Monday, June 1, 2009

Daniel Goldhagen on Atheists and Jews

This took place during the Los Angeles Holocaust Remembrance
commemoration last month at the Los Angeles Holocaust
Memorial in Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles . The writer,
Zan Overall, is an 82-year-old revisionist activist.


(Born in 1959, Daniel Goldhagen is Harvard educated. Taught there till he became an author full time. In 1996 he wrote “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” about the Germans. He has a book coming out about holocausts in the modern era.)

Here I paraphrase Goldhagen from my notes:

This is a solemn day. We are People of the Book. We must learn and understand. We must tell the Truth. The survivors want the Truth told, the truth about the suffering and who caused the suffering.

There are many myths about the Holocaust, all barriers to the Truth.

I: The Jews went to the slaughter like sheep. Goldhagen mentioned those who did resist but excused others who did not resist on the basis of the unexpected and unprecedented nature of the onslaught, comparing it to a hurricane.

II: We are told the killers were Nazis. The dominant majority of the killers were ordinary Germans.

III: We are told the killers were coerced. On the contrary, none were coerced. None refused to take part.

IV: Germans were opposed to Hitler’s policies regarding Jews. By and large they supported those policies.

V: Only Germans did the Holocaust. The Dutch, the French, the Austrians, the Poles and Lithuanians also participated.

VI: Gas chambers and other high tech methods killed the Jews. The gas chambers have become “the Star” but actually most Jews were killed by low tech methods. Most were shot, starved to death, or beaten to death. (I wonder. Is this a new tack? As the “gas chamber hoax” idea gains power are the Holocaustanites making a strategic withdrawal? Advancing to the rear? As they did retreating to Poland when the gas chambers in Germany position became untenable?)

VII: You can’t compare the Holocaust with other “holocausts.” People say genocides happen everywhere. What’s the big deal? If you study the event you will see its singularity, in that it was the only genocide where a group was slated for murder in the whole world. (What a crock, even for a Harvard man! Hitler wanted to murder every Jew in the world? Even when he couldn’t or didn’t want to invade Britain?)

Goldhagen mentions that he traveled to the sites of other genocides. He graciously states that they should all be honored.

His main point re genocides seems to be that blaming genocides on propaganda is wrong. People kill other people because of a “culture of hatred,” as gentiles kill Jews because of anti-semitism. He gave some interesting descriptions of individual victims and killers in Rwanda.

In closing, Goldhagen urged the audience to be on guard on behalf of all victims of anti-semitism. This would include all the Jews of the world, he said.

(Let me interject: Jews invoke Hate Crime laws to punish people who hurt them or attack them only with words. Are there no German groups in the world (outside of Germany where such a group would land in jail very quickly) who will raise a cry of “Anti-Germanism” and point out the hurt Germans suffer from those who lie about Germans and accuse them wrongfully?)

The event closed with a candle-lighting by survivors and a Kaddish. After the event, I went up to the dais where Dr. Goldhagen was interacting with members of the audience. When my turn came I said:

“Do you consider the killing of Christian Russians and Ukrainians by the Bolsheviks genocide? Many of the Bolsheviks were Jews. What guilt do Jews bear for those killings?”

Smilingly, Goldhagen replied (to the best of my memory), “I cover those events in my new book but those Bolsheviks were not Jews. They were atheists.”

I felt as though I were in Alice in Wonderland conversing with the Red Queen*, but managed to reply incredulously:

“A Jew may be racially and by family ties a Jew but when he becomes an atheist he is no longer a Jew?”

Goldhagen agreed that an atheist cannot be a Jew and the colloquy was over.

I regret that I did not turn to those gathered around and ask if they agreed that (Jewish) atheists are not Jews. Could have turned into a beautiful delicatessen wrangle.

*When I compared Goldhagen to the Red Queen I was not intimating that Goldhagen is a communist or homosexual.

1 comment:

maddy said...

I really appreciate your blog for me sir Hitler is a fantasy like something different.. And when i see people just blaming Adolf Hitler for everything in world war 2, it pisses off like anything.. For me he was a great personality and the one who i admire!!!