click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​




A Second Holocaust?

A Second Holocaust?

The Holocaust has become a weapon of choice for many of Israel’s worst enemies, for a resurgent anti-Semitism.

by

In recent years, the Holocaust has been subject to an increasingly sickening blend of ruthless politicization, deliberate distortion, crass commercialization and an often abject sentimentalism.

More ominously, it has also become a weapon of choice for many of Israel’s worst enemies and for a resurgent anti-Semitism which brands the entire enterprise of Holocaust memory as nothing but a “Zionist plot.”

In contemporary Europe, Holocaust guilt is used more often than not to promote the Palestinian cause rather than to recognize the necessity of having a Jewish state. Arab and Islamist propaganda, aided and abetted by many liberals and leftists (including some vocal Jewish anti- Zionists), hammers away at the grotesque libel that Israeli policies towards the Palestinians are worse than those of the Nazis. Many Europeans believe these fables.

In Israel itself, there are even academics who trumpet such absurdities which have become all-too- commonplace on certain campuses abroad, especially in Britain, North America and Scandinavia.

This systematic degradation of the Holocaust has many causes as well as consequences that must give us pause. It has been accompanied by an ignominious competition for the mantle of ultimate victim-hood that exudes a perverse resentment at the fact that Jews have allegedly “monopolized” the martyr’s crown of suffering and pain. Efforts to elevate the Palestinian Nakba to equal status with the Shoah are only the latest in a long line of such gross distortions.

Some years ago, the Hungarian Nobel Prize Laureate Imre Kertész analyzed the negative reactions to any reminder of Jewish sufferings. In 1998, he caustically observed that “the anti-Semite of our age no longer loathes Jews; he wants Auschwitz.”

This fact has not, however, prevented some Jewish intellectuals and Israelis from pursuing their own narrow political agendas and demanding that we abandon any engagement with Holocaust memory or universalize it out of existence.

This is one of several well-made points in Alvin Rosenfeld’s recent sobering study, titled The End of the Holocaust. No intelligent person reading this book or remotely familiar with the subject could still believe that the banal pieties that have grown up around the mass murder of European Jewry could serve as an effective antidote against present-day anti-Semitism.

Another striking result of the polemics surrounding Holocaust memory is a certain fatigue or plain distaste for hearing any more about the Jews and their specific sorrows. There has been a notable shift over the past 20 years to searching for almost any light at the end of the Holocaust tunnel, some kind of a happy ending or emotionally uplifting stories about human brotherhood, altruistic rescuers and easily digestible universal moral lessons to be drawn from this tragic history.

This trend may be humanly all-too-understandable but it ultimately involves a dangerously naïve level of escapism with regard to the bi-millennial Christian European Jew-hatred that made the Holocaust possible in the first place.

Worse still, it diverts us away from the nightmarish but not inconceivable possibility that nearly six million Israeli Jews (as well as many Muslim Arabs) could be destroyed by a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of Iran or one of its proxies. In other words, there could indeed be a second Holocaust.

The originally Greek term “Holocaust,” with its unacceptable implications of a wholly burned sacrificial offering to the gods, is of course a misnomer for the wartime mass slaughter of Europe’s Jews, providing the grisly event with a false glow of transcendent significance.

Like the term “anti- Semitism,” “Holocaust” is a misleading rationalization of the gigantic massacres perpetrated by German Jew-haters and their fascist collaborators.

But semantics aside, we must more than ever keep our minds focused on the cruel reality of the early 21st century concerning the Shoah, which I have explored extensively in my recent book on global anti- Semitism, A Lethal Obsession, namely, that the constant efforts to deny, relativize or invert the Holocaust – especially against Israel – are a conscious (or unconscious) invitation to repeat it.

This was already apparent about 10 years ago in the very public statement by former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani that “the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything.... It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”

Iranian “rationality” is evidently very different from that of Israel and the West. In their bizarre perspective, obtaining nuclear weapons may well accelerate the coming of the Mahdi (the Islamic Messiah). This is the dark cloud that hangs over International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2012, and it is not likely to go away.

This article originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post.

Published: January 30, 2012


Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.

Visitor Comments: 15

(15) Fred, July 3, 2013 7:58 AM

Holocaust

When you change a gruesome murderous period to a whitewashed word that to millions of people is meaningless unless they are familiar with Greek to "Holocaust" it becomes an abstract that does not move many it becomes humdrum & you can twist & fashion to suit. Hence the current wave of anti Semitism & anti Israel . Who is defending "Holocaust"???

(14) Reuven Frank, July 30, 2012 7:11 PM

A second holocaust has already happened!

I do not think that I denigrate the memory of the 6 million who died at the hands of H-tler (YShV'Z), when I say that I ALSO mourn for another 6 million. The 6 million Jews who assimilated in the 30-40 years after WWII, and are lost to our people as Jews. This was part of the impetus that drove me to become a Tora-true Jew. [I sincerely dislike terms such as, "Ba'al T'shuva, and "Orthodox." Hence, "Tora-true."]

(13) Anonymous, July 30, 2012 4:58 PM

another Holocaust: absolutely possible

Has there ever been anything to indicate regret on the part of the Nazi's? After the war ended, the murderers returned to their regular lives. Has any study been made of their thought processes in the long years since the war? Do any have nightmares of what they did? In particular, the Einsgrubben (I am probably spelling that wrong) went about their hands' on murder, one by one by one by one into the thousands right up until the war ended. Has one of them had second thoughts? A twinge of conscience, I wonder. As they entered their declining years, surely they must have reviewed their lives, the way most people do when they near the end. Has anyone heard of that happening? It was so unbelievable, but the fact that it was doable makes it possible to happen again. We must make sure NEVER AGAIN.

(12) H.E.Brown, May 18, 2012 2:19 AM

Holocaust

YES IT COULD HAPPEN AGAIN. Pray to God it does not happen.

(11) Alan Greenburg, May 14, 2012 12:06 PM

My wife is only here because her mother hid from the Nazis in Austria. I also meet with Jews and survivors of the Kindertransport,and I have a hatred of the Nazis and the new enemies of the Jews. But does anyone think of the other millions that died? sometimes people wear blinkers and do not see, christians suffered under the Nazis too. Maybe we might get another remembrance day sometime, when we we can shed a tear for the others as well. I do not say this to belittle the holocaust, but in memory of the other innocents killed by that monster and his followers.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.


  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub
Sign up today!