" ............ Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. " Genesis 4:10
A crematorium at Auschwitz Birkenau - The retreating Nazis blew it up in an attempt to destroy the evidence of their crimes.
When one becomes aware of the volume of evidence for the Holocaust, of which Yad Vashem is curator, the idea that any educated person could deny it is preposterous. And yet, there are those who do, and they get an enthusiastic hearing in many places.
How can this be?
How do they do it?
Dr Ephraim Kay addressed the issue when he spoke at a Yad Vashem seminar at the 2009 Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. The CD recording can be obtained from ICEJ.org and is highly recommended.
Dr Kay pointed out that it is neither possible nor profitable to argue with Holocaust deniers, but that we should understand what they are doing in order to protect others from their poisonous arguments.
Dr Kay played a recording of an American talkshow host trying to pin down a holocaust denier and analysed the form of his argument.
Dr Kay staged a demonstration with a volunteer from the audience who had visited Auschwitz. The volunteer had to answer his questions with a yes or no answer.
“When you visited Birkenau, did you see any mounds of clothing? "............... “ “Yes or no. Just answer the question.” “No.”
“Thank you.” "Did you see any mounds of ashes and bones at Birkenau?”
"No" Did you see a gas chamber at Birkenau?” "No" “Did you see a crematorium at Birkenau?” “…...........” “ I repeat. Did you see a crematorium at Birkenau?” “No.” “Thank you.”
Dr Kay continued
"Have others of you been there?” “Did he answer correctly?” - "yes"
“Thank you very much. I have been there seventeen times and I have to tell you that every time I leave, a cold sweat goes up and down my back.”
“one point five million people were murdered there and there is no physical evidence to their murder.”
“We have a problem. That is why these guys are so successful. They are coming and saying, ‘Show me something!’ Can you show them something? No! These people are trying to deconstruct the story by asking these questions. Sixty years have gone by and one day there won’t be any more survivors who were there.”
“How do we combat this? There is very little physical evidence. The ashes were dumped in swamps and buildings were blown up.”
Dr Kay showed some documents from the Archives of Yad Vashem.
What motivates Holocaust Deniers like David Irving or the guy in the interview? What motivates them is not History but Anti-Semitism.
How can we combat their arguments? “By using the documentary evidence that is available from various sources of what happened in World War II.
We put together this documentation from Jewish, Polish, Soviet sources, plus thousands of documents from the Nuremburg Tribunal, plus newly declassified (by the CIA) documents deciphered from Enigma decrypted German radio communications. The Germans/Nazis were very good bureaucrats, and always took more than one copy and filed them away.
One example is a document from Carl Jaeger, who was commanding Eisengruppen A, murdering Jews in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and parts of White Russia. He was asked to give an interim report of the number of Jews that had been liquidated between June 1941 and December 1941. His report shows dates, places and exact body counts. The body counts are tallied up across the pages. One page records, “Ponovice (Small Jewish town in Lithuania) 12,000 people, 1312 Juden (Jewish men), 4662 Juden Frau (Jewish women), 1609 kinder Juden (Jewish children); total 7523 that day. Why was it so important to write down the Jewish children? (They were killing the entire Jewish population) Once you have murdered the Jewish children the Final Solution to the Jewish question that Hitler set out to solve has been achieved once and for all.
Going back to the Holocaust denier you saw earlier and his question, “Were the Jews more important than everybody else in all the death and destruction? (between forty and sixty million) That was a very important challenge he threw out. The Jews never said they were more important. It was the German Nazis! They made it very clear! This was a unique plan to wipe out the entire Jewish people. It was the Germans who decided that the Jews were the most important people to wipe out!”
(Enigma - 11,000,000 pages of documentation - www.gov.nsa “Deciphering the Holocaust”)
To sum up
Documentary evidence – not physical evidence – is the basis of History and and far more documentary evidence for the Holocaust is available than for most accepted History. Therefore we must value it, protect it and utilise it for education.
This is the reason for Yad Vashem and this is why Christians should support Yad Vashem.
Since the beginning of 2007, it is possible to become a Christian Friend of Yad Vashem by registering for a membership with the Christian Friends. Christian Friends can help with information, planning a visit or for instance in bringing groups for educational seminars at Yad Vashem. Christian Friends Desk can also facilitate educational activities in your communities wherever they are.
Christian Friends of Yad Vashem
International Relations Division
91034 Jerusalem, Israel
Tel: +972 2 644 3804
Fax:+972 2 644 3429
Howard Jacobson - The Independent, Wednesday, 18 February 2009
I was once in Melbourne when bush fires were raging 20 or 30 miles north of the city. Even from that distance you could smell the burning. Fine fragments of ash, like slivers of charcoal confetti, covered the pavements. The very air was charred. It has been the same here these past couple of months with the fighting in Gaza. Only the air has been charred not with devastation but with hatred. And I don’t mean the hatred of the warring parties for each other. I mean the hatred of Israel expressed in our streets, on our campuses, in our newspapers, on our radios and televisions, and now in our theatres.
Further down the excellent essay he observes...
Berating Jews with their own history, disinheriting them of pity, as though pity is negotiable or has a sell-by date, is the latest species of Holocaust denial, infinitely more subtle than the David Irving version with its clunking body counts and quibbles over gas-chamber capability and chimney sizes. Instead of saying the Holocaust didn’t happen, the modern sophisticated denier accepts the event in all its terrible enormity, only to accuse the Jews of trying to profit from it, either in the form of moral blackmail or downright territorial theft. According to this thinking, the Jews have betrayed the Holocaust and become unworthy of it, the true heirs to their suffering being the Palestinians. Thus, here and there throughout the world this year, Holocaust day was temporarily annulled or boycotted on account of Gaza, dead Jews being found guilty of the sins of live ones.
Sami Abu Zuhiri of Hamas said in an open letter to the UN,“We oppose forcing the issue of the so-called Holocaust onto the syllabus”, because it aims to reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land.” “We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.”
Holocaust education has made such progress (outside Muslim territory at least) that it takes an extreme bigot to deny what happened. However, the enemy appears to be ahead of the game again by stealing the Holocaust for use against the Jews of Israel. Apart from subtle Holocaust theft such as was found in President Obama's speech to the Muslim world, there are now blatant thefts such as the new Holocaust Museum in the Palestinian village of Naalin. One might think that a Holocaust Museum by and for the Palestinians was a huge step forward. Unfortunately, the juxtaposition of Holocaust images with images from Israel's anti-terror actions seeks to steal sympathy from Holocaust victims and apply it to the Palestinian cause. There is the subtle suggestion that, "Yes the Holocaust was bad, but that was then and this is now. Move on from the Holocaust and fight Israel" Also, painting Israel as no better than the Nazis who massacred the Jews undermines the case that the Jews deserve a state of Israel because of the Holocaust. "If the Jews can behave as badly as the Nazis they don't deserve a state." (The Holocaust should not be used as Israel's right to exist for exactly this reason - There are much more solid reasons)
Genocide compared with self-defence
The falsehood of Holocaust theft is that the Holocaust involved the deliberate attempt to wipe out an entire ethnic people (not a nation that could seek to defend itself) and it was successful to the extent of killing six million Jews; one point five million of them children. The actions of Israel are careful military actions to protect Israelis (Jews and Arabs) from a hostile army that fights dressed as civilians from the midst of the civilian population. ( Human Shields - a war crime ) There is no attempt to wipe out the Arabs / Palestinians and the casualties have never been as bad as has been claimed by Palestinian sources during the conflict. The truth always comes out too late to repair the damage done to Israel by the initial, spectacular stories. Israel's defence forces have a better record of minimising collateral damage than more or less any other national or international force. Images from Israel Today magazine.
Supporters of the Palestinian cause are not above stealing any issue. See also Apartheid. President Obama and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice also used slavery and their black Americans forebears to draw spurious parallels with Israel's actions.
Obfuscation from Latin obfuscre, obfusct-, to darken
1. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand.
2. To render indistinct or dim; darken: The fog obfuscated the shore.
The Government of Lithuania (once known as Jerusalem of the North)
96% of Lithuanian Jewry was annihilated during WWII - the highest proportion of any Jewish community killed in WWII
Unlike others in the European Union, the Lithuanian government has not only failed to recognize and apologize for its unprecedented role in the destruction of its Jewish community, but it actually formally celebrates and lauds the local killers. This is particularly evident now in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the rise of the Provisional Government of Lithuania (PGL) on June 23, 1941. Rather than it being a day of official state mourning for the onset of the Holocaust, it is being marked as a day of official state celebration. The reason for this lies in the intersections of historical experience.
From 1940-1941 the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania and as the Soviets fled the advancing Germans in June 1941, the Lithuanians seized their moment with the short-lived PGL coming to power. The PGL was an ally of the Nazis and, while the Germans were still days away from arriving in Lithuania, lethal actions against Jews were among the first steps enthusiastically taken by its armed personnel and local allies. More than six months before the Nazis adopted the Final Solution, the armed wing of the PGL, the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF), made clear in published leaflets its premeditated plan for the elimination of Lithuanian Jewry.
This creates a major obstacle to Lithuania's acceptance of its past, because the same LAF fighters who unleashed murder on the Jewish community also led the struggle against Soviet occupation and, as such, are lauded as national heroes. If the LAF's active voluntary leadership and participation in the murders of the Jewish community were to be recognized, then these national heroes would become villains. Such an admission would mean turning people the Lithuanians perceive as victims of the Soviets into perpetrators of genocide.
Instead, it is easier to turn their victims into perpetrators. This is the context in which the Lithuanian State Prosecutor has commenced pretrial investigations against Jewish partisans who joined the Soviet-led fight against the Nazis.
Now the Lithuanian government is formally leading a campaign to have its obfuscation policy adopted by the European Union. They have had some success, such as the European Parliament adopting a resolution for a day of joint commemoration of all the victims of Naziism and Communism, an occasion that could logically replace Europe's Holocaust Remembrance Day.
From Jerusalem Report article by Danny Ben-Moshe
See also Dovid Katz www.defendinghistory.com
Playing down the Holocaust
Extracted from an article by Ron Rosenbaum with Mark Weitzman, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's New York office. (On www.slate.com)
A new mode of assault on the Holocaust is evident in the movie industry; the desire to lift from the German people the guilt for the crimes of the Hitler era.
The Reader was recently (2009) nominated for a best picture Oscar and Kate Winslet received a best actor Oscar, proving that Hollywood seems to believe that a "Holocaust film," must be worthy of approbation.
Mark Weitzman said that “The Reader” was a symptom of a kind of Holocaust revisionism," which used to be the euphemistic term for Holocaust denial. "Where overt Holocaust denial has failed in America, the
way it has not elsewhere, these films represent a kind of Holocaust revisionism that misconstrues the German role in it, which extended far beyond Hitler's circle."
It is a film whose essential metaphorical thrust is to deny that Nazi-era Germans knew about and were complicit in the Final Solution.
This film does this by asking us to empathize with an unrepentant mass murderer who, like "ordinary Germans", was ignorant of the extermination until after the war.
The character played by Kate Winslet achieves a "personal triumph" in that, while in prison for participation in a particularly gruesome act of mass murder as a death camp guard, she taught herself to read! The Reader is about the supposedly difficult struggle of the character with this slowly dawning "postwar" awareness. That is the metaphoric thrust of the Kate Winslet character's "illiteracy": She's a stand-in for the German people and their supposed inability to "read" the signs that mass murder was being done in their name, by their fellow citizens.
The film achieved its end of evoking empathy for Kate Winslet with what someone called "manipulative" nudity. (If you haven't seen the film, the first half-hour is devoted to Kate's character, in the postwar years before her arrest, seducing a teenage boy, whom she persuades to read to her before sex. There's a lot more sex than reading and a fairly shocking amount of nude close-ups of Kate's body; a manipulative tool used to create intimacy with and thus empathy for this unrepentant mass murderer.
Rosenbaum and Weitzman also commented on two other filmsValkyrie
Tom Cruise's Valkyrie, also comes in for criticism for adjusting history to give the impression that the Wehrmacht, the German army, was full of good men and true (identifiable in the film by their British accents) who had always opposed that lout Hitler with his whole silly Jewish obsession, when in fact the more we learn about the Wehrmacht's role, the more disgracefully complicit it turns out to have been with the mass murderers of the SS. It is true that a few Wehrmacht officers did plot against Hitler, but they waited to take action until the successful
Normandy invasion, when it seemed Hitler would lose the war.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
One example of this soft revisionism is the saccharine sentimental The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, about a young German boy, son of Nazi parents, who lives near a concentration camp and befriends a young death camp inmate, the "boy in striped pajamas."
Friends who have watched this movie, but not darker movies such as Schindler's List, found it very moving and enlightening about the Holocaust. I found it shallow and sentimental, but if this movie helps some people towards a better understanding I would not condemn it too harshly.
The warning seems to be that while history may remain unchanged by works of fiction, the emotional responses of the public to the difficult truths of events such as the Holocaust, can be cushioned, sweetened and dumbed down. Ultimately, people respond to what they feel about an issue like the Holocaust; not historical facts.
This is a cause for concern.
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