The Silencing of An Auschwitz Survivor – By the state’s Holocaust Memorial Trust

20 January, 2010 —

Dear Holocaust Memorial Day

I have only just learnt of your shameful decision to ban all mention of or publicity for the meetings that Hajo Meyer is speaking at during Holocaust Memorial Week. The meetings are organised by Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

Hajo Meyer is an Auschwitz survivor, but it would seem that his message is not one that you wish to hear, because he draws parallels between the racism and dehumanisation which he experienced and that which Palestinians suffer today. The parallels may not be exact, there may not be extermination camps in Israel, but comparisons are rarely exact. But when mobs regularly chant ‘Death to the Arabs’ and when ‘Transfer’ i.e. expulsion is an accepted topic of political discussion then one realises that there are, unfortunately, all too many comparisons to be made between the treatment of Jews in Germany prior to 1941 and the treatment of Palestinians today in Israel.

The question that should be asked is on what basis can you defend a decision not to publicise Hajo Meyer’s speaking engagements? Is there only one approved version of the Holocaust now acceptable to official state bodies like the Holocaust Memorial Trust? Do you not see a contradiction between official state history and the indoctrination of the German state? Perhaps you are unaware that in Israel too all universities have Departments of History and Departments of Jewish History, as if Jews were separate from the rest of humanity.

One might ask what you afraid of but then that is all too obvious. You wish the slogan ‘Never Again’ to mean ‘Never Again to the Jews’ rather than seeing it as having a universal application, regardless of who are the perpetrators and the victims. Because of course, given the right set of circumstances, Jews too can become racist.

Your behaviour parallels that of the Israeli State. It is a State which has never hesitated to compare the Palestinians with the Nazis, culminating in the grotesque comparison of Menachem Begin, at the time of the siege of Beirut in 1982, between Hitler in his bunker and Yassir Arafat. Israel has steadfastly refused all recognition of the role of anti-Zionists and non-Zionists in combating the Nazis. Given that Zionism was little more than a middle-class cult in most of Europe, and was decisively defeated in the last free elections in Poland by the anti-Zionist Bund, this exclusion and erasure of the role of anti-Zionist Jews is nothing more than a rewriting of history. It is no wonder that the Zionist treatment of Rudolf Vrba, whose escape with Alfred Wetzler alerted the world to Auschwitz and the threat to Hungarian Jewry, was cited by Robert Faurisson, a noted holocaust denier, as evidence that Auschwitz was a fabrication.

Your behaviour is reminiscent of Israel’s attitude to Marek Edelman, the last Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Fighting Organisation, ZOB. Marek Edelman, who died recently, was given the highest recognition by the Polish state and his funeral was a State commemoration, attended by the Polish President. Equally unsurprising, the ‘Jewish’ State Israel never forgave Edelman for comparing the resistance fighters of the Palestinians to those of the Warsaw Ghetto. In behaviour not unlike your own, they were unable to send a representative of the ‘Jewish’ State to his funeral, a decision even some of the most ardent of Zionists find shameful, but clearly not yourselves.

Edelman’s comparisons must have been galling, even though they were true. To the bitter end Israel’s holocaust establishment campaigned to ensure that no Israeli university recognised him. This paralleled the behaviour of the same band of falsifiers at Yad Vashem, who had done their best to prevent Rudolf Vrba being given an honorary doctorate by an Israeli university.

The offence of Vrba and Edelman was that they were anti-Zionists. They refused to keep silent about the record of the Zionist movement during the holocaust, when it actively suppressed at times news of what was happening in Hitler’s hell and its behaviour since. Hajo Meyer and Scottish PSC should be greatly honoured and encouraged by your petty and spiteful move which will, as these things always do, garner far more publicity than would otherwise have been the case.

Yours truly,

Tony Greenstein

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