Speaking of the Shoah

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I have always felt that the Holocaust was (and is) essentially nonrepresentable for those who did not suffer in the Inferno, an event of such unthinkable consequence and horror that anyone who did not experience it could scarcely claim the right to speak about it. For by doing so we almost inevitably cheapen it, turn it into worn and soiled currency, lapse into unforgivable glibness irrespective of our sincerity or ethical engagement. How can one speak about that which one has not only not undergone but cannot truly imagine? The point was forcefully made by Hannah Arendt in her Essays in Understanding, where she articulated her belief that “the ongoing problem—finding a mode of representation adequate to the transgressive nature of the phenomenon which, at the same time, does not fall into mystification—is endemic to the material and perhaps unresolvable.” Such indefeasible horror would appear to resist both language and mind—unless, we might think, one has been reduced to the level of the bestial.

In the words of Bernhard Schlink from The Reader, addressing the incommunicable nature of the Holocaust, “We should not believe we can comprehend the incomprehensible, we may not compare the incomparable… because to inquire is to make the horrors an object of discussion…instead of accepting them as something in the face of which we can only fall silent in revulsion, shame and guilt.” Or as George Steiner put it in an incisive and harrowing essay called “The Long Life of Metaphor,” the problem “as to whether there is a human form of language adequate to the conceptualization and understanding of Auschwitz, as to whether the limits of language do not fall short of the limits of the Shoah experience, is now ineradicably installed in Jewish existence.” According to Steiner, we are still trying to come to terms with “the exit of God” from language.

Indeed, even God Himself, according to Yiddish poet Simcha Simchovich in a collection appropriately called Remnant, may have been unequal to the monstrousness of the event:

God Himself hid his face, in panic,

on that day.

Further, it seems to me that any honest and committed attempt to engage with the reality of the Holocaust, in whatever degree so unscaleable an effort is remotely possible, would require one as a Jew to change one’s life drastically, categorically, irreversibly. Assuming that he or she is somehow capable of assimilating even partially the sheer and brute occurrence of this Inconceivable, how would it then be possible to live in the daily sunlight untouched by the weighty and tenebrous shadow of History? To write poems in defiance of Theodor Adorno’s famous dictum that after Auschwitz poetry was no longer possible? To concern ourselves with market brands? To root for the home team? One recalls Rabbi Mordecai Levy of Zemyock’s rhetorical question in André Schwarz-Bart’s The Last of the Just, “And tell me, Brethren, how a truly Jewish heart could laugh in this world?” And yet we do laugh, write poems, attend sports events, and shop happily. Life, as they say, goes on, despite the premonition that those who suffered in the camps might turn from us in posthumous rejection of a contentment masked by occasional professions of anguish and condign donations. The paradox is not easily avoided.

Primo Levi phrases the question with terrible intensity in Shemá, a title poem based on the central Jewish prayer “Hear, O Israel”, in which he demands of those who “live secure/In your warm houses” and who “return at evening to find/Hot food and friendly faces” to recall the incendiary words in which he brings to mind the cataclysms of Jewish history, words that should be burned into the Jewish soul:

Engrave them on your hearts

When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,

When you go to bed, when you rise.

Repeat them to your children.

Or may your house crumble,

Disease render you powerless,

Your offspring avert their faces from you.

In essence, how can literature and communal speech come to terms with that which resists imaginative and psychological closure? This is very near to the great German-Jewish poet Paul Celan’s perhaps unresolvable question: how can language itself escape moral and ideological pollution or manage to convey that which is incommensurate with the conceptual or evocative power of the word? Celan, of course, was thinking of the German language he loved so profoundly but felt had become too morally contaminated to be handled without the prospect of contagion and too intellectually suspect to be used as a medium of reference. The renowned German-Jewish critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki confronted this reductive conundrum in his extensive oeuvre, in particular The Author of Himself, by reacting in the opposite way. Rather than paring his words to the bone or ceasing to write altogether, he determined instead to use the German language superbly—as if one could separate a language and a literature from a history and a people.

But with respect to the Holocaust, the question involves any medium of representation or reference, any language whatsoever. How can one, in the words of Celan’s exegete and translator John Felstiner, “name the eclipse without profaning it”? And as Alan Munston remarks somewhere, the Holocaust “is very difficult to write about, because it requires not the large gesture, but great tact.” But to what extent is such tact even possible? The acclaimed American-Jewish thriller novelist Daniel Silva in his A Death in Vienna opted to rely on a simple descriptive record of life in the camps, a victim’s transcript almost devoid of commentary. There is no attempt to purple up the atrocity; spareness suffices. Perhaps this is as close as we can get to “tact”—though even here, the imagination cannot contain the enormity of the unconscionable.

Moreover, the experience of the Holocaust is not only intrinsically nonrepresentable in any artistic or discursive medium but must also be recognized as an inherently Jewish experience before it can even be approached as one of “universal import,” which latter would lead to a more generic and softer form of indignation, dread or loathing. The effort to extend the Holocaust threat to apply potentially to all peoples is dangerously misguided since the only people in the world who have to face the threat of genocide, generation after generation, are the Jews. The Armenians will not face another genocide. The Tutsis (and the Hutus in Burundi before the Rwanda slaughter) need no longer fear the specter of annihilation. Aboriginal societies in the West do not have to worry about another impending wave of extermination.

But for the Jewish people, the prospect of genocide is a menace that never dissipates. Rather than adulterating their concern by pretending to be socially enlightened and flattering themselves on their ostensibly higher calling under the rubric of “social justice,” Jews should not make a fetish of universal tolerance when the whole point is particular survival—especially now, not only with regard to the Muslim Middle East but in Europe as well where a conceptual Zyklon B is in the air. The evidence for a renewed, 1930s-like upsurge of antisemitic rhetoric and activity, as noted by reputable commentators like David Hornik, Giulio Meotti, Jonathan Tobin, Robin Shepherd and many others, is starkly undeniable. “European intellectuals may think they operate on a different level from street thugs,” writes Tobin, “But the logical next step from the hounding of Jews on the editorial pages and in academia is clear.” Shepherd, for his part, is apprehensive that the antisemitic virus may spread to the U.S. The fact remains. “The Holocaust and the anti-Semitism that led to it,” writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali, correctly, in The Caged Virgin, “cannot be compared to any other form of ethnic cleansing.” To fasten on its presumptive universality without first understanding its Jewish dimension is to dilute its singular and interpellant character.

The quandary deepens for the Jew who is, in some mysterious but ineluctable way, morally beholden to those who perished in the camps, as if, as Jews, we feel that those of us who died died for those of us who didn’t. How does one come to terms with a revelation of such unforgiving magnitude? The tendency is to move in two directions at once, away from the Holocaust through assimilation or sentimental trivializing and toward it in virtue of the compulsion to assuage the guilt of survival and to retrieve or forge an identity from communal suffering. Gershom Scholem put the matter with his customary clarity in his 1963 “Letter to Hannah Arendt” in which he states the contradiction of a people who manifest “on the one hand, a devotion to the things of this world that is near-demonic; on the other, a fundamental uncertainty of orientation in this world.” The dilemma of negotiating the relation between wanting to live the good life and needing to remember the evil one is likely insoluble.

But the Holocaust will not go away. We are still asking the question, though with renewed urgency, that the Psalmist posed in Psalm 44: “why sleepest thou, O Lord?…Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?” One might also mention Charles Hartshorne’s “process theology,” the theory of a God Who is mutable and developing and Who suffers with us in the course of a shared History—which leaves us with an evolutionary Being who just happens to be immortal. Even the most radical fringe of Reform or Reconstructionist Judaism would have trouble defending so thin and undemanding and humanized a form of religious faith. Abraham Heschel goes so far as to propose that “Judaism is God’s quest for man,” which tends to encapsulate man within his own historical parentheses, though the argument elaborated in his book God in Search of Man cannot, in my estimation, let Divinity off the hook any more than a God subject to Darwinian laws is thereby absolved.

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  • Gillian Osmond

    Thank you, David. I shall follow up on all the references and hold this close to my heart every day.

  • Judas

    Unfortunately some arogant mortal men around the 6th century decided for all Jews which words of God we would and would not study. In one of the books Codexified out of the bible, the answer is unmistakeable. When the Persians destroyed Jeruselum for the first time, it was well known that it was because the people turned away from Gods Laws. When the Greeks attempted once again to destroy the Jewish people in Israel, this was remembered and a small band of Jews called the Maccabeas took on and beat back the entire Greek empire.

  • Judas

    Through out history, as Jews have moved farther and farther away from Israel, they have also moved farther away from God's Law. They attempt to assimilate into a society that will never accept them. This assimilation is responsible for American Jewish Liberals. A Jew also being a Liberal/Progressive is irrational. But an ingrained fear of partial teachings of such great atrocities cause this disease to fester in the Jewish communities. So often hear hear about the millions of Jews rounded up and brought to the camps. But the stories of people like Tuva Bielsky get lost. Many reading this comment will need to Google that name, and I encourage that. Jews may be the "People of the Book", but when you read the whole book, you realize we also have a long history of warriors. The Shoah will not happen again. For the first time since King Solomen's rule the Jews have a dedicated Army. There are Jews here in America who did not live pampered Liberal lives who don't back down and won't comply, and the rest need to gain that mentality for our survival.

  • tagalog

    There may not be words adequate enough to deal with such things as the Holocaust, but we'd better not stop trying to formulate them, because it is insufficient to be silent in the face of such things. If human beings could envision such atrocities and human beings can carry them out, they are not mysteries and are therefore not incapable of being understood. To fall silent in the face of such things is, in some defeatist way, to accept them because we're afraid of what we might find in our own natures, and we must not do that.

  • aspacia

    What is unique, is not the Holocaust because many peoples have been slaughtered by Mongols, Communists, Aztecs, Normans, et al., what is unique is the millennia of various ethnic groups discriminating against and enslaving and massacring the Hebrews

  • Gary from Jersey

    This essay is an attempt to preserve moral superiority through shaming language. The Holocaust was brought on by the myths of antisemitism and the envy of psychopaths and sociopaths. Don't tell me I can't understand what happened; I have studied this worst crime in human history since childhood to try to learn its causes, functions and goals and what can be done to prevent a recurrence.. It has taken many years to see this was a colossal aberration, a tearing of the soul that cannot and should not be healed. But to say only those who suffered this catastrophe can understand it is to denigrate many millions of people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust or did not have the power to stop it. Beating humanity over the head with moral posturing and over-thinking only breeds resentment and denial.

    • Judas

      Gary- I won't pretend to know anything about you, or what you may or may not know or understand. I am guessing you are not Jewish, and that is fine, as it seems you are supportive of those who are. I think the greater point being made here by the writer is that if you are not Jewish, it may be hard to comprehend not just the Shoah, but the entire history of our people. It is well documented from biblical times until today that there is always in every generation a group of people with the goal of causing a Jewish extinction. It's not just the Nazis, bt then when you look at the Crusades, Inquisitions, today's Islamic dedication to our annhiliation, there essentially is no other people in the history of human existance that has been the victim of and continually threatened as the Jewish people.

      • Mensch Kaymelon

        Judas, I think you are being overly dramatic about the victimization of Jews. Yes, they suffered. Many other people suffered just as much…maybe not in as denigrating and focused manner…but suffered genocide all the same. This, however, is no excuse for current policies in Israel that mirror Nazi practices in WWII.

      • Gary from Jersey

        Yes, I am pro-Israel, and yes, I'd be hard pressed to find another people who have suffered as much for so long. But the point I was trying to make, poorly as it turns out, is that while the Shoah was the single-largest human catastrophe in human history, there are those who use it to dismiss the suffering of other peoples and to lord a special kind of moral superiority over mankind. Those people denigrate the memory of 11 million victims by encouraging cynicism and put people like me in a kind of second-class citizenship.

  • Cassandra

    At the risk of sounding rude, what I think you need to write and think about the Shoah/Holocaust is fact that a large — and growing — segment of the population is beginning to accept the ideas and arguments being put forth by "Holocaust Deniers". In the Jewish and Jewish-friendly media, those ideas and arguments are typically either dismissed out of hand or distorted and satirized, and the net result is that when people are exposed to the actual ideas and arguments, they are not well-equipped intellectually to reject or refute them.

    And by the way I DO NOT agree or sympathize with Holocaust denial or deniers; I merely am the messenger of news no one seems to want to hear.

    • Atlas_Collins

      Uh oh! Quick, hebrews! Get out the long knives and start slicing Cassandra up! She DARED to insinuate that the holy shoah is not all that the holy shoahers say it is.

      How DARE she!

      The shoah is the worstest baddest most evilest thing that ever happened to any people anywhere, and to even hint that the slightest iota of everything claimed by the sacred jews about this most-evil event ever to happen ever should be a crime punishable by death.

      • Cassandra

        Actually that is NOT what I said, but it is fortuitous that you posted your remarks. Due to a variety of social, cultural, and political factors Holocaust denial is RAPIDLY gaining ground in the US and internationally. The Jewish and Jewish-friendly media appear to be blithely unaware of it, and IMHO if they don't wake up to this fact, one fine day they're all going to find themselves living in a very different world.

        • Atlas_Collins

          Call it "denial" if you will, all I know for sure is that when it becomes a "crime" to question "official versions of events" then there's a freedom-problem somewhere.

          … you ever notice how those that question "anthropogenic global climate change" are called "deniers" as well?

          The same dynamic is at work over questions surrounding the historical events that comprise the "shoah."

          • ziontruth

            "… you ever notice how those that question 'anthropogenic global climate change' are called 'deniers' as well?"

            The charge of denialism is so frequent today, leveled at so many opinions, including by opposing groups at each other's positions, that it has become meaningless beyond showing that the one charging it is an opponent of the view of those he charges it at.

            Denialism has been alleged of 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists, and of 9/11 Outside Terrorism adherents by the former; of Biblical creationists ("Evolution Denial," skeptic Martin Shermer called it), and of evolutionists by the Biblical creationists (the creationist group Answers in Genesis holds evolution to be "a denial of the Biblical account"); of anthropogenic global warming believers, and of their opponents by those; of those who believe Zionism to be a European colonial enterprise, and they in turn have charged those who believe the "non-Jewish Palestinian nation from time immemorial" narrative to be a fraud.

            This very brief list is enough to show that the mere name-calling of "denialist" or "revisionist" or "pseudoscientist" etc. is of little use in determining which side of right. It is the facts, provided of course that they are accessible and correctly interpreted—not as self-evident a situation as many people think it is—that determine which of the disputants has the truth. Statements of conviction on the one hand, and smears of denialism on the other, are nothing more than noise.

            Thus much for stating the non-obvious obvious.

        • tagalog

          If you think Holocaust denial is a growing issue, think about the myriad people who will argue to the death, in the face of mounds of documentation, that the United States government did NOT, repeat NOT, have a policy of protecting Indians during the majority of the time when American settlers were coming into conflict with them. In fact, from the time of Andrew Jackson, the U.S. government committed itself to attempts to separate Indians from whites, for the sake of protection of the Indians, and continued to do so for most of a century after that. People will simply refuse outright to believe it. They will tell you that genocide of the Indians was the official policy of the United States government, with absolutely nothing but the unsubtantiated and empty claims of their unqualified and incompetent teachers and professors to back up that claim.

    • Ghostwriter

      And Ms. Cassandra,you live in an alternate universe,because you can't possibly be from ours. There's too much evidence that the Holocaust DID happen so please,why don't you and Schlockmotion disappear from this website. Neither of you will be missed.

  • Schlomotion

    I disagree with Mr. Solway. The Holocaust actually happened. Therefore, to say it "was (and is) essentially nonrepresentable" cheapens it by making it unspeakable Platonist Jell-o, suitable only for occultist bookshops. Platonism is a cheapening philosophy, and human destruction of masses of other humans is not an archetype or an ideal. This kind of bad thinking is what sets the Holocaust in the center of Philosophy as a Year Zero instead of in the center of shame and bes.tiality where it belongs. The cheapening of the Holocaust into an ideal of inexplicable and inexpressible deified genocide is a slippery exceptionalist slope causing Americans to coronate 9/11 as the King of Suffering. Americans are prone to swallow that can of intellectual Budweiser because many of them already believe in Jesus and nurse a martyrdom complex.

    • ziontruth

      "The cheapening of the Holocaust into an ideal of inexplicable and inexpressible deified genocide is a slippery exceptionalist slope causing Americans to coronate 9/11 as the King of Suffering."

      Your leaps of logic are impressive, but between the Holocaust and 9/11 there is no direct connection to make. A far better case is for the influence of the Holocaust account on the Arabs' emphasis of the Nakba (their failure to destroy the nascent the Jewish state and slaughter all its Jewish inhabitants in 1947–9). In this there is—it is gruesome to even think of this expression, but I have no choice—a sort of "Holocaust Envy," in which the Arab imperialists, erroneously thinking Zionism is about redress for the Holocaust (it is not; Jewish nationalism is based on the inherent and ancient connection of the Jewish nation to the Land of Israel), push the Nakba as a rival, together with the term "Nakba Denial" and the calls to outlaw it.

      From my point of view, the Holocaust has never been nor cannot be a good basis for the claim of Jewish nationalism; it does, however, make a sound argument as to why Israel must not become "a state of all its citizens" (contra multiculturalism, which is bad for any nation), and why sundry metaphorical interpretations of a certain monkey-faced Iranian leader's talk of "wiping Israel from the page of time" are no more warranted than such interpretations for the crystal-clear genocidal passages in Mein Kampf.

      • Schlomotion

        I agree with all of that, except for the very end with the rationalization of ethnic cleansing, which is the baneful by-product of all nationalist struggles.

        • ziontruth

          "…the rationalization of ethnic cleansing, which is the baneful by-product of all nationalist struggles."

          Ethnic cleansing is not genocide. It appears to me you're confusing the two. In fact, one reason I call for ethnic cleansing (in the case of Palestine) is because that's the surest way to prevent genocide (of either or both sides of the conflict).

          And the 20th century showed that plain nationalism is a piker compared with imperialism. Nazism was not merely German nationalism (Chamberlain's error in Munich was his thinking that it was) but German imperialism, akin to Marxist imperialism (the force behind the gulags) and Islamic imperialism (already on record with at least 90 million Hindus exterminated through the ages). Sane nationalism in which each nation keeps to its fixed plot of land cannot lead to genocide.

          • Mensch Keymelon

            "(already on record with at least 90 million Hindus exterminated through the ages). " Yeah, right…yuo can't even tell us exactly how many people died in WWI or WWII but you pull a figure like that out of thin air… why not just say a "gagillion" or "googleplexillion"?

            Both just as reputable and defendable numbers as your "90,000,000"….

          • ziontruth

            "…yuo can't even tell us exactly how many people died in WWI or WWII…"

            Me? When was I ever asked, or where did I ever purport to tell, how many people died in the two World Wars? Talk about pulling things from thin air! And you can't even get such a basic thing as your spelling right, you're hardly the one to accuse others of being incompetent.

            Misfiring scum.

    • tagalog

      The Holocaust is nonrepresentable? It may be unspeakable, but it can certainly be represented. The British took lengthy videos, shown at the Nuremburg Trials, of bulldozing the piles of dead Jews into mass graves at Bergen-Belsen. There are films in which the ovens are opened to show piles of burnt corpses. The Holocaust is representable, all right. The Nazis themselves took movies of the mass shootings of Jews at various towns in Russia. They probably filmed the operations at Auschwitz or Treblinka but those ones are probably too grim. But there are still photos of the naked women and men lined up for the showers. They show them on TV all the time.

      • joe

        It is both representable and speakable – else it violates the law of identity. Beyond that, there is a moral imperative operating. Should the Holocaust be driven from our conscience and vernacular, we might just as well abandon that part of civilization that rails against what happened to the Jews – what we allowed to happen – what we turned a convenient blind eye to. Perhaps it's an embarrassing struggle and hard dilemna, but we'd better get off our lazy, amoral, fatuous asses and find a way to talk about it – else it will happen all over again.

        • ziontruth

          "…what we allowed to happen – what we turned a convenient blind eye to."

          This is the kind of collectivist, internationalist sentiment the Holocaust should have done away with, not intensified. If there's one, just one thing the Holocaust should have etched into the minds of men, it is that a nation should never entrust its security to any other nation. No nation is responsible for any but itself. No alliance can be relied upon. No international agreement can be trusted to work.

          • joe

            It is the collectivist, internationalist sentiment that currently fuels global appeasement of islamism that "we" are currently turning a blind eye to – and that "we" accomodate through election of dolts like obama. You're damned right "we allowed it to happen" and "we are allowing it to happen" again. "We" are directly responsible for these preening clowns who waltz with islamists and delegitimize the state of Israel – and ultimately foment broader and deeper anti-Jewism. If our foundational values really meant anything to us, we'd be out in the streets demanding the lies and distortions about Isreal cease – Israel, our ally . But instead we wrap ourselves in your cloak of "we entrust our security to no other nation." And when Jews are murdered by a global mob again, "we" will say, "gee, how did that happen?" And the western world sure as hell knew what was going on with Jews in Europe during WWII. Give me a break! You self righteous . . . uhh…….

          • ziontruth

            I didn't mean collectivism in opposition to nationalism. I'm not an anarchist, by far. For example, you mention the problem of Islamic imperialism, and I can only nod in agreement. But I hold that there's not going to be any global alliance of non-Muslim states against this threat. Instead, what will happen is that each nation, in its own time, will eventually boot the Muslim invaders out.

            Getting up and doing something is imperative—within the bounds of your nation, your concern. It's the idea that everyone in the world is responsible for everyone else that I reject. You think I care about North Ireland or Sri Lanka? I don't care one tiny bit. And I wish people outside Israel stopped caring about the local, regional conflict in my neck of the woods, because this "caring" has done most to perpetuate the problem. It's like Serbia in the 1990s: The Serbs could have booted the Muslims off their land and become the example for all victims of Islamic imperialism to follow, but Clinton committed the treasonous act of aiding Islamic imperialism by intervening against Serbia. Interventionism is a folly and needs to be retired as a policy.

  • ziontruth

    The Torah says human beings are capable of such things. "Evil from his youth," as Genesis describes the inclination of the human heart. We all have this evil inclination in ourselves, differing only in how strongly it manifests itself, and how much effort we make to conquer it (the true heroism: "Who is the hero? He who conquers his [evil] passion." Pirkei Avot)

    Is the Holocaust uniquely Jewish? I believe the planning and targeting were unique. However, one need only listen to a modern-day environMENTAList with his talk of how "there are too many people on this planet," subsequently sliding into the stuff of the Wannsee Conference, to appreciate the ability of any human being, concerning any group of human beings (or all of them), to plumb those depths.

    It is too easy to learn the wrong lessons here. Too many people view "Never Again" as a call for humanism, but humanism is the god that failed in those years. Many call for an international system to act as a world cop preventing genocide, but internationalism failed not only then (not much to tell between the League of Nations then and the United Nations now), but is showing its failure now, with internationalism the instrument for propping up genocidal Islamic supremacism.

    No, but "Never Again" means that each nation must do, by itself, the utmost to prevent being on the receiving end of genocide; humanism will not keep the inhumane monsters away, and internationalism will not avail a nation in its dire straits. As with individuals, the only recourse for nations is to be adequately armed and to take all threats of annihilation seriously.

    • tagalog

      I think the gulag was planned similiarly to the extermination camps. It's said that Hitler took his inspiration for his concentration camps from the Soviet gulag. But the difference is that, although the Soviets murdered far more than Hitler, the Soviet murders were often characterized by laziness and indifference whereas the Nazis were diligent in their killing.

      To me, "never again" means that the first time it is said by somebody, seriously, that some group must be done away with, that person needs to be permanently neutralized. And to hell with moral equivalence. It isn't murder to murder the murderer.

  • red wolf

    One of Solway's best articles and so naturally misunderstood and its finer points unappreciated by at least some commentators. Note that at least one Holocaust Denier way up above posts comments, appalling but hardly surprising.

    Somebody also comments rather awkwardly on how Holocaust Denialism has gone mainstream and Jewry is oblivious to this, thinking that only neo-Nazis, Muslim extremists and maybe some of the nuttier radical Leftists (well it's relative) take Holocaust Denialism seriously. Indeed it has become mainstream, Holocaust Revisionism/Denial has become mainstream that is. I have discovered this from personal experience and to my horror. Its implications are sinister in the extreme – for the mentality of Holocaust Denial and the ineffable mindset that sets genocide in motion are not removed from one another. Hardly.

    • ziontruth

      "Indeed it has become mainstream, Holocaust Revisionism/Denial has become mainstream that is."

      I don't think so. A lot of anti-Israel devils who have no problem with Muslim terrorists murdering Jews in Israel or abroad, under the pretext of "resistance to Zionist colonialism," have condemned Ahmadinejad for his Holocaust Denial. They have condemned it for "not serving the interests of Palestinian resistance"—for "tainting" it by the association with Holocaust Denial.

      Those scum are all for the murder of Jews in the name of anti-Zionism. That shows how Jew-hatred in the form of anti-Zionism has become mainstream. But they do not wish to be associated with Holocaust Denial, which shows Holocaust Denial to be decidedly non-mainstream. It is acceptable in the Muslim world, but for the non-Muslim anti-Zionists in the West, foremostly those of the Marxist Left, the call for Jewish genocide justifies itself by means of the "resistance against the Zionist invader" (and every Jew abroad who doesn't present anti-Zionist credentials), not through Holocaust Denial. The chief threat today is not denial of the Holocaust but denial of the Jewish right to the Land of Israel. Anti-Zionism must be destroyed.

  • Maxie

    "The effort to extend the Holocaust threat to apply potentially to all peoples is dangerously misguided since the only people in the world who have to face the threat of genocide, generation after generation, are the Jews."
    Why is that?

    The holocaust killed 6 million. Not good but it's over. Communism has killed 100 million and counting. Even worse.

    But there are no museums, memorials in perpetual memory of communism's continuing genocides. It's as if nothing worth condeming really ever happened or is happening still. Why is that?
    Who keeps the books on this kind of thing? Too many unanswered questions.

  • topeka

    While it is true that Jews in particular have been a lightning rod of persecution… is that not b/c they are God's Chosen people?

    If you have Faith – you would see it as a victory and a badge of honor…

  • topeka

    As for my pain being more than your pain, or his pain less than her pain, or my kind is superior/inferior in suffering pain to your kind…

    ummm – it should be no surprise this creates a controversy.

    Just in my own little one life so far on Earth – I have known people who:

    1. Lost grandparents in Armenia.

    2. Lost friends, and children in America's recent wars

    3. Survived the Ukrainian "famine" and lost mothers and siblings in the Ukraine

    4. Survived the Iranian revolution and escaped

    5. Survived death camps in Germany (Jewish)

    • topeka

      6. Survived death camps in Germany (Not Jewish … now there's some people who are bitter)

      7. Survived the Lebanese civil war; and lost parents and grandparents there

      8. Survived the Croatian-Serbian war; and lost family and friends

      9. And just j-random death. Three close relatives of mine committed suicide. …

      Try telling a mother who son hanged himself that it's not the Holocaust … I mean seriously?! Do you really just want people to go ape-sh*t all over you?!

      What's really a concern – is that you're alienating exactly the people who are most likely to be sympathetic – those who personally experienced unjust suffering, or the sudden untimely loss of a loved one. How recognizing such a fact would diminish the Holocaust is incomprehensible considering the gravity of the latter case.