Author Mordecai Schreiber is a rabbi. His book raises many topics, including the fact that the Jews of the Yishuv and the USA did very little to try to ameliorate the Holocaust. Neither did the leaders of the largest democracies. Contrary to the standard blame-Poles meme followed by so many Jews today, the facts are clear:
HOLOCAUST BLAME: PLENTY OF BLAME TO GO AROUND
Schreiber writes, “Unfortunately, there is enough guilt to go around in the case of the Holocaust to incriminate almost everyone—victimizers for what they did; victims for what they failed to do; those who stood by and did nothing; and finally Jewish leaders around the world who could possibly have done more but did not.” (p. 109).
Let us begin with the glaring faults of the western powers.
THE EVIAN CONFERENCE: BRITISH AND AMERICANS EFFECTIVELY GIVE HITLER THE GREEN LIGHT
Schreiber comments, “One gets the impression of collusion between the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as the other countries, all of whom were looking to assuage their conscience and to appears to be on the side of justice and fairness, as if they cared about the fate of the hapless victims of Nazi persecution. The truth was different. Hardly ever in the history of the world was there a moment like that day in July 1938, when the Jews of the world found themselves all alone in the world, without hope, as if their fate was sealed. The road to Auschwitz was opened on that day.” (p. 40).
The British and American indifference was not lost on Hitler. Schreiber quips, “‘Nobody wants them,’ claimed the German Nazi newspaper VOLKISCHER BEOBACHTER after the Evian Conference. Gloating, Hitler commented, ‘It is a shameful spectacle to see how the whole democratic world is oozing sympathy for the poor tormented Jewish people, but remains hard-hearted and obdurate when it comes to helping them.” (pp. 40-41).
Next time British officials go around yapping about Polish anti-Semitism, or raising various pretensions about Polish conduct during the Holocaust, they should remember their own onerous history. And no, the fact that they „confronted” it or „apologized” for it does not obviate their guilt.
THE INACTION OF JEWISH LEADERSHIP DURING THE HOLOCAUST
The author summarizes his main theme, “As we shall see in the next chapter, during the Holocaust the leadership of the entire Jewish world, including the leadership of American and British Jewry, and the leaders of the Zionism movement worldwide and in Palestine, failed to act in any significant way to minimize the catastrophic dimensions of the destruction of European Jewry. Those who could and should have done more did not.” (p. 94; See also p. 97).
NO EXCUSES FOR THE INACTION OF JEWISH LEADERSHIP DURING THE HOLOCAUST
The standard exculpation is the one about the Jewish leadership of the USA and the Yishuv is the one about their being immobilized by the policies of western political leaders. Schreiber does not buy it. He asks, “When we look back on those years, we cannot help but ask ourselves whether, in spite of the conflict of interests with the British, the Jewish leadership in Palestine could have done more for the Jews of Europe.” (p. 98).
UNSTATED POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR JEWISH POLONOPHOBIA
Could it be that the long-term blame-Poland approach, of so many Jews today, is an attempt to deflect from the fact of their forbears doing so little during the Holocaust? It is certainly something worth considering.
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A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF 21 BOOKS ON THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY
Click on, and read by reviews, of the following (most recently-published listed first):
- Rethinking Holocaust Justice: Essays across Disciplines
- Holocaust, Genocide, and the Law: A Quest for Justice in a Post-Holocaust World
- Reparations for Nazi Victims in Postwar Europe
- Robbery and Restitution: The Conflict over Jewish Property in Europe (War and Genocide)
- Restitution and Memory: Material Restoration in Europe
- Holocaust Restitution: Perspectives on the Litigation and Its Legacy
- Holocaust Justice: The Battle for Restitution in America’s Courts
- Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II
- German Reparations and the Jewish World: A History of the Claims Conference
- The Plunder of Jewish Property During the Holocaust: Confronting European History
- West German reparations to Israel
BOOKS, REVIEWED BY ME, THAT SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS POLAND’S 1997 LAW ON THE RESTITUTION OF JEWISH COMMUNAL PROPERTIES:
- Jewish Presence in Absence: The Aftermath of the Holocaust in Poland, 1944 2010
- Jewish Space in Contemporary Poland
- Post-Communist Restitution and the Rule of Law
BOOKS, REVIEWED BY ME, THAT QUESTION ONE OR MORE ASPECTS OF THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY
- 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! (We Do Not Have to Pay the Jews!)
- Operacja ‚Jedwabne’ Mity i fakty (Operation „Jedwabne” Myths and Facts)
- Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History by Finkelstein, Norman (My review was posted: June 2, 2008) Paperback
- The Holocaust Industry Publisher: Verso; Second Edition
Source: Amazon – Customer Review, June 2, 2018.
Published with the author’s permission.
Title image: Part of cover of „EXPLAINING THE HOLOCAUST” by Mordecai Schreiber. Source: amazon.com. / selected by wg.pco