Jewish World Review June 4, 2002 / 23 Sivan, 5762

David Gelernter

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On the Jewish Question

A conversation across generations | The statements below of Goering, Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Frank, Frick, Hoess, Shirach, Sauckel, and Streicher in and out of court during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial are quoted verbatim from G.M. Gilbert, "Nuremberg Diary," 1947.

Goering was Reich marshal. Ribbentrop was foreign minister. Rosenberg was chief Nazi philosopher and minister for the east. Frank was governor of Nazi Poland. Frick was interior minister. Hoess was commandant of Auschwitz. Shirach was head of the Hitler Youth. Sauckel was labor chief. Streicher was editor of the Nazi weekly Der Stuermer--the Storm Trooper.


"Stay in any five-star hotel anywhere from Jordan to Iran, and you can buy the infamous forgery 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion.'" Susan Sachs, New York Times, 5/27/02.

SHIRACH: "Why did our elders betray us? Why didn't anybody tell us that Ford had repudiated The International Jew and that the Protocols of Zion was a forgery?"

"Daniel Bernard, the French ambassador to England, recently referred to Israel at a London dinner party as 'a shi--y little country' and then denied being anti-Semitic." Hillel Halkin, Commentary, 2/02.

RIBBENTROP: "After all, I was working for an anti-Semitic Government. . . . But I have never myself been anti-Semitic."

"Wyatt recounts being told by a liberal member of the House of Lords, 'the Jews have been asking for it, and now, thank G-d, we can say what we think at last.'" Halkin, Commentary, 2/02.

STREICHER: "I didn't create the problem; it existed for hundreds of years. I saw how the Jews were pushing themselves into all spheres of German life."

"'I never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all,' [Tom] Paulin [professor at Oxford] told the Egyptian al-Ahram weekly in April, and Jews from Brooklyn who have settled in the West Bank 'are Nazis, racists. . . . They should be shot dead.'" Gabriel Schoenfeld, Commentary, 6/02.

ROSENBERG: "I don't know. . . . I had no idea that it would lead to extermination in any literal sense."

"Hitler should have finished the job"--placard at a demonstration, U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Durban, South Africa, August 2001.

SHIRACH: "I don't think there will ever be anti-Semitism in the world again, after this horrible example."

News items: "In Germany, two orthodox Jews were beaten. . . . A woman wearing a star-of-David necklace was attacked. . . . Jewish memorials in Berlin were defaced. . . . A synagogue was spray-painted with the words, 'Six Million Is Not Enough. PLO.'"

SAUCKEL: "I want to tell you that I know absolutely nothing of these things, and I certainly had absolutely nothing to do with it!"

"Wrote one commentator in the Suddeutsche Zeitung: 'It's been a long time since the hatred of Jews--once disguised as anti-Zionism--has been as socially acceptable in Germany as it is today." Schoenfeld, Commentary, 6/02.

GOERING: "Don't worry--the time will come when the world will think differently about all this, and the German people will see things differently too. . . . Who knows how things will develop in 50-100 years?"

The Saudi daily Al Riyadh "accused Jews of consuming the blood of Christian and Muslim children during the holiday of Purim. The author, a lecturer at King Faisal University in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, called this medieval fiction a 'well-established fact.'" Sachs, New York Times, 5/27/02.

HOESS: "Don't you see, we SS men were not supposed to think about these things; it never even occurred to us. . . . And besides, it was something already taken for granted that the Jews were to blame for everything."

Item: "A selection of cartoons from the Arab press that shows Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gleefully eating Palestinian children in the Palestinian Al-Quds daily . . ."

STREICHER: "Why, it's all in the Talmud. . . .The Talmud is full of such things."

". . . an Israeli soldier presenting his mother with a bottle of Palestinian blood in the Jordanian paper Al-Dustour . . ." Melissa Radler, Jerusalem Post, 5/10/02.

HOESS: "It fitted in with all that had been preached to me for years."

Item: "An article in the respected French left-wing weekly Le Nouvel Observateur reporting, straight-faced, a long-disproved slander to the effect that soldiers of the Israel Defense Force rape Palestinian women so that their families will then murder them to redeem the family honor . . ." Halkin, Commentary, 2/02.

HOESS: "We just never heard anything else. It was not just newspapers like the Stuermer but it was everything we ever heard."

"True, [Sharon] uses all the weapons prohibited by international law. True he uses depleted uranium, true he uses toxic gases." Yasser Arafat (3/29), in the Jerusalem Post, 4/10/02.

HOESS: "It only started to occur to me after the collapse that maybe it was not quite right."


"A Saudi cleric enjoined his Muslim brothers 'not to have any mercy or compassion on the Jews, their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours to take, legitimately. G-d made them yours. Why don't you enslave their women?'" Schoenfeld, Commentary, 6/02.

Testimony of HOESS: "Those capable of working were sent to the labor details, and the rest, including most women and all young children, were sent to the extermination chambers immediately. . . . The women's hair was packed in bales for commercial use."

At the University of California, Berkeley, the "Hillel society building was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, and the city's largest synagogue has received a stream of threats, including one in which a telephone caller said that all Jews should be 'annihilated' and 'holocausted.'" Schoenfeld, Commentary, 6/02.

STREICHER "had spoken about exterminating the Jews but hadn't meant it literally."

The Durban Forum "branded Zionism as racism; condemned Israel as a 'racist, apartheid state' guilty of 'acts of genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing'; called for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal to bring to justice those responsible for these 'crimes against humanity.'" Ina Friedman, Jerusalem Report, 4/8/02.

ROSENBERG "admitted to having used 'very strong words' about the Jews . . . but all of that propaganda was not to be taken literally."

HOESS: "Maybe it was not quite right."

"The use of Nazi imagery, the newspaper caricatures of Jews with fangs and exaggerated hook noses, even the Arab textbooks with their descriptions of Jews as evil world conspirators--all of that, Arab leaders often insist, reflects a dislike for Israelis and Zionism but not for Jews and Judaism." Sachs, New York Times, 5/27/02.

FRICK "never had been an anti-Semite," he said, "never had hated the Jews."

"These extremist elements murdered my partner Yitzhak Rabin." Yasser Arafat on Al Jazeera (3/29), in the Jerusalem Post, 4/10/02.

RIBBENTROP reported that "Some of his best friends were Jews."

"We can compare what is happening in Palestine to what happened in Auschwitz." Jose Saramago, Portuguese Nobel laureate in literature, 3/25/02.

"They begged their mothers, screaming: 'Mother, please, water, water!'" Filip Mueller describing transports arriving at Auschwitz, in Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah.

A cultural milestone in European history: "We can compare what is happening in Palestine to what happened in Auschwitz."

"As people reached the crematorium, they saw everything--this horribly violent scene. The whole area was ringed with SS. Dogs barked. Machine guns." Filip Mueller on Auschwitz, in Shoah.

Jose Saramago, Nobel laureate: "We can compare what is happening in Palestine to what happened in Auschwitz."

"The gas took about ten to fifteen minutes to kill. The most horrible thing was when the doors of the gas chambers were opened"--Filip Mueller on Auschwitz, in Shoah.

"In the month of March, we lost the lives of more than 126 persons." Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, on the suicide-murderers.

GOERING: "Ach, those mass murders! It is a rotten shame, the whole thing. I'd rather not talk about it, or even think about it."


Surely most of the world abhors and abominates this flood of Jew-hatred and Jewish state-hatred? We don't know, because most of the world is silent.

SHIRACH: "My wife had seen how Jews were being dragged out of their homes, and being an outspoken idealist, she asked the Fuehrer whether he knew about such disgraceful action. He was silent."

HOESS: "Maybe it was not quite right."

Too late.

David Gelernter is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2002, by and reprinted from The Weekly Standard