Yad Vashem calls on Amazon to stop selling books denying the Holocaust

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Yad Vashem Holocaust museum has called on online retailer Amazon to remove books that deny the Holocaust from its websites.

Dr. Robert Rozett, director of the Yad Vashem Libraries, last week sent an email to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, requesting that he immediately remove the books from the sites.

“It has been clear for many years now that Holocaust denial literature is freely available for purchase over Amazon. Many of the items appear with glowing readers’ reviews and recommendations for further reading in the same vein,” Rozett wrote in the letter, the Jerusalem Post first reported.

“Once again, given the presence of anti-Semitism around the globe, which has become more prevalent in recent years, we strongly urge you to remove books that deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust from your store,” the letter said.

Amazon has removed books that deny the Holocaust from online stores in countries where Holocaust denial is illegal, but they remain available in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The British newspaper The Independent reported earlier this month that the books were removed in some countries, including Italy, France and Germany, after Amazon was contacted about the sale of such books by The Sunday Times of London.

Among the books still available on Amazon’s U.S. and U.K. online stores are “Did Six Million Really Die?” by Richard Harwood; “The Six Million: Fact or Fiction?,” and “The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews.”


US almost deports French Jewish Holocaust scholar

WASHINGTON – US authorities came close to deporting an Egyptian-born French Jewish Holocaust-era scholar on his way to speak at a symposium at Texas A&M University.

Henry Rousso was detained in Houston when the university enlisted one of its law professors who specializes in immigrant rights to intervene, The Eagle, a news site covering the Bryan-College Station area, where the university is located, reported on Saturday.

The newspaper reported that there was a “misunderstanding” regarding Rousso’s visa, leading authorities to classify him as an illegal alien. Fatma Marouf, the law professor, told The Eagle that she had not previously seen such strict enforcement.

“It seems like there’s much more rigidity and rigor in enforcing these immigration requirements and the technicalities of every visa,” said Marouf, who helped author an amicus brief earlier this month against US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to refugees and to travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. The courts have stayed the ban, which Trump instituted to prevent terrorist attacks.

It’s not clear what led to Rousso’s detention and near-deportation; Egypt is not among the Muslim-majority countries listed.

Rousso, 62, who specializes in memory and trauma, has written extensively on Holocaust-era France. According to his French-language Wikipedia entry, he was a visiting scholar in 2006 at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

He and his family were forced out of Egypt in 1956 under anti-Semitic measures instituted by the Nasser regime.



Yad Vashem has called on Amazon to remove Holocaust denial books from its online store, accusing the Internet retail giant of facilitating the spread of hate speech.

The appeal came in the form of a letter penned by Yad Vashem’s director of the libraries, Dr. Robert Rozett, to the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.
US Jewish leaders call on government to take decisive action against antisemitic attacks

“It has been clear for many years now that Holocaust denial literature is freely available for purchase over Amazon. Many of the items appear with glowing readers’ reviews and recommendations for further reading in the same vein,” Rozett wrote, attaching to his message several examples of rave reviews of books titled True History of the Holocaust. Did six million really die? and The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.

Mentioning that Yad Vashem had – in vain – broached the issue with Amazon soon after the latter’s founding, Rozett told The Jerusalem Post that in light of an unfortunate change in climate with more visible antisemitism, “maybe the time is a little more ripe for them to take up the idea that they need to be more careful in what they sell.”

“Once again, given the presence of antisemitism around the globe, which has become more prevalent in recent years, we strongly urge you to remove books that deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust from your store,” Rozett wrote to Bezos.

“Holocaust denial and other forms of hate speech indisputably nurture prejudice and hate crimes,” he continued. “Open discussion of ideas is certainly essential to pluralistic and democratic systems, but facilitating the spread of such hate-filled ideas is irresponsible, to say the least. As a major agent for the dissemination of ideas, it is incumbent upon Amazon, as it is also incumbent upon Internet providers in general, to act to curb the spread of hatred.”

He concluded by offering Yad Vashem’s assistance in identifying publications that foment Holocaust denial, distortion and trivialization.

“It’s not only Amazon, and there are a lot of forces trying to get this hatred removed or marginalized,” Rozett told the Post, also noting that in countries where Holocaust denial is illegal, such books are not available on Amazon. In the US, however, they are still freely available.

“There’s a civic responsibility,” he stressed. “These are very big giants of information.”

He said that while he would ultimately like the store to entirely remove such content from its website, he offered secondary solutions such as clearly marking the nature of the books.

He also noted that Amazon suggests further reading of the same kind to users who are browsing Holocaust denial books. Acknowledging that this is likely the result of an algorithm, he said this is another factor he would like to see changed.

“But the best thing would be if they would sign up not to sell this material,” Rozett emphasized, adding that while his letter was sent out to Amazon, its message applies universally.

Why I Call Myself a Holocaust Denier by Paul Eisen



My family were ordinary folk – ‘twice-a-year Jews’ we used to call them. But like most of us second and third generation, upwardly mobile, North London Jews, our Jewishness filled our lives. And, at that time, that meant Zionism and the Holocaust. For me, my family and our friends, a post-Holocaust Israel meant quite simply ‘never again’.

But, while seemingly ordinary, my family was also rather extraordinary. My father was unusually tolerant and free-thinking, and my mother too was unusually lively in her thinking. A born rebel, there was nothing she loved more than to burst a balloon. As for me, I started off, first as the family tsaddik – awfully concerned with God and my Jewishness (though always strangely at odds with other Jews) – then the family dissident-intellectual. By young adulthood, you would have found me somewhere on the Zionist left – unquestioning in my support for the Jewish state but wishing it would not behave quite so badly and stop embarrassing me in front of my friends. However, when it came to the Holocaust, my faith was unwavering.

This is me in 1978 at Yad Vashem:

Then through the museum and its unfolding narrative: Concentration, Deportation, Selection, Extermination. It wears you out, it really does. Like countless others, we stand dumb in front of the little slave-labourer’s shoe in the glass case and also like countless others, we know we’ve had enough.

Then to the shrine itself: The bunker with its dulled metal floor, off-centre the smoky flame flickers, through the hole in the roof, a trickle of black smoke, a world destroyed. Then outside, from the gloom into the brilliant Mid-Eastern sunshine and up the few steps, and there it is: after the fall, redemption and the future – the blazing panorama of Jewish Jerusalem. We Jews really do do these things awfully well.

From We Stand with Israel by Paul Eisen

That was 1978 and I didn’t then know what I now know: that, as I came out of that bunker – that universally  known symbol of Jewish suffering, and took in that perfect view – I was looking straight at that completely unknown symbol of Palestinian suffering, the village of Deir Yassin. Of course, I didn’t know then about Deir Yassin, and even if I had known, I probably wouldn’t have much cared.

Thinking back, I suspect my response would have been something like: Ah yes, Deir Yassin, the one stain on an otherwise unblemished Zionist record. (The line had come, pretty much verbatim from my reading (age eleven) of the blockbuster Exodus.) And anyway, I would have reasoned, was not the fevered anguish of the Zionist leadership (later referred to by me as ‘Jewish breast-beating’) yet more evidence of an essential Jewish moral grandeur?

Sure, I’d known about Deir Yassin – both the village and the massacre – but I had not known, nor probably wanted to know, about the close to five hundred other destroyed or depopulated Palestinian villages or about the seventy known massacres which accompanied the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Like the child who does not, cannot, or will not see the lamb chops on his plate as skipping round the farmyard, so for now, I did not, could not and would not see those refugees, terrorists or biblical shepherds on my TV screen as those same folk – those safely de-personalized and de-humanized ‘Arabs’ – who had lived in what was, and as far as I was concerned, had always been, Israel.

But I must not blame myself. I do not blame myself. Even after digging through the accumulated layers of indoctrination to which any Jewish child could expect to be subjected, this was still some story. After two thousand years of exile, an ancient people return to their ancient homeland – a land given to them by God, or, (for the more secular amongst us), by History.

Because mine was no run-of-the-mill Zionism. What was claimed by so many Jews (particularly of the anti-Zionist, Marxist variety) to be an essentially political ideology, just a Jewish version of imperialism or an add-on – an essentially practical solution to an ever-present anti-Semitism, was for me – and I now know, deep-down, for most Jews – a deep, emotional, spiritual, even religious affiliation. For my Zionism was a true sense of my Jewishness – a feeling that came deep from within Jewish history and even destiny – a feeling that I, with all Jews, had stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and, also with all Jews, had marched through history – a history which, at the time, I had not yet dreamt of questioning.

But question it I did. Here I am again in 1996 on the phone to the first name listed under “Palestine” – PSC: the Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

“Hello, look, I’m doing a bit of research, trying to find the name of a Palestinian village on the site of a particular kibbutz…I used to stay there….”

“Which one?”

“I’m sorry…?”

“Which kibbutz?”

“Yad David. It’s in the north, about five miles from….”

“Hang on…..” Then fifteen seconds later…

“It’s al Zawiyyeh”

“How did you do that?

“We’ve got a list… It’s from a book. It lists all the villages…”

“Can I get a copy?”

“Well, you may get it in a couple of bookshops… Try Al Hoda on the Charing Cross Road.”

One hour later I arrived at the Al Hoda Islamic bookshop in the Charing Cross Road and headed for the shelves marked ISRAEL(OCCUPIED PALESTINE). This is heady stuff, and there’re some interesting things too, “The Zionist in Literature” is one, with an intriguing essay on Ari Ben Canaan, which I really must read sometime, but nothing really on the villages. Most of it’s about this-way-to-peace or that-way-to-peace, so I’m there about three quarters of an hour before I find what I came for. It’s been misplaced on the wrong shelf – so that’s why I missed it, and it looks like it’s been there for quite a time. Not surprising, when I see the forty-five pound price tag. But it is what I’ve come for, All That Remains by Whalid Khalidi, with the names, locations and the fate of four hundred and sixteen Palestinian villages destroyed since 1948.

“By the end of the 1948 war, hundreds of entire villages had not only been depopulated but obliterated, travellers of Israeli roads and highways can see traces of their presence that would escape the notice of the casual passer-by: a fenced-in area, often surmounting a gentle hill, of olive and other fruit trees left untended, of cactus hedges and domesticated plants run wild. Now and then a few crumbled houses are left standing, a neglected mosque or church, collapsing walls along the ghost of a village lane, but in the vast majority of cases, all that remains is a scattering of stones and rubble across a forgotten landscape.”

There are photos too, mainly of piles of rubble, which, to tell the truth, are a bit disappointing. After all, when you’ve seen one pile of rubble… a few stones… rubble…deserted site… rubble, overgrown with thorny plants… rubble… a few carob trees, piles of stones, crumbling terraces… rubble… a few stones… no landmarks… rubble…rubble… rubble.

But then there is something. As I hold the book in my hands it’s as if I’m holding something important, a record, a testimonial, a symbol of resistance, if you like.

I move on to the business at hand. District of Tiberias, 23 out of 26 villages destroyed… District of Bisan, all 28 villages destroyed… District of Safed, 68 out of 75 villages… Safed! Yad David is near Safed. Then I spot something… Kfar Yitzhak… I know that place. It’s a couple of kilometres from Yad David. I used to cycle there… Founded in 1943 on the site of the village of Qaytiyya… population predominantly Muslim… from agriculture and animal husbandry… had its own grain mill…

…at midnight June 5th 1949 army trucks encircled the village and Israeli troops swept down… rounded up the villagers and dumped them on a hillside south of Safed… villagers treated with brutality… kicks and curses… All that remains are a few stones… much of the lands absorbed by the settlement of Kefar Yitzhak…

 I cannot believe what I’m reading, but I manage to turn the page just one more time and see what I’ve come here for:

“Yad David… founded in 1946 one kilometre north of the village of al Zawiyyeh…The village now lies under the cotton fields of Yad David.”

As I’m going out, I show the man the slip of paper on which I’ve written the name al Zawiyyeh and I ask what it means. He looks at the paper. “Corner?” He says as if asking me whether such a thing could really be so. Then, as I’m leaving and just as an afterthought I ask:

“There’s this word I keep seeing. Nakba. What does it mean?”

“al Nakba… the Catastrophe “

From “1996”by Paul Eisen

In 1998, I met Dan McGowan founder of the Palestinian solidarity organisation “Deir Yassin Remembered,” but not once in our short conversation or in the extended interview he gave afterwards did Dan mention the proximity of Deir Yassin to Yad Vashem. I read about that later, in the leaflet Dan gave me, on the London Underground, somewhere between Gloucester Road and Holloway Road.

“The Holocaust museum is beautiful, and the message ‘never to forget man’s inhumanity to man’ is timeless. The children’s museum is particularly heart-wrenching; in a dark room filled with candles and mirrors, the names of Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust are read aloud with their places of birth. Even the most callous person is brought to tears. Upon exiting this portion of the museum, a visitor is facing north and is looking directly at Deir Yassin. There are no markers, no plaques, no memorials, and no mention from any tour guide. But for those who know what they are looking at, the irony is breathtaking.”

From “Deir Yassin Remembered” by Dan McGowan

For Dan, a conservative American patriot, no more was needed than to note both the fact and the irony. But for me, with my leanings and obsessions, searching as I was for some meaning to the jumbled mass of my Jewish childhood and to the Holocaust, Israel and Palestine, it was epiphany. Deir Yassin was one thing but Deir Yassin in clear sight of Yad Vashem was quite another.

Of course, it was only much later, long after I had begun to think, write and speak about these things, that I was able to properly articulate even to myself that it was precisely this ‘breathtaking irony’ of Dan’s that had so held my attention. But even if I didn’t then know it, I certainly hung onto it – from that moment I was a messenger who had found his message.

And takers there were a-plenty. Palestinians, long resigned to Jewish suffering being placed at the centre of their own tragedy, were still pleased with the surge of publicity that the story and the resulting Jewish participation brought to their cause, and Jews were, as ever, delighted to have themselves and their suffering once more centre-stage. Deir Yassin gave Palestinians a new and effective narrative for resistance, and Jews an activism, sufficiently challenging to seem courageous and meaningful, but not so challenging as to necessitate any loosening of tribal bonds. And the rest – the Christians, the Marxists and the various non-aligned – well, as usual, they just went along with the Jews.

Now I had it all – Palestinian suffering/Jewish suffering, ab­used/ab­user. Okay, so, my much-loved Jewish victim was now the perpetrator but no matter, Deir Yassin could be viewed only from Yad Vashem – and the suffering of the Palestinian people could be seen only through the prism of my beloved Jewish suffering.

Unfortunately or fortunately (it really does go both ways) it didn’t stop there. Here I am in 2004:

It is understandable that Jews might believe that their suffering is greater, more mysterious and meaningful than that of any other people. It is even understandable that Jews might feel that their suffering can justify the oppression of another people. What is harder to understand is why the rest of the world has gone along with it.


That Jews have suffered is undeniable. But acknowledgement of this suffering is rarely enough. Jews and others have demanded that not only should Jewish suffering be acknowledged, but that it also be accorded special status.

Jewish suffering is held to be unique, central and most importantly, mysterious. Jewish suffering is rarely measured against the sufferings of other groups. Blacks, women, children, gays, workers, peasants, minorities of all kinds, all have suffered, but none as much as Jews. Protestants at the hands of Catholics, Catholics at the hands of Protestants, pagans and heretics, all have suffered religious persecution, but none as relentlessly as Jews. Indians, Armenians, gypsies and aborigines, all have been targeted for elimination, but none as murderously and as premeditatedly as Jews.

Jewish suffering is held to be mysterious, and beyond explanation. Context is rarely examined. The place and role of Jews in society – their historical relationships with Church and state, landlords and peasantry – is hardly ever subject to scrutiny, and, whilst non-Jewish attitudes to Jews are the subject of intense interest, Jewish attitudes to non-Jews are rarely mentioned. Attempts to confront these issues are met with suspicion, and sometimes hostility, in the fear that explanation may lead to rationalisation, which may lead to exculpation, and then even to justification.

From Speaking the Truth to Jews by Paul Eisen

And again a few months later…

The issue (of Jewish suffering) is complex and cannot be fully debated or decided here, but the following points may stimulate thought and discussion.

During even the most terrible times of Jewish suffering such as the Crusades or the Chmielnitzky massacres of seventeenth century Ukraine, and even more so at other times in history, it has been said that the average peasant would have given his eye-teeth to be a Jew. The meaning is clear: generally speaking, and throughout most of their history, the condition of Jews was often far superior to the mass of the population.

The above-mentioned Ukrainian massacres took place in the context of a peasant uprising against the oppression of the Ukrainian peasantry by their Polish overlords. As has often been the case, Jews were seen as occupying a traditional position of being in alliance with the ruling class in their oppression of the peasantry. Chmielnitzky, the leader of this popular uprising, is today a Ukrainian national hero, not for his assaults on Jews (there are even references to his having offered poor Jews to join the uprising against their exploitative co-religionists – the Jews declined) but for his championing of the rights of the oppressed Ukrainians. Again, the inference is plain: outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence, though never justified, have often been responses to Jewish behaviour both real and imaginary.

In the Holocaust three million Polish Jews died, but so did three million non-Jewish Poles

Similarly, the Church burned Jews for their dissenting beliefs but then the church burned everyone for their dissenting beliefs. So again, the question must be asked: what’s so special about Jewish suffering?


The Holocaust, the paradigm for all anti-Semitism and all Jewish suffering, is treated as being beyond examination and scrutiny. Questioning the Holocaust narrative is, at best, socially unacceptable, leading often to social exclusion and discrimination, and, at worst, in some places is illegal and subject to severe penalty. Holocaust revisionist scholars, named Holocaust deniers by their opponents, have challenged this. They do not deny a brutal and extensive assault on Jews by the Nazi regime, but they do deny the Holocaust narrative as framed by present day establishments and elites. Specifically, their denial is limited to three main areas. First, they deny that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe; second, they deny that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers; third, they claim that the numbers of Jewish victims of the Nazi assault have been greatly exaggerated.

But none of this is the point. Whether those who question the Holocaust narrative are revisionist scholars striving to find the truth and are shamelessly persecuted for opposing a powerful faction, or whether they are crazy Jew-haters denying a tragedy and defaming its victims, the fact is that one may question the Armenian genocide, one may freely discuss the Slave Trade, one can say that the murder of millions of Ibos, Kampucheans and Rwandans never took place and that the moon is but a piece of green cheese floating in space, but one may not question the Jewish Holocaust. Why? Because, like the rest of the Jewish history of suffering, the Holocaust underpins the narrative of Jewish innocence, which is used to bewilder and befuddle any attempt to see and to comprehend Jewish power and responsibility in Israel/Palestine and elsewhere in the world.

Jewish Power by Paul Eisen

It was while writing the above and more that I came across Joel Hayward’s ill-fated M.A. thesis The Fate of Jews in German Hands 1933-1945< http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres8/hay.pdf >. That Hayward recanted mattered not one jot, and his credibility was only enhanced by his own clear astonishment at what he was writing – an astonishment fully matched by my own at what I was reading. That the Holocaust was exploited and abused, I had understood, but its veracity? No way. Now, for the first time ever, there could be doubts.

Holocaust Denier

It’s always worth defining your terms. Not that it does that much good – the inquisitors will see what they want to see and claim what they want to claim. But for the record here’s what I do and do not question. First, what I do not question:

· I do not question that the National Socialist regime brutally persecuted Jews.

· I do not question that Jews in Germany were discriminated against, violently assaulted, dispossessed, imprisoned in camps and expelled and that many Jews died as a result.

· I do not question that Jews in countries occupied by Germany or within the German sphere of influence were pitilessly assaulted, dispossessed and subjected to brutal deportations, many to forced labour camps where many hundreds of thousands died.

· I do not question that many Jews were executed by shooting in the East.

But enough of this negativity – here’s what I do question:

· I question that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the National Socialist regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe.

· I question that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers.

· I question the figure of six million Jewish victims of the Nazi assault and I believe that the actual figure was significantly less.

And finally, one more thing I do not and do question: I do not question the horror of what was done to Jews by National Socialists or the right of Jews (including myself) to regard that horror any way they wish. I do, however, question their right to compel the rest of the world to feel the same.

Deny the Holocaust!

For my money, a child of six can see that something’s not right about the Holocaust narrative, and the science simply confirms what I already suspect. But I differ from the Holocaust Revisionists. They are scholars – historians and scientists who apply ‘truth and exactitude’ to determine the truth or otherwise of the Holocaust narrative. I’m no scholar. I care nothing for the chemical traces in brickwork or the topological evidence for mass graves. But I’ve read the literature, and it just doesn’t add up.

That Jews suffered greatly from 1933-1945 is not in question, but the notion of a premeditated, planned and industrial extermination of Europe’s Jews with its iconic gas-chambers and magical six million are all used to make the Holocaust not only special but also sacred. We are faced with a new, secular religion, a false god with astonishing power to command worship. And, like the Crucifixion with its Cross, Resurrection etc, the Holocaust has key and sacred elements – the exterminationist imperative, the gas chambers and the sacred six million. It is these that comprise the holy Holocaust which Jews, Zionists and others worship and which the revisionists refuse.

Nor is this a small matter. If it was, why the fuss, why the witch-hunt, why the imprisonment of David Irving, Ernst Zündel and Germar Rudolf? And it’s not just them. What may be a massive lie is being used to oppress pretty much all of humankind. The German and Austrian peoples who, we are told, conceived and perpetrated the slaughter; the Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Rumanian, Hungarian, peoples etc. who supposedly hosted, assisted in and cheered on the slaughter; the Americans, the British, the French, the Dutch, the Belgians, the Italians (but not the Danes and the Bulgarians) etc. who apparently didn’t do enough to stop the slaughter; the Swiss who earned out of the slaughter, and the entire Christian world who, it seems, created the faith-traditions and ideologies in which the slaughter could take place, and now the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim peoples who seemingly want to perpetrate a new slaughter – in fact, the Holocaust oppresses the entire non-Jewish world and indeed much of the Jewish world as well. Stand up and have done with it.

So here’s something else. The Holocaust revisionist scholars and researchers are dedicated and skilled students of historical evidence, and for them‘Holocaust denier’ is but a term of abuse to be hurled as ‘witch’ might have been hurled in the Middle Ages. But for me, ‘Holocaust Denier’ is a label I accept. This is not because I don’t think anything bad happened to Jews at the hands of the National Socialists – for what it’s worth the real story of brutal ethnic cleansing moves me far more than any ‘Holocaust’ – and it’s certainly not because I think any such assault is right and proper. No, I deny the Holocaust because, as constituted, exploited and enforced, the Holocaust narrative is a false and abusive god, and I wish to put as much moral distance between it and myself as I can.


Courtesy ReporterNotebook


Dutch “Multicultural” Students Resist Holocaust Education

A number of Dutch schools refrain from teaching about the Holocaust because of resistance from Muslim pupils, teachers told lawmakers.

The centrist Christian Union party held a roundtable discussion about Holocaust education with teachers and other professionals Wednesday in parliament in The Hague, The Algemeen Dagblad daily reported. “Holocaust survivor Bloeme Evers does not dare give guest lessons in some schools,” Arie Slob, the party’s parliamentary leader and a former history teacher, told the daily , describing the discussion.

“I am horrified by this. It is unacceptable that 70 years after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism in the Netherlands is growing.”

Among the teachers in attendance was Wissam Feriani, a social studies teacher who works at a vocational high school in Amsterdam where approximately half of the students are Muslim.


“The teacher says Jews, the pupils say Gaza,” said Feriani, who is Muslim. “The teacher says Holocaust, the pupils say it’s all bullshit.” In class, he adds, “It’s always the Jews’ fault. Some pupils say they [Jews] don’t belong. It’s difficult.” There are no available figures on the difficulties examined, the report said.

Separately, Dutch police in the North Holland district are investigating a collector of World War II-era memorabilia who advertised on a Dutch website bars of soap that the seller said were made of human fat that germans had extracted from Jews. Forensic scientists sent the soap to be tested for human remains, the De Telegraaf daily reported on Wednesday.

Stories about the mass production of human soap, popular and believed to be credible in the years immediately after the Holocaust, were later debunked by Raul Hilberg, an Austrian historian and expert on the Holocaust, who traced the myth to rumors that circulated among Polish Jews in 1942.


Amid anti-Semitism row, Mike Pence (White Freemason, Christian Zionist) tours Nazi concentration camp

DACHAU, Germany — US Vice President Mike Pence paid a somber visit to the site of the Dachau concentration camp on Sunday, walking along the grounds where tens of thousands of people were killed during World War II.

Pence was joined by his wife, Karen Pence, and the couple’s 23-year-old daughter, Charlotte, as they toured the exhibits at the former concentration camp that was established by the Nazis in 1933 near Munich.

The vice president was accompanied by Abba Naor, a survivor of the camp, and other dignitaries as he passed through the wrought iron gate bearing the inscription, “Arbeit macht frei,” or “Work sets you free.”

“It was a miracle that we survived,” Naor told the vice president and his family, describing a typical meal as “a slice of bread.”

The Pences placed a wreath beneath the International Memorial at the center of the camp, toured the barracks and viewed the ovens inside the crematorium.

The Pences also stopped at religious memorials at the site and later attended a church service on the camp’s grounds.

“Moving and emotional tour of Dachau today,” he tweeted on his official Twitter account. “We can never forget atrocities against Jews and others in the Holocaust.”

More than 200,000 people from across Europe were held at Dachau, and more than 40,000 prisoners died there. The camp was liberated by US forces in April 1945.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center, his wife Karen, second from left, and his daughter Charlotte, left, are lead by Holocaust survivor Abba Naor, right, as they visit the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, one day after he attended the Munich Security Conference. (Sven Hoppe/pool photo via AP)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center, his wife Karen, second from left, and his daughter Charlotte, left, are lead by Holocaust survivor Abba Naor, right, as they visit the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, one day after he attended the Munich Security Conference. (Sven Hoppe/pool photo via AP)

Making his first overseas trip as vice president, Pence spoke to foreign diplomats and defense officials at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders.

Pence was traveling to Brussels later Sunday for meetings on Monday with NATO and European Union officials.

In 2015, then-US vice president Joe Biden visited the site with his granddaughter during a trip to Germany.

US Vice President Michael Richard Pence (2L), his wife Karen Pence (L) and his daughter Charlotte Pence look at the crematorium at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site at the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, Germany, on February 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)

US Vice President Michael Richard Pence (2L), his wife Karen Pence (L) and his daughter Charlotte Pence look at the crematorium at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site at the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, Germany, on February 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)

Pence’s visit to Dachau follows a recent outcry over US President Donald Trump’s failure to mention the Jews in his statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust,” the president said in the statement. “It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”

US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, left, lay a wreath during a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, left, lay a wreath during a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

When pressed why no mention was made of the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the administration doubled down on its original statement, with Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks saying “we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” pointing to “priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters” as other Holocaust victims.

In response to the statement, a number of US Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League condemned the administration’s failure to mention the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, as well as the Zionist Organization of America and the Republican Jewish Coalition, both of which are generally sympathetic to Trump.

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC on February 15, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC on February 15, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

During a joint press conference with Trump on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the US president and “his people” against charges of anti-Semitism, saying “there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than Donald Trump.”

Although Trump evaded a question from a reporter regarding rising anti-Semitism during the press conference, the US president acknowledged the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust in his opening statement, saying “we will never forget what the Jewish people have endured” and hailing the Jews for their “survival in the face of genocide.”

Asked by ultra-Orthodox reporter Jake Turx during a press conference the next day how his administration planned to handle anti-Semitism, Trump grew furious and accused his questioner of dishonesty, seeming to mistakenly believe he was being accused of anti-Semitism. Trump referenced Netanyahu’s support and insisted, “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you have ever seen in your entire life.”

Following the incident, Turx defended Trump, telling Fox News that “it’s very unfair what’s been done to him and I understand why he’s so defensive. And I’m with him when it comes to being outraged about him being charged with this anti-Semitism.”





German politicians from the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) in Hamburg submitted a resolution in early February calling on the state senate to take decisive action against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, deeming it as antisemitic.

The CDU is the opposition party in the government, while the Social Democrats and the Green Party make up the governing coalition in Hamburg.

The CDU politicians condemned “BDS initiatives and activities as antisemitic,” adding that the senate, as well as government agencies, should assess all activities as hostile to Israel and take actions against BDS.

The resolution appears to the be first state government legislative act seeking to blunt BDS. The CDU sponsors of the resolution are Carsten Ovens, Karin Prien, André Trepoll, Dennis Thering, Birgit Stöver, Dennis Gladiator, and Jörg Hamann.

The resolution urged Hamburg to support further initiatives to strengthen German-Israel bilateral relations. According to the resolution, “In previous months, many different countries have shown a clear resistance against the BDS movement. National and local parliaments and administrations – for example, in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Paris – decided to reject these boycott activities.”

The northern port city of Hamburg is both a city and a federal German state.

The resolution stated: “Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews. That is nothing other than coarse antisemitism.”

The CDU compared BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the “new clothes of the 21st century” as anti-Zionism, the party said.

The anti-BDS resolution was in response to the University of Hamburg’s appointment of Farid Esack, a pro-BDS Islamic theologian from South Africa. The advisory board of the Academy of World Religions at Hamburg University, where Esack served as a guest professor from October to mid-February, distanced itself from Esack.

In a statement to Die Welt reporter Jakob Koch, the academy said it is “totally unacceptable from the view of the advisory council when a comprehensive boycott of Israel is called for and thereby a break in every form of cooperation with Israeli universities, cultural institutions and other institutions.”

Die Welt further reported on Saturday that the academy said Esack has not demonstrated clear statements affirming Israel’s right to exist. The advisory panel said that “under consideration of the now known facts a decision to appoint Prof. Dr. Esack as guest professor would have certainly been decided differently.”

Esack is the chairman of BDS South Africa. In 2015, he welcomed his “comrade” plane hijacker Leila Khaled, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at a fund-raiser. The EU and US classify the PFLP as a terrorist organization.
Esack has argued that “the idea of an Islamic State in Germany must be allowed to be represented.”

The Israeli Embassy in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post in January: “This is a man [Esack] who expressed antisemitic statements, and who is sympathetic to Holocaust denial. A person with such views has no place as an educator in a university, in particular not in Germany; due to both professional as well as moral and probably also legal reasons.”

A statement from Esack published on a BDS website in Germany read: “Neither I nor anyone on the staff or board of BDS SA has ever made any statement that could be reasonably interpreted as antisemitism. These accusations are part of a hundreds of million of dollars, Israeli government-funded operation.” Esack has compared Israel’s government to that of Nazi Germany on his Facebook page, and called former president Shimon Peres a “terrorist.”

The anti-BDS motion in Hamburg is a further setback for BDS activists, after German financial institutions terminated three BDS bank accounts in 2016. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party passed an anti-BDS resolution at its party congress. The senate is slated to vote on the CDU resolution on March 1.


Lithuanian nationalists celebrate Holocaust-era quisling, Pepe the Frog near execution site

(JTA) — Lithuanian ultranationalists marched near execution sites of Jews with banners celebrating a pro-Nazi collaborationist who called for ethnic cleansing and a symbol popular with members of the U.S. “alt-right” movement.

Approximately 170 people attended Thursday’s annual march in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city that is also known as Kovno, the website Defending History reported.

The main banner featured a picture of the collaborationist Kazys Skirpa modified to resemble Pepe the Frog, a cartoon figure that was used by hate groups in the United States during the 2016 presidential elections, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The banner also included a quote attributed to the Pepe-like portrait of Skirpa, an envoy of the pro-Nazi movement in Lithuania to Berlin, that read “Lithuania will contribute to new and better European order.”

Skirpa, who has a street named for him in Kaunas, “elevated anti-Semitism to a political level” that “could have encouraged a portion of Lithuania’s residents to get involved in the Holocaust,” the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania asserted in 2015. But Skirpa “proposed to solve ‘the Jewish problem’ not by genocide but by the method of expulsion from Lithuania,” the center said.

The procession passed near the Lietovus Garage, where in 1941 locals butchered dozens of Jews. Thousands more were killed in an around Kaunas by local collaborators of the Nazis and by German soldiers in the following months.

“Kaunas is ground zero of the Lithuanian Holocaust,” Dovid Katz, a U.S.-born scholar and the founder of Defending History, told JTA on Friday. He condemned local authorities for allowing the march by “folks who glorify the very Holocaust-collaborators, theoreticians and perpetrators who unleashed the genocide locally.” Katz was one of five people who attended the march to protest and document it.

Lithuania is the only country that officially defines its domination by the former Soviet Union as a form of genocide. The name of the state-funded entity that wrote about Skirpa in 2005 refers both to the Holocaust and the so-called Soviet occupation.

The Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius, which until 2011 did not mention the more than 200,000 Lithuanian Jews who died in the Nazi Holocaust, was established in 1992 to memorialize Lithuanians killed by the Nazi, but mostly Soviet, states.

Another placard seen at the march on Feb. 16, one of Lithuania’s two independence days, featured a list of 33 names, supposedly of Jews who allegedly were involved in Soviet repression. “Information on Jews and Vanagaite,” the poster also read. In previous years, marchers also displayed Nazi swastikas.

Vanagaite referred to Ruta Vanagaite, a Lithuanian writer who last year co-authored an influential book about the Holocaust in Lithuania with Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The book triggered an acrimonious public debate about the longtime taboo issue of local complicity in the Holocaust.

Senate (White Freemasons and Jews) introduces bill to honor US soldier who protected 200 Jewish POWs

(JTA) — A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate would honor an American prisoner of war who protected 200 American-Jewish POWs during World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal.

The bill introduced Monday would recognize Master Sgt. Rodrick “Roddie” Edmonds, who refused to reveal to a German commandant at the Stalag IXA camp which troops under his command were Jewish. The Congressional Gold medal is one of the highest civilian honors bestowed in the United States.

Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, both Tennessee Republicans, and Democrats Ben Cardin of Maryland and Tim Kaine of Virginia introduced the measure.

Edmonds was captured during the Battle of the Bulge by the German army on Dec. 19, 1944. As the highest ranking officer in the POW camp, he was responsible for the camp’s 1,292 American POWs. The camp’s commandant ordered Edmonds to identify the Jewish soldiers in order to separate them from the other prisoners. When Edmonds refused, the commandant placed his pistol against Edmonds’ head, demanding that he identify the Jewish soldiers. Edmonds responded, “We are all Jews here,” refusing to identify the Jewish soldiers, thereby saving their lives.

Surviving 100 days of captivity, Edmonds returned home after the war, but never told his family of his actions. He died in 1985, and only long after was first recognized for his heroic actions.

“When I learned of Master Sergeant Edmonds’ valiant actions that saved Jewish-American prisoners of war in Germany, I was reminded of the Talmud’s teaching that ‘whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world,’” Cardin, who is Jewish, said in a statement. “At a dark time in humanity’s history, Master Sergeant Edmonds was a bright light and did what his heart told him was the right thing to do. There are families alive today who can be thankful that their very existence is due in no small part to Roddie’s service and sacrifice.”

Edmonds was posthumously recognized by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem as Righteous Among the Nations, the first member of the U.S. Armed Forces and one of only five people from the United States to be so recognized.

At Rwanda Holocaust tribute, ‘Never Again’ is a hopeful slogan

KIGALI — Daniel Gold, an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor and microbiology professor, has shared his story of surviving a Lithuanian ghetto hundreds of times, with thousands of students around the world, from New Zealand to Israel. But the dozens of Rwandan students listening to his lecture in honor of the joint Israel-Rwandan commemoration of International Holocaust Day, on February 14, were probably the only ones to nod along in recognition to many parts of his story.

Gold was four years old in 1941 when the Germans and Ukrainians swept through Lithuania, rounding up Jews and executing them, and later herding others into ghettos where they lived in horrible conditions and worked at Nazi factories.

Like Gold, many of the students at the Holocaust memorial ceremony at the Kigali Genocide Museum, in Rwanda’s capital, were toddlers or babies in 1994. That was the year when between the rivalry between Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic groups resulted in the genocide of approximately one million people in three months.

Also like Gold, some of these students have snatches of memories colored by fear, flashbacks of hiding with desperate family members pleading with them to be silent for fear of discovery. Others were too young to remember, but have grown up in families ripped apart by the massacres.

Professor Daniel Gold, a Holocaust survivor, addresses the International Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, on February 14, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Professor Daniel Gold, a Holocaust survivor, addresses the International Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, on February 14, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

“Genocide is the same everywhere,” said Honore Gatera, the director of the Kigali Genocide Museum, who was at Yad Vashem in August to build partnerships between the two museums. “It may happen in a different era of time, it may happen with different circumstances, it may happen with different criminals or perpetrators, but genocide is the same everywhere.”

“One experience can teach others much more, even if we’ve gone through our own experience of genocide,” added Gatera, who also guided Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through the museum in July. “These young people — many were one year old during genocide; they don’t physically know what it means to be a survivor, but they know it psychologically.”

“I consider it a mission to talk about the Holocaust in general and my fate during the Holocaust,” said Gold, speaking to Rwandan journalists after the ceremony. After three years in the crowded ghetto in Šiauliai (Shavli) Lithuania, Gold spent four months lying in a dark hole under a farmer’s house with two aunts and two cousins before the Russians liberated the area. His mother died in a concentration camp. Gold came to Israel in 1952 with his father, went to school in Tel Aviv, and eventually became a pilot with the Israeli Air Force and a professor at Tel Aviv University. He also volunteered as a traffic policeman. Today, “forced into retirement by age, not ability,” Gold spends his time taking motorcycle trips in the Alps and scuba diving with his family.

It was this message, of life after the Holocaust, that Israel most wants to impart to the youth of Rwanda, said Belaynesh Zevadia, the Israeli Ambassador to Ethoipia, Burundi, and Rwanda. “So many people here lost their families during the genocide, but his speech gives hope to so many children. He left the ghetto and became a professor; it gives them hope that they can do so much.” Although International Holocaust Memorial Day is generally observed around the world in January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Zevadia pushed off the ceremony in Kigali until Gold could attend. This is the fourth year that the Israeli Embassy and the Kigali Genocide Museum have marked International Holocaust Day with a joint ceremony.

Dignitaries lay roses on the mass graves at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in February 14, 2017 under a sign that reads "to remember and going forward." The remains of 250,000 Tutsi victims of the genocide are buried on the museum grounds. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Dignitaries lay roses on the mass graves at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in February 14, 2017 under a sign that reads “to remember and going forward.” The remains of 250,000 Tutsi victims of the genocide are buried on the museum grounds. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

“Remembering the Holocaust is the first instrument to fight against it,” said Vincent Karanganwa, a 24-year-old accounting student who attended the ceremony. “We hear this testimony and remember it every day so the ideology can never come again.”

As the ancient words of the mourner’s Kaddish, a Jewish prayer commemorating the dead, rolled over the 250,000 mass graves on the museum grounds, many Rwandans said they felt a deep connection with Israelis and their history.

“We have the same stories, we understand deeply what happened in the Shoah,” said Thierry Sebaganwa Ukobizaba, an educator who has been on numerous trips to Israel and Poland. “In 2004, I was in Yad Vashem for the first time, I met survivors of the Shoah. One of them, named Daniel, took my hand and said to me, ‘you can understand what I lived.’

“To remember the Shoah is in the soul of Rwanda,” Ukobizaba continued. “The tools they used in Germany to prepare the genocide are the same as the Hutus used to prepare our genocide — teaching hate, mobilizing this hate.” This is the hate that the country must ensure does not infect the young generation, he added.

The Kigali Genocide Museum hosts a room similar to the Hall of Names in Yad Vashem, but encourages families to hang their own pictures of victims, shown here on February 14, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Kigali Genocide Museum hosts a room similar to the Hall of Names in Yad Vashem, but encourages families to hang their own pictures of victims, shown here on February 14, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Gold said he was heartened to see how quickly Rwanda had been able to rebuild itself after the genocide. “The next stage is education, because young people are very impressionable, and you can brainwash them for unification,” he said.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial has created a peace education curriculum that is required in first and second grades in all public and private schools in Rwanda, and next week it will launch the Education for Sustainable Peace in Rwanda initiative, which educates teachers who implement this peace education.

Gatera, in addition to touring Yad Vashem during his trip to Israel in August, also learned about Holocaust education in the Jewish state. He said that the Kigali Genocide Museum, which was founded in 2004, is facing many challenges that echo those faced by Yad Vashem in its early years.

From left to right: Honore Gatera, the director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara, and Rwandan President Paul Kagama, in Kigali, Rwanda, July 6, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

From left to right: Honore Gatera, the director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara, and Rwandan President Paul Kagama, in Kigali, Rwanda, July 6, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

In Israel, it took almost two decades before Holocaust survivors really began sharing their stories. In Rwanda, the sharing process has looked quite different. “Here in Rwanda, perpetrators live next to survivors,” said Gatera. “We need to live as a community, live together, live the same life. And when you look also at the traditional justice, the ‘gacaca,’ it has helped people to speak, because perpetrators were telling about their crimes, they were apologizing, they were telling the truth.”

The “gacaca” or “grass courts,” which started in 2002, are widely hailed as one of the most successful instances of community justice. More then 12,000 community courts heard 1.9 million cases over a period of 10 years. Perpetrators who apologized received shortened prison terms combined with community service. Comparatively, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda heard 75 cases over 19 years, which led to 12 acquittals and 16 appeals.

A visitor at the Kigali Genocide Memorial on February 14, 2017. The museum hosts 92,500 visitors per year. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A visitor at the Kigali Genocide Memorial on February 14, 2017. The museum hosts 92,500 visitors per year. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Gatera said the confessions at the gacaca courts also helped survivors to better understand their own experiences.

“The Holocaust happened in Europe, not in Israel, so you don’t see the people that did these things to you all the time,” said Zevadia. “It’s amazing that they live together with the people who killed their families… They live together, and this is what’s building the nation.”

“This genocide [in Rwanda] happened despite the Holocaust,” he continued, noting that the world did not head the call ‘Never Again.’ “We must fight not to see genocide in any part of the world, like what is happening now in Syria and Libya. We don’t want to see another genocide.”

Although Gold said the steps Rwanda has taken in both education and development impressed him, he warned that true healing takes time.

“It is a slow process, you need to be patient,” he said. “There’s no turning point to put your finger on to say, ‘Ah, now I am healed.’ You need patience to observe these advances, but you can’t expect it to be a revolution from one day to the next.”