“CODOH” – Where everything is.
SMITH’S TALK IN TEHRAN at Iranian Holocaust Conference in 2008
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Meanwhile, the index to articles that have appeared here since February 2008 will remain. Nothing will be lost.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The archive contained, viewers were told, some 50 million pages of files, documenting the fate of 17 million people, requiring 16 miles of shelving to store. The International Tracing Service, run by the Red Cross, was its custodian.
Host Scott Pelley explained that here were found the “detailed records of millions ... who died in the [Nazi concentration] camps.” And, to illustrate just how meticulous Nazi officialdom’s record-keeping was, Pelley noted how meticulously even the presence of lice among camps inmates was tracked and tabulated. Chief archivist Udo Jost, Pelley’s tour guide, called the Nazi lice inspector a beancounting perfectionist who had documented the size of the lice as either large or small or medium-sized.
Scott Pelley, moved by curiosity (he said), then asked the most obvious question: Why had the Nazis kept all these detailed records -- “If they were gonna murder these people anyway, why keep the paperwork?” He addressed the question to Paul Shapiro, Director of Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
Shapiro’s explanation: “Because they wanted to show they were getting the job done. So, in terms of people whose destiny was to be murdered, recording how well that was being done was very important.” And there
you have it: The Nazi minions who did the hands-on killing were intent on impressing their superiors with their homicidal diligence.
Except ... except that earlier in the show, somewhat blandly and glibly, we had been told that, in point of fact, “the Nazis did not write down the names of those executed in the gas chambers at places like Auschwitz.”
Which, of course, flatly contradicts the stated reasons why the Nazis had allegedly kept such meticulous files on their victims: “Because they wanted to show they were getting the job [of exterminating them] done,” according to Shapiro.
Considering how the theme of the programme was the Nazis’ devotion to
maintaining exhaustive records and how two former Auschwitz inmates “60 Minutes” interviewed for it described witnessing relatives sent off to the mass execution gas chambers, Pelley was astonishingly incurious about why it was that those deaths by gassing (millions, supposedly) at different killing sites should remain nameless victims, whereas in one scene the archivist Jost impressed Pelley with the fulsome documentation detailing the executions by bullet of some 45 prisoners over a 90-minute time-span.
It doesn’t compute. It’s as if the NFL was not even bothering to televise the Superbowl, without telling fans why, but instead simply re-playing a few of the highlights of the season just ended.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
He soon moved away to Montreal. Neither of us made any effort to stay in touch. And I did not hear from him for 37 years, although I did occasionally hear about him from his younger brother: that he’d holidayed in Denmark, that he’d bested his brother in a real estate deal, and so on.
Then out of the blue, I got an email from him. He made plain his surprise on hearing that I was a diehard Holocaust revisionist. He hoped this did not also mean I was an anti-Semite, anti-Semites being a tribe of ignorant, superstitious folk. He reminded me his father was an Auschwitz survivor. I had not forgotten. But then, I also remembered his bemused smile as he recounted the time his father had run out on his creditors.
He told me that the friends in our old circle, who knew something of my revisionist activism, reckoned I must be “nuts.” He seemed taken aback by the diehard nature of this activism and wondered why I had not instead devoted myself to ridding our world of one or more of the social ills that afflict it. He provided me with a checklist of some of the usual problems: hunger, poverty, disease, substance abuse, war. Old Albert (let’s call him) sounded quite moralistic.
What a difference in tone between this older man and the younger man I once knew, the amoral hedonist who looked to “score” in shady business deals, and was not above delivering a racist comment or two about Arabs and others. It was obvious that he’d grown in the intervening years.
He said he had fond memories of me, that he remembered me as likeable, and again owed to feeling perplexed by my life choices. Then he challenged me to a debate on the Holocaust. Clearly, he was eager to get engaged in one.
That was nearly three years ago. I haven’t yet replied to his invitation. I don’t know if I ever will. I’m so busy, you see, with my charities and what-not.
That said, Albert did wish me well; and, of course, I wish him well, too.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
A new circuitous law had enabled the Lithuanian court to try the accused via short-circuit TV in his sick bed in the hospital ward, while his lawyer pled his case in court.
Thus, the lawyer for accused Nazi war criminal Kazys Gimzauskas argued that his client was unable to participate in his trial on any meaningful level.
Gimzauskas stood accused of sending scores of Jews to their deaths as a police officer in Vilnius during the 1941-44 German occupation of Lithuania.
At the same time, the case of 92-year-old Aleksandras Lileikis, another alleged Nazi war criminal, was also being heard to gauge whether it could resume. The Lileikis case was first heard in 1998; the accused, wheelchair-bound and sporting a neck brace, began gasping for air after pleading not guilty to the charges levelled at him; then was rushed to the emergency ward at the hospital.
Jewish groups, like the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who really aim to put the PR show in Shoah, are hitting a lot of speed-bumps with all these latter-day, show-trial theatrics. So it will likely be with the coming trial of John Demjanjuk in Germany.
The accused, who is very ill, will hardly look the part of a cigar-store Nazi. It will be harder to identify him with radical evil. And, who knows, perhaps he may unwittingly -- or wittingly, this is, after all, Demjanjuk’s second trial -- do things that will defeat that very purpose.
At the start of his first trial in Jerusalem in February 1987, on the charge of being “Ivan the Terrible” of Treblinka, Demjanjuk, about to enter (or to exit -- I can’t recall which) the paddy-wagon that ferried him to and from court, paused and looked over in the direction of the world's TV cameras. He waved genially, and with a disarming bonhomie declaimed, “Hello, Cleveland!”
You would’ve thought he was just a tourist in the Holy Land, or an out-of-towner, footloose in Donald Trump's Big Apple, excitedly greeting folks back home via the medium of the “Good Morning America” (GMA) TV show.
Anything but a Nazi ghoul, who stood accused of having gassed to death roughly one in six of the Six Million Jews typically alleged to have died in the Holocaust.
1. “Lithuanian Court Reopens Nazi Trial,” AP-NY-04-25-00 1035EDT.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Kaellis argued that James Keestra’s ideas of a Jewish conspiracy, being essentially “a delusional system” of thought, was unworthy of any legal or intellectual scrutiny, and deserved to be understood as a mental disorder predicated on “a finding of criminal insanity” requiring incarceration -- long term, if necessary -- for the purpose of remedial medical care.
Kaellis anticipated that an analogy might be made between his viewpoint and that adopted by Soviet psychiatrists who had diagnosed dissenters as suffering from “creeping” or “sluggish” schizophrenia before detaining them and forcing them to undergo treatment. However, Kaellis was quite emphatic -- the emphases in the text cited below are his -- that the two could not be compared:
“It is NOT insane to oppose a totalitarian and repressive system of government; it is worthy and heroic. But it IS insane to promote a delusional system of race hatred (sic). These conclusions undoubtedly outrage a civil libertarian given to relativism and subjectivism, but they are correct and necessary for maintaining even a pretense of belief in a system of ethical democracy.” 2
So-called “creeping” or “sluggish” schizophrenia was said to be especially pernicious, given the sufferers would often exhbit no trace of abnormal behavior, save for a strong attachment, say, to the matter of human rights or world peace -- or Israel in the case of Jewish refuseniks so diagnosed.
Considering how a quantum leap in all manner of intellectual dissent is occurring within the U.S. socio-cultural matrix and elsewhere across the Western world, what with the “Birthers” (who insist President Obama was born in Kenya) and the “Truthers” (who say 9/11 was “an inside job”) and those who claim the Apollo 11 moon landing was a hoax, not to mention the grassy knoll conspiracy buffs and, of course, Holocaust revisionists, we have to wonder how soon it will be before beleaguered governments start calling on the psychiatric establishment for Soviet-style remedies in order to stanch the flow of such raw conspiratorial effluvium.
A thumbnail sketch in Time magazine describes CODOH’s Bradley Smith as a college-circuit pamphleteer “who spends most of his waking hours in Holocaust denial.” An obsessive-compulsive, perhaps? We can see how shrinks on the government payroll could make hay with a throwaway line like that. 3
1. Eugene Kaellis, “Civil Rights, Uncivil Wrongs,” Viewpoints, Volume XIII, Number 7, Autumn 1985.
3. Leon Jaroff et al., “Debating the Holocaust,” Time, December 27, 1993.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
May 20, 1996, Canadian edition of TIME magazine, and signed by one Safa Jawad Mekkaoui, from Saida, in Lebanon.
It was written in response to the Qana Massacre, when over 100 Lebanese civilians were blown to smithereens by Israeli artillery as they sheltered in a UN compound. Observers on the ground report they were certain the Israelis deliberately shelled the compound, in spite of knowing women and children were huddled there.
“Israel mercilessly kills women and children and then blames the victims themselves for their ghastly deaths because they refused to yield to Israeli threats and leave their home and their land. A people who never allow the Holocaust to be forgotten now find it 'acceptable' to murder as horrendously as the Nazis murdered them.”
The writer points to a danger for the Jewish psyche engaged in a relentless and obsessive evocation of the Holocaust: There is a contradiction to be satisfactorily resolved.
Bill Clinton was said to be an effective leader because he was able to isolate and compartmentalize diverse aspects of his life. Thus, at 3:00 p.m., he might schedule a tryst with Monica, talk affairs of state with Madame Albright at 4:00 p.m., order a bombing of Iraq at 5:00 p.m., and meet for coffee with Hillary at 6:00 p.m. in order to discuss a problem Chelsea might be having at school (as good parents will), and so on, without any sense of contradiction.
Such a knack for compartmentalization might be possible for some for a while, but not for an entire people, where the insurmountable contradictions will begin to overlap and accumulate.
Now imagine that while engaged with Monica Clinton was suddenly floored by the realization that she and his daughter Chelsea were but a few years apart in age, and that the next time he arranged a tryst with his young mistress -- did I mention Monica was Jewish, from a family of Holocaust survivors? -- he experienced feelings of acute unease, such that whenever he held Monica spontaneous, guilt-inducing thoughts of daughter Chelsea occupied his mind, and that whenever he saw Chelsea, Clinton was likewise reminded of Monica, and left feeling emotionally disarmed by these unwelcome, intrusive thoughts, by a poignant sense of “double exposure.”
It's this sense of “double exposure” that, I think, will bedevil the collective Jewish psyche, with its twin obsessions of Israel and the Holocaust, as we go forward.
Israel, with its martial spirit, is the Orwellian boot stamping on a human face; while the Nazi Holocaust casts Jews growing old in its dark shadow in the role of a tortured face forever being stamped on.
That is the sort of double bind that's at the heart of dissociative mental disorders, of which denial is a common symptom.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In fact, the only ones to die in the U.S. airstrike were just ordinary Iraqis. At the time, and since, these civilian deaths elicited little interest or concern compared to rampant speculation by Western opinion- and decision-makers (both in and outside the U.S.) as to whether or not the Iraqi dictator and two sons had actually been killed in the bombing raid.
The dismemembered bodies of the dead Iraqis in the Baghdad suburb were a non-issue, really; unnecessary to even list them as "unfortunate" collateral damage. They were, to borrow a phrase often used by Professor Chomsky, unworthy victims.
We need only recall how cavalierly Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State, dismissed the deaths of half a million Iraqi children in a May 12, 1996 broadcast of an interview she did with Lesley Stahl on the public affairs programme “60 Minutes.”
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it. [sic].”
A little over a year later, Madame Albright toured Yad Vashem, Israel’s great Holocaust memorial museum. She inscribed the following in the guestbook:
"As your guest in this sacred place, moved by love, I pray for an end to intolerance [sic], the nurturing of knowledge and a coming together in peace. Madeleine Albright. September 10, 1997."
The news coverage of the event that I watched on American TV did indeed show us a woman who was visibily moved by the Yad Vashem exhibits. I saw her dab away tears.
And, I thought: Now there is a lady who can distinguish between worthy and unworthy victims.
Monday, July 20, 2009
On page 20 of Harvard professor Samuel Huntington's book Who Are We, he states:
"The infuriating inescapability of identity is well demonstrated in the work of the distinguished social theorist Leon Wieseltier. In 1996 he published a book, Against Identity, denouncing and ridiculing the fascination of intellectuals with that concept. In 1998, he published another book Kaddish, an eloquent, passionate, and explicit affirmation of his own Jewish identity."
Different strokes? Well, I guess!
Earlier this July, famed Canadian lawyer Edward Greenspan wrote a passionate op-ed that argued in favour of due process and in the presumption of innocence against the backdrop of the disturbing allegations that pop star Michael Jackson was a child molester.
Greenspan: "Everyone is presumed to be innocent and is, in fact, innocent unless and until the government proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." 1
Twenty-five years ago, Greenspan argued the opposite, calling for a broad vilification campaign to rouse public hostility against any person accused of Nazi war crimes in order to prejudice the case against them.
He advocated that the "pictures of the war criminals should be published in a book listing all the allegations against them and widely distributed to bookstores, libraries" and even - wait for it - the "homes of their neighbours." 2
Back then, Edward Greenspan’s egalitarian "everyone" would not have literally included everyone. Now?
Toronto lawyer Alan Young, Jewish like Edward Greenspan, is on the record as favouring coercion to enforce intellectual conformity among those holding dissenting views of history, especially Holocaust doubters or skeptics or “deniers” who he finds grossly offend against his own grasp of history. Young:
"For crimes of supreme stupidity we need Clockwork Orange justice -- strapping the hate criminal into a chair for an interminable period, and keeping his eyes wide-open with metal clamps so he cannot escape from an onslaught of cinematic imagery carefully designed to break his neurotic attachment to self-induced intellectual impairment." 3
History buffs may recall the kind of "Clockwork Orange justice" Young advocates was routinely employed by KGB officers in psychiatric wards in the Soviet Union against dissidents of all stripes, including, of course, Jewish refuseniks.
The quaint thing about Young is he often appears on radio and TV shows to discuss legal affairs, and often cites his deep concern for the human and civil rights of the accused without any fear of being challenged. He’s a protected species, you might say.
1. Edward Greenspan, "Jackson not guilty: King of pop cannot be remembered as a pedophile," The Calgary Sun, July 6, 2009, p. 15.
2. "Greenspan Attacks Inaction on War Crimes," The Jewish Times (Toronto), 10-23 February 1984.
3. Alan Young, “Hate criminal needs deprogramming,” Toronto Star, March 28, 2004.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
In March 1994, the late Doug Collins published a typically acerbic column in Vancouver’s North Shore News; this one under the header “Hollywood Propaganda.” Here Collins had -- to quote Canadian Jewish Congress talking-head Bernie Farber -- “clearly crossed the bounds of decency” by satirizing Schindler’s List, the Holocaust blockbuster by director Steven Spielberg, by calling it Swindler’s List.
Soon after, B’nai Brith Canada, the CJC’s sister organization, lodged a formal complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Commission against Collins for his temerity. Among its other sins, his March 9 column had referred to the huge Jewish influence prevaiing in Hollywood; the columnist predicted that Spielberg would win an Oscar for Schindler’s List because of it.
Two weeks later, Collins wrote a follow-up. Spielberg had, sure enough, won an Academy Award. In it, he explained to readers why he called the Spielberg movie Swindler’s List: “[E]ven the wife of the dead hero has said he was a scoundrel.”
Which brings us to the disgraced investement maven, Bernard Madoff. Thousands of people and dozens of charities, many Jewish, were bilked of millions by the veteran Wall Street investor. Media stories of Madoff’s “giant Ponzi scheme” abound and the broad spectrum of his victims has often been reported on with headlines unself-consciously declaiming “Swindler’s List.”
Prime example: An item in the Jewish Journal’s on-line Christmas Day edition, bearing the subtitle “Wiesel Foundation lost ‘substantially all’ its savings.” The article wistfully describes how a charity founded in the name of Nobel laureate and Auschwitz internee, Elie Wiesel, had invested virtually its entire fund with Bernard Madoff and in consquence was now bankrupt. I
ronically, Steven Spielberg has also been included as a Madoff victim in “Swindler’s List” news items.
Oh, and . . . Joel Stein writing in the Los Angeles Times (Dec. 19, 2008) asks: “How Jewish is Hollywood?”
Stein’s answer: “Jews totally run Hollywood.”
Even the late Doug Collins had not been nearly so unabashed.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I see John Demjanjuk is back in the news again, on trial in Germany for what he allegedly did in Sobibor 66 years ago. This time around, though, his accusers have held off saddling him with a World Wrestling Federation-like moniker. It was "Ivan the Terrible" during his 1987-88 trial in Jerusalem. Now? So far nothing . . . Perhaps they sense that any such garish embellishments will only add to the farcical dimension already present in the latest chapter of the John Demjanjuk saga?
A person close to the family told me many people did not buy into the demonization of John Demjajuk back then. During the 7 years John spent on Death Row in Ayalon Prison in Ramle, Israel, between 1986 and 1993 he received a million pieces of mail, he said, the great bulk of the it being friendly and supportive.
New York Times scribe (and Zionist shill) Thomas Friedman tells the story (in From Beirut to Jerusalem) of a young Palestinian whom he befriended and spent time with, trying hard to tutor regarding the evil that John Demjanjuk supposedly embodied. The youth, according to Tom, was having none of it. That Demjanjuk had allegedly killed a lot of Jews, he seemed to feel, did not necessarily qualify him as an evil person.
That happened in Jerusalem, 20-odd years ago. About this same time, Elie Wiesel was beginning to notice that, surprisingly, the authors of "hate mail" sent his way were unabashed about signing their real names, and even including their actual home address and telephone phone number. Such was their degree of confidence! If grassroots confidence was growing back then, it must be stratospheric by now, comparatively speaking.
Jump, cut to the present . . .
Last fall, Corus Radio talk show host Charles Adler put on the table discussion of a quarter-billion-dollar funding for a human rights museum in Winnipeg. Virtually all the callers were disinterested in spending money for such a project in these difficult times. Some went further. One groused that, "You know that it'll be yet another Holocaust museum in all but name." Another said that given the hardship of the times, it was a waste of taxpayer money and better spent on bread-and-butter issues. One said that if we had to have one, then "locate it in Toronto" for the sake of higher cost-benefit. Conspicuous by their absent was the usual range of emotions elicited when the talk turns to Man's Inhumanity to Man: sorrow, pity, outrage, contrition. "Compassion fatigue?" Chuck seemed unimpressed by how that segment of his show went down.
As for Mark Weber's January essay downplaying the significance of Holocaust revisionism, its appearance, as Robert Faurisson was quick to point out, was immediately followed by the Bishop Williamson Affair, rocking the Vatican and leaving hairline cracks in its marble flooring, with YouTube viewings of the controversial infamous TV interview the bishop gave running into the hundreds of thousands. Back in his cell in Mannheim Prison, the stoical Ernst Zundel must have been amused to watch the epic cast of characters joining in on this latest Holocaust soap opera.
In fact, even the revisionist-friendly voices burbling in Tehran were drowned in the noise surrounding the papal fracas.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 -- George Orwell's fateful year -- until 1993. During those nine years in office his popularity steadily declined. A decade after he left office, Mulroney reinvented himself as a latter-day paladin of Jewish causes, standing tall on the ramparts of public opinion, fending off the spectre of anti-Semitism that is the by-product of Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians.
In 2003, he delivered speeches and published op-edders under the heading "Israel is the new Jew," which garnered rave reviews in the very Israel-friendly National Post. It was a transparent strategy to varnish and market his image. But in fairness ol' Mulroney always had a soft spot for sundry Jewish causes.
While leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, he had promised old friend and neighbor, Edgar Bronfman, President of the World Jewish Congress, that once elected prime minister he would diligently investigate the allegation that since 1945 several hundred Nazi war criminals, all flying below the radar, had settled into sedate lives in Canada.
In 1987, as PM, Mulroney delivered on his promise, with a controversial retro-active and extra-territorial law that spurred the red-coated Mounties into what to a lot of Canadians seemed like McCarthy-ite witch-hunt for old immigrants with any whiff of the Third Reich about them. In fact, now that 20-odd years have passed, the number of those Nazi war criminals successfully prosecuted in Canadian courts turned out to be a small handful of Nazi-era collaborators; just a few "small fry," as they say.
Today, in what seems like a metaphor for the democratic political scene everywhere, Canada's former PM has since been hauled before a parliamentary ethics committee and Justice Jeffrey Oliphant's commission of inquiry to answer questions about secret cash payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars he received in hotel meetings in 1993 and 1994 from German arms-dealer Karlheinz Schreiber, an agent and middleman for Thyssen Industries -- Mr Hitler's munitions provider, were any reminders needed.
Herr Schreiber is wanted back in Germany to answer multiple charges of bribery, corruption, fraud, and tax evasion; in Ottawa, the capital, Canadian Justice Department officials are set to give him the heave-ho any day.
Last May, Mulroney spent several days thrashing about desperately on the witness stand in a bid to salvage what little remains his badly tarnished reputation and prime ministerial legacy. It didn't look good, it didn't look good at all.
And Mulroney did a lousy job explaining why h'd accepted a few hundred thousand dollars in cash-stuffed envelopes, put them away in a safe at his Westmount mansion in Montreal, then waited six years to declare the cash as income to tax auditors, and only after details became public.
Nowadays a rank smell of sleaze clings to the man; his personality is radioactive. I dare say, he shouldn't expect an invitation to deliver the keynote address at any B'nai Brith gatherings any time soon.
Mulroney appears to have earned the moniker he acquired during his decade in Canadian politics -- Lyin' Brian.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
And then the brain has been elsewhere. Where? Still have an issue with the pain meds on the one hand, and not being able to sleep on the other, the two together making me more torpid than is usual with me. I think I’m finished, for the moment, with this post. I see no real reason to even post it.
I’m going to close down here. I told Irene that I am going to quit the computer every night at 10pm and do the other stuff around here that needs doing. Throwing away stuff, getting rid of books. The local Red Cross will take the books for its thrift shop. And then there’s all the paperwork I have saved. Got to get rid of most of it. And then there’s the ordering of supplements from Standard Process. It’s best to do that via telephone, but they have banker’s hours back there. Maybe tomorrow.
We revisionists may question professors about gas chambers, about Dwight D. Eisenhower’s peculiar, self-serving memory, we may drive the professorial class and Jewish elites crazy, but really we live very ordinary lives. We live in neighborhoods where some malcontent is poisoning the dogs, nine dead dogs in ours this month, but so far no kids have eaten the poisoned salchichas thrown into neighborhood driveways and yards and life goes on.
I wonder about those men who spend their days contemplating heaven and hell, the big issues. The brain was wandering around there for a moment, trying to identify a couple such men. It went to St. Augustine then it went blank. When it came back to this life thought suggested that I turn to George Orwell, his biography, which I have around here someplace. I am not certain Orwell ever thought much about heaven or hell either one. So why did the brain come up with his name? That in itself is a big issue. How memory works. Addicted to suffering, to the avoidance of suffering, to the exploitation of suffering.
And there you have the predicament of the professorial class, the Jewish elites. Addicted to the Holocaust. Addicted to the avoidance of discovering what did not happen during the Holocaust. Addicted to the exploitation of the Holocaust to further their own desire/s.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Consider this passage from Norman Finkelstein's 2000 book, The Holocaust Industry; it appears on page 61.
Here the poli sci professor discusses Israel Gutman’s reaction to the exposure of Binjamin Wilkomirski's book Fragments as a literary fraud, a bogus memoir by a Swiss gentile posing as a Jew
with Baltic roots. Israel Gutman was the director of Yad Vashem and a lecturer in Holocaust studies at Hebrew University; he was also a former inmate of Auschwitz; in short, a Holocaust survivor. But, according to Gutman:
"[I]t's not important" whether Fragments is a fraud. "Wilkomirski has written a story which he has experienced deeply; that's for sure.... He is not a fake. He is someone who lives this story very deeply in his soul. The pain is authentic." So it doesn't matter whether he spent the war in a concentration camp or a Swiss chalet; Wilkomirski's not a fake if his "pain is authentic": thus speaks an Auschwitz survivor turned Holocaust expert."
This, of course, happened several years before Misha Defonseca’s “memoir” Surviving with Wolves,
a fictional account of her life with hospitable wolves in the Ukrainian woods who cared for her as a Jewish runaway hiding from the Nazis, was likewise exposed as a fraud; ditto Herman Rosenblatt’s moving account of a Holocaust romance, Angel at the Fence. Would Gutman have also given them his seal of approval, greenlighted their decision to engage in pure fiction, but palm it off as the real thing? That said, now I’d like to avail myself of the same kind of poetic license Israel Gutman gave Wilkomirski (real name Bruno Grosjean) . . .
Two 11-year-old boys named Peter and Klaus sit out on the back porch on a hot afternoon in Peoria, Illinois. We are into the Dog Days of August. Klaus is leafing through an old family album and showing Peter, the boy next door, photos of relatives from the old country. That country is pre-war, undivided, 1930s Germany.
Understand that Klaus would normally not be spending time with Peter. Klaus is an athlete, he is a sportsman, whereas Peter is a nerd and a geek, a bookworm.
Klaus points to a young man in a double-breasted suit, with dark, slicked-back hair. "That's my Uncle Otto; he died in Auschwitz," he blandly tells Peter.
His companion, while not Jewish, recognizes the name as a World War II military history buff and is startled -- startled by the name Auschwitz, and by the fact his neighbours are Jewish. Peter had
no idea; the Scheuers had given him no clues of their Jewishness. In fact, didn’t they attend services at the local Lutheran church?
Although the temperature is over 100 degrees Peter is suddenly feeling cold. His mind is swarming with the indelible images of the emaciated stacked-up bodies of hundreds of dead concentration inmates beling bulldozed into pits (he had seen Alain Resnais’s documentary Night and Fog on PBS Television and, sensitive soul, been shaken to the core).
Klaus continues blithely poring over the photos in his family album and so fails to notice the look of immense pity on Peter’s face. In fact, Peter does feel immense pity for Uncle Otto, and all the other victims of the Nazis, but also a sense of horrified fascination.
Peter’s mind has a capacity for total recall. An invisible finger has depressed a playback button, and a mental movie starts running in Peter’s mind. It pictures an old unreconstructed Nazi standing on the witness stand; he’s a slightly demented Donald Pleasance-like character. This is after the court has sentenced him to death for his part in wholesale Nazis atrocities. He declaims to the judge:
“Hang me if you must! I regret nothing; I merely did my duty as an officer of the Reich. But when you do, look up and you will see my legs dangling, dancing upon the millions I sent to their graves. Heil Hitler!”
Peter is not one to pry, but he cannot help himself. He can’t stop himself; his morbid curiosity is too hard to resist. He breaths deeply, and takes the plunge. “How did your Uncle Otto die, exactly?” He asks Klaus, then braces for a harrowing tale of a young man in the very prime of life being forced at gunpoint to enter a homicidal Nazi gas chamber, alongside thousands of his fellow Jews.
His young neighbour, retailing the fact as one of only mild interest, replies with a shrug: "They say he broke his neck after falling from a gun tower."
Peter: “ . . . “
Here, as Mark Twain tells readers of Tom Sawyer, let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
A magazine review of a new film about Anne Frank starts out: “Holokitsch. That is artist Art Spiegelmann's word for the banal and manipulative uses to which the Holocaust has been put in popular culture. Holokitsch reduces an egregious crime to the mechanics of cloying melodrama - dewy-eyed victims and sneering villains." 1
Three years later, Gabriel Schoenfeld weighs in on that very theme with an op-ed bannering “The Holocaust as kitsch” by remarking that among “40 fun things to do” in St. Petersburg, Fla., "Remember[ing] the Holocaust" was No. 11 on the list. Tourists to St. Petersburg, so inclined, might drop by their local Holocaust museum, where for $39.95 they could pick up a scale-model replica of a Polish boxcar the Nazis had used to send Jews - and others, too, of course - to the concentration camps. 2
For Schoenfeld, this was yet another in a series of telltale signs of the increasingly nonchalant way the memory of the Holocaust was “now being summoned in the United States.” Old, post-war taboos were fast disappearing, replaced by a five-and-dime nonchalance.
For Dick Meyer, broadcast journalist wth NPR, such casual and self-indulgent nonchalance is part and parcel of a general social trend across America. In Chapter One of Why We Hate Us, he lists many of the off-putting aspects of this behaviour. One example: “I don’t like people who go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum wearing T-shirts that say ‘Eat Me.’” 3
Between the kitsch and the nonchalance, not to mention historical illiteracy, we can’t expect much in the way of any enlargement of a visitor’s moral resources after a tour of a Holocaust museum. He or she may as well be wandering through the spookhouse at the local circus.
1. Richard Corliss, Time, "Saints in the Neighbourhood," March 4, 1996.
2. Toronto Globe and Mail, March 23, 1999.
Friday, July 10, 2009
An article in UK’s The Guardian reveals that the new book Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by Yale University Press listed author Ernest Hemingway as a potential recruit by the Soviet spy agency, the KGB, in 1941. The article (“Hemingway revealed as failed KGB spy”) also notes that among the revelations that have tarnished the reputation of this great American in recent years was strong evidence Hemingway’s third wife, foreign correspondent Martha Gellhorn, nurtured a virulent hate-on for Arabs, along with a hatred of Germans born of her reporter’s experience as a frontline journalist in World War Two.
She had been among the first reporters on the scene at the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp;
for Gellhorn, Dachau “changed everything.” It is said she became a life-long champion of Israel because of what she witnessed there. in any case, Gellhorn was a frequent visitor to Israel after its founding and had even considered moving to the Jewish state in the 1960s.
A letter she addressed to composer Leonard Bernstein in September 1970 graphically demonstrates how unabashed her loathing of Arabs could be, to whom she applied such adjectives as “loony” and “miserable” and “tedious” and “yowling,” with the suggestion that Arabs are irrational obscurantists (unlike, say, the clear-eyed, clean, and orderly Israelis).
The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism is named after her.
Would she, I wonder, be so honoured had Gellhorn’s hatred of Germans and Arabs also extended to Israelis and Jews?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Re Eisenhower’s delicate stomach: did the General vomit when he toured Hamburg or Dresden where American and British air roasted and burned alive tens of thousands of innocent children, babies, their mothers and grand parents? Burning children alive is okay so long as they are German? Give me a break with the vomiting stories.
The gas chamber stories were institutionalized at Nuremberg primarily by the Americans using Soviet (Stalinist) evidence. If you doubt that the American Government would be willing to use manufactured evidence about weapons of mass destruction (gas chambers), think back a few short years when Colin Powel, representing the American Government, gave us his presentation before the UN General Assembly about the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Now there was something to turn the stomach.
I am willing to confess that revisionist materials, the Campus Campaign and serious related stories are one thing, while my "confessions" are another. They are not, but with regard to organizing the materials here, they will be treated as such from here on out. The new page, the thing itself, will come about in a few days.
I have been convinced that serious guys like professors and professional journalists may not always want to read stories about locals having their heads cut off with chain saws, the author faking freak-outs in the hospital to amuse his wife, or visions of little rats running across the kitchen floor.
In reality I do not know why they would not be interested in that sort of thing, particularly from a Holocaust revisionist, but if they do want it they will be able to get there quick, as will all the rest of you.
Thanking you for your patience here I am,
Or as my wife as it, Gordito.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
By Robin Davis
06 June, 2009
It has always been those few who can see through the political correctness and hypocrisy of popular attitudes who are considered dangerous.
"Holocaust denial laws" are now in place in about a dozen countries. Defenders of these laws claim that the expression of unconventional views about the Jewish genocide is "hate speech" and "incitement to violence" and therefore must be suppressed.
But history shows the greatest purveyors of lies, hatred and incitement to violence are those with the power to spread their poison by manipulating popular opinion via the control or complicity of the mass media. Through a purposefully constructed lens of political correctness the despicable becomes normal. It is by this insidious process that tyrants make it normal and acceptable to murder those whom they consider threatening or inferior. We have only to turn on the television to see that process at work.
It is not the unpopular views we should fear but the popular.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Holocaust: The Ignored Reality by Yale historian Timothy Snyder is in the 16 July issue of The New York Review of Books. Below is the one reference to gas chambers in the 4,600-word article. I see, however, that Professor Snyder has found a sophisticated way to spell Belzec. At least for folk like me. Maybe it’s a typo.
Two thirds of the Jews who would be killed during the war were already dead by the end of 1942. The main victims, the Polish and Soviet Jews, had been killed by bullets fired over death pits or by carbon monoxide from internal combustion engines pumped into gas chambers at Treblinka, Be zec, and Sobibor in occupied Poland.
And all the fuss about Auschwitz the last half century?
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
July 1, 2009
On June 30 the on-line journal affaires-strategiques.com posted Lauriane Crochemore's interview with Ivan Segre, the author of La reaction philosemite (The Philo-Semitic Reaction). One observation in his new book, Segre tells the interviewer, is how the West's response to 9/11 had been to move the line of permissible discourse to such an extent that moderate forms of Islamophobia became the new norm, even as primitive expressions of Islamophobia soon fell just outside the parameters of acceptable discourse.
By way of example he cited the warm reception some French Jews gave the late Oriana Fallaci's post-9/11 works - despite their overarching, virulently anti-Muslim tenor.
As an Israeli Jew, Ivan Segre was moved to more closely examine what at first blush seemed like the flowering of post-9/11 Philo-Semitism in the shade of such rank and frank Islamophobia, only to discover that, in fact, this was more apparent than real, although the promise of of a new Philo-Semitism evidently enthused such prominent Jewish intellectuals in France like Alain Finkielkraut, who embraced The Rage and the Pride and The Force of Reason, two of a trilogy of latter-day, hard-core, anti-Muslim Fallaci books. What was startling to Segre was how some of their troubling passages, bending toward revisionism, had simply been ignored by the Finkielkraut coterie.
Segre: "[W]e discover in The Force of Reason, the second volume of her trilogy, an explicit tribute from the Italian journalist to the French
historian Robert Faurisson, whom she introduces as
a persecuted intellectual for having taken, I quote: 'The freedom to challenge the official version of History.' In other words, denying there had been extermination camps as distinct from concentration camps, such being Faurisson's Holocaust] denier's thesis, was, according to Fallaci, 'to challenge the official version of History.'"
It begs the question: Was the late Oriana Fallaci a closet Holocaust revisionist?
The Lauriane Crochemore interview with Ivan Segre in
French may be viewed on-line here.