While the UN Observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day Antisemitism is Rising
Jewish Chrikldren Surviors Liberated at Auschwitz
Source: Stills from RNTC President Mohammedussian Film, USNHMM
On January 27, 1945 forward units of the 100th Rifle Division of the 1st Ukrainian Front entered the Auschwitz Birkenau death camp precinct liberating several thousand remaining survivors. More than 1.1 million were murdered there by the Nazi SS, 1 million of them Jews. Among the first groups they encountered in the remaining barracks were children, twins, victims of the ‘angel of death, Dr. Josef Mengele’s sadistic medical experiments. The Russian troopers in their white camouflage coats instantly hugged and gave them chocolate. These Jewish children hadn’t had felt any humane treatment during their enforced incarceration in Auschwitz.
Earlier in January 1945 the SS blew up the remaining crematoria. An earlier one was destroyed in the lone heroic resistance effort by Jews inside the camp in October 1944 with dynamite secured by Jewish women inmates. The SS guards assembled more than 60,000 camp inmates who went on a forced death march from which only 12,000 survived. One of the survivors of that death march was the Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel who as a youth of 16 was eventually liberated by the US Army at Buchenwald in April 1945. Another Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor was Italian Jewish resistance fighter, chemist and author Primo Levi who received his Nobel award for Literature, posthumously in 2002. Levi fell to his death in his family home in Turin in 1987, some say depressed by the nightmares he witnessed. Wiesel’s biographic works about his experience at Auschwitz the forced march and liberation were memorialized in his trilogyNight, Dawn and Day. Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz: if this is a Man was testimony to the Nazi dehumanization and perseverance to survive and return home.
Another 5 million Jews didn’t survive. They were murdered in unspeakable ways in the einsastgruppen slaughter and death camps in Germany and occupied Europe. Their fate in the Final Solution was ratified by the SS at the Wansee Conference in Berlin on January 20, 1942. The objective of the SS Conference was to make Europe judenfrei. Among the Six Million European Jews murdered were 1.5 million children. The Jewish children those Russian troops encountered at Auschwitz on January 27, 1945 were among the lucky survivors.
We had two survivors at our local synagogue in Pensacola. They were cultivated educated Jews from Czechoslovakia and Hungary whose families were torn apart and destroyed. The husband, the founder of a medical clinical laboratory in New York after his arrival in the US, survived four Labor camps in Hungary ending up in Austria part of Matthausen camp precinct. Like Wiesel he was liberated by US Army American troops who were African Americans . His wife, who died last fall, was an accomplished linguist. She and her family were removed to Auschwitz packed into suffocating death trains. They were doomed to be among the great destruction of Hungarian Jews that saw more than 400,000 murdered in less than three months from May to July 1944. She was among those who survived the death march from Auschwitz in January 1945. This couple bore witness to their experience preserved in their filmed testimonies in the Spielberg Archives that we have viewed. As the surviving husband told us, “While others were dying around him he was determined to survive”.
The antisemitism that gave rise to the genocide of European Jews survives in Europe and the Middle East today. Hungary has witnessed the troubling rise of nativist anti-Semitism. That has been emboldened by Islamic Jew hatred among Muslim immigrant communities throughout the EU.
Hansjorg Muller: In your encyclopedic work, A Lethal Obsession. Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (Random House, 2010), you present Islamist antisemitism as an existential danger to modern civilization. Could you explain?
Dr. Robert Wistrich: In my view, Islamic antisemitism is by far the most dynamic and threatening form of antisemitism existing at present in the contemporary world. It combines the scourge of Islamist terrorism, the spread of jihad, hatred of the West, Holocaust denial, and the genocidal “anti-Zionism” which is state-sanctioned in Iran. The dramatic triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the alarming growth of militant Salafist movements across the Arab Middle East have greatly increased the level of threat worldwide.
Muller: Is there a historic connection between European fascism and Islamism?
Wistrich: The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, had a radical totalitarian vision of societal transformation, a leadership cult, and visceral hatred of Jews not so different from that of fascism and National Socialism. Moreover, the charismatic founder of the Palestinian Arab national movement, Haj Amin el-Husseini, was a fanatical genocidal anti-Semite who actively collaborated with Adolf Hitler during World War II. This “annihilationist” tradition of Jew-hatred has continued in the Palestinian Hamas movement (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) to this very day. Its Sacred Covenant is one of the most nakedly anti-Jewish texts of the entire post-Holocaust era.
Muller: You have described the impact of the Nazi legacy on radical Islam, but what about classical right-wing antisemitism in present-day Europe?
Wistrich: Populist right-wing tendencies are especially strong in Hungary, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, parts of Scandinavia, and the Baltic States, in Eastern Europe, and even here in Switzerland. Nor are France, Germany, or Italy immune. Against the background of an alarming world economic crisis, and a massive migration from the poorer southern countries to Europe, these negative trends will probably grow. Antisemitism is part of this wider syndrome.
Just prior to the 2013 UN International Holocaust Day observances, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) with the aid of an Iranian dissident satellite TV channel beamed a showing of its Academy Award –winning documentary Genocide. The English language film had Farsi subtitles so that it could read along with the archival footage of Nazi murders of European Jews. This covert operation by the SWC was directed at the holocaust denial perpetrated by the Islamic Regime’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at the UN and other international forums. A Fox Newsreport on this covert action noted the following:
Genocide or Nasl Keshi, in Farsi, has been aired around the world, but Friday’s viewing was the first time Iranians have been able to see the film. The film aired on Iran’s NTV Simay Azadi, on satellite and streaming online.
“Any opportunity to learn the truth is well-received in a country like Iran where the truth is in short supply,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, who watched the airing into Iran live from his office in Los Angeles, along with the center’s founder and dean Rabbi Marvin Hier.
“It’s a payback for the Iranian regime,” Hier said. “They want to lock society. They want to deny the Holocaust, and now their whole population can see the truth and there’s nothing the Ayatollahs or Ahmadinejad can do about it.”
However, no payback has been rendered to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohamed Morsi, who in 2010 was caught on video engaging in classic Qur’anic Jew hatred. As former Federal prosecutor in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing , Andrew C. McCarthy, commented in a National Review article , “Apes, Pigs and F-16s”:
When Mohamed Morsi dehumanizes Jews as “the descendants of apes and pigs,” there’s an elephant in the room. We find it here:
Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil — these are many times worse in rank, and far more astray from the even Path!
You see, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood big shot–turned–president did not conjure up the apes-and-pigs riff on his own. When Morsi fulminates that Muslims “must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them,” he is taking his cues straight from the Koran.
When the UN observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th, that heinous period of destructive anti-Semitism will not penetrate the minds of European nativists and Islamic anti-Semites. Especially, the 57 member Muslim countries of the Saudi-backed Organization of Islamic Cooperation that frequently dominates proceedings of the General Assembly. The OIC endeavors to impose Blasphemy codes at the UN, in the EU and even here in the US. Codes that would prevent criticism of Quranic Jew Hatred.