France Finally Admits to its History of Jew Hatred. What About the Present?: Barbara Kay, National Post, July 25, 2017 — July 16 marked the 75th anniversary of the infamous 1942 mass roundup of French Jews in Paris’s Velodrome d’Hiver (“Vel d’Hiv”), when 13,152 Jews were deported to Nazi death camps.
The Three Germanies: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2017— Contemporary Germany manifests itself in three ways: old Germany, new Germany and “mutant” Germany.
Hitler’s Secret Weapon Was Coercing Jews to Destroy Themselves: Shmuley Boteach, Tablet, July 17, 2017 — These days have been emotionally challenging.
Documents Reveal Canadian Citizen Julius Kuhl as Holocaust Hero: Mark MacKinnon, Globe & Mail, Aug. 8, 2017— Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading.
VIDEO: Geert Wilders on Europe’s Suicide in the Face of Islam: Israpundit, 2017
Jewish Artist Takes on Twitter for Enabling anti-Semitism: Times of Israel, Aug. 8, 2017
Sarah Halimi, Sisyphus and the Denial of Antisemitic Violence: Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, JNS, July 28, 2017
Researcher Gives Seal of Approval to 53 Biblical Characters’ Existence: Rich Tenorio, Times of Israel, Aug. 4, 2017
National Post, July 25, 2017
July 16 marked the 75th anniversary of the infamous 1942 mass roundup of French Jews in Paris’s Velodrome d’Hiver (“Vel d’Hiv”), when 13,152 Jews were deported to Nazi death camps. Benjamin Netanyahu’s motorcade arrival at the commemoration ceremony, his limousine sporting gold-fringed Israeli flags, was an electric moment for French Jews, representing the first inclusion of an Israeli head of state in the event’s annual commemorative history.
In a moving address to the 1,200 (mostly) Jews in attendance, including Holocaust survivors in their 90s, France’s President Macron did not mince his words, assigning full blame for Vel d’Hiv to the Vichy government (“not a single German participated”), another first, and therefore rebuking previous leaders who have accepted only partial blame. The depth of Macron’s feeling, evident in the cathartic physical embrace he and Netanyahu shared following his speech, brought the audience to a pitch of passionate applause. This was a moment of genuine reconciliation unlike any that had gone before.
In a work of fiction, the hug between the French and Israeli heads of state would have signified triumph over a long history of French anti-Semitism. Real life is rarely so obliging. Macron understood he had to address the painful reality of the new French anti-Semitism. He therefore referred in his speech to the murder, 12 days earlier, of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year old Orthodox Jewish doctor, battered to death by her Mali-born neighbour Kobili Traoré. Traoré had reportedly referred to Halimi as a “dirty Jew,” and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he threw her off her apartment balcony.
The indictment filed against Trahoré did not categorize the killing as a hate crime, let alone an act of terrorism, as many believe it should be. It became a political hot potato. Macron announced that “the judiciary must as soon as possible provide maximum clarity on the death of Sarah Halimi.” Second-guessing clarity would be welcome, but irrelevant to the larger problem: the entrenched pathology of Jew hatred in France’s Muslim community. The Vichy government is gone, but its Jew-loathing spirit has returned in, as Macron put it, “the cancerous spread of militant Islam.”
In a 2015 interview with Times of Israel journalist David Horovitz, former Paris policeman Sammy Ghozlan paints a bleak picture of the situation for Jews in France. As an Algerian Jew, Ghozlan was a natural liaison between the Jewish communities and law enforcement. He grew concerned by the tendency he saw in his colleagues of managing the growing social problem of Muslim anti-Semitism by minimizing its root causes. (“The cops would say, if a synagogue went up in flames but nobody was hurt, ‘it’s a criminal act, not a hate crime.’”) Hate incidents ramped up with the Second Intifada in 2000. It was then that Ghozlan created the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti- Semitism (BNVCA French acronym) to record anti-Semitic attacks on synagogues, schools and public transportation (851 in 2014), which he distributed to reporters, police and concerned citizens.
Murders make the news, but pervasive low-level Muslim violence against Jews is barely registered. “If people leave religious objects — a kippa, tefillin — in a car, the car will be attacked,” Ghozlan says. “Jewish homes find swastikas on their mailbox. White powder sent in envelopes.” Hamas and Islamic State flags have been tolerated in demonstrations, where the cry of “kill the Jews” rings out without consequence. Jewish children in France believe it is normal for soldiers to guard their parochial schools, never having known it to be otherwise.
Ghozlan sees a “direct connection” with anti-Semitic violence and the left’s obsessive anti-Zionism. Arabs and Africans would not be as bold in their anti-Semitism, he says, “if they didn’t have the sense that they were encouraged by political movements and opinions in France that incited them to behave in this way.” In the media, Israel and Israelis are portrayed as detestable, as Nazis. Consequently, Ghozlan asserts, “the French public doesn’t care when the Jews get attacked,” claiming that if in January, 2015, the Hyper-Cacher (kosher) market massacre of Jews had not been linked to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, it “would not have been a big deal in France.”
Macron’s Vel d’Hiv address was magnificent; the embrace with Netanyahu was genuine; the audience’s appreciation was wholehearted. But what are good intentions against righteous hatred of so few by so many? A 2014 “Day of Rage” march by 17,000 (mostly) Muslims was dominated by the slogan, “Juif, la France n’est pas à toi” (Jew, France does not belong to you).” The families of the four victims of the Hyper-Cacher massacre took them at their word. French citizens, they made the sadly reasonable decision to bury their dead in Israel, to ensure their graves would not be desecrated.
Barbara Kay is a CIJR Academic Fellow
Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2017
Contemporary Germany manifests itself in three ways: old Germany, new Germany and “mutant” Germany. Many events in Europe have aspects of relevance for Israel, Jews and/or understanding the impact of the Holocaust. In Germany this is more often the case than in other European countries. The recent extreme violence in Hamburg by anarchists from a variety of countries before and during the G20 meeting of world leaders is a case in point. Already prior to the meeting rioters started fires, torched cars, shattered shop windows and threw firebombs. Almost 600 policemen were wounded.
One wonders whether the 20,000 policemen deployed to the area, who were later supported by additional forces, could not have prevented this violence by employing more forceful actions against the rioters. In Germany where the crimes of the Holocaust are often present in the conscious and probably even more so in the subconscious, it is preferred that citizens suffer from public disturbances rather than risk killing a rioter by mistake. Strengthened by radically diverse experiences, Israel handles these matters differently. Six million Jews were killed by Germans in the Second World War. The Israeli government prioritizes the security of its soldiers above that of those who attack them.
At first sight the German attitude toward rioters is not unique. During the looting riots of autumn 2005 in France by immigrant youth from Muslim countries, the government lost control for several days. Thugs burned cars, shops and public buildings. However, the reason the French government was careful in its actions against the hooligans was different from that of the Germans. If a rioter had been killed, additional mobs of youngsters might have joined the violence and looting. In Hamburg, however, even though there was sympathy for the hooligans in various left-wing circles, the rioters had no significant back-up forces.
The major recent immigration of refugees mainly from Muslim countries into Germany has “Holocaust impact” and Jewish aspects as well. By bringing in to Germany more than a million mainly Muslim refugees, German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to show the world that there is a new Germany. The message was clear: in contrast with the old Germany that murdered the Jewish minority, the new Germany welcomed large numbers of another minority, Muslims. There is, however, a catch. Many of these new immigrants came from countries where there is widespread extreme indoctrination of Jew-hatred. The new Germany thus facilitated the massive immigration of antisemites. That is not the only price paid. During 2015-2016 New Year’s Eve celebrations, immigrants from Muslim countries sexually attacked hundreds of women in various German cities. The same also happened in a few other European cities.
One should thus examine the new Germany a bit more closely. The welcome in past decades for Russian Jewish immigrants is an indicator of a new Germany. So are the many Holocaust memorials around the country. Yet bringing in huge numbers of antisemites among the immigrants throws a shadow on this new Germany. The behavior of the most extreme Muslims may cause the emigration of some German Jews. Some new versions of old Germany also remain. A small percentage of the population are neo-Nazis. These are not only classic antisemites, they also hate Israel. Beyond that there is another important group, which one might call “mutant Germany.” These people have replaced the demonization of Jews with that of Israel.
Seven studies between 2004 and 2015 carried out respectively by the University of Bielefeld and the Bertelsmann Foundation investigated the percentage of Germans who agreed that Israel acts toward the Palestinians like Nazis behaved toward the Jews. In the 2004 poll, 51% agreed. By 2015, the percentage was 41%. German media has played a key role in this demonization of Israel. More than 70 years since the Holocaust there are sufficient indications that contemporary German democracy still has huge dark spots.
The defining of three different Germanies is by nature a broad categorization. Yet as a tool it can be helpful to clarify – or at least ask well-defined questions about – many disparate events which occur in the country. For instance, among Muslims there are segments which are close to the old Germany. Their most visible hatemongers march every year on Al Quds day in Berlin. This demonstration is an invention of the Iranian ayatollahs’ regime and aims for the disappearance of Israel, which can only be achieved through genocide.
Another example is a study by the British think tank Chatham House which shows that 51% of Germans want the country to stop accepting Muslim immigrants. One can reasonably assume that the “old Germans,” i.e. neo-Nazis, are part of those opposing immigration. However, it would be enlightening to have an opinion poll conducted which would show how many of the remainder are closer to the “new Germany” and “mutant Germany.” These are just two examples where the analytic tool of the three Germanies comes in handy. One does not risk much by predicting that there will be many other events in the coming years where using this classification will enable analysts to better understand them.
Tablet, July 17, 2017
These days have been emotionally challenging. For the past two weeks, in preparation for a planned anti-genocide center, I’ve traveled with my family on an educational journey through the killing fields of Germany and Eastern Europe, the idea being to truly immerse myself in the dark, hallowed sites of the Holocaust so as to better understand genocide, its psychology, and its causes. And beyond every consideration, there is that of memory, of never forgetting the lost martyrs of my people.
We began in Berlin where we visited the Wannsee House, where Nazi leaders sat over caviar and cigars to fine-tune the details of the Final Solution and enact the extermination of European Jewry. From there we traveled to Prague, where we saw the wistful remains of a mighty Jewish community ravaged by Reynard Heidrich during his time as Reich-protector of Bohemia (an ironic title if ever there was one). We continued eastward into Poland, where we visited Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Majdanek, where 43,000 Jews would be killed in the Holocaust’s largest single day, single camp massacre on Nov.15, 1944.
We visited Bialystok, where we saw the skeleton of the city’s once-legendary synagogue, beneath which 2,000 Jews were burned alive. We visited Tykocin, where the village’s Jews, possessed of a 400-year-old synagogue, were marched into the woods and massacred. We visited the ghettos of Warsaw, Lodz, and Krakow, cities that still flutter with the ghosts of the multitudes lost from within. From there we went to Kosice, from which my wife’s family stems, and the last place her great-uncle was seen before he, too, was murdered by the Nazis in an unknown location in Poland. We went to Austria, where in Linz we saw Hitler’s childhood home, his parents’ burial plot, and, not far from there, the Mauthausen concentration camp.
I knew this trip wouldn’t be easy, but I could never have known just how gut-wrenching it could be. The true sense of hopelessness that haunts the air over these sites can be felt only when one is actually present. The Holocaust remains a crime that boggles the imagination, a tragedy that is as mysterious as it is horrifying. I’ve read dozens of books on the subject, most recently Lawrence Rees’s outstanding work, The Holocaust. Taken together, these thorough studies map out the figures, methods, and very mechanics of the Nazi slaughter. But what I failed to grasp even after such extensive reading was a profound understanding of just how the Nazis believed they could actually succeed in slaughtering an entire nation across an entire continent— all while at war with much of the known world. How could they possibly have set out on a plan of murder so vast that it defies all logic? How did they think they even had the wherewithal to pull it off?
Though tormenting in the extreme, I believe this journey has given me a clue. The Nazis, I have come to understand, would eradicate the Jewish nation by always holding out the possibility that, against most of the evidence, some might still live. The Jews were led to believe that if they just cooperated, their children would survive. They could not believe that Hitler would be hateful enough to eradicate an entire nation which could be used for labor in a time of war. A hatred this extreme and so utterly self-destructive had no precedent in world history. Cognitive dissonance played a further role, and the Jews could simply not accept that the Nazis intended their total annihilation.
At almost every step of the way, the Jews were forced into cooperating with the very plans drawn up to exterminate them. The Jews, the Germans thought, could provide the manpower the Nazis lacked only if they could be persuaded that if they went along with the program they would be put to productive work. Knowing that the Jews were simply trying to live, the Nazis would dangle the possibility of survival before Jewish eyes at every turn. Thus would the Jewish communities of Poland and Eastern Europe be forced into obeying Nazi orders to herd themselves into ghettos, administrate their cordoned-off ghetto communities, and board their families at the threat of rifle butts and bullets onto cattle-cars. The Nazis would bring these Jews to their deaths all by exploiting their most elemental desire for them, and especially their families, to live.
The Nazis forced the Jews to create their own self-administering councils, Judenrats, in the ghettos. When visiting the Lodz Ghetto, I stood at the exact spot where Chaim Rumkowski gave his notorious “Give Me Your Children” speech in September of 1942. As chairman of the Lodz Judenrat, Rumkowski had decided to turn the ghetto into a factory, believing that only by being useful to the Nazis could its inhabitants be spared. However, the Nazis began to demand quotas of Jews to be deported to their deaths—quotas Rumkowski himself was forced to fill. In September 1942, he begged the mothers of the ghetto to give up their children, whom, in being unproductive, he expected to be killed in any event. Though the mothers refused, Rumkowski and his Jewish agents rounded up 24,000 Jews under 10 and over 65, forced at the pain of death to do much of the Nazis’ work for them. Untold numbers of suicides followed his speech.
Of course, it was all deception. The entire Lodz ghetto would be liquidated beginning in August of 1944, and of the 223,000 Jews who had lived there, only 877 would remain by the time the Red Army arrived in January 1945. The rest would be sent to their deaths in the gas chambers at Chelmno and Auschwitz. Rumkowski himself would be deported to Birkenau. He, however, would not make it to the gas chambers. He was, upon arrival, beaten to death by his fellow inmates, at least according to prevailing eye-witness accounts. In the camps themselves, the Jews were forced into Sonderkommando units, where Jewish inmates were put to work disposing of the millions of bodies left lifeless in the gas chambers. They too were threatened with constant death, yet were twinned with a chance at life so long as they complied with the Nazi program. This too was a lie. The Nazis had a policy at their death camps of gassing the entire corps of Sonderkommando every three months. Unbeknownst to the incoming ranks of the desperate Sonderkommando, the first victims they’d be asked to incinerate would be the generation that had worked there before them…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Globe & Mail, Aug. 8, 2017
Julius Kuhl arrived in Toronto shortly after the Second World War with his young family and a suitcase full of Swiss watches that he hoped to sell. He was also carrying a story of bravery and sorrow that he shared only with those close to him – one that might have made him an international celebrity had he chosen to tell it.
Mr. Kuhl's death in 1985 made no headlines in Canada or beyond. But documents stored in Switzerland, Jerusalem and Washington…reveal Mr. Kuhl's role as a saviour of hundreds, perhaps thousands of fellow Jews during the Holocaust. It is a story that deserves to be considered alongside those of famous Holocaust heroes such as Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg. Described by his family as a short, devout and gregarious man who was constantly puffing on a cigar, Mr. Kuhl was a low-level diplomat at the Polish legation in Bern, the Swiss capital, during the Second World War. He was also the centre of a network that manufactured fake Latin American passports that were then smuggled into Nazi-occupied Europe.
Personal letters, diplomatic cables and Swiss police records show that, starting in 1941, Mr. Kuhl acquired thousands of blank passports from the consuls of Paraguay and other South and Central American countries in Switzerland. He and a colleague then entered by hand the names and dates of birth of European Jews – including many who were trapped inside the Warsaw Ghetto – before pasting in their black-and-white photos. The effort continued for two years – until Swiss police, anxious to avoid irritating Hitler's Germany, broke up the fake documents ring. They brought Mr. Kuhl and his collaborators in for questioning and demanded that the Polish legation, which represented the London-based government-in-exile of Nazi-occupied Poland, dismiss Mr. Kuhl.
"He should be as well known as Schindler, because he saved as many lives as Schindler," said Markus Blechner, who worked for years to collect the documents proving the tale he heard as a child about Mr. Kuhl and the life-saving passports. Mr. Blechner, the grandson of Holocaust victims, took up the cause of preserving Mr. Kuhl's story after Mr. Kuhl attended his bar mitzvah as an honoured guest shortly after the war. Mr. Schindler protected more than 1,000 Jews by employing them at his factory in Nazi-occupied Poland. Mr. Wallenberg saved almost 10,000 Hungarian Jews by issuing them protective passports identifying them as Swedish citizens.
One of the reasons Mr. Kuhl's story isn't as widely known is that his passport scheme was only partly successful. Mr. Blechner, who now serves as the honorary Polish consul in Zurich, says thousands of fake passports were distributed via Mr. Kuhl's network, but only a minority of the recipients are believed to have survived the Holocaust. Jews holding passports from neutral countries were considered exempt from Nazi laws that confined Jews to ghettos and mandated that they identify themselves by wearing yellow stars on their clothing. Those third-country passports allowed many Jews to flee ahead of the mass exterminations that followed.
While some of the Jews who received passports produced in Switzerland used them to escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, the majority were sent to internment camps – many, apparently, to a camp in Vittel, in Vichy France. Mr. Blechner says the Nazis' original plan was to hold the "Latin Americans" until they could be traded for German citizens detained in camps in Canada and the United States. But the sheer number of Latin American passport holders in occupied Poland eventually raised suspicions. As Swiss police moved to shut down Mr. Kuhl's passport ring in the fall of 1943, Germany demanded that Latin American countries verify that the passport holders were really their citizens…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
VIDEO: Geert Wilders on Europe’s Suicide in the Face of Islam: Israpundit, 2017
Jewish Artist Takes on Twitter for Enabling anti-Semitism: Times of Israel, Aug. 8, 2017—An Israeli-German artist best known for his “YOLOCAUST” project, which combined selfies taken at Berlin’s Holocaust memorial with images of concentration camp victims, released a video Monday targeting Twitter’s failure to address online anti-Semitism and racism, with a series of offensive tweets drawn on the ground at the social media giant’s offices.
Sarah Halimi, Sisyphus and the Denial of Antisemitic Violence: Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, JNS, July 28, 2017—It took too long for the French people to recognize the Jewish victim of a brutal April 4 murder by name. After weeks of indifference by media outlets and politicians, French President Emmanuel Macron finally demanded that the judiciary shed light on the nature of the crime.
Researcher Gives Seal of Approval to 53 Biblical Characters’ Existence: Rich Tenorio, Times of Israel, Aug. 4, 2017—Thanks to a researcher’s unique system, 53 individuals in the Hebrew Bible have been proven as genuine historical characters through material evidence of their existence. The system’s creator, Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University, calls it “a way to develop historicity.”