Fragments: Another Ordinary Life

Published: 2012-07-13

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*** The CODOH Homepage has been completely restructured. It’s a job that began with one volunteer back in 2010, was interrupted a number of times by real life, but now it’s up. It’s a work-in-progress, as are all Web pages, forever, but it’s up and functioning.

What is particularly new about it, other than the design, is the search structure. As it stands now we have more than one thousand documents on the site. They were difficult to access on the old page unless you knew where you were going. Not so now. Anyone, even first-timers to the page, will be able to see what is really there, and find what they really want to find. It’s a very big step upward for us. I owe a great deal to the original volunteer who began the project, and to those who volunteered one by one to go in with him.

Students, and their professors as well, will now be able to organize their research using CODOH documents in a way they could not until now.

*** Lou Rollins sends me this: “Consider the fact that Adolf Hitler’s youth camps taught German youth to hate in elementary school. They were given pets (dogs and cats) to kill to turn the hearts of the innocent to stone. Those young hearts became hard enough to throw live Jewish children into the blazing ovens in the death campus without pain of conscience.”

John Hagee, Can America Survive? Ten Prophetic Signs That We Are the Terminal Generation (Simon & Schuster, 2010, p 26).

It is odd for me to learn that this story is still being pursued, even by the wildest of Christian Zionists. I recall one afternoon, probably in the early 1980s, that I visited the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust on Wilshire Boulevard. It was housed in an ordinary two-story building of no particular distinction. There was a large gallery on the second floor, if I recall correctly, with a couple dozen visitors looking at the exhibits, none of which I remember.

Educators from Turkey, Japan, Venezuela, South Africa, Germany, Poland, India, the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico, China, Great Britain and more, will participate in three days of lectures, discussions, presentations and information sharing about the core issues of the Holocaust and how to meaningfully transmit them in the classroom and beyond.

What I do remember is that a nice little old lady was a guide and at one point it seems that we were sitting side by side on a bench, perhaps, and she, smiling sweetly, told me how recruits for the German SS were given puppies at the beginning of their training and at the end of it were obligated to kill the resultant dogs. It was to be a demonstration of their resolve to do what was necessary to Jews. I’d never heard the story before, didn’t believe it when the lady told me about it, smiling really sweetly all the while, but I said nothing. Occurs to me now that perhaps I should have said something. Like I evaded my responsibility. Never occurred to me before.

I wrote about this somewhere, sometime. Be interesting to see how memory has modulated the story for me.

*** Paul Nash writes: “In your Fragments section in SR 191 you mention a phrase about ‘keep your heads on a swivel,’ which you had never heard before. That used to be a very common saying among fighter pilots back in the days when they were still flying airplanes instead of electronic conglomerates with wings.”

*** Some 370 educators from 53 countries will have participated in the Eighth International Conference on Holocaust Education on June 18-21 at the Inter-national School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem. The Conference is titled: “Telling the Story: Teaching the Core.”

Educators from Turkey, Japan, Venezuela, South Africa, Germany, Poland, India, the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico, China, Great Britain and more, will participate in three days of lectures, discussions, presentations, and information sharing about the core issues of the Holocaust and how to meaningfully transmit them in the classroom and beyond.

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev notes: “We must go back to the core issues of the Shoah: what actually happened in the ghettos, the camps, and during the 'Final Solution ….'”

It is absolutely certain that a free exchange of ideas regarding “core issues” of the Holocaust story, of “what actually happened” during the “Final Solution,” will be no part of the “transmission” allowed to occur in any classroom influenced by Yad Vashem. Without encouraging such an exchange, Yad Vashem demonstrates yet again that its primary role is to serve the interests of the worldwide, multibillion-dollar Holocaust Industry.

This Yad Vashem Conference reinforces the obvious, that we have chosen a pivotal place to work—on the university campus, in the classroom, to confront the work of such institutions as Yad Vashem, such organizations as Hillel and the ADL via mass mailings to student organizations and university faculty, via announcements and advertisements in student newspapers, and by copying media on everything.

A side note: “The conference is taking place with the generous support of the Asper Foundation, the Adelson Family Foundation and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.” I am going to suppose that the Adelson Family Foundation includes the folk who backed Newt Gingrich’s run in the Republican primary. I wonder how much space separates Newt and Yad Vashem on such matters as an open debate on the Holocaust question? And thus on Israel itself?

*** Recently the British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife had Sunday lunch in a familiar pub and when they left they left behind their 8-year-old daughter. It was a big story in the press there. One wag wrote a nursery rhyme for the occasion:

“Mary had a little lamb, it went out for some grub. It forgot it had a daughter and it left her in the pub.”

Reminds me. One day in Hollywood when I went to the Bank of America on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and High-land—it’s a souvenir shop now—I took care of my business there and left. I was hardly out on the sidewalk when the Filipino bank guard came out after me saying I had left my baby on the floor beneath the teller’s window. That was 1986 and Paloma was maybe four months old. I had left her there on the floor in her portable car seat while I walked out thinking about other things.

What does this demonstrate? I think it’s clear. I share certain characteristics of very important men in Western political circles, suggesting that I may yet have a future before me.

*** There were a lot of steps on the road over the last couple months but the long and short of it is—I have cancer again. The lymphoma is back. Did the first chemotherapy session at the VA a week ago. It’s left me tired and rather torpid. I lose Euros, leave my debit card in the ATM, and tend to drive past the place where we are going when we run errands. Other than that…

*** Michel Karger writes from Canada: “Hi Bradley. I hardly remember how many years I have read—and really enjoyed—your reports and how many times I enclosed small, tiny cheques to show you my appreciation, although, as a former German soldier, you should be my ‘enemy’. I wish I had one hundred American ‘enemies’ who could send their kind of Smith Reports to my hopelessly re-educated Germans and help to wake them up.”

*** The following is an excerpt from Knowing Too Much by Norman Finkelstein

Although disagreements persist on exactly why American Jews are “distancing” themselves from Israel, it is largely accepted that in recent years a divide has opened up. Indeed, the poll data sampled in this book probably underestimate the depth of this estrangement because of the traditional reticence of Jews to “air dirty laundry in public,” and because of their reluctance to acknowledge that Israel no longer touches them as it once did.

The anecdotal evidence on this growing alienation however is hard to miss.

Besides the periodic high profile defections of the likes of Peter Beinart and David Remnick, one can point to the profusion of public testimonials by Jews expressing their disenchantment with Israel, the acid criticism of Israel by influential liberal Jewish bloggers, the indifference of Jews on college campuses to “pro”-Israel events, and the small numbers of Jews attending public rallies in support of Israel at moments of crisis or on commemorative occasions.

…. unlike in the past, when much of scholarship could fairly be described as Exodus with foot-notes, a huge gap has now opened up between media-promoted pabulum, on the one hand, and the findings of respected scholars and human rights activists, many of them Jewish and Israeli, on the other.

Meanwhile, the hitherto reliable tactics of invoking The Holocaust and dismissing the bearers of bad news as anti-Semites (or self-hating Jews) are proving less efficacious as the Holocaust industry increasingly becomes an object of derision, and the number and respectability of these bearers of bad news steadily mounts. Can it be credibly sustained that so many respected Israeli historians and journalists, so many respected legal scholars, judges and human rights organizations, so many forums of world public opinion are all driven by a common and collusive loathing of Jews?

*** This morning Irene and I drove over to the local optician to have a lens put back into the frame of my reading glasses. Driving back, about 10am I suppose, I found that I could not speak Spanish. The tongue felt swollen and clumsy. Still driving along the few blocks to the house I found I could not do English either. It was like I had a football in my mouth. It was a little comic, in my own ear I sounded like an idiot—Abraham, that’s not a straight line!—but by the time we reached the house I knew something was wrong. Going inside I was unsteady as well.

I called the VA to ask if it might have anything to do with the chemotherapy session I had completed the week before and was told no, it did not, and that I should either see a doctor immediately or call 911. Meanwhile Irene had left the house with Magaly to pay the electricity bill and run some errands. Magaly was visiting. Paloma and I got in the Jeep and she drove me to the utilities office where we caught Irene and Magaly. The four of us stood there in the parking lot to decide what to do. Go to emergency here, or drive to the other side to the VA, as that is where all my paperwork is. It’s a four-hour trip maybe, but we decided on the VA. Glad we did. Magaly drove.

To cut a long story short, I’d had a stroke. At the VA there was immediate entrance into Emergency followed by all kinds of tests using expensive machinery, a cat scan, an MRI, various neurologists, an exam of the carotid arteries in the neck and so on. They have no idea why it happened, but there is a lesion on the right side of the brain about one centimeter in diameter. I had no neurological problems other than the loss of the ability to pronounce words and express thought (Abraham and his folk will have the opportunity now to point out that expressing thought has always been difficult for me). It was interesting in that I had no problem understanding what the others said. It was only that I could not respond.

On the third day it was clear that my speaking problems were righting themselves and by the fifth I was pretty well back to normal. The ladies picked me up and we went back to Baja, stopping to eat noodle soup at a Vietnamese restaurant in San Diego. It was all rather exhausting. I made a crack about how it was a real bother going through the chemotherapy and having a stroke in the middle of it—it sounded so excessive. I think Magaly laughed. Irene, for her part, does not find any of this very amusing. It’s been eight days. I feel fine, other than needing a lot naps etc.

Got an email from Carlos. He asked how I was feeling. The reply I typed out struck me as comic. Literally. I sat here at the machine and laughed out loud.

I had written: “How am I feeling? Well, I’m doing chemo-therapy for the cancer, and last week I had a stroke.”

I thought not to send it, but went ahead, adding an apology, and an explanation about the laughing.

*** The evening we stopped at the Vietnamese restaurant for Pho, a rice noodle soup, I could not help but notice that all the young men on the floor were taller than me. Some about six foot. I caught the attention of a young man with glasses who stood much taller than me. I said: “Excuse me. But are you folk Vietnamese or Chinese?”

He said: “Vietnam. We all Vietnam.”

“I ask because when I was in Vietnam I was taller than the Vietnamese. Now all you guys are taller than me.”

Laughing, with a poorly enunciated English, he said: “Every-thing changes.” Later, during the soup, we exchanged grins several times.

*** Heinz Bartesch writes: “By the way, the daughter of Anton Titjung, another OSI victim from Wisconsin, called me today to let me know her father just passed away and they'll be burying him soon. She said she won't be able to sleep at nights unless she does something to tell the story of how her family was abused by OSI/DOJ. She reached out to me to ask if perhaps ALL the families of OSI persecution should get together to write a book. Of course, I love the idea—if each and every family could tell their story, what a compelling case it would make!”

(Agreed. I wonder what we can do about it?)

*** Irit Kohn, President of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, writes that “In accordance with our charter, our Association focuses on issues that are of critical importance to the Jewish people, chief of which is the fight against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and delegitimization of the State of Israel.”

*** Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father, was published in 1995. I do not remember its publication. Now, in a new biography, Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss, questions are raised about the accuracy of the president's account and delivers fresh revelations about his pot-smoking in high school and college and his girlfriends in New York City. I don’t care about that stuff.

But in his memoir Obama describes how his grandfather, Hussein Onyango, was imprisoned and tortured by British troops during the fight for Kenyan independence. But that did not happen, according to five associates of Onyango interviewed by Maraniss. In short, Obama lied.

In his memoir Obama wrote that his Indonesian stepfather, Soewarno Martodihardjo, was killed by Dutch soldiers during Indonesia's fight for independence. That also did not happen, according to Maraniss. In short, Obama lied.

What catches my attention about each is that it exploits race and historical events to build his own public persona, looking forward to a career in government where he will fundamentally change the country he would like to govern. Telling stories about girlfriends and blowing weed is one thing, but inventing stories about heroic relatives, father figures, who died fighting the White man, lying about them, is truly—I was going to write “ignoble,” but it’s just cheap.

*** French-Cameroonian comedian, actor, and political provocateur Dieudonné M’bala M’bala’s new film L’Antisémite was officially banned by the Cannes Film Festival. One wonders why that would be? Perhaps this except from a very good review in The New York Times gives us a hint.

“The opening 2-minute skit of the film consists of a Chaplinesque newsreel narration set during the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. The quivering, grabby hand of a pinstriped inmate extends out from behind barbed wire as the emaciated survivor jostles with a fleshy cigar-smoking capo for attention from the camera. Dieudonné arrives dressed as an American sergeant and throws scraps of food at the beggar, commanding him with a hearty laugh and flash cards to ‘Mange! Bouffe!’ (‘Eat! Grub!’)

“The prisoner then reveals the existence of the gas chambers to Dieudonné. As a kitten laps up liquid from a Zyklon B canister, Dieudonné sniffs at the canister suspiciously and then dabs some on his neck like cologne. Together they sift through the ashes of a barbecue pit. ‘Chicken?’ the skeptical Dieudonné asks. ‘No, those are children’s bones,’ the prisoner tells him.

“Dieudonné proceeds to sit on a leather chair only to be yelled at by the prisoner ‘for sitting on my grandmother!’ He picks up a chandelier and asks if it too was made of Jewish skin. ‘Bien sûr,’ replies the prisoner before Dieudonné plops it over his head and electrifies him as if in a cartoon. The film also features guest appearances by the aged Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson…”

Revisionism on the world stage?

*** One day—one day only—in the ordinary life of a Holocaust revisionist activist. An odd confluence of events. You already know about the cancer and the stroke. That sets the scene for this one day. First then: Roberto, my right-hand man here for two years plus, got sick six weeks ago, is not able to work, and is no longer with me. I’m alone now with the work load for outreach. Our primary Webmaster, a European, has had a stroke and I cannot make contact with him. That may be coincidence, but I’m worried. He is the primary key to all the technology with CODOHWeb. Our name for him is “All Knowing.” The new CODOH site, which is really rather extraordinary, is down. When I, or any of us, attempt to log on to we are presented with a message in big letters across the screen reading FORBIDDEN. Today there is $230 in the CODOH-Smith bank account. My wife will have to make a four hour trip to the other side to make a deposit. That’s how it is today with the big stuff. It’s been difficult to wrap my brain around all of it.

But then there is the usual irony. I suppose that’s why we call it Life. For some reason, the second chemotherapy session I had three days ago did not leave me exhausted like the first one did. Physically, I feel good. My energy is good. It doesn’t make sense. I have added four new anti-oxidants to my already extensive vitamin regimen, but it’s difficult to believe they could work this well, or this fast. This evening I went out walking for the first time in weeks. Not that far, less than a half-mile one way, but I felt good. Stopped at a taco stand with lights and reviewed Johnson’s Intellectuals again. I read it first in September 2004, according to my notes.

Once in a while I would pause and the brain would ask why I should feel this good. Physically sound in a way that I have not felt in weeks. And then the irony. Memory recalled the day when Dr. Kato was first telling me the cancer was back, and that it was aggressive, and that there was no guarantee that chemotherapy would extend my life more than four or five months. He was speaking statistically. Later my wife, who was there with me, told me that she had gotten so nervous that even her feet were sweating.

But when we walked out of the hospital that afternoon it was if I were on a high. I felt as if I had been handed a new adventure. I was looking forward to it. How would I overcome this new challenge? I was literally “high” thinking about this new turn in the journey. And now, today, I feel something of the same. Except this time it is not psychological, but physical. I feel physically sound in a way that is unexplainable, inexplicable. There was a joy in the walking tonight. In the wanting to walk. I don’t feel sick. What’s the matter with me?

Occurred to me to write that maybe I’m having another stroke. But I will spare you. With me it’s too often “anything for a laugh.”

*** Today! Today it’s a new story. All Knowing, Our European Webmaster, has reappeared. He’s okay. CODOHWeb is back online. It looks terrific. My bank account is up to $640 and I think there is more coming in. And I still feel good. Energetic. I don’t understand why. Maybe it’s to remain a Mystery, like so much of life.


Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Fragments: Another Ordinary Life
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 192, July 2012, pp. 3f., 14-16
Published: 2012-07-13
First posted on CODOH: July 13, 2012, 7 p.m.
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