Tony Greenstein | 24 June 2024 | Post Views:

Interview with Rene Lichtman

Ten holocaust survivors have just published a letter in ‘Mondoweiss’, condemning Genocide in Gaza. It was originally sent to the Guardian, Independent and New York Times. Not surprisingly these ‘liberal’ outlets weren’t interested in anything which strays from the accepted Zionist narrative which says that the only lesson of the Holocaust is that Israel has the ‘right to exist’ as a Jewish Supremacist state and the ‘right to self-defence’ i.e. commit genocide’ against the Palestinians.

Stephen Kapos and fellow holocaust survivors and children at London demonstration against Genocide in Gaza

Stephen Kapos, who has led the protest of holocaust survivors in London, was supposed to be interviewed by the Guardian but three times it cancelled the appointment. Clearly he and the other signatories are the Wrong Type Of Holocaust Survivor.

Stephen and his comrades draw the lesson that racism is wrong whoever the perpetrator is and whoever the victims are, whereas US imperialism and its Israeli client state concludes that Israel’s racism is justified by the Holocaust.

As Moshe Feiglin, former Likud member of the Knesset, in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 explained:

As Hitler said, ‘I can’t live if one Jew is left,’ we can’t live here if one ‘Islamo-Nazi’ remains in Gaza’

The fact that leading Zionists like Feiglin and Yoav Gallant (who described the Palestinians as ‘human animals’ just as Himmler described the Jews) shows the depths to which Zionism has sunk.

Ten Holocaust survivors condemn Israel’s Gaza genocide

The co-founder of Human Rights Watch, Aryeh Neier, has recently said that Israel is engaged in genocide in Gaza. He’s also said that using accusations of antisemitism to attack Israel’s critics “debases the whole concept of antisemitism.” As Holocaust survivors, we are writing to agree wholeheartedly with Professor Neier — who himself only survived the Holocaust by escaping Nazi Germany as a child in 1939.

At a recent Holocaust memorial, Netanyahu declared: “We’ll defeat our genocidal enemies. Never again is now!”

Meanwhile, at another memorial, Biden warned of a “ferocious surge of antisemitism” on college campuses.

In our opinion, to use the memory of the Holocaust like this to justify either genocide in Gaza or repression on college campuses is a complete insult to the memory of the Holocaust.

The dehumanization of Palestinians, describing them as “human animals,” the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, indiscriminate bombing, the destruction of universities and hospitals, and the use of mass starvation — these are clearly stages of ethnic cleansing and genocide. They cannot be defended any more than sending weapons to commit this genocide or refusing funding to UNRWA. With no better arguments, our politicians have resorted to misusing the memory of the Holocaust while claiming that protesting against Israeli genocide is somehow antisemitic.

As Holocaust survivors, we have no special authority on the Middle East but we do know about antisemitism. It’s simply wrong to claim that it’s antisemitic to oppose Israeli genocide. It’s also wrong to claim that calling for equal rights for Jews and Arabs “from the river to the sea” is antisemitic.

As Holocaust survivors, we are just a few individuals but we want to add our voices to the growing global movement to demand a permanent ceasefire, an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and for the West to stop arming and supporting genocide.


Jacques Bude (Brussels Belgium), survived in hiding in Belgium, parents killed in Auschwitz.

Marione Ingram (Washington DC), survived in hiding in Nazi Germany.

Stephen Kapos (London UK), survived the Budapest ghetto.

H. Richard Leuchtag (Houston TX), escaped Germany in 1938.

Rene Lichtman (Southfield MI), survived in hiding in France.

Adam Policzer (Vancouver BC), survived in hiding in Hungary.

Lillian Rosengarten (Cold Spring NY), escaped Germany in 1936.

Suzanne Ross (New York), escaped Nazi-occupied Belgium

Suzanne Berliner Weiss (Toronto Ont.), survived in hiding in France, mother killed in Auschwitz.

Ervin Somogyi (Oakland, CA), survivor from Hungary.

Rene Lichtman

An article in The Forward describes how Rene Lichtman 86, laid down in the road outside the Zekelman Holocaust museum in the Detroit area to protest Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

With members of Jewish Voice for Peace Lichtman held up a sign which read: “Jews and allies say never again for anyone.”

After the protest, Lichtman got a call from Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld of the The Zekelman Holocaust Center who told him that the board had voted to remove him as a speaker in its Survivor Talk Sundays series.

For 10 years, Lichtman had spoken to school and other groups about his childhood in France during the Holocaust and how his mother had left him with a Communist Catholic family outside Paris to hide him from the Nazis.

The reason for his removal was his views on the war in Gaza.

“What’s going on in the museums today, in the universities, is McCarthyism — Jewish McCarthyism. Voices that are pro-Palestinian will get destroyed. You will lose your livelihood. The teachers will be thrown out. That’s the world we’re living in.”

Rene lichtman

The Zekelman Holocaust Center naturally did not respond to requests from The Forward for comment because it knows that its reasons for doing what it did cannot be justified.

But the decision of the Zekelman proves one thing. That its purpose is not to use the Holocaust to warn about the dangers of racism and where it can lead. The purpose of these holocaust centres is altogether more sinister.

The Zekelman and bodies like the Holocaust Educational Trust exist to propagandise a narrative that reinforces Zionist racism and ethnic cleansing. They depoliticise the holocaust, divorcing it from the actual political conditions that led to the Nazis exterminating Jews and many others.

Suzanne’s mother who died in Auschwitz

For these Zionist re-education centres, only the Jews experienced holocaust. All other groups were mere victims of war and random killings. This narrative derives from Israel’s Yad Vashem which, since 1953, has crafted a holocaust historiography to accord with its belief that the Holocaust justified the creation of a ‘Jewish’ state based on the same principles of purity of race as Nazi Germany. This is one of the key themes of my book, Zionism During the Holocaust.

Suzanne Weiss

The Zionist use of the Holocaust to justify genocide demonstrates its contempt for the Jews who died in Auschwitz. It tramples over their memory. These holocaust memorial centres serve not to enlighten but to indoctrinate. Zionism holds that Israel inherits the memory of the Jews who died in the holocaust whereas Israel is the successor to those who killed the Jews. Gaza today is a death camp like Auschwitz except that instead of poison gas, high explosives are used to murder the inmates.

Rene was repeatedly told not to connect the holocaust with contemporary events because that would be ‘political’. His function when lecturing to students was to emphasise the horrors of the holocaust. It was to be left to others, the professional holocaust mongers and Zionist historians to draw the necessary conclusions. Only they could be relied on.

An interview that Rene did for the Zekelman Centre is still on their website. Perhaps even they haven’t had the gall to take it down – at least not yet.  It dwells on the time he spent in hiding in France with the Lepage family who ‘were both Christians, Catholic, and left-wing, communist.’ It covers his struggle to regain  his lost Jewish identity, which he had to lose when in hiding and it ends with this paragraph:

Rene’s story is also important in another sense. When Jews were trying to survive the Nazi occupation in France, it wasn’t the French nationalists or right-wing that sheltered Jews but the Communists and the Left.  We should bear that in mind today when ‘anti-Semitism’ is the badge of the right-wing as they defend Israel.  It is the Left they accuse of anti-Semitism. This, more than anything, shows the bogus nature of the false anti-Semitism narrative.

Rene explained that for young people,

“The Jewish values that you should be proud of have to do with social justice. If you’re going to be a social justice warrior or fight for social justice, you’re not going to be popular. The people who did the rescuing in those days were not popular with their neighbors because they were endangering the neighbors by hiding Jews. So, by fighting for your social justice values, you’d better have some allies to support you.”

Ironic really in view of what the Zekelman Centre did when Rene put into practice the Jewish values that he talked about above. There is also another interview that Rene did with US Holocaust Museum.

Interview with Suzanne Weiss

Suzanne Weiss, an 83 year-old Holocaust survivor, is still active in the fight for justice. Suzanne was a full-time worker and former activist with the American organisation the Socialist Workers Party, when that group was still sane. Today it defends Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Suzanne cut her teeth in campaigns for solidarity with Cuba and the anti-war campaign over Vietnam.

Suzanne as a young girl in 1949

During the present genocide she succeeded, despite efforts by the University of Toronto to obstruct her, to speak to the student encampment. The students are demanding that the University of Toronto disinvest its funds from Israel.

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) called on its members to defend Palestinian freedom and student rights to demonstrate. Below are some of Suzanne’s remarks:

Suzanne speaking at a rally in support of Gaza

“As a survivor of the Nazi holocaust. I know that unity and solidarity is crucial to survival and freedom. Many individuals and a whole community saved me and thousands of Jews and others fleeing Nazi execution.

“The presence today, of unionized workers organized by the Ontario Federation of Labour, is an outstanding example of solidarity. The world’s people want and need this infusion of solidarity.

“Your encampment is a threat to the global witch hunt campaign (IHRA) to change the meaning of anti-Semitism (Being against Jews because they are Jews). The IHRA campaign attacks you as anti-Semitic because you criticize Israel’s racist apartheid. The IHRA opposes the wearing of the Keffiyeh and persecutes all defenders of Palestinian freedom.

Suzanne with her life long lover John

“Your three demands for the University to disclose its investments; divest from Israel apartheid, and put an end to all academic partnership with Israeli are in line with the world Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. The BDS world movement is a road forward to victory for Palestinian freedom.

“Our demonstrations persist in demanding that our Canadian government, although itself complicit, acts for an immediate and unconditional cease fire to stop the genocide, to send food, and medical aid to the besieged Palestinians in war torn Gaza.

The UofT academic administration should make these demands as well.”

Suzanne as a troubled teen

Stephen Kapos and Tony Greenstein Interview 9 November 2023 

Stephen Kapos is an 87 year old holocaust survivor. Stephen survived the death squads of the fascist Arrow Cross/Nyilas in Budapest in 1944 because he was hidden by the Protestant Good Shepherd Mission in church houses in Budapest. Of the quarter million Budapest Jews, some 50,000 were murdered. Nearly all the Jews living outside Budapest, some 437,000 were deported to Auschwitz where the vast majority were exterminated.

On 19 March 1944 the Nazis invaded Hungary. On 15 May the deportations to Auschwitz began and they lasted till July 7 when Admiral Horthy stopped them as a result of massive western pressure. Hungarian Jews had been given 3 weeks notice of what was going to happen when the Vrba Wetzler Report or Auschwitz Protocols were given to the leader of Hungarian Zionism, Rudolf Kasztner. [see VRBA ON THE REPORT]

A bus of the Good Shepherd carrying children in Budapest

Kasztner preferred to make a deal with Eichmann in which 600, later 1684 rich Jews, Zionists and his own family were able to leave Hungary on a sealed train in exchange for keeping quiet about the fate of the other half million Hungarian Jews. Kasztner and his henchmen actively misinformed Hungary’s Jews about where the deportation trains were going. Indeed Kasztner distributed postcards the deportees had been forced to write in Auschwitz which purported to come from the fictitious Waldsee saying how wonderful life was. As Vrba was later to write in the Daily Herald (February 1961)

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 Kasztner. … 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… Kasztner went to Eichmann and told him, ‘I know of your plans; spare some Jews of my choice and I shall keep quiet.’

In Israel where Kasztner went after the war, those Hungarian Jews who survived Auschwitz accused him of collaboration with the Nazis.

This resulted in the Israeli state, on Kasztner’s behalf, suing one of his detractors, Malchiel Greenwald, for libel in 1954. After Kasztner was shown to have lied when he denied testifying at Nuremberg on behalf of Himmler’s personal emissary in Hungary Kurt Becher, the verdict against him was inevitable.

In 1955 Judge Benjamin Halevi concluded that Kasztner, on behalf of the Jewish Agency, had ‘sold his soul to Satan’. Kasztner had also goneto Nuremberg after the war to testify in favour of other major Nazi war criminals such as Hermann Krumey and Dieter Wisliceny. Krumey, Eichmann’s deputy, had personally supervised the mechanics of the Hungarian holocaust. Wisliceny had presided over the deportation of Slovakia’s Jews, the first Jews to be deported to Auschwitz as well as the annihilation of Greek Jewry.

The full story is best told in Ben Hecht’s PerfidyHecht was a Revisionist Zionist who allied with Peter Bergson’s Emergency Committee to Save the Jews of Europe which the Zionist leadership in the United States fought and tried to undermine. Bergson’s Committee led to the setting up of the War Refugee Board by Roosevelt which saved an estimated 200,000 Jews.

The second Israeli government of Moshe Sharrett fell as a result of the trial verdict but today the Zionists prefer not to mention the widespread collaboration of the Zionist movement during the war.

There has been a widespread attempt by the Zionist movement to rehabilitate Kasztner. See e.g. the Holocaust Educational Trust’s The Kasztner train – a personal perspective or Yad Vashem’s decision to accept his archives.

Stephen however did survive, not thanks to the Zionists but Christian rescuers. This episode forms the central part of my bookThe Kasztner Affair was the main reason why Israel decided to stage the Eichmann Trial.

Today the Zionists have the chutzpah to call the Palestinians the New Nazis whereas in fact it is they who most resemble the Nazis. As I said in a speech in 2019, Israel is Hitler’s Bastard Offspring.

Tony Greenstein

See The Nazification of Palestinians in Israeli Schoolbooks  by Nurit Peled-Elhanan, November 1, 2023 

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Tony Greenstein


  1. David Roger on 24/06/2024 at 6:35am

    A devastating indictment that should be read by every apologist for Zionism

  2. Lorraine Murphy on 24/06/2024 at 8:03am

    Well said Tony, it is a disgrace how all are being silenced, whether Jewish, socialists or anyone at all who speak out against the Genocide in Palestine. Appreciate all you and others do

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