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December 31, 1976 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-12-31

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2 Friday; becembill 31, 1976' ". THE DET1101TiiiiISH NEW

Purely Commentary

Hopelessness for Humanism
at Abortive United Nations
Whatever hopes were entertained for a modicum
of decency and justice at the United Nations was vio-
lated at the present session.
Re-elected UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim
spoke of better chances for peace than ever before, at a
press conference that followed his re-election, and his
views were echoed in many quarters, including Israel.
The evidence, however, is that the hatred that stems
from the UN General Assembly has not vanished. The
triumphs of the PLO, even after the fiasco in Lebanon,
again serve as warnings that there is no hope from
that quarter.
Before the General Assembly began its present
sessions there were appeals to its delegates for a re-
turn to the principles upon which the world organiza-
tion was founded. Very distinguished people joined in
appeals for fairness. In a letter that appeared in the
Detroit News on Oct. 27, there was a plea to the UN- by
spokesmen for the Writers and Artists for peace in the
Middle East, and the signers of that letter included the
following eminent Americans, non-Jews as well as
Edward Albee, Cleveland Amory, Saul Bellow, Col-
leen Dewhurst, Julie Harris, Norman Mailer, Ber-
nard Malamud, Louise Nevelson, Leontyne Price,
Robert Rauschenberg, Beverly Sills, Raphael Soyer,
John Updike.
In their plea for justice and fairness these dis-
tinguished Americans wrote:
It was less than a year ago that the UN was manipu-
lated by voting blocs to thwart its functions and pur-
poses, which many of us had prayed would keep the
It became, instead, a cauldron of prejudice and
hatred. We refer specifically to the infamous resolu-
tion which smeared Zionism as racism.
The UN was created by governments of the vic-
torious Allied Forces after they overthrew Hitler to
put an end to the streams of venom which he had
spread across Europe. It was the great hope then that
the UN would prevent the rise of new Hitters and the
resurgence of religious and race bigotry. No one ever
dreamed that the UN could become the weapon for
new hatemongers.
The Western nations must firmly resolve to act to
prevent the re-enactment of last year's action. They
must resist mischievous resolutions. They must stand
up and be counted. They must abjure abstention and
absence. They owe this to the United Nations itself—
and they owe it to the civilization which. the UN was
intended to defend.
Whatever venom emanates from the UN is not
unexpected. Nevertheless, there is always hope that
representatives of the nations of the world will come to
their senses. They didn't. Therefore, the tragic viola-
tion of all human rights by the organization that was
formed to propagate and assist in assuring world
peace continues to be violated. Not only peace, but the
basic rights of member nations thus remain in
jeopardy. Will time solve this travesty on justice?

'Hypocrisy at Turtle Bay':
A Lone Voice of Decency at UN
The Third World continues to harass Israel and
the Russian influence is tortuous. Yet, there are occa-
sional defections even from that part of the dissenting
world. While it is a dated item, an editorial in the New
York Times (Nov. 12) merits emphasis. Under the
heading "Hypocrisy at Turtle Bay," the NY Times
credited Malawi with an honorable stand, declaring:
Malawi's delegate to the United Nations spoke
blunt truth when he accused some of his African col-
leagues and their fellow sponsors of "double-faced
hypocrisy" in resolutions they rammed through the
General Assembly, condemning specific nations for
trading with South Africa. J. T. X. Muwamba referred
particularly to the singling out of the United States
and its major allies, along with Israel, for selling arms
to South Africa; but his indictment applies to other
trade as well.
"All types of military haidware, from both East
and West, can be found in South Africa," said Mr.
Muwamba — a statement supported in a study just
issued by the American Jewish Congress. The study
points to Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, along
with Saudi Arabia and several Western countries, as
suppliers of arms to the Pretoria government. But it
is on the economic front that the black African states
are behaving hypocritically.
Will the Marxist dictatorship in Mozambique, for
example, adhere to the resolution it supported calling
for an economic and financial boycott of South Africa?
Not likely — for that would mean ordering home more
than 100,000 Mozambiquans who work in South Afri-
can mines and whose wages are remitted directly in
gold to the government in Maputo, providing it with
desperately needed foreign exchange.
Since the closing of its border with Rhodesia,
Zambia has been forced more than ever to depend on
its trade with South Africa. President Kenneth

UN's Abortive Legacies . . . Hopelessness for Humanism from
Poisoned Sphere . . . Bettelheim's Admonition to Lack
of Resistance to Nazism Paralleled in Noteworthy Album

Kaunda may continue to deplore racial apartheid; but
Zambia perforce must maintain its economic links
with the country that spawned and practices that
hideous doctrine.
South Africa's white rulers have built one of this
century's more efficient police states. They have
fashioned a draconian structure of racial segregation
and discrimination and built a burgeoning economy
on a system reminiscent of slave labor. The Pretoria
government may well pose a long-run threat to peace
in the southern African subcontinent. The United Na-
tions is right to apply what pressures it can to pro-
mote change.
But resolutions calling for sanctions that even
some of the most vociferous sponsors have no inten-
tion to invoke can only enfeeble the United Nations,
eroding the very machinery for multilateral peace-
keeping that smaller and weaker nations are likely to
need most of all.
Malawi is not alone. There are other nations
whose representatives are outraged by what is hap-
pening at the UN. But they fear economic conse-
quences, and even many in the Free World often fail to
speak as bluntly as did Malawi.
Now we experience the farce of a threat of a PLO
in exile. The advance stages of such a proposal speak of
Cairo as headquarters for such an anti-Israel oriented
movement. This at once negates much of the so-called
peace talk by Anwar el-Sadat. The sensitive on the
world scene can not be fooled too long by venom mixed
with nonsense.

By Philip


This revealing account of the tragedies imposed
on Jewry and mankind by the Nazis would be incom-
plete without further reference to the attitudes of Dr.
Bettelheim. The noted psychiatrist had written a
lengthy reyiew, with serious comments, on the recent
Italian-filmed story of sisters who suffered at the
hands of the Nazis. He took exception to what could
have been interpreted as brutal humor and his con-
cluding -views declared: -
From the beginning of time, those who have
borne witness have been an embarrassment. To those
who have been carried away by Wertmuller's film, or
by Des Pres' writings, what I have written here has
perhaps caused embarrassment. Survivors won't be
around much longer, but while they are, they cannot
help objecting — not to their being forgotten, not to
the world's going on as usual, but to their being used
to bear witness to the opposite of the truth.
Our experience did not teach us that life is mean-
ingless, that the world of the living is but a
whorehouse, that one ought to live by the body's crude
claims, disregarding the compulsions of culture. It
taught us that, miserable though the world in which
we live may be, the differ-
ence between it and the
world of the concentration
camps is as great as that'
between night and day,
hell and salvation, death
and life. It taught us that
there is meaning to life,
difficult though that mean-
ing may be to fathom — a
Stirring Account . of Resistance:
much deeper meaning
Bettelheim's Admonition Confirmed
than we had thought pos-
in Auschwitz Survivor's Diary
sible before we became
survivors. And our feeling
Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, the famous psychiatrist s
of guilt for having been so
one of the noted survivors of Nazism, a number of
lucky as to survive the hell
years ago expressed his bitterness over his conviction
of the concentration camp
that Jews in the concentration camps did not resist
is a most significant part of
sufficiently. In the process of analyzing his views he
this meaning — testimony
gave an example. If Jews were destined to die at the
to a humanity that not even
hands of the Nazis, he implied, the could and should
the abomination of the
have, at the time, exacted vengeance.
concentration camp can
He gave an example of an attractive Jewish girl, a
dancer, who was asked before she was to be taken into
There are those who will keep saying, "Why bring
the "showers" — it was later learned that it was a
procedure to take the victims to gas chambers L- to up old crimes, why not forget them?" Which revezber-
dance for the Germans. This dancer, while performing ates to the duty of not forgetting, of keeping the his-
her art, grabbed the SS leader's pistol and shot him toric alive, of reminding generations that are forget-
and a few other German officers who were bestially ting what happened in an ear-her age — not so old,
since it happened less than half a century ago — lest
glorying in their victim's art.
The sequel — perhaps the original — of the Bet- what had taken place in an earlier part of this century
telheim story appears in the diary of an Auschwitz recur in a later age.
survivor included in a very excellent book: It will be
found in a very impressive new book, "The Camera of Transitions in German-Jewish
My Family" (Knopf). Catherine Hanf . 1\Toren told in Experiences Depicted in Album
pictures and essays the 100-year story of her
Hanf Noren's "The Camera of My Fam-
German-Jewish Wallach family. It is the up-to-the ily" Charlotte
is in many respects as much a social study of
present chronicle of her kinfolk and included is the
record of those who died at the hands of the Nazis. German-Jewish experiences as it is a magnificent
There are the photographs and stories of Hitler's vic- photographic creation.
In her story of her Wallach Family, beginning
tims,-the members of her family. Included is the diary
with the German genesis and continuing through the
of a cousin:
One member of the family, who was in a concentra- years in this country after the escape and the survival
tion camp during the war, wrote a diary during the of the fortunate ones, the reader learns about split
days immediately following his liberation but while personalities, about the Jewish roots and the eventual
marriages and the current Christian domi-
he was still in the camp. The author of this diary was mixed
half Jewish, as his mother had been born a Wallach.
The author herself learned more about her past
However, he had a Christian upbringing, and was and present from the photographs she had gathered
taken as a political prisoner, rather than as a Jew.
for a great book than from her own knowledge about
• Because this cousin was a Christian he had the Germans who were Jews. She learned about the
privilege of tasks in the concentration camps, duties Holocaust later than one would imagine from an
from which he was able to observe the horrors that album which gave the able photographer a more inti-
were practiced by the Nazi beasts. He describes the mate introduction into her family's past.
manner in which Hungarian Jews were tortured be-
There is much to be learned here about the Nazi
fore being sent to their death and in that story appears ideology and the effects of Jewish industrial domi-
the description of the resisting danger.
nance upon the Germans. For example, one of the
The tragedy of the Hungarian Jews also merits photos shows Hitler relaxing in Berchtesgaden "amid
recording and it follows in this excerpt from Mrs. No- Wallach curtains." Referring to the product made in
ren's book which includes the description of the resist- her family's -factory, the author further relates: "The
ing young woman:
curtain fabric is the same design that today covers the
The leader of this action was the
couch of my New York City apartment."
beitsdienstfuhrer SS Oberscharfuhrer E . The
Thus, the record of Jewish experience under
woman knew what was about to happen. In her de- Nazism gains a place for "The Camera of My Family"
spair she did something which immediately caused as a valuable part of the bookshelf exposing the Nazi
about 3,000 people, and later, another 5,500 people crimes.
their deaths.
I was standing about 25 meters away and could
see the woman clearly. In an instant, she took off her They Buy Banks and Aim
ballet shoes and started hitting the Oberscharfuhrer at Control of Newspapers
-with them. In the shock and confusion that followed,
Arabs are buying their way into American banks.
she succeeded in getting his pistol, and fired two
In England the potentates from oil-rich countries
shots, one into his thigh and the other into his hip.
have even more ambitious designS. They aim at gain-
Now the guards woke up. I barely had time to get ing control of the British press by purchasing leading
to safety in the bathroom. There followed an unbe- newspapers in the UK.
lievable bloodbath, in which about 3,000 people were
No wonder; with little Kuwait ranked as the rich-
shot or beaten to death.
est (per capita) country in the world, the combined
It was a single, screaming bloody and swarming wealth of the Arabs is staggering.
heap. The machine guns and submachine guns shot
What effect will these maniputations have on the
uninterruptedly into the mass. The rest, after being democracies? The danger is primarily to Israel whose
completely robbed, were immediately gassed, and status may be seriously affected by the Arab domina-
there was no one left alive.
tion of public opinion and the financial institutions.

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