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Distorting the Holocaust
Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Distorting the Holocaust

The de-Judaization of the Holocaust renders it devoid of its major message.


Holocaust history has been obscenely manipulated in the past decades in many ways – efforts which completely diminish and distort the Holocaust’s true meaning, as well as the reason why it so desperately needs to be remembered.

One of them, ironically enough, was put forth this past Friday on the very day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the liberation of the death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

The text of the American proclamation for this occasion, meant to put into words the message the world so desperately needs to learn from this modern descent into barbarity less than a century ago, recalled the crime but somehow failed to identify the victim. The horror of the Holocaust was the focus, but alas the word which never made it into the public statement ostensibly intended to ensure that genocide never again stains the pages of history was the word Jews!

One people were the object of a “final solution” - total elimination, men, women and children.

It is a rewriting of history that boggles the mind. One people were the focus of Nazi Germany’s plan to purify the Aryan race. One people were designated for slaughter. One people were the object of a “final solution” - total elimination, men, women and children. It was a war unlike any other, whose objective was not conquering land or enslaving others. It was solely the complete annihilation of a particular group identified as subhuman. So remarkable and unique, from a historic perspective, was this effort that a new word had to be created to describe it. It was not until 1944 that the term genocide was coined by Polish Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in a book documenting Nazi policies of systematically destroying national and ethnic groups, as evidenced by the mass murder of European Jews.

The very idea of genocide began with the Jews as its victims.

If the Holocaust is to have any meaning and if its remembrance is to have any significance it must be understood in the context of its anti-Semitic focus. But that is not the message the world would like to emphasize. Throughout Europe, anti-Semitism is again “in.” Hating Jews has once more become fashionable, if not permissible. Arab and anti-Israel forces have brought back into circulation some of the worst slogans, propaganda and calls for extermination of the Jews reminiscent of the darkest days of Nazi Germany. For all of them, the elimination of anti-Semitism can’t possibly be the lesson of the Holocaust.

That’s why we are seeing finely orchestrated efforts to change the message. For years, Jew haters thought the best way to counter sympathy for the survivors of the final solution was to deny the reality of the Holocaust. As if saying it never happened could rewrite history, anti-Semites promulgated the lie refuted by the personal testimony of tens of thousands of witnesses. Denial, however, could never sway most of the educated and intelligent world. But a far more insidious solution found its way into the battle to destroy the relevant lesson of the Holocaust: the universalization of the crime, the misrepresentation of the horrific attempt to destroy the Jews as but another chapter in the story of the universal tale of Cain against Abel, of good threatened by evil.

Here is how administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks explained the omission of Jews from the statement meant to foster remembrance of the Holocaust: "Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” Hicks added that “While 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, 5 million others were also slaughtered during Adolf Hitler's genocide, including priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah's Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters."

So the new version is that a lot of people suffered. War is hell. The Holocaust had countless victims, irrespective of nationality, religion or identity. And, oh yes, forget about the final solution and the yellow star and the hunting down of the circumcised and the mad push of Hitler to the very end to find and murder every Jew in order to rid the world of what he called the scourge of mankind.

Of course there were others who perished. But it was only Jews who were all marked for death. And it was only Jews who were murdered not because of what they did but simply because of who they were.

The de-Judaization of the Holocaust is to render it devoid of its major message. The Holocaust is the story of a unique moment in history when a nation gone mad under the spell of an insane dictator made anti-Semitism its most important national policy – and ended up paying the price for its lunacy.

That is what justifies all the Holocaust memorials, all the books and the movies, all the lectures and remembrances. Forget the Jews from the story and you may as well admit that the world really learned nothing from the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century.


February 1, 2017

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Visitor Comments: 24

(22) Bobby5000, March 31, 2017 4:16 AM

Ignore suffering while condemning the fact that others ignored ours

I don't get it. Talking about what occurred 75 years ago is more important than saving lives now, the suffering in Sudan where children are left to starve and officials steal food supplies cannot be compared to the starvation at Auschwitz, we condemn the fact that others did not help but requests for us to help today are off-point.

(21) Bob Van Wagner, February 6, 2017 6:16 PM

""Purim-Fest 1946!"

Those were the last words spoken by the last German of the 10 evil German men hung at Nuremberg on the last day of the Days of the Jewish New Year 5707, that being 16 October 1946 Gregorian, or Hoshana Raba. His name was Julius Streicher, he was born 12 February 1885, Gregorian. Eleven men were to have been hung.

US Master Sergeant John C. Woods and assistant MP Joseph Malta were the executioners, the 10 Germans were killed by a method known as the "long drop". The 10 Germans were dropped through a trap door, their necks tied to a think rope hung from a huge wooden beam above a courtyard. Some banged their heads badly against the narrow trap door, some lingered for as long as 14 minutes, strangling to death. The intent of the long drop is to break the neck quickly, a quick nigh-painless death is the intent. Reality is a G-d wills, according to our deeds are we judged.

The eleventh man condemned at the trial was Hermann Göring, a cross-dresser who wore women's clothing under his uniform, he committed suicide by cyanide pill the night before the hangings. The death sentences were given out on 1 October 1946 Gregorian, the 8th of Tishrei 5707.

The Germans who ran the war, the innermost circle of Hitler: what was their intent? To wipe out all the Jews.

They were all very smart, educated, urbane men. IQ tests performed during their imprisonment and trial gives their IQs ranging in the 120's-130's. Julius Streicher's was measured to be the lowest at 106.

In recent years as a number of influential Jews have pointed out (Caroline Glick for one), Holocaust-centric education of the young has produced a cohort of less-than affiliated Jewish youth in the Millennial generation.

Why is that? Because the real lessons of the Holocaust are not taught. The real lessons are why Queen Ester insisted to the Sages of the Time that the Purim scroll be written.

(20) Anonymous, February 5, 2017 12:24 PM

No yellow star for POWs, Gypsies, Priests, Homosexuals, Poles, Russians

The point is that there was only one systemized mass-execution center, created entirely for the extermination of the Jews. The point is that there was only one Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Jews were the only group singled out to wear a Jewish star. If anyone failed to read the memo, there were casulties of war, there was a process of execution of 'undesirables' that the Nazi's saw it, but unlike the above, there was no memorandum that saw the Gypsies, or POWs as a 'Problem' to be fixed through mass-extermination. That was the difference. Its like a factory that makes spaghetti with tomato sauce. It might be that on the side they also make soap with the extract from cane-sugar they use in the ketchup, but the main point of the factory is to make spaghetti with tomato sauce. To simply ignore that is to deny the Holocaust existed. War is messy, and undesirables are unfortunately cannon-fodder pre-Geneva. Jews were not vestigial remains of a war where the world went mad. Jews were systematically singled out and exterminated en-masse. It would have happened regardless of whether or not the Germans marched into Poland and started World-War II. That is the point.

However, to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust as simply man's inhumanity to man, misses the point. One perspective lies in the tragedy of the destruction of the Temple - that our purpose in the world is to bring about a sanctification of G-d's name by loving each other, and doing self-less acts of kindness and study Torah. When we fail in that mission, G-d helps us along to realize our full potential. The tragedy of Holocaust denial is only because we ourselves deny our potential to sanctify G-d's name. When the world sees who we truly are - a spiritual nation that shines with the light of Torah, then the tragedy of the Holocaust will be an episode filled with purpose and meaning.

(19) Anonymous, February 5, 2017 11:46 AM

were only the jews singeled out for extermination???

were only the Jews singled out or were the Gypsies and other groups also slated for extermination???

(18) Dvirah, February 4, 2017 9:35 PM

The Simple Truth

"Forget the Jews from the story and you may as well admit that the world really learned nothing from the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century." - They only learned how to lie to themselves more effectively.

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