Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Would there be a State of Israel without Hitler?

A slightly modified version of the Hebrew original from 20 June 2012:

A great deal of hypocrisy, pretense and perhaps even ignorance were manifested in the sanctimonious outcry over the anti-Zionist graffiti on the walls of Yad Vashem. It is not clear why it is sacrilege to point out that the Zionist leadership has cynically exploited the Nazi Judeocide (misleadingly called “the Holocaust”) for generations. Just as by way of example: one of the central figures at Yad Vashem, Chaim Posner, who worked at that institution for 15 years and was its Deputy Chairman, represents the hypocritical attitude to the Shoah  (big disaster as this Judeocide called in Hebrew) maybe more than anyone else, for he himself whitewashed Nazi criminals who were willing to pay a ransom and that experience undoubtedly played an important role in his work as head of fundraising for Yad Vashem.

Graffiti on Yad Vashem saying with a small orthographic mistake: "If there was no Hitler, the Zionists would have invented him". The original  inscription: 'Bedamaich Chayi' — 'In your blood you shall live' [Ezekiel 16:6]. "Dam" here declined, means in Hebrew "blood" or "money".
It was the most important Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion who coined the concept “Shoah is power” (as he put it, “there’s a big catastrophe – and that’s power” 25 October 1942) [1], and the phrase “there’s no business like Shoah business” is attributed to former foreign minister Abba Eban.
Indeed many historians disagree about the claim that the State of Israel came into being only because of the Shoah, but it is impossible to deny that by means of the German reparations payments the State of Israel survived economic collapse in the 1950s, armed itself with conventional and nuclear weapons and to this very day makes use inflated use of the “cudgel” of the Holocaust in order to silence all criticism of Israel, even when it is justified. That is to say that the Shoah is a very important asset for the State of Israel.
Not only did the State of Israel occupy Palestinian territories but it also illegally appropriated to itself and colonized the right to speak in the name of all Jews, and especially of the Shoah victims, despite the fact that during the Nazi era the leadership of the Jewish Agency, that is, the pre-state government, adopted a policy that was very problematic, to put it as mildly as possible.
Soon after the rise of the Nazis to power the cornerstone of what can be called “the Holocaust Industry” (a term that by the way was not invented by Norman Finkelstein, who in his scathing but superficial and polemic book by that title does not describe or define it adequately) was laid, with what was called the Transfer Agreement, which at one blow converted the leadership of the Yishuv in Palestine from just Jewish Agency into the primary agent for Nazi products in the Middle East. In light of the subsequent policies of Ben-Gurion and his colleagues as well as the reception with which the German Jews were greeted in Palestine (full disclosure: my father was a “Yekke Potz” [derogatory term in Israel for a German Jew] who arrived in 1934), it is hard to believe that the leadership was primarily motivated by the desire to rescue Jews; rather, they saw the agreement as an important source of financing and the fact that by means of the agreement they had broken the efforts to boycott Germany that had been initiated by Jewish organizations (see Edwin Black’s important book on the transfer agreement) was of no particular concern to them.
In his important book Post-Ugandan Zionism On Trial, the right-wing historian S. B. Beit Zvi claims that the leadership of the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine sabotaged the Evian Conference in 1938 and prevented the rescue of the Jews of Europe on the grounds that, since there was no realistic prospect of absorbing refugees in Palestine, the prospect of their emigration to other countries constituted a serious threat to the Zionist project.
Accordingly, on 17 December 1938 Ben-Gurion, who already then had foreseen the destruction that threatened the Jews of Europe, wrote:
“Millions of Jews now face physical annihilation. (…) And England is trying to separate the question of the refugees from the question of the Land of Israel – and anti-Zionist Jews are helping them. The terrible scale of the refugee problem demands a territorial and rapid solution, and if the Land of Israel cannot absorb [them], then we have to search for other territories. And Zionism is now in danger [Emphasis in the original: S.E.]. All other territorial efforts … will require vast amounts of money, and the Jews are faced with the refugee question, the rescue of Jews from the concentration camps on the one hand, and help for the National Museum [in the original. In my opinion this must refer to the “National Home” – S.E.]  in the Land of Israel on the other – compassion will have more weight, and all the nation’s energy will be diverted to the rescue of the refugees in different countries, and Zionism will be taken off the agenda  …”

That is to say, for Ben-Gurion the rescue of the Jews of Europe under the political circumstances of the time actually constituted a danger to Zionism, and he set his policy accordingly. It is not surprising, therefore, that in 1942 the Ben-Gurion leadership sabotaged the mass rescue effort in the framework of what was called the “Europa Plan”, which obviously could have rescued at least all the Jews who had not yet been sent to concentration camps. At the time the important rescue activist Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl from Bratislava heartrendingly begged for “golden dam for red dam”, that is, money to pay the ransom to the Nazis (as mentioned above the Hebrew word "dam" means not only blood but also money).
Later, in 1944, Eichmann's Jewish envoy Joel Brand was handed over to the British by the Jewish Agency instead of being allowed to return to Budapest to prevent the destruction of the Jews. As is known, Eichmann promised Brand when he sent him to Istanbul with a proposal for “goods for blood” (10,000 trucks and various goods in return for the Jews of Hungary) that he would immediately stop the deportations to Auschwitz if Brand would return with a positive reply. Brand begged of the representatives of the Jewish Agency that they give let him return to Hungary where he would lie to the Nazis and tell them that there was willingness to talk with them about their satanic extortion plan. By then it was also possible to see that the Nazi enemy really meant what they promised and it would have been possible to play for time, because the Russians were not far from Hungary then, and hundreds of thousands could have been saved. One has to bear in mind that the Jews who were supposed to be included in the deal were permitted to leave the area under German control to any place in the world except the Palestine.
Was it only a coincidence that soon after Brand was handed over to the British, who had overtly sabotaged the chances of that rescue, they suddenly agreed to the creation of the Jewish Brigade, which for years the English had very adamantly opposed until then?
Moshe Sharett (previously Shertok), who was at that time the unofficial foreign minister and later became PM, was filled with feelings of guilt also in that regard. When he heard from Jan Masaryk, the Czech Foreign Minister in exile, that within about a month Winston Churchill would approve the decision for the creation of the Jewish Brigade, it immediately occurred to Sharett that this was a kind of “prostitute’s fee” or payment for silence on the British sabotaging of Brand’s mission.
The journalist Amos Elon wrote in his book Sha’at ha-Efes [Zero hour], based on conversations with Sharett:

“The creation of the Brigade was a personal accomplishment of Moshe Shertok after years of fruitless lobbying. But for all that, the feeling arose in his heart that the cancellation of Brand’s initiative would probably be the price that they would be asked to pay for the Brigade. He trembled when this thought first came to his mind, late at night, in his hotel. Flags and symbols were a miserable substitute for the lives of hundreds of thousands – or millions. The words of Isaiah the Prophet were always on his mind: only ‘the remnant shall return’ (Isaiah 10:21)…” (Sha’at ha-Efes, Edanim, Jerusalem 1980, p. 212).

Even Martin Gilbert’s non-critical book Churchill and the Jews strengthens the impression that Churchill pushed the matter of the Brigade precisely at that very moment as compensation for his government’s treatment of Brand and its failure to bomb the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz.
Among other things, for example, Gilbert quotes – without putting the words in their proper context – a discussion on 3 July 1944 from the protocols of the War British War Cabinet and tries to glorify Churchill, who said, in the face of the opposition of the War Minister and others:

Moshe Sharett was tormented by the thought that they could have done more by way of rescue. He “wondered where he and his comrades had gone wrong”, as Elon wrote. The former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister also told journalists that at the time the Jewish socialist publisher Victor Gollancz had criticized the policy of the Yishuv’s leadership:

“You yourselves may be a little guilty (…) instead of yelling ‘save the Jews’ you are yelling ‘save them by sending them to the Land of Israel!’ What does that look like? Like a house that’s going up in flames and instead of calling for help you are saying to the Allies, ‘you have to take us to the Ritz hotel’”.
Was Gollancz right? Shertok agonized over that question. Or maybe he himself failed in his dealings with the Brand affair? Maybe he should have told Brand to return directly [to Budapest] from Istanbul?” [ibid.]

It is clear that this is not the whole picture and it is not only the leadership of the Jewish Agency that should be blamed, but especially the Allies; but the Yishuv’s pretension to represent all Jews conferred a special responsibility on it. It is abundantly clear from Elon's book that in fact one of the main reasons both for the failure to bomb Auschwitz and the sabotaging of the Brand mission and the Kastner negotiations that followed was the opposition of Stalin. British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden told Haim Weizmann that “the agreement of the Russians is crucial. We will telegraph Moscow again” (Sha’at ha-Efes, p. 207). The deportation of the Jews of Hungary to Auschwitz served the military interests of the USSR because it constituted a serious burden on the German rail system for non-military purposes. The Nazi proposal for negotiations through Brand/Kastner was the kind of initiative that was hated by the paranoid Stalin, who suspected that his Western allies were trying to link up with Nazis in order to create a joint front against him. Not only did that suspicion cause the war to be prolonged unnecessarily, but it also caused the deaths of many Jews and of course many non-Jews.

Holocaust exploitees

In the framework of the efforts to maximize the benefits from the Shoah after the Second World War, a long-playing and widescale project was initiated for the exploitation of Holocaust exploitees/survivors [1a] for political and financial needs as well as the whitewashing of Nazi vermin who were able to make a reasonable contribution, such as Kurt Becher, Jaac Van Harten, Walter Rauff and many others.
Arik Karman, a former navy man, helps to smash the myth of the “haapala” (the smuggling of Jewish refugees to British-ruled Palestine after World War II) and states in his book Oniat ha-milhama shel ha-ma’apilim (The illegal immigrants’ warship) that the number of survivors who were taken to Palestine by means of “Ha'apala” after the Second World War was no greater than the number of “certificates” that the British agreed to issue, and so there was no need to smuggle them to Palestine, endangering their lives in the process and under very uncomfortable conditions. Even earlier, Idith Zartal, in her book Zehavam shel ha-Yehudim [The Gold of the Jews] (Am Oved, 1996- in English: From Catastrophe to Power: The Holocaust Survivors and the Emergence of Israel, 1998) quoted a document of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee at the time that claimed that it was possible to bring the survivors to the Land of Israel more cheaply and safely and comfortably by legal means rather than through the wasteful and dangerous “Aliyah Bet” [i.e. the movement of illegal immigration of Jews to Palestine from 1934 to 1948] (p. 396), and adds: “the liberation of the illegal immigrants who were caught on ships of the Mossad [for Aliyah Bet – S.E.], and the deduction of their numbers from the ceilings of authorized immigration meant in fact that that the Mossad immigrants were precisely what the Joint Distribution Committee claimed they were – immigrants who cost sometimes three or four times the cost of regular immigrants (note 104, p. 609). A critical examination of the “Escape” [Heb: “Bricha”] movement shows that many survivors were transferred in that framework with a sense of urgency and haste, for example
through the snow-bound Alps without suitable equipment, even though they had by no means been facing danger to their lives, the Second World War was over by then and the survivors were living in displaced persons’ camps without any danger. Even women in advanced stages of pregnancy were forced to cross the passes in the Alps. For untrained people that is not exactly a simple undertaking even in summer with suitable shoes and clothes, let alone in the snowy winter and cold weather without suitable supplies (I myself crossed that route in the summer). Correspondingly an unknown number of Shoah survivors died en route. 

Survivors and guides over the Alps towards Italy (Beit Yatziv)

The only possible logic behind those irresponsible actions was that photos of British soldiers manhandling Shoah survivors would make the desired impression in the international media and increase support for the Zionist project. And so there was an urgent need to send them through the snowy Alpine passes and then load them onto leaky tubs for the trip to Palestine by sea. A cynical abuse of people who had already suffered enough!
One of the central figures at Yad Vashem, Chaim Posner, has not only raised money for that institution, but immediately after WWII, as an important agent of the Holocaust Industry, he raised funds for the Zionist project from Nazi criminals. It was none other than the chairman of the financial committee of Yad Vashem and that institution’s then-vice-chairman who undertook to whitewash the war criminal Kurt Becher, who was responsible for robbing the Jews of Hungary and in fact for their destruction as well (for a certain period he was Eichmann’s superior). Since Becher was willing to pay a high ransom, to all appearances not only did the central Zionist activist Rudolf Kastner, but even more, Posner behind the scene – intercede in his favour at the Tribunal for war criminals at Nuremberg, but they also set him up in commercial dealings with Israel that lasted at least until 1953. Judge Halevi claimed that Kastner sold his soul to Satan for the sake of whitewashing Becher. Correspondence between Becher and Posner in 1948 that was published by the historian Shoshana Ishoni- Barri proves unmistakably that the government of Israel was involved in contacts with Becher (see below). And a German document that was partly released recently strengthens the thesis that it was Kastner and Posner who created the Nazi criminal’s commercial contacts with official Israeli commercial agents. So if Kastner indeed sold his soul to Satan, what is the verdict on Posner, or Ben-Gurion, Eliezer Kaplan etc.?

*** *** ***
The Journal of Israeli History, vol. 18, nos. 2 and 3, 1997
The Kastner Affair: The Correspondence between Kurt Becher and Dr. Chaim Posner, 1948
Hamburg, May 30, 1948
Dear Dr. Posner,
I have been informed by cable, in Dr. Kastner's name, that he intends to continue with his flight to Palestine on May 8, and that I must establish immediate contact with you, since you will now be handling all the rest.
I assume that Dr. Kastner has already provided you with precise information with regard to the discussions between us, and that you are already in possession of the pertinent statements and lists.
Insofar as the purchase of machines5 is concemed, I am presently engaged in serious negotiations, and I am hopeful that I will soon be able to provide you with precise documents on this matter. The matter itself is very difficult, since there are no new objects. And with regard to used machines, it is necessary to fully ascertain the matter of repairs and the supply of spare parts. If this causes a change in your view, I ask that I be informed. I will discuss final arrangements of execution and payment with Mr. Levy of the Jewish Agency in Munich in early June (...)

For now, I send warm regards.
Yours most respectfully,
Kurt A. Becher"

*** *** ***
Posner had also advocated for the protection that was given by Golda Meir to the Nazi agent Jaac Van Harten, who from 1947 lived in Tel Aviv, where sold jewelry that had been stolen from Jews, among other things. One of Van Harten’s roles during WWII was as Becher’s financial advisor (according to testimony he himself gave). In the Posner collection at Yad Vashem archive there is a file devoted to Van Harten, who, along with Becher, is not mentioned in in Posner’s biography published by his son, the former ambassador Avi Pazner, due to “lack of space”.

1.       Edith Zartal, Zehavam shel ha-Yehudim [The Gold of the Jews], Am Oved, 1996.

Translator’s note
1a. A rather popular pun in Hebrew: the Hebrew word for “survivor” (nitzol) and “exploitation” (nitzul) are very similar and actually look identical here because of the absence of diacritical vowel marks in ordinary Hebrew texts, including this one.

Translated from Hebrew by George Malent


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