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January 05, 1979 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-01-05

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The Holocaust in Perspective'

By ALLEN A. WARSEN

=

"for 84 Years our
products are a

Yehuda Bauer, the re-
nowned historian of the
Holocaust and author of
"Flight and Rescue: the Or-
ganized Escape of the
Jewish Survivors of Eastern
Europe, 1945-48," recently
produced a new volume ti-
tled "The Holocaust in
Perspective" (University of
Washington Press). It con-

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sists of a brief introduction,
four essays and is profusely
annotated.
The opening verses of the
essay "The Holocaust and
American Jewry" read:
"The unique quality of Nazi
Jew-hatred was something
so surprising, so outside of
the experience of the.
civilized world, that the
Jewish leadership as well as
the Jewish people could not
comprehend it. Unbeliev-
ingly, and therefore outwit-
ted at every turn of the Nazi
screw, they stood by and
watched with ever-
increasing despair as Nazi
policy moved from one
phase to the next."
Encouraging Jewish
emigration from Germany
characterized the phase
that lasted from 1939 to
1945; planning the removal
of Europe's Jews to the Is-
land of Madagascar marked
another phase; the "Final
Solution" was the last ph-
ase. This phase, inciden-
tally, coincided with the
Hitler attack on the Soviet
Union.
The author then de-
scribes exhaustively the
annihilation of European
Jewry, the resistance
movement, and the atti-
tudes of the Allied pow-
ers and the Jewish lead-
ers toward Hitler's
Jewish victims. He states
that the British and
American attitude "and
accepted by most Jews at
the time, was that there
was really nothing one
could do to help Jews
under Nazi rule, except to
win quickly and save
whatever could be saved
that way."
In -the essay "Against
Mystification," the author
examines some of the mis-
conceptions regarding the
Holocaust. First, he
clarifies the concepts
Holocaust and genocide.
According to him
"Holocaust was the policy of
the total, sacral Nazi act of
mass murder of all Jews
they could lay hands on;"
whereas genocide "did not
entail 'total' murder if only
because the subject people
were needed as slaves."
Genocide was practiced by
the Nazis on the Polish,

Russian, Ukrainian, and to
some extent on the Czech
peoples. To ignore the fact
that the Jewish situation
was unique, the author
stresses, is to mystify his-
tory.
Similarly, to deny that
the Holocaust ever took
place, or to de-demonize
Hitler, or regard the
Holocaust as an historic
footnote is "pseudoscien-
tific gutter history."
The essay "Jew and Gen-
tile" is concerned with the
problem that "boils down to
a moral challenge: were the
gentiles their Jewish
brothers' keepers?"
The author concludes
"that in the darkness of
gentile attitudes to Jews
there shone many bright
lights. In places where
the darkness was black
indeed, the lights, though
few, shone much brighter
. There were places
where it was easier to be
a moral person, moral in
the sense that when you
were challenged with,
`thy brother's blood is
calling,' you answered, 'I
am here.' "
"The Mission of Joel
Brand" is the title of the
book's fourth essay. It is an
examination of the various
deals made with the Nazis
for the release of the Jewish
people of Europe.
One such deal, known as
the Europe Plan, provided
for freeing the European
Jews in exchange for $2 mil-
lion. It fell through.
It was followed by the
Adolf Eichmann-Joel Brand
deal. It stipulated that the
Jews secure for the Nazis
10,000 winterized trucks
equipped with trailers and
accessories. In return all
European Jews would be
freed and Auschwitz dis-
mantled.
"In reference to the ve-
hicles, Eichmann also
said they would be used
on the Eastern Front and
not in the West." Prof.
Bauer interprets this
statement as a "crude at-
tempt to indicate to the
Western Allies that the SS
(Schutzstaffel) did not
want to fight them; the
offer was phrased so that
the intention to try to
cause a division among
the anti-Nazi Allies was

obvious."
Characteristically,
"When Brand expressed
doubts as to his ability to
produce the
goods,"
Eichmann answered, "The
international Jews control
the world; they control
every British and American
official, so that they could
lay their hands on anything
they wanted."

Friday, January 5, 1919 21

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