Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.
And to “celebrate,” Johann Hari, the leading political columnist for the British daily The Independent, who six days ago received the (previously) highly prestigious Orwell Prize for Political Journalism of the Year, writes the following in his column this week:
“Whenever I try to mouth these words [of reassurance for Israel], a remembered smell fills my nostrils. It is the smell of s**t.”
Meanwhile, over at another British daily, The Guardian, the editors choose to occupy the main space on the letters page with a letter comparing the creation of Israel with the Holocaust and suggesting that in the past Israel subjected Arabs to a “Death March” (the capital letters are theirs), and today Israel is carrying out “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs.
(This is an obscene lie that will inevitably stir up anti-Semitism. The Arab population of Israel continues to increase both in real terms and proportionate to the Jewish population. There are currently over one million Arabs living in Israel and no one is persecuting them, let alone killing or evicting them.)
With so much Holocaust denial and trivialization around (see for example the poster above for next week’s anti-Semitic hate event at the University of California, Irvine), it is important to remember what the Holocaust really was.
The Associated Press writes yesterday:
CONCENTRATION CAMP DOCTOR HEADS LIST OF TOP 10 WANTED NAZIS
BADEN-BADEN, Germany – Karl Lotter, a prisoner who worked in the hospital at Mauthausen concentration camp, had no trouble remembering the first time he watched SS doctor Aribert Heim kill a man.
It was 1941, and an 18-year-old Jew had been sent to the clinic with a foot inflammation. Heim asked him about himself and why he was so fit. The young man said he had been a soccer player and swimmer.
Then, instead of treating the prisoner’s foot, Heim cut him open, castrated him, took apart one kidney and removed the second, Lotter said. The victim’s head was removed and the flesh boiled off so that Heim could keep it on display.
“He needed the head because of its perfect teeth,” Lotter, a non-Jewish political prisoner, recalled in testimony eight years later that was included in an Austrian warrant for Heim’s arrest uncovered by The Associated Press. “Of all the camp doctors in Mauthausen, Dr. Heim was the most horrible.”
The Austrian medic would inject petrol and an array of different poisons straight into the hearts of his so-called patients to see which killed them fastest. He once removed the tattooed flesh of a prisoner and turned it into soft furnishings for his commandant’s flat.
But Heim managed to avoid prosecution, his American-held file in Germany mysteriously omitting his time at Mauthausen [in Austria], and today he is the most-wanted suspected Nazi war criminal on a list of hundreds who the Simon Wiesenthal Center estimates are still free.Heim would be 93 today and “we have good reason to believe he is still alive,” said Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s top Nazi hunter. He spoke in a telephone interview from Jerusalem ahead of the center’s plans to release a most-wanted list Wednesday, and to open a media campaign in South America this summer highlighting the $485,000 reward for Heim’s arrest posted by the center along with Germany and Austria…
For a longer version of this posting, with more details about The Independent
and The Guardian
, please click here