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Leading Jewish Holocaustians recently attacked President Donald Trump for issuing a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that did not specify that the victims were Jews. The result is that the public has been informed by Deborah Lipstadt that the Holocaust is by definition an exclusively Jewish matter, and by Yehuda Bauer that the old war propaganda alleging millions of non-Jewish victims was false—which certainly will be cited in the future as a justification for questioning the Jewish claim of 6 million. This was a self-destructive assault by members of the Holocaustian establishment against President Trump.
There are two fundamental versions of the Holocaust, one that was created for war propaganda, which is not primarily about Jews, and a very different version that was created for Zionist propaganda, which is all about Jews.
The Trump Administration issued a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that did not mention any particular ethnic group as the victims of the Holocaust. Representatives of Jewish organizations immediately demanded that the presumed oversight be corrected, but the Trump Administration refused to do this, stating that they did not wish to commemorate Jewish deaths to the exclusion of the many non-Jewish deaths in the Holocaust.
Deborah Lipstadt and others stated that the Holocaust was by definition about Jews exclusively, because that is how they define it.
Yehuda Bauer of Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum even repudiated the proposition that there were several million non-Jewish deaths in German concentration camps, pinning the blame for the legend of the “5 million” on Simon Wiesenthal.
In fact the claim of millions of non-Jewish victims dates from the war itself. In early propaganda about concentration camps, Jews sometimes were not mentioned at all. What has happened is that the original story of German atrocities, which emphasized a diversity of victims in order to convince non-Jews that the war was necessary, has gradually been overshadowed by Zionist propaganda that essentially has no use for non-Jewish victimhood.
The conflict between Trump and the Defenders of the Holocaust Faith is based on the fact that Trump has adhered to something more or less resembling the original war propaganda (which continues to exert influence because it was never authoritatively repudiated) instead of embracing the currently prevalent Zionist propaganda.
By attacking Trump over this, they have called attention to an enormous change in the Holocaust, which provides obvious justification for questioning other elements of the story.
Jewish Criticism of Trump's Holocaust Statement
On 27 January 2017, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the website of the White House carried a statement in the name of President Donald Trump lamenting the “depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror” and expressing gratitude to “those who risked their lives to save the innocent.”
Immediately there was complaining about Trump's statement, on the grounds that it did not include the word Jews. He mentioned “innocent people” and “the perished,” but not Jews.
Fifteen minutes after noon on the day when this statement was issued, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL (and a former aide to Barack Obama), tweeted:
Greenblatt also tweeted that this was a break from what other U.S. presidents had done, and called it “puzzling and troubling.”
Greenblatt did not mention that “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” was declared only in 2005, which means that just two U.S. Presidents, Obama and the younger Bush, ever issued any statement on the matter. This was not a venerable old tradition that Trump violated.
Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Tolerance, seconded Greenblatt's criticism:
“How can you forget, Mr President, that six million Jews were murdered because they were Jews? You chose the vague phrase ‘innocent people.’ They were Jews, Mr President.” (Guardian, 28 January 2017)
On Sunday, 29 January, John Podhoretz, editor of the American Jewish Committee's organ Commentary, continued to kvetch about Trump's failure to mention Jews. (An interesting detail here is that Podhoretz defines the Holocaust as “the effort by Nazi Germany to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth.” Not from Europe, but from the Earth, which presupposes the contention of quaint old war propaganda that Hitler intended to conquer the entire planet. Podhoretz is not living in the real world.)
Trump Doubles Down
On Saturday, 28 January, the President's representative Hope Hicks told CNN that Jews were not specifically mentioned because Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust. She supported that position by citing a 2015 article from the Huffington Post (no friends of Trump) that referred to “5 million non-Jewish” victims.
On Sunday, Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, appeared on Meet the Press where he expressed sadness for “everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust including obviously, all of the Jewish people.” Interviewer Chuck Todd prodded Priebus to say that there was regret about how the statement had been worded, but he would not say that.
On Monday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer reacted angrily to the continuing criticism, declaring:
“The statement was written with the help of an individual who is both Jewish and the descendant of Holocaust survivors.”
The nitpicking of the statement, Spicer said, was pathetic and ridiculous.
On Monday, 6 February, a deputy assistant to the president, Sebastian Gorka, responded angrily to the suggestion from Jewish talkshow host Michael Medved that Trump had made a mistake:
“No, I’m not going to admit it,” Gorka said. “Because it’s asinine. It’s absurd.... It’s only reasonable to twist it if your objective is to attack the president.” (JTA, 7 February 2017)
On Tuesday, 7 February, Republicans in the House of Representatives also did not cave in to Jewish pressure but supported President Trump when Democrats offered a resolution that would state that the Holocaust was about Jews, and would call on the White House to state the same.
A few leading Jews also criticized the Jewish critics.
Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress and a personal acquaintance of Trump's, defended the president against the criticism from ADL's Greenblatt:
"It does no honor to the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust to play politics with their memory. Any fair reading of the White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day will see it appropriately commemorates the suffering and the heroism that mark that dark chapter in modern history.” (World Jewish Congress, 28 January 2017)
Fred Brown, a spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition, likewise accused Trump's Jewish critics of subordinating Holocaust Remembrance to partisan politics:
“It’s outrageous that people are using Holocaust Remembrance Day for partisan reasons or to try and settle scores.” (A. Phillip, Washington Post, 27 February 2017)
It seems entirely likely, as Lauder, Brown, and Gorka said, that the criticisms are in large part politically motivated. Donald Trump's agenda of civic nationalism is one that Jews in general do not appreciate.
* * *
It happened to be also on Holocaust Remembrance Day that Trump issued an executive order halting visas from certain mostly Muslim countries, called a “refugee ban,” which the mass media and several Jewish organizations attacked. Rachel Maddow on MSNBC declared that Trump's executive order ignored a moral obligation to accept refugees because of the Holocaust. Jewish Senator Charles Schumer gave a press conference wherein he shed tears while complaining about this executive order, provoking Trump to dub him Fake Tears Chuck. Of course Schumer eventually also chimed in with criticisms of Trump's statement on the Holocaust.
Denying the Non-Jewish Holocaust
The first round of complaining seemed to be an attempt to pressure Trump into backing down and giving to Jews the kind of obeisance to which they are accustomed. The second round, after Trump's representatives indicated a refusal to submit, was more vicious and more blatantly unreasonable. What is really important, however, is that the conflict with Trump about the Holocaust has driven Jewish authorities to clarify their own position. In general, lack of clarity and definition has been the friend of those who promote the Holocaust, while clarity and definition make the story vulnerable to criticism.
Deborah Lipstadt writes in The Atlantic (30 January 2017) :
“Holocaust denial is alive and well in the highest offices of the United States. It is being spread by those in President Trump's innermost circle.”
Lipstadt complains that the Huffington Post's article about the forgotten “other” victims of the Holocaust was basically anti-Semitic, because, she said, it implied that the Jews were stealing the Holocaust for themselves.
Lipstadt explains that her definition of the Holocaust includes only Jews, because Jews and only Jews, she says, were killed categorically and without provocation:
“There were indeed millions of innocent people whom the Nazis killed in many horrific ways, some in the course of the war and some because the Germans perceived them—however deluded their perception—to pose a threat to their rule. They suffered terribly. But that was not the Holocaust.
“The Holocaust was… an organized program with the goal of wiping out a specific people. Jews did not have to do anything to be perceived as worthy of being murdered… The point was not, as in occupied countries, to get rid of people because they might mount a resistance to Nazism, but to get rid of Jews because they were Jews.”
Lipstadt denies that the Gypsies suffered a Holocaust, and even accuses them of collaboration:
“Roma (Gypsies) were also targeted. Many were murdered. But the Nazi anti-Roma policy was inconsistent. Some could live in peace and even serve in the German army.”
She says that the Trump Administration had committed “softcore Holocaust denial” with its “de-Judaization of the Holocaust.” (Note that “de-Judaization of the Holocaust” is “denial,” but de-Gypsyization and de-Polonization are not.) She then gives a paradoxical definition of “softcore denial”:
“It does not deny the facts, but it minimizes them, arguing that Jews use the Holocaust to draw attention away from criticism of Israel. Softcore denial also makes all sorts of false comparisons to the Holocaust.”
So, Lipstadt calls it “denial” but then says that it “does not deny.” She obviously uses words very recklessly, with more concern for a word's emotional impact than for what it means. She also likens criticism or minimalization of the Holocaust to “pornography,” again obviously just for the emotional impact of that word.
Lipstadt then piles up one guilt-by-association on top of another, attacking Trump for Steve Bannon's tenuous association with the words “Alt Right.” Then Lipstadt says that Richard Spencer, the putative leader of the Alt Right, “has invited overt Holocaust deniers to alt-right conferences.” This compounded guilt-by-association is supposed to reflect on Spencer, and in turn on Bannon, and finally on Trump. (D. Lipstadt, The Atlantic, 30 January 2017)
The reasoning is worthy of a paranoiac. Even the claim that “overt Holocaust deniers” were invited to Spencer's NPI conference seems to be false. As evidence, Lipstadt links to Adam Gabbatt's report on the conference for the Guardian. Gabbatt does not really claim that anybody, much less a speaker at the conference, actually denied the Holocaust. All that Gabbatt says is that he encountered several obscure members of the audience who expressed “doubts” about the Holocaust when questioned. Sorry to say, these were not “overt Holocaust Deniers,” much less had they been invited to the conference as overt Holocaust Deniers: these were people who anonymously admitted having doubts about the Holocaust when questioned. The one that Gabbatt quotes, called Mack, even opines that the Holocaust might be true because it seems logical, given Jewish behavior. (A. Gabbatt, Guardian, 21 November 2016)
Now, if Lipstadt had wanted to associate Trump with a Holocaust Denier, she didn't have to take the long way around the barn, through Bannon and Spencer (who may have never met) to some anonymous doubters at the NPI conference. If she had really been aware, she could have mentioned Joseph Schmitz (under consideration to be Secretary of the Navy), whose father John Schmitz was a major supporter of the IHR. That would be much less tenuous and doubtful than the argument that she used.
Despite the meagerness of her argument, representative Jerrold Nadler (D, NY) echoed Lipstadt's position, declaring that the Trump Administration was “in the camp of Holocaust denial” and that statements from the administration contained “anti-Semitic themes.” (A. Tibon, Ha'aretz, 6 February 2017)
Senator Tim Kaine (Hillary Clinton's running mate) had made statements anticipating Lipstadt's article the day before it appeared, most likely not by coincidence. It seems that Kaine was supplied with talking points, since he anticipated Lipstadt's accusation of Holocaust Denial that was published the next day. The obvious purpose of using Kaine as an errand boy was to reduce the appearance that the criticism was coming entirely from Jews.
On Wednesday, 8 February, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY), who claims to have lost many relatives in the Holocaust, said to Ha'aretz:
“It is troubling and unfortunate that the administration did not acknowledge and honor the six million Jews murdered by the Nazi regime in the Shoah.” (JTA, 9 February 2017)
* * *
On 31 January, Ron Kampeas, writing for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, went beyond defining the Holocaust as an exclusively Jewish event. He declared that the figure of 5 million non-Jewish victims was “a number without any scholarly basis.” Kampeas cites Yehuda Bauer for the claim that Simon Wiesenthal invented the figure in the 1970s:
“Yehuda Bauer ... said he warned his friend Wiesenthal, who died in 2005, about spreading the false notion that the Holocaust claimed 11 million victims – 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews.
“‘I said to him, 'Simon, you are telling a lie,' Bauer recalled in an interview Tuesday. ‘He said, “Sometimes you need to do that to get the results for things you think are essential.”’
“Bauer and other historians who knew Wiesenthal said the Nazi-hunter told them that he chose the 5 million number carefully: He wanted a number large enough to attract the attention of non-Jews who might not otherwise care about Jewish suffering, but not larger than the actual number of Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, 6 million. […]
“[T]he number of non-Jews who died in the concentration camps is no more than half a million, Bauer said.” (Ron Kampeas, JTA, 31 January 2017)
Thus, such eminent Defenders of the Holocaust Faith as Deborah Lipstadt and Yehuda Bauer have now written Gypsies and Poles out of the Holocaust, not only by defining the Holocaust as an exclusively Jewish event but by drastically revising the non-Jewish death-toll downward. In other words, Jewish authorities now emphatically deny the non-Jewish Holocaust.
Denial of the non-Jewish Holocaust is really not new. Every time the figure of “6,000,000” was used as the alleged Holocaust death toll, it was an implicit statement that only Jewish deaths counted. What is new is that the exclusion of non-Jews is now emphatic and explicit.
After Yehuda Bauer in 1989 complained that the Auschwitz death toll was too high to be credible and must be lowered, the official non-Jewish death toll was reduced much more than the official Jewish death toll. Whereas non-Jews were alleged to constitute 37.5% of 4,000,000 victims before 1990, the current "best estimates" according to the USHMM are that non-Jews constitute 11.9% of 1,082,000 victims. The current explicit denial of the 5 million non-Jewish victims is just a confirmation of what Bauer and his ilk have been implying for decades.
Why Blame Wiesenthal?
About the origin of the 5 million figure, Kampeas writes:
“… Wiesenthal started to peddle it in the 1970s. Wiesenthal told the Washington Post in 1979, “I have sought with Jewish leaders not to talk about 6 million Jewish dead, but rather about 11 million civilians dead, including 6 million Jews.” (R. Kampeas, JTA, 31 January 2017)
Yehuda Bauer is the authority for the claim that it was Wiesenthal who promoted the specific figure of 5 million non-Jewish deaths, which Bauer now publicly rejects.
It is important for the Defenders of the Holocaust Faith to maintain an appearance that the Holocaust story never changes much, because a significant change in the story creates doubts among the faithful. If that was false, then what else was false? It is therefore helpful, when some element of the Holocaust must be discarded, to pretend that everybody who matters always regarded that particular element as apocryphal anyway. That is what Bauer accomplishes by pinning the claim that there were millions of non-Jewish Holocaust victims on Simon Wiesenthal (who, during his own lifetime, was always regarded as something of a bungler, as portrayed in The Boys from Brazil).
It might be true that Wiesenthal was the first to specify that there were “5 million” non-Jewish victims, but the specific claim of “5 million” is not what matters. As far as numbers are concerned, what matters for the defense of Trump's Holocaust Day statement is that significant numbers of non-Jews are included in the death toll of alleged Nazi barbarity.
It is not at all credible to say that Wiesenthal is responsible for the general proposition that there were millions of non-Jewish victims. That proposition was commonplace long before the 1970s when Wiesenthal is supposed to have invented the “5 million”: it originated during the war.
Non-Jewish Victimhood in Why We Fight
The series of seven Why We Fight propaganda films made from 1942 to 1944 by Frank Capra for the War Department make almost no mention of Jews. Instead the emphasis is on the threat posed to the whole world by the Axis powers.
The delineation of the victims of the Axis powers in contemporary war propaganda was based on how those powers were characterized.
The first episode of Why We Fight, Prelude to War, begins by emphasizing that Americans believe in equality, whereas the Axis powers do not believe in equality, and feel therefore that they are entitled to rule the world, and intend to do so.
“They were out for world conquest, and what made it doubly serious was that they were 70 million Japanese, 45 million Italians, and 80 million Germans, all hopped up with the same idea. Their leaders told them that they were supermen, Herrenvolk the Nazis called it, the master race, destined to rule all other peoples on Earth. (Why We Fight: Prelude to War 30:34-31:03)
There was no hiding the fact that this propaganda was recycled from the First World War, and Why We Fight does not hide that fact, but tries to make a virtue of it:
“The symbols and the leaders change, but Germany's maniacal urge to impose its will on others continues from generation to generation.” (Why We Fight: The Nazis Strike, 1:59-2:07)
In fact it was never National-Socialist doctrine that the Germans were a master race or the master race, and anyone who read Hitler's books would know that conquering the entire world was not in his agenda. (I discussed the master-race canard briefly in my article, “The Joseph Hirt Story.”)
Also recycled was the accusation of anti-Christianity (which was true of the Soviet Union, but never of Germany). It is alleged that all churches in Germany were required to replace the cross with the swastika (Prelude to War, 16:56-17:05). Scenes of attacks on Catholic and Protestant churches and clergymen, and also a Star of David engulfed in flames, are portrayed. It is only in this context, the alleged persecution of religion, that Jews are mentioned in Why We Fight:
“Thousands of other men of God – Protestant, Catholic, Jewish – were arrested and confined in concentration camps.” (Prelude to War, 17:38-17:48)
In Why We Fight, the accusation of systematic mass murder based on ethnicity appears only in regard to Polish prisoners of war. The second episode of Why We Fight asserts, about the last Polish troops to surrender in 1939:
“On October the 1st the garrison at last surrendered – surrendered to face the fate of these men: Polish prisoners being marched off to Nazi prison camps, and eventual extermination. For the Nazi master-race theory calls for the complete wiping-out of so-called inferior races.” (The Nazis Strike, 36:04-36:27)
This episode of Why We Fight was made in 1943. It happens to have been in April of 1943 that the Katyn Forest Massacre, a mass murder of Polish prisoners of war by the Soviet government, became known. The need to divert attention from that fact very likely motivated the claim that those Polish POWs were “exterminated” by the Germans, and the old accusation that the Germans regarded themselves as the master race was a convenient way to couch that accusation.
The fifth episode, The Battle of Russia (1943), alleges that the Germans massacred Russian civilians, including children, who were “mass-murdered by orders of the high command.” It also alleged that the Germans did in Russia what was most notoriously done by the Red Army: rape of young girls. (The Battle of Russia, 45:40-47:02)
There was much embarrassing Soviet behavior that had to be obfuscated with such counter-accusations, especially in regard to Poland. Polish-American historian M.B.B. Biskupski complains that Why We Fight: The Nazis Strike whitewashes Soviet behavior in the war:
"[…T]he September 17 invasion of Poland by Russia is transformed into a seemingly peaceful 'occupation' set in the final hours of the war. The viewer would logically conclude that the Soviets committed no aggression and inflicted no casualties." (M. Biskupski, Hollywood's War With Poland, U. Press of Kentucky, 2010)
Beyond mere omission, one of the ways to cover Soviet atrocities against Poles and others was to accuse the Germans of doing the same, and worse.
Non-Jewish Victims in Immediate Post-War Propaganda
After all the concentration camps and alleged extermination camps were captured, the Anglo-American line continued to be that the evil Germans had mass-murdered a great diversity of victims because they were not German or because they disagreed with evil Nazi doctrine, Jews being at most a significant element within that diversity of victims.
* * *
Frank Capra, who had made Why We Fight for the War Department, also made Here Is Germany after the war (1945). Here Is Germany, although it uses concentration-camp footage, still does not emphasize Jewish suffering. Rather it emphasizes German villainy, alleging that the German cultural tradition makes the Germans inhumane and warlike. The Germans are described as:
“that clean, industrious people, fond of kids, fond of music, fond of tyranny, fond of aggression, fond of gas chambers.” (Here Is Germany, 7:27-7:39)
While the film pretends to show a “scientifically designed gas chamber,” it does not claim that Jews in particular were gassed. There is only an allusion to persecution of Jews through the use of the word pogroms, as only one aspect of the general phenomenon of German inhumanity, where the Germans are described as:
“The quiet, decent people – who prepared twenty years to bring war into the world. A religious people – who burned churches, imprisoned ministers, persecute the faithful. A kindly people – who accept blood purges, pogroms, concentration camps. A gentle people – who torture, starve, exterminate.” (Here Is Germany, 3:51-4:15)
Only Poles, Italians, Belgians, and Americans are specifically mentioned as groups mass-murdered by the Germans. (Here Is Germany, 6:23-6:56)
The cause of the German penchant for wreaking death and destruction is summarized this way:
“Each generation accepting and adding to the German tradition. The tradition of ruthlessness, and Mediaeval barbarism. The tradition of a master race, the tradition of German superiority. A false picture of the world inside German heads. These are some of the explanations for the murdered Poles in Lublin, the murdered Italians in Rome, the murdered Belgians at Bande, the murdered Americans at Malmèdy. And these are the reasons why, in our generation, nearly 30 million men have had to die. [Rows of crosses in a military cemetery are shown.] Because deep in the soul of Karl Schmidt has been planted the love of aggression and conquest. And unless that passion is uprooted, ten, twenty, or a hundred years hence, a new generation of Germans will find a new leader who will show them the way. How shall that be prevented?” (Here Is Germany, 45:53-47:02)
Here Is Germany speaks of murdered Poles, Italians, Belgians, and Americans, and 30 million dead from unnecessary wars putatively caused by the war-loving Germans, but makes no mention of Jews.
* * *
Nazi Murder Mills!, a newsreel from April 1945 produced for Universal Studios by Sam B. Jacobson, emphasizes the universality of victimhood without mentioning Jews at all:
“At Hadamar, an insane asylum served the mad Hun well! Behind its high walls their victims – Poles, Greeks, Russians, any non-Germans – were systematically slaughtered!” (Nazi Murder Mills!, 1:06-1:18)
* * *
Die Todesmühlen was a film made to be shown to German audiences. The maker is not identified in the film, but German Wikipedia states that it was produced by the U.S. Office of Military Government for Germany (OMGUS), and directed by Hanuš Burger and Billy Wilder. (There was also a Yiddish edition.) It refers to 20 million murdered “according to current estimates” (which implies 14 million non-Jewish deaths!) and claims that every concentration camp (of which there were more than 300, we are told) was a death mill. At the end of the film it is stated that such death mills (since every concentration camp was said to be one) had existed since 1933, eight years before the Holocaust, as presently conceived, is supposed to have begun. Die Todesmühlen mentions Jews but only as one of several persecuted religious groups:
"Angehörige aller europäischen Nationen: Russen, Polen, Franzosen, Belgier, Jugoslawen, Deutsche, Tschechen. Angehörige aller Religionen: Protestanten, Katholiken, Juden." (Die Todesmühlen, 1:06-1:20)
The War Department made an English-language edition of Die Todesmühlen called Death Mills (1946). The American narrator still refers to 20 million murdered, adumbrating the origins of the victims this way:
“Those who survived could answer the roll call of all the nations of Europe, of all religious faiths, of all political beliefs, condemned by Hitler because they were anti-Nazi.” (Death Mills, 1:59-2:09)
Death Mills makes no specific mention of Jews, but does not really leave them out either, implicitly including them under the heading: “all religious faiths.” The figure of 20 million of course implies 14 million non-Jewish deaths.
* * *
George Stevens's Nazi Concentration Camps portrays horrors suffered by prisoners at twelve locations. Only in regard to Ohrdruf (a satellite camp of Buchenwald) are Jews mentioned. About Ohrdruf the narrator says:
“At this concentration camp in the Gotha area, the Germans starved, clubbed, and burned to death more than 4000 political prisoners over a period of eight months. […] The 4000 Ohrdruf victims are said to include Poles, Czechs, Russians, Belgians, Frenchmen, German Jews, and German political prisoners.”
In the narrations about the other eleven camps, various nationalities are mentioned, but never Jews. Poles and Russians are mentioned most often. At Mauthausen, an American POW, Jack H. Taylor from Hollywood, California, even claims that American POWs were gassed. Even at Bergen-Belsen, where an overweight Jewish female physician, Ada Bimko (future mother of Menachem Rosensaft of the World Jewish Congress), is shown for several minutes narrating the horrors of the place, Jews are not mentioned. A British officer at Bergen-Belsen refers to “what the German people have done here.” The emphasis is clearly on Germans as perpetrators, not on Jews as victims.
* * *
Alfred Hitchcock's unfinished propaganda film Memory of the Camps, which was never released during Hitchcock's lifetime but in 1985 began to be shown annually on PBS's Frontline, discusses a variety of camps but mentions Jews only twice, in connection with Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald.
About Bergen-Belsen the narrator says:
“We shall never know … whether they were Catholics, Lutherans, or Jews. We only know they were born, they suffered, and died – in agony – in Belsen camp. And so they lie, Jews, Lutherans, and Catholics, indistinguishable, cheek to cheek, in a common grave.” (Memory of the Camps, 30:11)
Only at Buchenwald does Hitchcock's film say that Jews were killed for being Jews:
“When the camp was liberated on April the 13th, 20,000 inmates remained: African Negroes, Albanians, Austrians, Belgians, Brazilians, Bulgarians, Canadians, Chinese, Croats, Czechs, Danes, French, Germans, British, Greeks, Dutch, Italians, Yugoslavs, Latvians, Letts, Norwegians, Mexicans, Poles, Rumanians, Spaniards, Swiss, Americans, and Russians. 55 thousand of them died because of this place. People were tattooed across the belly with slave numbers and forced to work on a starvation diet. People were coldly and systematically tortured. Here, Schoker, the camp commandant, said, 'I want at least 600 Jewish deaths reported in the camp-office every day.'” (Memory of the Camps, 42:16)
Those are the only two mentions of Jews in Hitchcock's film. Apart from the emphasis on Jewish deaths at Buchenwald, Hitchcock's film, like other films of the period, portrays a universality of victimhood. The claim that the commandant of Buchenwald wanted Jewish deaths is an anomaly in Hitchcock's film. (The falsity of this claim is evident in the fact that there never was a commandant of Buchenwald named Schoker: the two commandants were Koch, 1937-1941, and Pister, 1942-1945.)
The lack of emphasis on Jewish suffering in Memory of the Camps must have been seen as a problem by the producers of Frontline, because instead of simply letting the movie tell the story, Frontline's introduction concludes with this notice:
“At least six million people died in Nazi Germany's system of camps. More than three million were Jews.”
From the narration alone one would never infer that the majority of deaths were Jewish. This is obviously why Frontline added that preface.
Of course, accusations about mass murder of Jews were reported during the war—along with the crazy story that Jews were made into soap, which was endorsed by the president of the World Jewish Congress, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise (AP, 24 November 1942). But the alleged suffering of Jews in particular was not presented to the American people as a reason for going to war. Rather, one was led to believe that the evil Nazis posed a dire threat to everybody, and it was even claimed that they would soon be in America if no action were taken.
War Propaganda Continues to be Taken Seriously
The wartime claim that millions of non-Jews had been mass-murdered, although its propagandistic purpose is obvious, was not limited to mass propaganda. It survived in scholarship. A 1951 article in Foreign Affairs by Max Beloff, a professional historian of Jewish origin who at the time held positions at Oxford University, referred to “millions” of non-Jewish victims:
“In the course of the Second World War, the Germans as a matter of public policy put to death some 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 Jews and further millions of Poles, Jugoslavs, Russians, and others.” (Max Beloff, “Historians in a Revolutionary Age”, Foreign Affairs, January 1951, p. 252)
Litigation in Germany also seems to have been influenced by the kind of narrative presented by George Stevens and Frank Capra. From one of the Auschwitz trials staged in Frankfurt by Hesse's Jewish district attorney Fritz Bauer, it was reported:
"German historians testify that SS guards could do practically anything they wished with prisoners since Hitler's concentration-camp system was built to rid the world of what Nazi ideology considered inferior people – Jews, Slavs, Gypsies and others regarded as unfit to contribute to Nazi Germany's glory." (AP, 18 March 1964)
A German senior public prosecutor (Oberstaatsanwalt), Adalbert Rueckerl, attributed the following death tolls to the evil Nazis:
"'They killed 6,000,000 Jews,' Rueckerl said. 'We know that. But they also killed 5,000,000 Russian civilians, 2,000,000 Poles and 1,000,000 other people – Gypsies, German free-thinkers or political opponents and German insane or incurably sick. Eight million of what they called 'inferior stock'." (Leo Katcher, Post mortem: the Jews in Germany Today (1968), p. 277)
Rather than Wiesenthal's mere 11 million, Rueckerl claimed 14 million – more non-Jewish than Jewish victims! Wiesenthal's "5 million" non-Jewish deaths thus represents not a concession but a vast reduction from the 8 million specified by Oberstaatsanwalt Adalbert Rueckerl in 1968 and the 14 million indicated by OMGUS in 1945.
So much for Yehuda Bauer's insinuation that the claim of several million non-Jewish victims never had much authority behind it. The claim has been taken very seriously by people in very important positions, and many people, not only the Trump Administration and the Huffington Post, have continued to believe it since the war. Bauer's recent declaration that non-Jewish deaths in the camps amounted to “no more than half a million” represents an enormous change from what we all were led to believe.
Anti-Axis and Pro-Zionist Propaganda Are Not the Same
Why the change? It is because anti-German and pro-Zionist propaganda have different requirements.
Widespread non-Jewish victimhood at the hands of the evil Nazis (sometimes combined with similar accusations against the Japanese and Italians) was alleged in order to make the war seem necessary to the people who had to endure it. In Hitchcock's film the point was explicitly stated by a British tommy at Buchenwald, who says twice that he knew why he was fighting because of what he had seen:
“We actually know now what has been going on in these camps, and I know, personally, what I am fighting for.” (Memory of the Camps, 28:46)
The implication is that adequate justification for the war had not been seen until the propaganda about mass murder in concentration camps filled that void. As a justification for war, the atrocity stories were most effective if the victims were as diverse as possible, so that all viewers could see themselves as potential victims.
In particular, it was important to include Poles as victims, because the Germans had exposed the Soviet NKVD's massacre of thousands of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest in 1943 and because Poland was about to be left under Soviet domination even though the fundamental purpose of the war had been, supposedly, to preserve the sovereignty of Poland.
The introduction of the proper noun "Holocaust" signals a change in how stories of atrocities during the Second World War would be handled. The religious connotation of the word helps in associating the event specifically with Jews, given that the Jews are, at least in some degree, a religious group, and in a greater degree are perceived that way. With the promulgation of the proper noun Holocaust, Jews in effect claimed a special status as victims during the Second World War.
For the general public in the United States it was NBC's five-part miniseries Holocaust in April 1978 that established Holocaust as a proper noun. The show's intro featured the symbol of the Jewish religion, a six-pointed star, engulfed in flames. It is similar to an image that was used in Why We Fight to represent Judaism as one of several oppressed religions.
The clear purpose of the Holocaust miniseries was to bolster Zionism. In Holocaust, the character of Anielewicz, an especially Semitic-looking Jew with a thousand-yard stare who identifies himself as a Zionist and speaks of “the Zionists” as the resistance to the Holocaust, plays the part of a divine messenger, informing the Jews of their destiny. Anielewicz tells the council in the Warsaw Ghetto what is happening and what they must do. What they must do is to take up arms. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising thus becomes a metaphor for the State of Israel.
In case anyone misses the point, Tovah Feldshuh's character later tells us that Palestine is “where they cannot jail us, or beat us, or kill us.”
This is explicit promotion of Zionism.
At the time when Holocaust appeared, the State of Israel was subject to unprecedented criticism. The Israeli Prime Minister elected in 1977, Menachem Begin, was a hardliner and former terrorist. Meanwhile there was intensified criticism of the State of Israel in the Democratic Party, which happened to hold the White House at the time. (It was this shift in attitudes in the Democratic Party of that era that motivated the defection of Neoconservative Jews to the GOP.) Under these circumstances the Holocaust miniseries was created to justify the existence of the State of Israel and to excuse its violence.
This purpose meant that Holocaust would emphasize Jewish victimhood and the lack of safety for Jews living among non-Jews in general, rather than the specific villainy of the Germans. Although Holocaust represents many Germans as criminal brutes, the key German character in the drama, SS officer Erich Dorf, has no malice toward Jews but is simply an unprincipled careerist. It was this untrustworthiness of non-Jews in general that was supposed to make the State of Israel necessary.
Whereas Anglo-American war propaganda had portrayed Christianity as an object of oppression by the evil Nazis, the Holocaust miniseries represents Christianity, specifically the Christian legend that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, as an important cause of anti-Jewish persecution. The implication is that Christians in general, not just Germans, have this proclivity for mass-murdering Jews. Some Christians complained that the show was anti-Christian.
Whereas the War Department's propaganda had portrayed Polish victimhood as comparable to, if not greater than, that of the Jews, Holocaust reversed this. Uniformed Poles were portrayed in three segments helping Germans to execute Jews.
A Polish-American Catholic priest, Msgr. John J. Wodarski, complained of the minimization of Polish victimhood and emphasis on Polish guilt:
"He and others complained that the program slighted the fact that Poles, too, were victims of the Germans. Six million Poles were exterminated, they said—three million Polish Jews and three million Polish gentiles. In addition, they said, while the program showed Poles helping the Nazis, there was little credit given the Poles who fought the Germans and helped save the lives of many Jews.
"Moreover, Polish‐American gentiles here are also displeased that they are not represented on President Carter's Commission on the Holocaust. Spokesmen say they are also disturbed by the comments of Sigmund Strochlitz, a commission member from New London and a survivor of Auschwitz who, at a Holocaust Commemoration last April 27 in the Senate chambers of the General Assembly, spoke of 'Nazi executioners and their Polish helpers'." (D. Henry, New York Times, 23 September 1979)
Thus there seem to be two main tendencies in accounts of what is now called the Holocaust. The tendency of war propaganda was to emphasize the special turpitude of the Germans, and to claim a wide range of victims. The tendency of Zionist propaganda, on the other hand, is to emphasize the special victimhood of the Jews, and to claim a wide range of victimizers (which has afforded wide opportunities for Jewish organizations to sue for damages, e.g. against the French national railway). Since the Holocaust miniseries, the Zionist version of what happpened during the war has become prevalent, to the degree that some Jewish leaders now overtly minimize non-Jewish victimhood.
It would certainly be called denial if non-Jews gave the kinds of opinions on Jewish claims of suffering that Yehuda Bauer and Deborah Lipstadt have recently given in regard to the 5 million. Conversely, if a so-called documentary about German concentration camps just like the ones made in 1945 and 1946 were made today, Deborah Lipstadt would be compelled to denounce it as Holocaust Denial, because the narrative of that time does not give preeminence to Jewish suffering, indeed does not conform at all to what is today called “the Holocaust.”
It is clear that Jews have in some ways benefited from the two contradictory narratives.
Although it was Jews who had agitated for war against Germany since 1933, the formally alleged purpose of the war in 1939 was to save Poland. The poor suffering Poles! We must help them! It was the Jews however, not the Poles, who benefited from the war. The Jews got Palestine and the Poles were not saved from tyranny but subjected to several decades under Soviet domination (which, contrary to the old propaganda, was not better than being under German occupation). One could characterize the way the war was advertised to the American public as a bait-and-switch scam.
It may be easy for Bauer and Lipstadt to treat Simon Wiesenthal as a marginal figure now, but in the 1970s he was quite prominent and even respected. He was reputedly the “Nazi-hunter” who discovered the whereabouts of Adolf Eichmann (although Wiesenthal's role is disputed). He also accused Polish-American immigrant Frank Walus (falsely, as it later turned out) of being “the Butcher of Kielce,” and was represented (pseudonymously, but blatantly) as the inept hero of the 1978 Hollywood movie The Boys from Brazil. In 1980 President Jimmy Carter presented to Simon Wiesenthal a Congressional Gold Medal. And of course the Simon Wiesenthal Center is named after him. Wiesenthal may have been less cautious than Yehuda Bauer, but in the Holocaust Industry he was not a minor figure.
When President Carter issued the executive order establishing the Holocaust Museum he used (what is, we are now told) Wiesenthal's figure: “11 million victims of the Holocaust.”
Now, Elie Wiesel, who reputedly disagreed vehemently with Wiesenthal on this question, was in communication with President Carter. He was in fact the chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust. Do you think that Elie Wiesel, or any other Jew, made efforts to impress upon President Carter that he should not say that there were 11 million victims of the Holocaust, during the period when efforts were being made to establish the Holocaust Museum? I would wager that he did not, just as Jews probably did not argue during the war against claims that Poles were being exterminated.
Just as the emphasis on non-Jewish victims was important in war propaganda, it seems likely that a nod to non-Jewish victims was helpful in gaining public acquiescence for a museum to commemorate the Holocaust. The proposal to build a museum on 1.9 acres of invaluable federal land close to the Washington Monument would likely have provoked much more criticism if it had been represented as specifically about Jews.
On 30 January 2017, however, three days after Trump's statement, the USHMM itself declared that the Holocaust was an exclusively Jewish event:
“The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.” (USHMM, 30 January 2017)
That is a perfectly clear definition, but then an apparent contradiction is added:
“Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy.”
Is this saying that there were non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust? No, because “Nazi policy” need not be perfectly synonymous with “the Holocaust.” The words must have been carefully chosen. The first sentence defines the Holocaust as specifically Jewish. It seems that the USHMM's statement was designed to appear ambiguous without actually being ambiguous.
What we see is that Jews gained a favor for their ethnic group, the establishment of a museum commemorating the alleged suffering of their ethnic group alone, on the premise that it was not going to be specifically about them. Whether it was planned that way or just worked out that way, the promotion of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum amid talk of the “11 million victims of the Holocaust,” when it was really only going to be about an alleged 6 million Jewish victims, amounts to a bait-and-switch scam.
What This Means
About the controversy around Trump's Holocaust Day statement, Ha'aretz quoted an anonymous Democratic staffer as saying:
"This is going to continue gaining attention, mainly because of how terribly it's been handled by the White House." (Ha'aretz, 9 February 2017)
A certain sense of entitlement seems to have blinded some people to the possibility that they themselves might have handled things terribly, when faced with a leader and a people no longer in a mood to be herded to self-destruction.
Trump's supporters regard him and his agenda as the last chance for the survival of the America that they always knew and cherished. If Trump's supporters are forced to choose between Trump and the Holocaust, or between saving their country and properly observing the so-called lessons of the Holocaust, public reverence for the Holocaust will certainly suffer for it.
But Lipstadt et al. have made matters worse for themselves by continuing to kvetch and by trying to demonstrate that Trump was wrong. In order to explain why Trump was supposedly wrong, certain points about the Holocaust had to be clarified. But the Holocaust legend has survived largely by remaining unclear. The more defined the Holocaust becomes, the easier it is to criticize.
With the clarification that the Holocaust is only about Jews, its relevance has been reduced. Many Christians and Poles, for example, thought that they had a stake in the Holocaust, but now they have been told that whatever martyrs they can claim are excluded.
It is also certain that the credibility of the Holocaust has been damaged by the publicity given to the drastically reduced estimate of non-Jewish deaths in concentration camps, from 5 million to less than half a million. If it is acceptable to repudiate the 5 million then why is it not acceptable to question the 6 million?
If nothing else, Lipstadt and others should have realized that applying epithets like Anti-Semite and Holocaust Denier to a leader who habitually does not yield under such pressure, and who has fanatical support in a large part of the citizenry, could only result in the diminution of whatever power those words retain.
What we are seeing is that the Holocaust as a force in politics and society is being marginalized and weakened through the arrogance and immoderation of its own Jewish proponents.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Anti-Gentiles Deny the 5 Million!, Holocaustian Establishment and Organized Jewry Wound Themselves by Attacking Trump|
|Sources:||Inconvenient History, Vol. 9, No. 2, spring 2017.|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 23, 2017, 6:49 p.m.|