The Holocaust Industry

Harvard professor criticizes top scholars

by Andrew Gerst and Emily Rotberg

The biggest obstacles on the road to peace in Israel, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said Sunday, do not reside in refugee camps, Israel Defense Forces outposts or Jewish settlements—but in elite university academic departments.

“Anti-Semitism from the far right is largely a thing of the past,” said Dershowitz, who is also the author of The Case for Israel. “But anti-Semitism from the far left is becoming a very, very, very serious thing.”

Dershowitz, speaking with intense passion, said anti-Semitism has plagued the rhetoric of a number of prominent professors who question Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian population.

In particular, he denounced the language used by professors Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Norman Finkelstein of DePaul University and the late Edward Said, formerly of Columbia University.

By oversimplifying the conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews into a case of oppressed and oppressor, Dershowitz said, these professors have worked toward creating a climate where Israel will be perceived in decades to come as an illegitimate nation.

“I wish I didn’t have to write a case for Israel,” he said. “Nobody has to write the case for Canada.”

Dershowitz spoke before an audience of about 200 in Page Auditorium and later ate dinner with students at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life.

After the speech, a line extended around the quad as audience members waited for Dershowitz to sign copies of several of his books.

During both the speech and dinner, Dershowitz reiterated his praise for the Duke Jewish community’s measured response to the Palestine Solidarity Movement conference. which came to campus in October.

“You didn’t try to censor, you tried to answer—and I think you won,” Dershowitz told students dining with him.

He continued to commend the group, saying that he believed their response to PSM will serve as a model for future reactions by Jewish student groups.

In a question-and-answer session following the speech, Dershowitz said he would in theory support a university policy calling for divestment from all nations and companies with unethical practices—but that Israel would fall at the very end of such a list.

“If any university did divest out of Israel, they know that [supporters of Israel] would divest out of them, and with impunity,” Dershowitz said.

Corinne Low contributed to this story.


DePaul’s Jihad against academic freedom

DePaul University in Chicago is one of the fastest growing universities in the country. It has become the largest Catholic-affiliated university in America. Muslim and Arab students are one of the segments of DePaul’s student population that has seen the greatest increase in numbers in recent years. Although no figures are available, these students are an important source of revenue for the University, and many may well pay full tuition, making their attendance particularly lucrative.

Perhaps in recognition of this market segment, the University hired Norman Finkelstein to teach in its Political Science Department. This acquisition of “talent” took place after Finkelstein had lost his job at two different colleges in New York, following controversy over his support of holocaust denier David Irving and his bitterly abusive attacks on the state of Israel.

DePaul, like many other colleges and universities, may have also received significant funding for new academic chairs and programs from various Arab countries. When a college can find a Jew who loathes Israel like Finkelstein, supports holocaust deniers, and is the go-to-guy on lots of viciously anti-Semitic websites, Arab money is almost sure to follow.

To top it all off, DePaul is currently exhibiting a Palestinian art exhibit, cosponsored by twelve academic departments of the university, which might suggest to any fair minded observer, that for Palestinians, art is defined only by hatred of Israel and Jews.

This is the backdrop for an almost astonishing violation of the academic freedom of Thomas Klocek which has been perpetrated by the University. For 14 years a part time adjunct professor in DePaul’s School of New Learning, Klocek has been a popular professor, with large enrollments, and excellent student reviews for his teaching.

But Klocek has lost his teaching position and school-paid health insurance benefits, and faces a bleak future due to his chronic health problems. He is guilty of a thought-crime, challenging the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel mindset which has come to dominate the DePaul campus

Klocek’s challenge to this new campus orthodoxy occurred in a cafeteria during a student activities fair last September. For 15-20 minutes, Klocek, who is Catholic, not Jewish, confronted a group of 8 students manning two tables for the groups Students for Justice in Palestine, and United Muslims Moving Ahead. Klocek says he argued that the materials the groups were disseminating were one-sided. On this, he is indisputably correct. Neither group pretends to provide balanced information on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. That of course, is perfectly understandable and acceptable. These are advocacy groups.

Klocek says the discussion was heated at times, and he admits to raising his voice. He says he told the students that Palestinians were Arabs who lived in the West Bank and Gaza – that they had no unique national historical identity. He challenged one student’s assertion that Israel was behaving like the Nazis. He stated that while most Muslims were not terrorists, pretty much all terrorists these days were Muslim. This statement had originally been made by the manager of an Arab news channel, and had recently been quoted in the Chicago Sun Times. It has the incidental merit of being true.

Clearly, the students were not used to such a challenge. DePaul in fact has gone out of its way in recent years to make the campus dialogue “safe” for Muslim and Arab students. The University administration warned the campus community after the September 11th attacks that offensive speech hostile to Muslims would not be tolerated.

But speech hostile to Jews, or Israelis, or for that matter, the great mass of Americans grieving and offended by the 9/11 attacks, was perfectly legitimate. While New York and Washington were digging up their 3,000 dead, Muslims students at DePaul were using the post 9/11 environment to publicly attack America and Israel for their crimes and policies at campus forums, paid for with student fees. The campus has welcomed representatives of the Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad to campus. The scurrilous propaganda “documentary” Jenin Jenin has been shown on campus.

I have a bit of personal experience with DePaul’s concept of academic discussion and balance. I was invited a few years back to participate in a debate that was a final class project for a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were six debate participants, three on each side. That much seemed fair enough. However the class material that had been distributed to students before the debate had been provided by pro-Palestinian groups including Students for Justice in Palestine. The suggested reading list could have been prepared by Norman Finkelstein himself. Two of the three debate moderators were aggressively hostile to the pro-Israel speakers (the third played it down the middle). The audience constantly interrupted the pro-Israel speakers.

I have participated in several such debates, and the atmosphere at this one was more physically threatening than any other in which I took part. Two of my family members who attended said they were concerned about my safety at times during the debate, as some audience members (almost all of whom were Palestinian supporters) shook their fingers and approached the podium, with the audience loudly cheering and hooting. It was, for a good part of the time, a free-for-all. Such is a final class project at DePaul these days.

During his cafeteria confrontation with the students, Klocek did not identify himself as a professor at the school. He did not know any of the students, and had not had any of them in a class. After realizing that the argument needed to end, Klocek started to walk off. One student then asked if he taught at DePaul, and if so, what classes. The students followed Klocek, eager to continue arguing with him. He signaled he was done with the debate by thumbing his chin, meant to indicate, he says, enough already. The Muslim students later claimed this gesture was obscene.

For his behavior in this brief debate with the students, Klocek, a popular long-time DePaul professor, has lost his job, his health benefits, and has been smeared and humiliated by the University administration.

It has gotten so bad that Klocek has even been told not to pray at the campus chapel, which he formerly did regularly during his DePaul teaching stint. Such is the retribution of a Catholic University for a professor who has taken the risk of challenging the established mindset at DePaul on the subject of Israel and the Palestinians.

It would be too easy to compare Klocek’s alleged misbehavior – engaging in a short debate in a cafeteria with students who were not in any of his classes and who did not even know he was affiliated with DePaul – with the recent well-publicized events at Columbia University. At Columbia, one professor was alleged to have ordered a pro-Israel student out of his classroom, and to have accused a former Israeli soldier of being a murderer at a public lecture. Another professor ridiculed a Jewish student for her eye color, using this as justification to deny any real Semitic link.

Critics of Columbia also have charged that the Middle East Studies Department had become little more than an advocacy forum for Israel-bashing professors. When the charges of faculty misconduct from the Columbia students were considered by a faculty panel, the faculty members appointed by the university were individuals who had demonstrated in the past that they were Palestinian sympathizers. Not surprisingly, with only one small exception, the students’ complaints were rejected. So Columbia University has formally indicated that far more egregious conduct in the classroom is quite important to academic freedom.

What is surprising at DePaul is that groups which might normally come to the defense of a beleaguered professor unjustly removed from his position have been nowhere in sight. The ACLU has been silent. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has also not yet gotten involved. Perhaps for these groups, the “crime” of defending Israel may trump a professor’s right to free speech.

The University wasted little time after hearing of the students’ complaints about Klocek. The students first met with their advisors and then with a series of University administration members. They said that he had insulted them and their religion and (imagine this!) acted as if he was right and they were wrong. DePaul accepted the charges in toto and without holding a hearing (to which Klocek was entitled) quickly suspended the Professor.

The Muslim students also sent out an email to a large population at DePaul declaring a fatwa on Klocek for insulting Islam. With the recent history of the murder of Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands, and the secret life of Salmon Rushdie for more than a decade since the Iranian fatwa directed against him, one might have expected DePaul to have viewed this email as possibly threatening to Professor Klocek, and as potentially criminal behavior.

But that would be to misunderstand the political environment and cowardice at DePaul. Threaten the life of a pro-Israel professor, and it is apparently no concern to DePaul’s administration. But argue with a group of pro-Palestinian students, and you create great offense, and hurt.

The public comments by the DePaul administration prove their self-interested narrow vision of academic freedom: the freedom to preach the party line only. Amazingly the President of DePaul, Father Dennis Holtschneider, argues that the proof that DePaul values academic freedom is that they protect Norman Finkelstein’s ability to make his case against holocaust survivors and Israel, regardless of its unpopularity (and regardless of course of its untruth!). For DePaul the defense against charges that it is limiting the ability of pro-Israel speakers to make their case is that they allow anti-Israel speakers to make theirs!

DePaul has argued that they object to Klocek’s behavior, not to his speech nor to his views. This is nonsense. Susanne Dumbleton, Dean of the School of New Learning, Klocek’s boss, made the following priceless remark about the Klocek case :

“No one should ever use the role of teacher to demean the ideas of others or insist on the absoluteness of an opinion, much less press erroneous assertions.”

So what Klocek argued was erroneous (meaning of course that the pro-Israel position is wrong). But at the same time, no opinion should ever be argued as right or wrong (the absoluteness of an opinion). And no teacher should ever tell a student that he is wrong about anything. Make these three contradictory statements in one sentence, and you too qualify to be a dean at DePaul.

When she met with him, Dumbleton also told Klocek that the students were hurt and crushed by his behavior. She effectively accused Klocek of being a religious bigot and a racist with this comment:

“No student anywhere should ever have to be concerned that they will be verbally attacked for their religious beliefs or ethnicity.”

Dumbleton’s comment picked up on the theme of a student emailer who said the incident was a “racist encounter.” Accusing somebody who disagrees with you of being a racist is a very common technique, especially by those who lack history or facts to make their case. Apparently none of the students were so badly injured by Klocek that they missed classes due to their distress.

Dumbleton also accused Klocek of using his power as a professor, and therefore his power over the students, to force them to accept his views as true. But until the students asked, Klocek revealed nothing about his campus teaching role, and had no power relationship (professor with his students) to use against any of the student complainers. DePaul, in defending its actions, went so far as to argue that since Klocek was older than the students, that in and of itself, established a power relationship. Evidently older people are to be cautioned against disagreeing with their juniors, on the danger of wielding power. At DePaul, evidently the student inmates run the asylum, based on the principle of Bizzaro-world seniority.

As for forcing the students to accept his views as true, if that were indeed the case, then Klocek presumably should have stuck around until he forced the students to accept his views, rather than walk off realizing the discussion was not changing anybody’s minds (neither his nor theirs). Klocek clearly accepted that failure to ever agree. What the students seemed to resent, in his view, is that somebody on campus did not accept their views.

Dean Dumbelton said in an interview with the campus paper that she was

“deeply saddened by the loss of intellectual empowerment that the students suffered.”

She later wrote a letter to the same paper that the

“students’ perspective was dishonored, and their freedom demeaned. Individuals were deeply insulted.”

She said she had met with the students and apologized to them for the insult and disrespect they endured.

“I regret the assault on their dignity, their beliefs, their individual selves.”

Remember that these alleged abuses and injuries were all suffered as a result of one 15-minute conversation with Professor Klocek in the cafeteria. One wonders how the University might describe a rape or murder victim. Could such an offense to a victim be any greater than that supposedly suffered by the Muslim students who were forced to discuss their propaganda with somebody who did not agree with them?

As the humorist Dave Barry would say, I am not making any of this up. This is the house of horrors that DePaul has become, and this is how the university administration defends its outrageous behavior. It is why Professor Klocek plans to sue the university.

In the black-is-white, white-is-black world that is DePaul, he has been left with no other option. When you stand for Israel at DePaul, you will not be left standing much longer.

Richard Baehr


Audio & photos of CMU talk

Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. Norman Finkelstein lecture at CMU, March 14 2005.

- Talk
– Q&A

Don’t Tell Anyone! | post-gazette.com

*note: audio in ogg vorbis format. Audacity, the free program, seems to work fine as a player.


















Counterfeit Courage: Reflections on “political correctness” in Germany

This past month I was invited, for the second time in as many years, to present a book in Germany. Last year Piper published The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering and this year Hugendubel put out Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict. In significant respects, the receptions differed: The Holocaust Industry generated much public interest, Image and Reality relatively little. No doubt the reason is that Germans have a huge stake in the legacy of the Nazi holocaust but rather little in a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. It would seem that this order of priorities, although understandable, is to be regretted. The Nazi holocaust, however horrific and even if forever a part of Germany’s present, is – except for the handful of survivors – fundamentally a historical question. The persecution of the Palestinians is, by contrast, an on-going horror, and it is, after all, the crimes of the Third Reich that are used to justify this persecution. In the first instance, moral action by Germans is no longer possible; in the second, it plainly is.

Precisely for this reason I actually looked forward to the recent German trip. I made no secret last year of my conflicted feelings about promoting The Holocaust Industry in Germany. Many close friends and comrades counseled against it and – much more important – I was quite certain that both my late parents would have disapproved. Germans, I was told, could not be trusted to honestly debate Jewish misuses of the Nazi genocide (the subject of The Holocaust Industry). In addition, the huge media interest in my book prompted questions – in my opinion, legitimate – about whether I myself wasn’t becoming a beneficiary of the industry I deplored. Ultimately I decided that, notwithstanding the real moral risks entailed, I should go to Germany, a decision which, in retrospect, I don’t regret.

In the case of the new edition of my book on the Israel-Palestine conflict, such reservations seemed less pertinent. The post-war German generation had just redeemed itself by voting into power a coalition with a resolute anti-war platform. If Germans weren’t now ready to honestly debate the Israel-Palestine conflict, when would they be? And no real danger lurked that this book would provoke a media circus if for no other reason than that it wasn’t an easy read. Nonetheless, I arrived in Germany with high hopes that just as The Holocaust Industry somewhat succeeded, I think, at breaking a harmful taboo, so my new book would perhaps break the taboo on German public discussion of Israel’s brutal occupation. With Palestinians facing an unprecedented catastrophe in the event of a new Middle East war, the stakes loom particularly large.

To judge by a steady stream of email correspondence and many conversations, it seems that The Holocaust Industry did stimulate a sober – and much-needed – debate among ordinary Germans. (A handful of neo-Nazis exploited the occasion but, as the dean of Nazi holocaust scholars, Raul Hilberg, observed, German democracy is not so fragile that it can’t tolerate a few kooks coming out of the woodwork.) It’s still too soon to gauge the popular reaction to the Israel-Palestine book. What can already be discerned, however, is the persistence among politically correct Germans of a pronounced animus to my work.

The nadir in the relentlessly ugly campaign of ad hominem vilification after publication of The Holocaust Industry was probably the article in a major German newsweekly, Der Spiegel, claiming in all seriousness that each morning after jogging I meditated on the Nazi holocaust in the company of two parrots. Either Germans had suddenly become engrossed by the (imagined) private life of an obscure Jew from Brooklyn, New York or – what seems likelier – the personalized attack on the messenger was a deliberate tactic to evade confronting the bad news that the Nazi holocaust had become an instrument of political and financial gain.

During this last trip to Germany, a major state television station, ARD, suggested that I was a publicity hound peddling used goods. This same program wanted, however, to stage a confrontation between me and the Israeli exhibitors at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and to have me denounce on camera a famous Israeli author – both of which I refused to do. It would surely have garnered lots of publicity but I found distasteful the idea of a slugfest between Jews for the amusement of Germans. Even among the politically correct crowd some nasty habits apparently die hard. It is widely known in Germany that both my late parents passed through the Nazi holocaust. This family background has also been shamelessly seized on by politically correct Germans to ridicule and dismiss me as unstable.

Such venomous attacks on a Jew and the son of Holocaust survivors are altogether unique in German public life which is otherwise ever so tactful and discreet on all things Holocaust. One can’t but wonder what accounts for them. In fact, the Holocaust has proven to be a valuable commodity for politically correct Germans. By “defending” Holocaust memory and Jewish elites against any and all criticism, they get to play-act at moral courage. What price do they actually pay, what sacrifice do they actually make, for this “defense”? Given Germany’s prevailing cultural ambience and the overarching power of American Jewry, such courage in fact reaps rich rewards. Pillorying a Jewish dissident costs nothing – and provides a “legitimate” outlet for latent prejudice. It happens that I agree with Daniel Goldhagen’s claim in Hitler’s Willing Executioners that philo-Semites are typically anti-Semites in “sheep’s clothing.” The philo-Semite both assumes that Jews are somehow “different” and almost always secretly harbors a mixture of envy of and loathing for this alleged difference. Philo-Semitism thus presupposes, but also engenders a frustrated version of, its opposite. A public, preferably defenseless, scapegoat is then needed to let all this pent-up ugliness ooze out.

To account for Germany’s obsession with the Nazi holocaust, a German friend explained that Germans “like to carry a load.” To which I would add: especially if it’s light as a feather. No doubt some Germans of the post-war generation genuinely accepted the burden of guilt together with its paralyzing taboos on independent, critical thought. But today German “political correctness” is all a charade of pretending to accept the burden of being German while actually rejecting it. For, what is the point of these interminable public breast-beatings except to keep reminding the world: “We are not like them.”

It can also be safely said that politically correct Germans know full well that, more often than not, the criticism leveled against Israeli policy and misuse of the Nazi holocaust is valid. In private conversation (as I’ve discovered) they freely admit to this. They profess to fear that, if Jewish abuses become public knowledge, it will unleash a tidal wave of anti-Semitism. Is there really any likelihood of this happening in Germany today? And isn’t vigorous and candid debate the best means to stem an anti-Semitic tide: exposing the abuses of the Jewish establishment as well as the demagogues who exploit these abuses for nefarious ends? What politically correct Germans really fear, I suspect, is the loss of power and privilege attendant on challenging the uncritical support of all things Jewish. Indeed, their public defense of the indefensible not only breeds cynicism in political life but, far from combating anti-Semitism among Germans, actually engenders it. Isn’t this duplicity typically credited to a dread of, or a desire to curry favor with, a presumed all-powerful Jewry? One also can’t help but wonder what thoughts run through the heads of politically correct Germans about Jews when the ones they typically consort with, prostrate themselves before in unctuous penance, and publicly laud are known to be the worst sort of hucksters.

The challenge in Germany today is to defend the memory of the Nazi holocaust and to condemn its abuse by American Jewish elites; to defend Jews from malice and to condemn their overwhelmingly blind support for Israel’s brutal occupation. But to do this requires real moral courage – not the operatic kind that politically correct Germans so love.

Norman G. Finkelstein

November 2002


Zivilcourage: Zivilcourage: echt oder wohlfeil?
Nachdenkliches zur “politischen Korrektheit” in Deutschland

Letzten Monat war ich zum zweiten Mal innerhalb zweier Jahre eingeladen, in Deutschland ein Buch vorzustellen. Letztes Jahr veröffentlichte der Piper-Verlag Die Holocaust-Industrie: Wie das Leiden der Juden ausgebeutet wird und dieses Jahr brachte Hugendubel Der Konflikt zwischen Israel und den Palästinensern. Mythos und Realität heraus. Die beiden Bücher wurden grundsätzlich verschieden aufgenommen: Die Holocaust-Industrie erzeugte großes öffentliches Interesse, Mythos und Realität vergleichsweise geringes. Das liegt zweifellos daran, daß die Deutschen zwar an der Erblast des nationalsozialistischen Holocaust immenses Interesse haben, an einer gerechten Lösung des israelisch-palästinensischen Konflikts jedoch eher wenig. Mir will scheinen, daß diese Rangfolge _so nachvollziehbar sie auch sein mag_zu bedauern ist. Sieht man einmal von der handvoll Überlebender ab, ist der nationalsozialistische Holocaust, wie entsetzlich er auch war und selbst wenn er für alle Zeiten Teil deutscher Gegenwart sein mag, im wesentlichen eine geschichtliche Frage. Im Gegensatz dazu ist die Verfolgung der Palästinenser gegenwärtiges Grauen; und es sind die Verbrechen des Dritten Reiches, die benutzt werden, um diese Verfolgung zu rechtfertigen. Im ersten Fall können die Deutschen nicht mehr moralisch handeln; im zweiten sehr wohl.

Und genau aus diesem Grund sah ich eigentlich mit positiven Erwartungen dieser Deutschlandreise entgegen. Im letzten Jahr hatte ich aus meinen zwiespältigen Gefühlen, in Deutschland für Die Holocaust-Industrie zu werben, kein Geheimnis gemacht. Viele enge Freunde und Genossen rieten mir ab und ich war _was viel wichtiger für mich ist_ziemlich sicher, daß meine verstorbenen Eltern beide dagegen gewesen wären. Man sagte mir, man könne es Deutschen nicht zutrauen, ehrlich über den Mißbrauch des nationalsozialistischen Völkermords (dieser Mißbrauch war das Thema des Buches Die Holocaust-Industrie) zu diskutieren. Darüber hinaus gab das riesige Medieninteresse Anlaß zu _meiner Meinung nach berechtigten_Fragen, ob ich nicht selbst dabei war, zu einem Nutznießer jenes Kartells zu werden, das ich mißbilligte. Letztendlich beschloß ich ungeachtet der wirklichen moralischen Gefahr, die das mit sich brachte, daß ich nach Deutschland gehen sollte; eine Entscheidung, die ich rückblickend nicht bereue.

Im Falle der neuen Ausgabe meines Buches über den israelisch-palästinensischen Konflikt schienen sich solche Vorbehalte weniger aufzudrängen. Die deutsche Nachkriegsgeneration hatte sich gerade emanzipiert, indem sie eine Koalition mit einem entschiedenen Anti-Kriegs-Programm an die Macht gewählt hatte. Wann, wenn nicht jetzt, wären die Deutschen je bereit, ehrlich über den israelisch-palästinensischen Konflikt zu diskutieren? Und es drohte wirklich keine Gefahr, daß dieses Buch ein mediales Theater hervorrufen würde, wenn auch aus keinem anderen Grund als dem, daß es keine leichte Lektüre ist. Trotzdem kam ich mit großen Hoffnungen, daß _so wie es der Holocaust-Industrie ein wenig gelungen war, ein schädliches Tabu zu brechen_auch mein neues Buch vielleicht das Tabu gegen eine öffentliche Debatte über die brutale israelische Besatzung brechen könnte. Hier ist Engagement mehr denn je vonnöten, weil die Palästinenser im Falle eines neuen Nahostkrieges mit einer beispiellosen Katastrophe rechnen müssen.

Nach meiner anhaltenden Email-Korrespondenz und vielen Gesprächen zu urteilen, scheint Die Holocaust-Industrie unter normalen Deutschen eine nüchterne _und dringend nötige_ Diskussion angeregt zu haben. (Eine handvoll Neo-Nazis nutzten die Gelegenheit aus, aber wie der Altmeister der Holocaust-Forscher, Raul Hilberg, bemerkte, ist die deutsche Demokratie nicht so anfällig, daß sie ein paar Spinner, die aus der Versenkung auftauchen, nicht aushalten kann.) Noch ist es zu früh, die öffentliche Reaktion auf das Israel-Palästina-Buch richtig einzuschätzen. Was man jedoch bereits erkennen kann, ist die Fortdauer einer ausgeprägt feindlichen Stimmung unter politisch korrekten Deutschen gegen meine Arbeit.

Der Tiefpunkt der unbarmherzig häßlichen Kampagne zur Schmähung meiner Person nach der Veröffentlichung der Holocaust-Industrie war wahrscheinlich der Artikel des großen wöchentlichen Nachrichtenmagazins Der Spiegel, der _allen Ernstes_verbreitete, daß ich mich nach allmorgendlichem Joggen zu Hause in Gesellschaft zweier Papageien dem Nachdenken über den Holocaust widmete. Entweder waren die Deutschen plötzlich auf das (imaginäre) Privatleben eines wenig bekannten Juden aus Brooklyn, New York, fixiert, oder _was wahrscheinlicher erscheint_der Angriff auf die Person des Boten der schlechten Neuigkeiten war ein zielgerichtetes Ablenkungsmanöver angesichts der Hiobsbotschaft, daß der nationalsozialistische Holocaust zu einem Werkzeug geworden war, mit dem politische und finanzielle Vorteile zu erlangen sind.

Während der letzten Reise nach Deutschland unterstellte mir die große öffentlich-rechtliche Rundfunkanstalt ARD ich wäre jemand, der auf Publicity aus ist und mit Gebrauchtwaren hausieren ginge. Allerdings wollte genau dieser Sender auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse eine Konfrontation zwischen mir und den israelischen Ausstellern inszenieren und ich sollte vor der Kamera einen bekannten israelischen Autor attackieren _was ich beides ablehnte. Sicher hätte ich damit jede Menge Publicity geerntet, aber die Idee eines Schlagabtauschs zwischen Juden zur Belustigung der Deutschen fand ich geschmacklos. Selbst unter politisch Korrekten halten sich einige üble Gewohnheiten offensichtlich hartnäckig. Es ist in Deutschland weitgehend bekannt, daß meine verstorbenen Eltern beide den nationalsozialistischen Holocaust durchgemacht hatten. Auch dieser familiäre Hintergrund wurde von politisch korrekten Deutschen schamlos in Beschlag genommen, um mich lächerlich zu machen und als labil abzutun.

Solche giftigen Angriffe auf einen Juden und Sohn von Überlebenden des Holocaust sind einzigartig im öffentlichen Leben Deutschlands, das ansonsten immer so taktvoll und umsichtig mit allem umgeht, was mit dem Holocaust zu tun hat. Man kommt nicht umhin, sich zu fragen, wie das zu erklären ist. In Wahrheit hat sich der Holocaust als eine nützliche Sache für politisch korrekte Deutsche erwiesen. Mit der „Verteidigung” des Gedenkens an den Holocaust und jüdischer Eliten gegen jedwede Kritik haben sie die Möglichkeit, Zivilcourage zu schauspielern. Aber welchen Preis zahlen sie eigentlich, welches Opfer bringen sie wirklich für diese „Verteidigung”? In Anbetracht des vorherrschenden kulturellen Klimas in Deutschland und des weitreichenden Einflusses des amerikanischen Judentums bringt solche Courage vielmehr reiche Ernte. Einen jüdischen Andersdenkenden an den Pranger zu stellen kostet gar nichts _ und bietet unterschwelligen Vorurteilen ein „zulässiges” Ventil. Da stimme ich sogar mit Daniel Goldhagens Behauptung in Hitlers willige Vollstrecker überein, wonach Philosemiten meistens Antisemiten „im Schafspelz” sind. Ein Philosemit geht nicht nur davon aus, daß Juden irgendwie „anders” sind, sondern hegt insgeheim fast immer auch eine Mischung aus Neid und Abscheu für diese vermeintliche Andersartigkeit. Somit setzt Philosemitismus sein Gegenteil voraus und erzeugt zugleich eine verbrämte Spielart davon. Ein vorzugsweise wehrloser öffentlicher Sündenbock kommt dann wie gerufen, um die aufgestaute Aggressivität herauszulassen.

Ein deutscher Freund erklärte mir, der Grund für die Besessenheit Deutschlands vom nationalsozialistischen Holocaust sei, daß die Deutschen „gerne eine Last tragen.” Wo ich hinzufügen würde: zumal, wenn sie so federleicht ist. Einige Deutsche der Nachkriegsgeneration hatten zweifellos die Last der Schuld und die damit einhergehenden lähmenden Tabus gegenüber unabhängigem, kritischem Denken aufrichtig angenommen. Heute aber ist die deutsche politische Korrektheit zu einer Farce verkommen, die nur so tut, als ob sie die Bürde, ein Deutscher zu sein, annimmt, obwohl sie sie eigentlich ablehnt. Denn was sonst soll diese endlose öffentliche Selbstgeißelung anderes bedeuten, als die Welt ständig daran zu erinnern, daß „wir nicht wie die sind.”

Auch kann mit Sicherheit gesagt werden, daß die politisch korrekten Deutschen sehr wohl wissen, daß die Kritik, die gegen die israelische Politik und ihren Mißbrauch des nationalsozialistischen Holocaust vorgebracht wird, weit häufiger berechtigt als unberechtigt ist. In vertraulichen Gesprächen geben sie das (wie ich herausfand) freimütig zu. Sie beteuern zu fürchten, es würde einer Welle von Antisemitismus Tür und Tor öffnen, sollten jüdische Missetaten allgemein publik werden. Wie wahrscheinlich ist es aber wirklich, daß so etwas im heutigen Deutschland geschieht? Und ist nicht eine lebhafte, aufrichtige Diskussion das beste Mittel, um eine antisemitische Welle aufzuhalten: eine offene Diskussion, in der sowohl Missetaten jüdischer Eliten als auch die Demagogen bloßgestellt werden, die diese Missetaten für ihre schändlichen Ziele ausnutzen? Ich habe den Verdacht, was die politisch korrekten Deutschen wirklich fürchten, ist der Verlust ihres Einflusses und ihrer Unanfechtbarkeit, der mit einem Hinterfragen ihres unkritischen Beistands für alles Jüdische einherginge. Ihre öffentliche Verteidigung von Dingen, die nicht zu verteidigen sind, befördert nicht nur den Zynismus im politischen Leben allgemein, sondern _weit entfernt davon, den Antisemitismus unter Deutschen zu bekämpfen,_ ruft sie ihn eigentlich hervor. Ist nicht so eine Doppelzüngigkeit charakteristisch für eine Scheu vor einem für allmächtig gehaltenen Judentum oder für den Wunsch, sich bei ihm einzuschmeicheln? Man kommt auch nicht umhin sich zu fragen, welche Gedanken über Juden politisch korrekten Deutschen durch den Kopf gehen, wenn diejenigen, mit denen sie normalerweise verkehren, vor denen sie in salbungsvoller Bußfertigkeit auf die Knie fallen und die sie öffentlich loben, als Profitmacher übelster Sorte bekannt sind.

Heute besteht die Herausforderung in Deutschland darin, das Gedenken an den nationalsozialistischen Holocaust zu wahren und seinen Mißbrauch durch amerikanisch-jüdische Eliten zu verurteilen; Juden gegen üble Nachrede zu verteidigen und ihre überwiegend blinde Unterstützung für Israels brutale Besatzung zu mißbilligen. Aber um so zu handeln, bedarf es echter Zivilcourage _nicht so einer operettenhaften, wie die politisch korrekten Deutschen sie so lieben.

Norman G. Finkelstein

November 2002


Preface to German paperback edition of The Holocaust Industry

Preface to German paperback edition of The Holocaust Industry

Excerpt:

Indeed, The Holocaust Industry forecasts billions in residuals while simultaneously avowing that it can’t even afford health care for elderly Holocaust victims. Decrying the squandering of their compensation monies, 20,000 Holocaust victims formed a new organization in June 2001, Holocaust Survivors Foundation – USA, “to ensure that billions of dollars raised for survivors are paid to survivors.” The Foundation’s secretary, Leo Rechter, charged that Holocaust survivors, as well as “foreign governments,” had been “duped for decades into believing” that the Claims Conference “had OUR interests at heart.” The Foundation’s president, David Schaecter, deplored that many aging Holocaust survivors live in “desperate conditions” while “the Claims Conference has allocated only a minuscule fraction of the billions it has acquired in the name of Holocaust survivors.” It’s “not right” for Holocaust survivors to lack health care, said the Foundation’s chairman, Joe Sachs, “when millions are spent building institutions in remote locations such as Siberia and hundreds of millions are spent on dubious purpose projects around the world.” These doubtful undertakings included “$1.5 million to the ‘Yiddish Theater’ in Tel Aviv,” “$1 million to the ‘Mordechai Anielevich Memorial’ in Israel,” “hundreds of thousands of dollars for a study of the history of pre-war yeshivot,” and “over a half million dollars for a ‘Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture’ in New York, which is twice as much as the recent allocation to all needy survivors in Florida.” Scoring The Holocaust Industry for “moving in and trying to get money for their favorite charities rather than giving money to people in whose name they obtained it,” Rechter rhetorically asked if negotiators for The Holocaust Industry informed their opposites that a “sizable chunk” of the compensation monies would be spent not on survivors but “pet projects”?


Two central theses inform The Holocaust Industry. First, it is the responsibility of Germans – but of Germans alone – to come to grips with their past. In The German Catastrophe, Friedrich Meinecke observes that Nazi Germany was not uniquely evil inasmuch as the “amoral element” at its core infected the whole of Western civilization. “This truth,” he nonetheless cautions, “ought not to be a justification for us Germans…. Ethical as well as historical considerations demand that we Germans should mind our own business and seek to understand Germany’s special part in it.” (1) The reverse equally applies: ethical and historical considerations demand that the United States, e.g., should mind its own business. Yet, although only too willing to supervise Germany’s national reckoning, Americans are neither willing nor able to conceive a comparable responsibility. In her speech marking the conclusion of the German slave-labor negotiations, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright explained that it was “in the foreign policy interests of the United States to take steps to address the consequences of the Nazi era, to learn the lessons of, and teach the world about, this dark chapter in Germany’s history and to seek to ensure that it never happens again.” (2) Indeed, it would also be in the “foreign policy interests” of most of humanity if the U.S. examined the “dark chapters” in its past. While Germans struggle daily with their historical crimes, Americans have yet even to recognize most of theirs. In mainstream American discourse on Vietnam, the only question asked is when the Vietnamese will acknowledge what they did to us. (3) In other words, we Americans are at the moral level of Himmler’s Posen speech.

The second central thesis of The Holocaust Industry is that American Jewish elites exploit the Nazi holocaust for political and financial gain. In The Question of German Guilt, Karl Jaspers maintained that the “indictment” of Germany “is no longer a true bill” if it becomes “a weapon used… for other purposes, political or economic.” (emphasis in original) (4) Although Germans clearly have a responsibility to confront the horrors of Nazism, they also have a right to resist the exploitation of these crimes.

In The Holocaust Industry, I report how American Jewish organizations, institutions, and prominent individuals have instrumentalized the Nazi holocaust to shield Israel from criticism and, more recently, to blackmail Europe. The main criticism of the book was not that I got the facts wrong but that in depicting this coordinated undertaking I had contrived a “conspiracy theory.” In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith observes that capitalists “seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” sDoes this also make Smith’s classic a “conspiracy theory”? (5)

***

Since publication of the German edition of The Holocaust Industry new developments have confirmed my main contentions. In October 2001 the Claims Resolution Tribunal (CRT), adjudicating claims on Swiss accounts dormant since the end of World War II, released its findings on an initial list of 5,570 foreign accounts. It found that the current value with accrued interest of accounts belonging to Holocaust victims totaled all of $10 million. This figure is unlikely to climb anywhere near the $1.25 billion extracted from the Swiss banks in the final settlement (let alone the $7-20 billion initially demanded) after claims are resolved on the remaining 21,000 Holocaust-era dormant and closed accounts. Reporting on the CRT’s findings, the London Times headline read: “Swiss Holocaust cash revealed to be myth.” The weight of the evidence supports Raul Hilberg’s charge that the World Jewish Congress conjured up “phenomenal figures” and then “blackmailed” the Swiss banks into submission. (6) With only the tiniest fraction of the $1.25 billion in the Swiss settlement being paid out to Holocaust victims or heirs, the battle among blackmailers has predictably begun over who gets to keep the Holocaust booty. Caught in the crossfire is, interestingly enough, the blackmailers’ victim. Claiming that Israel is the rightful recipient and that “I don’t trust the World Jewish Congress,” Israel’s Minister of Justice is demanding that “the deal with the Swiss banks…be renegotiated.” (7)

The blackmail tactics of Stuart Eizenstat, The Holocaust Industry‘s chief liaison with the Clinton administration (where he served as Deputy Treasury Secretary), proved less effective against the French. France’s Matteoli Commission had identified 64,000 banks accounts possibly belonging to Holocaust victims – a figure significantly higher than the 25,000 in the Swiss case. Yet, despite demands that “shocked” the French, Eizenstat – working against the clock in the last hours of the Clinton presidency – was only able to extort a relatively modest payment beyond what was actually owed Holocaust victims. In a “Statement of Interest” annexed to the final agreement, Eisenstadt underlined that “the United States’ interests include…a fair and prompt resolution” of the claims of Holocaust victims against France “to bring some measure of justice in their lifetimes.” A noble interest to be sure but, alas, it didn’t extend to the claims of Holocaust victims against the United States. Juxtaposing the records of the U.S. and Switzerland especially highlights this hypocrisy. (8)

In May 1998 a Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets was charged by Congress with “conducting original research on the fate of assets taken from victims of the Holocaust that came into the possession of the U.S. Federal government” and “advising the President on policies that should be adopted to make restitution to the rightful owners of stolen property or their heirs.” (9) In December 2000 the Commission, chaired by Edgar Bronfman (who orchestrated the assault on the Swiss banks), released the long-awaited report. Entitled Plunder and Restitution: The U.S. and Holocaust Victims’ Assets, (10) it purports to demonstrate that “the United States has asked of itself no less than it has asked of the international community.” (11) In fact, a close reading of the document points to the opposite conclusion: although the United States was culpable of all the offenses it alleged against the Swiss, no comparable demands have been imposed on the U.S. for Holocaust restitution. (12)

The Presidential Commission unfavorably compares the “intransigence of the Swiss banks” with the “extraordinary efforts” of the United States to return Holocaust-era assets. (13) I want first to compare the charges leveled against the Swiss with the American record as revealed in the Commission report.

Denial of access to Holocaust-era assets

The Holocaust Industry alleged that the Swiss banks systematically denied Holocaust survivors and heirs access to their accounts after World War II. The Volcker Committee concluded that, apart from marginal exceptions, the charge lacked merit. (14) On the other hand, the Presidential Commission found that after the war “many” Holocaust survivors and heirs couldn’t recover their assets in the United States due to the “expense and difficulty in filing” a claim. (From 1941 the Federal government had blocked or vested the assets of all nationals from Nazi-occupied countries.) (15) As with the Swiss banks, in “some instances” the federal government sought out rightful owners. (16)

Destruction of Holocaust-era asset records

The Holocaust Industry alleged that, to cover their tracks, the Swiss banks systematically destroyed essential records. The Volcker Committee concluded that the charge lacked merit. (17)

On the other hand, the United States did destroy crucial “raw data.” After the U.S. declared war on the Axis, the Treasury Department required American financial institutions to submit detailed descriptions of all foreign-owned assets on deposit. The Commission reports that these forms – fully 565,000 – “have been destroyed, and the staff’s investigations have uncovered no duplicates. As a result, it is not possible to estimate the amount of victims’ assets in the United States in 1941.” The Commission is strangely silent on when or why these documents were destroyed. (18)

Misappropriation of Holocaust-era assets

The Holocaust Industry justly accused Switzerland of using monies belonging to Holocaust victims from Poland and Hungary as compensation for Swiss properties nationalized by these governments. (19) Yet, the Presidential Commission reports that this happened in the United States as well: “[C]ompensation for U.S. assets lost in Europe took precedence over compensation for foreign-owned assets frozen in the United States. Congress regarded frozen German assets as a source from which to pay U.S. war claims for damages suffered by American businesses and individuals….Thus, U.S. war claims were paid in part by German assets that likely included [Holocaust] victims’ assets.” (20)

Trading in looted Nazi gold

The Holocaust Industry justly accused the Swiss of purchasing Nazi gold looted from the central treasuries of Europe. (21) Yet, the Presidential Commission reports that the United States did so as well. In fact, trading in looted Nazi gold was official U.S. policy until Germany’s declaration of war precluded the practice. The relevant passage from the Commission report merits extended quotation:

The German invasion of France, Belgium and the Netherlands in May of 1940, prompted Mr. Pinsent, Financial Counselor at the British Embassy, to send a note to the Treasury Department to inquire of Mr Morgenthau [Treasury Secretary] “whether he would be prepared to scrutinize the gold imports with a view to rejecting those suspected of German origin,” as Pinsent explicitly feared that the private hoards of Dutch and Belgian gold might fall into German hands. In a June 4, 1940 memo, Harry Dexter White [head of the Division of Monetary Research] explained why the U.S. Treasury did not raise questions about the origin of “German” gold….The most effective contribution the United States could make to keep gold as an international exchange medium, White argued, “is to maintain its inviolability and the unquestioned acceptance of gold as a means of settling international balances.” Indeed, six months later White would scornfully write of his “adamant opposition to give even serious consideration to proposals from those who know little of the subject that we stop purchasing gold, or that we stop buying the gold of any particular country, for this or for that or for any particular reason.” In early 1941, White was asked again, through an internal Treasury memorandum, to consider the question “whose gold are we buying?” but from his memos it is clear that the answer was an “unquestioned acceptance of gold.” (22)

The Holocaust Industry also justly alleged that the Swiss purchased Nazi gold looted from Holocaust victims. (There was no evidence, however, that the Swiss knowingly purchased this “victim gold;” its total worth in current values was put at about a million dollars.) (23) The Presidential Commission similarly reports that “it is possible that gold bars and coins purchased by the Department of Treasury through the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, during and after the war contained trace amounts of gold items looted from victims of Nazism.” (24)

In sum, the Presidential Commission’s report demonstrates that the United States was guilty of all the charges leveled by The Holocaust Industry against Switzerland.

The Holocaust Industry forced the Swiss banks to conduct an exhaustive, external audit costing a half billion dollars in order to locate all unclaimed Holocaust-era assets. Before this audit was even completed, The Holocaust Industry forced a $1.25 billion settlement on the Swiss. (25) Yet, the Volcker Committee reported that, alongside Switzerland, the United States was also a primary safe haven for Jewish assets in Europe. (26) Compare now the demands imposed on the United States.

As noted above, the Presidential Commission claimed that its “work…demonstrates that the United States has asked of itself no less than it has asked of the international community.” The Commission did not, however, undertake a comprehensive accounting of unclaimed Holocaust-era assets in the United States. The report maintains that it wasn’t the Commission’s mandate “to mechanistically quantify or assign dollar values to perceived historical shortcomings in U.S. policy making or implementation.” (27) Indeed, it ostensibly couldn’t do so owing to the “necessary compromise between research goals and the time and resources available to complete them,” and the “paucity and uneven quality of documentation at its disposal.” (28) Inexplicably, Switzerland could, but the United States couldn’t, finesse these obstacles. (What prevented a greater allocation of “time and resources,” or a Swiss-style audit to fill the document gap?) (29) Likewise, an accurate reckoning of returned Holocaust-era assets would have required “systematic investigations that fell beyond the capacities” (30) of the Commission – but not beyond the capacities of the Swiss banks.

The Commission reports that the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO) only “reluctantly accepted” the $500,000 compensation offered by the US government in the early 1960s for unclaimed Holocaust-era assets. (31) Although the report findings support Seymour Rubin’s contention that the $500,000 figure was “very low,” (32) the Commission predictably concludes that the paltry compensation wasn’t “attributable to bad motives on the part of any official, agent or institution of the United States.” (33) The report never once proposes that the United States should in fact pay more compensation, to say nothing of an amount comparable to the $1.25 billion extracted from the Swiss.

The Presidential Commission includes a list of noble recommendations. (34) At war’s end, American GIs stationed in Europe engaged in massive looting. (35) One recommendation calls on the federal government “to develop, in concert with veterans’ service organizations, a program to promote the voluntary return of victims’ assets that may have been taken by former members of the armed forces as war souvenirs.” No doubt veterans are already queuing up to return the booty. A final recommendation calls on the United States to “continue its leadership to promote the international community’s commitment to addressing asset restitution issues.” After this report, one could be forgiven for concluding that American leadership is a curse rather than a blessing.

***

In my book I maintained that, in the recent negotiations with Germany, The Holocaust Industry inflated both the number of former Jewish slave-laborers alive at war’s end and those still alive today. In fact, the Claims Conference effectively concedes this. Professor Yehuda Bauer, former director of Yad Vashem (Israel’s main Holocaust research institute), currently serves as the Claims Conference’s advisor on Holocaust education. In his just-released study, Rethinking The Holocaust, Bauer “estimate[s] that at the end of World War II about 200,000 Jews emerged form the Nazi concentration and slave labor camps and had survived the death marches.” Although rather higher than standard estimates, Bauer’s figure is still impossible to reconcile with The Holocaust Industry’s claim during negotiations that 700,000 Jewish slave-laborers survived the war and 140,000 remain among the living 50 years later. (36) Even Holocaust survivor organizations are decrying that The Holocaust Industry jacked up the number of survivors during negotiations only to drop the number once it had the compensation monies earmarked for Holocaust survivors in hand: “Why during the negotiations were the numbers of actual Shoah survivors so vastly exaggerated and why were the negotiators so fearful that the press and the German and Swiss opponents might challenge their proclaimed survivors’ statistics?” (37) This inflation now exceeds that of the Weimar years with the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, J.D. Bindenagel, proclaiming that “in the postwar years many millions of Holocaust victims were caught behind the Iron Curtain.” (38)

Those Germans who believed that paying the extortion money and publicly heaping praise on The Holocaust Industry for its moral righteousness would finally close the chapter on Holocaust compensation are in for a surprise. The Holocaust Industry is now greedily eyeing the $350 million in the settlement set aside for a German foundation promoting tolerance (“Fund for the Future”). Leading the charge is Rabbi Israel Singer, vice-president of the Claims Conference. Maintaining that “it is the job of the Jewish community to challenge parts of the settlement it does not agree with,” this mastermind of The Holocaust Industry’s blackmail strategy opined: “I don’t believe we should play by the rules of the Germans.” Small wonder that even fellow Jews, according to Singer, “describe me as a gangster.” (39)

Total attorney fees in the German settlement came to $60 million. Melvyn I. Weiss and Michael Hausfeld led the pack with, respectively, $7.3 million and $5.8 million, while at least 10 others clocked in at more than $1 million. Professor Burt Neuborne of New York University reflected that his $5 million fee was “not particularly high” – especially as compared with the German settlement’s allocation of $5,000 to $7,000 for a survivor of Auschwitz. Lagging behind with a piddling $4.3 million, Robert Swift waxed philosophical about his “minimal by any standard” payment: “Not everything you do in life can be measured in dollars and cents.” Looking elsewhere for solace, one enterprising attorney sold the story of his client to Hollywood’s Mike Ovitz, former president of Disney. Stuart Eizenstat went on to defend the lawyers’ fees as “exceedingly modest.” Holocaust survivors thought otherwise. “If only half the amount, or about $30 million, could have been saved on attorneys’ fees,” a survivor organization editorialized, “it could have been used to establish one or several health-care centers for ailing Survivors. Shame on these unconscionable fees!” (40)

It’s a mistake, however, to focus exclusively on the misdeeds of the Holocaust lawyers. This has been The Holocaust Industry’s main strategy for diverting attention from itself as the ugly truth seeps out. (Success is almost guaranteed in the U.S., where lawyers are universally reviled.) In fact, the class-action lawyers together have pocketed less than two percent of the various Holocaust settlements. The real thieves are the interlocking directorates of The Holocaust Industry’s affiliate organizations like the Claims Conference and the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

In The Holocaust Industry I document the Claims Conference’s misuse of compensation monies from its inception in the early 1950s. None of these findings has been substantively refuted, (41) while recent developments conform to the established pattern. In November 2001 the WJC announced that it had collected $11 billion in Holocaust compensation and expected the figure eventually to reach some $14 billion. (It’s unclear whether these figures include the tens of thousands of properties worth billions of dollars that the Claims Conference is still contesting in Germany.) The Holocaust Industry is now “debating not whether, but how,” to use the “probably billions” in “leftovers” after needy Holocaust victims “pass from the scene.” (42) It’s hard to figure how The Holocaust Industry already knows that there will be “probably billions” in residuals if – as it also maintains – nearly a million indigent Holocaust survivors are still alive and “tens of thousands” are “likely to be alive” in 2035. (43)

Indeed, The Holocaust Industry forecasts billions in residuals while simultaneously avowing that it can’t even afford health care for elderly Holocaust victims. Decrying the squandering of their compensation monies, 20,000 Holocaust victims formed a new organization in June 2001, Holocaust Survivors Foundation – USA, “to ensure that billions of dollars raised for survivors are paid to survivors.” The Foundation’s secretary, Leo Rechter, charged that Holocaust survivors, as well as “foreign governments,” had been “duped for decades into believing” that the Claims Conference “had OUR interests at heart.” The Foundation’s president, David Schaecter, deplored that many aging Holocaust survivors live in “desperate conditions” while “the Claims Conference has allocated only a minuscule fraction of the billions it has acquired in the name of Holocaust survivors.” It’s “not right” for Holocaust survivors to lack health care, said the Foundation’s chairman, Joe Sachs, “when millions are spent building institutions in remote locations such as Siberia and hundreds of millions are spent on dubious purpose projects around the world.” These doubtful undertakings included “$1.5 million to the ‘Yiddish Theater’ in Tel Aviv,” “$1 million to the ‘Mordechai Anielevich Memorial’ in Israel,” “hundreds of thousands of dollars for a study of the history of pre-war yeshivot,” and “over a half million dollars for a ‘Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture’ in New York, which is twice as much as the recent allocation to all needy survivors in Florida.” Scoring The Holocaust Industry for “moving in and trying to get money for their favorite charities rather than giving money to people in whose name they obtained it,” Rechter rhetorically asked if negotiators for The Holocaust Industry informed their opposites that a “sizable chunk” of the compensation monies would be spent not on survivors but “pet projects”?

“Representatives of the Jewish organizations, which ostensibly conducted the worthy campaign to set up the compensation funds, did not do this out of deep concern for Holocaust survivors or their heirs,” Knesset member Michael Kleiner told the Israeli parliament amid Jewish infighting for the Holocaust booty. “The real aim was not to restore Jewish property to its legal owners. The representatives of the organizations did everything possible to ensure that the money that was taken and the Jewish property would come into their own coffers instead of going to their lawful owners. In this way, the representatives of the Jewish bodies hoped to breathe new life into their organizations and the lives of luxury to which they have become accustomed.” Israel’s eminent daily, Haaretz, similarly commented that “at times it seems that the Holocaust has become a tool in the hands of the large Jewish organizations to obtain funds for the favorite projects of the organizations’ leaders.” (44)

***

The Holocaust Industry has designated “Holocaust education” the main beneficiary of compensation monies. In my book, I wrote that much of Holocaust literature is “worthless as scholarship.” Deploring that “American publishers put out a multitude of worthless books, like the testimonies of Holocaust survivors who were seven years old at the time,” Hilberg goes on to observe that “in the United States no one is really interested in learning anything new about this historical epoch,” and that “today the really serious Holocaust scholarship comes out of Germany.” (45)

A sampling of recent Holocaust literature confirms the harshest verdicts:

1. Sir Martin Gilbert’s latest contribution to Holocaust literature, Never Again: A History of the Holocaust, was selected by The Holocaust Industry for distribution in Lithuania. An inset in the book posits this pearl of embarrassingly insipid chauvinism: “I think that European Jews were the most knowledgeable people on earth because they wanted to know about the world around them.” Consider these chapter headings: “Warsaw Ghetto Revolt,” “Ghetto Revolts,” “Escape to the Partisans,” “Jewish Resistance Movements,” “Jews in the Allied Armies,” “Jews in the National Resistance Movement,” “Death Camp Revolts,” “Jews in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.” From Jews going to their deaths “like sheep to slaughter” we now have Jews going to their deaths like “Rambo-witz.” (46)

2. As noted above, Yehuda Bauer is former director of Holocaust research at Yad Vashem and currently advises the Claims Conference on Holocaust education. In the crowning achievement of his life’s work, Rethinking the Holocaust, Bauer manages both to affirm and deny every major thesis on the Nazi extermination of the Jews: it can and can’t be rationally understood; did and didn’t spring from the Enlightenment and French Revolution; was and wasn’t comparable to the extermination of the Gypsies…. He bizarrely criticizes “most of German historiography” on the Nazi holocaust because it “avoids the murder itself and instead agonizes over who decided what and when regarding the murder of the Jews.” Finally, Bauer offers this profound insight into Himmler’s motivation: “If all humans contain in themselves the seeds of attitudes that we term positive and negative, we can explain Himmler as a person in whom the negative elements manifested themselves in extreme form, undoubtedly as a result of the confluence of social and personal-individual factors.” (47)

3. Guenter Lewy’s study, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies, was acclaimed by Holocaust historian Saul Friedlander for its “great compassion.” The central thesis of Lewy’s book is that Gypsies didn’t suffer like the Jews – indeed, didn’t even suffer a genocide – during World War II. The argument goes like this: Gypsies were ruthlessly slaughtered by the Einsatzgruppen like the Jews, but only because they were suspected of spying; Gypsies were deported to Auschwitz like the Jews, but only “to get rid of them, not to kill them;” Gypsies were gassed at Chelmno like the Jews, but only because they had contracted typhus; most of the few remaining Gypsies were sterilized like the Jews, not however to prevent their propagation but only to “prevent contamination of ‘German blood.'” It’s not hard to imagine the public and scholarly reaction if one replaced Gypsies with Jews in Lewy’s book. (48)

4. The latest book by Richard Overy, a highly regarded British professor of contemporary history, is entitled Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945. In this otherwise exhaustively annotated collection of documents relating to the Nuremberg trials, Overy reproduces without critical comment the testimony of Franz Blaha, a Czech doctor imprisoned at Dachau, that there were “many executions by gas or shooting or injections.” As it happens, Blaha was the only person who testified about the Dachau gas chamber at the 1945 Dachau trial. Pre-trial, he said there had been one experimental gassing, and he had seen two dead, two unconscious, and three sitting upright in the chamber. At the trial itself he testified to seeing 8-10 people in the chamber, of whom three were still alive. Only later at Nuremberg did he report many executions by gas. It’s precisely this sort of slipshod scholarship that renders Holocaust denial credible. Indeed, the meticulous handling of sources is much more important than grandstanding about the perils of Holocaust deniers. (49)

The purpose of Holocaust education is naturally to “learn the lessons of the Holocaust.” But what lessons does The Holocaust Industry want us to learn? One important lesson is to prioritize the struggle against anti-Semitism – unless it pays not to. Thus, while urging the world community to boycott Austria after Joerg Haider’s Freedom Party joined the governing coalition, The Holocaust Industry was happily negotiating a compensation agreement in Vienna. Upon cutting a deal Stuart Eizenstat heaped praised on the Austrian government for having “shown leadership not just in Austria, but leadership to the rest of Europe and to the world about how one can reconcile with one’s past, and how one can heal wounds even many decades later.” (50) Another important lesson is “do not compare” the Holocaust with other crimes – unless comparing is politically expedient. Thus, a Holocaust industry periodical compared the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center with “the ordeal of WWII and the suffering of the Shoah,” while Atlantic Monthly pondered whether bin Laden or Hitler stood higher on the “hierarchy of evil,” and The New York Times Magazine opined that Islamic fundamentalism was “a more formidable enemy than Nazism.” (51) Yet another lesson is to remember the Nazi genocide – but forget all other genocides. Thus Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres dismissed Turkey’s systematic extermination of Armenians as mere “allegations,” and Armenian accounts of the mass slaughter as “meaningless.” (52) And still another lesson is to keep vigilant for crimes against humanity – except those committed by your own government. Thus, while the U.S.’s uncontrollable power wreaks havoc on much of humanity, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council “urged the United States to focus on ‘the threat of genocide’ in Sudan.” (53) Finally, the Israeli military is learning a most instructive Holocaust lesson. To repress Palestinian resistance to the 35-year-long occupation, a senior Israeli officer called on the army to “analyze and internalize the lessons of…how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto.” (54)

One authentic lesson of the Nazi holocaust is, I think, quite simple: Speak truth to power. In the current climate of “Holocaust correctness” and intimidation, the personal and professional toll can be considerable. But the price of silence is plainly worse. The Holocaust Industry’s misrepresentations and lies foster Holocaust denial; its blackmail and huckstering foment anti-Semitism; its hypocrisy and double standards preclude meaningful precepts. The sooner The Holocaust Industry is shut down, the better off all of us – Jews and non-Jews – will be.

Norman G. Finkelstein
February 2002

Notes

1. Friedrich Meinecke, The German Catastrophe: Reflections and Recollections, trans. by Sidney B. Fay (Cambridge: 1950), p. 53.

2. U.S. Department of State, “Statement by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright” (20 October 2000).

3. Upon departing for Vietnam in November 2000, President Bill Clinton announced that his “one central priority” was “gaining the fullest accounting of American prisoners of war and Americans missing in action in Southeast Asia.” The New York Times earlier reported that Clinton would be “the first president to step onto Vietnamese soil since the end of the war there that took 58,000 American lives.” Fortunately no Vietnamese died. An American expert on Agent Orange visiting Vietnam a few months later worried that U.S.-Vietnamese relations might be jeopardized by Hanoi’s call for humanitarian assistance for the one million Vietnamese victims (including 150,000 children) of Agent Orange: “If cleanup was deemed necessary, if health care was necessary, if compensation was necessary, it would become very expensive.” To be sure, Clinton did “pledge to give Vietnam a computer system with information on where U.S. forces stored or sprayed Agent Orange.” Even the eminent U.S-based humanitarian organization, Human Rights Watch, only “urged” Clinton to press Vietnam on its human rights’ responsibilities. (David E. Sanger, “Settling a Goal of Reconciliation, Clinton Plans a November Trip to Vietnam,” in New York Times, 15 November 2000 (“58,000″), Seth Mydans, “Clinton to Try to Juggle Past Horrors and Future Hopes on Vietnam Visit,” in New York Times (16 November 2000) (“priority”),”Official: 70 Percent of Agent Orange child victims have not received aid,” in Associated Press 30 May 2001 (“150,000″), Tini Tran, “U.S., Vietnam hold second meeting on Agent Orange research,” in Associated Press (2 July 2001) (“very expensive”), Press Release, Human Rights Watch (10 November 2000).

4. Karl Jaspers, The Question of German Guilt (New York: 1961), trans. by E.B. Ashton, p. 45.

5. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: 2000), intro. by Robert Reich, p. 148. It bears parenthetical mention that a “conspiracy theory” is not prima facie absurd, at any rate in Anglo-American jurisprudence. Indeed, “participation in a common plan or conspiracy” to commit aggression was the centerpiece of the prosecution’s indictment at the Nuremberg trial.

6. Claims Resolution Tribunal For Dormant Accounts In Switzerland, “The Claims Resolution Tribunal has fulfilled its initial project” (press release, no date). Adam Sage and Roger Boyes, “Swiss Holocaust cash revealed to be myth” in The Times (13 October 2001). “Comment s’ecrira desormais l’histoire de l’Holocauste? Entretien avec l’auteur de ‘La destruction des juifs d’Europe,'” in Liberation (Paris, 15 September 2001) (“spectacular figures”). “Holocaust Expert Says Swiss Banks Are Paying Too Much,” in Deutsche Presse-Agentur (28 January 1999) (“blackmail”). As of November 2001 the CRT has awarded another $3.5 million against claims on the remaining 21,000 accounts. (personal communication from Viejo Heiskanen, Secretary General of the CRT, 21 January 2002)
By all indications, The Holocaust Industry has been pursuing against European insurance companies a strategy identical to its Swiss blackmail campaign, a topic I will return to in a future publication. Meanwhile the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) is embroiled in scandal as it has spent more than $30 million on administrative expenses – including multiple international conferences lasting no more than 24 hours with first-class accommodations and business-class flight arrangements – while distributing only $3 million to Holocaust claimants. (Commission head Lawrence Eagleburger pockets an annual salary of $350,000.) Shrugging off the criticism, executive director of the World Jewish Congress, Elan Steinberg, said that the “bill is footed by the insurance companies and banks” – i.e. “It’s on the goyim.” (Yair Sheleg, “Profits of doom,” in Haaretz (29 June 2001), Henry Weinstein, “Spending by Holocaust Claims Panel Criticized,” in Los Angeles Times (17 May 2001)). Apart from its vulgarity, the statement is almost certainly untrue: under the German settlement’s terms, administrative expenses are deducted from the $100 million total allotment to policy-holders. Typically, The Holocaust Industry is now demanding that the German insurers foot its vacation bills.

7. Pierre Heumann, “Israel fordert neuen Bankenvergleich,” in Weltwoche (I0 January 2002) (“trust” “renegotiated”).

8. “Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of France concerning Payments for Certain Losses Suffered During World War II.” (18 January 2001) Jonathan Wright, “U.S., France sign deal on Jewish bank claims” in Reuters (18 January 2001) (“shocked”). Apart from establishing a procedure similar to that of the CRT for resolving claims on dormant accounts, the French earmarked about $100 million (Euro 100 million) for a Holocaust foundation.

9. For background, see p. 119 of the English paperback edition. The commission was formed at the peak of U.S. pressures on the Swiss banks and in the face of Swiss criticism that the U.S. was itself not blameless in the matter of Holocaust compensation.
10. Washington, DC. (Hereafter: P&R) It is divided into two parts: “Findings and Recommendations,” and “Staff Report”. Page numbers for the Staff Report are denoted “SR”.

11. P&R, p. 5.

12. It bears passing notice that this report is replete with the hyperbole typical of Holocaust industry publications. Thus the Holocaust is deemed “the greatest mass theft in history.” (P&R: SR-3) The entire United States was built on land stolen from the indigenous population, and U.S. industrial development was fueled by centuries of unpaid labor of African-Americans in the cotton industry: Did the Commission reckon these thefts in its calculations?

13. P&R, pp. 4, 5.

14. See pp. 111-12 of the English paperback edition. Even after publication of the Volcker Committee’s findings, Professor Gerald Feldman from Berkeley still denounced Switzerland for having “handled its accounts with Jews in an utterly abominable fashion.” Indeed, Feldman fulsomely praised the American role in securing Holocaust compensation from Europe yet passed over in silence that, as seen below, the Presidential Commission – on which Feldman served as an “outside expert” (P&R, p. 48) – documented that every count of the indictment against the Swiss applied with equal or greater force to the U.S., and the Commission made no comparable demands on the U.S. for Holocaust compensation. (“Reparations, Restitution, and Compensation in the Aftermath of National Socialism, 1945-2000″ (The Holocaust Center of Northern California, 10 February 2001)). Apart from his affiliation with the U.S. Presidential Commission, Feldman sits on the Commissions of the Bank Austria and the Deutsche Bank; for Feldman’s multiple Holocaust-related consultancies, see www.NormanFinkelstein.com under “The Holocaust Industry” (“Prof. Gerald Feldman – Another Holocaust huckster?”).

15. P&R, pp. 11-12; SR-167-8. The report also observes: “No noticeable relaxation of the rules or procedures facilitated victims’ claims….Heirs faced more challenges than named account holders. Many case histories demonstrated that the initial claimant died during the claim process. In those cases,…further investigations…delayed cases.”

16. P&R: SR-170. See pp. 111-2 of the English paperback edition.

17. See p.112 of the English paperback edition.

18. P&R: SR-4, SR-213-14.

19. See pp. 97-8 of the English paperback edition.

20. P&R, p. 12; SR-6, SR-170.

21. See pp. 96-7, 108-9 of the English paperback edition.

22. P&R: SR-51.

23. See pp. 97, 110-11of the English paperback edition.

24. P&R: SR-214.

25. For details, see pp. 89-120 passim of the English paperback edition.

26. See pp. 114-15 of the English paperback edition.

27. P&R: p. 7.

28. P&R: p. 19; SR-212-13.

29. The Commission merely conducted a “pilot project matching the names of a limited list of Holocaust victims with a list of escheated property maintained by the State of New York…This procedure…yielded 18 matches of names of victims with dormant bank accounts in the State of New York…the value of these accounts ranges from a few dollars to five thousand dollars.” (Under the doctrine of escheat, American banks are supposed to transfer abandoned dormant accounts to the respective state government.) In addition, the Commission reached an agreement with major banks “defining suggested best practices to be used by banks when they search for Holocaust assets.” Under this accord, banks volunteering to participate are supposed to conduct “their own investigations” of relevant records, and inform state officials of any Holocaust-era dormant accounts found. An abyss plainly separates these “suggested best practices” from the exhaustive, external audit imposed on the Swiss banks. Remarkably, the agreement even provides that cooperating banks don’t have to publicly report “the identity of the account holder” for “any accounts identified.” (P&R: pp. 3, 15-17)

30. P&R: SR-184n249.

31. P&R: SR-138. The JRSO was responsible for recovering heirless Holocaust-era assets after the war. Interestingly, the Commission reports that the JRSO claimed for itself property belonging to Holocaust survivors and their heirs:

Individuals sometimes discovered that the JRSO had submitted a claim for their property and they then turned to the successor organization for restitution; the JRSO handled over 4,800 such claims by 1955. After internal discussion, the JRSO agreed to restitute property to such claimants even though it had obtained title to such assets….It did, however, assess a service charge to the late petitioners to covers its costs. The fees depended on the relationship of the claimant to the former owner and the appraisal of the property. If the JRSO had actually recovered a property, a surcharge of ten percent augmented these costs (although the organization reduced this to five percent if a claimant was indigent). One claimant sharply criticized US authorities for “awarding” her property to the JRSO. She argued that she had not heard about the filing deadline until after it had passed, and instead discovered that “I shall be punished because the Occupation Army, for whom my husband and I pay plenty, deems it right to take my property and gives it to who knows whom.” The frustration and anger expressed in this letter likely mirrored the sentiments of other claimants who missed the deadline; individuals hurled “demands” and “protests” at the JRSO for the immediate return of their property. (P&R: SR-156)

A half century later the Jewish Claims Conference (successor to the JRSO) pursues the identical strategy to rob legitimate Jewish heirs of their properties in the former East Germany. See the references cited on p. 87n11 of the English paperback edition, and Netty Gross, “Time’s Running Out,” in Jerusalem Report (7 May 2001). Gross quotes one cheated Jewish heir that, “We are being robbed a second time. First by the Nazis and their collaborators….Now …we are being victimized by Jewish organizations…who have their own organizational interests at heart.” A newsletter of disgruntled Holocaust survivors makes the telling point that the Claims Conference, while denouncing European banks and insurance companies for not publishing full lists of potential claimants to Holocaust-era assets and not searching these claimants out, itself “never made an adequate effort to identify former Jewish owners” of the east German properties and “never published a list of Jewish property owners.” (NAHOS, The Newsletter of the National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors, 1 November 2001 and NAHOS, Vol. 7, No. 14 (11 April 2001), p. 1 (emphasis in original))

32. P&R: SR-171. The quoted phrase comes from a statement by Seymour Rubin in 1959 (for Rubin, see pp. 115-16 of the English paperback edition). The JRSO ultimately acceded to this figure, according to Rubin, because Holocaust survivors were approaching death: “time is running out for these people.” The Holocaust Industry played the same “time is running out” tune during the Swiss banks shakedown. One might have thought that a half century later time had already run out. For suggestive evidence that the total value of unclaimed Holocaust-era assets ran much higher, see P&R: SR-6, SR-166-7, SR-172, SR-214-5.

33. P&R: p. 7.

34. P&R: pp. 21-6.

35. P&R: SR-117ff.

36. Yehuda Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust (New Haven: 2001), p. 246. For the Claims Conference figures, see pp. 127-8 of the English paperback edition. The likelihood is that only about 10 percent of the Jewish slave-laborers alive at war’s end still remain alive. This percentage is supported by recent estimates that during the war Germany’s Roman Catholic Church “used 10,000 forced laborers and about 1,000 are still alive” (New York Times, 8 November 2000). On this and related matters, see esp. Gunnar Heinsohn, Judische Sklavenarbeiter Hitlerdeutschlands – Wie Viele Uberlebten 1945 den Genozid Und Wie Viele Konnten Im Jahr 2000 Noch Leben?, Schriftenreihe des Raphael-Lemkin-Instituts Nr. 9 (Bremen: 2001); revealingly, Heinsohn reports that the German media suppressed serious discussion of the slave-labor numbers (p. 67).

37. NAHOS, Vol. 7, No. 18 (14 August 2001), p. 7. See also NAHOS, Vol. 7, No. 15 (11 May 2001), where the Claims Conference is upbraided for manipulating survivor numbers “depending on political exigencies” – e.g., to expedite negotiations The Holocaust Industry has lamented since the mid-1990s that “Holocaust survivors are dying every day” and “ten percent” are dying annually, yet to justify ever-escalating demands the number it sets forth for living Holocaust survivors increases from one year to the next. The real figure for former Jewish slave-laborers still alive will probably never be known since the German government has elected to only spot-check the applications for compensation submitted by the Claims Conference. (see Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance’s response to query of Martin Hohmann (CDU), 9 October 2001)

38. “Nun bitte auch zahlen,” in Die Zeit (12/2001).

39. Nacha Cattan, “Shoah ‘People’ Fund Attacked,” in The Forward (28 December 2001) (“rules”); Yair Sheleg, “Only he knows what needs to be done,” in Haaretz (9 November 2001) (“gangster”).

40. Jane Fritsch, “$52 Million for Lawyers’ Fees in Nazi-Era Slave-Labor Suits,” in New York Times (15 June 2001) (Neuborne), Daniel Wise, “$60 Million in Fees Awarded to Lawyers Who Negotiated $5 Billion Holocaust Fund,” in New York Law Journal (15 June 2001), Larry Neumeister, “Millions in legal fees awarded in slave labor cases,” in Associated Press (18 June 2001) (Eizenstat, Swift), Jonathan Goddard, “Holocaust lawyers make millions as the survivors wait,” in London Jewish News (22 June 2001), Jonathan Goddard, “Nazi Story Sold,” in London Jewish News (6 July 2001) (Hollywood), “The Survivors Belong At The Head Of The Table,” in NAHOS (1 November 2001), reprint of article originally published in Aufbau (28 March 2001) (survivors).

Criticizing the first edition of The Holocaust Industry, Professor Ulrich Herbert passionately defended attorney Michael Hausfeld on the grounds that without him “the Eastern European slave laborers would have had no chance of compensation.” In fact, the documentary record clearly shows that the Schroeder government was committed to compensating Eastern European slave-laborers before the Holocaust lawyers crashed the scene. (Indeed, already in 1992 the Kohl government voluntarily paid East European governments DM1.5 billion to compensate Nazi victims.) The unsung hero is not Hausfeld but Klaus von Munchhausen, who first pressed the German government on behalf of the Eastern European slave-laborers back in 1996, yet was sidelined by The Holocaust Industry in the slave-labor negotiations. In subsequent correspondence, Herbert (who served as Hausfeld’s researcher) did acknowledge that Hausfeld is “exceedingly interested in earning unimaginable amounts of money.” When this quote was reported to Hausfeld he – unsurprisingly – threatened to take “appropriate action” if I cited it. (Ulrich Herbert, “Vorschnelle Begeisterung – Ein Kritikwurdiges Buch, eine nutzliche Provokation: Uber die Thesen Norman Finkelsteins,” in Suddeutsche Zeitung (18 August 2000), “Klaus von Munchhausen: ‘Es geht nicht um die Opfer, es geht um Profit’ (Interview),” in Der Tagesspiegel (14 June 2000), Mark Spoerer, “Entschadigungsieistunger an ehemalige NS-Zwangsarbeiter seit 1945,” at
www.uni-hohenheim.de/~www570a/spoerer/entschaedigung.htm, Gunnar Heinsohn, “Das Klaus von Munchhausen-Gerhard Schroder-Team und der 3.9 Milliarden Coup der Jewish Claims Conference,” chronology prepared for ARD/Radio Bremen (23 February), correspondence with Ulrich Herbert (18 April 2001), and Michael Hausfeld (17 January 2002))

41. See pp. 84ff. of the English paperback edition. My conclusions relied heavily on Prof. Ronald Zweig’s study commissioned by the Claims Conference, German Reparations and the Jewish World. After publication of The Holocaust Industry, Zweig repeatedly charged that I “misused” and “distorted” his research, yet – despite ample space and time to present his case – cited not a single example. (cf. Zweig’s review on www.Amazon.com for The Holocaust Industry, and p. 10 of his introduction to the second edition of German Reparations and the Jewish World (London: 2001), as well as our “Democracy Now” radio debate at www.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20000713.html )

42. Jon Greenberg, “Jewish leaders say Holocaust reparations are nearly complete,” in Associated Press (2 November 2001) (“11 billion”), Yair Sheleg, “Conflicting claims,” in Haaretz (10 December 2001) (German properties), Cattan, “Shoah ‘People’ Fund Attacked” (“debating”), Nacha Cattan, “Clash Looming Over Uses of Shoah Funds,” in Forward (9 November 2001) (“scene”).

43. For these figures, see pp. 152, 159-60 of the English paperback edition.

44. PRNewswire (4 June 2001) (“ensure,” Sachs, Schaecter), NAHOS, Vol. 7, No. 15 (Rechter), NAHOS, Vol. 7, No. 17 (16 July 2001), p. 2, and NAHOS, Vol. 8, No 2 (20 December 2001), pp. 5-7 (doubtful undertakings), NAHOS, Vol. 7, No. 13 (“sizable chunk”), p. 3, Cattan, “Shoah ‘People’ Fund Attacked” (“favorite charities”), Yair Sheleg, “Future imperfect, tense,” in Haaretz (1 February 2002) (Michael Kleiner), Eliahu Salpeter, “Time is running out for compensation,” in Haaretz (13 February 2002) (“tool”). Rechter wondered why the constituent organizations of The Holocaust Industry are “fighting so ferociously” for a cut of the compensation monies if there supposedly isn’t even enough to cover a health-care program. (NAHOS, Vol. 8, No. 3, p. 1) Denouncing The Holocaust Industry‘s fraudulent use of the term “Holocaust survivor” to deny actual survivors their due, Rechter also observed: “Giving aid to needy Jews is certainly a worthy cause, but it must be remembered that this money was demanded on behalf of Holocaust survivors and it should go to their welfare. Russia was not under Nazi occupation. Many of its Jews did flee eastward for fear of the Nazis, and therefore they constitute ‘war victims,’ but they are not Holocaust survivors.” The term was similarly falsified to inflate the number of survivors during compensation negotiations. (Sheleg, “Conflicting claims,” and p. 160 of the English paperback edition) For the record, while elderly Holocaust survivors languish without medical coverage, the current annual salary and benefits of Gideon Taylor, executive vice-president of the Claims Conference, total $220,000. (1999 Tax Return of the Claims Conference)

45. Cattan, “Shoah ‘People” Fund Attacked,” and Nacha Cattan, “Struggle Seen As Bronfman Eyes WJC Exit,” in The Forward (4 January 2002) (main beneficiary), Liberation (15 September 2001) (Hilberg). See p. 55 of English paperback edition for “worthless.” “Holocaust education” thrives not only in the publishing world but academia as well. Australia’s Sydney University now offers a “Masters in Holocaust Studies.” Why not also offer a “Masters in the Irish Potato Famine”?

46. Martin Gilbert, Never Again: A History of the Holocaust (New York: 2001), p. 25 (“knowledgeable”). For Lithuanian translation, see “Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research,” at http://taskforce.ushmm.org (“Working Group on the Liaison Project with Lithuania: Status of project as of September 2001″).

47. Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust, pp. xii-xiii, 7 (rational vs. irrational), pp. 43, 53, 263-4 (Enlightenment/French Revolution), pp. 50, 52, 109, 140, 264, 265, 267 (Gypsies), p. 86 (German historiography), p. 21 (Himmler).

48. Guenter Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies (Oxford: 2000), pp. 38, 116, 117, 118, 128, 162, 165 (“get rid”), 220, 221 (“contamination”).

49. Richard Overy, Interrogations: The Nazi Elite In Allied Hands, 1945 (New York: 2001), p. 378. I am indebted to Harold Marcuse for information on Blaha’s testimony (compare Eugene Kogon et al., Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas (New Haven: 1993), chap. 8).

50. For Eizenstat’s remarks, see “Unofficial Transcript: Schaumayer, Eizenstat on Nazi Slave Labor Fund” (17 May 2000). Never passing up an opportunity to make a buck, WJC President and Seagram multibillionaire, Edgar Bronfman, called on Jews to “stop Austria’s Joerg Haider and other extremists by making an emergency contribution to the World Jewish Congress.” (mail solicitation)

51. Together: American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors (November 2001), Ron Rosenbaum, “Degrees of Evil,” in Atlantic Monthly (February 2000), Andrew Sullivan, “Who Says It’s Not about Religion?” in The New York Times Magazine (7 October 2001).

52. Robert Fisk, “Peres stands accused over denial of ‘meaningless’ Armenian Holocaust,” in The Independent (18 April 2001). Recoiling at any comparison between the Nazi and Turkish exterminations, Israel’s ambassador to Georgia and Armenia maintained that Jews suffered a “genocide” while what happened to the Armenians was merely a “tragedy.” (“Armenia files complaint with Israel over comments on genocide,” in Assoicated Press (16 February 2002))

53. “Bush Remembers Holocaust Victims, “Pledges Defense of Israel,” in Reuters (19 April 2001).

54. Amir Oren, “At the gates of Yassergrad,” in Haaretz (25 January 2002), and Uzi Benziman, “Immoral Imperative,” in Haaretz (1 February 2002).


« Previous   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8