There is soo much to write about this epoch day.
Polish president is dead the day before the Holocaust Remembrance day. He was an Israel supporter and an ethical man.
The Holocaust won’t protect Israel forever By Nehemia Shtrasler
“I am Hanna Weiss, a native of Italy, No. A5377. I left Auschwitz alive. I feel that I triumphed. I have had a full, rich life. Every day that a person lives is a holiday.” This statement by a survivor summed up the most important week in the Jewish-Israeli calendar, the week between Holocaust Remembrance Day and Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers, the week that epitomizes the Zionist revolution, from Holocaust to resurrection. It’s true that it was not the 6 million victims who established the state, but they have supplied it with a flak jacket over the years. The thousands who paid the price of independence with their lives, those we commemorate next week, should be included with the 6 million.
The 6 million were the reason for the UN General Assembly’s partition resolution of November 1947. Were it not for them, the required majority would not have been reached. It was only the onerous guilt feelings of the nations of the world, who did nothing to stop the so-called Final Solution while it was being implemented, that tipped the scales. On November 30, 1947, Haaretz ran a special front-page editorial that said, “The nations of the world have resolved to redress the injustice of 2,000 years … the aspiration of a persecuted people, one that has known suffering and has undergone a Holocaust, is about to be realized.” If it were not for these guilt feelings, the Czechoslovaks would not have shipped us weapons during the War of Independence, the Germans would not have stood by our side in all circumstances and situations, and the Americans would not have supplied us with money and warplanes year after year. So it is right to connect Holocaust Day with Memorial Day. They are both the basis for Independence Day. The world feels guilty because the murder of Europe’s Jews was unprecedented in the annals of humankind. There has been no shortage of atrocities throughout history, but a preplanned liquidation according to a well-thought-out program aimed at wiping an entire nation off the earth – that had not yet occurred. The countries of the West also feel guilty because they did not agree to open their gates to refugees from Germany and Austria before World War II. They also refrained from intervening in 1942, when the acts of annihilation were already known. They did not bomb, even once, the railroad lines leading to the gas chambers and crematoria or the death camp itself, although there were thousands of air raids and tens of thousands of bombs dropped near Auschwitz while the Nazi death machine was killing and burning the bodies of 12,000 Jews each day. The cruel truth is that no one really cared. Hundreds of years of anti-Jewish propaganda, persecution, pogroms and expulsions prepared the ground for the hatred. The conclusion must therefore be unequivocal: In our cynical and cruel world, we must continue trying to strengthen the Israel Defense Forces, regardless of our political outlooks. The world must know: Never again. Never again will Jewish blood be spilled with impunity, not here and not in any other corner of the globe. And even in our cynical and cruel world, we must not ignore the rule of evil. It was evil that murdered 6 million Jews and set the whole of Europe alight (the Soviet Union alone sacrificed 27 million people in the war against Germany). And this evil has not ceased to exist. But strengthening the IDF does not depend upon us alone. It depends on this country’s status, which in turn depends on the nations of the world and public opinion. Sixty-five years after the horrors of the Holocaust became clear, more and more voices in Europe say to Israel: No more. Guilt feelings as well have their limits. From now on we’ll treat you like a normal country. You will be judged by your deeds, for better or worse. And indeed, the latest reports reveal that the number of anti-Semitic incidents rose sharply in 2009. This is a new kind of anti-Semitism that combines the ancient hatred with strong opposition to the occupation. In other words, time is working against us. Support for Israel and for bolstering the power of the IDF can no longer be taken for granted. The world’s guilt feelings are gradually becoming dulled, making it possible for the global criticism of the occupation of Palestinian territories to strengthen. And because in the West it is public opinion that ultimately determines how governments act, we must reach an agreement that will get us out of those territories and make Israel a moral and just country once again. This is because the Holocaust flak jacket won’t last forever. It is cracking as we watch, and soon it will no longer be able to protect us.
Holocaust Deniers, Enablers and President Obama
By Jon Kraushar
One of the lasting lessons of the Holocaust is how important it is for us to distinguish between those who are good, those who are evil, those who must be stopped rather than appeased, and those who can—or cannot—be trusted.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, recollecting the slaughter of six million Jews in World War II.
The Associated Press reported that in Israel, “The mournful wail of air raid sirens pierced the air…and the country came to a standstill…” and “Looming over Israel’s annual memorial for the Holocaust dead was the country’s fear that the world would wake up too late to eliminate the threat of Iran’s nuclear program, just as it woke up too late to eliminate the threat of Adolf Hitler.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has frequently denied that the Holocaust happened and he has often called for Israel’s destruction. Some government-funded newspapers in Saudi Arabia deny or downplay the Holocaust and the same is true for Hamas terrorists. According to the Associated Press, “Ignorance and even denial of the Holocaust is widespread in Palestinian society,” and “Holocaust denial is still common in the Palestinian territories.” Wherever Israel and Jews have enemies, Holocaust denial appears—not just in the Middle East, but also worldwide, among some anti-Semites.
There are Holocaust-deniers and there are Holocaust-enablers. Those who fail to prevent or stop a Holocaust are enablers.
George Santayana famously said that, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
In addition to remembering the past, it is critical to focus on the present in order to influence the future. And the present situation in Iran specifically and regarding Israel generally demands that we neither deny nor enable.
Today and tomorrow, President Obama is holding a meeting in Washington with the leaders of 46 nations to discuss how to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not attending. Fox News reported that last week that Netanyahu decided against joining the meeting out of concern that “some nations planned to use the conference to target Israel over its barely concealed nuclear weapons program.”
Part of the lesson of Holocaust-occurrence, Holocaust-denial and Holocaust-enabling is to distinguish between those who are good, those who are evil, those who must be stopped rather than appeased, and those who can—or cannot—be trusted.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, I pray for President Obama to remember that lesson—today, tomorrow and sooner, rather than too late.
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at http://www.jonkraushar.net.
This essay describes, from a methodological perspective, some of the inherent flaws in the “revisionist” 1 approach to the history of the Holocaust. It is not intended as a polemic, nor does it attempt to ascribe motives. Rather, it seeks to explain the fundamental error in the “revisionist” approach, as well as why that approach of necessity leaves no other choice.
It concludes that “revisionism” is a misnomer because the facts do not accord with the position it puts forward and, more importantly, its methodology reverses the appropriate approach to historical investigation.
What Is the Historical Method?
History is the recorded narrative of past events, especially those concerning a particular period, nation, individual, etc. It recounts events with careful attention to their importance, their mutual relations, their causes and consequences, selecting and grouping events on the ground of their interest or importance. 2 It can be seen from this that history acknowledges the existence of events and facts and seeks to understand how they came about, what they resulted in, how they are interconnected and what they mean.
The distinctions need to be made among facts, analysis and interpretation. Facts are demonstrably empirical events whose occurrence can be proven using evidentiary methods. Analysis is the method of determining or describing the nature of a thing by resolving it into its parts. Interpretation is the attempt to give the meaning of something. It follows that facts lead to analysis which leads to interpretation. And it follows that each step in the process is more subjective than the preceding step.
In this context, history is inductive in its methodology, in that it accumulates the facts, tries to determine their nature and their connectivities and then attempts to weave them into an understandable and meaningful mosaic.
What is Legitimate Historical Revisionism?
On its basic level, revisionism is nothing more than than the advocacy of revision, which in itself is the act of revising, or modifying something that already exists. Applied to history, it means that historians challenge the accepted version of the causes or consequences of historical events. As such, it is an accepted and important part of historical endeavour for it serves the dual purpose of constantly re-examining the past while also improving our understanding of it. Indeed, if one accepts that history attempts to help us better understand today by better understanding how we got here, revisionism is essential.
Three examples of legitimate historical revisionism should suffice to illustrate this:
- A.J.P. Taylor has applied a very new interpretation to the events leading up to the Second World War. He minimizes Hitler’s role in those events – the Anschluß with Austria, the annexation of the Sudetenland, the Danzig crisis, the role of the Allies, appeasement – compared to the standard interpretation, while portraying Nazi Germany as much less centralized and monolithic than the norm. 3
- Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has challenged virtually all the usual interpretations of the reasons for the complicity of many Germans in the perpetration of the Holocaust, and has posited that ordinary Germans willingly involved themselves because of the existence of a deep-rooted, eliminationist antisemitism in Germans of that era. He downplays, if not outright dismisses, the influence of Hitler and the Nazi Party. 4
- German historian Christian Gerlach has interpreted a diary entry by Joseph Goebbels and a newly discovered one from Heinrich Himmler to mean that the date of the decision by Hitler to exterminate the Jews is in December 1941 rather than late spring or early summer as most have till now believed. 5
What Do “Revisionists” Do?
“Revisionists” depart from the conclusion that the Holocaust did not occur and work backwards through the facts to adapt them to that preordained conclusion. Put another way, they reverse the proper methodology described above, thus turning the proper historical method of investigation and analysis on its head. That is not to say that historians never depart from a preconceived or desired result; they often do. But in adhering rigorously to the correct methodology, they accept that the result of their investigation may not be what they envisaged at the beginning. They are prepared to adapt their theories to that reality. Indeed, they are often required to revise their conclusions based on the facts. To put it tritely, “revisionists” revise the facts based on their conclusion.
Since “revisionists” depart from the conclusion that the Holocaust did not happen, i.e., they deny its existence, they are often called “deniers”. Rather than analyze historical events, facts, their causes and consequences, and their interactions with other events, they defend a conclusion, whether or not the facts support it.
Why they do this is not the subject of this piece, but a few examples of the distortions, evasions and denials that it forces on them will illustrate how intellectually dishonest it is. And it should be remembered that they are forced on them, since “revisionists” are denying a historical occurrence, then distorting the facts into accord with that denial.
The Conspiracy Theory
Since the facts are not in accord with the “revisionist” conclusion, they must find an all-encompassing way to dismiss them. This is not a simple task, since the facts converge in the result that the Nazis had a plan to exterminate European Jewry, succeeded in large part in accomplishing it, and left behind multitudinous evidence of the attempt. 6
Hence, “revisionists” must argue that there is a conspiracy to fabricate all that evidence – a conspiracy that must have begun its work before the end of the war – and one that continues to this day. “Organized Jewry” or several variants on “Zionists” are at the root of this conspiracy. The conspiracy theory manifests itself in the following contrived positions:
- survivor witnesses lied, even where their evidence is corroborated by documents, or other sources;
- perpetrator evidence was evinced through torture, fear for their families or falsified in various ways;
- documents left behind by the Nazis were falsified, don’t mean what they appear to mean, or are forgeries;
- photographs were faked;
- films were faked;
- words don’t mean what they appear to mean. When Himmler used the word “ausrotten” (exterminate) in respect of the Jews, he didn’t really mean “exterminate”. When Hitler used the word “vernichten” (annihilate) in respect of the Jews, he didn’t really mean “annihilate”. When the Einsatzgruppen spoke of killing Jewish women and children, they really meant partisans, even though partisans had a separate listing in the many reports they left behind;
- recorded speeches were faked. Himmler’s 1943 Posen speech, which was recorded, wasn’t really his voice, or parts were added later, or the technology to record didn’t exist in 1943 (it did), or it disagrees with Himmler’s notes for the speech (it doesn’t);
- the victims were responsible for what happened to them. The Jewish women and children were partisans or were guilty of committing heinous crimes, or both;
- Jews deserved rough treatment anyway. Even though the Holocaust didn’t happen, it would have nonetheless been justified because the Jews are an alien, parasitical race, hell-bent on destroying the noble Aryan, and/or defiling his blood, etc.;
- if no written Hitler order for the Holocaust can be found, there was no order at all;
- no gas chamber is currently functioning. Therefore, there never were gas chambers. But even if there were gas chambers, they were only for fumigating clothing, even if they were in morgues.
Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus
Since, as this list shows, the amount of empirical evidence for the Holocaust is so overwhelming, the “revisionists” must throw in another dismissal trick. This has been called the “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” condition (one thing mistaken equals all things mistaken). It means, for example, that if any single piece of survivor evidence can be shown to be wrong, all survivor evidence is wrong and is to be dismissed. If any Nazi official lied about an aspect of the Holocaust (on-topic or not), all Nazi officials lied, and anything Nazis said after the war is dismissed. If any Nazi can be shown to have been tortured or mistreated, they all were and anything they said is invalid.
“Revisionism” is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result, it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, “revisionism” denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty.
Its ethical dishonesty and antisemitic motivation are topics for another day.
There has already been sooo much lost — to revisionism