but at a geographical remove following the expulsion of Jews from Europe. The Bund , or the General Jewish Labor Union in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia, which was founded in Vilna in early October 1897, a few weeks after the convening of the first Zionist Congress in Basel in late August 1897, would become Zionism’s fiercest enemy. The Bund joined the existing anti-Zionist Jewish coalition of Orthodox and Reform rabbis who had combined forces a few months earlier to prevent Herzl from convening the first Zionist Congress in Munich, which forced him to move it to Basel. Jewish anti-Zionism across Europe and in the United States had the support of the majority of Jews who continued to view Zionism as an anti-Jewish movement well into the 1940s.

Anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts

Realising that its plan for the future of European Jews was in line with those of anti-Semites, Herzl strategised early on an alliance with the latter. He declared in Der Judenstaat that :

He added that “not only poor Jews” would contribute to an immigration fund for European Jews, “but also Christians who wanted to get rid of them”. Herzl unapologetically confided in his Diaries that :

Thus when Herzl began to meet in 1903 with infamous anti-Semites like the Russian minister of the interior Vyacheslav von Plehve , who oversaw anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, it was an alliance that he sought by design. That it would be the anti-Semitic Lord Balfour, who as Prime Minister of Britain in 1905 oversaw his government’s Aliens Act, which prevented East European Jews fleeing Russian pogroms from entering Britain in order, as he put it, to save the country from the “undoubted evils” of “an immigration which was largely Jewish”, was hardy coincidental. Balfour’s infamous Declaration of 1917 to create in Palestine a “national home” for the “Jewish people”, was designed, among other things, to curb Jewish support for the Russian Revolution and to stem the tide of further unwanted Jewish immigrants into Britain.

The Nazis would not be an exception in this anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts. Indeed, the Zionists would strike a deal with the Nazis very early in their history. It was in 1933 that the infamous Transfer ( Ha’avara ) Agreement was signed between the Zionists and the Nazi government to facilitate the transfer of German Jews and their property to Palestine and which broke the international Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany started by American Jews. It was in this spirit that Zionist envoys were dispatched to Palestine to report on the successes of Jewish colonization of the country. Adolf Eichmann returned from his 1937 trip to Palestine full of fantastic stories about the achievements of the racially-separatist Ashkenazi Kibbutz, one of which he visited on Mount Carmel as a guest of the Zionists.

Despite the overwhelming opposition of most German Jews, it was the Zionist Federation of Germany that was the only Jewish group that supported the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 , as they agreed with the Nazis that Jews and Aryans were separate and separable races. This was not a tactical support but one based on ideological similitude. The Nazis’ Final Solution initially meant the expulsion of Germany’s Jews to Madagascar. It is this shared goal of expelling Jews from Europe as a separate unassimilable race that created the affinity between Nazis and Zionists all along.

While the majority of Jews continued to resist the anti-Semitic basis of Zionism and its alliances with anti-Semites, the Nazi genocide not only killed 90 percent of European Jews, but in the process also killed the majority of Jewish enemies of Zionism who died precisely because they refused to heed the Zionist call of abandoning their countries and homes.

 

After the War, the horror at the Jewish holocaust did not stop European countries from supporting the anti-Semitic programme of Zionism. On the contrary, these countries shared with the Nazis a predilection for Zionism. They only opposed Nazism’s genocidal programme. European countries, along with the United States, refused to take in hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors of the holocaust. In fact, these countries voted against a UN resolution introduced by the Arab states in 1947 calling on them to take in the Jewish survivors, yet these same countries would be the ones who would support the United Nations Partition Plan of November 1947 to create a Jewish State in Palestine to which these unwanted Jewish refugees could be expelled.

 

The pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis

The United States and European countries, including Germany, would continue the pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis. Post-War West German governments that presented themselves as opening a new page in their relationship with Jews in reality did no such thing. Since the establishment of the country after WWII, every West German government (and every German government since unification in1990) has continued the pro-Zionist Nazi policies unabated. There was never a break with Nazi pro-Zionism. The only break was with the genocidal and racial hatred of Jews that Nazism consecrated, but not with the desire to see Jews set up in a country in Asia, away from Europe. Indeed, the Germans would explain that much of the money they were sending to Israel was to help offset the costs of resettling European Jewish refugees in the country.

After World War II, a new consensus emerged in the United States and Europe that Jews had to be integrated posthumously into white Europeanness, and that the horror of the Jewish holocaust was essentially a horror at the murder of white Europeans. Since the 1960s, Hollywood films about the holocaust began to depict Jewish victims of Nazism as white Christian-looking, middle class, educated and talented people not unlike contemporary European and American Christians who should and would identify with them. Presumably if the films were to depict the poor religious Jews of Eastern Europe (and most East European Jews who were killed by the Nazis were poor and many were religious), contemporary white Christians would not find commonality with them. Hence, the post-holocaust European Christian horror at the genocide of European Jews was not based on the horror of slaughtering people in the millions who were different from European Christians, but rather a horror at the murder of millions of people who were the same as European Christians. This explains why in a country like the United States, which had nothing to do with the slaughter of European Jews, there exists upwards of 40 holocaust memorials and a major museum for the murdered Jews of Europe, but not one for the holocaust of Native Americans or African Americans for which the US is responsible.

Aimé Césaire understood this process very well. In his famous speech on colonialism, he affirmed that the retrospective view of European Christians about Nazism is that

That for Césaire the Nazi wars and holocaust were European colonialism turned inwards is true enough. But since the rehabilitation of Nazism’s victims as white people, Europe and its American accomplice would continue their Nazi policy of visiting horrors on non-white people around the world, on Korea, on Vietnam and Indochina, on Algeria, on Indonesia, on Central and South America, on Central and Southern Africa, on Palestine, on Iran, and on Iraq and Afghanistan.

The rehabilitation of European Jews after WWII was a crucial part of US Cold War propaganda. As American social scientists and ideologues developed the theory of “totalitarianism”, which posited Soviet Communism and Nazism as essentially the same type of regime, European Jews, as victims of one totalitarian regime, became part of the atrocity exhibition that American and West European propaganda claimed was like the atrocities that the Soviet regime was allegedly committing in the pre- and post-War periods. That Israel would jump on the bandwagon by accusing the Soviets of anti-Semitism for their refusal to allow Soviet Jewish citizens to self-expel and leave to Israel was part of the propaganda.

Commitment to white supremacy

It was thus that the European and US commitment to white supremacy was preserved, except that it now included Jews as part of “white” people, and what came to be called “Judeo-Christian” civilisation. European and American policies after World War II, which continued to be inspired and dictated by racism against Native Americans, Africans, Asians, Arabs and Muslims, and continued to support Zionism’s anti-Semitic programme of assimilating Jews into whiteness in a colonial settler state away from Europe, were a direct continuation of anti-Semitic policies prevalent before the War. It was just that much of the anti-Semitic racialist venom would now be directed at Arabs and Muslims (both, those who are immigrants and citizens in Europe and the United States and those who live in Asia and Africa) while the erstwhile anti-Semitic support for Zionism would continue unhindered.

 

West Germany’s alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s. In the 1960s, West Germany even provided military training to Israeli soldiers and since the 1970s has provided Israel with nuclear-ready German-made submarines with which Israel hopes to kill more Arabs and Muslims. Israel has in recent years armed the most recent German-supplied submarines with nuclear tipped cruise missiles, a fact that is well known to the current German government. Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Der SPIEGEL in 2012 that Germans should be “proud” that they have secured the existence of the state of Israel “for many years”. Berlin financed one-third of the cost of the submarines, around 135 million euros ($168 million) per submarine, and has allowed Israel to defer its payment until 2015. That this makes Germany an accomplice in the dispossession of the Palestinians is of no more concern to current German governments than it was in the 1960s to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who affirmed that “the Federal Republic has neither the right nor the responsibility to take a position on the Palestinian refugees”.

This is to be added to the massive billions that Germany has paid to the Israeli government as compensation for the holocaust, as if Israel and Zionism were the victims of Nazism, when in reality it was anti-Zionist Jews who were killed by the Nazis. The current German government does not care about the fact that even those German Jews who fled the Nazis and ended up in Palestine hated Zionism and its project and were hated in turn by Zionist colonists in Palestine. As German refugees in 1930s and 1940s Palestine refused to learn Hebrew and published half a dozen German newspapers in the country, they were attacked by the Hebrew press, including by Haartez, which called for the closure of their newspapers in 1939 and again in 1941. Zionist colonists attacked a German-owned café in Tel Aviv because its Jewish owners refused to speak Hebrew, and the Tel Aviv municipality threatened in June 1944 some of its German Jewish residents for holding in their home on 21 Allenby street “parties and balls entirely in the German language, including programmes that are foreign to the spirit of our city” and that this would “not be tolerated in Tel Aviv”. German Jews, or Yekkes as they were known in the Yishuv, would even organise a celebration of the Kaiser’s birthday in 1941 (for these and more details about German Jewish refugees in Palestine, read Tom Segev’s book The Seventh Million).

Add to that Germany’s support for Israeli policies against Palestinians at the United Nations, and the picture becomes complete. Even the new holocaust memorial built in Berlin that opened in 2005 maintains Nazi racial apartheid, as this “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” is only for Jewish victims of the Nazis who must still today be set apart, as Hitler mandated, from the other millions of non-Jews who also fell victim to Nazism. That a subsidiary of the German company Degussa, which collaborated with the Nazis and which produced the Zyklon B gas that was used to kill people in the gas chambers, was contracted to build the memorial was anything but surprising, as it simply confirms that those who killed Jews in Germany in the late 1930s and in the 1940s now regret what they had done because they now understand Jews to be white Europeans who must be commemorated and who should not have been killed in the first place on account of their whiteness. The German policy of abetting the killing of Arabs by Israel, however, is hardly unrelated to this commitment to anti-Semitism, which continues through the predominant contemporary anti-Muslim German racism that targets Muslim immigrants.

Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition

The Jewish holocaust killed off the majority of Jews who fought and struggled against European anti-Semitism, including Zionism. With their death, the only remaining “Semites” who are fighting against Zionism and its anti-Semitism today are the Palestinian people. Whereas Israel insists that European Jews do not belong in Europe and must come to Palestine, the Palestinians have always insisted that the homelands of European Jews were their European countries and not Palestine, and that Zionist colonialism springs from its very anti-Semitism. Whereas Zionism insists that Jews are a race separate from European Christians, the Palestinians insist that European Jews are nothing if not European and have nothing to do with Palestine, its people, or its culture. What Israel and its American and European allies have sought to do in the last six and a half decades is to convince Palestinians that they too must become anti-Semites and believe as the Nazis, Israel, and its Western anti-Semitic allies do, that Jews are a race that is different from European races, that Palestine is their country, and that Israel speaks for all Jews. That the two largest American pro-Israel voting blocks today are Millenarian Protestants and secular imperialists continues the very same Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition that extends back to the Protestant Reformation and 19th century imperialism. But the Palestinians have remained unconvinced and steadfast in their resistance to anti-Semitism.

 

Israel and its anti-Semitic allies affirm that Israel is “the Jewish people”, that its policies are “Jewish” policies, that its achievements are “Jewish” achievements, that its crimes are “Jewish” crimes, and that therefore anyone who dares to criticise Israel is criticising Jews and must be an anti-Semite. The Palestinian people have mounted a major struggle against this anti-Semitic incitement. They continue to affirm instead that the Israeli government does not speak for all Jews, that it does not represent all Jews, and that its colonial crimes against the Palestinian people are its own crimes and not the crimes of “the Jewish people”, and that therefore it must be criticised, condemned and prosecuted for its ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people. This is not a new Palestinian position, but one that was adopted since the turn of the 20th century and continued throughout the pre-WWII Palestinian struggle against Zionism. Yasser Arafat’s speech at the United Nations in 1974 stressed all these points vehemently:

Israel’s claim that its critics must be anti-Semites presupposes that its critics believe its claims that it represents “the Jewish people”. But it is Israel’s claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all.

Today, Israel and the Western powers want to elevate anti-Semitism to an international principle around which they seek to establish full consensus. They insist that for there to be peace in the Middle East, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must become, like the West, anti-Semites by espousing Zionism and recognising Israel’s anti-Semitic claims. Except for dictatorial Arab regimes and the Palestinian Authority and its cronies, on this 65th anniversary of the anti-Semitic conquest of Palestine by the Zionists, known to Palestinians as the Nakba , the Palestinian people and the few surviving anti-Zionist Jews continue to refuse to heed this international call and incitement to anti-Semitism. They affirm that they are, as the last of the Semites, the heirs of the pre-WWII Jewish and Palestinian struggles against anti-Semitism and its Zionist colonial manifestation. It is their resistance that stands in the way of a complete victory for European anti-Semitism in the Middle East and the world at large.

Joseph Massad teaches Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians.

Book Review: ‘Becoming Eichmann’ by David Cesarani

Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk
Murderer," by David Cesarani, London and Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2006. 368
pages. Glossary and Abbreviations to p. 372. Notes to p. 423. Sources and
Bibliography to p. 442. Acknowledgments to p. 444. Index to p. 446. $27.50 cloth.

Reviewed by Lenni Brenner, Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring 2007

David Cesarani is a well-publicized British holocaust historian, but the
inadequacy of his present work will be obvious to the field's scholars. He wages
trivial battle against some commentators on Eichmann and totally evades others.
He gives little important new information on Eichmann, nor does he correct
his own previous errors. In spite of Da Capo Press's jacket claim that "Cesarani
. . . reveals [Eichmann's] initially cordial working relationship with
Zionist Jews in Germany," in fact he omits many of Eichmann's previously published
statements that may embarrass Zionism (or Cesarani himself). Indeed, the true
Eichmann rarely makes a full appearance in his latest biography.

Cesarani devotes much of his book to attacking ex-Zionist Hannah Arendt's
celebrated Eichmann in Jerusalem report on his 1961 trial and her famous
"banality of evil" description of him. Defending Zionism against her critique drives
him to denounce her as "deeply prejudiced. She came from the German Jewish
bourgeoisie that had long nurtured a contempt for the Jews of Poland and Russia."
He rages against "her nasty, stereotypical comments about Jews. (p. 345) He
complains of Arendt's accusations of Zionist collaboration with Eichmann, a
topic his trial's prosecution didn't dare touch. "She claimed it deliberately
avoided instances of Jewish cooperation with the Nazis, notably by Zionist
organizations" (p. 348). But he doesn't explain why many eastern Jews agree with her
description of Zionist misleadership. Indeed he doesn't dare quote her
directly on the 1930s Zionist-Nazi collaboration, when

Eichmann learned his lessons about Jews. . . . Hitler's rise to power appear
ed to the Zionists chiefly as "the decisive defeat of assimilationism". . . .
Zionists too believed that "dissimulation," combined with the emigration to
Palestine of Jewish youngsters and, they hoped, Jewish capitalists, could be a
"mutually fair solution" . . . . The result was that in the thirties, when
American Jewry took great pains to organize a boycott of German merchandise,
Palestine, of all places, was swamped with all kinds of goods "made in Germany."
(Eichmann in Jerusalem, pp. 58-60, 62)

In 1937, Labor Zionist Feivel Polkes invited Eichmann to Palestine. On 2
October 1937, the Nazi visited a kibbutz. Realizing he was a German agent, the
British deported him to Egypt, where he eventually met Polkes, who offered to spy
for Germany in return for loosened currency restrictions for Zionists.

In 1944, Labor Zionist Reszo Kasztner (a.k.a. Rudolph Kastner) negotiated
with Eichmann, offering silence on Nazi plans to deport 750,000 Hungarian Jews to
Auschwitz in return for Eichmann's promise to send prominent Jews to
Switzerland. In 1946, Kasztner reported his activities to the World Zionist
Organization. In 1953, the Israeli government on Kasztner's behalf sued a Hungarian Jew
for libeling Kasztner as a Nazi collaborator, but the judge found him a
collaborator. He was assassinated by right-wing Zionists but the Labor-Zionist
dominated Supreme Court ruled posthumously on his appeal. He didn't collaborate
because "no law . . . lays down the duties of a leader in an hour of emergency
toward those who rely on leadership and are under his instructions" (Ben Hecht,
Perfidy, p. 272). But he did perjure himself in a Nuremberg affidavit on
behalf of an SS man.

In 1955, hiding in Argentina, Eichmann discussed Palestine and Kasztner on
tape. After his capture in 1960, Life magazine published excerpts. On the
kibbutz in 1937, he

did see enough to be very impressed by the way the Jewish colonists were
building up their land. I admired their desperate will to live, the more so since
I was myself an idealist. In the years that followed I often said to Jews with
whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical
Zionist. I could not imagine being anything else. In fact, I would have been the
most ardent Zionist imaginable." ("Eichmann Tells His Own Damning Story," Life
[28 November 1960], p. 22).

He described Kasztner as

a fanatical Zionist. He agreed to help keep the Jews from resisting
deportation — and even keep order in the collection camps — if I would close my eyes
and let a few hundred or a few thousand young Jews emigrate illegally to
Palestine. It was a good bargain. For keeping order in the camps, the price of
15,000 or 20,000 Jews — in the end there may have been more — was not too high
for me. And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the
deportation camps peaceful, I would let his groups escape" ("I Transported Them
to the Butcher," Life [5 Dec. 1960], p. 146).

Neither stunning quote is in Becoming Eichmann.

In 1961, Ben Hecht, a celebrated American journalist and Zionist, wrote
Perfidy (Julian Messner, 1961) about the libel trial. His quotes from the judge's
decision attracted worldwide attention: "Eichmann did not want a second Warsaw.
For this reason, the Nazis exerted themselves to mislead and bribe the Jewish
leaders. The personality of Rudolph Kastner made him a convenient catspaw for
Eichmann and his clique" (Perfidy, p. 179). But Hecht and Perfidy are not
listed in Cesarani's sources and bibliography.

In 1983, my Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, which detailed Kasztner's
collaboration and the libel trial, was published in Britain. In 1987, Jim Allen
used it and Perfidy in writing his play Perdition. The Zionist establishment,
using Cesarani's "Perdition, by Jim Allen: A Report," drove the play out of a
London theatre, two days before its scheduled opening. Cesarani admitted that
Allen cited "evidence of a symbiosis of Zionism and Nazi ideas about the volk,
etc." But "Racial theories permeated all ideologies at this time, and it is
banal to observe that Zionism was expressed in, and legitimated according to,
the discourse available. Zionism could not have transcended the thought of the
period" (David Cesarani, "Perdition, by Jim Allen: A Report," p. 5).

The show biz purge generated such attention that a nationwide, prime time TV
debate was organized. Allen, Marion Woolfson, and I took on Stephen Roth, who
worked with Kasztner, historian Martin Gilbert, and Rabbi Hugo Gryn, an
Auschwitz survivor. Ultimately Cesarani confessed, in London's 3 July 1987 Jewish
Chronicle, that the public thought the theatre "had been bullied into censoring
the play." Nothing of this is in Cesarani's present book. The Essential Lenny
Bruce is listed in the bibliography for an Eichmann joke, but apparently
Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, Jim Allen, Perdition, and Cesarani's report do
not merit mention.

Cesarani admits that Fritz Bauer, Attorney General of Hesse, West Germany,
discovered that Eichmann was hiding in Buenos Aires. "Yet the Israelis showed
remarkably little interest in pursuing the leads . . . they practically had to
be led to the fugitive Nazi" (p. 14). When they caught him, they "skirted round
sensitive issues such as the contact between Zionists and Eichmann in the
1930s, and the negotiations over the fate of the Hungarian Jews in 1944 that
involved Ben-Gurion himself" (p. 14).

But this isn't fast breaking news. In 1973, Andreas Biss, who worked with
Kasztner, wrote of his offer to testify against Eichmann, whom he had contact
with in Budapest. A date was set until the prosecutor learned that Biss would
defend Kasztner's role. The prosecutor asked Biss "especially to pass over in
silence what was then in Israel called 'the Kasztner affair'" (Andreas Biss, A
Million Jews to Save, p. 231). He refused and was dropped as a witness. Biss's
book is in Cesarani's bibliography, but he goes unmentioned in the text.

Zionism is a major theme in Eichmann's life from 1935, when he read Theodor
Herzl and studied Hebrew, through the 1944-45 Hungarian slaughter. It again
became part of his life with the 1950s libel trial and tapes. Then he was
captured, tried and executed by Israel in 1962. Reading him and about him raises
questions for general readers and specialists: What made Zionism so attractive to
him? Who in the Zionist establishment did Polkes report to regarding his
negotiations? Why wasn't Israel looking for Eichmann after the libel trial? Had the
prosecutor asked, what would he have testified about Kasztner, who Israel's
high court declared wasn't a collaborator? Cesarani tells us that a Zionist
historian "begged for a stay of execution on the grounds that it would folly to
kill such a unique witness to history" (p. 320). Why weren't historians allowed
to query him in depth before his execution (which of course was justice
served)?

In 1947-8, many UN delegations and much of world opinion supported Israel's
creation because of what Hitler had done to the Jews. Few, Jew or gentile, knew
what Zionists did or didn't do for the Jews. By now, Cesarani knows both. But
he came upon Zionism's shameful relations with Eichmann as a Zionist zealot
and has, for decades, consistently applied his ideology to the facts, instead
of fact checking his beliefs. He grudgingly accepts the reality of repeated
collaboration, but he refuses to treat it systematically. The 14 May 2006 New
York Times is correct: Cesarani is "a writer in control neither of his material
nor of himself." For all his rage against Arendt personally and her expose of
Zionism, when it comes to interpreting Eichmann, nominally the topic of his
book, the Times was correct: "what is striking is how far [Cesarani's] research
goes to reinforce [Arendt's] fundamental arguments."

Photo of Nazi medal commemorating Zionist collaboration with Hitler

"A NAZI TRAVELS T0 PALESTINE AND TELLS ABOUT IT IN THE ASSAULT"

Photo of Nazi medal commemorating Zionist collaboration with Hitler


It is only natural that contemporaries should be skeptical when they first
hear accusations that Zionists collaborated with Hitler. Israel is constantly at war. The public projects Zionist pugnacity back onto the holocaust era and assumes that the World Zionist Organization opposed Nazism after Hitler came to power in 1933. In fact the opposite is true and it easily documented.

In 1983, London's Croom Helm Ltd. published my first book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators.

www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/index.htm

A London Times review declared that "Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler's." The book attracted similar favorable scholarly comments, worldwide. Naturally specialist interest moved on in the subsequent decades, but today, thanks to the internet, unique visual confirmation of that collaboration has come to my attention and it is presented now to the public.

I related how Kurt Tuchler, a member of the German Zionist Federation
Executive,

"persuaded Baron Leopold Itz Edler von Mildenstein of the SS to write a
pro-Zionist piece for the Nazi press. The Baron agreed on the condition that he visited Palestine first, and two months after Hitler came to power the two men and their wives went to Palestine; von Mildenstein stayed there for six months before he returned….

Von Mildenstein… wrote favorably about what he saw in the Zionist colonies in Palestine; he also persuaded Goebbels to run the report as a massive twelve-part series in his own Der Angriff (The Assault), the leading Nazi propaganda organ (9/26-10/9/34)…. To commemorate the Baron's expedition, Goebbels had a medal struck: on one side the swastika, on the other the Zionist star."

I never located the medal. But in 2003 John Sigler, like myself an
anti-Zionist Jew, found an image and description in a closed mail-bid coin sale. He bought a bronze version. A silvered token appeared in 2005. Silvering is often done to medals. It is about 1.5" in diameter and is thicker than a coin. There is no doubt re authenticity. John bought his bronze from the same respected coin dealer.

Recently John sent me a photo of the silvered bronze, for which I am very
grateful. The Star of David side reads:

EIN NAZI F

Zionists opposed to US offering asylum to Jews

Zionists opposed to US offering asylum to Jews

From "What Price Israel" (excerpt)

By Alfred Lilienthal
from http://www.alfredlilienthal.com/what_price_israel_2.htm

President Roosevelt was deeply concerned with the plight of the European refugees and thought that all the free nations of the world ought to accept a certain number of immigrants, irrespective of race, creed, color or political belief. The President hoped that the rescue of 500,000 Displaced Persons could be achieved by such a generous grant of a worldwide political asylum. In line with this humanitarian idea, Morris Ernst, New York attorney and close friend of the President [A Jewish cofounder of what became the ACLU – MQ] went to London in the middle of the war to see if the British would take in 100,000 or 200,000 uprooted people. The President had reasons to assume that Canada, Australia and the South American countries would gladly open their doors. And if such good examples were set by other nations, Mr. Roosevelt felt that the American Congress could be "educated to go back to our traditional position of asylum." The key was in London. Would Morris Ernst succeed there? Mr. Ernst came home to report, and this is what took place in the White House (as related by Mr. Ernst to a Cincinnati audience in 1950):

Ernst: "We are at home plate. That little island [and it was during the second Blitz that he visited England] on a properly representative program of a World Immigration Budget, will match the United States up to 150,000.

Roosevelt: "150,000 to England?150,000 to match that in the United States?pick up 200,000 or 300,000 elsewhere, and we can start with half a million of these oppressed people."

A week later, or so, Mr. Ernst and his wife again visited the President.

Roosevelt (turning to Mrs. Ernst): "Margaret, can't you get me a Jewish Pope? I cannot stand it any more. I have got to be careful that when Stevie Wise leaves the White House he doesn't see Joe Proskauer on the way in." Then, to Mr. Ernst: "Nothing doing on the program. We can't put it over because the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won't stand for it."

"It's impossible! Why?" asked Ernst.

Roosevelt: "They are right from their point of view. The Zionist movement knows that Palestine is, and will be for some time, a remittance society. They know that they can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, 'There is no other place this poor Jew can go.' But if there is a world political asylum for all people irrespective of race, creed or color, they cannot raise their money. Then the people who do not want to give the money will have an excuse to say 'What do you mean, there is no place they can go but Palestine? They are the preferred wards of the world."

Morris Ernst, shocked, first refused to believe his leader and friend. He began to lobby among his influential Jewish friends for this world program of rescue, without mentioning the President's or the British reaction. As he himself has put it: "I was thrown out of parlors of friends of mine who very frankly said 'Morris, this is treason. You are undermining the Zionist movement.' " He ran into the same reaction amongst all Jewish groups and their leaders. Everywhere he found "a deep, genuine, often fanatically emotional vested interest in putting over the Palestinian movement" in men "who are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own."
This response of Zionism ended the remarkable Roosevelt effort to rescue Europe's Displaced Persons.
END QUOTE

Rudolph Vrba, Auschwitz escapee who told the world, dies in B.C.

Obituary

Auschwitz escapee who told the world dies in B.C.

MARK HUME
Theglobeandmail.com (Canada), 31 March 2006

VANCOUVER — When Rudolph Vrba fled Auschwitz in the spring of 1944, he made what may have been the most monumental escape of all time, slipping past Nazi guards and attack dogs that were trained to rip prisoners to pieces.

Although his life ended quietly this week in Vancouver, where he succumbed to cancer at age 82, his escape shook the world 62 years ago because of the secret he and a fellow prisoner revealed.

They told the world about Auschwitz.

Dr. Vrba’s feat was remarkable not merely because of what he did — managing, with prisoner Alfred Wetzler, to confound a Nazi security system that killed hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Jewish prisoners — but because of why he did it.

He did not flee to save his own life. He made the suicidal escape bid, which succeeded against all odds, to warn Hungarian Jews that they were about to be rounded up by the SS and sent to the gas chambers.

He and Mr. Wetzler, who died in Slovakia in 1988, brought the first eyewitness accounts of Auschwitz-Birkenau, writing a shocking and detailed report about what was taking place in the death camp.

Although their warning, which became known as the Auschwitz Protocols, was delayed in its release until after mass transports of Hungarian Jews had started, Dr. Vrba and Mr. Wetzler are widely credited with sounding an alarm that saved 100,000 lives.

Ruth Linn, dean of education at Haifa University in Israel, and author of a book about Dr. Vrba’s experiences, described the emeritus professor of pharmacology at the University of British Columbia yesterday as a hero.

"We have lost a rare history maker that the history tellers are yet to find the right words to describe," she said in an e-mail.

"Dr. Vrba was an exemplary courageous hero and warrior, an independent thinker who had never feared confronting the establishment.

"He was a scholar who knew the power of knowledge, a person who believed that the deportees to Auschwitz should have been given that power too. He believed that if they knew the fate [that] awaits them upon arrival in Auschwitz, many lives would have been saved. He promised himself to bring them that knowledge, and he kept his promise."

Bernie Farber, CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he first heard Dr. Vrba speak about his experiences in Auschwitz when he appeared as a prosecution witness in Ernst Zundel’s 1985 hate trial.

"There are very few stories from those that were actually there . . . [and] his story was breathtaking," Mr. Farber said yesterday.

"He had what’s been described as a photographic memory. He was able to recall the numbers of those who were killed. He was able to give eyewitness testimony that was unshakable, and he played a pivotal role in Zundel’s conviction. . . . He was able to tell the story with such clarity that people were able to understand the Holocaust."

Dr. Vrba, born in 1924 in Slovakia, was among those rounded up by the Nazis in 1942 and sent to the death camp of Majdanker. A few months later, he was transferred to Auschwitz.

"He was imprisoned in the main camp and was put to work in ‘Kanada,’ the camp name for the work detail that had the gruesome task of removing the dead from newly arrived trains, gathering the luggage and sorting it for the rapacious Nazi killers," journalist Paul Lungen wrote in a profile in The Canadian Jewish News last year.

From the main Auschwitz camp, Dr. Vrba was transferred to Birkenau, a satellite camp four kilometres away, the final stop for hundreds of thousands of Jews.

"On arrival, survivors were split by sex into two groups, and then Nazi doctors, headed by Josef Mengele, made a selection. With a casual thumb pointing to the left, a prisoner or an entire family would be consigned to the gas chambers and immediate death. Those sent to the right would be registered, tattooed and shaved and then, most often, be subjected to slave labour," wrote Mr. Lungen.

Dr. Vrba was one of the lucky ones. He went to the right and was given a number of jobs that allowed him to roam throughout the camp.

"As a result, he was able to witness and document the killing process first-hand," reported The Canadian Jewish News.

"From August, 1942, to June, 1943, he worked in Kanada and was present at the arrival of nearly all train transports. During that time, he committed to memory each transport, its place of origin and the number of arrivals."

By April, 1944, Dr. Vrba had calculated that 1.7-million Jews had been killed in the death camps. And from guards he’d overhead, he knew that the number was going to climb, with "a million units" expected to arrive from Hungary.

Dr. Vrba and Mr. Wetzler, knowing they would be tortured to death if caught, escaped by hiding in a space that had been hollowed out inside a pile of construction lumber just outside Birkenau’s barbed-wire inner perimeter. Each day, prisoners were allowed out to the construction site under the watchful eye of guards. At night they were herded back inside the inner camp.

From watching other unsuccessful escape attempts, Dr. Vrba knew that once their absence was detected in an evening count, guards would search the outer area for three days. So he and Mr. Wetzler, their scent masked from guard dogs by tobacco sprinkled with gasoline, huddled in their hiding spot until the night of the third day before slipping away. They made their way under darkness to the Sola River, and, using a map Dr. Vrba had torn from a child’s atlas inside Birkenau, eventually crossed the Slovakian border and made contact with the Slovak Jewish Council.

Their warnings about Auschwitz were dutifully recorded and sent to Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland, but their report was not passed on immediately to the general Jewish population in Hungary.

"A month later, nearly half a million Jews were deported to their deaths. None of them knew what was in store for them. As a result, Vrba and Wetzler concluded that their information had been suppressed. Vrba, for one, remains convinced that if the intended victims had been warned, they would have resisted or hid or fled. The tragedy of the Hungarian Jewry would have taken a very different course," John Conway, a UBC emeritus professor of history and a friend of Dr. Vrba’s, has written.

Dr. Vrba leaves his wife, Robin Vrba, his daughter, Zuza, of Cambridge, England, his granddaughter, Hannah, his grandson, Jan, and nephews Stefan Horny, of Montreal, and Jan Horny, of Tuttlingen, Germany. He died on Monday.

Rudolf Vrba’s escape from Auschwitz suppressed by Israeli Holocaust discourse

"Escaping Auschwitz: a Culture of Forgetting should explode like a multi-megaton bomb among scientists in general and historians in particular, not only in Israel, but all over the world. And it should alarm nonscientific readers, as well, so they start asking uncomfortable questions about people who write their history for them, and how." Peter Adler, The Jerusalem Post
ESCAPING AUSCHWITZ
A Culture of Forgetting
by Ruth Linn

Psychoanalysis and Social Theory

 $20.00t  cloth
 2004,  176 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4, 3 tables
 ISBN: 0-8014-4130-7   Quantity

Book Review

 On 7 April 1944 a Slovakian Jew, Rudolf Vrba (born Walter Rosenberg), and a fellow prisoner, Alfred Wetzler, succeeded in escaping from Auschwitz-Birkenau. As block registrars both men had been allowed relative (though always risky) freedom of movement in the camp and thus had been able to observe the massive preparations underway at Birkenau of the entire killing machine for the eradication of Europe’s last remaining Jewish community, the 800,000 Jews of Hungary. The two men somehow made their way back to Slovakia where they sought out the Jewish Council (Judenrat) to warn them of the impending disaster.

The Vrba-Wetzler report was the first document about the Auschwitz death camp to reach the free world and to be accepted as credible. Its authenticity broke the barrier of skepticism and apathy that had existed up to that point. However, though their critical and alarming assessment was in the hands of Hungarian Jewish leaders by April 28 or early May 1944, it is doubtful that the information it contained reached more than just a small part of the prospective victims?during May and June 1944, about 437,000 Hungarian Jews boarded, in good faith, the “resettlement? trains that were to carry them off to Auschwitz, where most of them were gassed on arrival.

Vrba, who emigrated to Canada at war’s end, published his autobiography in England nearly forty years ago. Yet his and Wetzler’s story has been carefully kept from Israel’s Hebrew-reading public and appears nowhere in any of the history texts that are part of the official curriculum. As Ruth Linn writes, “Israeli Holocaust historiography was to follow the spirit of the court’s policy at the Eichmann trial: silencing and removing challenging survivors from the gallery, and muting questions about the role of the Jewish Council in the deportations.”

In 1998 Linn arranged for publication of the first Hebrew edition of Vrb memoirs. In Escaping Auschwitz she establishes the chronology of Vrb disappearance not only from Auschwitz but also from the Israeli Holocaust narrative, skillfully exposing how the official Israeli historiography of the Holocaust has sought to suppress the story.

Review
 "When Rudolf Verba escaped from the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in April 1944, he did so not only to save his and co-escapee Alfred Wetzler’s life, he did so also to warn the more than half a million Hungarian Jews of their impending fate. . . . Knowing perfectly well that it was the secrecy surrounding their actions that allowed the Nazis to herd the unsuspecting Jews and transport them as sheep to slaughter, Verba and Wetzler?as soon as they got in touch with Jewish community representatives in their native Slovakia – compiled a detailed report. They wrote what Auschwitz was all about and what awaited the Hungarian Jews once they got there: immediate death by gassing. . . . Just as they were reading the Auschwitz Protocol – as the Vrba-Wetzler report would be known as?the Hungarian Jewish leaders were involved in delicate negotiations with high ranking SS officer Adolf Eichmann. On surface, they were trying to get a deal that would allow them, their families and their friends to leave Hungary unscathed, with most of their worldly possessions in tow, and in exchange, the Nazis would get trucks and other such material from the Allies. Some of the Hungarian Jewish leaders would later acknowledge that both sides described the talks as ‘blood for trucks’. . . . Escaping Auschwitz: a Culture of Forgetting should explode like a multi-megaton bomb among scientists in general and historians in particular, not only in Israel, but all over the world. And it should alarm nonscientific readers, as well, so they start asking uncomfortable questions about people who write their history for them, and how. . . . Neither the story of the Auschwitz Protocols nor the writings of Rudolf Vrba have ever been made part of any school curricula in Israel, and neither the Auschwitz Protocols or Rudolf Vrba’s writings have been published in Hebrew in Israel until the end of the last century, more than a half of a century after the fact. . . . Ruth Linn’s Escaping Auschwitz reads like a novel. It must have taken a lot of persistence and courage on her part to break through the establishment barriers, but she did it. And it took a lot of integrity on the part of Cornell University Press to publish this book. It deals with a most unpleasant topic, but it is one that must see the light of day. . . . Escaping Auschwitz: a Culture of Forgetting should be a must-have book in every school’s and academic establishment’s library, all over the world."”Peter Adler, The Jerusalem Post

"Linn reawakens the most painful issue that has agitated the Jewish community since the Holocaust: did Jewish organizations (Judenrat) abet the Nazis in killing their own people? The book is well documented and argued. Recommended."”Choice, April 2005
 “In her new book Ruth Linn describes a fascinating story of an escape from Auschwitz and the inability, or unwillingness, of the outside world to absorb an eyewitness account of the Holocaust. Escaping Auschwitz is an important contribution to the study of politics of memory.””Jan Gross, author of Neighbors

“Escaping Auschwitz is a first-rate treatment of a critically important event that might be called an emerging black hole: Vrb escape from Auschwitz and the aftermath within the context of Holocaust history. The book is exceptionally important in its discussion of how a country can engage in critical thinking about a morally problematic past and its analysis of the political forces that try to control that past.””Stephen Feinstein, Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota

About the Author
 Ruth Linn is Dean of the Faculty of Education at Haifa University, Israel. She is the author of Not Shooting and Not Crying: A Psychological Inquiry into Moral Disobedience (1989), Conscience at War: The Israeli Soldier as a Moral Critic (1996), and Mature Unwed Mothers: Narratives of Moral Resistance (2002).

Israeli government mulls revising youth trips to camps in Poland

Government mulls revising youth trips to camps in Poland

By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz (Israel), May 5, 2005

The Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Education are considering far-reaching changes to the youth pilgrimages to Poland. The Foreign Ministry says that the programs’ current format harms Israel-Poland relations and fosters alienation and hostility between Israelis and Poles. The Ministry of Education proposes an increase in encounters between young Israelis and Poles, but says the proposal has not yet received a satisfactory response from the Polish side.

A sense of the Polish attitude toward Israeli youth pilgrimages can be gleaned from the statement of Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem two months ago, when he met with Minister of Education Limor Livnat. Livnat announced at the meeting that during the current school year, a record 22,000 Israeli students will visit Poland.

President Kwasniewski responded: "What is important is what the youth see when they visit Poland. We think it is not enough to show what happened during the Holocaust – they need to know something about 800 years of Jewish life in Poland that preceded the tragedy."

The youth pilgrimages come up frequently at meetings between Polish and Israeli officials. The Poles say the trips present their country one-dimensionally, as a place that was and is still hostile to Jews. Others complain of the tours’ logistics, and say it is insulting that the Israeli groups travel around Poland in isolation, avoiding contact with local youth and leaders. The heavy security that surrounds the groups only worsens this impression.

Foreign Ministry officials say that most of the complaints are justified. As a result, the trips’ current format has been increasingly questioned recently. One Israeli diplomat told Haaretz that he objects to continuing the trips to Poland, despite their importance in strengthening Jewish and Israeli identity.

"The Poles complain that we minimize the Germans’ role in the Holocaust, as though the concentration camps were Polish," the diplomat said. "It is true that the Holocaust took place mostly in Poland, but often the Poles are presented as having as much responsibility for the Holocaust as the Germans," he said …

Over the past few years, the Poland trips have received criticism from various quarters. Researchers say the trips fail to transmit universal values such as tolerance for the other and education against harming minorities. Most studies agree that the principal lesson learned on the trips is that without a strong Israel and a strong army, there can be no guarantee for a future Jewish existence …

The Poland youth tours are unique in the world, because of the project’s size and the extent of government intervention. Launched in 1988 by then-Education Minister Amnon Rubinstein, 350,000 young Israelis have participated in the tours. The number of participants has grown from several thousand to more than 20,000 each year …

Researchers have found that the trips tend to foster national and Zionist values for the most part, and to a much lesser degree – universal pan-human values. A study conducted by Hava Schechter found that the trips radicalize the youth who participate.

Adi Ophir says that the nature of the trips are determined by the organizers’ profit motives to a great degree, and by a quasi-religious belief in the need for a strong Israel. He says both interfere with using the trips to encourage serious discussion of the moral issues evoked by the tour.

Dr. Jackie Feldman of Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva is one of the tours most trenchant critics. Feldman, who participated in several tours in the 1990’s, describes them as pilgrimages of "Zionist civil religion," where students are inculcated with the message that Israel is the only safe place for Jews, in a world steeped in anti-Semitism.

Feldman says that the lack of encounters with Poles and the strict security arrangements foster a sense of threat and hatred toward Poles which engenders statements such as, "Nothing changes. Poles are the same anti-Semites as before." The lack of encounters with local Jews reinforces the message that the only natural place for Jews to live is Israel, he says."
 

Holocaust Religion and Holocaust Industry in the Service of Israel

Shraga Elam
 
Holocaust Religion and Holocaust Industry in the Service of Israel

 
http://stateofnature.org/holocaustReligion.html

Revised version of an article first published in Between the Lines, February 2001
State of Nature, Autumn 2005 (12th September 2005)

The Nazi Judeocide [1] played and continues to play a major role in the Arab/Israeli conflict. On the one hand, it is unfortunately a commonly held Arab position that this Judeocide is merely one of many bogus Zionist postures to manipulate world public opinion. On the other hand, not less sadly, many Jews insist upon the uniqueness of this catastrophe (in Hebrew, ‘shoa’) and believe that it demonstrates beyond doubt the necessity of a Jewish state; and had there been one during WWII, this genocide would not have taken place. Moreover, it is claimed that only a militarily strong Israel can prevent such a catastrophe from recurring. Accordingly anybody not accepting these beliefs is considered to be Anti-Jewish.

Each of the above positions is the result of the same distorted mode of processing the past. This mode can be called religious, even though the usual definition of religion includes a god concept – one which is absent in this discussion. In all other ways, the necessary religious characteristics are in place: dogmas, commandments, rituals, shrines, prophets and priests and, of course, economic/financial structures.

One can, therefore, speak of a "Holocaust Religion" and its "Satanic" arch enemy or twin, "Holocaust Denial". A third way to deal with the Judeocide, which should be defined as secular and scientific, is often identified with "Holocaust Denial." The use of the term "Holocaust", which means "A burnt- sacrifice or offering, the whole of which was consumed by fire," [2] reflects the religious character of the dominant historiography of Judeocide. [3] Using the designation "Holocaust" for the extermination of the Jews implies accordingly the absurdity that the Nazis sacrificed Jews in a kind of a religious ritual.

The birth of the Holocaust Religion is considered to have been triggered by the trial in Jerusalem of the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1961. This show-trial was a spectacle meant to get the broader Jewish Israeli public, mainly the youngest generation, acquainted with the Judeocide. The trial did not succeed in the short run in achieving this aim not because this middle-ranking SS-officer, Eichman, was not adequate to represent the whole extermination machinery. Nor was the failure due to the impossibility of reducing the Nazi monstrous system to a single individual. The fundamental reason for the failure must be attributed to the central Zionist tenet: the "Negation of the Diaspora", a recurrent theme which made it thence very difficult for the young Jewish-Israelis to identify themselves with European Jewry.

Several generations of Israeli Jews were brought up to loathe Jewish existence abroad. In fact, the Jewish way of life in Europe was viewed as sick and to be overcome through Zionism. Young Jewish-Israelis were brain-washed, throughout the late 70s, to internalize typical Christian European prejudices against Jews and thus did not want to identify themselves with their own grandparents or even their parents, who had allegedly not resisted oppression in Europe.

It is precisely owing to their role as victimizers that, even now, makes it is easier for Israeli soldiers to identify with the Nazis than with their own ancestors – the victims. Example: in 1982 after the bombing of Beirut and putting the city under siege, Israeli soldiers disgusted at what they had just done, told an excited and adoring German journalist who wanted to know how they were feeling: "we have just created a Warsaw ghetto."

Even though Eichmann’s trial did not achieve the desired effect inside Israel, its impact abroad was enormous. Elie Wiesel, a former concentration camp inmate, who came to Jerusalem to report on the process, subsequently initiated a religious modality for handling the Judeocide. This religion was to become very dominant in the ensuing years. It came to be accepted not only by most Jews but also many non-Jews, especially in the industrialized countries. It was to become one of the most important tools of the Israeli propaganda machinery. The relevancy of the Holocaust Religion to the Middle East conflict cannot therefore be overlooked.

Its real breakthrough according to the Jewish theologian Marc Ellis, who defines it rather as a theology, came through the Israeli victory in 1967. [4] "Holocaust theology yields three themes that exist in dialectical tension: suffering and empowerment, innocence and redemption, specialness and normalization." [5] This war therefore was, according to this analysis, a kind of a religious messianic salvation. The Judeocide and the big ‘threat’ to Israel in 1967 is the suffering. The building of the State of Israel and especially the victory of 1967 is the redemption.

Of course Zionism lost its innocence long before 1967. Already in the 1930s, David Ben Gurion, the most important Zionist leader, realized the huge potential in Judeocide as he brought these religious elements together into a simple direct political motto for the instrumentalization of the Jewish sufferings in Europe. He declared: "Catastrophe is Power." Which means the Zionist movement should find ways to profit politically and financially from the agony. Yet the catastrophe became a real source of political power only after Israel became a military success in 1967, which means, a catastrophe as such is not necessarily a source of power. One must be powerful in order to be able to use and abuse a disaster.

In their book "Dangerous Liaison", [6] Andrew and Leslie Cockburn describe how only after 1967 did Israel become attractive to the US military establishment. Though Israel had, before that time, a burning desire to work for Washington, the US was not very enthusiastic until Israel demonstrated its strength on the battlefield.

The journalist J.J. Goldberg [7] argues that the Jewish lobby became strong only after 1967. AIPAC, the best known lobby, became influential through the Israeli importance for the US foreign policy and not the other way around.

This claim sounds very plausible when one considers that American Jewish organizations were not able to convince the Roosevelt administration to be more helpful towards European Jewry during the Nazi era. [8] Although, for example, the New York Times was in Jewish ownership it did not dare, just like the mainstream US Jewish organizations, to oppose the anti-Jewish policy of the State Department. The lobby to establish a Zionist state in Palestine was anyway more effective than the one to save the Jews. This was the line dictated by Ben Gurion and executed by his delegate Abba Hillel Silver.

The Zionist influence at that period was less strong than perceived through the Arab lens. Still the leadership of the Jewish agency (JA), i.e., the government-in-formation, headed by the Zionist Labor movement, started very early to cash in on the Nazi persecution of the Jews. This "Holocaust Industry" [9] had been founded even before the Judeocide was really launched. In the mid 30s the JA reached a deal with the Nazis, the so called Ha’avara (Transfer) agreement, which helped the Zionist movement not only to attract to Palestine very wealthy investors, but to get direct control of some of their money. According to the this arrangement, rich Jews could get some of their properties out of Germany if they immigrated to Palestine and the Jewish Agency received a nice commission from these deals. This arrangement was, among others, the result of strong Nazi support for the Zionist project, since corresponding with the Zionist aims the main German objective at that time was "just" to expel the Jews from Europe. This policy coincided with the Zionist goals. [10] The collaboration with the Nazis brought the Zionists the much needed capital for the colonization of Palestine ($40 million), which was "60% of capital invested in Palestine between 1933 and the war." [11] This agreement practically saved the Zionist movement in Palestine from bankruptcy argues the journalist Lenni Brenner.

The JA came thus to be the largest agent for German goods in the Middle East and sabotaged Jewish efforts to declare an effective boycott against the Nazis, of which they were very afraid. This fruitful cooperation between Nazis and Zionists came to an end in 1938 following Arab insurrections. After which the British tried to stop Jewish Immigration into Palestine. Besides, the German faction, which sought an anti-British alliance with the Arabs got stronger and blocked the export to Palestine of goods so needed at home. Still the pro-Zionist Nazi factions (Eichmann was a part of them) kept their contacts with the Jewish Agency. According to the coordinator of the Zionist activities in occupied Europe, Nathan Dror-Schwalb, his people were working together with Eichmann in 1938 as he expelled the Austrian Jews. [12] This is also documented by Jon and David Kimche. [13] Zionist delegates, according to Schwalb, could operate without disturbance in Germany throughout the war and organize their cells of the youth movement Hehalutz. [14] According to the Israeli historian S.B. Beit-Zvi, the JA-leadership did not hesitate to sabotage rescue efforts. This happened after it became clear that the British would not allow a Jewish mass immigration to Palestine. Beit-Zvi argues that the JA-leadership was afraid that a large number of Jews would be saved and sent to some other destinations rather than Palestine. This development was considered a political and economic danger (!) to the Zionist project, as it would absorb resources needed to establish the state and would weaken the Zionist claim that Palestine is the only possible refuge for Jews. [15]

According to Beit-Zvi, Golda Meir was responsible for sabotaging the concrete chances of rescue of the refugees which were discussed at the conference of Evian in 1938. Beit-Zvi claims that this was the real reason why this famous conference actually failed. In a very famous speech Ben Gurion formulated the JA rescue policy as follows: "If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the lives of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel." [16]

Ben-Gurion’s apologists have tried to explain away this quotation. But an objective examination of the following activities of the JA, the protocols of JA-leadership and the factual low priority it gave to rescue operations, can only confirm the claim that this speech was emblematic of this attitude and that it basically never changed even after the scope of the catastrophe became clear. [17]

In the case of the Hungarian Jews, the charge of direct collaboration of the Labor party controlled JA leadership with the Nazis is raised by both Jewish Anti-Zionists and Ultra-Zionists (Likud and more radical parties). The Labor party representative, Israel Kastner is accused of making possible the efficient deportation of half a million Jews to Auschwitz through the cooperation of his committee with Eichmann. The defenders of Kastner argue that he actually tried to save the Hungarian Jews through negotiating with the Nazis. This last claim is probably basically true, but it is beyond discussion that these negotiations were sabotaged by the JA-leadership, the mainstream Jewish organizations in the USA and also by the Allies. The JA-leadership had the same considerations as formulated by S.B. Beth Tzvi; it knew that there was no chance that if a large number of Jews were to be rescued by Kastner and his committee that they would be able to immigrate to Palestine. The sabotaging of this realistic rescue attempt by the JA got in return the British consent to build a Jewish brigade in the British army.

The Israeli historian, Idith Zertal, claims that Ben Gurion was already before WWII mainly interested in the rescue operations only for national purposes. The saving of persecuted Jews was to be used primarily as a means of pressure on the British Empire to abolish its restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine. But even for these purposes, there were hardly any meaningful rescue activities during the war. There were very few Zionist delegates to coordinate such operations and they had hardly any financial resources to be effective. According to Zertal, the spectacular actions of the illegal immigration after the war, like the famous trip of the "Exodus", were mainly part of a very effective propaganda campaign. She quotes the Jewish welfare organization "Joint" that claimed at that time, that the total number of immigrants including the illegal ones was smaller than the British quota. This means that if the Jewish refugees had been transported to Palestine legally, under normal conditions, it would have been cheaper, more comfortable and safer for them than using the shaky illegal ships and their number would not necessarily have been lower. But by using this legal way, the JA would have lost the propaganda effects of the pictures of British soldiers using excessive amounts of force against Jewish survivors. [18]

Though the Zionist leadership was not very active in saving Jews (to say the least), it had already started during WWII to prepare a restitution campaign. The JA felt itself empowered to make claims on Jewish properties without being bothered by such trivialities like whether or not the legitimate owners or their heirs were still alive. [19] The Zionist project needed a lot of money and therefore it is not surprising that the JA did not have too many ethical considerations when they endeavored to save Nazi war criminals, that is, if the Nazis could pay enough for it. Thus the SS officer responsible for the robbery of the Hungarian Jewry, Kurt Becher, and some of his friends were saved. The aforementioned Israel Kastner was sent in 1947 by the Israeli finance minister to Germany to save these Nazis from trial. In return, Becher gave orders to his Swiss trustee to transfer money to the Jewish Agency. [20]

This was also the case of the important Nazi agent Jaac van Harten, whose money financed in 1945/46 the illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine and acquisitions of weapons. Van Harten was crucial for the flight of Nazis out of Europe, but the agents of the Mossad Le’Aliyah Beth [21] who protected him, could not care less. He himself found refuge later in Tel Aviv, where he got the protection of no less than Golda Meir, the de-facto foreign minister at that time (1947). Till the 60s Van Harten kept contacts with his former Nazi boss, Friedrich Schwend, who was then working in Peru with other famous Nazis like Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie. Schwend was considered to be a kind of finance minister of the planned Fourth Reich. [22]

The Zionist movement succeeded after WWII in getting restitution illegitimately in the name of the Nazi victims. At the last stages of the war representatives of the Jewish Agency gathered Jewish properties and were nominated as recipient for such assets at the Paris Reparation Conference (1945/46).

The larger amount of money began to flow in the 50s as the USA intensified its efforts to reintegrate West Germany in its Cold War strategy. A German researcher reports about a meeting in Switzerland between the German chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the Israeli President Haim Weizmann. In this meeting Adenauer agreed to pay compensations if Israel gave it consent for the rearmament of West Germany. [23]

These restitution and compensation monies were very crucial for building the Israeli economy and military. Some Israeli experts claim that without the German reparations the Israeli economy would have collapsed in the ’50s. There is no doubt that the victory of 1967 would not have been possible without this support. Thus the suffering of the Jewish Nazi victims was used to finance Israeli military aggressions. After 1967 the influence of the Holocaust Industry and the Holocaust Religion increased as a result of the ever growing importance of Israel in terms of US interests. The Holocaust Religion was able to achieve a growing control over public opinion in Western countries. Its influence in the 90s reached an unexpected climax. Steven Spielberg’s film "Schindler’s List" and the ceremonies commemorating the Jubilee of the end of WWII functioned like a trigger for this outburst.

As an outcome of this memory-explosion the Holocaust Industry was in position to launch in 1995 a very effective restitution campaign against the Swiss banks, which has been expanded to include other countries. It was a mixture of a just claim, presented by the wrong organizations for the wrong purposes, fed through the fear of Judeophobes of the mythological ‘Jewish Power’ and its overestimated influence on the US government.

Of course the Jewish organizations got the support of Clinton’s administration in this campaign, but it is not clear how far the US would have gone on this issue against the Swiss banks. Thus the Swiss became ‘victims’ of their own prejudices against the Jews. From a rather unimportant organization looking rather helplessly for an issue, with this Swiss help, the World Jewish Congress and the affiliated organizations came to be a very influential factor. The undertaking has brought many billions of dollars and the story is not yet over.

Israel itself tries not to be involved directly in this campaign, in order not to get into any diplomatic complications with friendly countries like Switzerland. Instead the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC) and some other organizations are leading the activities.

Israel just hopes in one way or another to get its share in any eventual booty. For example, after a certain compensation for survivors was paid by Switzerland, the Israeli government tried to cut the social security support to the Israeli recipients commensurate with what they’d receive from Switzerland. A step which means, that actually the money from Switzerland would have gone to the state of Israel and not to the victims.

In the meantime there is much more money in the restitution funds, but its distribution is delayed (Israel belongs to the slowest distributors) and the survivors have the feeling that the Jewish organizations ‘representing’ them, are just waiting for more of them to die, so that the funds will be distributed for other purposes. The survivors and the legitimate owners of robbed properties realized too late that their interests are being abused by the leading Jewish organizations (all of them with a strong Zionist influence). These survivors are too weak and too old to fight effectively against the mighty jet-setters of organized Jewry.

There was a series of articles in various papers in Israel, Switzerland, Germany and the USA demonstrating how the most important restitution organization, the Jewish Claims Conference, is robbing the legitimate heirs, as Joseph Wolff describes. Wolff, a former director of the Israeli oil firm Paz, after learning about the cruelty of the JCC, decided to try to help the twice victimized people.

The efforts of this influential and well connected person did not help much and still today there is not much clarity regarding the activities of the JCC. No outsider knows how much money it controls, how much is distributed, who are the recipients etc.

The attacks of the US political scientist Norman Finkelstein against the JCC in his book "The Holocaust Industry" [24] irritate the organized Jewry but in the short run do no more than that. This is because Finkelstein did not invest enough energy in the complicated investigations needed to prove his claims.

In a web-site "The Survivors vs. the Holocaust Industry", [25] several old survivors tried to initiate the struggle against the JCC, but they did not get very far, as they did not have the necessary funds and power to finance the fight against the mighty organizations. They protested against the injustices and demanded that they should be able to decide how the money should be allocated. The protesting survivors claimed that the Jewish organizations were very slow in distributing the monies and that they are just waiting till all of them die. They noted that actually each and every month 1,000 survivors around the world die.

The survivor Gerhard Maschkowski, who was among the leaders of this struggle wrote: "After the war ended in 1945, Holocaust survivors were treated shabbily; most were forced to live in Displaced Persons Camps in Europe as the world was forced to deal with the stateless character of the Jewish people until the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 [he seems to forget to mention explicitly the role of the Jewish Agency in this postponement. The JA used once again the sufferings of the survivors as a political instrument – se]. Later, the "reparations and restitution" efforts established ostensibly for the benefit of Holocaust survivors in the United States, were inadequate and arbitrarily administered, resulting in a legacy of frustration and humiliation for American survivors. Today’s abandonment is occurring in the context of settlements of class actions and disputes over Swiss bank accounts, looted Nazi gold, Nazi use of Jewish slave laborers, and European insurers’ theft of Jews’ insurance policies.

While the headlines cry with large dollar figures purporting to represent compensation for Holocaust victims, and the box quotes are full of lavish praise and gratitude for the settlements "as we enter a new millennium," the truth is, the interests of Holocaust survivors have received the lowest priority in these negotiations. From every perspective, the deals fall short of rendering meaningful justice or dignity to those who were victimized. "[…] the agreements were struck to provide immunity for vast numbers of European corporations that profited from the Holocaust, in most cases, without a true accounting for their World War II actions." [26]

This last point is demonstrated perfectly by the Interhandel affair, the scandal of the foreign assets of the largest Nazi chemical combine I.G. Farben, who among other things produced the gas for the extermination of the Jews. These assets should have been confiscated during WWII and be used for the rehabilitation of war refugees. This did not happen, because Corporate America was interested in protecting these funds and the Swiss authorities and some banks were willing to help. This money, estimated to be of a present value of at least $5 billion, was in the 60s after a long legal fight misappropriated by the largest Swiss bank, Union Bank of Switzerland, (today United Bank of Switzerland – UBS) and the US government under Kennedy. [27]

In 1995 I discovered in the Swiss federal archives highly classified documents proving clearly the dubious role of the UBS and the Swiss government in this affair. [28] The Jewish organizations leading the restitution campaigns show an ostensive disinterest in this large amount of money stemming from the most important Nazi combine, whose direct involvement in the crimes in Auschwitz is well known. Recently an employee of the JCC confirmed my suspicions and said that the organizations do not want to raise the issue in order not to hurt the US interests involved.

The state of Israel itself refuses till today to return assets belonging to Jewish Nazi victims. These properties, mainly real estates in some very central locations, are worth according to estimations around $US 20 billion. Still the Holocaust Industry is hardly active on this issue, though it is obvious that the sum is much higher than in Switzerland and that the Israeli government, the institutions and corporations holding these possessions are more callous towards the victims and their heirs than their equivalents in Europe.

It is safe to argue that neither the Holocaust Industry nor Israel have ever represented the real interests of the Judeocide victims, although they keep trying to create the impression that they do. This lie serves Israel in many ways. It guarantees today the support of most of the Jews, who feel that Israel might be their redemption in the hour of an eventual need, a kind of an insurance against possible dangers paid by the blood and suffering of the Palestinians. With the Holocaust Religion, its institutions and priests it is possible to block an all too strong critique against Israel and its crimes against the Palestinians. Thus the Palestinians actually become indirectly victims of the Nazis and actually of the Judaeophobia. The Holocaust Industry helps to finance the aggressions against them and the Holocaust Religion assists in creating a negative public opinion of them and block the critique against the Israeli crimes. Thus the Palestinians have to pay the price for German crimes and Western hypocrisy. The exposure of the Zionist abuse of Judeocide is therefore an important element in the efforts to reach a real and just peace in the Middle East.

Beside the fact that such peace is also in the interest of many Jews, the dismantling of the Holocaust Religion due to their own efforts will benefit most of the Jews. Because as history teaches, the downfall of every power is bound to happen sooner or later. In this case one can reckon with a fierce Anti-Jewish black lash, which should be considered as a direct result of the arrogance and immorality of the pro-Israel lobbies propagating the Holocaust Religion. As the main sources of the extraordinary and abnormal influence of the Holocaust Industry are clearly the special relationships between the U.S. and Israel, once they come to an end, the situation will change dramatically for sure.

Already now there is a growing popular discomfort with the Holocaust Religion & Industry and their constant and inflammatory swinging of the Auschwitz and/or Judeophobia bludgeon. This strong irritation is canalized in many countries primarily by the radical right wing, who are not too afraid to formulate loudly a critique against this disproportional and hypocritical Zionist influence mixed with fiery Judaephobia.

Thus the Holocaust Religion, with its constant display of power, causes among other factors, the rise of the extreme right wing movements.

…………..

Similar to the formulations of Israeli philosopher Adi Ophir, [29] the dogmas of this Holocaust Religion can be articulated as religious commandments:

  a.. Remember what Amalek has done to thee!
This compulsory directive is meant to cultivate and preserve for ever and ever the memory of all the wrongdoings of Amalek against the Jews. Amalek is the biblical collective designation for all the enemies of the Jews, who, in the 20th century came to be mainly the Nazis and the Arabs. It is in this sense not only a command to remember but also to distrust and hate all the non-Jews, the gentiles, who are potential or active Amalekites.

This attitude is based on the concept that the hate of the Jews, Judeophobia, [30] is inherent in all other cultures. Any questioning of the real danger for the Jews in Europe or North America, for example, is considered blasphemy. Organizations like the Anti Defamation League (ADL) are zealously pursuing the supposed and the real sinners.

Activities like that of the ADL together with the everlasting commemorations of Judeocide are important elements for building the modern Jewish identity, especially for the secular Jews.

Another consequence of this commandment is that the Jews are to be considered as the eternal victims. So even if they are the victimizers they are still to be conceived as victims.

  a.. Thou shall never compare The Holocaust with any other Genocide!
The uniqueness of the Nazi Judeocide is a modern version of the old judeocentric concept of "choseness". Jewish sufferings are accordingly special and cannot and must never be compared with other miseries. Those who do it are accused of playing down this genocide.

This commandment is very important for the mythologizing of the Judeocide and for preventing a normal historical analysis, as one of the most common and important scientific methods is comparison.

Comparison is also important if the Nazi Judeocide is to serve as a point of reference for every crime against humanity.

It is vital to note that while no two occasions are identical still they might possess certain structural similarities. The most chilling and deadly aspect of the Nazi crimes is the usage of modern technocratic methods in order to pursue immoral goals. The potential for technocrats, officers etc. to commit crimes is not some specific Nazi characteristic but is endemic to all modern systems.

The comparison can be partially or fully correct or can be completely wrong, but should not be forbidden.

This commandment is very successful in the Western countries where the Judeophobia has a very long tradition and is still present. Contemporary manifestation of the prejudices against Jews is sometimes very ingenious. It now camouflages itself commonly in an allegedly opposite attitude, "Judeophilia", a kind of ‘positive’ racism. The transformation from one to the other might happen often seamlessly.

  a.. Thou shall never compare the Nazi crimes with those of Israel!
This prohibition is stronger outside Israel than inside. Even Israeli public figures dare from time to time to invade this taboo zone. The last example was given by Israeli right wing radicals who compared the evacuation of settlements from the Gaza strip with the deportation of Jews by the Nazis.

Some of them pointed out correctly that though in the broader public the Nazi crimes are identified with the extermination in concentration camps, the Nazis started their anti-Jewish politics with the aim "just" to deport Jews. In the years 1933-38 they tried to encourage the "voluntary" immigration (transfer or Ha’avara) and as of 1938 went over to mass expulsion. In 1941 the Nazis started with the systematic annihilation.

The comparison of the right wingers is absurd, but should not be forbidden. On the other hand there are more founded reasons to compare the present Israeli policy and measures towards the Palestinians with those of the Nazis. It is obvious that at least as of the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000, Israel, through its siege and frequent incursions, tries to induce a "voluntary" transfer of the Palestinians and looks for pretext to go over to mass expulsion. Several Israeli ministers declared openly that if there was a so called mega terrorist attack, i.e., a Palestinian attack with a high number of Jewish casualties, Israel would react with a second Naqba, which means, another mass expulsion respectively ethnic cleansing like in 1948. Actually we are already experiencing a "silent" and ever escalating ethnic cleansing.

There is no need to wait till a mass extermination in any form is initiated. Even before that the comparison is, with all the specific differences, valid and legitimate.

Besides, there are obvious and strong anti-democratic tendencies in Israeli society not dissimilar to the situation in the Weimar Republic. The right wing radicals are very strong and getting stronger. Though they could not prevent the evacuation of settlements, they are bound sooner or later to try to take a complete control of the state.

  a.. Thou shall never doubt the number of 6 million Jewish victims!
There is no real logical explanation for this figure being defended so desperately. The source of this statistic, the SS officer Wilhelm Hoettl, [31] was certainly not the most reliable informant. If the number of the slaughtered Jews were lesser, would the Nazi crimes be less dreadful?

Actually in the Jewish victims database by Yad Vashem there are only 3 millions names registered and many of them even appear several times.

  a.. Thou shall never doubt the Nazi Judeocide!
This is one of the strongest prohibitions. While there is no convincing reason to doubt that the gassing of Jews took place, there is no compelling argument to forbid people from questioning the validity of the widely accepted historical description. Considering the widespread abuse of the Judeocide by Zionists and their followers and the obvious hypocrisy of many of these persons and organizations, it is understandable that their claims are mistrusted. On the other hand it cannot be overlooked that practically all the Holocaust deniers are racists. The problem is therefore not the denial as such but the racism and it is very doubtful if prohibition is the right means to fight against racism.

Scepticism towards any narrative or interpretation is legitimate as such and does not require hysterical reactions. The main problem with the Holocaust Denial is that it is accompanied by conspiracy theories and other anti-Jewish prejudices. These phenomena pose for the time being hardly a threat to Jews but rather to the propagators of these contents, who thus disqualify themselves to take part in the mainstream discourse. Of course once the Holocaust Religion becomes weaker, as mentioned before, the situation will change dramatically for sure. To prevent the racists from profiting from this development it is the duty of democratic forces to do work towards the abolishment of this religion.

For the time being the deniers and the Holocaust Religion followers and disseminators feed and need each other in order to catch more publicity in an effort to strengthen their own racist aims.

  a.. Thou shall never doubt the right of Israel to exist as the Jewish state!
It is believed that as the Judeophobia will persist everywhere for ever, the Jews will need from now to eternity a secure refuge. Therefore so many Jews, though living in a greater security outside Israel, still believe that this country should function as a kind of anti-Judeocide insurance. Many of them are not very disturbed by the fact that this insurance is paid with Palestinian blood and suffering. Every anti-Zionist per this definition is a-priori a supporter of a potential Judeocide and is a Judeophobe.

This is a myth. Israel has hardly served as a refuge and is not likely to become a real one. Today it endangers Jews all over the world more than it protects them.

  a.. Thou shall not criticize the leading Jewish organizations and the Israeli government!
This commandment is reasoned by the above arguments. A career oriented politician, journalist or artist in Western countries will usually prefer to remain silent on these issues in public, as the potential punishment is viewed as very painful. This commandment, like some others on this list, applies mainly to non-Jews, but radical Jewish critics risk being branded as "self-haters", "Jewish Anti-Semites" etc.

  a.. Thou must never criticize Jewish organizations and the Zionist leadership for abandoning the European Jewry in the Nazi era!
Most of the attempts to raise this issue are blocked by the argument that it will strengthen the Judephobes, who claim that the Jews alone bear the guilt for their fate in WWII. Without trying to minimize the responsibility of the Nazis for their crimes, one should take into account the behavior of a segment of the Jewish communities, most especially certain leaderships, inside and outside occupied Europe.

The victims also have a duty and responsibility and the tragedy is always greater if a leadership betrays its own people. For all practical purposes, the Zionist leadership in Palestine and in the USA abandoned European Jewry, [32] and in certain cases sabotaged rescue attempts [33] and in some other cases even collaborated with the Nazis. [34]

  a.. Thou shall not doubt the central Role of Hitler in the industrialization of the extermination of the Jews!
The fact that there is no proof of a Hitler’s order to build Auschwitz is one of the most emotional historical disputes. Even logical non-Hitler-centric descriptions are sometimes labelled as Holocaust Denial. This is one of the methods of preventing a political secular explanation of the Judeocide. One of the reasons for this commandment is that any other explanation implies that there might be some logical explanation for the Judeocide, there was a real possibility of saving the Jews and therefore the Zionist movement and the Allies are guilty of abandoning them.

Revised version of an article first published in Between the Lines, February 2001.

——————————————————————————–

Endnotes

1. "Judeocide" was coined by Prof. Arno Mayer instead of "Holocaust" because of the religious character of the latter. Arno J. Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? (New York: Pantheon, 1988).

2. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

3. This is basically Mayer’s argument.

4. Marc H. Ellis, Beyond Innocence & Redemption – Confronting The Holocaust And Israeli Power, Creating a Moral Future for the Jewish People (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990).

5. Ellis, Beyond, 2.

6. Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship (New York: Harper Collins, l991).

7. J.J. Goldberg, JEWISH POWER – Inside the American Establishment (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1996).

8. See e.g., David S. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews, America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984).

9. The phrase "Holocaust Industry" was not invented but popularized by Norman Finkelstein through his book, The Holocaust Industry Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (New York: Verso, 2000).

10. See e.g. Francis R. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985).

11. Lenni Brenner, ‘Zionism and Rescue’, in Jim Allen, Perdition (Ithaca Press, 1987), 74.

12. Interview of the author with Schwalb in 1993.

13. Jon and David Kimche, The Secret Roads: The ‘Illegal’ Migration of a People, 1938-1948 (London: Secker and Warburg, 1954).

14. See Nathan Dror-Schwalb’s archives and Ferdinand Kroh, David kämpft: Vom jüdischen Widerstand gegen Hitler (Reinbek: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 1988).

15. S.B. Beit-Zvi, Post-Ugandian Zionism in the Crisis of the Holocaust (Tel Aviv: 1977 (Heb.), 1991 (Eng.)).

16. Out of a Ben-Gurion speech in London in 1938, Brenner, Perdition, 76.

17. See Tom Segev, but also the Israeli historian Yechiam Weitz who tries to defend the JA in his book, Aware but Helpless: Mapai and the Holocaust, 1943-1945 (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Press, 1994 (Heb.)), but proves the opposite of his claim.

18. Idith Zertal, From Catastrophe to Power: Holocaust survivors and the emergence of Israel (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

19. For a description of the restitution campaign see Nana Sagi, German Reparations – A History of the Negotiations (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986).

20. Shraga Elam, Hitlers Faelscher – Wie Juedische, Amerikanische und Schweizer Agented der SS Beim Falschgeldwaschen Halfen [Hitler’s Forgers – how Jewish, US and Swiss Agents helped the SS to launder forged money] (Vienna: Ueberreuter, 2000).

21. The organization for illegal immigration.

22. See Elam, Hitlers Faelscher and Ha’aretz, 28.4.2000 and 19.5.2000.

23. Rudolf Jungnickel, Kabale am Rhein -Der Kanzler und sein Monsignore (Weimar: Wartburg Verlag, 1994), 451 ff.

24. Finkelstein, Holocaust Industry.

25. http://home.att.net/~gerhardm/compensation.html (the content is now blocked).

26. http://home.att.net/~gerhardm/abandonment.txt (the content is now blocked).

27. See e.g. Joseph Borkin, The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben: The Startling Account of the Unholy Alliance of Adolf Hitler and Germany’s Great Chemical Combine (New York: The Free Press, 1978).

28. Shraga Elam, ”Interhandel’ – eine Saga ohne Ende – Wie das Auslandsvermoegen der ‘I.G. Farben’ ins Eigenkapital der ‘Schweizerischen Bankgesellschaft’ kam’, in Sebastian Speich, ed., Die Schweiz am Pranger (Vienna/Zurich: Ueberreuter/Cash, 1997).

29. Adi Ophir, ‘On Sanctifying the Holocaust: An Anti-Theological Treatise’, Tikkun 2, 1987.

30. The term "Judeophobia" is to be preferred to "anti-Semitism", as anti-Semitism is in itself a racist designation which was created by one of the inventors of the Nazi ideology, Wilhelm Marr, in 1879. The Jews might be many things but for sure they are not a race and in so far that there is something like a Semitic race, the Arabs belong to it as well.

31. The figures were contained in an affidavit made by Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl and presented in the Nuremberg Trial (Document 2738-PS, Exhibit USA-296). Hoettl quoted Eichmann as the source of the information and saved his own life through this testimony.

32. See e.g. Wyman, Abandonment and Tom Segev, The Seventh Million – Israel Confronts the Holocaust (Hill & Wang, 1993).

33/34. See e.g. S.B. Beit-Zvi, Post-Ugandian, 31; See e.g. Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal (London: Croom Helm, 1983) and Elam, Hitlers Fälscher.

51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis

51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis
by LENNI BRENNER, December 23, 2002 http://www.counterpunch.org/brenner1223.html

In 1983, Croom Helm Ltd. published my 1st book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. American writers don’t expect favorable reviews from the London Times, but editorialist Edward Mortimer declared that "Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler’s."

Still less could a Trotskyist dream of a review from Izvestia, the Soviet government gazette, but they hailed it. "During the world war, Brenner points out, Zionism showed its real meaning: for the sake of its ambitions, it sacrificed the blood of millions of Jews."

Louis Rapoport, a failed Berkeley radical, denounced the book in the Jerusalem Post as "leftist babble." Nevertheless, he conceded, there were "very real charges that will continue to haunt" Zionism "until they are dealt with honestly."

In 1987, Jim Allen, the celebrated British movie/TV writer, based Perdition, a stage play, on the book. When intense pressure on the Royal Court Theatre canceled production, we debated Sir Martin Gilbert, the Churchill family’s private historian, and Stephen Roth, head of the British Zionist Federation, nationwide, prime-time on ITV. The London Review of Books said the Zionist scheme "made it one of the most famous plays of the decade." Indeed, unless the Queen was sick on the crapper, every politically or theatrically interested person in Britain watched us win, thanks to director Ken Loach’s strategic instructions.

Extraordinary world interest wasn’t matched in America’s media. Alex Cockburn championed the book in the Village Voice and in the Nation. But the Voice refused to review it. The Nation sent it out to someone, but, sorry, "he never sent in the review."

Walter Laqueur had to bark in the Zionist New Republic after their Perdition debacle: "Some of Brenner’s book is invented, some is exaggerated or drawn out of context." Yet even he admits that "German Zionists did not fully understand the meaning of Hitler when he came to power in 1933. Some of their comments and declarations make embarrassing reading 50 years later."

Despite Zionism’s best efforts, over 5,000 copies sold in 18 years before being put on the web: www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/index.htm Then Lyle Stuart of Barricade Books discovered that a friend, a Zionist propagandist, had never read the complete proposal of the "Stern Gang," 1940s Zionist terrorists, to go to war on Hitler’s side. 51 Documents was born. Now Americans and others can read the evidence and judge for themselves.

There are six selections re Zionism’s relationship to anti-Semitism and racism prior to Hitler. The 51 documents, including 35 letters, memos, articles, and reports by Zionists, are from the Hitler era and after. Seven are by Nazis, most notably Eichmann’s memoir, written in Argentina, on Hungarian collaborator RA<<zso Kasztner. Five of the six and 43 of the 51 are complete. The rest are extensive excerpts from important reports. There are four first-time full translations of articles from German, Hebrew, Italian and Russian.

Zionism convicts itself. On June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation sent a secret memorandum to the Nazis:

"Zionism has no illusions about the difficulty of the Jewish condition, which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition. Zionism recognized decades ago that as a result of the assimilationist trend, symptoms of deterioration were bound to appear, which it seeks to overcome by carrying out its challenge to transform Jewish life completely.

"It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry–indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions.

"Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group. For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life. This means that the egotistic individualism which arose in the liberal era must be overcome by public spiritedness and by willingness to accept responsibility."

By 1936, the Post ran a news flash, "German Zionists Seek Recognition":

"A bold demand that the German Zionist Federation be given recognition by the Government as the only instrument for the exclusive control of German Jewish life was made by the Executive of that body in a proclamation today. All German Jewish organizations, it was declared, should be dominated by the Zionist spirit."

Zionist factions competed for the honor of allying to Hitler. By 1940-41, the "Stern Gang," among them Yitzhak Shamir, later Prime Minister of Israel, presented the Nazis with the "Fundamental Features of the Proposal of the National Military Organization in Palestine (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in the War on the Side of Germany."

Avraham Stern and his followers announced that

"The NMO, which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards Zionist activity inside Germany and towards Zionist emigration plans, is of the opinion that:

1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.

2. Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and,

3. The establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side."

They hanged people all over Europe after WW II for notes to the Nazis like these. But these treasons against the Jews were virtually unknown in the run up to the creation of the Zionist state in May 1948. Ninety percent of America’s Jews suddenly became emotional pro-Zionists. With Democrats, Republicans and even the Communist-organized Progressive Party competing for Jewish votes in the November Presidential election, Harry Truman’s monetary aid bought arms from pro-Soviet Czechoslovakia, and an Israel was born, run by the German Zionists’ cothinkers in Jerusalem.

Jews and other Americans still know little of Zionism’s sordid past. But today only programed fanatics can come away pro-Zionist after reading plain facts. Indeed, according to the American Jewish Identity Survey (2001), less than 22% of all Jews declare themselves Zionist.

Opposition to Zionism also grows among liberal educated gentiles, every time their declared enemy, Pat Robertson, howls in favor of Orthodox Israel.

For complex historical reasons, the Vietnam anti-war movement and anti-apartheid campaign emphasized demonstrations over sustained education. Even in victory, little was left behind in the way of attention to foreign affairs among the broad masses. Even after 9/11, the ultimate attention getter, US public knowledge about the Arab world, Islam, the oil industry, Zionism, and Washington’s involvement with them, is minimal. But the present anti-Iraq war movement has no choice but to systematically educate itself and the public. The issues are too complex for anything less. Ignorance or illusions about any of the players, here or there, means certain death for X number of Arabs, Israelis, Kurds, Muslims and Americans.

51 Documents can play a major role in making serious study a priority concern for an anti-war movement that will stay solidly in place until the present bipartisan power structure is destroyed and replaced.

A check to me, for $22.00 + $1.84 media mail postage, gets a signed book back, anywhere in the US. Folks in other countries, and people wanting rates for bulk orders, should also write

Lenni Brenner Park West Finance Station POB 20598 NY, NY 10025 Lenni Brenner can be reached at: BrennerL21@aol.com 

Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs

Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs

Entry in the Encyclopaedia of Zionism and Israel (ed. Patai), excerpts regarding the activities of the Committee during World War II

Coordinating body of American Zionist organizations, founded in 1939 and subsequently renamed American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs (January, 1942), American Zionist Emergency Council (fall, 1942), and American Zionist Council (1949).

 

In the closing days of the 21th Zionist Congress in Geneva on the brink of World War II (August, 1939), Chaim Weizmann and his colleagues in the World Zionist Organization (WZO) authorized the setting up of a special Emergency Committee in the United States. This committee, which was to consist of a group of prominent leaders of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and of representatives of other main American Zionist organizations – Hadassah, Labor Zionists and Mizrahi – was to have two purposes: (1) to have in the then neutral United States a body that could assume the authority and functions of World Zionist leadership to the extent that the activities of the World Zionist Executive in London and Jerusalem might be restricted by wartime conditions; and (2) to bring home to the American public Jewish and non-Jewish alike, and to American political leaders the needs of the Jews as a people and the role of Palestine in the future of world Jewry. The latter function was considered a vital necessity in view of the role the United States could be expected to have in the eventual peace settlement.

 

(…)

From the outset the Emergency Committee had the benefit of information, advice, and assistance of World Zionist leaders such as Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Kurt Blumenfeld, Eliyahu Golomb, Chief Rabbi Isaac H. Herzog, and Georg Landauer, who were in the United States at various times during the war. The presence of these men at meetings enabled the committee to keep abreast of developments in London, Jerusalem, and elsewhere.

 

(…)

With the official entry of the United States into the war and the lessening of the threat of loss of contact with World Zionist headquarters due to Nazi military action, the Emergency Committee endeavored to regroup its forces for an expanded program on the American scene. As the extent of the Nazi programs for the extermination of European Jewry became known, this phase of Zionist activity assumed crucial importance.

 

Expanded program, 1942-43

In January, 1942, the committee adopted bylaws and, to emphasize the American aspect of its work, changed its name to American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs. Wise was chairman, and Robert Szold became treasurer and chairman of the Budget Committee. The members of the Office Committee included also Israel Goldstein and Louis E. Levinthal (ZOA), Tamar de Sola Pool and Rose Halprin (Hadassa), David Wertheim (Po’ale Zion), Leon Gellman (Mizrahi), Gedalia Bublick (alternate for Mizrahi), and Solomon Goldman, Hayim Grinberg, Rose Gell Jacobs, Louis Lipsky, and Abba Hillel Silver, members at large.

 

(…)

Biltmore Conference

In view of the continued British intransigence on the Palestine issue and grim reports from Nazi-held Europe, there was a hardening of the mood of the Yishuv [Zionist community in Palestine] and of large sections of the Zionist movement. There was also a growing necessity to promulgate a definitive plan for the postwar solution of the Palestine problem and to press persistently for the acceptance of the plan by the Jewish world and by the embattled democracies. The plan, it was felt, would have to cease speaking in the nebulous terms of a ‘National Home’ and instead set forth the Jewish claim to an independent Jewish State as part of the peace settlement. Normally such a change in declared Zionist policy would have required the approval of the World Zionist Congress, but under wartime conditions it was impossible to convene such a meeting.

 

Accordingly, the Emergency Committee decided to hold an extraordinary conference in New York to coincide with a visit of Chaim Weizmann. Meyer W. Weisgal was in charge of the preliminary arrangements. The conference was held at the Biltmore Hotel on May 9-11, 1942, with the participation of Weizmann, Ben-Gurion, and American Zionist leaders. It brought together nearly 600 Zionists from all parts of the United States and adopted a series of resolutions that came to be known as the Biltmore Program and, after approval by the Inner Action Committee in Palestine, became the program of the World Zionist Organization.

 

(…)

American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC)

As the war progressed, it was increasingly felt that not enough was being done to win the United States for the Zionist cause. At the same time, reports indicating the full extent of the destruction of European Jewry made an unprecedented program of political action seem more imperative than ever. Important elements within the Emergency Committee itself became increasingly unhappy with its own performance. It appeared to be less a closely meshed committee than an ambassadorial conference of sovereign organizations, and it lacked the strong personal leadership enjoyed during World War I by the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs under the vigorous chairmanship of Louis D. Brandeis.

 

(…)

In the fall of 1943 the committee was reorganized as the American Zionist Emergency Council, with Silver as co-chairman of the council and chairman of its Executive Committee. An eloquent orator and a dynamic personality, he had been chairman of the United Palestine Appeal and now brought his skills and experience to bear on reshaping the political arm of the American Zionist movement. A budget of $500,000 was adopted, and an expert professional staff was engaged, including Henry Montor as executive director (later succeeded by Harry Shapiro). Some 14 subcommittees were constituted, including Finance and Personnel, Community Contacts, American Palestine Committee, Publications, Intellectual Mobilization, Contact with Jewish Religious Forces, Christian Clergy, Special Functions, Research, Press and Radio, Economic Resources, Contact with Labor Groups, Contact with Allied Postwar Groups, and Postwar Political Planning.

 

The functioning of these committees and their staffs under Silver’s leadership caused a great forward surge in the activities of the council throughout the country. Hundreds of local emergency committees were formed and carried out an intensive campaign of education. Every possible means was employed to secure the support of public opinion. Press, pulpit, and radio were utilized. Public demonstrations were held from time to time, and thousands of lectures and speeches were delivered before Jewish and, especially, non-Jewish groups. At various times the White House and the Department of State as well as the offices of many congressmen were inundated by letters and telegrams calling for action by the government.

 

In Washington a branch office of the Emergency Council was set up late in 1943, under the direction of Leon I. Feuer. He was succeeded in 1945 by Benjamin Akzin, a specialist in international law. The function of this office was to maintain contact with the Department of State, the British Embassy, and envoys of foreign countries. Its staff members also visited congressmen, distributed Zionist literature, and cooperated with delegations sent to Washington by local groups.

 

Early in 1944 an additional step was devised to place the dual problem of the survivors of Nazi persecution and the future of Palestine on the national agenda of the American people. Resolutions in support of Jewish aspirations in Palestine were introduced into both houses of Congress: the Wagner-Taft resolution in the Senate and the Wright-Compton resolution in the House of Representatives. Timed to coincide with the approaching deadline set by the British White Paper of 1939 for the termination of Jewish immigration into Palestine, they were intended to break the official silence in Washington on the Palestine problem Through its Washington bureau and local emergency councils, the AZEC canvassed congressional opinion, distributed pertinent material, and effected contacts with the appropriate congressional committees.

 

Silver conferred with members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and met no objections. At the hearings of the House of Representatives in February, 1944, the Zionist position was presented by Silver, Wise, Neumann, Israel Goldstein, Hermann Shulman, Louis Lipsky, Z’ev Gold, David Wertheim, Judith G. Epstein, and James G. Heller.

 

(…)

On May 23-24, 1944, a national conference of local emergency committees, representing 130 communities from 38 states, was held in Washington to launch a nationwide movement in favour of the resolutions. The AZEC organized a great rally in Madison Square Garden, New York, the first of many mass demonstrations that were to take place at critical moments of the struggle for a Jewish State.

 

Note by Elias Davidsson

The above entry does not mention any large-scale or systematic activities on behalf of European Jewry being exterminated: Neither rescue, relief nor support for armed resistance. While extermination was carried out, the efforts of American Zionist organizations were directed to raise support for a Jewish State in Palestine.

American Palestine Committee (Encyclop. of Zionism and Israel)

American Palestine Committee

Entry from the Encyclopaedia of Zionism and Israel (ed. Patai), excerpts

Organization of prominent Americans, predominantly non-Jewish in its composition, that aimed to provide moral and political support for the Jewish National Home in Palestine. It was first projected by Emanuel Neumann, American member of the World Zionist Executive, late in 1931, after the publication (1930) of the Passfield White Paper by the British government had marked a line of retreat from the commitments of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine.

 

The American Palestine Committee was launched publicly at a dinner in Washington on Jan. 17, 1932, that was attended by members of both houses of Congress and other government dignitaries, including Vice President Charles Curtis. The principal speeches were delivered by Felix Frankfurter, Emanuel Neumann, and Elwood Mead. A letter from Pres. Herbert Hoover, expressing sympathy and approval, was read.

 

(…)

 

The second and more sustained effort undertaken on Neumann’s return to the United States [from Palestine] in 1940 was notably successful. Among those who agreed to sponsor and head the revived Palestine Committee were Senators William H. King of Utah, Charles McNary of Oregon, Robert F. Wagner of New York, and Robert A. Taft of Ohio. By the time the reconstituted committee held its initial dinner meeting in 1941, the first of a series of such annual events, its roster included more than two-thirds of the U.S. Senate and hundreds of members of the House of Representatives, as well as many other leaders of public life [emphasis – E.D.]

 

(…)

The membership of the committee grew eventually to 15,000, including governors, members of state legislatures, mayors of cities, and men and women in all walks of life, many of whom lent their services as speakers in a campaign of public education and in other ways.

 

(…)

Whereas the American Palestine Committee was largely political in its makeup, additional significant support was forthcoming with the founding of the Christian Council on Palestine as an allied though independent cooperating group. The initial impetus was given late in 1942 by prominent Protestants such as Reinhold Niebuhr, S. Ralph Harlow, Henry A. Atkinson, Daniel A. Poling, and Paul Tillich. Working with them as liaison with the Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs were Milton Steinberg and Philip Bernstein, who enjoyed the full cooperation of Stephen S. Wise and Emanuel Neumann (…) The Christian Council emphasized the need to destroy racial and religious discrimination and to demand justice for the Jewish people everywhere, but it considered Zionist objectives in Palestine the paramount goal and the basic solution to Jewish national homelessness. The council strove to gain the sympathy of churchmen and clergy by organizing conferences, arranging seminars, and publishing literature. The influence it exerted was out of proportion to its relatively limited membership.

 

In 1944 the American Palestine Committee sponsored a National Conference on Palestine. The conference, which was held in Washington and attended by leaders from all parts of the country, adopted resolutions with regard to the Jews of Europe and the future of Palestine, demanding maximum Jewish immigration to Palestine and the reconstitution of the country as a Jewish Commonwealth. The same year members of the American Palestine Committee in both houses of Congress lent their support to the efforts of Abba Hillel Silver and the American Zionist Emergency Council, which he headed, to have Congress adopt a resolution favoring Zionist aims in Palestine. The resolution was finally adopted late in 1945.

 

(…)

———————————————————-

Note by Elias Davidsson:

 

The above entry does not mention any activity of the American Palestine Committee related to the extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis.

 

Transfer and the Lessons of the Holocaust

Transfer and the Lessons of the Holocaust

By Uri Davis, in RETURN, March 1990

Given Zionist and Israeli history, the ongoing public discussion inside Israel regarding the prospects of mass expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homeland – ‘transfer’ in Zionist and Israeli parlance – are justly a cause of grave concern. As of 1987, a new political party MOLEDET (‘Homeland’) led by General (Reserve) Rehavam Ze’evi, Director of the Ha’aretz Museum in Tel Aviv, devoted primarily to propagation and promotion of ‘transfer’ policies is represented in the Israeli Knesset (parliament). Public discussion of the merits or otherwise of ‘transfer’ – a most grievous war crime under international law – is a legitimate subject of political discourse and polite discussion. It has been so in the past. Against the backdrop of the Palestinian intifada it has acquired new dimensions.

 

During and in the wake of the 1948-9 war the government of the State of Israel orchestrated the mass transfer of the majority of the Palestinian Arab inhabitants out of the villages, towns and cities in the territories that came under Israeli control: Some 750,000 men, women and children, who, today, with their descendants constitute the body of approximately 2 million Palestinian Arab refugees and exiles. In subsequent years, their home villages, almost without exception, were razed to the ground in flagrant violation of repeated United Nations Resolutions affirming the right of the Palestinian Arab refugees to return or to compensation.

 

These are war crimes under international law.

 

Following the intifada, Israeli occupation policies of collective punishment against the Palestinian people have been extensively documented in the West: denial of supplies of fuel and electricity; administrative arrests of many thousands in concentration camps; demolition of homes of detainees; illegal deportation; indiscriminate beatings directed to maim and mutilate; illegal application of tear gas in confined places resulting in many deaths and hundreds of miscarriages of pregnant women; torture; killing of unarmed Palestinian protesters against the continued Israeli occupation, men and women, mostly youths and many children under fourteen, at the rate of one person every 24 hours on average (adjusted for population size the equivalent figure in the United Kingdom would be some 500 persons per month, 17 persons per day).

 

These too are war crimes under international law.

 

Given the enormity of these crimes, it is necessary to make one straight qualification: the government of Israel did not contemplate in the past, and is not contemplating at present mass murder of the Palestinian Arab people, in gas chambers or in any other way. Yet, it is also necessary to ask, and it is repeatedly asked: how is it possible for people who had gone through the experience of transfer and the mass murder of six million Jews and the Nazi Holocaust to commit war crimes against another people.

 

For nearly two decades following the 1948-9 war the perplexity and the incredulity represented in this question ("How is it possible…") was manipulated by the official Zionist and Israeli information offices to undermine the credibility of the historical narrative of the Palestinian people; the victims of the war.

 

Since it was not credible, so the official Zionist and Israeli argument went, that the remnant of a people who had gone through the Nazi Holocaust should commit, in their turn, war crimes against another people, therefore, the claims of the Palestinians to have been subject to massacres, mass murder, and orchestrated mass expulsion at the hand of the Israeli army, must be fabrication and slander; yet another case of manipulation of Arab (Muslim and Christian) anti-Jewish racism inflamed by the general Levantine propensity to unprincipled lying, and exaggerated by the essential retrograde mind of a backward people fictionalising reality to suit their vile purpose.

 

Thus, according to the Zionist and official Israeli version, the Palestinians were not expelled by Israel and repeated massacres did not take place except, perhaps, for the one at Deir Yassin. The Palestinians allegedly left the localities of their normal residences in response to the calls of their leaders. There are no Palestinians, anyway. There are only Arabs in Palestine, who have no claims to Palestine except as transient Bedouin residents who properly belong to the neighbouring Arab countries (Peters). The Arabs in Palestine have not been dispossessed. They got due punishment as aggressors in a unjust war. There are no Palestinian refugees. There are only Arabs who had allegedly departed from the localities of normal residences in Palestine at the behest of their leaders with the intent of returning in the wake of the victorious Arab armies (Katz). The majority of Arabs are dreaming and yearning for the day when they are masters of the state, meanwhile roaming the land seeking out Jewish women to bed, and, sometimes, to wed (Kahane). The two decades of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip which have followed the 1967 war, punctuated by the Israeli invasion of the Lebanon, the siege of Beirut and the massacres at Sabra and Shatila in 1982, and most emphatically, the Intifada, have put paid to these slanderous Zionist and official Israeli portrayals of the question of Palestine.

 

There is an established Hebrew adage which is apposite here: "Ha-posel be-mumo posel". He or she who unjustly slanders another reveals thereby the truth of his or her own failing.

 

The details of Plan Dalet have now been widely researched. The scope of the mass murder perpetrated by pre-1948 Zionist military organisations (e.g. at Deir Yassin where 250 were massacred) and by the Israeli army since May 1948 (e.g.. at Duwayma where 300 were massacred; Lydda were 250 were massacred) in order to uproot the Palestinian people from their homeland and cause the terrorised flight of the mass of the Palestinian population have now been properly documented (Sayigh; Morris; Palumbo; Kana’ana).

 

The extent of the official Israeli lie fabricating the alleged call by Arab leaders to the Palestinian population to depart is fully authoritatively exposed (e.g.. Flapan). The horrific destruction of Palestinian villages inside pre-1967 Israel territory is well recorded: 385 of the 500 Palestinian villages in the territories that came under Israeli sovereignty following the 1948-9 war were razed to the ground, their lands transferred to exclusive Jewish settlement, cultivation and development (Shahak, in Davis and Mezvinsky). Most of the land belonging to the remaining villages was, by racist legislation, transferred to exclusive Jewish use (Jiryis). "Between ourselves", wrote Joseph Weitz, key architect of Zionist colonisation in Palestine, in 1940, "[It] must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together in this country: We shall not achieve our goal of being an independent people with the Arabs in this small country. The only solution is Eretz Israel, at least the west part of Eretz Israel, without Arabs…And there is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, transfer all of them, not one village, not one tribe should be left, and the transfer must aim at Iraq, Syria and even Transjordan…" (quoted in Hirst)

 

How is it possible for a people who had gone through the experience of transfer and the mass murder of six million Jews and the Nazi Holocaust to commit in turn war crimes against another people?

 

It is possible because the Zionist solution to the problem of anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitic solution of the Jewish question, each from their respective and separate motivation and ideological point of departure, can converge into agreement on practicalities. The Zionist argument claims that Jewish communities cannot achieve freedom and equality as minorities in non-Jewish societies. The anti-Semitic argument claims that non-Jewish societies will forever be afflicted by malaise and deterioration so long as they have minority Jewish communities in their midst. Both Zionist and anti-Semite can, and do, agree that Jews have no place as minorities in non-Jewish societies; both Zionist and anti-Semite can, and do agree on the necessity, indeed the desirability, of the mass transfer of minority Jewish communities from the body of non-Jewish societies into a segregated territory.

 

Motivated by the ideological perspective outlined above, official collaboration between the Zionist organisation and the Nazi authorities took place against the backdrop of the mass annihilation of the Nazi Holocaust in order to promote the selective transfer of Jews from Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe to Palestine. Sections of the leadership of the Zionist organisation, those sections spearheading the struggle to establish a Zionist Jewish state in Palestine, chose to collaborate with the Nazi authorities of the Third Reich and subject all considerations to the misplaced primacy of the establishment of a Zionist Jewish state in Palestine rather than to the primacy of the mass rescue of Jews from annihilation. At the time, Yitzhak Gruenbaum, Head of the Rescue Committee of the World Zionist Organisation/Jewish Agency made the following statement:

 

And it this time in Eretz Israel there are comments: ‘Do not put Eretz Israel in priority in this difficult time, in time of destruction of European Jewry’. I do not accept such as a saying. And when some asked me: ‘Can you not give money from KEREN HAYESSOD (Zionist Foundation Fund designated to fund Jewish settlements in Palestine) to save Jews in the Diaspora?’ I said: ‘No’. And again I say: ‘No’. I know that people wonder why I had to say it. Friends tell me that even if these things are right there is no need to reveal them in public in time of sorrow and concern. I disagree. I think we have to stand before this wave that is putting Zionist activity into the second row…And because of this people called me an anti-Semite and concluded that I am guilty, because we do not give priority to rescue actions…I think it is necessary to say here: Zionism is over everything…" (Quoted in Brenner)

 

Motivated by such an ideological perspective, sections of the Zionist leadership, and most emphatically sections of the Labour-Zionist leadership, resolved at least in some critical cases (e.g.. Hungary, Czechoslovakia) to pay the price of silence, demanded by the Nazi authorities for such collaboration, and consciously abandoned the mass of European Jewish communities to death and destruction (Hecht; Shonfield). A Zionist political leadership and a Zionist political organisation willing to compromise its own people in this way in order to promote its political programme of the establishment of a Zionist Jewish state in Palestine, would have no hesitation in perpetrating war crimes against another people if it was deemed necessary to achieve this aim (Allen).

 

This is how it is possible.

 

The mass expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homeland by the Israeli army (‘transfer’) was perpetrated in 1948-49 in an effort by the newly declared Israeli state authorities to secure Jewish demographic majority in the territories which came under their sovereignty. Through perpetrating policies of grievous war crimes the Jewish state of Israel designated by the United Nations to be a bi-national state (UN Partition Plan, Resolution 181 of 1947) was transformed through the 1948-9 orchestrated mass ‘transfer’ of the Palestinian people into a Zionist state of Israel with a Jewish demographic majority.

 

Following the 1967 war the continuing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and against the backdrop of the Palestinian intifada since 1987, current renewed discussion in Israel on the subject is serious and dangerous in the extreme. Thus, a MOLEDET 1987 election information pamphlet has the following to say:;

 

Already in 1917 when the Arabs of the Land of Israel rejected the Balfour Declaration, Max Nordau and Israeli Zangwill, Herzl’s colleagues, suggested that the one half million Arab inhabitants be transferred to Arab states and given compensation for their rehabilitation. Berl Katznelson, of the leadership of the Labour movement at the time, supported their proposal. The transfer of Arabs to an Arab state was also proposed by a British Royal Commission [the Peel Commission of 1937] which arrived in the country in the wake of the 1936-9 disturbances (the first intifada). It was due to the idea of transfer that David Ben-Gurion agreed to the partition of the country. Also the British Labour Party conference in 1945, prior to the end of World War II, passed a resolution in favour of transfer of the Arabs of the Land of Israel to Iraq. This took place effectively after the Arabs rejected the UN resolution (1947) regarding the establishment of a Jewish state. They launched a second intifada, following which our war of liberation took place. It resulted in the fleeing of the Arabs, who thereby made real the idea of transfer in practice. Since the 1967 war the idea of transfer was not taken off [the national agenda] as a possible solution to the demographic problem. Now a significant proportion of the people regard transfer as almost the only solution (MOLEDET, Homeland, Elections Manifesto, circa 1987)

 

This is how it is possible.

 

Adapted from Uri Davis, THE STATE OF PALESTINE. Forthcoming in Ithaca Press, London 1990.

 

Bibliography

 

Allen, Jim: Perdition, Ithaca Press and Jerusalem and Peace Service, London, 1987

 

Arendt, Hannah: Eichmann in Jerusalem. A Report on the Banality of Evil, Faber and Faber, London, 1963

 

Brenner, Lenni: Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, A Reappraisal, Croom Helm, London, 1983

 

Flapan, Simha: The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, Croom Helm, London, 1987

 

Hecht, Ben: Perfidy, Julian Messner, New York, 1961

 

Hirst, David: The Gun and the Olive Branch, Faber and Faber, 1977

 

Jiryis, Sabri: The Arabs in Israel, Monthly Review Press, New York, 1976

 

Kahane, Meir: Forty Years, in Yair Kotler, Heil Kahane, Adama Books, New York, 1986

 

Kana’ana, Sharif and Beer Yizhar: "Collect Every Detail – Rescue Every Remnant" Ha’aretz, 10 Jan. 1990

 

Katz, Shmuel: The Battleground: Facts and Fantasy in Palestine, Bantam Books, New York, 1973

 

Khalidi, Walid: From Haven to Conquest, Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut/Washington, 1971

 

Peters, Joan: From Time Immemorial – The Origin of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine, Michael Joseph, London, 1984

 

Sayigh, Rosemary: Palestinians, From Peasants to Revolutionaries, Zed Books, London, 1977

 

Shahak, Israel: ‘Arab Villages Destroyed in Israel – A Report’, in Uri Davis & Norton (eds.), Documents from Israel – Readings for Critique of Zionism, Ithaca Press, London, 1975

 

Shonfield, Rabbi Moshe: The Holocaust Victims Accuse, Neturei Karta of USA, New York, 1977

 

———————————————————————-

Uri Davis is a Palestinian Jewish socialist and anti-Zionist. Academic and civil rights activist of dual Israeli and British citizenship. Author and associate author of several books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most recently Israel- an Apartheid State and the Jewish National Fund. Founder member of RETURN.

 

 

The Ghetto Fights

The Ghetto Fights

Marek Edelman, Bookmarks /book review by Tony Greenstein in RETURN, December 1990

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising stands as one of the finest symbols of humanity’s capacity to resist oppression, no matter how powerful the enemy seems. Even today, it stands as a beacon of light for those without hope.

 

From July to September 1942 the Nazis deported three-quarters of the ghetto, over a quarter of million Jews, to the Treblinka death camp. The left political groups in the ghetto had stood by, impotent with rage, without arms, as the Jewish Police hunted down their fellow Jews.

 

In the months that followed the beginnings of physical resistance took shape. There had always been political opposition within the Ghetto, the Bund (Jewish Workers Party) putting out regular bulletins and newssheets. In January 1943 an Aktion was met by armed resistance. With only a few revolvers, the SS and their Latvian and Ukrainan helpers were driven back. The Nazis backed off for 3 months and the Jewish Fighting Organisation (ZOB) took control of the streets. When the Nazis moved in on April 19, 1943, it took them longer to conquer the Ghetto than it had to conquer all of Poland.

 

History is written and re-written from the standpoint of those in power. Thus it is that the Jewish Establishment whose equivalent in the Warsaw Ghetto, the Judenrat (Jewish Council) was one of the main obstacles to resistance, today pay homage to the Resistance. Likewise all those Zionists who negotiated and collaborated with Nazism, even to the extent of conducting profitable trade with the murderers, now make an obscene comparison between the fighters of the Ghetto and Israeli militarism.

 

Hollywood films such as The Wall would have us believe that the goal of the fighters was to reach Palestine. In fact ZOB took particular care to ensure that no preparations were made for refuge in the ‘Aryan’ part of Warsaw, for fear of undermining the will to fight. In fact there was but one goal, namely to inflict the maximum amount of damage on the Nazi beasts. The desire to revenge those who had murdered their loved ones and starved the ghetto into submission (the amount of food allowed by the Nazis in the Ghetto meant deliberate starvation).

 

The Uprising is claimed by the Zionists today as proof that they resisted. It is true that the left-Zionist groups, especially their youth wings, fought valiantly. Yet in such a situation, it was hardly their Zionism which was responsible for this. Indeed it was when these same groups had abandoned any practical commitment to Zionist goals, eg. the maintenance of kibbutzim on farms from which Poles had been sent for forced labour in Germany, that they turned towards resistance. They fought not because of, but despite their Zionism.

 

If not for the Bund and the Communists, resistance would not have occurred. Only the Left had developed relations with the non-Jewish parties. The Zionists, having always preached that Jews should keep themselves apart from non-Jewish Poles and, with the exception of Left Poale Zion having abstained from the fight against the anti-Semites in pre-war Poland, had to rely on the Left parties in order to obtain the arms which were so necessary for resistance to begin.

 

This book was first published in 1946. Marek Edelman, deputy leader of ZOB, was a member of the anti-Zionist Bund, which in last pre-war elections in Poland captured a majority of the vote in every major Polish Jewish community. An activist in Solidarity and heart-surgeon who decided to stay in Poland after the war.

 

This book tugs at the whole range of human emotions – despair, joy, grief and hope. How was it possible for people to resist the most powerful army on earth armed with little more than pistols, having been starved for two years? When a loaf of bread had enticed so many into the death trains only months before.

 

For me the most searing account is that of the escape of Edelman’s band of fighters into the Central ghetto. He commanded the group in the shops area – where the German factories were situated – which was set alight by the Nazis in order to smoke out the resistance. A decision was taken to flee and in one fell swoop, they darted through the flames and fiery ruins. As they crossed over, a searchlight was trained upon them. A shot rang out and the darkness returned and the fighters were safe.

 

Edelman’s political integrity is in itself a testimony to the struggle of the human spirit. Contrary to the assertions of Zionist historians he states that the reason ZOB had so few arms was not because of the anti-Semitism of the Polish resistance but because they too had so few. The precondition for resistance was the elimination of the Jewish collaborators and the terrorising of the Jewish establishment in the ghetto. Ironically this is exactly what the Palestinians are doing today in the Intifada.

 

———————————————————————

Elaborating on this subject here is a Letter to the editor by Prof. Israel Shahak, published on 19 May 1989 in Kol Ha’ir, Jerusalem:

 

Falsification of the Holocaust

 

I disagree with the opinion of Haim Baram that the Israeli education system has managed to instil a ‘Holocaust awareness’ in its pupils (Kol Ha’Ir 12.5.89). It’s not an awareness of the Holocaust but rather the myth of the Holocaust or even a falsification of the Holocaust (in the sense that ‘a half-truth is worse than a lie’) which has been instilled here.

 

As one who himself lived through the Holocaust, first in Warsaw then in Bergen-Belsen, I will give an immediate example of the total ignorance of daily life during the Holocaust. In the Warsaw ghetto, even during the period of the first massive extermination (June to October 1943), one saw almost no German soldiers. Nearly all the work of administration, and later the work of transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths, was carried out by Jewish collaborators. Before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the planning of which only started after the extermination of the majority of Jews in Warsaw), the Jewish underground killed, with perfect justification, every Jewish collaborator they could find. If they had not done so the Uprising could never have started. The majority of the population of the Ghetto hated the collaborators far more than the German Nazis. Every Jewish child was taught, and this saved the lives of some them "if you enter a square from which there are three exits, one guarded by a German SS man, one by an Ukrainian and one by a Jewish policeman, then you should first try to pass the German, and then maybe the Ukrainian, but never the Jew".

 

One of my own strongest memories is that, when the Jewish underground killed a despicable collaborator close to my home at the end of February 1943, I danced and sang around the still bleeding corpse together with the other children. I still do not regret this, quite the contrary.

 

It is clear that such events were not exclusive to the Jews, the entire Nazi success in easy and continued rule over millions of people stemmed from the subtle and diabolical use of collaborators, who did most of the dirty work for them. But does anybody now know about this ? This, and not what is ‘instilled’ was the reality. Of the Yad Vashem (official state Holocaust museum in Jerusalem – Ed.) theatre, I do not wish to speak, at all. It, and its vile exploiting, such as honouring South Africa collaborators with the Nazis are truly beneath contempt.

 

Therefore, if we knew a little of the truth about the Holocaust, we would at least understand (with or without agreeing) why the Palestinians are now eliminating their collaborators. That is the only means they have if they wish to continue to struggle against our limb-breaking regime.

 

 

Zionists during the Holocaust: A studied indifference

Zionists during the Holocaust: A studied indifference

Book Review in Jerusalem Post, 30. Nov. 1991 (excerpts)

Hamillion Hashvi’i (The Seventh Million): The Israelis and the Holocaust, by Tom Segev, Jerusalem, Domino Press, Keter, 548 pp. NIS 45.90

 

Book review by Gilla Eisenberg

 

How die the Zionist leaders relate to the Holocaust and to European Jews during and after WWII? How was the catastrophe perceived in the Yishuv, and later in the newborn State? What reception awaited the survivors arriving in the Promised Land? How did Israeli society choose to safeguard the memory of the Holocaust?

 

Tom Segev – a historian and columnist at Ha’aretz – has worked for over two years to answer these questions, digging into various archives and unearthing much unpublished material. The overall picture that emerges is a far cry from the awe and respect on might suppose this event would elicit.

 

The Zionist leadership, whether Mapai or Herut [Labor or Right-wing Revisionist – E.D.], behaved with incredible disregard for the events in Europe: the fate of their European brethren was important only insofar as it served the Zionist cause; in later years, the Holocaust, its consequences, its memory, were exploited without any qualms in political infighting by major Israeli parties.

 

To flesh out his provocative thesis, Segev lines up a number of ‘affairs’ which bitterly divided the country, and shows the way the Holocaust was used and abused by political figures like Ben-Gurion and Begin. Most of the facts are known and, though Segev does reveal some new elements, it is his assembling of different events which proves so troubling.

 

Zionists from all sides adopted a ‘pragmatic’ attitude during the war in regard to the rescue of European Jews. Since they were quite powerless at that time [see entries on Zionism in the United States during World War II for contrary evidence], they tended simply to negate the extent of the catastrophe. Segev refuses to go into the question of whether or not all was done by the Jewish leaders in Mandatory Palestine that could be done. Nevertheless, the documents he produces show clearly that the fate of the Jews under Nazi domination was never a priority for Ben Gurion. He was a man dedicated to one cause: the establishment of a Jewish state. He put all his strength into this task.

 

More shocking is the way the survivors were treated on their arrival in the Promised Land. Regarded with undisguised contempt, they weren’t even given the chance to speak about their experiences: this kind of testimony was considered ‘demoralizing’. Moshe Sharett declared that they were ‘undesirable human material’.

 

Ben-Gurion and his associates couldn’t reconcile the image of the crushed Jewish victims of Nazism with the new Jew that Zionist ideology had tried to set up: the proud pioneer-soldier. On the other hand, the leaders of the Jewish Agency and of Mapai realized that the Holocaust powerfully buttressed the reasons for their work. These two contradictory reactions may explain the ambiguity which characterized the relation of the Israelis to the event and to the survivors.

 

(…)

 

Some rituals inflicted on Israeli youth border on the grotesque: Segev witnessed some shocking scenes when he travelled to Poland to participate with groups of adolescents in the ‘March of the Living’, now a must in Holocaust education. He is deeply troubled by the fact that the lesson taught is one of mistrust of the outside world, of aggressiveness and narrow nationalism. The memory of Holocaust should have instilled respect for democratic values and human rights, and reinforced the struggle against racism.

 

A harsh piece of self-criticism, The Seventh Million offers interesting revelations and sometimes controversial conclusions. It will no doubt provoke passionate debate. Members of the new generation, who were taught mainly the heroic deeds of the founding fathers, will discover that the mythic figures of the Zionist enterprise were great men who also made great mistakes. So far, it seems, Israeli society has not yet learned how to cope with the Holocaust – with its survivors and with the preservation of its memory – in an appropriate and dignified manner.

 

(The Seventh Million will be published in English early in 1992 by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, New York)

 

Zionism’s Failure to Support Resistance

Zionism’s Failure to Support Resistance

The World Zionist Organization prided itself on its international organisation and especially its intelligence network and so on. It was the only specifically Jewish international organisation which had liaison offices both inside and on the periphery of Nazi Europe, which had direct organisational links with Zionist groups throughout Europe and direct access to and political influence with the Allied powers, and which had been engaged in arms smuggling and financial operations. The only other international Jewish organisation was the Bund, which had far less resources and did far more to publicize the Holocaust and seek support for Jewish resistance in Europe.

 

The vast apparatus of the World Zionist Organisation, including its illegal armed forces in Palestine etc. was not used to publicize the Holocaust and support resistance, but took part in covering it up until the Allied powers decided to publicize it.

 

This vast Zionist apparatus was not used either for assisting beleaguered ghetto fighters or aiding rescue activities. Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel, organizer of rescue activities in Slovakia asks in his book ‘From the Depths’:

 

Why didn’t they try, from their place of freedom, to break through to us and send us a secret messenger? This question becomes greater when we see that the governments of Czechoslovakia and Poland, which were in free lands, sent secret messengers daily to their loyal people in the occupied countries. And therefore our amazement grows. Why don’t the great organizers of Jewry use these messengers if they have no other way? And during all of the years since we developed this method, those in the free countries did not once attempt to send messengers to us – rather, WE had to send them and to pay for them. How many did we send them only for the to return empty-handed – because those over there did not have time to answer ?" (Quoted in ‘The Holocaust Victims Accuse’ by Rabbi Moshe Shonfeld)

 

The only known assistance from the international Zionist movement to Jewish resistance in Nazi Europe was when the British Royal Air Force parachuted some volunteers from Palestine to make contact with partisan forces. Those who were escorted by Tito’s partisans from Yugoslavia to Hungary were handed over to the Gestapo by their Zionist ‘liaison’ in Budapest – Rudolf Kastner.

 

Many Zionists in Nazi Europe had no choice but to fight back against the Nazis and some acquitted themselves with honour in ghetto rebellions and partisan warfare, although these resistance activities were generally led by Communists and Bundists rather than by Zionists.

 

Large masses of Jews organised resistance movements and took part in partisan warfare throughout occupied Europe – usually under Communist leadership, often under direct command of the Red Army, and generally making quite a substantial contribution to the Allied war effort.

 

Generally, Zionists preferred MASSADA-like last stands to the more effective form of resistance – partisan warfare. But even at Warsaw, where their contribution was greatest, the majority of fighters were Communist, Bundist or unaffiliated. Moreover, although both left-wing Zionists and Revisionists did make a major contribution to the Warsaw ghetto rebellion, their first target was other Zionists, mainly mainstream ones, who were leaders of the Nazi sponsored Judenrat, the ghetto police and the Jewish Gestapo.

 

The leading pro-German, anti-British Zionist theoretician, one of the well known international leaders of a dissident faction in Zionism, Dr. Alfred Nossig, was shot by the Warsaw ghetto fighters as a Gestapo agent. Whatever role some Zionists played in the resistance activities, the plain fact is that they got little or no support from the international Zionist movement, whose leadership was too busy demanding unrestricted immigration and a Jewish Army in Palestine.

 

That is not to say that Zionists in Palestine were incapable of giving assistance to partisan warfare. On the contrary, both the mainstream Zionists and the Revisionists maintained very efficient clandestine armed forces in Palestine throughout the war, and these both had extensive arms smuggling operations which substantially depleted British armouries and forced the diversion of British troops to guard duty. But these arms were for use against the British and the Arabs, not against the Germans. Details will be found in ‘Cross Roads to Israel’ by Christopher Sykes (Nel Mentor, London, 1967).

 

Zionist Priorities During the Holocaust

Zionist policy during the Holocaust is best summed up in the words of Yitzhak Greenbaum speaking on ‘The Diaspora and the Redemption’ at a Tel Aviv meeting in February 1943:

 

For the rescue of the Jews in the Diaspora, we should consolidate our excess strength and the surplus of powers that we have. When they come to us with two plans – the rescue of the masses of Jews in Europe or the redemption of the land – I vote, without a second thought, for the redemption of the land. The more said about the slaughter of our people, the greater the minimization of our efforts to strengthen and promote the Hebraization of the land. If there would be a possibility today of buying packages of food with the money of the ‘Keren Hayesod’ (United Jewish Appeal) to send it through Lisbon, would we do such a thing? No! And once again No!"

(Shonfeld, op. cit., p.26)

 

Greenbaum confirms this in his postwar book ‘In Days of Holocaust and Destruction’:

 

…When they asked me, couldn’t you give money out of the United Jewish Appeal funds for the rescue of Jews in Europe, I said, ‘NO!’ and I say again ‘NO!’…one should resist this wave which pushes the Zionist activities to secondary importance." (ibid., p.26)

 

Notice that Greenbaum had not only insisted that buying land from the Arabs was more important than rescuing Jews in Europe, as he admitted after the war, but he had even called for less to be SAID about the slaughter, so as not to distract attention from buying land! It was an explicit call for a conspiracy of silence.

 

Greenbaum, whose son was an exceptionally notorious Kapo at Auschwitz, was not just some insignificant Zionist functionary shooting his mouth off. He was Kastner’s immediate superior in the Jewish Agency, as head of the Rescue Committee for European Jewry, and he became a cabinet minister in Israel’s first Government.

 

Greenbaum’s policy was the Zionist movement’s policy (Greenbaum was actually in a minority in the Zionist leadership on this question. The damning fact is that he was left in charge of the ‘rescue committee’ after openly expressing his opposition to the use of Zionist money for rescue activities). Kastner was only carrying out an agreed policy.

 

This policy was summed up in the slogan ‘one goat in Eretz Israel (Hebrew name for historic Palestine) is worth an entire community in the Diaspora"

 

As Rabbi Shonfeld comments:

 

The rescue committee of the Jewish Agency falsely bore the name ‘rescue’. It would be more appropriate to call it the Committee for Covering Up, Ignoring and Silencing…the thoughts of Zionist officials and especially the chairman, Greenbaum, were steeped in plots and schemes to use the holocaust and its consequences to build up the national home and to realize the demands for establishing a Jewish State." (Shonfeld, op.cit., p. 56)

 

This attitude was further demonstrated in a letter from Nathan Schwalb, representative of the Jewish Agency in Switzerland, to the Rescue Committee for Czech Jewry:

 

Since we have the opportunity of this courier, we are writing to the group that they must always remember that matter which is the most important, which is the main issue that must always be before our eyes. After all, the allies will be victorious. After the victory, they will once again divide up the world between the nations as they did at the end of first war. Then they opened the way for us for the first step and now, as the war ends, we must do everything so that Eretz Yisroel should become a Jewish state. Important steps have already been taken in this matter. As to the cry that comes from your country, we must be aware that all the nations of the Allies are spilling much blood and if we do not bring sacrifices, with what will we achieve the right to sit at the table when they make the distribution of nations and territories after the war? And so it would be foolish and impertinent on our side to ask the nations whose blood is being spilled in order to protect our own blood. Because ‘rak b’dam tihyu lanu haaretz’ (only through blood will the land be ours). As to yourselves – members of the group – you will get out, and for this purpose we are providing you with funds by this courier." (Ibid., pp. 26-28).

 

As Rabbi Shonfeld comments:

 

Here Mr. Schwalb expressed the complete Zionist ideology and stated clearly and openly the politics of the Zionist leaders in the area of rescue: The shedding of Jewish blood in the Diaspora is necessary in order for us to demand the establishment of a ‘Jewish’ state before a peace commission. Money will be sent to save a group of ‘chalutzim’ (pioneers, while the remainder of Czech Jewry must resign itself to annihilation in the Auschwitz crematoria." (Ibid., p. 28)

 

Suppressing the News

There is no doubt about the fact that the Zionist leadership kept quiet about the Holocaust while it was going on. Kastner was able to excuse his own silence about Auschwitz by telling the Court that other Jewish Agency representatives suppressed the news he sent out while negotiations proceeded:

 

I learned that the Jewish Agency and Joint Distribution Committee representatives in Switzerland, Moshe Shwalb and Saly Mayer, did not give out information to the press about the mass killings. They failed to give the press the news I sent from Budapest. I sent cables also to the Istanbul Rescue Committee (of the Jewish Agency). They were also kept secret from the press. I informed them almost daily by cables about the pace of the extermination. My cables were never published anywhere."(Hecht, op. cit., p.91).

 

Indeed, as Ben Hecht explains:

 

There will be many witnesses to testify about this silence during Greenwald’s trial, among them Professor Aktzin, dean of the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I quote from the trial record:

 

‘Tamir: Is it true that the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency did suppress the news of the extermination in the United States up to and through 1941?

 

"Professor Aktzin: The Zionists, Jewish Agency and Joint Distribution Committee did refrain from publicizing in the American press the massacre of Jews.’

 

While the war was still on in 1945, a Jewish mission of survivors from Poland came to the annual meeting of the World Jewish Congress. They came with accusations, and the leaders of the Jewish Congress listened stoically to their plaint. The survivors from Poland accused these leaders of Zion of having failed to arouse the nations of the world to the fact that the Jews were being exterminated. The mission accused the leaders of Jewry of having neglected practical possibilities of rescue and help. The leaders stated that the omissions were the result of a deliberate decision. They offered as explanation ‘the opinion of the executive board was that it was inadvisable because of own diplomatic ties with these governments’ (Of the Free World). (ibid., pp. 92-3).

 

Greenbaum justified the Zionist leaders policy of hiding the facts about the Holocaust from the public, in a speech he made at Sokolov House on 1 January 1964. He said:

 

Whoever is building the homeland and is battling for the very existence of the homeland, is excused from knowing; for he has another, greater obligation." (Shonfeld, op.cit, p.79)

 

Thus after the war too, Greenbaum reaffirms that the Holocaust had to be covered up because the knowledge that European Jewry was being exterminated would have distracted attention from the more important question of building a Jewish State in Palestine. This was also the occasion on which Greenbaum produced another gem:

 

It would have been worthwhile to sacrifice another million Jews for the glory of the Warsaw Ghetto revolt" (ibid., p.79)

 

Zionist Leaders Admit Inactivity


Despite the popular impression, Zionist leaders do not seriously contest that they were inactive during the holocaust. Here is Dr. Nahum Goldmann, President of the World Jewish Congress speaking at a commemorative meeting on 4 March, 1962:

 

There is no doubt that future Jewish history will judge the generation of the Holocaust which lived in free lands as guilty. It will accuse it of failing to adequately prepare for the Nazi danger in its beginning stages, and of not daring to fight desperately the annihilation in this period. I do not know whether, in the time of the war, the Allies could have prevented the death of millions of Jews. But there is no doubt in my heart that it was possible to save tens of thousands of Jews with active, daring measures by the democratic governments. But most of the responsibility lies upon us, due to our self-satisfaction with requests and routine demands and to the fact that groups of Jews did not have enough courage to pressure the democratic governments with dramatic means and motivate them to act drastically. I will never forget the day on which a telegram from the Warsaw ghetto was delivered to me, it was addressed to Rabbi Stephen Wise and to myself. We were asked why Jewish leaders in America do not protest day and night on the stairs of the White House until the President orders the bombing of the concentration camps and the railway tracks leading to them. We did not do so because the majority of Jewish leaders then were of the opinion that they should not interfere with the free world’s war effort against the Nazis with stormy protests. Therefore we should not transfer the guilt to those who suffered and paid with their lives. If there is a basis to the historical ‘I accuse’, let us have the courage now to direct it against that part of the generation which was lucky enough to be outside of the Nazi domination and did not fulfil its obligation toward the millions killed." (reported in the Israeli daily paper Davar, 22 April 1964).

 

While admitting most of the responsibility for the deaths of tens of thousands, if not millions of Jews who could have been saved, Goldmann tries to spread the blame around a bit, to include everyone who was not actually a victim of the holocaust.

 

As Rabbi Shonfeld comments on this speech:

 

Today all have regrets: the past Nazis, the good Germans, the merciful Catholics, the very democratic British and Americans, and even the Jewish secular leaders. However, as we said, the statute of limitations against war crimes is not to apply to the Nazis and their accomplices, whether non-Jews or Jews…" (Ibid., p. 70)

 

Actually, Nahum Goldmann received and ignored so many similar messages during the holocaust that he was bound to become confused after 20 years.

 

The telegram from the Warsaw ghetto did not refer to bombing concentration camps and railway tracks.

 

It came from the ‘Jewish National Committee’ in Warsaw, via the Polish underground, on 21 January 1943, and simply read as follows:

 

We notify you of the greatest crime of all times, about the murder of millions of Jews in Poland. Poised at the brink of the annihilation of the still surviving Jews, we ask you:

1. Revenge against the Germans

2. Force the Hitlerites to halt the murders

3. Fight for our lives and our honour

4. Contact the neutral countries

5. Rescue 10,000 children through exchange

6. 500,000 dollars for purposes of aid

Brothers – the remaining Jews in Poland live with the awareness that in the most terrible days of our history you did not come to our aid. Respond, at least in the last days of our life." (quoted in Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews 1933-45. Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1977, p.403)

 

Nor did all "that part of the generation which was lucky enough to be outside of the Nazi domination" fall to "fulfil its obligation toward the millions killed". Not even all Jewish nationalists took Nahum Goldmann’s Zionist stand that they "should not interfere with the free world’s war effort against the Nazis with stormy protests" (a pathetic lie considering the Zionist decision to ‘fight the White Paper as though there was no war’ in Palestine).

 

The Bundist member of the Polish Government in exile (The Bund was a nationalist, but not Zionist, Social Democratic party of Jewish workers in Russia and Poland), Artur Zygelbojm committed suicide as a public gesture to draw attention to what was happening in Warsaw. Despite the Zionist fears, he has never been accused in ‘interfering with the free world’s war effort against the Nazis with stormy protests’.

 

A Message Zionist Leaders Ignored

————————————

The message Nahum Goldmann thought he remembered from Warsaw about bombing concentration camps and railways, actually came more than a year later from Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel, a rescue worker operating in Slovakia. If anyone thinks some 3CR programs speak too strongly, let them study this message:

 

May 15, 1944 – In a cave near Lublin. Sholom and Greetings. We send you this special message to inform you that yesterday the Germans began the deportation of Jews from Hungary. It is the beginning of deportation of all the Hungarian Jews.

 

Every day, twelve thousand souls are being taken off. Four deportations of forty-five such train-loads move daily out of Hungary. Within twenty-six days all that area will have been deported.

 

The deported ones go to Auschwitz to be put to death by cyanide gas. A great number are dead on arrival. The Germans allow a few of the strongest to stay alive. Those who are allowed to live are branded with a number burned into their arm and the Star of David burned into their chest.

 

Most of these privileged ones die within a month. Others take their place.

 

Those who go directly from the train to the gas chambers to be suffocated are not branded. They are completely consumed in the ovens and leave no evidence behind. These are 95% of each transport.

 

The dead bodies are burned in specially made ovens. Each oven burns 12 bodies an hour. In February there were 36 ovens burning. We have learned that more have been built.

 

Information supplied us by a few eyewitnesses reveals that in February there were four disposal buildings. We have learned that more have been built since then.

 

Formerly, the Germans killed and burned the Jews in the Forest of Birkenwald, near Auschwitz. Now the killing and burning take place in the buildings shown on the enclosed map.

 

In December, the Germans built special trains to transport the Jews of Hungary to their extermination. This is the schedule of Auschwitz, from yesterday to the end; twelve thousand Jews – men, women and children, old men, infants, healthy and sick ones – are to be suffocated daily and their bones and ashes are to be used to fertilize the German fields.

 

And you – our brothers in Palestine, in all the countries of freedom, and you, ministers of all the kingdom – how do you keep silent in the face of this great murder ? Silent while thousand on thousands, reaching now to six million Jews, were murdered. And silent now while tens of thousands are still being murdered and waiting to be murdered? Their destroyed hearts cry to you for help as they bewail your cruelty. Brutal you are and murderers too you are, because of the cold-bloodedness of the silence in which you watch.

 

Because you sit with folded arms and you do nothing, though you could stop or delay the murder of Jews at this very hour.

 

In the name of the blood of the thousands on thousands who have been murdered we beg, we plead, we cry out and demand that you take action, that you do deeds now – at once !

 

That the Ministers of Kingdoms and all the Lands raise a loud and piercing outcry that must enter the ears of the world, the ears of the German people, the ears of the Hungarian people. Let them cry out a warning to the German murderers. Let them proclaim that they know all that has been done in the past, and that which is still being done. And the Pope, himself, should join in this cry of outrage against the German murderers.

 

Let this outcry be heard over all the radios and read in all the newspapers of the world, that unless they stop at once the deportations of Hungary’s Jews – then will Germany be forever exiled from civilisation.

 

We ask that the crematoria in Auschwitz be bombed from the air. They are sharply visible, as shown on the enclosed map.

 

Such bombing will delay the work of the German murderers.

 

What is more important – to bomb persistently all the roads leading from Eastern Hungary to Poland and to bomb persistently the bridges in the neighborhood of Karpatarus. Drop all other business to get this done. Remember that one day of your idleness kills twelve thousand souls.

 

You, our brothers, sons of Israel, are you insane? Don’t you know the Hell around us? For whom are you saving your money?

 

How is it that all our pleadings affect you less than the whimpering of a beggar standing in your doorway? Murderers! Madmen! Who is it that gives charity? You who toss a few pennies from your safe homes? Or we who give our blood in the depths of Hell?

 

There is only one thing that may be said in your exoneration – that you do not know the truth. This is possible. The villain does his job so shrewdly that only a few guess the truth. We have told you the truth several times. Is it possible that you believe our murderers more than you believe us? May God open your eyes and give you heart to rescue in these last hours the remainder.

 

Most important is that which I write about the bombing of the Auschwitz Crematoria and the bridges leading to them.

 

Such bombing can vitally delay the evil work of our slaughterers. And God who keeps alive the last remnant of Israel will show His mercy for which I pray. I pray as I write out of the sea of tears of the people of Israel. We wait God’s help.

 

One from the Market who witnesses the woes of his people"

(Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel, Exhibit of the Defence, no. 36, State Attorney v. M. Greenwald, District Court, Jerusalem, CC124/53)

 

During the Kastner case, Menachem Bader of the Jewish Agency was asked ‘Did you receive this letter from Rabbi Weissmandel?"

 

He answered:

 

"Letters like this came to us every day".

 

But Auschwitz was not bombed. Despite receiving these heart rending messages, the Zionist leaders contended themselves with routine requests. Presumably the point was they could not initiate ‘stormy protests’ without endangering the ‘deals’ that their representative Kastner was making to rescue a few Zionists and bring them to Palestine – and from the Zionist point of view, that was more important.

 

As well as the myth about not wanting to interfere with the Allied war effort, Zionist leaders have attempted to excuse their inactivity during the holocaust by pretending that they did not really know what was happening (see, for example, Nahum Goldmann’s speech of Feb.. 1968).

 

But this excuse is refuted by numerous documents. The whole world knew about Hitler’s extermination policy after the formal Allied declaration about it in December 1942, and the Zionist leaders knew from their own sources long before then. See for example the speech of Knesset member Chaim Landau at a symposium held by the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv on 24 April, 1966 (cited in V. Bolshakov, Anti-Communism, the Main Line of Zionism, Novosti Press Agency Publ. House, Moscow,, 1972, p.35)

 

Other Zionists Accuse

The worst that Zionists will admit to, and this interpretation is widely accepted, is that they deliberately refrained from putting sufficient pressure on the Allies to intervene to rescue Jews, because they did not want to prejudice friendly relations and the future establishment of a State of Israel with British and American support.

 

That admission is damning enough, and has been quite sufficient to justify the use of the term ‘collaboration’ by Zionist Revisionists who themselves accept the theory that the conspiracy of silence was in response to British pressure, and who naturally regard immigration to Palestine as the central question in rescuing Jews.

 

A great deal of the exposure of Nazi collaboration by the mainstream Zionist leadership was carried out for political reasons by Revisionists who rightly say that agreeing to remain silent about the holocaust, while millions were being murdered, amounts to collaboration with the murderers.

 

Thus Greenwald’s defence counsel in the Kastner case, Shmuel Tamir, formerly Minister for Justice in the State of Israel, points out that Davar, the official Zionist Labour Federation newspaper, did not publicize the holocaust and even ran an editorial saying:

 

The Nazi denial of extermination has a good foundation. Not as many were annihilated as was feared." (quoted in Hecht, op.cit. p.145)

 

Tamir says:

 

Until mid-July, six weeks after the killing of twelve thousand a day had begun, still not a single authoritative word is uttered by the Jewish Agency or any Zionist officials that the deportation had started – that already half a million were exterminated.

 

The Jewish Agency had by then the best and most exact informative source on the fate of the Jews of Hungary, and on the deportation, and there was no British censorship of such items, as was proven in Court. …For a full month and a half, Mr. Sharett and the Jewish Agency are knowingly and wilfully suppressing all the news known to them." (ibid., p.147)

 

He continues:

 

And why this suppression of the dreadful news by Ben-Gurion, Sharett, Weizmann and all the official leaders of Jewry? Because, had the masses in Palestine known then what was happening in Hungary, and known then the stony hearts of their leaders, a storm would have risen in our land. Power would have fallen out of their hands. And this, it seems, was more important to them.

 

There is no other explanation. Therefore I said: "Collaboration here, parallel to collaboration there. But if the collaboration there has developed under German pressure, here we talk of men who lived in the free world, whose discretion could be more balanced, who were in control of good youth, wonderful youth, which awaited a command. The fact remains that the moral and historical responsibility, as far as Jews are concerned, lies first and foremost on those who lived in the free world. And though I am here to prove the guilt of Kastner, I say that his responsibility is lesser than that of the leaders of our free Jewish world" (ibid., p.148)

 

Ben Hecht, a supporter of the same Zionist party sums up:

 

These organizations, these philanthropists, these timorous Jewish lodge members in Zion, London and America, these Zionist leaders who let their six million kinsmen burn, choke, hang, without protest, with indifference and even with a glint of anti-Semitic cunning in their political planning, I sum up against them…

 

…My faith says that nearly all the six million Jews could have been saved and the horror of our century saved with them – had the powerful American Jewry alone united in a campaign to save them. And had those Palestine leaders who stayed mum on the slaughter and were garrulous as geese on the needs of Zionism in Palestine – had they cried out – would they have survived as leaders ? Would the British have ousted them, and gutted the ‘dream of Zionism’?

 

Again, I do not know, I know only that, by my measure, such honorable human behaviour would have been of deeper worth to the world than a dozen States of Israel." (ibid., p. 193)

 

But the truth is far worse than what Zionists will admit to joining a conspiracy of silence under British pressure. As will be shown shortly, the only British pressure was against immigration to Palestine, and it was Zionists who were exerting pressure on Britain not to rescue Jews from the holocaust.

 

A fairly accurate account of Zionist thinking at the time is given by Mapai leader Eliezer Livneh, expressing his regrets in a column entitled ‘Thoughts on the Holocaust’ in the newspaper Yedi’ot Aharonot (Shonfeld, op cit., pp.24-25):

 

Our Zionist orientation educated us to see the growing land of Israel as the prime goal and the Jewish nation only in relation to its building the land. With each tragedy befalling the Jews in the Diaspora, we saw the state as the evident solution. We continued employing this principle even during the holocaust, saving only those who could be brought to Israel. The mandate’s limitation on immigration served as a political factor in our battle to open the doors to aliya (immigration) and to establishing the state. Our programs were geared to this aim and for this we were prepared to sacrifice or endanger lives. Everything outside of this goal, including the rescue of European Jewry for its own sake, was a secondary goal. ‘If there can be no people without a country’, Rabbi Weissmandel exclaimed, ‘then surely there can be no country without a people. And where are the living Jewish people, if not in Europe?’

 

The Very Existence of the ‘Jewish Agency’ Helped the Nazis

————————————————————-

As the Revisionist newspaper Herut asks:

 

How are we to explain the fact, that the leaders of the Jewish Agency and the chiefs of the Zionist movement in Palestine kept silent? Why didn’t they raise their voices? Why didn’t they shout about it over the whole wide world? Why didn’t they appeal in broadcasts of their ‘secret’ Haganah radio station to Jews in ghettos, camps and villages to flee to the woods, to mutiny and fight, to try to save themselves? By silence they collaborated with the German to no less extent than the scoundrels who provided the Germans with the death lists. History will yet pronounce its verdict against them. Was not the very existence of the Jewish Agency a help for the Nazis? When history tries the so-called Judenrat and the Jewish police, she will also condemn the leaders of the Agency and the leaders of the Zionist movement" (Herut, 25 May 1964, Cited in Bolshakov, op.cit., p.40)

 

And that really is the verdict of history.

 

Just as Judge Benjamin Halevi found that the Zionist Jewish Agency’s ‘Relief and Rescue Committee’ in Budapest was a department of the Nazi SS, alongside the departments for extermination and looting, so we must find that the very existence of the Jewish Agency (the World Zionist Organisation) was a help to the Nazis in carrying out and covering up their crimes.

 

(excerpted from Nazi-Zionist Collaboration, pamphlet published in 1981 by BAZO-PS – British Anti-Zionist Organisation/Palestine Solidarity, London)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closed-door policy

Closing the doors

Zionists maintain that it was the British who were exerting pressure on Zionists not to publicize the holocaust.

 

The record shows that it was not the British who instigated the conspiracy of silence concerning the holocaust, but rather Zionist leaders like Greenbaum who said that publicity for the holocaust would have distracted attention from ‘Hebreization’ (clearing Arabs off) of the land.

 

Today Zionists constantly emphasize the importance of the State of Israel to Jews because they say that during the Holocaust there was no state in the world that Jews could turn to for protection or refuge.

 

What they fail to mention is that throughout this time there were Zionists working actively to keep the doors shut to Jews in every country except Palestine, and to some extent, even Palestine (If the evidence that follows in this chapter appears incredible, please consider the present open Zionist campaign to prevent Soviet Jews from emigrating to any country other than Israel. And if Nazi cooperation with Zionist aims seems strange, please note that the USSR will issue visas to Jews to go to Israel only. The Israeli Government is also on record as requesting the West German government not to issue visas to Soviet Jews asking to come to Germany, so as to force them to go to Israel)

 

Here is Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, Chairman of the wartime Rescue Committee established by the Chief Rabbi of Britain, writing a letter to the Times of 6 June 1961:

 

Your recent reports of the Eichmann trial include considerable evidence tending to show that H.M. Government was largely indifferent to and unwilling to take action in defense of the European Jews who were being massacred daily by the Nazis; and that this was so in spite of efforts by Zionist leaders to persuade the British Foreign Office to rouse itself into action on behalf of the victims. In your leader (June 1) you express concern lest it be held that our wartime Government was guilty of negligence in the face of the holocaust. Your correspondent succinctly suggests that the attention now being given to this side of the picture is connected with some current criticism of Zionist inactivity during the war.

 

My experience in 1942-43 was wholly in favour of British readiness to help, openly, constructively and totally, and that this readiness met with opposition from Zionist leaders who insisted on rescue to Palestine as the only acceptable form of help.

 

In December 1942 (long before the approaches of 1944 reported from the Jerusalem trial), we in London formed a Council for Rescue from the Nazi Terror which, in turn, initiated a Parliamentary Rescue Committee under the chairmanship of Professor A.V.Hill, M.P. supported by leading members of both Houses. At the time I was executive director of the Chief Rabbi’s Religious Emergency Council and applied myself to this task. A motion was placed on the Order Paper in the following terms:

 

‘That in view of the massacres and starvation of Jews and others in enemy and enemy-occupied countries, this House asks H.M. Government, following the United Nations Declaration read to both Houses of Parliament on December 17, 1942, and in consultation with the Dominion Government of India, to declare its readiness to find temporary refuge in its own territories or in territories under its control for endangered persons who are able to leave those countries; to appeal to the governments of countries bordering on enemy and enemy-occupied countries to allow temporary asylum and transit facilities for such persons; to offer to those governments, so far as practicable, such help as may be needed to facilitate their cooperation; and to invite the other Allied governments to consider similar action.’

 

As a result of widespread concern and the persistence of a few, this motion achieved within two weeks a total of 277 Parliamentary signatures of all parties. This purely humanitarian proposal met with sympathy from government circles, and I should add that H.M. Government did, in fact, issue some hundreds of Mauritius and other immigration permits – indeed, in favour of any threatened Jewish family whom we could name. Already while the Parliamentary motion was gathering momentum, voices of dissent were heard from Zionist quarters: ‘Why not Palestine’? The obvious answers that the most urgent concern was humanitarian and not political, that the Mufti-Nazi alliance ruled out Palestine for the immediate saving of lives and that Britain could not then add to her Middle East problems, were of no avail.

 

At the Parliamentary meeting held on January 27, 1943, when the next steps were being energetically pursued by over 100 M.P.s and Lords, a spokesman for the Zionists announced that the Jews would oppose the motion on the grounds of its omitting to refer to Palestine. Some voices were raised in support of the Zionist view, there was considerable debate, and thereafter the motion was dead. Even the promoters exclaimed in desperation: If the Jews cannot agree among themselves, how can we help?

 

It was useless to argue with a then current Zionist argument: ‘Every nation has had its dead in the fight for its homeland – the sufferers under Hitler are our dead in our fight’. But it would be unjust now to permit the miswriting of history so as to cast blame upon Britain. By all means let Eichmann be tried on his murderous merits. Let the nations who participated in the holocaust of this still Dark Age be judged alongside. Even let the opportunity be taken to point an accusing finger at the neutral bystanders, nations and individuals. But Britain was at her best." (Shonfeld, op. cit., pp.60-61)

 

Sweden

 

The Scandinavian countries have come out of the holocaust with a much better reputation for humanity and compassion than the other European countries, Britain or America. But how many know that his too involved surmounting the active opposition of Zionist leaders ?

 

According to Rabbi Moshe Shonfeld:

 

In 1939, with the intensification of persecution against German Jewry, the Swedish Parliament passed a law which permitted entry to tens of thousands of German Jews. The upshot of this decision would be their rescue from the certain death that would result if they would otherwise have been sent east. The Swedish Parliament thus displayed an outstanding humanitarian approach. But then something happened which dumbfounded the Gentiles, resulting in weakening the hand of those who were true friends of the Jewish people.

 

Dr. Ehrenpreisz, the ‘Chief Rabbi’ of Sweden (since 1914), together with the leader of the Jewish community in Stockholm, turned to the Swedish Government with the request that it not carry out the aforementioned decision of Parliament, using the excuse that the settling, even temporarily, of 10,000 additional Jews in Sweden could arouse anti-Semitism because of the small number of its Jewish citizens. The efforts of these two wicked community leaders succeeded in their goal and the Swedish government voided its plan to carry out its own Parliament’s law. But when, four years later, all of Danish Jewry was smuggled, overnight, into Sweden, Ehrenpreisz did not succeed in thwarting that wonderful rescue effort, since it came to him as a surprise, too.

 

Here it is appropriate to point out that the fear of anti-Semitism served only as an excuse for Ehrenpreisz, enabling him to convince the head of the Stockholm Jewish community to join in his criminal plan. But the true motivation of this Jewish veteran Zionist was outstandingly and typically Zionist, fitting in with the principle that even if death threatens the Jews, one should not find for them refuge outside of Eretz Yisroel (Palestine). This principle also guided the British Zionists in 1942 in killing the proposed resolution which was virtually assured of being accepted, whereby Jewish refugees would be absorbed temporarily in areas under British protection…

 

Dr. Ehrenpreisz was shrewd enough to realize that in the event that his intention would be revealed, he would be unable to win support either in the Stockholm Jewish community or the Swedish Government. He therefore chose to hide behind the selfish claim and seeming concern for the security of Swedish Jewry. Who else but Yitzchak Greenbaum, who served as chairman of the Jewish Agency’s ‘rescue committee’ in Jerusalem (the wolf in the role of the shepherd), could fathom the mind of Dr. Ehrenpreisz? He therefore strongly urged him to join the ‘rescue committee’ in Sweden, until, in 1941, Ehrenpreisz acceded to Greenbaum’s request…" (Shonfeld, op.cit., pp.110-111)

 

On 18 January, 1945, the Swedish Government discussed whether Sweden had done enough about rescue during the war and before it. The official record shows a Government member, Moller, arguing that ‘the Swedish government was no less generous than the Jewish community in Stockholm’, while an opposition member, Knut Petersson replies:

 

I do not deny this. On the contrary, the fact is well known to me that certain factions amongst the Jews here were not in the least interested in encouraging acceptance of Jewish refugees, but I ask only to answer what I have already mentioned, when we took up these problems. It appears to me that the policy of handling refugees by the Swedish government does not have to be decided from such a point of view, but rather from protection and concern for our tradition of culture and humanitarianism and in accordance with our feeling for justice.(ibid., p. 113)

 

This seems a fair analysis of the situation in all the countries that did not do enough to assist the victims of Nazi persecution, and that have been held up as examples by Zionists, to prove that Jews cannot rely on humanitarian concern from others, and need the protection of a State of their own.

 

The truth is that these countries are guilty. They are guilty of accepting Zionist advice instead of following their own ‘tradition of culture and humanitarianism’ and their own ‘feeling for justice’.

 

Meanwhile, Dr. Mordechai Ehrenpreisz, rightly continues to be regarded as one of the heroes of Zionism and one of the builders of the State of Israel today.

 

This friend and confidant of Herzl, participant in the first Zionist Congress, was indeed a Zionist hero, commemorated in special supplements to various Zionist periodicals. He was famous for having decreed, when Chief Rabbi of Bulgaria, that anyone who refused to donate to Zionist causes would be forbidden to have his sons circumcised.

 

He was a Zionist hero – and a vicious anti-Semite.

 

Selectivity

 

Even as regards Palestine, where despite popular myth very substantial Jewish immigration was permitted by the British authorities, the Zionist aim was for *selective* immigration to build a Jewish State, not rescue of Jewish refugees. Thus, on February 1, 1940, Henry Montor, Executive Vice-President of the United Jewish Appeal, writes to Rabbi Baruch E. Rabinowitz of the congregation B’nai Abraham in Hagerstown, Maryland:

 

What Palestine needs today are young people who have an understanding of what the Jewish National home is meant to be and whose energies and resources of talent are such as to create the possibilities for additional large immigration.

 

There could be no more deadly ammunition provided to the enemies of Zionism, whether they be in the ranks of the British Government or the Arabs, or even in the ranks of the Jewish people, if Palestine were to be flooded with very old people or with undesirables who would make impossible the conditions of life in Palestine and destroy the prospect of creating such economic circumstances as would insure a continuity of immigration…

 

This Zionist tradition of selective immigration was firmly established long before the war, and in full knowledge of what it meant for those not ‘selected’. Thus Chaim Weizmann, first President of Israel, said at the Twentieth Zionist Congress in 1937:

 

…the hopes of six million Jews are centred on emigration…I was asked, ‘But can you bring six million Jews to Palestine? I replied, ‘No’…In the depth of the Jewish tragedy – I want to save two million of youth…The old ones will pass, they will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world…Only a remnant shall survive…we have to accept it.

 

It follows that Zionist efforts to discourage havens outside Palestine, and even temporary havens in Palestine, were done in the knowledge that most of the Jews who needed refuge could not have gone there even if they had preferred to (which they did not), and if the British had let them. The doors were closed elsewhere not to divert actual immigration to Palestine, but solely in a coldly calculated move to increase the future pressure for a Jewish State in Palestine. It is difficult to imagine anything more callous.

 

This callous tradition explains both Kastner’s actions and also the defence of those actions by the Supreme Court of Israel. Indeed, it was explicitly appealed to by the Attorney General of Israel, Chaim Cohen, in his defence of Kastner:

 

He (Kastner) was entitled to make a deal with the Nazis for the saving of a few hundred and entitled not to warn the millions. In fact if that’s how he saw it, rightly or wrongly, that was his duty…

 

If you don’t like it, if it doesn’t coincide with your own philosophy, you may criticize Kastner and say his policy was a mistaken one. But what does all this have to do with collaboration”…It has always been our Zionist tradition to select the few out of many in arranging the immigration to Palestine…Are we therefore to be called traitors?

 

Kastner did nothing more and nothing less than was done by us in rescuing the Jews and bringing them to Palestine…You are allowed – in fact it is your duty – to risk losing the many in order to save the few…" (Hecht, Perfidy, pp.194-5)

 

(Cohen continued explaining that this attitude had always been the system of the Zionist institutions, who gave immigration certificates to Palestine only to a few of the masses who wanted to emigrate).

 

It was not a great jump from Weizmann’s description of the masses of European Jews as ‘economic and moral dust in a cruel world’, to the Supreme Court of Israel’s majority judgement that Kastner was entitled to mislead the Hungarian Jews about Auschwitz because:

 

The Hungarian Jew was a branch which long ago dried up on the tree" and "This was a big Jewish community in Hungary without any ideological Jewish backbone [i.e. not much Zionism]

 

As Ben Hecht remarks, it was not a much greater jump from there to Dr. Goebbels diary entry in 1943:

 

In our Nazi attitude toward the Jews, there must be no squeamish sentimentalism.

 

Indeed, as Ben Hecht also remarks, the sneer and belittlement of Dr. Goebbels who wrote ‘The Jews deserve the catastrophe that has now overtaken them’, seems to echo in the voice of the Attorney General of the State of Israel who says:

 

For those and millions of Jews like them there came true the old curse ‘And, lo, they were meant to be taken like sheep for slaughter, for killing, for destruction, for crushing and shame’. There was no spirit in them. The Jewish masses in Warsaw were in the same condition." (Court records, CC124/53 Jerusalem District Court)

 

This basically Nazi philosophy, displayed here towards Jews instead of Arabs helps explain how the concept of saving the few at the expense of the many led Zionists to become the most suitable collaborators for the Nazis in administering the Jewish Councils or Judenrat in the ghettos, as will be described later.

 

Hersz Bernblat, deputy chief of the Bedzin Ghetto police, was, unlike Kastner, actually tried under Israel’s ‘Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law 5710/1950’ and sentenced to five years imprisonment for having handed over children from the Ghetto’s orphan home to the Nazis for extermination. The Supreme Court of Israel unanimously exonerated the Jewish Councils in general, precisely on the grounds that they were trying to save some by sacrificing others (as indeed all collaborators always are – trying to save themselves).

 

Rabbi Shonfeld quotes Hertzberg, a witness in the Bernblat trial, and goes on to draw some interesting conclusions:

 

The ‘Judenrat’ served as an instrument for keeping things calm. It lulled both the youth and the adults into a false sense of security, so that they shouldn’t think about rescue activities. Unfortunately, most of the members of the Judenrat were Zionists. They thought that by collaborating with the Germans, they were doing a good thing. By preparing the lists of Jews who were sent to their deaths, they thought they were saving other Jews. The heads of the Judenrat suffered from a superiority complex, thinking that they were doing a historic thing in order to redeem the nation – and the entire Jewish population feared them." (Ha’aretz, 24 Sept. 1963)

 

Rabbi Shonfeld continues:

 

On the same subject, it is fitting to quote the words of the lawyer, Shmuel Tamir, in his concluding speech in the Kastner trial, in order to prove that human nature is the same the world over. Whether in Poland, Hungary, the United States or Eretz Yisroel, the Zionists take one line of action: Overpower and rule, choose and discriminate! Finally, their ancient dream materalized: Seizing the ‘Kehillos’ (Jewish communities), even within the framework of the Judenrat, served as the precedent to the government of an independent state.

 

Tamir explains:

 

At that time as very special process was occurring among Hungarian Jewry. The Zionist minority, which was a small minority within the Hungarian Jewry, was ruling over all of the Jews. The assimilated majority, called ‘Neologists’, and the religious, called ‘Orthodox’, retreated and have way to the Zionists. Brand confirms this in his memorandum, as does Freudiger in his testimony.

 

Among the Zionists themselves, after having received money from Eretz Yisroel through Kastner’s group ‘Ichud’, the minority governed. According to the testimony of Kraus, this group constituted less than a quarter of the Zionist movement, resulting in a situation that was paradoxical: The minority among the Zionists ruled over Hungarian Zionism, therefore controlling all of Hungarian Jewry. This minority, headed by Kastner, controlled the internal lives of one million people. When the Germans searched for collaborators among the Zionists, they immediately met Kastner and his colleagues; for they, too, were doing all that they could to make contact with the Germans." (Shonfeld, op.cit, p. 88-9)

 

(excerpted from Nazi-Zionist Collaboration, pamphlet issued by BAZO-PS – British Anti-Zionist Organisation/Palestine Solidarity, London, 1981)

 

 

 

 

 

The Kastner Case

The Kastner Case

Introduction

The most notorious case of Nazi-Zionist collaboration is that involving Rudolf Kastner.

Most Jewish people have never heard of Rudolf Kastner. Those who have, are generally under the impression that there is some ‘controversy’ about negotiations he undertook for ‘the purchase of Jewish lives for money and military equipment’, but that he was ‘fully rehabilitated’ by the Supreme Court of Israel.

The Accusations

Briefly, the accusations against Kastner are as follows:

Dr. Rudolf Verba, a Doctor of Science now serving at the British Medical Research Council, was one of the few escapees from Auschwitz. In his memoirs published in February, 1961, in the London Daily Herald, he wrote:

 I am a Jew. In spite of that – indeed because of that – I accuse certain Jewish leaders of one of the most ghastly deeds of the war.

This small group of quislings knew what was happening to their brethren in Hitler’s gas chambers and bought their own lives with the price of silence. Among them was Dr. Kastner, leader of the council which spoke for all Jews in Hungary. While I was prisoner number 44070 at Auschwitz – the number is still on my arm – I compiled careful statistics of the exterminations…I took these terrible statistics with me when I escaped in 1944 and I was able to give Hungarian Zionist leaders three weeks notice that Eichmann planned to send a million of their Jews to his gas chambers…Kastner went to Eichmann and told him, ‘I know of your plans; spare some Jews of my choice and I shall keep quiet.’

 Eichmann not only agreed, but dressed Kastner up in S.S. uniform and took him to Belsen to trace some of his friends. Nor did the sordid bargaining end there.

Kastner paid Eichmann several thousand dollars. With this little fortune, Eichmann was able to buy his way to freedom when Germany collapsed, to set himself up in the Argentine…(Ben Hecht, Perfidy, pp261-2)

These accusations are confirmed by the ‘Eichmann Confessions’ published in Life magazine, 28 November and 5 December 1960:

I resolved to show how well a job could be done when the commander stands 100% behind it. By shipping the Jews off in a lightning operation, I wanted to set an example for future campaigns elsewhere…In obedience to Himmler’s directive I now concentrated on negotiations with the Jewish political officials in Budapest…Among them Dr. Rudolph Kastner, authorized representative of the Zionist Movement. This Dr. Kastner was a young man about my age, an ice-cold lawyer and a fanatical Zionist. He agreed to help keep the Jews from resisting deportation – and even keep order in the collection camps – if I could close my eyes and let a few hundred or a few thousand young Jews emigrate illegally to Palestine. It was a good bargain. For keeping order in the camps, the price…was not too high for me.

…We trusted each other perfectly. When he was with me, Kastner smoke cigarets as though he was in a coffeehouse. While we talked he would smoke one aromatic cigaret after another, taking them from a silver case and lighting them with a silver lighter. With his great polish and reserve he would have made an ideal Gestapo officer himself.

Dr. Kastner’s main concern was to make it possible for a select group of Hungarian Jews to emigrate to Israel…

As a matter of fact, there was a very strong similarity between our attitudes in the S.S. and the viewpoint of these immensely idealistic Zionist leaders….I believe that Kastner would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal…’You can have the others’, he would say, ‘but let me have this group here’. And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful, I would let his groups escape. After all, I was not concerned with small groups of a thousand or so Jews…That was the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ I had with Kastner (Hecht, ibid., p.260-61)

Quite clearly these accusations, whether true or false, do not relate merely to ‘the purchase of Jewish lives for money and military equipment’.

Are the accusations against Kastner true?

According to the Government of Israel, they are a lie. When Malchiel Greenwald, a strongly pro-Zionist Israeli citizen published these accusations against Kastner, the Israeli Government did rather more than demand that his views should not be broadcast. Because a prominent Zionist official (Dr. Kastner was a spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Industry) was involved, the Attorney General of the State of Israel prosecuted Greenwald for criminal libel.

The Verdict

Let the verdict of Judge Benjamin Halevi (who later became one of the panel of three judges that tried Eichmann) in Israel’s District Court of Jerusalem speak for itself, given in criminal case No. 124 of 1953. The Attorney General v. Malchiel Greenwald. This material should be studied carefully.

The masses of Jews from Hungary’s ghettos obediently boarded the deportation trains without knowing their fate. They were full of confidence in the false information that they were being transferred to Kenyermeze.

The Nazis could not have misled the masses of Jews so conclusively had they not spread their false information through Jewish channels.

The Jews of the ghettos would not have trusted the Nazi or Hungarian rulers. But they had trust in their Jewish leaders. Eichmann and others used this known fact as part of their calculated plan to mislead the Jews. They were able to deport the Jews to their extermination by the help of Jewish leaders.

The false information was spread by the Jewish leaders. The local leaders of the Jews of Kluj and Nodvarod knew that other leaders were spreading such false information and did not protest.

Those of the Jews who tried to warn their friends of the truth were persecuted by the Jewish leaders in charge of the local ‘rescue work’.

The trust of the Jews in the misleading information and their lack of knowledge that their wives, children and themselves were about to be deported to the gas chambers of Auschwitz led the victims to remain quiescent in their ghettos. It seduced them into not resisting or hampering the deportation orders.

Dozens of thousands of Jews were guarded in their ghettos by a few dozen police. Yet even vigorous young Jews made no attempt to overpower these few guards and escape to nearby Rumania. No resistance activities to the deportations were organized in these ghettos.

And the Jewish leaders did everything in their power to soothe the Jews in the ghettos and to prevent such resistance activities.

The same Jews who spread in Kluj and Nodvarod the false rumor of Kenyermeze, or confirmed it, the same public leaders who did not warn their own people against the misleading statements, the same Jewish leaders who did not organize any resistance or any sabotage of deportations…these same leaders did not join the people of their community in their ride to Auschwitz, but were all included in the Rescue train.

The Nazi organizers of extermination and the perpetrators of extermination permitted Rudolf Kastner and the members of the Jewish Council in Budapest to save themselves, their relatives, and friends. The Nazis did this as a means of making the local Jewish leaders, whom they favoured, dependent on the Nazi regime, dependent on its good will during the time of its fatal deportation schedule. In short, the Nazis succeeded in bringing the Jewish leaders into collaboration with the Nazis at the time of the catastrophe.

The Nazi chiefs knew that the Zionists were a most vital element in Jewry and the most trusted by the Jews.

The Nazis drew a lesson from the Warsaw ghetto and other belligerent ghettos. They learned that Jews were able to sell their lives very expensively if honorably guided.

Eichmann did not want a second Warsaw. For this reason, the Nazis exerted themselves to mislead and bribe the Jewish leaders.

The personality of Rudolph Kastner made him a convenient catspaw for Eichmann and his clique, to draw into collaboration and make their task easier.

The question here is not, as stated by the Attorney General in his summation, whether members of the Jewish Rescue Committee were or were not capable of fulfilling their duty without the patronage of the S.S. chiefs. It is obvious that without such S.S. Nazi patronage the Jewish Rescue Committee could not have existed, and could have acted only as an underground.

The question is, as put by the lawyer for the defense, why were the Nazis interested in the existence of the Rescue Committee? Why did the S.S. chiefs make every effort to encourage the existence of the Jewish Rescue Committee? Did the exterminators turn into rescuers?

The same question rises concerning the rescue of prominent Jews by these German killers of Jews. Was the rescue of such Jews a part of the extermination plan of the killers ?

The support given by the extermination leaders to Kastner’s Rescue Committee proves that indeed there was a place for Kastner and his friends in their Final Solution for the Jews of Hungary – their total annihilation.

The Nazi’s patronage of Kastner, and their agreement to let him save six hundred prominent Jews, were part of the plan to exterminate the Jews. Kastner was given a chance to add a few more to that number. The bait attracted him. The opportunity of rescuing prominent people appealed to him greatly. He considered the rescue of the most important Jews as a great personal success and a success for Zionism. It was a success that would also justify his conduct – his political negotiation with Nazis and the Nazi patronage of his committee.

When Kastner received this present from the Nazis, Kastner sold his soul to the German Satan.

The sacrifice of the vital interests of the majority of the Jews, in order to rescue the prominents, was the basic element in the agreement between Kastner and the Nazis. This agreement fixed the division of the nation into two unequal camps: a small fragment of prominents, whom the Nazis promised Kastner to save, on the one hand, and the great majority or Hungarian Jews whom the Nazis designated for death, on the other hand. An imperative condition for the rescue of the first camp by the Nazis was that Kastner will not interfere in the action of the Nazis against the other camp and will not hamper them in its extermination. Kastner fulfilled this condition. He concentrated his efforts in the rescue of the prominents and treated the camp of the doomed as if they had already been wiped out from the book of the living.

One cannot estimate the damage caused by Kastner’s collaboration and put down the number of victims which it cost Hungarian Jews. These are not only the thousands of Jews in Nodvarod or any other community in the border area, Jews who could escape through the border, had the chief of their rescue committee fulfilled his duty toward them.

All of Kastner’s answers in his final testimony were a constant effort to evade this truth.

Kastner has tried to escape through every crack he could find in the wall of evidence. When one crack was sealed in his face, he darted quickly to another. (Judgement of Judge Benjamin Halevi, Criminal Case 124/53; Attorney General v. Malchiel Greenwald, District Court, Jerusalem, June 22, 1955).

Judge Halevi reverts to the meeting of Kastner with the S.S. officers Becher and Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz at the time when the ‘new line’ of rescuing Jews was revealed by Hoess. He says:

From this gathering in Budapest, it is obvious that the ‘new line’ stretched from Himmler to Hoess, from Jutner to Becher and Krumey.

According to Kastner, however, these Nazis were all active in rescuing Jews.

This meeting of these important German guests in Budapest exposes the ‘rescue’ work of Becher in its true light. It reveals also the extent of Kastner’s involvement in the inner circle of the chief German war criminals.

Just as the Nazi war criminals knew they needed an alibi and hoped to achieve it by the rescue of a few Jews at the eleventh hour, so Kastner also needed an alibi for himself.

Collaboration between the Jewish Agency Rescue Committee and the Exterminators of the Jews was solidified in Budapest and Vienna. Kastner’s duties were part and parcel of the general duties of the S.S.

In addition to its Extermination Department and Looting Department, the Nazi S.S. opened a Rescue Department headed by Kastner.

All these extermination, robbery and rescue activities of the S.S. were coordinated under the management of Heinrich Himmler". (ibid.)

Judge Halevi continues:

Kastner perjured himself knowingly in his testimony before this court when he denied he had interceded in Becher’s behalf. Moreover, he concealed the important fact that he interceded for Becher in the name of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish World Congress.

As to the contents of Kastner’s affidavit, it was enough for the defense to provide Becher was a war criminal. It was up to the prosecution to remove Becher from this status, if they wished to negate the affidavit.

The Attorney General admitted in his summation that Becher was a war criminal.

The lies in the contents of Kastner’s affidavit, the lies in his testimony concerning the document, and Kastner’s knowing participation in the activities of Nazi war criminals, and his participation in the last minute fake rescue activities – all these combine to show one overwhelming truth – that this affidavit was not given in good faith.

Kastner knew well, as he himself testified, that Becher had never stood up against the stream of Jewish extermination, as Kastner has declared in the affidavit.

The aims of Becher and his superior, Himmler, were not to save Jews but to serve the Nazi regime with full compliance. These is not truth and no good faith in Kastner’s testimony, ‘I never doubted for one moment the good intention of good Becher’.

It is clear that the positive recommendation by Kastner, not only in his own name but also in the name of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish World Congress was of decisive importance for Becher. Kastner did not exaggerate when he said that Becher was released by the Allies because of his personal intervention. The lies in the affidavit of Kastner and the contradictions and various pretexts, which were proven to be lies, were sufficient to annul the value of his statements and to prove that there was no good faith in his testimony in favor of this German war criminal. Kastner’s affidavit in favor of Becher was a wilfully false affidavit given in favor of a war criminal to save him from trial and punishment in Nuremberg.

Therefore, the defendant, Malchiel Greenwald, was correct in his accusations against Rudolf Kastner in the first, second and fourth of his statements." (ibid.)

Judge Halevi’s verdict found Malchiel Greenwald generally innocent of libel against Kastner, but fined him one Israeli pound for the one unproved accusation – that Kastner had actually collected money from his Nazi partners for his aide to their slaughter program. The judge also ordered the Government of Israel to pay Greenwald two hundred Israeli pounds as court costs.

In fairness to Kastner it should me mentioned that as well as having been unpaid, it was never established that he ever wore S.S. uniform.

If the story ended there, it would only prove conclusively that the individual Kastner was a collaborator and the Israeli Government had attempted to defend him, although facts brought out in the trial pointed to much more than that.

But the story does not end there.

The Reaction

Public opinion in Israel was almost unanimous in demanding that Kastner and his associates should be put on trial. Remember that up to now it was Kastner’s accuser who was on trial.

The Communist Party newspaper Kol Ha’am (Voice of the People) wrote:

All those whose relatives were butchered by the Germans in Hungary know now clearly that Jewish hands helped the mass murder" (23 June 1955)

In the authoritative Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the leading political journalist, Dr. Moshe Keren wrote:

Kastner must be brought to trial as a Nazi collaborator. And at this trial, Kastner should defend himself as a private citizen, and not be defended by the Israeli Government…" (14 July 1955).

 *Haboker*, the pro-Government General Zionist party paper stated:

 The public wants to know the real facts about Kastner, and not about him alone. The only way to find out the truth is to put all the Rescue Committee people on trial and give them a chance to offer their defense." (23 June 1955)

But public opinion was not quite unanimous. The problem with bringing Kastner and his associates to trial was that his associates were the Government of Israel.

As the evening paper *Yedi’ot Aharonot* said:

If Kastner is brought to trial the entire government faces a total political and national collapse – as a result of what such a trial may disclose." (23 June 1955)

Accordingly, the Government of Israel did not put Kastner on trial, instead it filed an appeal against the acquittal of Greenwald for criminal libel.

As Dr. Karlebach wrote in Israel’s largest evening newspaper, *Ma’ariv*:

What is going on here? The Attorney General has to mobilize all the government power, appear himself in court, to justify and defend collaboration with Himmler! And in order to defend a quisling, the government must drag through the streets one of the grimmest stories of our history!

At 11 P.M. the verdict was given. At 11 A.M. next morning the government announces the defense of Kastner will be renewed – an appeal filed. What exemplary expediency! Since when does this government possess such lawyer-genius who can weigh in one night the legal chances of an appeal on a detailed, complex verdict of three hundred pages”! (24 June 1955)

At the appeal hearings before the Supreme Court, the Attorney General of Israel, Chaim Cohen, explained clearly why the Government of Israel was defending Kastner so strongly:

The man Kastner does not stand here as a private individual. He was a recognized representative, official or non-official of the Jewish National Institutes in Palestine and of the Zionist Executive; and I come here in this court to defend the representative of our national institutions." (Hecht, p. 268)

The truth of this statement cannot be denied. Kastner’s collaboration was not that of an individual. It was the collaboration of the Zionist leadership.

So far, it has only been established that the Government of Israel continued to support a Nazi collaborator after the facts about his collaboration had been conclusively established in an Israeli court. But the story gets worse.

The Supreme Court of Israel unanimously found that Becher was indeed a Nazi war criminal and that Kastner had without justification, and in the name of the Jewish Agency, helped Becher to escape justice. On this point Greenwald was acquitted of libel and Kastner was not ‘fully rehabilitated’.

The Supreme Court also accepted the facts established in the lower court – that Kastner deliberately concealed the truth about Auschwitz from the majority of Hungarian Jews in exchange for Nazi permission to take a thousand or so to Palestine. Again, Kastner was far from being ‘fully rehabilitated’.

The Majority Judgement

But now comes the really nasty bit. After unanimously acknowledging these facts, the Supreme Court of Israel, by a majority of three to two, found that Kastner’s actions were morally justifiable and convicted Greenwald of criminal libel for calling this ‘collaboration’.

Kastner’s actions only proved that he was a Nazi collaborator. It is the defense of these actions by the Government and Courts of Israel that prove conclusively that Zionism approves of Nazi collaboration.

The majority of the Supreme Court of Israel did not rehabilitate Kastner. They joined him.

Let us read from the majority judgement of Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Chesin:

…What point was there in telling the people boarding the trains in Kluj, people struck by fate and persecuted, as to what awaits them at the end of their journey…Kastner spoke in detail of the situation, saying, ‘The Hungarian Jew was a branch which long ago dried up on the tree’. This vivid description coincides with the testimony of another witness about the Hungarian Jews, ‘This was a big Jewish community in Hungary, without any ideological Jewish backbone’ (Moshe Shweiger, a Kastner aide in Budapest, protocol 465).

I fully agree with my friend, Judge Agranot, when he states that, ‘The Jews of Hungary, including those in the countryside, were not capable, neither physically nor mentally, to carry out resistance operations with force against the deportation scheme’…From this point of view no rescue achievement could have resulted by disclosing the Auschwitz news to the Jewish leaders there, and this…is a consideration which on can properly conclude that Kastner had in front of his eyes. 

…And I take one more step. I am certain that the silence of Kastner when he arrived in Kluj was premeditated and calculated and did not result from his great despair because of the helplessness of the Jewish community. Even then, I say, this is still not considered wilful collaboration and assistance in the extermination, because all the signs indicate that Kastner’s efforts were aimed at rescue and rescue on a big scale…And towards the end I take one last step. In doing so I go very far and say that even if Kastner ordered himself to keep silent knowingly, in submission to the strong will of the Nazis, in order to save a few Jews from Hell – this is still no proof that he stained his hands by collaborating with the enemies of his people and carrying out their plan to exterminate most of the Jewish community in Hungary.

Even if, through these activities of his – or rather, his omission – the extermination became easier. And as to the moral issue, the question is not whether a man is allowed to kill many in order to save a few, or vice-versa. The question is altogether in another sphere and should be defined as follows: A man is aware that a whole community is awaiting its doom. He is allowed to make efforts to save a few, although part of his efforts involve concealment of truth from the many or should he disclose the truth to many though it is his best opinion that this way everybody will perish. I think that the answer is clear. What good will the blood of the few bring if everybody is to perish”…As I said, I am not arguing with the basic factual findings of the learned President of the Jewish District Court (Judge Halevi) but it seems to me, with all due respect, that his findings do not, as of necessity, demand the conclusion he has arrived at. That is to say, collaboration on the part of Kastner in the extermination of the Jews. And that they better coincide with bad leadership both from a moral and public point of view…

In my opinion, one can say outright that if you find out that Kastner collaborated with the enemy because he did not disclose to the people who boarded the trains in Kluj that they were being led to extermination, one has to put on trial today Danzig, Herman, Hanzi, Brand, Revis and Marton, and many more leaders and half-leaders who gagged themselves in an hour of crisis and did not inform others of what was known to them and did not warn and did not cry out of the coming danger….

Because of all this I cannot confirm the conclusion of the District Court with regard to the accusation that Greenwald has thrown on Kastner of collaboration with the Nazis in exterminating the Jewish people in Hungary during the last war." (Hecht, ibid., pp.270-2)

In other words, the Court approved of Kastner’s contempt for the Hungarian Jews and could not allow him to be condemned for doing exactly what many other Zionist leaders had half-leaders did – concealing their knowledge of the Nazi extermination plans so that Jews would board the trains to Auschwitz peacefully while their Zionist ‘leaders’ boarded a different train for Palestine.

The Minority Judgement

It cannot be said that all top Zionists leaders actively approved of Nazi collaboration in this way. Indeed the most precise answer to this sickening judgement of Judge Chesin is provided in the minority judgement of Supreme Court Judge Moshe Silberg:

I do not say that he was the only man who possessed information among the leaders. It is quite possible that somebody else as well does not have a clear conscience with regards to this concealment. But we are dealing here with the guilt of Kastner and we do not have to make judgements on the guilt of others….

The declaration of the learned Attorney General therefore shrinks into an opinion….’Kastner was convinced and believed that there was no ray of hope for the Jews of Hungary, almost for none of them, and as he, as a result of his personal despair, did not disclose the secret of the extermination in order not to endanger or frustrate the rescue of the few – therefore he acted in good faith and should not be accused of collaborating with the Nazis in expediting the extermination of the Jews, even though, in fact, he brought about its result.’

I am compelled to state that it is very difficult for me to conceive such an intention. Is this good faith? Can a single man, even in cooperation with some of his friends, yield to despair on behalf and without the knowledge of 800,000 other people? This is, in my opinion, the decisive consideration in the problem facing us. The charge emanating from the testimony of the witnesses against Kastner is that had they known of the Auschwitz secret, then thousands or tens of thousands would have been able to save their lives by local, partial, specific or indirect rescue operations like local revolts, resistance, escapes, hidings, concealment of children with Gentiles, forging of documents, ransom money, bribery, etc. – and when this is the case and when one deals with many hundreds of thousands, how does a human being, a mortal, reject with complete certainty and with an extreme ‘no’ the efficiency of all the many and varied rescue ways? How can he examine the tens of thousands of possibilities? Does he decide instead of God? Indeed, he who can act with such a usurpation of the last hope of hundreds of thousands is not entitled to claim good faith as his defense. The penetrating question quo warrento is a good answer to a claim of such good faith…

If the superintendent of a big hospital lets thousands of sick people die so that he may devote himself to the sure rescue of one soul, he will come out guilty, at least morally, even if it is proven that he as an individual erroneously thought that there was no hope of saving the other patients. He is a collaborator with the angel of death.

Either a complete atrophy of the soul or a blind involvement with complete loss of senses and proportion in his small but personal rescue operation could bring a man to such a gigantic, hazardous play.

And if all this is not enough to annul the claim of good faith which was put before us on behalf of Kastner by the Attorney General, then Kastner himself comes and annuls it altogether. Not only did he never make this claim, but his own words prove the contrary. He writes in his report to the Jewish Agency that the Committee sent emissaries to many ghettos in the countryside and pleaded with them to organize escapes and to refuse to board the trains. And though the story of these pleadings is untrue, and the silence of Kastner in Kluj is proven, the very uttering of these statements entirely contradicts the claim that Kastner had concealed the news about the fate of the ghetto inmates in good faith and only as a result of his complete despairing of the chances of escaping or resisting the Germans. You can not claim at the same time helplessness and activity. Anyway, such a claim is not convincing…

We can sum up with three facts:

A. That the Nazis didn’t want to have a great revolt – ‘Second Warsaw’ – nor small revolts, and their passion was to have the extermination machine working smoothly without resistance. This fact was known to Kastner from the best source – from Eichmann himself – And he had additional proofs of that when he witnessed all the illusionary and misleading tactics which were being taken by the Nazis from the first moment of occupation.

B. That the most efficient means to paralyze the resistance with – or the escape of a victim is to conceal from him the plot of the coming murder. This fact is known to every man and one does not need any proof of evidence for this.

C. That he, Kastner, in order to carry out the rescue plan for the few prominents, fulfilled knowingly and without good faith the said desire of the Nazis, thus expediting the work of exterminating the masses.

And also the rescue of Becher by Kastner…He who is capable of rescuing this Becher from hanging proves that the atrocities of this great war criminal were not so horrifying or despicable in his eyes…I couldn’t base the main guilt of Kastner on this fact had it been alone, but when it is attached even from afar to the whole scene of events it throws retroactive light on the whole affair and serves as a dozen proofs of our conclusion."(Supreme Court Judge, Moshe Silberg, 1957)

Conclusion

If that had been the majority judgement, one could say that whatever their attitudes to the Arabs, and whatever their past behaviour might have been under pressure, the Zionist leadership today did not advocate collaboration with the Nazis.

But Judge Silberg’s judgement was that of a minority.

The Kastner case is therefore not an alleged episode in past history.

It is a continuing controversy in which the top Zionist leadership of Israel stand indicted of continuing to publicly defend collaboration with the Nazis in the extermination of Jews.

Despite the unanimous finding of the Supreme Court of Israel that Kurt Becher was a major war criminal, the Jewish Agency (World Zionist Organization) refused to withdraw the fraudulent certificate Kastner gave on their behalf, which saved Becher from hanging, and allowed him to remain a free man in West Germany, the head of several corporations and with an estimated personal worth of $30 million.

Becher has even used his certification as a ‘good’ SS officer to give evidence in support of his associates at other war crimes trials in West Germany.

Since the prosecution, representing the Israeli Government agreed with the Supreme Court that Becher was a major war criminal, one can only pressure that the Israeli Government did not want him put on trial for fear of what might come out.

Likewise, none of Kastner’s associates on the Zionist Relief and Rescue Committee or his bosses in the Jewish Agency have ever been put on trial as demanded by Israeli public opinion. Let alone the hundreds of ‘prominents’ who helped Kastner to reassure the Hungarian Jews that they were going to Kenyermeze and not Auschwitz, in exchange for tickets on the one train that took them eventually to Palestine.

As for Kastner himself, he will cause no further embarrassment to the Zionist leadership with his undisputed claims that everything he did was approved by the Jewish Agency (World Zionist Organization) leadership in Palestine. He is ‘now dead’. Or putting it less delicately, on 3 March 1957 he was shot by Zeev Eckstein – immediately after the appeal hearings were concluded, and before the judgement ‘rehabilitating’ him was delivered. Eckstein was not a Hungarian avenger. He was a paid undercover agent of the Israeli secret service. (Hecht, ibid., p.208). Another ‘fantastic allegation’ no doubt; but admitted in court during the murder trial).

The facts of the Kastner case show that the very existence of the Jewish Agency (World Zionist Organization) was an actual help to the Nazis and that more could have been saved if the Zionist movement had not existed. Having a State that approves of actions like those of Kastner for an insurance policy, is like using petroleum for a fire extinguisher.

(extracted from a pamphlet issued by BAZO-PS (British Anti-Zionist Organization/Palestine Solidarity, in 1981)

 

Zionist Emigration and Gestapo Expulsion

Hannah Arendt

In her book "Eichmann in Jerusalem", Dr. Hannah Arendt, who is neither left-wing nor pro-Palestinian, and who supports the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, touched on some of the questions involved, although she did not really hit the sore spots and did not directly accuse the Zionist movement of collaboration with Nazism.

 

Zionist Emigration and Gestapo Expulsion

Hannah Arendt wrote:

 

During its first few years, Hitler’s rise to power appeared to the Zionists chiefly as ‘the decisive defeat of assimilationism’. Hence, the Zionists could, for a time, at least, engage in a certain amount of non-criminal cooperation with the Nazi authorities; the Zionists too believed that ‘dissimilation’, combined with the emigration to Palestine of Jewish youngsters and, they hoped, Jewish capitalists, could be a ‘mutually fair solution’. At the time, many German officials held this opinion, and this kind of talk seems to have been quite common up to the end. A letter from a survivor of Theresienstadt, a German Jew, relates that all leading positions in the Nazi-appointed "Reichsvereiningung" were held by Zionists (whereas the authentic Jewish "Reichsvereiningung" had been composed of both Zionists and non-Zionists), because Zionists, according to the Nazis, were the ‘decent’ Jews since they too thought in ‘national terms’. To be sure, no prominent Nazi ever spoke publicly in this vein; from beginning to end, Nazi propaganda was fiercely, unequivocally, uncompromisingly anti-Semitic, and eventually nothing counted but what people who were still without experience in the mysteries of totalitarian government dismissed as ‘mere propaganda’. There existed in those first years a mutually highly satisfactory agreement between the Nazi authorities and the Jewish Agency for Palestine – a ‘Ha’avara’, or Transfer Agreement, which provided that an emigrant to Palestine could transfer his money there in German goods and exchange them for pounds upon arrival. It was soon the only legal way for a Jew to take his money with him (the alternative then being the establishment of a blocked account, which could be liquidated abroad only at a loss of between fifty and ninety-five per cent). The result was that in the thirties, when American Jewry took great pains to organize a boycott of German merchandise, Palestine, of all places, was swamped with all kinds of goods ‘made in Germany’.

 

"Of Greater importance for Eichmann were the emissaries from Palestine, who would approach the Gestapo and the S.S. on their own initiative, without taking orders from either the German Zionists or the Jewish Agency for Palestine. They came in order to enlist the help for the illegal immigration of Jews into British-ruled Palestine, and both the Gestapo and the S.S: were helpful. They negotiated with Eichmann in Vienna, and they reported that he was ‘polite’, ‘not the shouting type’, and that he even provided them with farms and facilities for setting up vocational training camps for prospective immigrants. (‘On one occasion, he expelled a group of nuns from a convent to provide a training farm for young Jews’ and on another ‘a special train was made available and Nazi officials accompanied’ a group of emigrants, ostensibly headed for Zionist training farms in Yugoslavia, to see them safely across the border). According to the story told by Jon and David Kimche, with ‘the full and generous cooperation of all the chief actors’ (The Secret Roads: The ‘Illegal’ Migration of a People, 1938-1948, London, 1954), these Jews from Palestine spoke a language not totally different from that of Eichmann. They had been sent to Europe by the communal settlements in Palestine, and they were not interested in rescue operations: ‘That was not their job’. They wanted to select ‘suitable material’, and their chief enemy, prior to the extermination program, was not those who made life impossible for Jews in the old countries, Germany or Austria, but those who barred access to the new homeland: that enemy was definitely Britain, not Germany. Indeed, they were in a position to deal with the Nazi authorities on a footing amounting to equality, which native Jews were not, since they enjoyed the protection of the mandatory power; they were probably among the first Jews to talk openly about mutual interests and were certainly the first to be given permission ‘to pick young Jewish pioneers’ from among the Jews in the concentration camps. Of course, they were unaware of the sinister implications of this deal, which still lay in the future; but they too somehow believed that if it was a question of selecting Jews for survival, the Jews should do the selecting themselves. It was this fundamental error in judgement that eventually led to a situation in which the non-selected majority of Jews inevitably found themselves confronted with two enemies – the Nazi authorities and the Jewish authorities".

(pp. 59-61)

 

The Jewish Councils

On collaboration by the Judenrat officials, Dr. Arendt wrote:

 

To a Jew this role of the Jewish leaders in the destruction of their own people is undoubtedly the darkest chapter of the whole dark story. It had been known about before, but it has now been exposed for the first time in all its pathetic and sordid detail by Raul Hilberg, whose standard work *The Destruction of the European Jews* I mentioned before. In the matter of cooperation, there was no distinction between the highly assimilated Jewish communities of Central and Western Europe and the Yiddish-speaking masses of the East. In Amsterdam as in Warsaw, in Berlin as in Budapest, Jewish officials could be trusted to compile the lists of persons and of their property, to secure money from the deportees to defray the expenses of their deportation and extermination, to keep track of vacated apartments, to supply police forces to help seize Jews and get them on trains, until, as a last gesture, they handed over the assets of the Jewish community in good order for final confiscation. They distributed the Yellow Star badges, and sometimes, as in Warsaw, ‘the sale of the armbands of cloth and fancy plastic armbands which were washable’. In the Nazi-inspired, but not Nazi-dictated, manifestos they issued, we still can sense how they enjoyed their new power – ‘The Central Jewish Council has been granted the right of absolute disposal over all Jewish spiritual and material wealth and over all Jewish manpower’, as the first announcement of the Budapest Council phrased it. We know how the Jewish officials felt when they became instruments of murder – like captains ‘whose ships were about to sink and who succeeded in bringing them safe to port by casting overboard a great part of their precious cargo’; like saviors who ‘with a hundred victims save a thousand people, with a thousand ten thousand’. The truth was even more gruesome. Dr. Kastner, in Hungary, for instance, saved exactly 1,684 people with approximately 476,000 victims. In order not to leave the selection to ‘blind fate’, ‘truly holy principles’ were needed ‘as the guiding force of the weak human hand which puts down on paper the name of the unknown person and with this decides his life or death’. And whom did these ‘holy principles’ single out for salvation? Those ‘who had worked all their lives for the ‘zibur’ (community)’ – i.e. the functionaries – and the ‘most prominent Jews’, as Kastner says in his report.

 

"No one bothered to swear the Jewish officials to secrecy; they were voluntary ‘bearers of secrets’, either in order to assure quiet and prevent panic, as in Dr. Kastner’s case, or out of ‘humane’ considerations, such as that ‘living in the expectation of death by gassing would only be the harder’, as in the case of Dr. Leo Baeck, former Chief Rabbi of Berlin. During the Eichmann trial, one witness pointed out the unfortunate consequences of this kind of ‘humanity’ – people volunteered for deportation from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz and denounced those who tried to tell them the truth as being ‘not sane’. We know the physiognomies of the Jewish leaders during the Nazi period very well: they ranged all the way from Chaim Rumkowski, eldest of the Jews in Lodz, called Chaim I, who issued currency notes bearing his signature and postage stamps engraved with his portrait, and who rode around in a broken-down horse-drawn carriage; through Leo Baeck, scholarly, mild-mannered, highly educated, who believed Jewish policemen would be ‘more gentle and helpful’ and would ‘make the ordeal easier’ (whereas in fact they were, of course, more brutal and less corruptible, since so much more was at stake for them); to, finally, a Jew who committed suicide – like Adam Czerniakow, chairman of the Warsaw Jewish Council, who was not a rabbi but an unbeliever, a Polish-speaking Jewish engineer, but who must still have remembered the rabbinical saying: ‘Let them kill you, but don’t cross the line’." (pp. 117-119)

 

Dr. Arendt’s conclusion was that without this collaboration, many lives could have been saved:

 

But the whole truth was that there existed Jewish community organizations and Jewish party and welfare organizations on both the local and the international level. Wherever Jews lived, there were recognized Jewish leaders and this leadership, almost without exception, cooperated in one way or another, for one reason or another, with the Nazis. The whole truth was that if the Jewish people had really been unorganized and leaderless, there would have been chaos and plenty of misery but the total number of victims would hardly have been between four and half and six million people". (p.125).

 

The Zionist Response to Arendt

Initially, Dr. Arendt’s book received a sympathetic reaction from the Israeli press, but almost immediately the Zionist propaganda machine was turned on full blast to attack it because the ‘concept about Jewish participation in the Nazi holocaust …may plague Jews for years to come’ (Hannah Arendt: The Jew as Pariah, Grove Press, New York, 1978).

 

On 11 March 1963 the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation League issued a ‘summary’ recommended to ‘book reviewers and others when the volume appears’ which accused Hannah Arendt of saying, among other things:

 

That Europe’s Jewish organisations in the main, played a ‘disastrous role’ by cooperating with the Nazi extermination machine. As a result the Jews, themselves, bear a large share of the blame"(emphasis added) (ibid.)

 

As Hannah Arendt commented in the New York Review of Books, 20 January 1966:

 

In other words, as everybody soon knew and repeated, my ‘thesis’ was that the Jews had murdered themselves

 

This line was repeated by almost every reviewer of Arendt’s book, as though, in Mary McCarthy’s telling phrase, they came out of a ‘mimeographing machine’, which in fact they did.

 

Eichmann’s prosecutor Gideon Hausner, even announced in the New York Daily News (20 May, 1963):

 

The author would have you believe that Eichmann really wasn’t a Nazi, that the Gestapo aided Jews, that Eichmann actually was unaware of Hitler’s evil plans…

This sort of response is fairly typical of the Zionist reaction when questions about Nazi collaboration are raised. Although the first attacks on Hannah Arendt’s book described it as an ‘otherwise masterly report’ and said that ‘Dr. Arendt is a recognized scholar’ and ‘a person of eminent respectability’, by the end of the campaign they had to prove that the ‘evil book’ was written by an ‘evil person’.

 

Whole books were written by various ‘experts’ to refute her (see, for example Jacob Robinson’s And the Crooked Shall Be Made Straight: The Eichmann Trial, the Jewish Catastrophe and Hannah Arendt’s Narrative’, Macmillan, New York, 1965. This is a vitriolic page-by-page attempted rebuttal but is, however, a disjointed apologia as far as the facts are concerned).

 

In ‘The Jew as a Pariah’, she describes the campaign against her:

 

No one will doubt the effectiveness of modern image-making and no one acquainted with Jewish organisations and their countless channels of communication outside their immediate range will underestimate their possibilities in influencing public opinion. For greater than their direct power of control is the voluntary outside help upon which they can draw from Jews who, though they may not be at all interested in Jewish affairs, will flock home, as it were, out of age-old fears (no longer justified, let us hope, but still very much alive) when their people or its leaders are criticized. What I had done according to their lights was the crime of crimes. I had told ‘the truth in a hostile environment,’ as an Israeli official told me, and what the A.D.C. and all the other organizations did was to hoist the danger signal…"(p.275).

 

The campaign backfires

According to Dr. Arendt, the campaign ‘was of course a farce, but it was effective’:

 

Or was it? After all, the denunciation of book and author, with which they achieved great, though by no means total, success, was not their goal. It was only the means with which to prevent the discussion of an issue ‘which may plague Jews for years to come’. And as far as this goal was concerned, they achieved the precise opposite. If they had left well enough alone, this issue, which I had touched upon only marginally, would not have been trumpeted all over the world. In their efforts to prevent people from reading what I had written, or, in case such misfortune had already happened, to provide the necessary reading glasses, they blew it up out of all proportion, not only with reference to my book but with reference to what had actually happened. They forgot that they were mass organisations, using all the means of mass communication, so that every issue they touched at all, pro or contra, was liable to attract the attention of masses whom they then no longer could control. So what happened after a while in these meaningless and mindless debates was that people began to think that all the nonsense the image-makers had made me say was the actual historical truth.

 

Thus, with the unerring precision with which a bicyclist on his first ride will collide with the obstacle he is most afraid of, Mr. Robinson’s formidable supporters have put their whole power at the service of propagating what they were most anxious to avoid. So that now, as a result of their folly, literally everybody feels the need for a ‘major work’ on Jewish conduct in the face of catastrophe (ibid.)