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February 11, 1966 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-02-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

German Whitewashes Nazis: Eich's Defense
Inherent in Book's Title, 'Unloved Germans'

"The Unloved Germans" by Her-
mann Eich, in a translation from
the German by Michael Glenny,
published by• Stein and Day (7 E.
48th, NY 17), has already been
branded a "whitewash." • It is much
worse than that: it is an attempt
to end the Nazis' roles as the ac-
cused in mankind's court of jus-
tice and its tactical approach can
serve to make this volume a text-
book for anti-Semitism.
Those who are horrified by the
anti-Semitic demonstrations in the
Salzburg court, the libertarians who
resent the re-emergence of bigotry
in the world, will find that Eich's
book is, in many respects, a brazen
effort to glorify Germans and s to
deny collective guilt. This is some-
thing that public opinion in our
time, for the sake of retaining the
record of what had occurred under
Hitler, must not tolerate.
Eich .has a perfect right, as
a German—let us say even as an
impartial person seeking justice
—to ask that all Germans should
not be blamed for what had hap-
pened under Nazism. But he does
this only inter alia. While mak-
ing such a plea he distorts facts
and even goes so far as to quote
those who deny that six million
Germans were murdered. Thus
the facts of history . are being
negated. And while he could well
claim that he only "quoted"
those who challenge the six mil
lion figure, any German who
gives credence even by inference
to the denials of truth- adds in-
sult to injury.
In the chapter "The Tragedy of
the Jews" Eich gives the impres-
sion that he has gathered the his-
torical facts regarding the suffer-
ings of Jews through the
ages. But while doing so he "also
"quotes" — he quotes and quotes
and refers to charges against Jews,
with an evident attempt to show
that Germans are not the only ones

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who persecuted Jews, that "both
Jews and Germans have long har-
bored a sense of being an elect"
and in this fashion to equate along
lines of suspicion, of guilt shared
by Jews of a certain role in his-
tory.
The entire approach is one not
only of whitewashing but even of
indicating that there were Jews
who irked, who irritated—there-
fore, so many disliked them.
Eich makes a claim—that only
about 30,000 Germans actually par-
ticipated in the murderous acts,
in effecting the exterminations.
While he states and emphasizes
that the "methods of annihilation"
exceed comprehension, that it is
difficult to imagine human beings
perpetrating acts like those re-
corded—he pleads against blaming
Germans for "every wrong ever
done to the Jews" and that is why
his enumeration of other guilts
again sounds like a whitewash.
But between the lines there
is evidence of the guilt. Posing
the question how he himself
would have behaved towards
Jews given the conditions of the
early 1930s he states: "Anyone
wanting to give an honest answer
must examine his conscience as
to whether, in those years of
desperate unemployment, he
would have had the moral cour-
age to resist the violent anti-
Jewish smear campaigns pro-
pagated by the Nazi leaders and
to stand up for his :Jewish fel-
low-citizens in spite of all the
consequences. The tears shed for
Anne Frank were__ posthumous
tears."
Yet he states in the same chap-
ter, speaking about "Germans' un-
popularity," that "there is a cer-
tain resemblance between the
German and Jewish destinies." Is
this true? And then he states:
"Wise Jews, even in times of their
greatest affliction, when the injus-
tice of their tormentors was most
marked, never failed to examine
themselves to discover how far
they were responsible for their own
misfortune. A similar self-exami-
nation is now the inescapable lot
of the Germans."
Here you have the basis of Eich's
thesis: how far Jews were respon-
sible for their own misfortune. The
only basis. on which this could be
raised is whether Jews resisted
enough, whether, since their lives
already were pawned, they should
not have taken life for life as they
went down to destruction. But for

FEEL

Rockwell Arrested on Six-Year-Old Charge

NEW YORK—Police seized Am- Brith and the JWV opposed his
erican Nazi Party leader George appearance at the invitation of a
Lincoln Rockwell on a six-year- campus group, Humanitas.
old warrant Wednesday night be-
The warrant was issued June 28,
a German, to speak of Jewish re- fore he could make a speech at 1960, by Supreme Court Justice
sponsibility for their misfortunes Columbia University.
Louis L. Friedman because of a
is to resort to shocking arrogance.
He was arrested on the basis of situation that developed in the
Eich concludes his defense by a warrant issued on a complaint court the week before when Rock-
asserting: "However rooted one's by the Jewish War Veterans that well baited spectators as he sought
antipathy to the Germans may be, Rockwell was responsible for a permission to address - a rally. He
it is impossible, with honesty, to near-riot in State Supreme Court was then attacked by spectators.
overlook the fact that the Ger- six years ago.
Half of the 1,000 persons' wait-
A man must make himself des-
mans, however great their past
guilt, have now been reduced, in ing to hear RockWell were demon- picable before he is despise _ d by
terms of international politics, strators. Faculty members, Bnai others.—Chinese proverb.
to impotence. In the past one
made 'hereditary enemies' of
every sort and kind. responsible
for all this morld's evil — the
French, the , Russians, the G,er-
mans, the Jews, the Protestants,
the Catholics or the Treaty of
Versailles. There is no denying
guilt that has been established
by the verdict of history, but it
is absorbed with the years into
generalizations and overlaid with
other, newer manifestations of
guilt. With time, the old cries
ring hollow. Instead we are grad-
ually beginning to realize that
good and evil are not confined
by time or frontiers and that
they are not to be found in one
nation alone."
What a poor defense! Is Germany
Accept our sincere apology for
really impotent today? If Germany
is guilty for the worst crime in his-
tory, is there refutation or atone-
changing the date of the I na ug-
ment or. vindication in the fact
that other nations also have been
ural= Dinner announcing the
guilty of crimes? And are the Ger-
man crimes comparable to those
of any other similar outrage—even
establishment of a city in Israel"
the one against the Armenians of
which Eich makes so much , of in
his book?
in honor of
Eich claims only 30,000, not hun-
dreds of thousands, of Germans
shared guilt for the crimes, for
Dachau, for Auschwitz, for the
other extermination camps. This
reviewer, while in the area of
Dachau, kept hearing from the
residents there that they knew
nothing of what had gone on near
them. But those who admitted
knowledge, those in the know, said
the stench • was so horrible that it
was impossible for those near the
camps not to know about them.
Is it possible for Germans to deny
the stench? Eich tries to do it in
his "The Unloved Germans." What
he does is emphasize that a Ger-
man is trying to whitewash the
criminals.
—P. S.

To All The Friends of

KFAR
ROTENBERG

JULIUS & ALICE ROTENBERG

Germany to Start Talks
on Loans to Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Talks on
concrete formulation of economic
aid to Israel by the West German
government will start Feb. 28. The
Israeli team will- be headed by
this government's envoy to Bonn,
Asher Ben-Nathan, while the Ger-
man delegation will be headed by
Dr. Rolf Lahr, state secretary in
the Bonn Foreign Ministry.
Israel is understood to be re-
questing from West Germany long-
term loans to be used as Israel
sees fit. The Germans, on the
other hand, are reported to want
to grant loans only on a project
basis. The over-all sum demanded
by Israel has not been announced,
but it is understood to involve
$50,000,000 a year for at least
five -years. ,

.

-

ilisq4 "

111 11111110

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Dollar Rate Falls
TEL AVIV (ZINS)—In spite of
the inflationary spiral which is
gripping the country and the pre-
vailing feeling that this trend will
reach even more serious propor-
tions, the rate of the dollar has
not risen. In fact, the reverse is
true: the rate on the free Exchange
has dropped to 3.36 pounds to the
dollar as compared with 3.49
pounds two months ago. Those con-
nected with the Exchange explain
this phenomenon by the assertion
that the dollar is at present also
under inflationary pressure and is
therefore no longer in a privi-
leged position in the eyes of the
population which seeks to pre-
serve the value of its capital.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, February 11, .1966-13

THE NEW DATE

WILL BE

MAY 29, 1966

At The Statler-Hilton Hotel

Norman Allen

General Chairman

Max Sosin

Dinner Chairman

Robert Sosnick

Chairman Steering Committee

Rabbi Samuel Prero

Chairman Board of Directors

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