Tony Greenstein | 19 March 2023 | Post Views:

 Listen to the recording of the South Africa PSC and Brighton Book Launches for Zionism During the Holocaust

PSC South Africa Book Launch

I was privileged to be invited to speak to a meeting of PSC South Africa on 16 March 2023. The meeting was held to launch my book ‘Zionism During the Holocaust – the Weaponisation of Memory in the Service of State & Nation’ in South Africa.

My book tells the story of how the Zionist movement not only was indifferent to the rescue of Jews from the claws of Hitler’s murderers but they actually OPPOSED the rescue of Jews from Europe if their destination was not Palestine. 

Indeed the German Zionist Federation and the emissary of the Palestinian Jewish Agency, Feivel Polkes, even went to the lengths of pressurising the Gestapo not to allow emigrants from Germany to go anywhere but Palestine.

Brighton Book Launch

I have a section in my book (pp. 300-1) ‘The Zionists Lobby the Nazis to Only Allow Emigration to Palestine’ in which I describe how Polkes, a Haganah intelligence agent, came to Berlin for talks with the SD, the SS Security Service, (Sicherheitsdienst ) and the Gestapo between 26 February and 2 March 1937.  Polkes offered to become an informant for the Gestapo, sharing Haganah intelligence information, in return for which the Gestapo would pressure the German Jewish communal organisation, the RVt (Reich Representation of German Jews), the umbrella organisation of German Jewry, to require emigrating Jews to settle exclusively in Palestine.

The Daily Mail – consistently racist and bigoted

I sourced this from Professor Francis Nicosia’s article Zionism in National Socialist Jewish Policy, and his books Zionism & Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany and The Third Reich and the Palestine Question. This information was obtained from German files captured after the war. The Haganah file on Polkes is closed to researchers because it is too embarrassing.

According to the cruel logic of Zionism, what was the point of building a Jewish state in Palestine if Jews could find sanctuary in other countries? According to the Zionist ‘logic’ it was the Jews themselves who were responsible for anti-Semitism, because they were strangers who had outstayed their welcome in other peoples’ countries.

In his pamphlet The Jewish State, Herzl wrote that Jews:

…naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted and there our presence produces persecution…. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.

Rescuing Jews in other countries would simply reproduce the antisemitism that had driven them there. My book tells the story of Zionist relations with the Nazis, their agreements and collaboration. It is not a pretty story. 

Israel’s Treatment of its Holocaust Survivors

Even today although the Zionists and the Israeli state exploit the Holocaust for propaganda purposes, they are totally unconcerned about the remaining holocaust survivors themselves. Over one-third of Israeli holocaust survivors live in poverty, forced to choose between eating and heating.

Israel spends the second highest amount per capita in the world on arms with which to kill Palestinians and hundreds of millions of dollars on settlements built on stolen Palestinian land yet it cannot afford to give the remaining holocaust survivors a decent standard of living. Even worse the Israeli state and the Israeli banks STOLE the reparations that Germany paid in compensation to the survivors.

The Jewish Claims Conference [JCC] was set up in 1951 as the legal successor to Jews who had a claim against Germany and Austria. The JCC was generous, at least with itself. In 2004 the salary and pensions contributions it was paying to its Executive Vice-President Gideon Taylor, was $437,811 (£240,000).

Mass Jewish Demonstration In Support of the Boycott

The JCC has been embroiled in controversies over fraud. Former President Rabbi Israel Singer was forced to resign in 2007 amid allegations that he had used his position to embezzle funds. In May 2013 31 people were convicted of fraud worth more than $57 million. A whistleblower who was victimised alleged that this was the tip of the iceberg.

However Zionism, which turned a blind eye to the Holocaust whilst it was happening has never hesitated to wield it as a weapon against the Palestinians.

In the early 1950s Israel claimed reparations from Germany on behalf of the holocaust survivors. Despite being claimed on the basis of individual need Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion was determined that ‘the major portion of the compensation will be claimed by the Jewish people as a collective body [i.e. the Israeli state] not as individuals.’ In 2007 it was accepted by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik that Israel should apologise for having stolen these funds from the Holocaust survivors.

Adolf Eichmann

If Switzerland was reluctant to part with the assets of murdered Jews then the same was true of Israeli banks, which hoped that the survivors might die first. It was only under pressure that Bank Leumi agreed to pay NIS 20m to the survivors. In 2004, a parliamentary inquiry found that Leumi owed NIS 300m ($71.65m) to Holocaust survivors and their families.

Israeli medical committees have done their best to reduce the entitlement of holocaust survivors to benefits ‘alter(ing) their disability evaluations in a manipulative way.’ This is how the ‘Jewish’ state treats the holocaust survivors and yet none of the official Holocaust memorial bodies, such as the Holocaust Education Trust, says a word about these scandals. To them the Holocaust is about the Israeli state not the individuals who died or survived.

The Lessons Zionism Draws From the Holocaust are Racist not Anti-racist Ones

As Max Kaiser argues in respect of Australian Jews, 

Arguments for Israel’s defence are often bolstered by the memory of the Holocaust. That the Holocaust is an inevitable cause of conservatism and Zionism has become part of a commonsense idea of, and about, Australian Jews.

But in the 1940s and 1950s ‘Holocaust memory was key to a popular Jewish antifascist discourse that was left-wing, non-nationalist and universalistic.’ It is the pernicious and reactionary nature of Zionism that its conclusions from the Holocaust are racist not anti-racist ones.  

The main organisation of the Jewish antifascist left in Australia was the Jewish Council to Combat Fascism and Anti-Semitism.

Formed in Melbourne in 1942, the Jewish Council represented, in the words of historian David Rechter

in institutional form the broad-based antifascist leftism enjoying considerable vogue both within the Jewish community and in society at large.

Today as Australian Jewry has moved to the right, so the conclusions it has drawn from the holocaust are ones of Jewish Supremacy and Jewish racism. As Gideon Levy, Israel’s most famous and brilliant journalist wrote:

I have yet to hear a single teenager come back from Auschwitz and say that we mustn’t abuse others the way we were abused. There has yet to be a school whose pupils came back from Birkenau straight to the Gaza border, saw the barbed-wire fence and said, Never again. The message is always the opposite. Gaza is permitted because of Auschwitz.

Gideon levy, ha’aretz 2.5.19.

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

2 Comments

  1. Heather Nicholls on 19/03/2023 at 10:01am

    Brilliant , analogy . Thank you Tony

  2. Will Moon on 20/03/2023 at 2:10pm

    The strongest emotions that the story of Nazi genocide induces in me, has always been the fate of the individuals involved, whether they be Poles, Jews, Roma, Russian POWs, religious minorities et al. To read what is written above leaves me in a place beyond revulsion. The Gideon Levy quote at the end of your article is searing. What is the point of of all this “education”, if I choose to believe Mr Levy’s bald summation of the facts? Is it all just shadow play, to disguise the altogether unremarkable death of yet another “useless eater”?

    I much enjoyed the video, feeling a strong empathetic response to all the speakers. In a world filled with atomised individuals where loneliness and isolation are a common currency, the film was not just an antidote to this but also countered the emotional effect of the information presented in your essay.

    Best wishes

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