Holocaust Reflections

            September 2013    
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Reflections on the Holocaust

By Ivor Weintroub

There have been voluminous writings about the mass murder of the Jews ("the Holocaust") that took place during the Second World War from 1939 to 1945. The Jews have reflected upon why it should have occurred ever since. Many thought the bestiality and horrors that it evidenced would be sufficient to end prejudice towards the Jews and thus end of anti-Semitism. Sadly this has not proved to be the case.

Perversely modern anti-Semitism includes not only the seeds and elements of anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust, but has demonised Israel, the Jewish State as akin to and pursuing Nazi racist policies.

Thus the accuser seeks to justify himself by trying to separate Zionism from Judaism, and thus differentiating anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism. Is that a merited distinction? Of course it is not. Whilst it may be legitimate to criticise the policies Israel may pursue Nevertheless the accusations made completely ignores the political, legal and moral imperatives, together with a free press and media that regulate the functioning of the state.

Furthermore whereas the regular armed forces are numerically small, the fighting force is a citizen army that has to be maintained because the hostility of its neighbours towards the state and the constant threat of terrorism against its citizens coupled with the threat of extinction made by Iran, its clients Hizbollah and Hamas in Gaza.

The Holocaust in its true definition, being the attempt to exterminate the Jewish people, is a unique historical event. It was the first time in modern history that a State made public policy the extermination of a people as a race (and not an ethnic group) as a war aim, and as part of its war strategy sought to carry it out by diverse strategic methods, deliberately using its resources in weaponry and material to do so. How was this possible in the twentieth century?

It is true that since Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1933 anti-Semitism became official State policy. The policy had been preached by Adolf Hitler long before he was able to take power in 1933 as Reich Chancellor and then after the death of Hindenburg the President, as a Dictator.

German Jews had been separated from their fellow Germans progressively towards the outbreak of war following his assumption of power. The Nuremberg laws of 15th September 1935 personally signed by Hitler defined, firstly that a German citizen could only be someone who was 'a national of German or kindred blood', and secondly that Jews were defined as not being of German blood thus denying them citizenship. Furthermore marriages between German nationals and Jews was forbidden. Thus Jews who had settled in Germany for at least a thousand years previously were set apart.

Physically the separation had been taking place since the Nazi Party had taken power. Racist Policies had been pursued vigorously since 1933 supported by virulently anti-Semitic propaganda of its publication "Der Sturmer" whose editor was Julius Streicher a crude and virulent anti-Semite.

As Lord Martin Gilbert cites in his book, "The Holocaust" The Times of London reported: "Nothing like the complete disinheritance and segregation of Jewish citizens now announced has been heard since Medieval times." Even so virulent anti-Semitism had a continuing vein in German history. The German States before unification in the Nineteenth Century had been split since the Sixteenth Century between those that were by majority Roman Catholic or Protestant. Jews were regarded by both churches as 'Christ killers'.

Christian states in Western Europe from the Thirteenth century expelled their Jews. Martin Luther led the Reformation from Roman Catholicism in Germany and Northern Europe. This made the position of Jews no better as he preached that Jews should be put to death by the sword or fire and Synagogues burned. In short his preaching as to what should be done to Jews formed the framework for what the was done during the Holocaust. Both Judaism as a religion and the Jews as a people were thus demonised and alienated in the minds of the non-Jews amongst whom they sought to live.

The consequence of the policies introduced was that Jewish children had been segregated in schools. Jews working in professions had been denied the right to practice, dismissed from Universities hospitals and schools. Those in business had been stigmatised and disadvantaged as to trade. What caused concern particularly was the virulent hate propaganda within the media and increasing physical violence typified by "Kristallnacht", 9th November 1938, so-called because of the broken glass following the burning of Synagogues, looting of shops, destruction of Jewish property and physical assaults on them resulting in many deaths and deportations to Concentration camps.

Jews were demonised as those responsible for all the world's ills. The immediate excuse was the shooting of a German diplomat von Rath in Paris by Zindel Grynspan, a young Jew who had been incensed by details of the treatment of his parents by the Germans. Hitler used the event to denounce it as part of a World Conspiracy of the Jews to take power.

What Adolf Hitler had predicted in "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") was now within his power to bring about. His policies had been adopted, largely without dissent, by the German population of the Greater Reich following the Anschluss (annexation of Austria) and occupation of the Sudatenland (formerly a part of Czechoslovakia, the majority of whose occupants were German or of German extraction) in the same year.

The racist policies did not allow for dissent. The SA (Brownshirts under the control of the Nazi Party ) and the SS, the quasi military wing of the party and the SD (Gestapo) being the secret Police ensured the state Police actively carried out the policies, vigorously through oppression and torture ensuring there was not dissent. If there was, then those responsible were sent to Concentration camps, the first at Dachau established as early as 1933.

The media was strictly controlled, producing a stream of propaganda glorifying the Reich and in particular, Adolf Hitler. Those that led the Party in turn conditioned the population to accept Hitler as their Fuhrer, his diktat not to be questioned, a position accepted by those leaders, ultimately the population and the military, at least until July 1944, those that dissented being disposed of summarily by dismissal or death.

Leading up to 1939 living standards were transformed from the economic depression following 1918 and the Victor's revenge, as it was seen, into Germany again becoming a country apparently dominant, both economically and militarily in Europe, to whom Britain and France appeared to be able to do nothing other than appease in answer to Hitler's territorial claims and progressive re-armament.

Those claims, from the re-occupation of the Rhineland in 1934, to the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939, thereafter the Slovaks declaring an independent state as a Nazi puppet regime. This aggrandisement of German power ignored or circumvented international treaties as to rearmament and arms limitation.

No meaningful sanctions were imposed.

Hitler exposed the apparent weakness of Britain and France. The United States kept itself isolated from European politics. Hitler presented the German people with theatrical displays of power such as the Nuremberg rallies and Olympic Games that glorified the Nazi party and Germany unifying by the use of Party symbols the Party and the State.

Hitler promised a "Thousand year Reich" in the end making himself indivisible from the Party and the State, such that before the war and until 1942 everything that was done at his command appeared successful thus being acceptable and accepted in everything he and the Party promised to do and ultimately did. So far as the war against the Jews was concerned, even when the war against the allies turned against Germany, it continued unabated and unchallenged by any arm of the State or by the people rendering the polity completely amoral.

However Germany was not alone in Europe in tolerating overt anti-Semitism. Jews were stigmatised and disadvantaged in most of the European countries. Even in so-called liberal and democratic countries such as Britain, France, Holland, Italy and Belgium before 1939 Jews could only enter certain Universities and professions by quota.

Jews were identified in cartoons and written articles by characteristics that could not be mistaken as being anything other than to show them as a people that sought to undermine and be different from their gentile neighbours. Fascist and neo-Nazi parties were common throughout Europe before the war, including Sir Oswald Mosley's 'British Union of Fascists' (Blackshirts). It was the exception in Britain that the Blackshirt's activities and counter-demonstrations of Socialists and Jewish organisations ultimately led to legislation to prevent the public disorder that the Union's marches deliberately aimed to provoke.

Anti-Semitism in Britain, and for that matter the United States, whilst bearing many of the covert practises seen elsewhere In Europe was not generally tolerated as overtly acceptable as is the case now. These then were the exceptions to the rule.

Although Western European countries with democratic governments, and laws guaranteeing equality of their citizens, such as France and Holland, with right wing governments did little to stem far right anti-Semitic material or discriminatory practices. Whilst this did not mean that Germany was free from criticism from the racist policies it pursued it did mean that there was no country that was motivated to intervene or indeed would have wanted to, or did.

Even during the war when knowledge of the final solution was evident could the Allies be persuaded to take action to bomb Auschwitz/ Birkenau, the extermination camp, although air raids were made against the Chemical factories at Auschwitz III/ Monowitz. Thus before the Gas chambers were destroyed by the Nazis themselves, in a desperate bid to hide the evidence before the Soviet troops arrived in January 1945 over 1 million Jews died in the camp by starvation, gassing and slave labour.

What was happening in Auschwitz and the other extermination camps in Poland; Chelmno, Sobibor, Majdenek, Treblinka and Belzec was known from 1943. Mass murder of Jews in Poland from 1939 onwards by the SS troops and the Wehrmacht; and in the USSR, following the invasion by Germany from June 1941 onwards was certainly known there, providing evidence to the allied Governments as to Germany's intentions towards the Jews, supported if further evidence was required, by the deportations from countries occupied by the.Germans of Jews to Poland or, before to Concentration camps many of which were in the occupied countries, or in Greater Germany and served as transit camps to facilitate deportation to the Extermination camps.

Nevertheless Fascism as opposed to Nazism, as a political philosophy of ultra right wing nationalism, did not 'per se' mean virulent anti-Semitism in accord with the German model. For example Jews in Italy after the first Fascist dictator, Mussolini seized power, were not until shortly before 1939 treated separately from the general population with whom they had been emancipated since the Risorgimento (Unification) in 1860. Until 1943, when Germany took control of Italy, after its surrender to the Allies and deposition of Mussolini and the Fascist Council, no Jews were deported, the same being the case of Axis allies Hungary until 1944, Finland and Bulgaria.

It can be seen that the purport of twentieth century anti-Semitism finely honed by the Nazis was to show the Jew as a supreme manipulator, seeking to take advantage of and to exploit his gentile neighbours through unfair and deliberately dishonest means. The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" a fraudulent publication, claiming to have been produced in the early part of the twentieth Century by Jews, emanating from Russia espoused that the Jews sought to control the world, a central allegation of secular anti-Semitism. This picture of the Jew is still evident in cartoons and literature into the twenty-first century, not just in the Middle East where Egypt can produce a television programme showing the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as truth, but something Western Media is not exempt from, to its shame.

Yet, following emancipation, wherever Jews lived in Europe including Russia, they sought not only to support their fellow Jews, but also when opportunity presented itself to contribute as much as they could to the Gentile society amongst whom they lived. It is of course this wish to contribute that caused its own problems.

In major Western European countries Jews in disproportion to their numbers and percentage of the overall population entered the professions, particularly medicine and Law, scientific research, and teaching at all levels. This of course caused resentment amongst many and served to feed the propaganda about Jewish power and domination, fuelling latent prejudice.

In truth, when given the opportunity, since the "Age of Enlightenment", at the end of the 17th century, Jews when allowed to emerge from Ghettos and to be emancipated, within the laws of the countries in which they live, absorbed the advantage presented to them of secular education, particularly in Western Europe of which Germany in the early twentieth century had become a major cultural centre and many of its Universities being leading teaching institutions.

By 1933, approximately one-third of the doctors and lawyers practising in Berlin were Jews. They were prominent in publishing as well as education. Throughout Central and Western Europe, they appeared as an emergent well-educated and financially successful, disproportionately so in terms of numbers compared to the Gentile population, and thus particularly conspicuous, amongst populations who had seen them within the previous 150 years as a forcibly separated alien community, subject to restrictions and very different from them in language, largely being Yiddish speaking, performing various differing religious practices, which basically was renouncing "the true Christian religion", in dress and custom.

Despite the fact that this new educated and emergent Jewish class dressed no differently than their neighbours, many no longer practising their religion according to Orthodox practice, no longer speaking Yiddish and priding themselves on the citizenship, overall the majority did not seek to deny their ethnic and cultural heritage, describing themselves when required in respect of religion as Jews.

This immediately distinguished them from their Gentile neighbours with whom many had become friends, not only at work but also socially. It meant also when it came to the final solution they were readily identifiable to their German Oppressors and their occupied State collaborators, either through state documents or by betrayal to the Police and Gestapo.

The progress and condition of Jews in Eastern Europe was not the same. The great majority of European Jewry lived within an area known as the 'Pale of Settlement', a vast area consisting of the Eastern part of Poland as it was created after the First World War and what had became the Western States of the USSR, formerly Imperial Russia.

Within this area by 1939 lived up to 5 million Jews, many of whom were impoverished, like their gentile neighbours, relying upon subsistence living. They formed substantial minorities in the big cities of Poland, such as Warsaw, Cracow, Lodz and Vilnius (then part of Poland formerly and now Lithuania) and the Baltic, but in many of the towns and villages of Byelorussia, the Ukraine and the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia they were the majority, speaking Yiddish, still a recognised as an official language in parts of the Soviet Union until the late 1930's.

Persecution of Jews in the last quarter of the 19th Century in Imperial Russia and until the Revolution, was state policy. Nicholas II, the last Czar, was a virulent anti-Semite, supported and encouraged by the Russian Orthodox Church of which the Procurator of the Holy Synod was enormously powerful.

The pogroms, state and Orthodox Church sponsored had led to thousands of Jews, emigrating from Russia until 1914, and afterwards, to try and escape the Civil war in greater Russia following the Revolution and the war between Russia and Poland, although by then the possibility had been restricted by tough immigration policies promulgated, particularly in the United States, they having received the bulk of emigrants before the First World War.

Great Britain had also received large numbers who settled predominantly in the East end of London, Leeds Manchester and Liverpool, but dispersing also amongst the smaller towns to build communities, prosper and assimilate with the local population within a generation, although most retaining their Jewish identity.

Anti-Semitism originally was based on religious hatred of the Jews as being rejecters of Jesus Christ as the son of God and the Messiah. The concept of the trilogy is an unbridgeable divide between the two religions.

The Catholic and Orthodox churches demonised Jews as such, supported by Mediaeval and Renaissance art and literature. The Christian religion was seen as having supplanted Judaism. This and economic repression had resulted in multiple expulsions since the 13th Century from countries in Western Europe and/or separation from the Gentile population by confining Jews to Ghettos, small walled areas in cities from which Jews could only emerge during limited hours of the day.

Jews were forced to wear identifying garments or badges precursors to the identifying yellow stars that they were compelled to wear by the Nazis. This form of religious anti-Semitism was ingrained in the Gentile population through the centuries, continuing in Eastern Europe where religious practice and superstition remained strong into the twentieth century although separation into Ghettoes had ceased.

Ironically, despite the persecution it was in Eastern Europe that Orthodox Jewry remained dominant, and from the seventeenth were the seats of great religious learning, and from there the Chassidic sects that now flourish in the United States, Western Europe and Israel originate.

In Western Europe, from the Seventeenth Century onwards Jews began to break free from restrictions, that progressed to emancipation from the end of the eighteenth century. The political and industrial revolutions that transformed European society in the nineteenth century provided Jews with opportunities in education, industry and political thought as well as practical politics, opportunities that were taken advantage of and exploited much to the benefit of the non-Jewish public. As seen above this did not necessarily lead to tolerance, but gave rise to a more sophisticated form of anti-Semitism, emanating from what was to become Greater Germany.

German Intellectuals struggled to identify the place of Jews within Society. As cited by Gideon Hausner in his book, "Justice in Jerusalem". He wrote "In the Nineteenth century loathing of the Jews was very fashionable in German intellectual quarters. Important names were associated with it. Freidrich Hegel, the philosopher regarded the Old Testament, the creation of the Jewish genius as the embodiment of "a demon of hatred," in opposition to Hellenic beauty and virtue."

Jews were described as Germany's misfortune by Heinrich von Treitdchke. A Professor at Heidelberg University, Jacob Fries wrote that Jews should be wiped off the map accusing them of being as being bacilli that should be destroyed like cancer-germs. It is not surprising therefore that 'The Anti-Semitic League' founded in 1879 by intellectuals had gained some popularity by the end of the century. It expounded that "Semitism" is the exact antinomy of "Germanism". Jews were thus categorised as strangers to German society the opposite to what being a German is.

Anti-Semitism was thus endemic within Central Europe, and amongst the establishment within Germany respectable and overt, from Kaiser Wilhelm II downwards. It was not excluded from the performing arts, academia, including Wagner, his son-in law Houston Stuart Chamberlain, a virulent anti-Semite, and some of the press whose caricatures of Jews featured therein pre-dated and predicated the excesses of the Nazi Press.

The last quarter of the Nineteenth Century saw the rise of nationalism and imperialism typified by the formation of societies glorifying in the expression of national and racial grandeur such as the Pan German League. Those who were not seen as German living amongst Germans were characterised as alien and inferior, particularly the Jews who were described as the worse form of the Semitic race.

Eugenics which by the first quarter of the Twentieth Century had become a popular and important scientific study permitted, in its perverted and now discredited form, for the purpose of perfecting the human race the classification of races or ethnic types as superior or inferior. This, Nazi scientists used to give support to their racial theories in classifying Jews, Gypsies and Slavs as inferior and an underclass not worthy of preservation.

In the case of Jews they were likened to pests whose presence was plaguing and infecting the Aryan race of which those of Germanic origin were the perfect example. Thus the only way to rid society of this vermin was to eliminate them from the societies that were corrupted by their presence; a truly horrific, and on the face of it, surprising progression accepted by those ruled by the Nazis without any substantial dissent to the end. But public dissent did end the Euthanasia programme perpetrated on those with mental disability, or young persons found to be socially deviant.

It is within the environment described, from the last quarter of the nineteenth century, that the future Nazi leaders and the Wehrmacht Generals were born and then reached maturity and power in the 1930's, both within Austria and Germany. They also lived through the First World War, like Hitler and Goring having serving in armed forces during it and absorbing the shared indignity, as it was seen of the "stab in the back".

It was the Socialists, communists and Jews that were blamed for the revolution that deposed the Kaiser, leading to the Armistice of November 1918. They were accused following the Armistice of forcing Germany to agree the humiliating terms imposed by the victors, and creating the hated Weimar Republic. Walther Rathenau, a Jew, the Foreign Minister, was assassinated for having been a member of the Government that agreed the Armistice terms, despite in reality having been the member of the war government and being the Minister during the war for finance, and having been the founder of AEG, the electronics company.

The protagonists were disaffected former Officers and soldiers supported by right wing students, virulently anti-Semitic. They formed themselves into militant groups known as "Freikorps", of which the NASDP (The National Socialist German Workers' Party, known as the Nazi Party) was one. It was conveniently forgotten that the German army was on the verge of refusing to fight any further at the time of the Armistice being sought, Field Marshal Ludendorff, later a member of the Friekorps had advised the German Government to seek terms from the Allies.

The Versailles Treaty, accepted by the Weimar Republic, imposed terms on Germany that impoverished and weakened the State for years thereafter. For the former Officers of the Armed Forces trained in the Prussian military tradition the humiliation was particularly acute. For the average German middle class and worker the terms of the treaty, particularly the reparations demanded by the victors, led to the collapse of the German economy, their impoverishment, unemployment amongst them and the middle and working classes with consequential discontent intensified by the collapse of the western economies following the "Wall Street crash" of 1929.

Adolf Hitler had emerged as the leader of the NSDAP by 1920. He was a charismatic speaker glorifying the Germanic peoples, promulgating hatred of Bolshevism/Judaism, in his mind the two being indivisible. He, with his supporters and other Freikorps led the Munich Putsch of 1923 after which he was imprisoned. During his imprisonment Hitler wrote Mein Kampf which clearly set out his programme for the future, including his intentions for the Jews, a people he regarded since his days as an art student in Vienna, as responsible for all the ills in the world; their wealth and influence as he perceived it to be, he viewed as parasitic and poisoning the Germanic peoples.

Although Mein Kampf, after publication, was little read, or taken seriously it gave notice of Hitler's beliefs and predicted a programme of what was to come should Hitler achieve power. It gave a clear insight as to the consequences of handing power to a person whose ideas were warped and whose intent was to align himself and the German people as one, ultimately decreeing that if he were destroyed then so would be the German People.

After 1929 right wing politics, especially that of the Nazi Party with promises of resurgence of prosperity, fierce Nationalism, supported by brilliant stage-managed propaganda, the work of Joseph Goebbels, the thuggery of the Brown Shirts, fear of Communism, explicit racial propaganda directed at Jews and Communists through its own publications, especially "Der Sturmer" ensured by 1933 the party had gained popularity and a controlling position in the Reichstag, enabling Hitler to promote his racial policies that, amongst other things demonised Jews as racial misfits, deviants and an underclass from which Germans and those classified as Aryans should be separated. The Pan Germanic ideal and superiority of the Germanic peoples over other racial groups such as Slavs, and Gypsies appeared to be accepted by the general population, but also by academics, lawyers and the medical profession. To the shame of the professions, not only did they stand by to see ex-colleagues expelled from academic institutions, schools and from practising their vocations, but the majority welcomed the racial policies directed at the Jews and participated in their persecution

The Nazi Party under the iron grip of Adolf Hitler and his inner circle, through control of the Police, media, renunciation of acceptable norms of law, and the terms, both covertly and overtly, of the Versailles treaty and subsequent arms limitation treaties sought to reconstitute the German Armed forces. He did this by pursuing massive state investment projects which gained enormous domestic support through the 1930's such that racial laws and media and physical ill-treatment of the Jews became acceptable and was accepted by the population.

The economic and political success of the Nazi domestic and foreign policy seemed in the mind of the populace to mask the immorality and illegality of the Nazi racial laws and the treatment of those who dissented from them or were alienated from German society by them.

The growth of power of the Nazi state, its apparent immunity from sanction by the remainder of the Western world as it promoted its foreign policy of German aggrandisement and elimination of opposition from within allowed the domination of the total state and its mores to pass to the dictate of Adolf Hitler to whom all owed allegiance, and importantly position, including the armed forces by personal oath. Once that had occurred and was accepted by the populace, which by 1938 it had been in all aspects of life, including the testament of Jews as a subclass, not worthy of or in any way entitled to any basic human rights the German People, at the behest of Adolf Hitler were set on a course that inevitably was to lead to the meeting convened by Rudolf Heydrich at Wansee, a suburb of Berlin on 20th January 1942 at which the plans for the Final Solution of the Jewish question were agreed and actioned. Hitler had written the script, the Nazi Party provided the directors and participants to carry it out, including the armed forces (not only the SS) thus the State and its agencies being complicit in and participating in mass murder (later given the name "Genocide") of a peoples whose only guilt was their religion or ethnic origin.

Inherent anti-Semitism over the centuries, together with the manipulation of that prejudice by a slanderous blame culture, spurious science, the propaganda that sought to alienate the Jews from the societies in Europe to whom they had, following emancipation, contributed so much led to the crime of mass murder in which the majority of the population of Greater Germany and parts of occupied Europe were complicit.

Was the Holocaust inevitable?

From what is said above it may seem so once Adolf Hitler had come to power. In my view however, it may be argued to the contrary. Had the German population objected to the Concentration camps in their midst such as Dachau, Belsen, Ravensbruck, Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler and in Austria, Mauthausen all of which treated their prisoners with gross cruelty, starvation and torture, and had the population of occupied Europe resisted the deportations and mass executions that occurred the execution of the final solution would have been much more difficult.

Italy (until 1943) Bulgaria and Hungary (until 1944) and Finland throughout the war resisted deportation despite being members of the Axis. The Danes facilitated escape of virtually all their Jewish citizens to Sweden. The occupied countries, with the co-operation of their governments and their police forces co-operated with the Gestapo in the rounding up and supplying their Jews for deportation to their deaths.

It is a salutary lesson that unless the circumstances that led to the Holocaust are taught and understood and not repeated then Jews will, whether calling themselves Zionists or merely practising their religion, be at risk of history repeating itself, Jews must not be denied their humanity. They must not be demonised, stereotyped, again nor must the highly charged political situation in the Middle East be used as an excuse to disseminate, under the heading of anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism.

Criticism of Israel may or may not be justified, but the defamation of the Jews that is displayed under the banner of anti-Zionism in its crude form as described above is dangerous. It shows that anti-Semitism thrives.

The so-called Arab Spring has not brought an awakening of democracy, but has clearly shown the brutality that Muslims are prepared to show to other Muslims if not of the same sect as well as the treatment of Arab Christians, or in the case of Egypt the treatment of Coptic Christians. The prospect of a secular democratic Arab state will not be tolerated by the Muslim Brotherhood or Muslim fundamentalist organisations such as Al Quaeda the Taleband, Hizbollah and Hamas.

There is a clear disregard by these fundamentalist organisations and its offshoots for ordinary civilian populations whether they be their fellow citizens or citizens of countries they see as their enemy, civilians being a soft target.

The civil war in Syria highlights the divisions that exist in the Middle East. The Assad regime now stands accused of using chemical weapons against its own citizens, supported by compelling evidence against the regime according to Western Governments. The rebel forces stand accused of barbaric treatment against regime soldiers captured, including summary execution and cannibalism. The media pictures have portrayed to the world graphic images of the terror that has been inflicted on the Syrian population, following that of Iraq and Afghanistan and now also atrocities that are occurring in Pakistan.

There is one unifying factor so far as the majority of the Muslim world can identify; that is their enmity towards the Jewish state of Israel. Anti Semitic propaganda and demonization of Israel and its citizens by its neighbours to almost four generations of its citizens will as evidenced leave little hope for tolerance or mercy to Israel's citizens.

Seeing the level of brutality and treatment of Muslims towards other Muslims it is relevant to consider what might be done to Israeli citizens should its Muslim neighbours prevail in any future middle-east conflict? Would or could any other country, apart possibly from the United States, intervene? Even intervention by the United States under the present administration may take time, and certainly through the United Nations might prove impossible. It remains to be seen whether in the midst of a civil war Syria's Chemical weapons can be put out of reach of the present regime, or others to whom they might otherwise be passed for use, or if the Russians are right removed from the Rebels.

Whoever used them against Syrian citizens were indeed Muslims. Would there be any qualms about using them against Jews? President Assad threatened reprisals if the United States had sought to intervene. He was not specific as to who reprisals were to be directed in the region. If not Israel then reprisals would be against neighbouring Arab states, widening a sectarian conflict and further alienation of Syria from them. The only reason it would not be Israel is because of that state's possible potential to retaliate.

It is submitted, that other than by its own efforts, the Jewish state cannot rely upon others to prevent another Holocaust. None of the Allies went to war in 1939 or 1941 because of the Nazi treatment of the Jews. That is the major lesson to be learned from the Holocaust.

Furthermore recent political events in this country and the United States show that the leading Western nations will find making the case for intervention very difficult. It is against history and the current rise of world-wide anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism that the question of whether the Holocaust could happen again has to be judged. The irony of course is that the only country in which Muslims, in every sect of Islam can live in a democracy and where Christians and the Bahai can practice their religion as well as Jews, without persecution in the Middle East, other than Turkey, is Israel.


from the October 2013 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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