Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Israel and its relationship to the Shoah

25 March 2008

Professor Michael Birenbaum, Director
The Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust

Dear Professor Birenbaum:

In your recent article in The Jewish Journal “Israel and its relationship to the Shoah,”
you quote Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer:

"The reason why survivors turned to Zionism is not hard to understand. The murder of the European Jews seemed to vindicate the Zionist argument that there was no future for Jews in Europe."

Further on you make the interesting observation that “The Holocaust invites questions not answers.”

Accepting the fact that the gas chambers of Auschwitz are at the very heart of the story of the “Shoah” and the “murder of the European Jews,” I invite you to answer this question:
“Can you provide the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz?”

On the home page of The Sigi Ziering Institute, of which you are Director, it is stated that it is necessary to “ … ask those questions that must be asked [in order to] honor the past and forge a more compassionate future.”

Because “Shoah” and the phrase “the murder of the European Jews” are implicit charges of “unique monstrosity” against the Germans, and because we really do want to “honor the past and forge a more compassionate future,” do you believe it reasonable, or unreasonable, for me to ask this simple question:

“Can you provide the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz?”

Thank you.

Bradley R. Smith


Blog: http://bradleysmithsblog.blogspot.com/
Web: www.codoh.com

Note: I will pass this communication on to other academics at the American Jewish University, including The Sigi Ziering Institute. I invite any faculty member to reply which, unless asked not to, I may publish.

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