The following guest post was written by Prof. Ilan Sadeh, a native-born Israeli, child of Holocaust survivors and now a professor of computer science at a Chinese university. The original was published in Hebrew by HaGadah HaSmolit [“The Left Bank”]:
Following the Holocaust, Poet Avraham Shlonsky wrote his poem, Oath:
“I took an oath to remember everything.
To remember it all and not to forget.
Not to forget anything – until the tenth generation.”
“By these eyes that seen the woe and grief,
Their outcries heaving to my heart’s embrace,
By compassion which taught me condone and forgive
Till days did come too awful for grace…”
I’ve taken this oath: as I breathe and live
To remember everything, every place.
Until the tenth generation – forget no jot,
Until each of my insults be completely assuaged,
Until the last of my lashed has chastened their lot.
Cry heaven, if in vain was this night outraged,
Cry heaven, if by morning I resume my tread
And all this from my mind disengage.
–translated by Dov Vardi
Was the oath kept? It seems not. The Zionist functionaries did not wait until the tenth generation. Following are several examples of terms related to the Holocaust which were cynically exploited by the Zionists:
Nitzol Shoah – Saved from the Holocaust
Inaccurate, they were not saved, no one [except a tiny group of the Orthodox and some renegade Zionists in the Vaad Hatzolah] tried to save them. “Holocaust Remnants” or “Holocaust Survivors,” as defined in English, are terms that are more accurate.
She’erit HaPleta – The Surviving Remnant
Ben Gurion used this term, derived of the Old Testament, to describe the Holocaust survivors. This term, in ordinary Hebrew, offers a demeaning connotation.
Avak Adam – Riffraff
The Zionist activists, mainly Ben Gurion, often used this term to describe Holocaust survivors. The term was used once again in the 1950s, directed mainly toward the Oriental Jews. Zionism, similar to fascism and Nazism, categorized people by their counties of origin. The Sabras [first generation Israelis] are “pioneers,” “masters of the land,” “salt of the earth,” “a supreme race.”
Diaspora Jews, especially Holocaust survivors, were a lower human form – “scum.” The truth is that Diaspora Jews were hard-working, subsisting on manual labor and contributing to the Zionist effort. It was actually the Zionist activists who were parasites, living on donations from Diaspora Jews.
Israeli arrogance ended with the Yom Kippur War. The leadership was broken. Talk of the “destruction of the third temple” and a willingness to launch a nuclear missile caused a complete sense of panic. We were saved by American support, support that was not afforded to the six-million and to the Holocaust survivors.
Yad Vashem is an institution created under the Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance (Yad Vashem) Law 5713-1953. Its objective is to document the history of the Jewish people before and during the Holocaust, perpetuate the life stories and memory of the millions of those murdered, and to instill the Holocaust legacy in future generations. In practice, in addition to its legal mandate, the institution serves as Israel’s propaganda bureau.
Historians, usually Jews, have aggrandized and exalted their reputation by obsessively dealing with the Holocaust of the European Jews. Most of them have no connection to the Holocaust. The “Holocaust Industry,” which grew and continues to grow, has brought forth these wild weeds. Seeing that the issue is saturated with interests and politics, such “Holocaust studies” are biased and unreliable. It is difficult to trust the “research.” The “research budgets” are higher than those allocated to other academic studies and they are usually allocated by factors within the Zionist establishment, with corresponding results.
“Why didn’t you rebel?”
Holocaust survivors were forced to deal with this accusation. There were “Holocaust researchers” like Raul Hilberg, who got a bit carried away with this trend. The fact is that there was no use in rebelling, as proven in the Warsaw Ghetto and similar attempts in Krakow, Vilna and other ghettos. There were uprisings and attempted rebellions. The outcomes were insignificant, mainly because they received no help from outside, especially in Poland. The atmosphere was often hostile and the German reaction was harsh and brutal, collectively directed toward the entire community. (As it was, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a battle that lasted longer than many of the battles the Germans “fought” when they occupied other European countries.)
Every modern army operates a performance research unit, which calculates the probability of success of a military operation. No military unit embarks on a mission when the chances of success are lower than a certain level. The chances of a ghetto rebellion succeeding were nil. In other words, they had no chance of defeating the German army, thus all such attempts were in vain. It is painful to say it, but the correct approach, statistically, was to survive at all costs, whether by bearing the suffering, perseverance and mutual aid, or by way of escape or negotiation. Rebellion was to no avail.
One of my mother’s relatives, a young man named Immerglik, who took part in the assault on the German officers at the Cyganeria Café in Krakow in December 1942. He disappeared, his body was never found.
A nickname coined by the Sabras during the 1948 War of Independence, a relic of the soap industry that developed in the death camps (a tale that probably has no grounding in reality). The nickname portrayed the “Holocaust Remnants” as pale, cowardly and weak, as compared to the tanned, brawny and heroic Sabras. They called the survivors cakes of soap.
But during WWII, the tanned Sabras evaded service and even digging ditches. Being citizens of the British Mandate, they were not obligated to enlist. There were indeed some who volunteered and enlisted for combat duty in the British army, but the vast majority found ways to evade combat. Some did so in a “Zionist” manner, others just shirked the responsibility and acted for their own benefit.
The fallen soldiers of the 1948 War of Independence were: 3000 of the original settlement, which consisted of 600,000 individuals, and 3000 “soap” soldiers, derived from a population of 60,000 men and women who immigrated to Israel in 1941-1948. These “cakes of soap” comprised 5% of the population, while the figure of those in service from the old settlement was 0.5%.
In other words, the number of fallen “ cakes of soap” was ten times greater than the fallen Sabras.
“Criminals and Prostitutes”
The Zionist activists spread the notion that those who survived were most probably criminals or prostitutes. The truth is that there was hardly any crime and there was no prostitution, not in the ghettos nor in the camps. Judenrat administration of the ghettos was usually fair. The Jews in the camps, excluding the Kapo, retained their humanity. There was a great deal of mutual assistance. It is important to note that the Holocaust survivors are worthy of great respect for their conduct in the Valley of Death.
In October 1945, Palmach commander Yitzhak Sadeh published a story called “My Sister on the Beach.” It told the story of Yitzhak Sadeh, a romantic man, as he met an immigrant coming off a ship at night. Sadeh calls the young woman “my sister.” He notices that she is tattooed with the words “For Officers Only.” He realizes that she was forced to serve the Nazis as a prostitute and that she was sterilized. He swears: “For my sisters like her, I shall be strong. For my sisters like her, I shall be brave. For my sisters like her, I shall be cruel.”
Through his story, Sadeh tried to motivate youngsters to enlist in the efforts for illegal immigration. However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The story is entirely a figment of Yitzhak Sadeh’s romantic imagination. However, he unintentionally helped create the “prostitute” image that stuck to the Holocaust survivors.
The facts are that tattoos were only applied in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The tattoos consisted of numbers only. Yitzhak Sadeh could not have met a woman whose tattoo was not a number. Auschwitz indeed operated a brothel for the German staff. But Jewish women were not employed as whores. All of the prostitutes were German and Polish. It is true that Dr. Mengele and others performed experiments on Jewish women and that they were indeed sterilized.
“Like Sheep to the Slaughter”
This wretched term was taken from the words of Abba Kovner, appearing in a proclamation published to residents of the Vilna Ghetto. The Hebrew translation by Kovner read, “We must not go like lambs to the slaughter.” Y.Y. Agnon, in his book, The Sign, distinguished between the Jews of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora: “It is better to live in Israel than outside of it, as Israel has granted us the power to stand up for ourselves, unlike the Diaspora where we walked toward our enemy like lambs to the slaughter.”
Agnon made the use of the term acceptable. He had a limited capacity to understand. Although he was awarded a Nobel Prize, he in no way measured up to Janusz Korczak. The Jewish leadership should have stopped the spreading of such poison. It did not. Holocaust survivors were a trampled lot.
People of the old settlement ridiculed the Holocaust survivors regarding their conduct during the Holocaust. In so doing, they poured salt on wounds that never healed. During the Yom Kippur War and in others, soldiers were taken captive and murdered. Did they go as lambs to the slaughter?
“1967 Borders = Auschwitz Borders”
In an interview with Der Spiegel in 1969, Israel’s mythical Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abba Eban, compared the 1967 borders to the borders of Auschwitz, no less. The distinguished figure was among the symbols of Israel’s Labor Party. He was known for his strong affinity for finer things in life. He chose to justify the Occupation in Oxford English, using Auschwitz as the excuse. This statement reflects the Zionist activists’ frame of mind: Auschwitz was the ultimate excuse for everything. Netanyahu, in his scary Holocaust speeches, does not say anything new. Abba Eban said the same thing long before him.
“There is room for comparing the Holocaust to the current period”
A statement by Benjamin Netanyahu. He often repeats this motif in his speeches. It is hard to believe, but Israel’s Prime Minister blatantly compares the European Jews during the Holocaust and the acts of annihilation by Nazi Germany to the hostile relations between Israel and Iran. He made this statement 70 years after the Holocaust, but he does not understand that there is no room for comparing the Holocaust to Iran. He does not understand the difference… an entire country does not understand the difference. This is the result of Zionist propaganda’s cynical exploitation of the Holocaust.
“Obama will march the Israelis to the oven”
The strong Zionist lobby and the money held by affluent pro-Israel American Jews have led the Republican presidential candidates to speak out shamefully against Barack Obama. On 26 July 2015, Mike Huckabee told Breitbart News that Obama’s foreign policy is the “most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
What can be said? Perhaps, in his defense, Huckabee will claim that this statement is a direct continuation of Netanyahu’s comparison between the Holocaust and the Iranian threat.
“We have a historical recollection of what happens when Jewish products are marked”
These are Netanyahu’s words in September 2015 regarding the marking of products from settlements in the West Bank. The Prime Minister is reminded of the Holocaust, no less. Another example of his nauseating abuse of the memory of the Holocaust. With these statements, he is devaluing the Holocaust, perhaps even denying the Holocaust.
There is no similarity between marking products manufactured in the Occupied Territories and the Holocaust. Products manufactured in the Occupied Territories were not manufactured in Israel, thus there is nothing wrong with noting this fact. There is a great distance between this and the Holocaust. Marking products manufactured under and within Occupation is not an “anti-Semitic measure.” It is a legitimate tool for non-violent resistance to a cruel Occupation. One finds it difficult to comprehend the nerve of the Israeli politicians, such as Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Adolph Hitler did not want to exterminate the Jews, he wanted to expel them, so he met with the Mufti of Jerusalem who convinced him to “burn” the Jews. This is how the Holocaust was born.
This awful statement was not made by the Town Fool, but rather by Israel’s Prime Minister. It was not said in wrath, nor as a passing note or a slip of the tongue. This statement represents his belief and he said it in a speech before the most senior forum of the World Zionist Congress on 20 October 2015:
“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time; he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini [the Mufti of Jerusalem] went to Hitler and said, “If you expel them, they’ll all come here.” “So what should I do with them?” he asked. He said, “Burn them.”
My father’s entire family was murdered: babies, children, adults and the elderly. They were killed by the German Einstantzgruppen in the Kostapil valley of death in Ukraine in August 1941. Hitler met the Mufti in November 1941. The truth is that the murderous Holocaust began immediately upon the commencement of the Barbarossa Operation, on 22 June 1941.
Netanyahu presents blatant lies.
Furthermore, according to Netanyahu Hitler was not so bad after all. The Germans are not really to blame. It is the Palestinians who initiated the murder of the six-million. The Prime Minister’s libelous and inciting statement actually absolves Adolf Hitler, passing the blame to Mufti Husseini – Abu Mazen’s supposed spiritual mentor.
Benjamin Netanyahu is a stupid man; Benjamin Netanyahu is a liar. But even stupidity and lies have their limits. Had it been any other issue, his statement would have seemed like one more of the lies and misrepresentations so characteristic of Netanyahu. But Netanyahu crossed the line.
His words are no longer a political manipulation, they are something new. Had the leader of a foreign country dared to disseminate such lies, so supportive of Adolf Hitler, he would immediately be condemned and deposed. Israel’s Prime Minister, however, was forgiven…
As he spoke these lies none of the delegates to the Zionist Congress objected. No one stood and shouted to Israel’s Prime Minister: Be quiet! Get out of here! When the libelous speech ended, there was no denial or condemnation by Yad VaShem whose role it should be. By its very mission, Yad VaShem should have issued a severe reprimand, but none was made.
The Parties of the governing coalition remained silent. None spoke up against the Prime Minister. I point an accusatory finger, mainly at Minister Yaakov Litzman, Chairman of “Torah Judaism.” Litzman, among the most honest politicians in the Knesset and a son of Holocaust survivors, knows the truth.
The “justice” system said nothing, it is not important enough for it.
Official auditing functions, like the State Auditor, remained silent. The State Auditor does not care, although that is exactly what the auditing authority is required to do. Had the State Auditor been a worthy man, he would have taken a stand. The State Auditor in 2015, Yossef Shapira, appointed by the Knesset with Benjamin Netanyahu’s active support, was a weak man. Yossef Shapira kept quiet. Yossef Shapira knows why.
Embarrassingly so, it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel who was fair and immediately published a clarification. Merkel placed all of the blame on the German people.
The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.