Belated Justice for the Victims of the Holocaust – or Something Else? By Jan Peczkis


This review is from: Holocaust Justice: The Battle for Restitution in America’s Courts (Paperback)

The author, Michael J. Bazyler, is a Professor of Law, and an attorney who specializes in Holocaust-related litigation. He was born to Holocaust survivors, and grew up in postwar Lodz, Poland. (p. xiii).

 

INTERESTING FACTS AND FIGURES

Bazyler estimates that the Nazis stole Jewish assets worth between a total of 230 and 320 billion dollars (in 2003 dollars) (p. xi). [So much for the myth that the Holocaust was a uniquely-irrational genocide insofar as it brought no tangible benefits to the perpetrator. It most certainly did.]

Approximately 8-10 (even 12) million people were slaves (forced laborers) for Nazi Germany. (p. 59). Of course, most of them were not Jews.

Between 1933 and 1945, the Germans stole approximately 600,000 pieces of art, not including rare books, stamps, coins, furniture, etc. The looted art alone had a net worth of 2.5 billion dollars (in 1945) and 20.5 billion in 2003. (p. 202).

 

WHY HAVE HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS NOT BEEN COMPENSATED—FROM GERMAN MONIES—LONG AGO?

Although Bazyler pooh-poohs Norman Finkelstein’s claim that Holocaust survivors are being manufactured for Holocaust Industry purposes, he tacitly acknowledges the validity of Finkelstein’s argument: The very definition of a “Holocaust survivor” is ambiguous. (pp. 274-275).

Since 1952, Germany has paid the Jews a total of 60 billion dollars to some Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. (p. 61). But the Luxembourg Agreement also included considerable monies, as for Israel’s infrastructure, which did not go to Holocaust survivors. If justice and compassion for Holocaust survivors are of such urgency and moral gravity, one must ask why not? Why are we, in 2003 (the date of the publication), STILL hearing about destitute Holocaust survivors that have been denied justice for decades?

As a matter of fact, Holocaust survivors, to this day, complain that even recently-acquired Holocaust-restitution monies largely do not go to them. Other Jewish spokesmen say that this is exactly how it should be, asserting that Holocaust–reparation payments belong to ALL Jews, and not just Jewish survivors. (pp. 80-81; pp. 272-on).

What’s more, Holocaust reparations are being used for Holocaust education. (p. 278-279). Considering the mountains upon mountains of Holocaust-promoting material that already saturates western culture, this is a bit jarring. It tends to support the premise that the Holocaust Industry is, first and foremost, a self-perpetuating racket.

There is more. Wealthy Jewish organizations could have amply met the financial needs of the Holocaust survivors long ago, and not even have felt it—as pointed out by Norman Finkelstein.

One can reasonably suspect that the Holocaust survivors have been kept needy in order to serve as “bait” for never-ending Holocaust-reparation demands—to play on peoples’ and politicians’ emotions (the ARGUMENTAM AD MISERICORDIAM).

 

HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY MODUS OPERANDI: INTIMIDATION IS AT LEAST AS IMPORTANT AS LITIGATION

In the Swiss bank settlement, according to Bazyler, “True, Judge Korman never ruled on the legal arguments made by both sides in the Swiss bank litigation.” (p. 74). Now add this to the lawsuit against German industries that made use of slave labor. Bazyler adds, “Even if they were now less fearful of American litigation, practical considerations led the Germans to press for a global settlement akin to the settlement achieved by the Swiss banks. First, like the Swiss, the German companies were still under the threat of sanctions imposed by state and local governments…More important, those German multinationals doing a lot of business in the United States wanted to avoid the negative publicity that fresh allegations, unearthed from new historical research, might bring them.” (pp. 78-79).

The same campaign of intimidation worked in the case of the French banks. Bazyler comments, “The political pressure proved to be a significant element in moving the French banks to strive for a speedy end to the litigation.” (p. 182).

 

ARBITRARY VICTIMS: “HOLOCAUST JUSTICE” SETTLEMENTS PRIMARILY BENEFIT JEWS

In some cases, as stressed by Bazyler, settlements related to the indemnification for Nazi German crimes have benefitted Slavic peoples. However, the lion’s share of payments has gone to Jews, and most of the remainder to specially-designated “victim” groups.

Consider the Swiss banks settlement. The following were beneficiaries: Jews, homosexuals, the physically handicapped, homosexuals, Gypsies (Sinti and Roma). On the other hand, Slavic peoples (Poles and Russians), who confessedly were also victims of the Nazis, were specifically EXCLUDED. (p. 34). This is justice??

 

Jan Peczkis

 

In Comments

Jan Peczkis says:

BOOKS ON THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY, AND ITS INAPPROPRIATE ATTEMPTS TO RE-VICTIMIZE POLAND:

Click on, and read my detailed reviews of:

Beyond Violence: Jewish Survivors in Poland and Slovakia, 1944-48 (New Studies in European History)

Walls Around: The Plunder of Warsaw Jewry during World War II and Its Aftermath

Nie musimy placic Zydom!

Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History by Finkelstein, Norman(June 2, 2008) Paperback

The Holocaust Industry Publisher: Verso; Second Edition

 

For details on Norman Finkelstein’s warnings, specific to Poland, about the Holocaust Industry, please click on, and read the detailed English-language review, of Operacja „Jedwabne”: Mity i fakty (Polish Edition).

Here is William D. Rubinstein, a Jewish university professor, who supports Norman G. Finkelstein’s conclusions on the Holocaust Industry, notably regarding its targeting of Poland for extortion attempts:

Rubinstein’s review of Finkelstein’s THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY originally appeared in the December 1, 2000 issue of FIRST THINGS. The reviewer, William D. Rubinstein, is Professor of History at the University of Wales.

Rubinstein thinks that Finkelstein overreaches, pointing out that Holocaust activists are not necessarily motivated by base motives. He also criticizes Finkelstein for his leftist, anti-Zionist criticisms of the State of Israel.

Whatever his disagreements with Finkelstein, Rubinstein unreservedly supports Finkelstein’s criticisms of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). He writes: „Despite its grandiose-sounding name, the WJC, founded in 1936, cannot be termed a representative body of the Jewish people…Most of the hostile reviews of THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY have notably and studiously avoided commenting directly on the charges Finkelstein makes against the WJC, presumably because there is no adequate reply. Finkelstein accuses the WJC of being, in effect, a pirate ship, sailing the waters, hunting for booty, and using the unique moral credibility of the Holocaust to extort fortunes from European governments.”

Rubinstein comments, „After the war, a Jewish community of up to 250,000 very briefly emerged again in Poland. Their property was indeed confiscated by the Communists, not because they were Jews but because they were capitalists–the property of gentile capitalists was also seized. I personally cannot see any compelling reason why the present Polish government should pay one cent for former Jewish properties. ”

Then Rubinstein makes his money-extortion point even stronger: „It is difficult to believe that a person of good will could approve of these demands. As a Jew who lost relatives in the Holocaust, I find them frankly odious, and Finkelstein should be praised rather than condemned for exposing them.”

The following quotes, from author Matthew Abraham, speak for themselves:

[Abraham, Matthew. 2011. THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE AND THE SUBVERSION OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM: DEPAUL’S DENIAL OF TENURE TO NORMAN G. FINKELSTEIN. Arab Studies Quarterly 33(3/4)179-203.]

“In his THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY: THE EXPLOITATION OF JEWISH SUFFERING, Finkelstein indicts those who would use the Holocaust to justify Israel’s treatment of Palestinians living under occupation, as well as those who would use Jewish suffering to extort money from European countries such as Germany and Switzerland under the cover of Holocaust reparations. In brief, Finkelstein argued that a lucrative extortion racket was being carried out in the name of needy Holocaust survivors, while in fact the money being generated was actually going to Jewish organizations such as the World Jewish Congress. Upon the publication of THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY, Finkelstein promptly lost his long-term instructor position of political science at Hunter College, City University of New York. Despite possessing an outstanding teaching record and three internationally recognized books to his credit at that time, he was let go under the pretext of a budgetary cut within the political science department.” (pp. 193-194).

“Despite the sound and the fury around his tenure denial, Finkelstein ultimately praised DePaul University upon reflecting on the unique set of pressures that eventuated in his unjust dismissal: ‘For the record, I did not begrudge DePaul’s decision to deny me tenure. It has always been my belief that no one except me should have to bear the costs of my political convictions. The sustained pressures exerted on a middle-tier Catholic institution vulnerable to charges of anti-Semitism would probably have proven intolerable.’” (p. 180).

“Since Finkelstein’s compelling indictments of American Zionism in books such as THE IMAGE AND REALITY OF THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT, THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY: THE EXPLOITATION OF JEWISH SUFFERING, AND BEYOND CHUTZPAH: THE MISUSE OF ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE ABUSE OF HISTORY could not be rebutted by serious counterarguments, his ideological nemeses resorted to attacking Finkelstein’s tone, writing style, and personality, effectively shifting the terms of the debate from the Israel-Palestine conflict to issues of civility and behavior.” (p. 191).

HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY TARGETS POLAND—A 2017 UPDATE:

THE HOLOCAUST (SHOAH) IMMOVABLE PROPERTY RESTITUTION STUDY, written April 24, 2017, and located on the World Jewish Restitution Organization Website (wjro.org.il):

Extracts in Quotes:

PRIVATE PROPERTY RESTITUTION

“Other former Communist states of Eastern Europe have not yet fulfilled their Terezin Declaration [2009] obligations to enact immovable property legislation covering Holocaust-era property. Poland, with the largest Jewish population in prewar Europe of which ninety percent did not survive the war, is the prime example. Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina stand alone as the only countries that have failed to establish a comprehensive private property restitution regime for property taken either during the Holocaust or Communist eras, or one that addresses both types of takings.” (pp. 1-2)

[Bravo, Poland!]

COMMUNAL PROPERTY RESTITUTION

“Progress in some countries that passed laws to return communal property has been very slow. For example, in Poland, fewer than half of 5,550 Jewish communal property claims filed under the 1997 restitution law have been adjudicated.” (p. 2).

[Bravo, Poland!]

HEIRLESS PROPERTY RESTITUTION

“Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, POLAND, and Slovenia have not enacted heirless property legislation. Of note are the Baltic States and Poland, which had the highest percentage of deaths in its Jewish population in all of Europe, and correspondingly, likely the largest percentage of heirless property due to the number of deaths.” (Emphasis added) (p. 3)

[Bravo, Poland!]

HOLOCAUSTSPEAK IN ACTION. SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR JEWS? EX POST FACTO LAWS IN THE MAKING?

“A large obstacle is that, under the domestic law of most European countries, both Western and Eastern, heirless property reverts to the state. The Terezin Declaration [2009], recognizing the uniqueness of the Holocaust and the unprecedented scale of heirless property left following the mass murder of millions of people, recommends that heirless property should be allocated for the benefit of needy Holocaust survivors, commemoration of destroyed Jewish communities, and Holocaust education rather than simply escheating to the state. Unfortunately, this has not been implemented.” (p. 3).

[Bravo, Poland! And Stay Vigilant.]

 

Source: Amazon – Customer Review , April 30, 2017

 

Published with the author’s permission.

 

Polish-Club-Online-PCO-logo-2, 2017.02.24