Saturday, August 15, 2009

Exceptions to the Holocaust rule

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The late Michael Elkins was for many years the BBC correspondent in Jerusalem, reporting on such major Israeli events like the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann and the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six Day War.

In 1971 Michael Elkins published Forged in Fury, a book about the men and women of DIN, a group of Jewish avengers bent on tracking and killing alleged Nazi war criminals.  

In 1996, the book was reprinted to mark the 25th anniversary of its publication, almost unchanged, except for a new Foreword in which Elkins disputed the traditional six million (Holocaust) figure.

More a wobbler than a blatant "Holocaust denier," Elkins owed to having no set opinion as to even the approximate number of Jews killed in World War Two; all he knew was that it was not the six million figure he had alleged in the first edition of Forged in Fury.  

Elkins: "The dimensions of the Holocaust are terribly important, but whether it was five million dead or four million or three, the enormity of the crime and the weight of the tragedy maintains." [1]

Otherwise, Michael Elkins' Forged in Fury remained the very same self-righteous schizoid denunciation-celebration of violence that it was in 1971. Elkins, who registers a seismic frisson, just about, each time he describes another Nazi getting wacked, would have, I dare say, enjoyed watching Quentin Tarantino’s over-the-top revenge-fantasy Inglourious Basterds.

But what about those for whom the Six Million figure is inviolable?

For example, longtime senior counsel for B'nai Brith Canada, David Matas has -- as have many, many others in a similiar position -- said the "Holocaust was the murder of six million Jews" and that what is called "Holocaust denial is [tantamount to] a second murder of those same six million.” [2]

Shouldn’t the Guardians of the Holocaust Flame have denounced Elikins as a Holocaust denier and then dragged the poor sod and his reputation from pillar post? Suffice is to say, they didn’t; they gave him a free pass. It happens in special cases. Elkins was one of those; Dr Joachim Prinz was another.

Dr Prinz, a German rabbi with Zionist leanings, is profiled in the sizzling little volume, Jewish History, Jewish Region, by the late Israel Shahak, a Buchenwald survivor and an Israeli human rights advocate. [3]

In 1934, Dr. Prinz published a polemical work entiled Wir Juden (We, Jews) wherein he hailed Hitler's rise to power. Seems he viewed this as a defeat for liberalism and, hence, a very good outcome for Jews.

"[T]he fortunes of liberalism are lost," he wrote gleefully. "The only form of political life which has helped Jewish assimilation is sunk."

See: The victory of Nazism ruled out assimilation and the bane of mixed marriages between Jews and gentiles. Said Prinz: "We are not unhappy about this." His book [said Shahak] contained a lot of unblushing praise for Nazi ideology.

Later on, Dr. Prinz emigrated to the United States, where he then eventually became a vice-chairman of the World Jewish Congress and a leading figure in the World Zionist Organization. Despite his words of praise for Hitler and the Nazis, he was also on friendly terms with the onetime Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir.

1. Michael Elkins, Forged in Fury,  London: Judy Piatkus (Publishers), 1996, p. xiii

2. Letters to the Editor, Toronto Globe and Mail, January 22, 1992.

3. Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion, Pluto Press: London, 1994, p, 71-72.

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