Before me, I have two magnificent articles which verify that what the Germans for some time have called "Die Auschwitz-Keule" - the Auschwitz billy club - is being noted now in academia and even mainstream papers.
Today's article appeared in the Daily Mail (misspelled in transit as "Dally Mall" . . . ) posted just a few hours ago. Please note the desperate clutching onto the hoary "six million" and expected vilification of "Nazi atrocities" - juxtaposed to the glistening forehead!
Author: Dr. Tim Cole (Dr. Cole teaches history at the University of Bristol. He is the author of "Images Of The Holocaust", published by Duckworth at £16.95.)
Title: Beware those who would I hijack the Holocaust to affirm their own moral superiority
THE Government has set up a consultation body to consider whether to adopt an official annual Holocaust Memorial Day. But why the calls for such a day to be established now - half a century after six million of Europe's Jews were killed by the Nazis? And why the calls for such a day to be established here - in Britain?
It is, of course, an action which fits in with a Government increasingly keen to stress its internationalism, and a Prime Minister who is eager to consolidate his standing as a world statesman. The danger with this proposal, put forward yesterday in a Ten-Minute Rule Bill at Westminster by the Labour MP for Hendon, Andrew Dismore, is that it is less about remembering the Holocaust past, and more about scoring political points in the present.
There is moral capital to be gained from the Holocaust at the end of the 20th century - and it is clear that this Government is keen to get its hands on that.
The idea of a national Holocaust Remembrance Day is not new; Israel and America already have one. Established as early as 1951, there was at first little popular support for Holocaust Day in Israel. Indeed, in 1958 one rabbi complained bitterly that on Holocaust Remembrance Day life went on as normal.
Yep! That was then, and now is now. In his book, Propaganda, the French social philosopher Jacques Ellul warned of the contaminating impact which action can have on knowledge and belief. He wrote:
"Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action."
It was not until 1961 that all places of entertainment were forced to close, and the day became one of real significance in Israeli society. A siren sounds at 8am, and two minutes' silence is strictly observed. Even drivers on their morning commuter journeys pull over, get out of their cars and stand to attention.
In America, the first Holocaust Remembrance Day was proposed by Senator John Danforth in 1979.
Could it be mere coincidence that that was the very year of the first International Conference of Revisionists gathering to hear Ernst Zundel read Dr. Faurisson's paper? That was a milestone Revisionist year!
Since then, (Holocaust Remembrance Day) has become an annual occasion, with a national ceremony held each year in the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington DC, and smaller ceremonies taking place across the country.
Politicians thus show publicly their subservience to the Holocaust and to the Israeli lobbies. Anyone straying away from such genuflection is noted and suspect - and better have a good excuse!
So, is it simply a case that Britain wants to follow the example of the U.S. as we do in so many things - some 20 years later? Well, not quite. The proposed day is not simply a repeat of what already happens elsewhere.
Mr Dismore's proposal is for the British Holocaust Remembrance Day to be at the end of January, rather than in April, as is the case in America and Israel. The first American Remembrance Day was on the anniversary of the liberation of Dachau by American troops, but the proposal in Britain is that it is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops on January 27 which will set the day for remembrance.
Such a choice appears rather surprising. The anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by British troops on April 15 would surely seem a more obvious choice?
Not if you know what's playing and where the real power lies in the world. Auschwitz now defines everything. Everything is measured by it and against it. Auschwitz is to the new Holocaust Dogma what the black rock is to the museums at Mecca. Never mind that most stories about Auschwitz are fictitious or embellished. Auschwitz has taken on a life of its own. It's the St. Peter's and Jerusalem and Bethlehem all rolled into one.
However, the choice of Auschwitz rather than Belsen as a focus for remembrance is a result of changes in the way we see the Holocaust in Britain. In the late Forties it was Belsen which was associated in the popular mind with Nazi atrocities. At the end of the 20th century, it is Auschwitz which represents the Nazi attempt to annihilate European Jewry.
Indeed, Auschwitz has become more or less shorthand for the Holocaust in particular and for 'evil' more generally. But the choice of January 27 points to something more than this. ***The choice of a camp which was liberated by the Soviets rather than the British signals a clear decision to adopt an international- rather than specifically British - day of remembrance.***
So unlike America, where Holocaust Day was about American liberators, the proposal here is far more universal. The example of America is instructive here. Walking into the recently built Holocaust Museum in America's capital, the visitor reads the famous words of George Washington which reassure us that 'the government of the United States. . . gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance'.
It is interesting to note that the so-called "Liberation of Dachau" also coincides with the massacre of 540 Germans, Hungarians and other nationalities murdered by American soldiers of Patton's army in cold blood, including many wounded dragged out of hospital barracks, along with medical orderlies and doctors. (See U.S. Col. Howard Büchner's "The Avengers").
And not too incidentally, one wonders what black or native Americans, or the German and Japanese internees in America's World War II concentration camps, or Indians living on their reservations might feel and think when they read this glib phrase . . . that 'the government of the United States. . . gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance'?
America's intended message is clear. Hitler may have killed millions, but that is something which Uncle Sam would never do. The Holocaust is used as an object lesson in an un-American crime. The Holocaust becomes a means by which America reaffirms what it is - by laying bare what it is not.
The same use - or abuse - of the Holocaust is a danger which lies behind the current proposal for a similar day in Britain. According to the supporters of the proposal, Britain needs such a day to 'provide a national focus for promoting a democratic, tolerant, respectful society'.
That's not a bad goal for a country which, for centuries, kept people in many countries subjugated and ruled over them with an iron fist, killing thousands of women and children in South Africa, pioneering the very idea of concentration camps during the suppression of the Boer War for freedom and independence - so that England could steal their gold. England might do even better if it remembered its drug-pushing role in the Opium Wars, the slave trade, the suppression of the Sepoy Rebellion in India, the vicious campaigns in Africa, by British General Kitchener in Khartoum etc. - rather than pointing a finger at the Germans. More people died miserably due to British imperialism and colonialism than ever died of whatever cause in Auschwitz.
(O)f course, the Holocaust represents none of these things and yet it has become a useful tool for those seeking the moral high ground. It is, after all, always easier to create a museum or memorial day which remembers someone else's totalitarianism, intolerance and lack of respect, than it is to create a museum or memorial day about our own democracy, tolerance and respect.
Therefore, far from being a real coming-to-terms with the Holocaust, such a day becomes a day of smug superiority. It becomes a day when we slap ourselves on our backs, and reassure ourselves that the nasty things which Hitler did could never happen in New Labour's New Britain.
It would also become a day when we would reassure ourselves that, while Europe's Jews were murdered during World War II, minority groups in today's Europe are safe in the hands of those self-styled 'policemen of the world', Blair and Clinton.
Sure. Absolutely. While the British and American ally, Turkey, ruthlessly murders and suppresses the Kurds, and while the darling of Blair and Clinton, Israel, dehumanizes, represses, tortures, starves and kills countless Palestinians - with our "Western leaders" aid and quiet approval, right in front of the eyes of the world!
Far from remembering the Holocaust, it becomes a day when spin doctors come up with easy sound bites. A Holocaust Day would allow the Government both to stress its internationalism and remember an archetypal un-British crime but it would not prompt us to ask the kind of searching questions which coming face to face with the gas chambers of Auschwitz demands.
YES, It is far easier to encounter Auschwitz and point the finger elsewhere, than it is to question our assumptions of human progress which seem to underlie the language used to support this proposal.
Pinning our hopes on a Holocaust Remembrance Day resulting in a more 'democratic, tolerant, respectful society' is, it seems to me, misplaced optimism.
You don't become "a more democratic, tolerant, respectful society" by vilifying a regime which Britain and America not only recognized but made treaties with, traded with, and with whom British leaders, diplomats and aristocrats, including the Duke of Windsor, wined and dined with - and whose Jewish "refugees" Britain put into concentration camps as soon as they arrived on England's shore.
If the Holocaust teaches us anything, it surely teaches us to be wary of those who offer easy - and final - solutions.
A week's worth of serious study of Revisionist websites might yield some stunning answers. It looks like Dr. Tim Cole is a typical example of a quiet, "New, Improved" Revisionism now spreading like an underground prairie fire in Western academia!
This is good news for us. The misuse of the Holocaust is finally being noted - and ever so mildly and gingerly addressed. No matter! The Holocaust is being examined! Its use as a vicious political weapon is being noted! The facile, glib exploitation is increasingly being exposed - by Gentiles and, more tellingly, by Jews.
Thought for the Day:
"The core problem with suppressing Revisionism is that it keeps making more Revisionists."
(Letter to the Zundelsite)
Back to Table of Contents of the July 1999 ZGrams