A Zionist Quiz from Stuttgart – Holocaust Heroes and Survivors Accuse Zionism of Behaving Like Their Tormentors

Hotel Silber, Gestapo Headquarters and the Jewish Deportations from Germany

During my talk in Stuttgart

This blog has had a temporary respite over the past few days. That is because I am in Germany. I was invited by the Palestine solidarity group in Stuttgart to address a public meeting, which I did on Friday evening. To a packed audience I spoke on the topic of Zionism and Anti-Semitism

Part of the audience of over 80 in Stuttgart

To test your knowledge of Zionism I have included a series of quotations which I used in my talk. Let’s see how many you can get them right! The answers are at the bottom underneath quotations from survivors of the Holocaust about the similarities between Zionism, Israel and the Nazis

The centre of Stuttgart

The city of Stuttgart

On the Saturday my hosts took me into the centre of Stuttgart, a large industrial city in South Germany, the home of Mercedes Benz, Daimler, Bosch and Porsche. We visited Hotel Silber, now a museum but during the war the headquarters of the Gestapo

Crowds outside Hotel Silber

Hotel Silber in the 1930’s

The deportation of the Jews of Stuttgart

There is a permanent exhibition there now showing the deportation of the 2,500 Jews of Stuttgart beginning in October 1941, a month after the Yellow Star was made compulsory.

Stuttgart Jews on the train to Riga in Latvia – 90% of them would never return

You can read about it here and see a video here. It states that the deportations were mainly to either the ‘model’ concentration camps of Thereisenstadt in Czechoslovakia (wrongly called an extermination camp in the film) or Auschwitz. However in October 1941 Auschwitz was not yet operational and wouldn’t be for mass gassings until March 1942 so it is likely that the Jews of Stuttgart were sent to Riga, whose Jewish ghetto had been cleared by means of mass executions of the Latvian Jews.  See here.  Less than 10% of the Jews who were deported from Stuttgart survived.

Below are the quotations I used as part of my talk in Stuttgart.  See how many you get!

Zionist Quotations Quiz

1.           Hitler’s rise was “a huge political and economic boost for the Zionist enterprise.’
2.           ‘In Paris… I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism.’

3.           Anti-Semitism, too, probably contains the Divine will to Good, because it forces us to close ranks, unites us through pressure, and through our unity will make us free.’

4.           ‘Judaephobia is then a mental disease, and as a mental disease it is hereditary, and having been inherited for 2,000 years, it is incurable.’

5.           ‘I have spent most of my life in combating these very doctrines, [that Jews form a separate nation] when presented to me in the form of anti-Semitism, and I can only regard them as the more dangerous when they come to me in the guise of Zionism. They constitute a capitulation to our enemies.’

6.           The Nazi government ‘is in agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, Zionism, whose position is based on the recognistion of the unity of Jewry throughout the world, and the rejection of all ideas of mixing in’

7.           ‘the activity of the Zionist-oriented youth organizations that are engaged in the occupational restructuring of the Jews for agriculture and manual trades prior to their emigration to Palestine lies in the interest of the National Socialist state’s leadership.’

8.           ‘If we do not admit the rightfulness of anti-Semitism we deny the rightfulness of our own nationalism… Instead of establishing societies for defence against 1.           ‘If we do not admit the rightfulness of anti-Semitism we deny the rightfulness of our own nationalism… Instead of establishing societies for defence against the anti-Semites who want to reduce our rights, we should establish societies for defence against our friends, who desire to defend our rights.

Hans and Sophie Scholl of the White Rose group were held at Hotel Silber in November 1937 before being released, arrested in Munich and executed in February 1943

9.         ‘our people were rather hard on him [William Evans-Gordon MP, founder of the anti-Semitic British  Brothers League in 1901. The Aliens Bill in England and the movement which grew around it were natural phenomenon which might have been foreseen… Sir William Evans-Gordon had no particular anti-Jewish prejudices… He acted as he thought, according to his best lights and in the most kindly way, in the interests of his country… he was sincerely ready to encourage any settlement of Jews almost anywhere in the British Empire, but he failed to see why the ghettos of London or Leeds or Whitechapel should be made into a branch of the ghettos of Warsaw and Pinsk.’ (my emphasis)

10.      If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel.’ This was a reaction to the British Kindertransport scheme to allow 10,000 Jewish children from Germany into Britain in 1938-39.

11.      ‘As the European Holocaust erupted, X saw it as a decisive opportunity for Zionism… X above all others sensed the tremendous possibilities inherent in the dynamic of the chaos and carnage in Europe… In conditions of peace,… Zionism could not move the masses of world Jewry. The forces unleashed by Hitler in all their horror must be harnessed to the advantage of Zionism. … By the end of 1942… the struggle for a Jewish state became the primary concern of the movement.’

12.      The rise of Hitler was “an opportunity to build and flourish like none we have ever had or ever will have”.

13.      ‘The Nazis victory would become “a fertile force for Zionism.”

14.       “It was morally disturbing to seem to be considered as the favoured children of the Nazi Government, particularly when it dissolved the anti-Zionist youth groups, and seemed in other ways to prefer the Zionists. The Nazis asked for a ‘more Zionist behaviour.”

15.      ‘Zionism must be vigorously supported in order to encourage a significant number of German Jews to leave for Palestine or other destinations.’ As Nicosia noted, X‘intended to use Zionism as a legal justification for depriving German Jews of their civil rights’ and he ‘sanctioned the use of the Zionist movement in the future drive to eliminate Jewish rights, Jewish influence and eventually the Jewish presence in Germany.

16.      ‘Zionism has no illusion about the difficulty of the Jewish condition which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral  pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition… an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural an moral renewal of Jewry…On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race… fruitful activity for the fatherland is possible. Our acknowledgement of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities. Precisely because we don’t wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we too are against mixed marriages and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group… The realisation of Zionism could only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development. Boycott propaganda… is in essence fundamentally unZionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.’

17.      Palestine was  ‘an institute forthe fumigation of Jewish vermin’

18.      When a friend of X called him an anti-Semite he retorted ‘I have already established here [in his diary] that I despise the cancers of Judaism more than does the worst anti-Semite.’

19.           Describing the reaction of Polish Jewish workers to Zionism in the 1930’s: ‘to the Jewish workers anti-Semitism seemed to triumph in Zionism, which recognised the legitimacy and the validity of the old cry ‘Jews get out!’ The Zionists were agreeing to get out.’

Marika Sherwood

“Sometime after [1956] I heard a news item about Israelis herding Palestinians into settlement camps. I just could not believe this. Weren’t the Israelis also Jews? Hadn’t we – they – just survived the greatest pogrom of our history? Weren’t [concentration] camps – often euphemistically called ‘settlement camps’ by the Nazis – the main feature of this pogrom? How could Jews in any measure do unto others what had been done to them? How could these Israeli Jews oppress and imprison other people? In my romantic imagination, the Jews in Israel were socialists and people who knew right from wrong. This was clearly incorrect. I felt let down, as if I was being robbed of a part of what I had thought was my heritage. …

I have to say to the Israeli government, which claims to speak in the name of all Jews, that it is not speaking in my name. I will not remain silent in the face of the attempted annihilation of the Palestinians; the sale of arms to repressive regimes around the world; the attempt to stifle criticism of Israel in the media worldwide; or the twisting of the knife labelled ‘guilt’ in order to gain economic concessions from Western countries. Of course, Israel’s geo-political position has a greater bearing on this, at the moment. I will not allow the confounding of the terms ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘anti-Zionist’ to go unchallenged.”

Dr. Marika Sherwood, ‘How I became an anti-Israel Jew’Middle East Monitor, 7/3/18. Marika Sherwood is a survivor of the Budapest ghetto.  In March 2017 she planned to deliver a talk entitled ‘You’re doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to me’. However after a visit from the Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev to the University’s Head of Student Experience Tim Westlake the title of the talk was changed at the insistence of the university authorities.  Thus at the behest of a foreign state, Manchester University changed the title of a talk of a Holocaust survivor.  All of course in the name of the  bogus IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’. See the Independent.

“Israel, in order to survive, has to renounce the wish for domination and then it will be a much better place for Jews also. The immediate analogy which a lot of people are making in Israel is Germany. Not only the Germany of Hitler and the Nazis but even the former German Empire wanted to dominate Europe. What happened in Japan after the attack on China is that they wanted to dominate a huge area of Asia. When Germany and Japan renounced the wish for domination, they became much nicer societies for the Japanese and Germans themselves. In addition to all the Arab considerations, I would like to see Israel, by renouncing the desire for domination, including domination of the Palestinians, become a much nicer place for Israelis to live.”
Dr. Israel Shahak, Middle East Policy Journal, Summer 1989, no.29.

“I am pained by the parallels I observe between my experiences in Germany prior to 1939 and those suffered by Palestinians today. I cannot help but hear echoes of the Nazi mythos of ‘blood and soil’ in the rhetoric of settler fundamentalism which claims a sacred right to all the lands of biblical Judea and Samaria. The various forms of collective punishment visited upon the Palestinian people – coerced ghettoization behind a ‘security wall’; the bulldozing of homes and destruction of fields; the bombing of schools, mosques, and government buildings; an economic blockade that deprives people of the water, food, medicine, education and the basic necessities for dignified survival – force me to recall the deprivations and humiliations that I experienced in my youth. This century-long process of oppression means unimaginable suffering for Palestinians.” 
Dr. Hajo Meyer, ‘An Ethical Tradition Betrayed’, Huffington Post, 27/1/10.Hajo Meyer was a survivor of Auschwitz.

“As a Jewish youngster growing up in Budapest, an infant survivor of the Nazi genocide, I was for years haunted by a question resounding in my brain with such force that sometimes my head would spin: ‘How was it possible? How could the world have let such horrors happen?’

 It was a naïve question, that of a child. I know better now: such is reality. Whether in Vietnam or Rwanda or Syria, humanity stands by either complicitly or unconsciously or helplessly, as it always does. In Gaza today we find ways of justifying the bombing of hospitals, the annihilation of families at dinner, the killing of pre-adolescents playing soccer on a beach. …

There is no understanding Gaza out of context – Hamas rockets or unjustifiable terrorist attacks on civilians – and that context is the longest ongoing ethnic cleansing operation in the recent and present centuries, the ongoing attempt to destroy Palestinian nationhood.

The Palestinians use tunnels? So did my heroes, the poorly armed fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto. Unlike Israel, Palestinians lack Apache helicopters, guided drones, jet fighters with bombs, laser-guided artillery. Out of impotent defiance, they fire inept rockets, causing terror for innocent Israelis but rarely physical harm. With such a gross imbalance of power, there is no equivalence of culpability. …

And what shall we do, we ordinary people? I pray we can listen to our hearts. My heart tells me that ‘never again’ is not a tribal slogan, that the murder of my grandparents in Auschwitz does not justify the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians, that justice, truth, peace are not tribal prerogatives. That Israel’s ‘right to defend itself,’ unarguable in principle, does not validate mass killing.

Dr. Gabor Mate‘Beautiful Dream of Israel has become a Nightmare’Toronto Star, 22/7/14.Gabor Mate is a survivor of the Budapest ghetto

Zeev Sternhell

“The left is no longer capable of overcoming the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here [in Israel], the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people. The interviews Haaretz’s Ravit Hecht held with [the right-wing Israeli politicians] Smotrich and Zohar (December 3, 2016 and October 28, 2017 ) should be widely disseminated on all media outlets in Israel and throughout the Jewish world. In both of them we see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.

Like every ideology, the Nazi race theory developed over the years. At first it only deprived Jews of their civil and human rights. It’s possible that without World War II the ‘Jewish problem’ would have ended only with the ‘voluntary’ expulsion of Jews from Reich lands. After all, most of Austria and Germany’s Jews made it out in time. It’s possible that this is the future facing Palestinians.”:

Prof. Zeev Sternhell, ‘Opinion in Israel, Growing Fascism and a Racism Akin to Early Nazism’,Haaretz, 19/1/18.Zeev Sternhell is a survivor of the Przemysl ghetto in Poland.

“The Zionist movement of Europe played a very important role in the mass extermination of Jews. Indeed, I believe that without the cooperation of Zionists it would have been a much more difficult task….

[The Zionists] said that we are not Czechoslovaks or we are not Germans, we are not French, we are Jews and we must, as Jews, go back to our country, to Israel or to Palestine and found our state …

Then came the Nuremberg Law, which was a law, issued by a nominally civilized state [Nazi Germany], which said that Jews do not belong to Europe, but to Palestine. …

So, on one platform, Nazism and Zionism had something in common: they both preached that Jews don’t belong to Europe but to Palestine. …

And naturally, the Germans said: ‘You see the Jews may not trust us but they will trust you’, to the Zionists, ‘because they have seen that they have always told them actually the truth: that you belong to Palestine, that you are a foreign element here.’ … 

And so the Jewish councils were preferably selected from well-known Zionists. And, because the well-known Zionists became respectable, many Jews who were respectable anyway became Zionists. So they formed Jewish councils from a Zionist core, fortified by respectable members of society: top lawyers, top business people, top economists and that was the Jewish councils. …

They were promised by the Germans or by the local fascist government to be protected from any discrimination because they are needed for administering of the Jewish affairs. …

So you had here already a Zionist clique enforced by money of big Jewish businessmen who would be prepared to go along with the discrimination against the masses of the Jewish population which were neither rich nor Zionist, and in other words did not belong to the clique. …

So I didn’t trust them in spite of the fact that the Nazis gave them the right after the Nuremberg Laws. I considered them plain fascists and I considered them from the very start as despicable creatures who deal with the fascists and take profit out of it in order to be exempted from discrimination conducted against the others. …

So I didn’t trust the Nazis any more or any less than the Jewish Zionist councils. Indeed, I realised that the Zionists and the Nazis are approximately identical enemies of mine who have got both one thing in common, to get me out from home with 25 kilos to an unknown place and to leave my mother completely defenceless at home. …

The young people, the core of resistance, is always 16 to 30. Every soldier knows that they are the best material for fighting. … I was flabbergasted by the fact that the Zionists who pretended to be the protectors of the Jews, the first thing which they agreed to was to let go away a potential core of resistance who could in the last resort protect the families with force if necessary. …

Dr. Rudolph Vrba, ‘Oral history interview with Rudolf Vrba’ , World at War TV Series, 1972, 1st section, extracts from 32 to 45mins.Rudolf Vrba was a survivor of  Majdanek and Auschwitz. He escaped from Auschwitz in 1944 in order to warn the Jews of Hungary about the Nazi extermination programme. Tragically, some Zionist leaders had other ideas.


“I am a Jew. In spite of that – indeed because of that – I accuse certain Jewish leaders of one of the most ghastly deeds of the war.

This small group of quislings knew what was happening to their brethren in Hitler’s gas chambers and bought their own lives with the price of silence. Among them was Dr. [Rudolf] Kastner, leader of the council which spoke for all Jews in Hungary…

While I was prisoner number 44070 at Auschwitz – the number is still on my arm – I compiled careful statistics of the exterminations … I took these terrible statistics with me when I escaped in 1944 and I was able to give Hungarian Zionist leaders three weeks notice that Eichmann planned to send a million of their Jews to his gas chambers. … Kastner went to Eichmann and told him, ‘I know of your plans; spare some Jews of my choice and I shall keep quiet.’

Eichmann not only agreed, but dressed Kastner up in S.S. uniform and took him to Belsen to trace some of his friends. Nor did the sordid bargaining end there.

Kastner paid Eichmann several thousand dollars. With this little fortune, Eichmann was able to buy his way to freedom when Germany collapsed, to set himself up in the Argentine…”

Dr. Rudolf Vrba,Daily Herald, February 1961 (cited in Ben Hecht, Perfidy, 1962, p. 231). 


“Why did Doctor Kastner betray his people when he could have saved many of them by warning them, by giving them a chance to fight, a chance to stage the second ‘Warsaw [uprising]’ which Eichmann feared? …

Could it be, therefore that the defeatist mood of Doctor Kastner was reinforced by the memory of words used by Doctor Chaim Weizmann, first President of Israel, when he addressed a Zionist convention in London in 1937? He said:

 I told the British Royal Commission that the hopes of Europe’s six million Jews were centred on emigration. I was asked: ‘Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine?’ I replied: ‘No.’ The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world … only a branch will survive … They had to accept it. … If they feel and suffer, they will find the way – Beacharit Hayamim [‘When the Messiah comes, all the dead will be revived’] – in the fullness of time … I pray that we may preserve our national unity, for it is all we have.

‘Only a branch will survive …’. Did Kastner, like Hitler, believe in a master race, a Jewish nation created of Top People for Top People by Top People? Was that the way in which he interpreted Doctor Chaim Weizmann’s somber oration and was he right in so doing? If so, who was going to select the branch? Who was going to say which grains would form the heap of moral and economic dust, destined to await the coming of the Messiah? …

[My family,] presumably, formed the dust which was to be swept into the ovens by the Nazis who used Jewish leaders as their brooms …”

Dr. Rudolf Vrba, I Escaped from Auschwitz2002, pp. 281-2.[Rudolf Vrba’s views were always controversial, but even Zionist newspapers such as the Jewish News, (15/12/16) and the Jerusalem Post, (16/2/17) have, in recent years, published strong criticisms of Kastner’s role in the Holocaust. For more on this whole controversy, see: Tony Greenstein, Weekly Worker, (1/6/17) and Ruth Linn, ‘Rudolf Vrba and the Auschwitz Reports: Conflicting Historical Interpretations’ (2011) .]

Marek Edelman

[During the war] it never even entered any of our minds that the Zionists were deliberately remaining passive in regard to the physical destruction of the Jews in order to additionally justify the founding of the State of Israel… But today, even acknowledged historians speak out loud about the way that some of the Zionists living in Palestine exploited the Holocaust politically! … 

[The first Israeli Prime Minister] Ben Gurion believed that the worse it is for the Jews in Europe, the better for Israel. He put that into practice… Ben Gurion washed his hands of the Diaspora… As early as a Mapai party conference in December 1942, he said that the tragedy of the European Jews did not ‘directly concern’ them. Those were the words of a leader who was willing to sacrifice the lives of millions of Jews to the idea of a Jewish state. I’m not saying he could have saved thousands of people, but he could have fought for those thousands of people. He did not do so. I don’t know whether this was deliberate.”

Dr Marek Edelman, 2016. Being On the Right Side: Everyone in the Ghetto Was a Hero, pp. 223, 448.Marek Edelman was a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and a commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Primo Levi

[As for Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin] ‘Fascist’ is a definition I can accept. I think even Begin would not deny it. He was a student of Jabotinsky, who represented the right wing of Zionism, who called himself a Fascist and was one of Mussolini’s interlocutors. Yes, Begin was his pupil. That is Begin’s history…. [The Holocaust] is Begin’s favourite defence. And I deny any validity to that defence. 

Primo Levi, The Voice of Memory: Primo Levi Interviews, 1961-1987, pp. 285-286. The quote is from 1982. Primo Levi was an Auschwitz survivor.

The Gaza Boat on which Reuben Moscovitz Sailed

I as a Holocaust survivor cannot live with the fact that the State of Israel is imprisoning an entire people behind fences. …  It’s just immoral.

What happened to me in the Holocaust wakes me up every night and I hope we don’t do the same thing to our neighbours. … [I compare] what I went through during the Holocaust to what the besieged Palestinian children are going through.

Reuben Moscovitz, ‘Jewish Gaza-bound Activists: IDF Used Excessive Force in Naval Raid’, Haaretz, 28/9/10. Reuben Moscovitz was survivor of the Holocaust in Romania

Answers to Zionist Quiz

1.           David Ben-Gurion
2.           Theodor Herzl
3.           Theodor Herzl
4.           Leo Pinsker
5.           Lucien Wolf, the Secretary of the Conjoint Foreign Committee of the Board of Deputies
6.           Reinhardt Heydrich
7.           Reinhardt Heydrich
8.           Jacob Klatzkin
9.           Chaim Weizmann
10.      David Ben-Gurion
11.      Berl Katznelson
12.      David Ben-Gurion
13.      David Ben-Gurion
14.      Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a leader of German Zionism and later Vice Chair of the American Jewish Council
15.      Alfred Rosenberg, main Nazi theoretician hanged at Nuremburg
16.      Zionist Federation of Germany letter to Hitler of 21.6.33.
17.      Pinhas Rosenbluth, first Israeli Minister of Justice
18.      Arthur Ruppin, member of the Zionist Executive, first Director of the Palestine Office and Father of Israeli Land Settlement.
19.  Isaac Deutscher