De l’incohérence d’attribuer à Adolf Hitler et à l’Holocauste la paternité de l’État juif en Palestine: la « mémoire de l’Holocauste » n’a pris d’assaut la psyché américaine que dans les années 1960-70, dans la foulée du procès Eichmann et des guerres israéliennes. Les Sionistes les plus influents de l’époque ont eu grand peur que l’extermination des juifs d’Europe sonne le glas du sionisme. Quel intérêt peut-il y avoir à systématiquement assimiler le sionisme aux nazis? Faire croire que c’est toujours la faute aux nazis? Et à qui cela profite-t-il?

Suivant l’exemple des désinformateurs patentés Alex Jones et Jim Marrs, qui pointent du doigt sans cesse les nazis comme étant « l’élite du nouvel ordre mondial », certains soi-disant penseurs se font un point d’honneur de systématiquement faire remonter l’origine de tous les complots à une filière nazie. Ces gens se croient permis de qualifier de « nouveau nazisme » ce système sioniste que nous combattons, car de toute manière, tout est toujours la faute aux nazis. Toujours le même refrain…


Encore la faute aux nazis!

Pensons logiquement: comment l’extermination des juifs peut-elle avoir été une bonne chose pour Israël et le sionisme, considérant que si Extermination des juifs il y a, il ne reste plus de juifs pour immigrer en Israël? Dans ce cas, l’option sioniste devient obsolète et impossible. C’est très simple à comprendre, pourtant plusieurs se sont laissés séduire par les propos rabbiniques du Rav Ron Chaya!
Esther Benbassa, Suffering as Identity–The Jewish Paradigm:





One frequently alleged connection is the claim that the Holocaust « tragically vindicated » Zionism. Publicly, Zionists made this claim from 1933 on; it was repeated often during the war; it figures in the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence; it has been repeated endlessly ever since. Privately, when the devastating news of the scope of the Holocaust began to emerge in 1942, leading Zionists continually voiced the fear that Zionism had been undercut, rendered superfluous. In September 1942 Richard Lichtheim, the Jewish Agency’s representative in Geneva, wrote Nahum Goldmann:

The basis of Zionism as it was understood and preached during the last 50 years has gone. . . . The main argument was: 4 or 5 or 6 million in Eastern Europe need and want a home in Palestine. . . . Now, whatever the number of European Jews will be after this war . . . there will be no need for such mass emigration. After the victory of the Allied Nations there can be no problem in resettling this small number of surviving Jews [in Europe]. Zionism as it was presented to the world during the last 20 years is finished. . . . It might have been the solution for the Jews of Europe, but now it is too late. . . . How can we ask for that State if we cannot show that several million Jews need it or, what is more, want it? 23

Chaim Weizmann, too, privately feared that with the destruction of most of Eastern European Jewry, Zionism had lost its raison d’être, that demands for a state « based on the imperative necessity of transferring large numbers of Jews speedily to Palestine will . . . fall to the ground. »24 David Ben-Gurion confessed privately that he did not want to think about this « terrifying vision » that kept him awake nights: « The extermination of European Jewry [meant] the end of Zionism, for there will be no one to build Palestine. » Ben-Gurion’s official biographer speculates that such a fear of seeing his life’s work rendered irrelevant may have led him, « consciously or not . . . to play down the magnitude of the tragedy. »25 In the words of one Israeli historian,  »The impact of the Holocaust on the creation of the Jewish State was exactly the reverse of what is commonly assumed. It almost rendered the birth of Israel impossible. »26

Selon l’auteur Peter Novick, qui critique la récupération de la « mémoire de l’Holocauste » par les sionistes (voir aussi THE HOLOCAUST IS OVER–WE MUST RISE FROM ITS ASHES, de l’Israélien Avram Burg), le « poids de la culpabilité pour l’Holocauste des juifs » ne peut avoir été un facteur déterminant de la création de l’État juif, pour la simple et bonne raison que la « mémoire de l’Holocauste » ne pesait pas très lourd à l’époque de la partition de la Palestine (1948). Pour preuve: la nation qui a été la plus blâmée pour son « inaction » face à l’Holocauste–la Grande-Bretagne–a rejeté la proposition de partition de la Palestine.

Get the FREE PDF of The Holocaust in American Life on Lib Gen

L’auteur rappelle tout au long du livre que la « mémoire de l’Holocauste » n’a pris d’assaut la psyché populaire qu’au milieu des années 1960-70, en conséquence de l’affaire Eichmann et des premiers grands conflits armés d’Israël.

Somme toute, on pourrait dire que c’est plutôt à la défaite cuisante d’Hitler–et non à l’Holocauste–que l’État juif doit son existence.


For all the confidence and frequency with which the notion of Western guilt as the godfather of Israel is asserted, it is quite false. Of the countries that supported the establishment of Israelfor practical purposes, those which voted for the United Nations partition resolution of November 1947there is no evidence that any of them were moved by « guilt » for the Holocaust. Not the crucial Soviet bloc, which hoped to weaken British power and get a foothold in the Middle East; not the countries of Latin America, which contributed the lion’s share of the votes; not those other countries that supplied the needed twothirds UN majority. The Allied nation against which charges of guilty complicity have most often been brought, Great Britain, which had closed down immigration to Palestine before the war, did not support partition. The Israeli historian Evyatar Friesel, who has examined all the UN proceedings, found little indication in the opinions expressed by the different nations to show that the Holocaust had influenced their positions. . . . The Zionist representatives who appeared before [the UN Special Committee on Palestine] barely alluded to the subject. . . . It is reasonable to assume that a great majority of UN members considered the Palestine question in terms of concrete interests and political realities rather than any feeling of remorse . . . . It was natural and understandable to go along with the Soviet-American proposition, given the great weight which agreement between the superpowers carried.31



The most-viewed films and the best-selling books about the Vietnam War almost all appeared within five or ten years of the end of that conflict, as did the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. With the Holocaust the rhythm has been very different: hardly talked about for the first twenty years or so after World War II; then, from the 1970s on, becoming ever more central in American public discourseparticularly, of course, among Jews, but also in the culture at large. What accounts for this unusual chronology? The other part of my puzzlement was: why here? There is nothing surprising about the Holocaust’s playing a central role in the consciousness of Germany, the country of the criminals and their descendants. The same might be said of Israel, a country whose population or much of ithas a special relationship to the victims of the crime. To a somewhat lesser extent, this could be said of nations occupied by Germany during the war which were the scene of the deportation to death (or the actual murder) of their Jewish citizens. In all of these countries the parents or grandparents of the present generation directly confrontedresisted, assisted, in any case witnessedthe crime; in all cases, a fairly close connection. In the case of the United States none of these connections are present. The Holocaust took place thousands of miles from America’s shores. Holocaust survivors or their descendants are a small fraction of 1 percent of the American population, and a small fraction of American Jewry as well. Only a handful of perpetrators managed to make it to the United States after the war. Americans, including many American Jews, were largely unaware of what we now call the Holocaust while it was going on; the nation was preoccupied with defeating the Axis. The United States was simply not connected to the Holocaust in the ways in which these other countries are. So, in addition to « why now? » we have to ask « why here? »



Memorial Museum tell, with great satisfaction, a story of black youngsters learning of the Holocaust and saying, « God, we thought we had it bad. » 8 Apart from being our ticket of admission to this sordid game, American Jewish centering of the Holocaust has had other practical consequences. For many Jews, though this is much less true now than it was a few years ago, it has mandated an intransigent and self-righteous posture in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the Middle Eastern dispute came to be viewed within a Holocaust paradigm, that tangled imbroglio was endowed with all the blackand- white moral simplicity of the Holocaust. And in this realm the Holocaust framework has promoted as well a belligerent stance toward any criticism of Israel: « Who are you, after what you did to us (or allowed to be done to us), to dare to criticize us now? » (I should say here, and will attempt to show later on, that contrary to the convergent claims of anti-Semites and self-congratulatory Jewish publicists, I don’t think all the invocations of the Holocaust have had any significant influence on American policy toward Israel. That policy has been based primarily on considerations of Realpolitik, and to a lesser extent on calculations of American Jewish political influence.) Turning the Holocaust into the emblematic Jewish experience has also, I think, and as I’ll try to show, been closely connected to the inward and rightward turn of American Jewry in recent decades. If, as Cynthia Ozick has written, « all the world wants the Jews dead, » and if the world was, as many have argued, indifferent to Jewish agony, why should Jews concern themselves with others?9 Once again, we’re dealing with a complex phenomenon in which cause and effect are all mixed up. But I think the centering of the Holocaust in the minds of American Jews has contributed to the erosion of that larger social consciousness that was the hallmark of the American Jewry of my youth post-Holocaust, but pre-Holocaust-fixation. In a way, the guarding of the memory of the Holocaust is very much in the Jewish tradition; certainly, forgetting the Holocausthardly an optionwould be contrary to tradition. As Yosef Yerushalmi has reminded us, the Hebrew Bible contains the verb « to remember, » in its various declensions, 169 times (along with numerous injunctions not to forget).10 Yet what Jews are enjoined to remember is almost always God’s handiwork; secular history, insofar as such a category is even admitted by the tradition, gets short shrift.11 Mourning and remembering the dead are, of course, traditional Jewish obligations.




By the 1970s and 1980s the Holocaust had become a shocking, massive, and distinctive thing: clearly marked off, qualitatively and quantitatively, from other Nazi atrocities and from previous Jewish persecutions, singular in its scope, its symbolism, and its world-historical significance. This way of looking at it is nowadays regarded as both proper and natural, the « normal human response. » But this was not the response of most Americans, even of American Jews, while the Holocaust was being carried out. Not only did the Holocaust have nowhere near the centrality in consciousness that it had from the 1970s on, but for the overwhelming majority of Americansand, once again, this included a great many Jews as wellit barely existed as a singular event in its own right. The murderous actions of the Nazi regime, which killed between five and six million European Jews, were all too real. But « the Holocaust » as we speak of it today, was largely a retrospective construction, something that would not have been recognizable to most people at the time. To speak of « the Holocaust » as a distinct entity, which Americans responded to (or failed to respond to) in various ways, is to introduce an anachronism that stands in the way of understanding contemporary responses.




« Not in the Best Interests of Jewry » Between the end of the war and the 1960s, as anyone who has lived through those years can testify, the Holocaust made scarcely any appearance in American public discourse, and hardly more in Jewish public discourseespecially discourse directed to gentiles. Only a handful of books dealt with it, and those that did, with rare exceptions like The Diary of Anne Frank, had few readers. 1 The two historical accounts of the Holocaust available in the United States during that time were both imports from abroad, and neither attracted much attention. Gerald Reitlinger’s The Final Solution was distributed in this country by an obscure publisher, and so far as I can tell was never reviewed in the generalcirculation press. The same was true of Léon Poliakov’s Bréviaire de la haine, it was translated into English, as Harvest of Hate, thanks to a subsidy by a Jewish businessman, but sold only a few hundred copies. Neither Reitlinger’s nor Poliakov’s book was noted by the major historical journals. Treatment of the Holocaust in high school and college history textbooks was extremely skimpyindeed, often nonexistent.2 Mention of the Holocaust in other than Jewish newspapers and magazines was rare and usually perfunctory. On the new medium of television there were a handful of dramas that touched on the Holocaust. In the movies (Anne Frank again excepted) there was almost nothing before the 1960sand not much then. Alain Resnais’s Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog, 1955) is often remembered as a Holocaust film, but in fact it dealt primarily with German action against members of the French resistance, and the word « Jew » does not appear. (Resnais intended the film as a warning against the atrocities then taking place in the Algerian War.)3 Judgment at Nuremberga 1959 television play that became a 1961 movieis also often talked about as a Holocaust film, but while the murder of Jews receives peripheral mention in it, the focus throughout is on other crimes of Nazism. Judgment at Nuremberg, despite its all-star cast, and The Diary of Anne Frank, despite all the attention the book had received and a barrage of publicity surrounding the movie, were not hits at the box office. 4 There was the same absence in other realms. Contemporary American Jewish religious thinkers had nothing to say about the Holocaust, and with the exception of the occasional insertion of mentions in Seder rituals, no provision was made for religious commemoration of the event.5 Secular commemoration was mostly restricted to survivors. Throughout the 1950s the World Jewish Congress, with uneven success, encouraged Jewish groups around the globe to hold annual commemorations of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Nowhere did they have less success than in the United States. The WJC’s files are filled with accounts of failure and disappointment. The Association of Jewish Musicians was « lukewarm and indifferent » toward participation; most campus Hillel chapters « felt that local circumstances are such as to make such a memorial either unwise or non-practicable »; a meeting with members of the American Jewish Congress showed « how little importance these circles ascribe to the commemoration. » Each year the WJC collected information on commemorations in countries with Jewish communities large and small. One year, Isaac Schwarzbart of the WJC wrote at the bottom of the American report, « Very poor even for Indonesia. »6 No monuments or memorials were constructed, except for a few commemorative plaques on synagogue walls. By any standardcertainly compared with the omnipresence of the Holocaust in the 1980s and 1990snobody in these years seemed to have much to say on the subject, at least in public. When speaking of public Holocaust discourse, we have the contemporary record to draw oneven if it is largely the record of an absenceand well-grounded generalizations are possible. When it comes to how much the Holocaust was talked about or thought about in private, we’re on shakier ground, because the evidence is thinner, fragmentary, often indirect, and sometimes of doubtful reliability. So we’d do well to be tentative about our generalizations here. (With respect to private discourse, I restrict myself to Jews, because there’s virtually no evidence concerning non-Jews.) Contemporary observers who commented on the matter were struck by how little American Jews talked aboutor, so far as they could tell, thought aboutthe Holocaust between the end of the war and the 1960s. In his 1957 American Judaism, the only scholarly survey of Jews in the fifties, Nathan Glazer observed that the Holocaust « had had remarkably slight effects on the inner life of American Jewry. » 7 In the same year Norman Podhoretz surveyed contemporary Jewish attitudes in the article « The Intellectual and Jewish Fate »a title that might seem to promise a discussion centering on the Holocaust. It was not even mentioned.8 There was one unpublished scholarly investigation of the postwar American Jewish response to the Holocaust. Leo Bogart, who went on to become a highly regarded analyst of public opinion, was a graduate student in sociology at the University of Chicago in the late 1940s, and wrote a thesis on just this subject. Bogart began with the hypothesis that an event of this magnitude « would manifest itself through changes in group behavior and belief »-specifically, that « Jews in America would react . . . with an increased sense of group unity and cohesion, and perhaps with some symptoms of psychic disorganization. »9 One of his approaches to testing this hypothesis was soliciting lengthy written statements from a number of young Jews. He found that except for two individuals who were in the armed forces in Europe at the end of the war, it did not appear that  »the extermination of Europe’s Jews had had any real emotional effect upon the writers of the statements, or that it has influenced their basic outlook. » At the center of the project was the administration of an open-ended questionnaire to a hundred Chicago Jews of various backgrounds. The responses of his Chicago sample led him to conclude that  »the murder of Europe’s Jews has not strongly affected the basic pattern of thought and feeling of Jews in the United States. »10 Three published symposia offer indirect evidence of how much of a role the Holocaust played in the thought of young American Jews. In 1957 The New Leader ran a series of eighteen personal essays to see « what’s going on in the minds of the five million Americans who have graduated college since Hiroshima. » At least two thirds of the respondents were Jewish. In writing of what had shaped their thinking they mentioned a variety of historic events, from the Great Depression to the cold war. Not a single contributor mentioned the Holocaust. 11 Two other symposia, this time restricted to Jews, were published in 1961, just after the period with which we are concerned. Appearing at a time when there was a great upsurge in discussion of the Holocaust, occasioned by the capture of Adolf Eichmann (to be considered in the next chapter), it’s likely that they present an inflated index of how salient the Holocaust was in the fifties. Thirty-one people participated in a symposium in Commentary, « Jewishness and the Younger Intellectuals. » A few referred to the Holocaust in passing, but in only two cases did contributors speak of it in a way that indicated it loomed large in their sense of their Jewish identity.12 Later that year the quarterly Judaism presented a symposium on « My Jewish Affirmation, » with twenty-one participantsmost a bit older and less secular in outlook than the Commentary contributors. Only one, who had fled Austria after the Anschluss, mentioned the Holocaust.13 It’s a rule among historians, and a good one, to place greater reliance on contemporary sources than on recollections produced years later, after memory has been reprocessed and refigured. For whatever they’re worth, the memoirs and autobiographies of many highly committed Jews bear out the contemporary evidence that suggests the Holocaust wasn’t much talked about. Alan Dershowitz, growing up in an intensely Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn in the forties and fifties, recalls no discussion of the Holocaust either with his schoolmates or at home.14 Daniel J. Elazar, an observant Jew who later immigrated to Israel, reports that in his Detroit Zionist milieu, in the same period, the Spanish Civil War was a more evocative symbolic event than the Holocaust.15 As a young man Norman Podhoretz had sufficient Jewish commitment to study at the Jewish Theological Seminary during his four years as a Columbia undergraduate. His 1967 memoir Making It details a number of influences during his youth; the Holocaust is not mentioned.16 But there are other memoirs, particularly in recent years, in which the authors report the Holocaust as being very present during their childhoods in the fifties. The leftist activist Todd Gitlin, writing of his youthful support for nuclear disarmament, recalls that for him and his friends « American bombs . . . were the closest thing to an immoral equivalent of Auschwitz in our lifetimes.




In the end, for our purposes, the most important thing about the Eichmann trial was that it was the first time that what we now call the Holocaust was presented to the American public as an entity in its own right, distinct from Nazi barbarism in general. In the United States, the word « Holocaust » first became firmly attached to the murder of European Jewry as a result of the trialwhich makes this a convenient point to address some controversies about its use. In recent years it has been said that the word is hatefully inappropriate because its original meaning was a religious sacrifice consumed by fire; it thus represents a pernicious Christianization of Jewish suffering. On these grounds, as well as what might be called cultural-nationalist grounds, the Hebrew word for catastrophe, « shoah, » is said to be superiora purely Jewish and purely secular term, free of odious theological implications. In fact, archaic original meanings are relevant only to someone looking to pick a fight. The Oxford English Dictionary gives, as the first definition for « victim, » « a living creature killed and offered as a sacrifice to some deity. » Since long before the Second World War,  »holocaust » in everyday usage, was almost always used to describe widespread destruction, particularly by fire, with no more theological freight than « victim. » And « shoah, » in the Hebrew Bible, was repeatedly used to describe punishments visited by God on the Jewshardly a more palatable connotation. 31 « Holocaust » began to be widely used in connection with the Nazi murder program in the 1960s, not as the result of a gentile plot, but as an import from Israel. Large numbers of American journalists, covering the Eichmann trial, learned to use the word that Israelis had for many years chosen to translate « shoah » into English. This choice dates, literally, from the establishment of the state. A reference in the preamble to the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence to « the Nazi shoah, » appears, in the official Israeli English translation, as « the Nazi holocaust.32 Starting in the late fifties, English-language publications of Yad Vashem regularly rendered « shoah » as « holocaust. » The American journalist Paul Jacobs, in a dispatch from Jerusalem where he was covering the Eichmann trial, wrote of « The Holocaust, as the Nazi annihilation of European Jewry is called in Israel. »33 What had formerly been one of a variety of terms came, in the early sixties, to be (still usually uncapitalized) the most common one; by the late sixties (usually capitalized), it had become clearly dominant. While it is true that the Eichmann trial was the first time that the American public was presented with the Holocaust as a distinctand distinctively Jewishentity, it was as yet by no means as distinct, or as distinctly Jewish, as it was later to become. It’s not clear how much, if at all, the efforts of Jewish organizations to stress the trial as an indictment of totalitarianism influenced media coverage. The media were surely, on their own, disposed to frame it in this way, and did. (The media certainly did not stress, indeed rarely picked up on, the pointed Zionist lessons that the trial sought to drive home.) The theme emphasized more than any other in newspaper editorials was that of the Eichmann trial as a warning against the constant threat of totalitarianismthat is, Communism. Insofar as editorials noted the responsibility of the Western powers for the Holocaust, it was most often for the Allies’ having failed to resist Hitler earlier; this was « the lesson of appeasement, » which was applicable to dealing with the Soviets in the present. While some of the editorials in the Christian press were self-critical, at least as many were self-congratulatory, emphasizing the role of Christian rescuers. (Of seven articles on the Eichmann case that the news service of the National Catholic Welfare Conference distributed to Catholic papers, five dealt with this subject.) More generally, all segments of the press drew « Brotherhood Week » lessons from the trial: the phrase appearing more than any other was « man’s inhumanity to man. » 34 Midge Decter of the American Jewish Committee staff analyzed press reaction to the Eichmann case in an internal memorandum. She thought the universalism of American press commentary, its encapsulation within a « liberal democratic worldview, » meant that the trial,  »far from reminding the world of Jewish fate may, in America at least, have closed the books on it forever. »35





The Eichmann trial, along with the controversies over Arendt’s book and Hochhuth’s play, effectively broke fifteen years of near silence on the Holocaust in American public discourse. As part of this process, there emerged in American culture a distinct thing called « the Holocaust »an event in its own right, not simply a subdivision of general Nazi barbarism. There was a shift in focus to Jewish victims rather than German perpetrators that made its discussion more palatable in the continuing cold war climate. Despite the fact that American Jews had taken no initiative in placing the Holocaust on the agenda in the early sixties, many experienced the end of silence on the subject as liberating. At the same time, as we’ve seen, « official » Jewish responses to the trial, to Arendt’s book, and to Hochhuth’s play were often nervous, embarrassed, and defensiveemblematic of widespread Jewish ambivalence toward public discussion of the Holocaust. This was soon to change dramatically, as the Holocaust came to be regularly invoked indeed, brandished as a weaponin American Jewry’s struggles on behalf of an embattled Israel.

Chapter 8

« A Bill Submitted for Sufferings Rendered »‘ It has become a commonplace in recent years that Israel and the Holocaust are the twin pillars of American Jewish « civil religion » the symbols that bind together Jews in the United States whether they are believers or nonbelievers, on the political right, left, or center. But through the mid-1960s Israel, like the Holocaust, didn’t loom that large in American Jewish consciousnessat least not in public expressions of that consciousness. In the late sixties and early seventies, Israel became much more important to American Jews, and, in a set of spiraling interactions, concern with Israel was expressed in ways that evoked the Holocaust, and vice versa. It had been the American Zionist movement that had energized American Jews on behalf of a Jewish national home in Palestine. But after the establishment of that home, American Zionism was deliberately eviscerated by Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Many American Zionist leaders had backed Ben-Gurion’s opponents in Israel; in any case, for both fund-raising and lobbying purposes, he thought it more useful to establish relations with wealthier and more politically connected non-Zionist American Jews. 1 Though all American Jewish leaders, as well as their constituents, were generally supportive of Israel, their degree of attachment to the new state was very uneven. Nathan Perlmutter of the Anti-Defamation League later became a strong Zionist. Before 1967, he wrote in a memoir, he had been glad that Israel existed as a home for displaced Jews, but « I had no feelings of a ‘Jewish homeland.’ . . . On a would-you-rather-visit list, Israel ranked behind Paris, England, Japan. » 2 Lucy Dawidowicz, who worked for the American Jewish Committee, was also in later years a fervent supporter of Israel. In the 1950s she was a sharp critic of the new state, contrasting Israel’s willingness to accept German reparations with its failure to take responsibility for displaced Palestinians. « Morality, » she wrote, « cannot be that flexible. »3 Groups like the American Jewish Congress were more Israel oriented, but in 1961 its president, Joachim Prinz, was willing to declare that « Zionism isfor all practical purposesdead »4 At the time of the 1956 Sinai Campaign, American Jewish lobbying on behalf of Israel had been quiet and diffident; in the immediately following election, Eisenhower, who had sharply rebuked the Israelis, received a greater share of the Jewish vote than he had in 1952.5 Despite their increasing prosperity, American Jews’ donations to Israel steadily declined throughout the years before 1967. In a study conducted in the late 1950s, Jews in a midwestern suburb were asked what kinds of behaviors were essential to be considered a good Jew. « Support Israel » was listed by 21 percent, compared with 58 percent who listed  »help the underprivileged. »6 While there’s no way to measure just how important Israel was to American Jews through the mid-sixties, it was clearly less important than it later became. However much or little American Jews thought or spoke of Israel in these years, to what extent was their support for Israel tied to the memory of the Holocaust? Here, too, it’s hard to give a precise answer, except to say that the link was much looser than it later became. After the establishment of Israel had provided a home for survivors of the Holocaust, there was a marked decline in the extent to which Israel and the Holocaust were connected in Jewish public discourse. To be sure, the Holocaust sometimes figured in fund-raising appeals for Israel, but this was much less true in the fifties and early sixties than it had been in the late forties, and than it would be from the late sixties on. Some American Zionists pressed the connection, but their overall influence is questionable. And those who attended closely to Israeli discoursea small minority of American Jewsreceived mixed messages. On the one hand, Israeli leaders claimed a certain symbolic ownership of the Holocaust. One assertion of this claim was the plan, at Yad Vashem, to grant posthumous Israeli citizenship to all those killed in Europe.7 Israeli ownership was reasserted at the time of the Eichmann trial. Israel, Ben-Gurion said, « is the heir of the six million . . . the only heir. . . . If they had lived, the great majority of them would have come to Israel. » 8 At the same time, several factors worked to minimize Israel’s association with the European catastrophe. The way Israel represented itself before the sixties downplayed the Holocaust; looked to the future rather than the past; emphasized the discontinuity between the debased life of Jews in the Diaspora and the stalwart « new Jews » of Israel. Yom HashoahHolocaust Remembrance Daywas largely ignored, and school textbooks paid little attention to the Holocaust. In those years Israelis were as little inclined as American Jews to present Jews as victims.9 The image of Israel held by most American Jews was not a land of memory-haunted survivors, but one typified by bronzed, blue-eyed young sabras, singing as they marched into the fields with hoes over their shoulders »making the desert bloom. »10 As is well known, the spring of 1967 was a dramatic turning point in American Jews’ relationship to Israel. Less dramatically, and in a less thoroughgoing way, it marked an important stage in their changing relationship to the Holocaust. In the escalating Middle East crisis, Arab spokesmen proclaimed their determination to « wipe Israel off the map » and « drive the Jews into the sea. » One said that « the surviving Jews will be helped to return to their native countries, » but, he added, « there will be very few survivors. »11 The great majority of American Jews, including many who had not previously shown the slightest interest in Israel, were in a state of high anxiety, and plunged into a flurry of rallies and fund-raising. In fact, Israel was hardly in serious peril. Shortly before the outbreak of war in June, President Lyndon Johnson’s intelligence experts debated whether it would take a week or ten days for Israel to demolish its enemies.12But this was not the understanding of American Jews, for whom Israel was poised on the brink of destructionand it is our perceptions of reality, not the reality itself, that shape our responses. Though there were surprisingly few explicit references to the Holocaust in American Jewish mobilization on behalf of Israel before the war, thoughts of a new Holocaust were surely present.13 The Holocaust, for many, was suddenly transformed from  »mere, » albeit tragic, history to imminent and terrifying prospect. Within a few days, despair turned to exhilaration as Israeli forces, humiliating their combined Arab adversaries, captured Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt. The Six Day Warand even more, its anxious prelude and triumphal aftermatheffected a permanent reorientation in the agenda of organized American Jewry. Israel moved to the top of that agendain fund-raising, in lobbying, and in electoral politics. Oscar Cohen, a long-time official of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote to a friend that by the 1970s organized American Jewry had become « an agency of the Israeli government. . . follow[ing] its directions from day to day. »



As that older framework declined in mainstream Jewish discourse, it came increasingly to be the hallmark of Jewish hawks in opposing Jewish doves. This development began well before the intifada. In the spring of 1978, at a large demonstration in Tel Aviv, the Israeli organization Peace Now urged flexibility in negotiating with the Palestinians. In the United States, Americans for a Safe Israel responded by running an advertisement showing the piled-up bodies of Holocaust victims, described as « Six Million Jews Who Were Not Intransigent. »71 In the aftermath of the Lebanon War, Norman Podhoretz accused those Jews who had criticized it of granting Hitler a « posthumous victory. »72 Rabbi Richard Rubenstein wrote that the intifada made the Holocaust more relevant than ever as a  »reminder of the fate that awaits Israel should its defenses ever falter. »73 In 1992, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin urged Jews to talk more about friends than enemies, the New York Times columnist A. M. Rosenthal wrote that this was « condescending to anybody, but to Israeli Holocaust survivors, insulting. » (Henry Siegman, head of the American Jewish Congress, replied: « I am a Holocaust survivor, and I do not find Mr. Rabin’s advice insulting. I find it absolutely liberating. »)74 Ideas have consequencesnot necessarily the consequences intended by those who promote the ideas. If Arabs are really latter-day Nazis, surely it’s a good idea to kill them before they kill you. One who took this to heart was the Holocaust-obsessed Baruch Goldstein. Shortly before his murderous rampage in Hebron, the Brooklyn born and bred physician told Israeli interviewers that « again, the Arab Nazis attack the Jew. »75 And if the Arabs are Nazis, there is a well-established category for Jews who urge accommodation with them. Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League was a member of an Orthodox congregation whose rabbi, in 1995, urged Jews not to listen to « the blatherings of the Rabin Judenrat. » 76 Messages of this kindeven more common in Israel than in the United Stateswere, as we know, heeded by Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir.77 In Israel, even before the intifada, there had been those who worried about the consequences of obsession with the Holocaust for public debate and public policy. The novelist Amos Oz, invoking an ancient enemy of the Hebrews, asked whether, along with an obligation to remember, there wasn’t also a right to forget. Are we . . . to sit forever mourning for our dead? to sit behind barred doors and shuttered windows, telephone disconnected, our backs to the wicked world and our faces to the awful past, our backs to the living and our faces to the dead, to sit thus, day and night, and to remember what was done unto us by Amalek, until the coming of the Messiahor until the second coming of Amalek?78 In the first year of the intifada, the distinguished Israeli philosopher Yehuda Elkana, who had been in Auschwitz as a child, published « A Plea for Forgetting. » The Holocaust’s « lesson » that « the whole world is against us, » that « we are the eternal victim, » was, for Elkana, « the tragic and paradoxical victory of Hitler. » This lesson, he thought, had contributed to Israeli brutalities in the West Bank and to the unwillingness to make peace with the Palestinians. It may be that it is important for the world at large to remember. I am not even sure about that, but in any case it is not our problem. Every nation, including the Germans, will decide their own way and on the basis of their own criteria, whether they want to remember or not. For our part, we must forget! Today I see no more important political and educational task for the leaders of this nation than to take their stand on the side of life, to dedicate themselves to creating our future, and not to be preoccupied from morning to night, with symbols, ceremonies, and lessons of the Holocaust. They must uproot the domination of that historical « remember! » over our lives.79 The very moderate (and very religious) Israeli political scientist Charles Liebman wrote that the way the Holocaust was interpreted in Israel « reinforces and legitimates closed-mindedness, unrealistic foreign policies and barbaric behavior toward Arabs. »80 After the Hebron massacre, Ze’ev Chafets, who had been head of the government press office under Menachem Begin, wrote that « dwelling on genocide may be a good fund-raising strategy, but it also encourages an us-against the-world mentality that deranged zealots like Benjy Goldstein translate into a religious obligation to murder. »



The evolution of Holocaust memory in the United States has been, in the main, the result of a series of choices made by American Jewry about how to deal with that memoryin practice, usually choices made by Jewish leaders, tacitly ratified by their constituents. Those changing choices have reflected a changing American climate, changing assessments of the immediate needs of the Jewish community, changes in the values and styles of Jewish leadership. As we’ve seen, through the mid-1960s Jewish communal leaders downplayed the Holocaust, believing, for various reasons, that to center it wasn’t in the best interests of American Jewry. In their emphasis on the future rather than the past, and in submerging rather than insisting upon ethnic difference, they reflected the dominant ethos. In those years, American Jewish leaders were, on the whole, more integrationist and more universalist in sensibility, less religious and less Israel-oriented, than most of those for whom they claimed to speak. Critics of the choice to remain relatively silent about the Holocaust in the first postwar years see an element of timidity, even of shame, in that choicea dishonorable evasion of a past Jews were obliged to confront. There is surely something to that view. Over the last quarter century, American Jewish leadership, in response to a perception that needs had changed, has chosen to center the Holocaustto combat what they saw as a  »new anti-Semitism »; in support of an embattled Israel; as the basis of revived ethnic consciousness. That choice was made in a culture that had come to celebrate rather than disparage ethnic difference and to elevate the status of victims. The Jewish leaders making the relevant decisions have been, overall, more particularist, more religious, and more Israel-oriented than their constituents. In recent years, critics of those leaders’ choices have deplored what they have seen as a perverse sacralization of the Holocaust, and objected to the competition over « who suffered most » to the way in which Jews now often seemed almost proud of the Holocaust. As I’ve made clear, I am among those critics.


 R.I.P. Peter Novick

Selon Peter Novick, le terme « judéo-chrétien » a été inventé par le bureau américain d’information de guerre (U.S. Office of War Information) du gouvernement américain dans le but de convaincre la population américaine d’entrer en guerre contre l’Allemagne sous prétexte que Hitler allait détruire le christianisme.

Michael Collins Piper discusses experts questionning the reliability of Holocaust witnesses (for instance, about the dubious ubiquity of infamous Dr Josef Mengele, quoting from Peter Novick in The Holocaust in Anerican Life :


Michael Collins Piper writes in his book Ye Shall Know The Truth101 Books American Nationalists Need To Read and Understand Before ‘They’ Burn Them (p.255-260), about Novick’s book The Holocaust in American Life:


Voici un extrait de la lettre que Wiesel a écrite en opposition à Carter qui tenait à ajouter cinq million de non-juifs au nombre établi par les sionistes de « six millions de victimes juives de l’Holocauste »:
« The Shoah is woven, to varying degrees, into almost all of Israel’s political arguments; over time, we have taken the Shoah from its position of sanctity and turned it into an instrument of common and even trite politics. It represents a past that is present, maintained, monitored, heard and represented. » (The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise From Its Ashes, Avraham Burg)


« We must admit that present-day Israel and its ways contribute to the rise in hatred of Jews.  The responsibility for anti-Semitism is not our, yet the mere existence of Israel is a thorn in the side of those who do not like us and requires more serious investigation and discussion than the shallow notion that “the world is against us no matter what we do.” «  (The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise From Its Ashes, Avraham Burg)

« Israel accentuates and perpetuates the confrontational philosophy that is summed up in the phrase, ‘The entire world is against us.’ I often have the uneasy feeling that Israel will not know how to live without conflict. An Israel of peace and tranquility, free of sudden outbreaks of ecstacy, melancholy, and hysteria will simpl not be. In the arena of war, the Shoah is the main generator that feeds the mentalities of confrontation and catastrophic Zionism. »(The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise From Its Ashes, Avraham Burg)


August 17, 1999
Vexing NewBook


THE HOLOCAUST IN AMERICAN LIFE By Peter Novick. 373 pp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $27.

In his vexing new book, « The Holocaust in American Life, » Peter Novick proposes to look at such questions as why has the Holocaust « come to loom so large » in contemporary American culture, what its cultural visibility says about American Jews and American society at large and what consequences its heightened place in our collective memory has on our thinking and our foreign policy. In addressing such issues, Novick, the author of « The Resistance Versus Vichy: The Purge of Collaborators in Liberated France » and a founder of the University of Chicago’s program in Jewish studies, takes a willfully contrarian attitude toward the Holocaust and those he dismissively refers to as « Holocaust-memory professionals. »
NovickHe argues that there are no « useful » lessons to be drawn from the Holocaust, and he suggests that the high level of Holocaust awareness in American society stems in large measure from decisions made by Jews who « occupy strategic positions in the mass media » — remarks that echo assertions made by revisionist historians who play down the Nazi crimes of World War II.
Throughout this book, Novick contests the view that the United States should have done more during World War II to help the Jews, arguing that such « guilt talk » has simply provided useful leverage in persuading Americans that they have a continuing obligation to support Israel. He argues that the question of Allied bombing of the railway lines to the Nazi concentration camps « can be dismissed immediately, » because « massive experience » taught us that « bombing rail lines was hardly ever effective, » and adds that there were « dim practical possibilities » for other rescue attempts of the Jews.
As for the question of why the United States did not ease its restrictive prewar immigration policy to allow more Jews sanctuary, he writes that America was « still not out of the Depression, with unemployment still high » and that « anti-immigration sentiment was so strong in Congress and among the general public that to open the question for debate seemed likely to worsen rather than to ease conditions; better to leave bad enough alone. »
For the first 20 years or so after World War II, Novick observes, the Holocaust was « hardly talked about »: survivors were encouraged not to look back but to look forward to building new lives, and the upbeat, universalist Zeitgeist of those postwar years made the Holocaust « an inappropriate symbol of the contemporary mood. » In addition, he says, the Cold War — which taught that the Soviet Union, not Germany, was the new enemy, and totalitarianism, not Nazism, the great evil — made « the Holocaust the ‘wrong atrocity »‘ for purposes of galvanizing this new thinking.
EichmannIn the 1960s, all this began to change, as the Eichmann [left] trial raised consciousness of the Holocaust « as an entity in its own right, distinct from Nazi barbarism in general. » The anxious prelude to the Six-Day War of 1967 fed fears of a renewed Holocaust among American Jews — fears heightened further during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which left many with the image of an isolated and vulnerable Israel.
« After 1967, and particularly after 1973, » Novick writes, « much of the world came to see the Middle East conflict as grounded in the Palestinian struggle to, belatedly, accomplish the U.N.’s original intention. There were strong reasons for Jewish organizations to ignore all this, however, and instead to conceive of Israel’s difficulties as stemming from the world’s having forgotten the Holocaust. The Holocaust framework allowed one to put aside as irrelevant any legitimate grounds for criticizing Israel, to avoid even considering the possibility that the rights and wrongs were complex. »
While concerns about Israel’s security declined in the 1980s and 90s, Novick says, the Holocaust became more of a focal point for American Jews during those same years because it « offered a substitute symbol of infinitely greater moral clarity » than the problematic Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same time, he suggests, the rise of identity politics and the « culture of victimization » made it acceptable, even fashionable, for American Jews « to embrace a victim identity based on the Holocaust. » In his view, the Holocaust became « virtually the only common denominator of American Jewish identity in the late 20th century » as assimilation and intermarriage led to a thinning sense of Jewish commitment among the young.
It is Novick’s startling contention that while « there’s nothing wrong with the affirmative lessons the Washington Holocaust Museum attempts to teach, » such lessons « seem, if not useless, hardly necessary. » He argues that the very extremity of the Holocaust and « the extremity of the circumstances in which it unfolded » seriously « limit its capacity to provide lessons applicable in our everyday world, » adding that « an unintended consequence of our making the Holocaust our central symbol of atrocity » may in fact be a « desensitization » to other cases of mass death.
In support of this theory, he notes that the Persian Gulf war was motivated by geopolitical considerations, not moral outrage, and that the 1994 Rwandan genocide elicited « not the slightest will in American political circles for any U.S. intervention. » He does not address the Kosovo crisis at all (though his book may have well gone to press before NATO air strikes began).
Although Novick has some useful things to say about the dangers of dwelling in the memory of oppression, although he can be eloquent on the sectarian use of the Holocaust as an easy moral touchstone, such observations are completely overshadowed by this volume’s deliberate cynicism. Novick writes that survivors’ memories « are not a very useful historical source. » He glibly tosses around phrases like « the gold medal in the Victimization Olympics » and « Jewish moral capital. » He asserts that for Jewish organizations intent on capturing the attention of a younger generation, « the Holocaust looked like the one item in stock with consumer appeal. »
This flippant tone reflects Novick’s determination to not merely demystify the Holocaust, but to diminish its place in the collective imagination. While he argues that Hitler would triumph if Jews were « to tacitly endorse his definition » of them « as despised pariahs by making the Holocaust the emblematic Jewish experience, » the words of the scholar Emil Fackenheim remain a potent warning of the real dangers of forgetting the past: « We are commanded [to remember] the martyrs of the Holocaust, lest their memory perish, » he declared in 1967. « We are forbidden . . . to deny or despair of God . . . lest Judaism perish. . . . To abandon any of these imperatives, in response to Hitler’s victory at Auschwitz, would be to hand him yet other, posthumous victories. »

Excerpt from Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment, by J.J. Goldberg (1996)


Ex-Knesset speaker confirms Israel’s possession of nukes

« L’Holocauste » on en a assez et vous les juifs devriez décrocher une fois pour toute. C’est rendu maladif votre affaire…

Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem was already being planned in 1942

Posted by editor in Uncategorized on February 2, 2014
During the mass murder of Jews in Europe, one man had already a vision of a Holocaust memorial in the Holy Land.
Read the rest of this entry »

Norman Finkelstein

  • The Holocaust in American Life by Peter Novick
    Houghton Mifflin, 320 pp, £16.99, June 1999, ISBN 0 395 84009 0

The Holocaust is more central to American cultural life than the Civil War. Seventeen states either demand or recommend Holocaust programmes in their schools; many colleges and universities have endowed chairs in Holocaust Studies; hardly a day goes by without a Holocaust-related story appearing in the New York Times. Polls show that many more Americans can identify the Holocaust than Pearl Harbor or the atomic bombing of Japan. Consider the media attention given to Daniel Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners, published in 1996 and hailed as Time’s ‘most talked about’ book of the year. It has become an international bestseller and its author has become a ubiquitous presence on the Holocaust ‘circuit’.

In A Nation on Trial, a book written with Ruth Bettina Birn, I sought to expose the shoddiness of Goldhagen’s book. Birn, an authority on the archives Goldhagen consulted, first published her critical findings in Cambridge University’s Historical Journal. Refusing the journal’s unprecedented invitation for a side-by-side rebuttal, Goldhagen instead enlisted a London law firm to sue Birn and Cambridge University Press for ‘many serious libels’. Demanding an apology, a retraction and an undertaking that Birn not repeat her criticisms, Goldhagen’s lawyers then threatened that ‘the generation of any publicity on your part as a result of this letter would amount to a further aggravation of damages’. Soon after my own critical findings were published in New Left Review, Henry Holt agreed to publish both essays as a book. The forward warned that Holt was ‘preparing to bring out a book by Norman Finkelstein, a notorious ideological opponent of the State of Israel’. Alleging that ‘Finkelstein’s glaring bias and audacious statements … are irreversibly tainted by his anti-Zionist stance,’ the head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, called on Holt to drop publication of the book: ‘The issue … is not whether Goldhagen’s thesis is right or wrong but what is “legitimate criticism” and what goes beyond the pale.’ ‘Whether Goldhagen’s thesis is right or wrong,’ one of Holt’s senior editors Sara Bershtel replied, ‘is precisely the issue.’ Elan Steinberg, the executive director of the World Jewish Congress, pronounced Holt’s decision a disgrace: ‘If they want to be garbagemen they should wear sanitation uniforms.’ ‘I have never experienced a similar attempt of interested parties to publicly cast a shadow over an upcoming publication,’ Michael Naumann, the president of Holt, later recalled.

Even after our book’s publication, the assaults did not relent. Goldhagen alleged that Birn, who has made the prosecution of Nazi war criminals her life’s work, was a purveyor of anti-semitism, and that I was of the opinion that Nazism’s victims, including my own family, deserved to die. Such a reaction is typical of the way that American Jewry now approaches the Holocaust.

Until the late Sixties, however, the Holocaust barely figured in the life of America, or of America’s Jews. As Peter Novick remarks, between the end of World War Tow and the late Sixties, only a handful of books and films touched on the subject. Jewish intellectuals paid it little attention. No monuments or tributes marked the event. On the contrary, major Jewish organisations opposed such a memorialisation.

Fear of alienating Gentiles by emphasising the distinctiveness of Jewish experience was always a problem for American (as well as European) Jews, and during the Second World War had inhibited efforts to rescue Jews in Europe. ‘Throughout the Fifties and well into the Sixties,’ Novick reports, the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League and other groups ‘worked on a variety of fronts’ to dispel the image of Jews as disloyal. The priority for these organisations was not to provide reminders of the Holocaust or to voice support for Israel but to support the US in the Cold War.

Although they eventually embraced the Zionist-led campaign for Jewish statehood in the aftermath of World War Two, mainstream Jewish organisations closely monitored signals coming from Washington and adjusted to them. Indeed, it seems that the AJC supported the founding of Israel mainly from fear that a domestic backlash might ensue if the Jewish displaced persons in Europe were not quickly settled. From early on, these organisations harboured profound misgivings about a Jewish state. Above all they feared that it would lend credence to the ‘dual loyalty’ canard. Moreover, in the years after its founding in 1948, Israel did not figure prominently in American strategic planning. To secure US interests in the Middle East, successive administrations balanced support for Israel and for Arab élites. Israel was only one of America’s several regional assets and Jewish organisations kept in step with US policy.

Novick convincingly argues that American Jews ‘forgot’ about the Holocaust because Germany was an American ally in the Cold War. The editor of Commentary urged the importance of encouraging Jews to develop a ‘realistic attitude rather than a punitive and recriminatory one’ towards Germany, which was now a pillar of ‘Western democratic civilisation’.

In contrast, Israel’s allegiances in the Cold War were less clear-cut. American Jewish leaders voiced concern that Israel’s largely East European, left-wing leadership would want to join the Soviet camp. Although Israel soon aligned itself with the US, many Israelis in and out of government retained strong affections for the Soviet Union. Predictably, Jews in America who weren’t on the Left preferred to keep Israel at arm’s length.

From the start of the Cold War, the mainstream Jewish organisations were eager for the fray. Faced with a stereotype of Jews as Communists or Communist sympathisers, they did not shrink from sacrificing fellow Jews on the altar of anti-Communism. The AJC and ADL provided government agencies with access to their files on alleged Jewish subversives and played an active part in the McCarthy witch-hunt. Before she became the doyenne of Holocaust studies, Lucy Dawidowicz kept tabs on Jewish Communists for the American Jewish Committee. Of the Rosenbergs she wrote in New Leader that one could not support the death penalty for Hermann Goering and oppose it for Jewish spies. The AJC stood aloof from the campaign to grant the Rosenbergs clemency. Anxious to boost their anti-Communist credentials, the majority of Jews who could expect to have their opinions listened to turned a blind eye as former members of the SS entered the country.

Conducting a survey on ‘American Judaism’ in 1957 the sociologist Nathan Glazer reported that the Holocaust made little impression on the lives of American Jews. Novick is right to give short shrift to the standard explanation for this: that, traumatised by the event, Jews ‘repressed’ the memory of it. In fact, as he says, those Jewish survivors of Hitler’s Europe who had arrived recently ‘wanted to talk about their Holocaust experiences and were discouraged from doing so’. [TO READ THE OTHER 3/4 OF THIS ARTICLE: BUY THIS REVIEW.]

PDF – Moral Philosophy and the Holocaust

PDF – The Holocaust in American Life. By Peter Novick
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999. Pp. 1, 373. Cloth, $27.00)
In this engaging and important study, Peter Novick undertakes two primary tasks: to offer an historical account of how the Holocaust became such a prominent feature of American cultural and political life, and to question the widely held assumption that this prominence is an inherently good thing. In addition to these goals, Novick seeks to debunk the claim that the Holocaust stands apart from other atrocities as a unique purveyor of moral lessons. Indeed, he takes his case one step further by contending that, in the end, the Holocaust may actually offer no moral lessons at all. …

Régine Azria
PDF – NOVICK (Peter), The Holocaust in AmericanLife

Boston-New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, 373 p. (index)

Pagination de l’édition papier : p. 116-117

À l’origine de cette étude, une question : comment expliquer la place tenue par l’holocauste dans la vie publique américaine ? Depuis son ouverture en 1993, le Musée de l’Holocauste de Washington, érigé dans un espace où sont rassemblés les symboles les plus prestigieux de l’Amérique, voit défiler des millions de visiteurs ; la plupart des villes américaines ont leur monument dédié à la mémoire de cet événement survenu à des milliers de kilomètres des côtes américaines ; des budgets publics considérables lui sont consacrés ; des programmes scolaires obligatoires, des activités de sensibilisation, etc. Voir le film de Spielberg La liste de Schindler est considéré comme un devoir, un acte de piété, quasi obligatoire. Comment en est-on arrivé là, demande P.N., sachant d’une part qu’il n’en a pas toujours été ainsi et que, d’autre part, il n’existe actuellement aucun musée d’envergure nationale comparable rappelant le souvenir de la traite des esclaves ? Pour apporter une réponse à cette question, il a mené une enquête historique serrée. Laquelle révèle que la perception de l’holocauste par les médias, l’opinion, les instances dirigeantes autant que par les juifs américains eux-mêmes, est passée par des étapes on ne peut plus contrastées.

D’abord ignorée ou tue pendant les années de guerre, la véritable confrontation avec l’holocauste se fait au moment de la libération des camps par les troupes américaines. Cependant, les survivants que les G.I’s découvrent ne sont pas majoritairement juifs. Les camps de la mort, plus à l’Est, ont été soit déjà évacués, soit libérés par les troupes soviétiques.

Au sortir de la guerre, l’information sur l’holocauste passe au second plan. Elle est sacrifiée au renversement d’alliance imposé par la guerre froide : l’ancien allié soviétique devient le nouvel ennemi, tandis que l’ancien ennemi, l’Allemagne, tout en se refaisant une place parmi les nations, place d’anciens nazis à des postes importants et suspend, de fait, sa dénazification.

Désormais, Staline supplante Hitler comme figure du diable. Priorité est donnée à la lutte contre le communisme. Les juifs américains, soucieux de présenter une image conforme à l’ethos de leur pays, ne désirent pas se faire entendre sur cette question. L’holocauste reste dans le domaine du discours privé.

Le basculement dans la perception et les comportements s’opère dans les années 1960, avec le procès Eichmann. Avec ce procès et le scandale provoqué par les articles d’Hannah Arendt, avec le débat autour des silences de Pie XII et la sortie de la pièce violemment polémique du dramaturge allemand Rolf Hochhuth, Le Vicaire, les années noires reviennent sur le devant de la scène. C’est là qu’apparaît pour la première fois le caractère spécifiquement juif de l’holocauste. Quant aux heures d’angoisse qui précèdent la guerre des six jours, elles en réveillent le spectre. Cette guerre, et plus encore la guerre de Kippour, révèlent aux juifs et au monde la solitude d’Israël et sa vulnérabilité. Ce qui bouscule et réoriente l’agenda des juifs américains. Désormais, Israël y figure au premier plan. Pour sensibiliser l’opinion et la classe politique et renforcer le soutien de la diaspora, l’holocauste est appelé en renfort pour raviver les mémoires. Pourtant, au fur et à mesure que le conflit israélo-arabe apparaît dans toute sa complexité, l’holocauste prend peu à peu la place d’Israël dans la vie juive américaine. Il devient le symbole non-ambigu de la morale, le plus petit dénominateur commun d’un judaïsme américain socialement et idéologiquement très éclaté, Dieu et Israël étant par trop sujets à polémiques, nous dit l’auteur. De fait, les années 1970 marquent un tournant.

Alertés par la rapidité de l’assimilation, les responsables juifs tirent la sonnette d’alarme et laissent entendre que l’âge d’or serait derrière eux. Ils attisent le spectre d’un supposé retour de l’antisémitisme pour justifier le virage conservateur et la politique de repli qu’ils opèrent, rompant ainsi avec une tradition d’ouverture et de solidarité avec d’autres minorités, dont la minorité noire.

La priorité des années à venir n’est plus à l’intégration mais à la survie identitaire. Après les désillusions de l’après-Vietnam et le reflux du mouvement des droits civiques, l’Amérique est de moins en moins perçue comme une grande famille. Vient le temps des replis ethniques et de la demande de reconnaissance d’entités spécifiques : Noirs, femmes, homosexuels, juifs.

Alors que l’ethnicité invoque l’injustice et l’inégalité de traitement, les juifs, quoique surreprésentés dans les catégories aisées, se refusent à être mis au nombre des « oppresseurs blancs ». En rappelant leur lien avec l’holocauste, ils se réinsèrent dans les rangs des victimes de l’histoire et s’assurent ainsi une victoire facile dans la concurrence à laquelle celles-ci se livrent, loin devant les Indiens, les Arméniens et les Noirs. L’appropriation de la mémoire de l’holocauste s’accompagne d’une exigence de reconnaissance de son caractère exclusif. Tout déni de ce caractère est assimilé à une forme de négationnisme. Cette sacralisation, refusée par les milieux religieux, est essentiellement le fait du grand public juif. C’est ainsi qu’après avoir été marginalisé, l’holocauste se trouve au centre de l’identité juive américaine ; il passe avant la fréquentation de la synagogue, l’étude juive, le bénévolat communautaire, la visite d’Israël, l’observance religieuse. Le Musée en est le symbole, l’image adressée au monde des gentils.

Mais l’enquête de P.N. va plus loin. Que nous apprend-elle ? Depuis les années 1970, l’holocauste ne concerne plus seulement la mémoire des juifs américains mais la mémoire américaine, notamment grâce à l’influence des juifs dans le cinéma et les médias et au travail de sensibilisation qu’ils effectuent. En 1978, la diffusion de la série télévisée Holocaust fait l’effet d’un électrochoc. Jusqu’en Allemagne, où sa diffusion brise le silence autour du passé et de la période nazie. En même temps que la polémique s’installe autour de la « trivialisation » de la shoah, les émissions et les fictions sur le sujet se multiplient et interdisent désormais d’ignorer ce passé.

Cette sur-information prétend déboucher sur des « leçons » à tirer de ce passé. P.N. doute de l’efficacité de telles leçons. Elles lui paraissent d’autant plus inutiles qu’elles sont contradictoires. Ce que confirment les témoignages des survivants.

P.N. ouvre et clôt son ouvrage en faisant référence à Halbwachs. Il fait remarquer que les mémoires collectives qui reposent sur des communautés stables sont plus longues que d’autres.

Or l’espérance de vie des mémoires dans la société d’aujourd’hui apparaît très diminuée. Non seulement le rôle des survivants dans la transmission est essentiel, en raison de son pouvoir de dramatisation, mais une mémoire collective n’a de chances de se transmettre que dans un contexte où le passé participe à la fabrication du présent, où il alimente les controverses et les conflits, où les conditions qui l’ont rendu possible sont toujours là, comme l’oppression ou l’exil.

Il demeure que, quel que soit son degré d’institutionnalisation et les efforts entrepris en ce sens, l’holocauste n’appartient pas à la mémoire collective de l’Amérique. Il n’apporte pas aux Américains de réponse quant à leur identité. Il en apportera moins encore aux générations futures constituées en nombre croissant de Noirs, d’Asiatiques, d’Hispaniques. P.N. a le sentiment que le discours sur l’holocauste a surtout permis de détourner l’attention du public américain d’enjeux de mémoires plus directs et plus proches. Il met en garde de ne pas devenir prisonniers de choix tactiques passés. L’avenir offre de nouvelles possibilités pour définir l’identité qu’il convient de ne pas manquer. Gageons que cette sage mise en garde ne vaut pas que pour l’Amérique.

Référence(s) :

NOVICK (Peter), The Holocaust in American Life, Boston-New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, 373 p. (index)

Le texte ci-dessous est extrait du testament politique d’Adolf Hitler (février 1945) :

Les Juifs ont toujours suscité l’antisémitisme. Les peuples non juifs, au cours des siècles – et des Egyptiens jusqu’à nous – ont tous réagit de la même manière. Un moment arrive où ils sont las d’être expoités par le Juif abusif. Alors ils s’ébrouent comme l’animal qui secoue sa vermine. Ils réagissent brutalement, ils finissent par se révolter. C’est là une façon de réagir instinctive. C’est une réaction de xénophobie à l’égard de l’étranger qui refuse de s’adapter, de se fondre, qui s’incruste, qui s’impose et qui vous exploite. Le Juif est par définition l’étranger inassimilable et qui refuse de s’assimiler. C’est ce qui distingue le Juif des autres étrangers : il prétend avoir chez nous les droits d’un membre de la communauté tout en demeurant Juif. Il considère comme un dû cette possibilité de jouer simultanément sur les deux tableaux, et il est seul dans le monde à revendiquer un aussi exorbitant privilège.
Le National-socialisme a posé le problème juif sur le plan des faits : En dénonçant la volonté de domination mondiale des Juifs, en s’attaquant à eux systématiquement, dans tous les domaines, en les éliminant de toutes les positions usurpées par eux, en les traquant partout avec la volonté bien établie de laver le monde allemand du poison juif. Il s’est agi pour nous d’une cure de désintoxication indispensable, entreprise à la dernière limite, sans quoi nous eussions été asphyxiés et submergés.
Réussissant cette opération en Allemagne, nous avions des chances qu’elle fit tache d’huile. Cela était même fatal, car il est normal que la santé triomphe de la maladie. Les Juifs furent aussitôt conscients de ce risque, et c’est la raison pour laquelle ils décidèrent de jouer leur va-tout dans la lutte à mort qu’il déclenchèrent contre nous. Il leur fallait abattre le national-socialisme à n’importe quel prix, la planète dû t-elle être détruite. Aucune guerre n’a été aussi typiquement que celle-ci, ni aussi exclusivement, une guerre juive.
Je les ai en tout cas obligés à jeter bas le masque. Et même si notre entreprise se solde par un échec, cet échec ne saurait être provisoire. J’aurai ouvert les yeux du monde sur la réalité du péril juif.
Une des conséquence de notre attitude, c’est que nous avons rendu le Juif agressif. Or il est moins dangereux sous cette forme qu’à l’état sournois. Mieux vaut cent fois le Juif qui avoue sa race, que le Juif honteux qui prétend ne différer de nous que par la religion. Si je gagne cette guerre, je mets un terme à la puissance juive dans le monde, je la blesse à mort. Si je perds cette guerre, cela n’assure pas d’avantage leur triomphe – car, eux, ils en perdraient la tête. Ils pousseraient l’arrogance à un tel degré qu’il provoqueraient par la même le choc en retour. Ils continueraient, bien entendu, de miser sur les deux tableaux, derevendiquer dans tous les pays les avantages des nationaux, et sans renoncer à l’orgueil de demeurer de surcroît les membres de la race élue. Ce serait la fin du Juif honteux, remplacé par le Juif glorieux – aussi puant que l’autre, sinon plus. En sorte que l’antisémitisme ne saurait disparaître, les Juifs eux-mêmes l’alimentant et le ranimant sans cesse. Il faudrait que la cause disparût pour que disparût la réaction de défense. L’on peut faire confiance aux Juifs. L’antisémitisme disparaîtra qu’avec eux.

See: The Myth of German Villainy:

Is Germany the Ultimate ‘Rogue Nation’?

A TBR review of the new book The Myth of German Villainy
By Michael Collins Piper
Benton L. Bradberry’s The Myth of German Villainy is a book about which this reviewer can absolutely say, “I wish I’d written it myself.” The other thing that can be said with certainty about The Myth of German Villainy is this: Every American patriot needs to read this book, particularly those who have—quite unsurprisingly—bought into a lot of the nonsense about 20th century history pawned off by the controlled media and bought-and-paid-for historians shilling for the New World Order elite. Much of their nonsense has managed to find its way even into the “alternative” media (particularly on the Internet) today.
A United States naval officer and aviator for 22 years with a degree in political science and international relations from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Bradberry has given readers a fast-moving, fascinating and well-written 440-page masterwork that accomplishes what few books can do. It deconstructs a complex and wide-ranging array of historical data (covering a broad expanse of time) and makes it accessible and interesting. More importantly, it explodes the lies and propaganda about the subject matter that has predominated in the mass media for what has now been several generations.
Scholarly—but nonetheless straightforward and easy to read—this is a comfortable book about many uncomfortable topics, precisely because it constitutes a comprehensive, head-on correction of the multiple historical distortions and outright lies that have accompanied standard “mainstream” and now even “alternative” writings on this subject.
And before more sensitive readers get too excited and sidetracked, let it be said right up front that The Myth of German Villainy is not a book about “the Holocaust” and whether it did—or didn’t—happen as New World Order-sponsored history books claim. Instead, this book focuses on the often-forgotten bigger picture: the perennial mischaracterization of Germany as the 20th century’s most audacious warmonger, an aggressive, armed colossus bent on conquest of Europe, if not the world itself.
While everyone today “knows”—having been told so repeatedly—that Germany under Adolf Hitler was the big, bad bully who started World War II, few remember (if they ever knew it in the first place) that the same people who decided Germany was guilty of causing the Second World War had also declared that Germany was responsible for provoking the First World War.
However, in The Myth of German Villainy, the author skillfully dissects a remarkable and complex conglomeration of diplomatic intrigue and global power politics at its highest and lowest order. He demonstrates, beyond any question, that Germany was the real victim of both World War I and World War II. Rather than being the instigator of war, Germany was instead the target of British aggression, precisely because the “new Germany” that arose under Hitler stood in direct challenge to the aims of imperial Britain, which had for all intents and purposes emerged as the global arm of the would-be world empire of the Rothschild banking family based in the City of London.
It’s all about money. And if you follow the money, it will take you right back to the international intrigues of the Rothschilds and their propagandists in the controlled media who have done so much to stilt the truths about history that Bradberry bends back into reality.
Among other things, the author accurately summarizes life in Germany under Hitler—the truth about which is far from the average depiction of a Gestapo-run tyranny, a popular (and quite mythical) image unfortunately perpetuated in a lot of “patriot” publications today.
Bradberry also delves into the ugly history of communism and how that failed system—at its pinnacle—was responsible for so much war and bloodshed that set the stage for Germany’s front-line challenge to this rampaging force that posed a direct challenge to the very survival of Western Christian Civilization.
There is much more that could be said about this wonderful book, but let this final point be noted: As an honest, objective primer on the long-hidden realities of 20th-century history as it relates to the events of both world wars—and their aftermath—you will search far and wide to find anything that does such a fine job in bringing history into accord with the facts.

Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.

Get Your Copy of the January/February 2014 Issue of TBR
By Michael Collins Piper

The January/February issue of THE BARNES REVIEW is a very special issue of THE BARNES REVIEW. Why? There aren’t many magazines anywhere—maybe we should say “there aren’t any magazines anywhere”—that would take the position that Adolf Hitler, rather than being a monstrous mass murderer, was in fact a hero to his people.
Well, TBR takes that position, without hesitation and with no apology. And the reason for that is that no apology is necessary.
The truth is on TBR’s side and—as the wide-ranging material in this issue clearly demonstrates—the truth about Hitler and Third Reich Germany (both from a domestic standpoint and within the context of Germany’s role in global affairs prior to and during World War II) is far different fromwhat has been painted by the mass media and academia.
There’s much more to the story than just “the Holocaust”—that recurring mantra to which we are subjected on a relentless basis (and which TBR quite regularly addresses froma Revisionist standpoint,much to the dismay of those who worship at the altar of the Holocaust Industry)—and this issue of TBR tries to fill in some of the many missing pieces of the puzzle in the bigger picture.
That’s why we are so enthusiastic about this particular “theme” issue: It underscores the critical need for honest reporting about the people and events in history that have brought us to where we are today.
So we are especially interested in hearing from potential readers about what we have presented in the pages of this issue—the first issue of volume 20. It is entirely unlike anything they’ll have ever read in any mainstream magazine, newspaper or textbook. And that’s precisely what TBR’s underlying message is all about: Bringing history into accord with the facts and tearing down the wall of lies about history.
To get a copy of this issue for $10, send payment to TBR, P.O. Box 15877, Washington, D.C. 20003 or call 1-877-773-9077 toll free to charge. If you decide to subscribe to TBR after reviewing the issue, we will take $10 off the subscription price of $46 (U.S.) and send you all new issues as they are published (five more issues) for 2014! Mention the ad in AFP issue 6 when responding.
‘Best Ever’—‘Most Controversial’ Issue of TBR Yet?
By Michael Collins Piper
The January/February issue of THE BARNES REVIEW is a very special issue. Why? There aren’t many magazines anywhere—maybe we should say “there aren’t any magazines anywhere”—that would take the position that Adolf Hitler, rather than being a monstrous mass murderer, was in fact a hero to his people.
Well, TBR takes that position, without hesitation and with no apology. And the reason for that is that no apology is necessary.
The truth is on TBR’s side and—as the wide-ranging material in this issue clearly demonstrates—the truth about Hitler and Third Reich Germany (both from a domestic standpoint and within the context of Germany’s role in global affairs prior to and during World War II) is far different from what has been painted by the mass media and academia.
There’s much more to the story than just “the Holocaust”—that recurring mantra to which we are subjected on a relentless basis (and which TBR quite regularly addresses froma Revisionist standpoint,much to the dismay of those who worship at the altar of the Holocaust Industry)—and this issue of TBR tries to fill in some of the many missing pieces of the puzzle in the bigger picture.
That’s why we are so enthusiastic about this particular “theme” issue: It underscores the critical need for honest reporting about the people and events in history that have brought us to where we are today.
So we are especially interested in hearing from potential readers about what we have presented in the pages of this issue—the first issue of volume 20. It is entirely unlike anything they’ll have ever read in any mainstream magazine, newspaper or textbook. And that’s precisely what TBR’s mission is all about: Bringing history into accord with the facts and tearing down the wall of lies about history.
To get a copy of this issue for $10, send payment to TBR, P.O. Box 15877, Washington, D.C. 20003 or call 1-877-773-9077 toll free to charge. If you decide to subscribe to TBR after reviewing the issue, we will take $10 off the subscription price of $46 (U.S.) and send you all newissues as they are published (five more issues) for 2014! Mention the ad in AFP issue 7 when responding.

Lovin’ on Hitler

Nearly 70 years after Adolf Hitler’s death, you would think the record would be straight on the Third Reich and the Holocaust. After all, few periods in history have been subjected to as much detailed scholarly review as Hitler’s reign.
But then the denizens of The Barnes Review (TBR), a bimonthly journal dedicated to historical revisionism and denial of the Holocaust, aren’t really scholars. So it’s only a mild surprise that they’re now turning themselves inside out to make Hitler into a stand-up guy — the unfortunate victim of a slanderous campaign waged by those who worship at the “altar of the Holocaust industry.”
In TBR’s January/February issue, under the unambiguous title of “In Defense of Adolf Hitler,” the editors have thrown themselves behind the führer with all the enthusiasm of a Better Homes and Gardens special section dedicated to growing the best tulips. But even they understand they’ve crossed a line — a fact that Michael Collins Piper, a contributing editor, concedes in the lead editorial.
“[W]e should acknowledge that many of our new readers may, frankly, be startled by the theme of this issue, which — right up front — declares itself as standing ‘In Defense of Adolf Hitler,’” Piper wrote. “There aren’t many magazines anywhere — maybe we should say ‘there aren’t any magazines anywhere’ — that would take that position. Well, TBR does, without hesitation and with no apology.”
Well, color us unsurprised. When it comes to the distortion of facts in order to manipulate history, TBR remains in a class of its own. And it has pretty well always operated without hesitation or apologies.
Named after Harry Elmer Barnes, a prominent 20th-century anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, TBR was started and is still published by Willis Carto, who also founded the extreme-right Liberty Lobby and the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review. Its mission over 20 years has been to bring “history into accord with the facts” in all kinds of cases. But in reality, it is obsessed with denying the Holocaust and denouncing the alleged evils of Jews. Today, it sells an “official” version of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, along with dubious books like Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence and The Work of All Ages: The Ongoing Plot to Rule the World From Biblical Times to the Present.
TBR even once suggested that Hitler was unfairly overlooked as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Seriously.
Now, with its special issue defending “one of the most misrepresented figures in all of history,” you might expect a nice collection of intriguing questions from TBR’s intrepid editors. When he wasn’t plotting world domination, wasn’t Hitler an avid lover of animals? When he wasn’t dealing with the “Jewish question,” didn’t he have a reputation for being great with kids? What was his personal recipe for Wiener Schnitzel, anyway? They might even have offered an article on Nazi grooming — “The Toothbrush Moustache: Time to Bring it Back?”
But they didn’t. When you look closely, TBR’s defense of the Nazi mass murderer relies on criticizing the enemies of the Third Reich and lionizing Hitler’s programs. There’s an attack on the “air terrorism” of the British. There’s a defense of the “loving and caring” Lebensborn program for unwed mothers, where “pure” Aryan women were encouraged to mate with SS officers and which included the kidnapping of perhaps a quarter million children from their parents.
The same issue also carries “The Hitler Youth Vindicated,” by Daniel W. Michaels, a former Defense Department official who says the paramilitary group merely instructed children in “the promotion of love of country and people; enjoyment of honest and open combat and of healthy physical activity; veneration of ethical and spiritual values; the placing of the common good ahead of individual gain; and the rejection of all values originating from Jewry.”
Still, even TBR admits that Hitler had a drawback.
“His major fault, if he can be criticized for that, is that he cared for and loved his own people, the German working class, who were deprived and robbed of their wealth and capital by the international bankers,” Cassian d’Ornellas, a retired teacher, wrote in one essay. D’Ornellas’ comment comes in an article that contains an important and never-before-reported fact: Contrary to what readers of TBR might think, Hitler was not, in fact, secretly funded by the Rothschilds.

Sur ce blog:

Bush, Rockefeller, Rothschild et Hitler

Devoir de mémoire, devoir de faire tomber l’axe Iran-Syrie-Liban

Un humoriste contre le « nouvel ordre mondial » des Terminators nazis qui ont fait taire et tué les pôvres juifs
Le jeu des comparaisons: l’islamisme radical est-il plus proche du nazisme ou des « inglourious basterds »?

Adolf le Grand diffamé par des « nationalistes » — Y a-t-il un autre homme dans l’histoire, à part peut-être Jésus, qui ait été à ce point calomnié?

Le devoir de mémoire: source de motivation pour Alex Jones dans son combat, fondement du nouvel ordre mondial pour le B’nai Brith

REPÉRÉ: Un saboteur à la tête du « mouvement » pour la vérité

Mise au point sur la désinfo qui circule sur Hitler, les nazis, le nouvel ordre mondial, Bilderberg, etc.

Du mythe des « nazis pro-Israël » et de ceux qui voient des complots partout…

Les nazis ont fait la vie dure aux Rothschild, confisqué leurs avoirs

Le mythe des origines juives d’Hitler

Wikileaks révèle que Bilderberg perçoit le nationalisme comme étant « dangereux »… mais Infowars continue de prétendre que Bilderberg a été fondé par les nazis!

Gertrude Stein, juive: « le Nobel de la paix à Hitler! »

Le chef amérindien David Ahenakew félicitait Hitler

Le jeu des comparaisons: des ressemblances entre la période actuelle et celle précédant l’arrivée d’Hitler au pouvoir

Du mythe des nazis « pantins de la ploutocratie internationale »

Gordon Duff décline l’invitation de Carolyn Yeager sous prétexte qu’elle ignore que la « connexion Bush-nazis »

Duff a tort sur l’Holocauste et les prétendus liens Bush-Hitler

Une contre-vérité tenace: « Prescott Bush, un nazi! »

Jabotinski avait planifié l’assassinat d’Hitler et de hauts dirigeants du IIIe Reich

Waffen SS: le triomphe de la diversité

Pourim: notre ennemi traditionnel a gagné la Seconde Guerre mondiale

La Judée déclare la guerre à l’Allemagne

The Jewish War of Survival

L’Option Samson comme « justice ultime »

Guerres sionistes: vers la délivrance finale

L’Histoire contemporaine: une « fable convenue »

Le plus beau dans nos chères démocraties, c’est qu’on n’a pas à s’inquiéter pour sa liberté d’opinion et d’expression…. N’EST-CE PAS?

Pourquoi Zundel aime tant les États-Unis: un constitutionnaliste conservateur rejette la version officielle de la Seconde Guerre mondiale et dénonce les guerres par proxy du sionisme

Zundel et son avocate Stoltz emprisonnés pour avoir « porté atteinte à la mémoire des morts » en  questionnant la version officielle du 11 septembre

Netanyahou caricaturé le jour de la mémoire de l’Holocauste

Une comique juive au parlement israélien: je ne voulais pas heurter la mémoire de la Shoah en dénonçant le « cancer » de l’immigration africaine en Israël

The Worst Case of Ethnic Cleansing in Western History: The Holocaust of the Russians

La connexion secrète entre la Première guerre mondiale et la déclaration Balfour

Rupert Murdoch dénonce la « guerre contre les Juifs »

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