July 2, 2016

"In the aftermath of the Germans’ systematic massacre of Jews, no voice had emerged to drive home the enormity of what had happened and how it had changed mankind’s conception of itself and of God."

"For almost two decades, the traumatized survivors — and American Jews, guilt-ridden that they had not done more to rescue their brethren — seemed frozen in silence. But by the sheer force of his personality and his gift for the haunting phrase, Mr. Wiesel, who had been liberated from Buchenwald as a 16-year-old with the indelible tattoo A-7713 on his arm, gradually exhumed the Holocaust from the burial ground of the history books...."

RIP, Elie Wiesel. He was 87.

"'Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed,' Mr. Wiesel wrote. 'Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. Never."


n.n said...

changed mankind's conception of itself and God

The effect of the Holocaust (i.e. mass abortion of a diversity class) including clinical cannibalism of some of its victims only lasted for one, perhaps two generations.

As for God, the concept of a moral extra-universal entity has since been replaced by mortal gods with "benefits" who grant sanction to the "final solution" and channeling Mengele for wealth, pleasure, leisure, government revenue, and democratic leverage.

RIP, indeed. He must have known before his passing.

buwaya said...

No doubt he's right in all that, but...
Frankly a whole lot of other peoples were similarly treated at that time, somewhat before and later as well.
They did not, however, get much attention. Nor in those cases were any lessons so publicly learnt, assuming they were.

Worse, I think the main effect of this has not been to prevent any genocides but instead to forge a club to beat the western middle class over the head, making them out to be, for some reason, the true villains of the case, or potential villains that need to be kept on a short leash by their betters. The Holocaust has become a component of the poison in the hearts of the elite against their own people.

Weisel himself had no part in that, but that poison is the bulk of what remains of the reaction to the Holocaust, not whatever it was that Weisel intended.

Other paradoxes in the legacy of WWII - the Japanese internment. In many US schools THAT is the single matter of note in WWII, trumping even the Holocaust. All the enormous war efforts, giant battles, mass murders, those are by the bye. Just a report from the field.

John henry said...

RIP Elie Weisel. You had a sacred mission and you did a terrific job at it.

It is too bad there is nobody to speak, equally passionately, for the 6 million non-Jews murdered in the National Socialist murder camps.

They seem totally forgotten, even in the National Holocaust Museum in DC.

Most Americans are in denial about them. When someone does speak about them they may get called an Anti-Semitic bigot or worse.

Their 6,000,000 lives matter every bit as much as the 6,000,000 Jewish lives.

John Henry

Sebastian said...

"The Holocaust has become a component of the poison in the hearts of the elite against their own people" Particularly in Germany. The dirty secret is that the German elite likes collective guilt, as a way to demonstrate their moral superiority and keep the "xenophobic" rabble down. You should see the teachers taking school children around the WWII sites, notebooks in hand. We-are-bad is their new civil religion.

Robert Holmgren said...

When Israeli historians Yehuda Bauer and Yisrael Gutman challenged Wiesenthal on this point (5 million non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust), he admitted that he had invented the figure of eleven million victims in order to stimulate interest in the Holocaust among non-Jews. He chose five million because it was almost, but not quite, as large as six million. When Elie Wiesel asked Wiesenthal who these supposed five million victims were, Wiesenthal exploded and accused him of suffering from "Judeocentrism." In recent months, Wiesenthal's concoction has been further improved upon by a group of rabbis and imams who visited Auschwitz under the aegis of the US State Department. The statement they issued after their visit referred to the "twelve million victims, six million Jews and six million non-Jews."

jg said...

Well-written article.

Cheap shot showing that Bill Clinton photo op.

jg said...

I don't think anyone takes a claim of 5-6 million *non*-jews killed in camps seriously. At least, I'd never heard of it.

Bay Area Guy said...

Wiesel was a Titan, but philosophically, Viktor Frankl's books on surviving the Holocaust are better.

jg said...

In support of buyawa p: HITLER! Craven, revolting performance by the NYT as usual. In reality, we're talking about a revote because of vote fraud. The challenge to democracy presented by such fraud+deception is rather fellow-traveled by the NYT.

rcocean said...

Hollywood first took up the subject in a big way with "the diary of ann frank" in 1958, that was followed by "judgment at Nuremberg" in 1962

So we've had movies/TV shows about the Holocaust for about 56 years.

rcocean said...

People are now labeling themselves "Grand-children of Holocaust survivors" so we'll be keep hearing about it for some time.

gspencer said...

And Merkel is busy about the business of bringing into Europe hordes who will very happily pick up where Hilter left off.

In fact, they boast about it,


John henry said...


That is precisely the problem "you've" never heard of it. Nobody speaks for the 6 million so most people never hear of them.

If claimed 6mm Jewish murders, perhaps because you had not heard of them, you would be called a "Denier". Seems to me that you are a denier here as well.

Have you heard about the 20-40million murdered by Stalin? the 50-60mm killed under Mao? The 2-3mm murdered in Cambodia? How about the 5 million plus that died in Congo wars since 2000?

Did those never happen either?

There were about 3mm non-Jewish poles murdered in the camps. There were another 2-3mm non-Jews murdered elsewhere.

Nazi crimes against the Polish nation claimed the lives of 2.77 million Christian Poles,[1] and 2.7 to 2.9 million Polish Jews, according to estimates of the Polish government-affiliated Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).[1] Historians outside Poland put the number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust in occupied Poland at 3.0 million.[2] The dissemination of knowledge on the subject of Nazi German crimes in World War II was entrusted by an Act of the Polish Parliament in 2000 to the Institute,[3] which replaced the former Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes against the Polish Nation.[4][5]


[emph added]

NEVER forget.

John Henry

John henry said...

Not only did the National Socialists murder 5-6mm Poles, Jewish and Christian, they made a serious attempt to destroy Polish history and culture as part of their program to exterminate all Poles. There is a lot of more detailed info available elsewhere but these snippet from Wikipedia gives you an idea:

Cultural genocide

As part of the plan to destroy Poland, the Germans engaged in cultural genocide in which they looted and then destroyed libraries, museums, scientific institutes and laboratories as well as national monuments and historic treasures.[105] They closed down all universities, high schools, and engaged in systematic murder of Polish scholars, teachers and priests.[106] Millions of books were burned, including an estimated 80% of all school libraries, and three-quarters of all scientific libraries.[107] Polish children were forbidden from acquiring education beyond the elementary level with the aim that the new generation of Polish leaders could not arise in the future.[106] According to a May 1940 memo from Heinrich Himmler: "The sole goal of this schooling is to teach them simple arithmetic, nothing above the number 500; writing one's name; and the doctrine that it is divine law to obey the Germans. I do not think that reading is desirable."[106] By 1941, the number of children attending elementary school in the General Government was half of the pre-war number.[35] The Poles responded with the "Secret Teaching" (Tajne Nauczanie), a campaign of underground education.

The socialists also destroyed birth records, govt records, property records, parliamentary transcripts, court proceedings and so on. The goal was not just the death of most Poles (some were to be kept on as, essentially, slaves) but Polishness and Polish history as well.

Socialism: An ideology so terrible that only elites and intellectuals could support it.

John Henry

John henry said...

To be clear, socialists/socialism murdered about 100 million in the 20th century. The 6,000,000 Jews were a part of that.

We must never forget what we need to fight.

John Henry

The Drill SGT said...

a Mensch

CWJ said...

Dear John Henry,

Thank you for above. My Polish Catholic son lives in Krakow, nearby to Aushwitz. He and his family have never visited the site. Liberals might say, well of course they don't want to face Poland's anti-Semitic history. No, they don't wish to visit where my son's Polish resistance grandfather had been sent after capture by the Germans. It is not an insult to the Jews to remind the world that the Nazis and the Soviets were equal opportunity monsters.

Time and again, Poland's neighbors east and west have attempted to extinguish Polishness. They've moved the borders willynilly here and there and even extinguished the country for a time, but have always failed in their efforts to extinguish the Poles.

The Drill SGT said...

Time and again, Poland's neighbors east and west have attempted to extinguish Polishness.

two words

Katyn Forest

Jon Burack said...

I have no critical comment to make about Eli Weisel at all. But I do find this part of the NYT's story odd to say the least:

"For almost two decades, the traumatized survivors — and American Jews, guilt-ridden that they had not done more to rescue their brethren — seemed frozen in silence."

This, frankly, is patent nonsense. In those two decades, the Jews, survivors and many others as well, built a Jewish homeland and made it flourish. My mother was president of the local Hadassah. We all had the little blue and white metal boxes to put extra coins in to send to Israel. In 1949, we put up a family at our home in Norwalk, CT (I can't even recall how we knew them) for two weeks so they could prepare to move to the Kibbutz they were helping to found. My parents made sure their children understood the reasons for all this - without dwelling on it endlessly, wringing their hands in remorse, or EVER allowing us to even hint at using it as an excuse to complain about our lot in life. We were brought up in an atmosphere where Jews were not victims, not hand-wringing or guilt-ridden about a thing. My father served in the U.S. Army in Europe, my uncle in the Philippines. They did what they could and that was that. I was pretty much taught to agree with Dylan when he sang: "I have no inclination to look back on any mistake, like Cain I now behold this chain of events that I must break."

Unfortunately, the Times writer of the above line seems like so many others in our world today, mired in obsessing over spilt milk of one sort or another. I know for a fact that the Jews I grew up among had no time for that at all.

YoungHegelian said...

In the 20th C, there wasn't one Jewish Holocaust. There were actually three.

The physical extermination of every European Jew that the Nazis could get their hands on was by far the worst. The Nazis destroyed Judaism in the lands of eastern Europe that were the centers of Ashkenazi Judaism before the war.

But there were two other "disasters" for the Jews. While the Soviet Union killed many Jews (according to "Bloodlands", it took Hitler until mid-1943 to kill as many Jews as Stalin already had), few of them were murdered because they were Jewish per se. What the Soviet Union & later the Warsaw Pact did do, however, was kill Judaism as a faith & destroy Jewish/Yiddish culture in Eastern Europe. Sadly, far too many Jews were complicit in this destruction. Their lives under the czars had been so miserable that they chose the devil they didn't know, who turned out to be far, far worse than the one they did.

The final disaster was the expulsion in 1948-1952 of the Jews from the Arab countries after the founding of Israel. These Sephardic Jewish communities were the oldest continuous Jewish communities on the planet (e.g. Baghdad, which had a huge Jewish population that had been there since the Babylonian Captivity, at least 2500 years, with the Egyptian Jewish community not too much younger). While not that many Sephardic Jews died thanks to the state of Israel taking them in, they lost everything & the entire cultural infrastructure that had sustain their communities for millenia was gone. In a country where the largest majority of the Jewish population is Askenazi like the US, we don't hear enough about what a cultural disaster this was for the Sephardim.

traditionalguy said...

We saw the Somme Commemoration this week too. That offensive was the height of the four years of slaughter of French and British by Germans that finally stopped in a Truce on November 11, 1918.

But it was a 20 year Truce that left Germany intact and much stronger than the British Empire that went home and the French who were actually defeated at the point that the AEF arrived and finally entered the fight in the final 6 months.

The next Allied/German truce after 6 more years war was imposed by the Allies and their UN Security Council. It has lasted for 80 years because of the Nuclear Weapons monopoly of the Allies: USA, British, France and USSR.

The EU was designed in the 1960s as a way to keep France and Germany from ending the last truce. But that ended last week.

Them Germans are a dangerous volk.

The Drill SGT said...

The EU was designed in the 1960s as a way to keep France and Germany from ending the last truce. But that ended last week.

It wasn't the BREXIT last week. It was Merkel's promise that the EU could take all the refugees that showed up...

Michael K said...

"we don't hear enough about what a cultural disaster this was for the Sephardim."

The Israelis learned what spoken Hebrew sounded like from Yemeni Jews who went to Israel as they were expelled from places they had lived for thousands of years. The Saudis have much to answer for.

n.n said...

The Drill SGT:

The British and other Europeans are rejecting anti-native policies including [class] diversity schemes, but also the authoritarianism (e.g. selective management) of their left-wing leaders.

Not unlike the rejection of "secular" jewish communists by the German socialists. Hopefully, there will be a peaceful resolution this time, or at least limited abortions and rape-rapes.

Obama, Clinton et al will have to find other places to hide the consequences of premature evacuations, progressive wars, opportunistic regime changes, anti-native policies, and wealth destruction. They may even be forced to help all of the people in their homelands, instead of creating a global humanitarian disaster.

n.n said...

re: anti-native policies

A peaceful resolution that does not escalate to [class] diversity campaigns. I imagine that Christianity posed a problem for the far left because on principle Christians recognize individual dignity and reject elective abortions and especially mass abortions, and channeling of Mengele (e.g. Planned Parenthood).

Fernandinande said...

About 6 million kids under five die every year year. Maybe god doesn't like them, either.

Jon Burack said...
"For almost two decades, the traumatized survivors — and American Jews, guilt-ridden that they had not done more to rescue their brethren — seemed frozen in silence."
This, frankly, is patent nonsense.

That's what I thought.

John henry said...

I too find the frozen in silence comment strange.

I can't remember a time, going back to the early 50s and 2nd grade or so when I did not know about it at least in general terms. I knew the 6 million number by the late 50s.

I saw movies of the camps, including piles of dead and emaciated survivors by 4th grade or so. I've pretty much always known of the Jewish Holocaust though I don't recall seeing it called by that name until the 80s, or perhaps the late 70's.

Orson Wells' movie "The Stranger" 1948? was about an escaped National Socialist now in New England. He had been responsible for the camps in some way and Lorre was tracking him down to bring him to justice. It had very graphic US Army footage of the camps on liberation day.

I first heard of the 3mm non-Jewish Poles from Michener's book "Poland" which I read in the early 80s.

I did not learn of the 11-12mm total until probably the 90's. People who are ignorant of the huge number of non-Jews murdered are in good company. It is shameful but most people don't know about it.

John Henry

Paul said...

"Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men.

For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat."

Bertolt Brecht

And so it goes on. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, ISIS, and God knows who the next one is.

Yes the West, as usual, turns a blind eye and deaf ear to what goes on.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Burack said...

The more I think about that line I commented on earlier, the more sinister it seems to me. It is so completely false. Yet what it does is implicitly blame the entire Jewish diaspora community of complicity in covering up an awareness of the Holocaust. This isn't as bad as the insane effort by BDS types and others to equate Israel with the Nazis, but it seems to me to arise out of the same psychological need. Illustrated, by the way, by the EU, on the very day of Brexit, when Abbas addressed the EU parliament and accused Jewish rabbis in Israel of urging Jews to poison Palestinian water. That bit of ancient anti-Semitic mythology was not the news, as the Palestinians say such things all the time. The news was the EU gave Abbas a standing ovation. Even the Times had to comment on the unseemliness of it all.

Rusty said...

Thanks JH.
Never again. Means never again.
The left would erode our rights so that it could happen here.
Which, I suppose, is what they want.

Chuck said...

I had forgotten, that in addition to being a Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel was also a Madoff victim.

mikee said...

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

Nietzsche wrote it, Wiesel lived it.

rcocean said...

Like some have statement, you hear about the 6 million Jews all the time. You almost never hear in the MSM about the millions of Non-Jews killed by the Nazis or the tens of millions of Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians, and Burmese killed by the Japanese.

And the 50-60 million killed by various 20th century Communist regimes has been swept under the rug.

Rusty said...

it is estimated by various Chinese authors that the Mao regime alone is responsible for 70 million Chinese dead.

Paul said...

True Rusty. Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and now ISIS.

Give government control of people and when (not IF but when) it becomes tyrannical it will turn on a scapegoat (class of people) and murder them to keep the rest in line.

Thus the big push for gun control. They HAVE to disarm the people before the can have their way. Been done time and time again.