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)
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.
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.
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)