Graffiti on the holocaust propaganda museum, Yad Vashem, from ultra-orthodox Jews protesting at the Zionist misuse of the extermination of European Jewry for political purposes
am cross-posting this from the site of Shraga Elam, a researcher and
investigator into the history of Zionist relations with Nazi Germany and the
post-war period. A period in which the Israeli
government used ex-Nazis as agents including Jacob van Harten, Ottoz Skorzeny
and most disgracefully of all, the inventor of the gas truck, Walter Rauff.
do not therefore agree with Shraga’s take on all these matters however.
the term Shoah itself is a Zionist term for the holocaust of European Jewry or
Judeocide as Shraga calls it. I copy below an exchange of Moshe Machover, an Israeli
anti-Zionist, with one Karen Armstrong, over this very issue. But this aside.
disagree that the Zionists sabotaged the Europa plan, dreamt up by Rabbi Michael
Dov ber Weissmandel, an Orthodox Rabbi from Slovakia with an unusual
history. The Slovakian deportations,
which were the earliest ones to Auschwitz and
Maidenek, began in the spring of 1942 and were halted in the fall of
1942 after the payment of a ransom, some $200,000 by the Slovakian Judenrat.
Weissmandel could not know was the Nazi commander in Slovakia, Dieter Wisliceny
had stopped the deportations from Slovakia because of pressure from the Vatican
amongst others. Money had not played a
significant or indeed any part.
was why the dream of a $2m ransom to save the whole of European Jewry was a
pipe-dream. For a start the extermination
had no economic rationale – it was like
burning the seed corn. It was the
destruction of valuable human labour, the cost of which in itself was
incomparably greater than the spoils obtained by ransacking the murdered victims’
property. E.g. Slovakia paid the Nazis a
couple of hundred Reichmarks per deportee.
But as the Nazis discovered towards the end of the war, they had created
a massive labour shortage which they could not overcome.
am strengthened in this view by Rudolph Vrba, the Jewish escapee from Auschwitz,
who condemned the Europa Plan in stronger terms. Likewise I don’t, unlike Shraga (& Lenni
Brenner too) credit the Brand agreement.
For a start the Brand agreement, Kasztner’s deputy in the Budapest ‘Rescue
Committee’ flew to Turkey alongside a Jewish-Gestapo double agent, Bandi Grosz,
was a front. The main agent was Grosz,
not Brand. The ostensible purpose of the
mission was to exchange a million Jews for trucks on the Russian front. It was an obvious non-starter, aimed at
dividing the Allies. It had no chance of success and the Nazis
was why the deportations to Auschwitz from Hungary started on May 15th
1944 (apart from two trains which had been sent at the end of April). Brand and Grosz flew out to Istanbul on May
17th. All the evidence I have
seen is that the Zionists did indeed take the mission seriously but that the British
were determined to squash it.
is a sidepoint. One doesn’t doubt the
urgency and honesty of Rabbi Weissmandel and his integrity. But he was an Orthodox Jew, and as Neturei
Karta have demonstrated, Orthodox Jewry is politically stupid. To have hinged one’s rescue plans around
their pipe dreams would have been absurd.
In fact Weissmandel, whose bravery none can doubt (he escaped by cutting
through the bars of a train to Auschwitz) made some terrible political
mistakes, not least the letter he sent with Wisliceny vouching for his honesty
and integrity. Wisliceny showed this to
Chief Rabbi Freudiger of Hungary, who was in any event willing to collaborate
with the Nazis, and this undoubtedly ensured that the Nazi invaders were trusted
when the clear message to Hungarian Jewry should have been to have nothing to
do with the Nazis and their interlocutors.
is an interesting interview with Edwin Black http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/TheTransf
which Shraga points to with the author of the book he wrote on Ha’avara – the economic
transfer agreement between Nazi Germany and the Zionist movement (and which
also broke the Boycott of Nazi Germany).
Zionists don’t like Boycotts, whether it is of them or the Nazis! .
describes how the Zionist movement set psychologists on him to analyse him, defamed
him, picketed his meetings etc. There is
an uncanny resemblance with the treatment of Hanna Arendt, who also described
in her ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ some
of the unsavoury contacts between the Zionist movement and the Nazis and
touched on the collaboration between them.
Black’s mistake, and he is no Arendt or indeed a great thinker,
nonetheless wrote a great book which described in detail how Ha’avara had been
used to break the Boycott of Nazi Germany.
Black himself has retreated and now pretends that Ha’avara would have
been the way to rescue millions of Jews, although it was confined to the richer
capitalist Jews of Germany who could have found refuge elsewhere. In fact as the years passed by Ha’avara faded
into insignifance as most Jews who left Germany did not go via Ha’avara and even the majority
of Jews who went to Palestine did not go via Ha’avara. But Black has wilted under the political
attack, because he is a Zionist, whereas Arendt was a quite different figure,
as was Ben Hecht who wrote Perfidy exposing Kasztner’s treacherous role.
the Zionist movement doesn’t like the glare of light being shone on its
misdeeds during the holocaust, which basically consisted of opposing all rescue
attempts that didn’t involve Palestine and prioritising building the Jewish State
over and above rescue. This is no longer
even disputed (see for example the biography of Ben Gurion by Shabtai Teveth,
his official biographer.
Although he is a devoted Zionist, one gets a sense of deja vu from Black’s description of his treatment at the hands of his Zionist critics, with psychiatrists hired to analyse him, claims that he was a holocaust denier and anti-Semite etc. It is reminiscent of the treatment that Hannah Arendt received after her book ‘Eichman in Jerusalem’ was published, attacks which she said could have come out of a ‘mimeograph machine’. The difference was that Arendt was a philosopher and thinker and gave as good as she got. Black is a Zionist who has recanted. He originally said that Hitler could have been toppled by the boycott. Now he says that more Ha’varahs were needed!
deal of hypocrisy, pretense and perhaps even ignorance were manifested in the
sanctimonious outcry over the anti-Zionist graffiti on the walls of Yad Vashem.
It is not clear why it is sacrilege to point out that the Zionist leadership
has cynically exploited the Nazi Judeocide (misleadingly called “the
Holocaust”) for generations. Just as by way of example: one of the central
figures at Yad Vashem, Chaim Posner, who worked at that institution for 15
years and was its Deputy Chairman, represents the hypocritical attitude to the
Shoah (big disaster as this Judeocide called in Hebrew) maybe more than
anyone else, for he himself whitewashed Nazi criminals who were willing to pay
a ransom and that experience undoubtedly played an important role in his work
as head of fundraising for Yad Vashem.
on Yad Vashem saying with a small orthographic mistake: “If there was no
Hitler, the Zionists would have invented him”. The original
inscription: ‘Bedamaich Chayi’ — ‘In your bloodyou shall live‘
[Ezekiel 16:6]. “Dam” here declined, means in Hebrew
“blood” or “money”.
the most important Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion who
coined the concept “Shoah is power” (as he put it, “there’s a big catastrophe –
and that’s power” 25 October 1942) , and the phrase “there’s no business
like Shoah business” is attributed to former foreign minister Abba Eban.
many historians disagree about the claim that the State of Israel came into
being only because of the Shoah, but it is impossible to deny that by means of
the German reparations payments the State of Israel survived economic collapse
in the 1950s, armed itself with conventional and nuclear
weapons and to this very day makes use inflated use of the “cudgel” of the
Holocaust in order to silence all criticism of Israel, even when it is
justified. That is to say that the Shoah is a very important asset for the
State of Israel.
did the State of Israel occupy Palestinian territories but it also illegally
appropriated to itself and colonized the right to speak in the name of all
Jews, and especially of the Shoah victims, despite the fact that during the
Nazi era the leadership of the Jewish Agency, that is, the pre-state
government, adopted a policy that was very problematic, to put it as mildly as
after the rise of the Nazis to power the cornerstone of what can be called “the
Holocaust Industry” (a term that by the way was not invented by Norman
Finkelstein, who in his scathing but superficial and polemic book by that title
does not describe or define it adequately) was laid, with what was called the Transfer Agreement,
which at one blow converted the leadership of the Yishuv in Palestine from just Jewish
Agency into the primary agent for Nazi products in the Middle East. In light of
the subsequent policies of Ben-Gurion and his colleagues as well as the
reception with which the German Jews were greeted in Palestine (full
disclosure: my father was a “Yekke Potz” [derogatory term in Israel for a
German Jew] who arrived in 1934), it is hard to believe that the leadership was
primarily motivated by the desire to rescue Jews; rather, they saw the
agreement as an important source of financing and the fact that by means of the
agreement they had broken the efforts to boycott Germany that had been
initiated by Jewish organizations (see Edwin Black’s book on the transfer
agreement – here is a discussion with him: was of no particular concern to them.
important book Post-Ugandan
Zionism On Trial, the right-wing historian S. B. Beit Zvi claims that
the leadership of the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine sabotaged the Evian Conference
in 1938 and prevented the rescue of the Jews of Europe on the grounds that,
since there was no realistic prospect of absorbing refugees in Palestine, the
prospect of their emigration to other countries constituted a serious threat to
the Zionist project.
on 17 December 1938 Ben-Gurion, who already then had foreseen the destruction
that threatened the Jews of Europe, wrote:
“Millions of Jews now face
physical annihilation. (…) And England is trying to separate the question of
the refugees from the question of the Land of Israel – and anti-Zionist Jews
are helping them. The terrible scale of the refugee problem demands a
territorial and rapid solution, and if the Land of Israel cannot absorb [them],
then we have to search for other territories. And Zionism is now in danger
[Emphasis in the original: S.E.]. All other territorial efforts … will require
vast amounts of money, and the Jews are faced with the refugee question, the
rescue of Jews from the concentration camps on the one hand, and help for the
National Museum [in the original. In my opinion this must refer to the
“National Home” – S.E.] in the Land of Israel on the other – compassion
will have more weight, and all the nation’s energy will be diverted to the
rescue of the refugees in different countries, and Zionism will be taken off
the agenda …”
That is to say, for Ben-Gurion the rescue of the Jews of Europe under the
political circumstances of the time actually constituted a danger to Zionism,
and he set his policy accordingly. It is not surprising, therefore, that in
1942 the Ben-Gurion leadership sabotaged the mass rescue effort in the
framework of what was called the “Europa Plan”,
which obviously could have rescued at least all the Jews who had not yet been
sent to concentration camps. At the time the important rescue activist Chaim Michael
Dov Weissmandl from Bratislava heartrendingly begged for “golden dam for
red dam”, that is, money to pay the ransom to the Nazis (as mentioned above the
Hebrew word “dam” means not only blood but also money).
Jewish envoy Joel Brand
was handed over to the British by the Jewish Agency instead of being allowed to
return to Budapest to prevent the destruction of the Jews. As is known,
Eichmann promised Brand when he sent him to Istanbul with a proposal for “goods
for blood” (10,000 trucks and various goods in return for the Jews of Hungary)
that he would immediately stop the deportations to Auschwitz if Brand would
return with a positive reply. Brand begged of the representatives of the Jewish
Agency that they give let him return to Hungary where he would lie to the Nazis
and tell them that there was willingness to talk with them about their satanic
extortion plan. By then it was also possible to see that the Nazi enemy really
meant what they promised and it would have been possible to play for time,
because the Russians were not far from Hungary then, and hundreds of thousands
could have been saved. One has to bear in mind that the Jews who were supposed
to be included in the deal were permitted to leave the area under German
control to any place in the world except the Palestine.
only a coincidence that soon after Brand was handed over to the British, who
had overtly sabotaged the chances of that rescue, they suddenly agreed to the
creation of the Jewish
Brigade, which for years the English had very adamantly opposed until then?
(previously Shertok), who was at that time the unofficial foreign minister and
later became PM, was filled with feelings of guilt also in that regard. When he
heard from Jan Masaryk,
the Czech Foreign Minister in exile, that within about a month Winston
Churchill would approve the decision for the creation of the Jewish Brigade, it
immediately occurred to Sharett that this was a kind of “prostitute’s fee” or
payment for silence on the British sabotaging of Brand’s mission.
The journalist Amos Elon wrote in
his book Sha’at ha-Efes [Zero hour], based on conversations with
“The creation of the
Brigade was a personal accomplishment of Moshe Shertok after years of fruitless
lobbying. But for all that, the feeling arose in his heart that the
cancellation of Brand’s initiative would probably be the price that they would
be asked to pay for the Brigade. He trembled when this thought first came to
his mind, late at night, in his hotel. Flags and symbols were a miserable
substitute for the lives of hundreds of thousands – or millions. The words of
Isaiah the Prophet were always on his mind: only ‘the remnant shall return’
(Isaiah 10:21)…” (Sha’at ha-Efes, Edanim, Jerusalem 1980, p. 212).
Even Martin Gilbert’s non-critical book Churchill and the Jews
strengthens the impression that Churchill pushed the matter of the Brigade
precisely at that very moment as compensation for his government’s treatment of
Brand and its failure to bomb the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz.
other things, for example, Gilbert quotes – without putting the words in their
proper context – a discussion on 3 July 1944 from the protocols of the War
British War Cabinet and tries to glorify Churchill, who said, in the face of
the opposition of the War Minister and others:
Sharett was tormented by the thought that they could have done more by way of
rescue. He “wondered where he and his comrades had gone wrong”, as Elon wrote. The former
Foreign Minister and Prime Minister also told journalists that at the time the
Jewish socialist publisher Victor Gollancz had
criticized the policy of the Yishuv’s leadership:
“You yourselves may be a little guilty (…) instead of yelling ‘save the
Jews’ you are yelling ‘save them by sending them to the Land of Israel!’ What
does that look like? Like a house that’s going up in flames and instead of
calling for help you are saying to the Allies, ‘you have to take us to the Ritz
Was Gollancz right? Shertok agonized over that question. Or maybe he
himself failed in his dealings with the Brand affair? Maybe he should have told
Brand to return directly [to Budapest] from Istanbul?” [ibid.]
It is clear that this is not the whole picture and it is not only the
leadership of the Jewish Agency that should be blamed, but especially the
Allies; but the Yishuv’s pretension to represent all Jews conferred a special
responsibility on it. It is abundantly clear from Elon’s book that in fact one
of the main reasons both for the failure to bomb Auschwitz and the sabotaging
of the Brand mission and the Kastner negotiations that followed was the
opposition of Stalin. British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden told Haim Weizmann that “the
agreement of the Russians is crucial. We will telegraph Moscow again” (Sha’at
ha-Efes, p. 207). The deportation of the Jews of Hungary to Auschwitz
served the military interests of the USSR because it constituted a serious
burden on the German rail system for non-military purposes. The Nazi proposal
for negotiations through Brand/Kastner was the kind of initiative that was
hated by the paranoid Stalin, who suspected that his Western allies were trying
to link up with Nazis in order to create a joint front against him. Not only
did that suspicion cause the war to be prolonged unnecessarily, but it also
caused the deaths of many Jews and of course many non-Jews.
framework of the efforts to maximize the benefits from the Shoah after the
Second World War, a long-playing and widescale project was initiated for the
exploitation of Holocaust exploitees/survivors [1a] for political and financial
needs as well as the whitewashing of Nazi vermin who were able to make a
reasonable contribution, such as Kurt Becher, Jaac
Van Harten, Walter
Rauff and many others.
Survivors and guides over the Alps towards Italy
Karman, a former navy man, helps to smash the myth of the “haapala” (the
smuggling of Jewish refugees to British-ruled Palestine after World War II) and
states in his book Oniat ha-milhama shel ha-ma’apilim (The illegal
immigrants’ warship) that the number of survivors who were taken to Palestine
by means of “Ha’apala” after the Second World War was no greater than the
number of “certificates” that the British agreed to issue, and so there was no
need to smuggle them to Palestine, endangering their lives in the process and
under very uncomfortable conditions. Even earlier, Idith Zartal, in her book Zehavam
shel ha-Yehudim [The Gold of the Jews] (Am Oved, 1996- in English: From Catastrophe to
Power: The Holocaust Survivors and the Emergence of Israel, 1998)
quoted a document of the American
Jewish Joint Distribution Committee at the time that claimed that it was
possible to bring the survivors to the Land of Israel more cheaply and safely
and comfortably by legal means rather than through the wasteful and dangerous
“Aliyah Bet” [i.e. the movement of illegal immigration of Jews to Palestine
from 1934 to 1948] (p. 396), and adds: “the liberation of the illegal
immigrants who were caught on ships of the Mossad [for Aliyah Bet – S.E.], and
the deduction of their numbers from the ceilings of authorized immigration
meant in fact that that the Mossad immigrants were precisely what the Joint
Distribution Committee claimed they were – immigrants who cost sometimes three
or four times the cost of regular immigrants (note 104, p. 609). A critical
examination of the “Escape” [Heb: “Bricha”] movement shows that many survivors
were transferred in that framework with a sense of urgency and haste, for
example through the snow-bound Alps without suitable equipment, even though
they had by no means been facing danger to their lives, the Second World War
was over by then and the survivors were living in displaced persons’ camps
without any danger. Even women in advanced stages of pregnancy were forced to
cross the passes in the Alps. For untrained people that is not exactly a simple
undertaking even in summer with suitable shoes and clothes, let alone in the
snowy winter and cold weather without suitable supplies (I myself crossed that
route in the summer). Correspondingly an unknown number of Shoah survivors died
possible logic behind those irresponsible actions was that photos of British
soldiers manhandling Shoah survivors would make the desired impression in the
international media and increase support for the Zionist project. And so there
was an urgent need to send them through the snowy Alpine passes and then load
them onto leaky tubs for the trip to Palestine by sea. A cynical abuse of
people who had already suffered enough!
the central figures at Yad Vashem, Chaim Posner, has not only raised money for
that institution, but immediately after WWII, as an important agent of the
Holocaust Industry, he raised funds for the Zionist project from Nazi
criminals. It was none other than the chairman of the financial committee of
Yad Vashem and that institution’s then-vice-chairman who undertook to whitewash
the war criminal Kurt Becher, who was responsible for robbing the Jews of
Hungary and in fact for their destruction as well (for a certain period he was
Eichmann’s superior). Since Becher was willing to pay a high ransom, to all
appearances not only did the central Zionist activist Rudolf Kastner, but
even more, Posner behind the scene – intercede in his favour at the Tribunal
for war criminals at Nuremberg, but they also set him up in commercial dealings
with Israel that lasted at least until 1953. Judge Halevi claimed that Kastner
sold his soul to Satan for the sake of whitewashing Becher. Correspondence
between Becher and Posner in 1948 that was published by the historian Shoshana
Ishoni- Barri proves unmistakably that the government of Israel was involved in
contacts with Becher (see below). And a German document that was partly
released recently strengthens the thesis that it was Kastner and Posner who
created the Nazi criminal’s commercial contacts with official Israeli
commercial agents. So if Kastner indeed sold his soul to Satan, what is the
verdict on Posner, or Ben-Gurion, Eliezer Kaplan etc.?
The Journal of Israeli History,
vol. 18, nos. 2 and 3, 1997
Kastner Affair: The Correspondence between Kurt Becher and Dr. Chaim Posner,
Hamburg, May 30, 1948
Dear Dr. Posner,
I have been informed by cable, in Dr. Kastner’s name, that he intends to
continue with his flight to Palestine on May 8, and that I must establish
immediate contact with you, since you will now be handling all the rest.
I assume that Dr. Kastner has already provided you with precise
information with regard to the discussions between us, and that you are already
in possession of the pertinent statements and lists.
Insofar as the purchase of machines5 is concemed, I am presently engaged in
serious negotiations, and I am hopeful that I will soon be able to provide you
with precise documents on this matter. The matter itself is very difficult,
since there are no new objects. And with regard to used machines, it is
necessary to fully ascertain the matter of repairs and the supply of spare
parts. If this causes a change in your view, I ask that I be informed. I will
discuss final arrangements of execution and payment with Mr. Levy of the Jewish
Agency in Munich in early June (…)
For now, I send warm regards.
Yours most respectfully,
Kurt A. Becher”
had also advocated for the protection that was given by Golda Meir to the Nazi
agent Jaac Van Harten, who from 1947 lived in Tel Aviv, where sold jewelry that
had been stolen from Jews, among other things. One of Van Harten’s roles during
WWII was as Becher’s financial advisor (according to testimony he himself
gave). In the Posner collection at Yad Vashem archive there is a file devoted
to Van Harten, who, along with Becher, is not mentioned in in Posner’s
biography published by his son, the former ambassador Avi Pazner, due to “lack
1. Edith Zartal, Zehavam shel ha-Yehudim [The Gold of the Jews], Am Oved,
1a. A rather popular pun in Hebrew: the Hebrew word for “survivor”
(nitzol) and “exploitation” (nitzul) are very similar and actually look
identical here because of the absence of diacritical vowel marks in ordinary
Hebrew texts, including this one.
Machover Subject: A question of terminology
Dear Ms Armstrong,
I have read your article in today’s Guardian with great interest, and
found myself in agreement with most of what you say in it.
However, one detail — one word — in it struck me as jarring. Admittedly,
this issue is somewhat tangential to the main topic of your article.
Nevertheless, it is important in itself.
I am referring to your use of the word “Shoah”. (“Historically,
found it extremely difficult to tolerate minorities; one member of the AoC
group recalled that before the Shoah, in preparation for what was to come,
Nazi propagandists encouraged the publication of anti-semitic cartoons in
the German press.”)
I know that you choose your words with great care. So I must ask why, in
an article written in English, you use a Hebrew word (which means
catastrophe in that language) to denote the Nazi genocide of Jews.
At first sight this question may strike you as odd. However, the genocide
to which you refer as “Shoah” happened in Europe. Its victims were
European Jews, 99.9% of whom would not have known this word.
On the other hand, Hebrew (which happens to be my native tongue) is the
language spoken in one country: Israel, where the word “shoah” has
been used — with the definite article “ha-shoah” — to denote the
genocide of Jews.
You must surely realize that the use of the Hebrew term “Shoah” in
language other than Hebrew carries a hidden but heavy ideological load.
As you probably know, this usage of “Shoah” has spread following
Lanzmann’s film of that name.
As a brilliant Zionist propagandist, Lanzmann was able to get people to
eat his propaganda without them being aware of it. His film is so
impressive that most people don’t begin to realize how one-sided and
biased it is (not a word about the Romany people getting the same
treatment as the Jews; not a word about the many brave non-Jews who risked
their lives helping Jews to survive). The name he chose for his film — a
spread like a real contagious meme — is just one part of a
The term that had been in general use before Lanzmann’s film was
“holocaust”. This term too is not ideologically innocent. It was
originally chosen in order to single out the genocide of Jews by the Nazis
and make it difficult to discuss it in rational terms and compare it with
other atrocities of the same genus.
But gradually that term acquired a generalized meaning, and it started to
be used for describing other acts of genocide (for example, the “Armenian
Holocaust” — a usage much resented not only by the Turkish government,
but also by Israeli and Zionist ideologues).
A new term had to be invented. Lanzmann’s clever idea was to make a
subliminal terminological connection between the genocide of Jews and the
State of Israel, as between a problem and its solution. This is why he
gave his film that name.
So please do not use the term “Shoah” in English — unless you
that the Zionist colonization of Palestine is a proper solution to the
problem of anti-semitism and a just recompense for the genocide of Jews —
albeit at the expense of the Palestinians (“the Jews of the Jews”).
From: “Karen Armstrong Info”
To: “‘M Machover'”
Subject: RE: A question of terminology
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 12:31:41 -0000
Thank you, I hadn’t realized this and am most grateful that you pointed it