Don’t hijack the Holocaust – editorial

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Last week Jerusalem post published in these pages an opinion article which unfortunately has not been subjected to a sufficient control system. We sincerely regret this error. The presentation, written by an Australian as David Goldman, was titled: “This Shameful Holocaust Mockery Must End Now.” In it, he ridiculed and belittled Croatian Holocaust scholar Dr. Ivo Goldstein. Dr Goldstein got the right of reply which appeared in yesterday’s Post opinion pages under the headline “A Collage of Lies.”

The publication of the original editorial was the Post’s policy to offer our readers a wide range of opinions from a wide selection of writers. It is a policy of which we are proud, even if it is sometimes and unfortunately abused by writers.

The most important lesson we can take from this incident is the need to avoid inadvertently helping the battle for the truth about the Holocaust. As fewer and fewer survivors and first-hand witnesses remain to recount their experiences of mankind’s greatest atrocity, the stories have become a battle of narratives, exploited for different purposes.

These specific opinion pieces referred to the roles of Croats and Serbs. The sensitivity also exists for almost every country in Europe, including Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, and Western European countries conquered by the Nazis in WWII. This can be seen especially in Poland which recently passed laws making it a criminal offense to blame Poles for crimes committed in their country during the Holocaust and ended the return of Jewish property wrongfully confiscated over the years. of the Polish communist regime after the end of World War II.

It is true that the concentration and death camps were run by the Nazis, but in many countries they found willing collaborators among the local population who were more than happy to help eradicate the Jews. This has led to two disturbing trends that affect the historical truth of the Holocaust. On the one hand, there is a tendency for countries where the Nazis ruled to present themselves first and foremost as the victims. This is the case, for example, of Poland which prefers to focus on its own victimization rather than on the genocide of millions of its Jewish population.

On the other hand, there is a prevailing universalism under which the Holocaust is downplayed and the events of the 1940s are less and less focused on what happened to the six million Jews who were killed, and over one. modern lesson in anti-racism.

The fight against racism and hatred of all kinds is, of course, extremely important. But this should not come at the cost of revising the history of the Holocaust. The Holocaust – the Shoah, as it is called in Hebrew – was a systematic attempt to wipe out the world of every Jew and all vestiges of Jewish religion and culture.

THE MASSIVE Holocaust memorial with the appearance of a cemetery in Berlin. (credit: BARRY DAVIS)

Millions of people died at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II, but apart from Jews and Roma, they were not victims of a deliberate policy of genocide. Poles, Serbs, Croats, Russians, Ukrainians, Dutch, French and victims of other nationalities were not killed by the Nazis to brutally eradicate the very existence of their nations.

Modern attempts to include everyone as victims carry a grave danger of distracting from the one people who were the primary targets of the Nazi genocide – the Jews. It is true that the whole world can and should learn from the Holocaust. The expression “never forget! Should not be an empty slogan. But it must not be turned into another tool in a battle of narratives and historical revision.

When no one is blamed for the Holocaust, the blame inevitably falls on the victims themselves, the Jews.

For the sake of future generations, as well as to commemorate the memories of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, we must not allow history to rewrite itself so that it may correspond to nationalist interests. This was the problem with what Goldman was trying to do.

We cannot allow the facts and truth of the Holocaust to be misused for narrow political ends.


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