Will the Real Holocaust Deniers Please Stand Up?

 

I have long believed that discussions of the Holocaust focused far too much

attention on the murderous activities of the Germans and their pro-Nazi Axis

accomplices, while neglecting the complicity of the Allied ‘United Nations’

and neutral governments. True, the Nazis, abetted by their French, Croat,

Hungarian and other collaborators, performed the actual ethnic cleansing by

rounding up the Jews, seizing their property, and shipping them off to the

concentration-camps and the death-ovens – setting the example for today’s

Serb and Croat Red-Brown dictatorships to imitate. But Hitler’s dream of a

Judenrein (“cleansed of Jews”) Europe could not have been achieved without

the complicity of the U.S., Britain, Russia, Switzerland, the Vatican, et al. –

any more than Milosevic’s and Tudjman’s dreams of ethnically cleansed

Yugoslavia today.

 

I use the world “complicity” not in some vague, passive, moral sense, but in

the strict judicial sense. For the neutral and Allied governments were witting

accomplices before, during and after the fact of Nazi war crimes against the

humanity – and what is more, accomplices who shared in the spoils of money

and property stolen from the Jews! Consider the following: 1. The Allied

governments were accomplices before the Holocaust in that they

systematically shut their doors to the persecuted Jews of Germany and the

Nazi-occupied territories who had legitimate grounds for seeking asylum under

international law. 2. The Allies were accomplices during the Holocaust in that

they systematically hid the knowledge of the death-camps, thus lulling the

Jews into believing the Nazi cover-story of “labor camps” and enabling the

Hitlerites to round up their ignorant victims “like sheep.” 3. The Allies were

accomplices after the Holocaust in that they systematically helped the Nazi

war criminals to escape with part of the booty they looted from the Jews, while

hiding their own part of the booty in secret vaults where the Jewish survivors

could not claim it. Please allow me to develop these three deliberately

provocative accusations in more detail:(163)

 

1) Jewish Exclusion By refusing the Jews (and left anti-fascists) asylum, the

foreign offices of Britain, the U.S. and their dependencies in Latin America

deliberately condemned millions to persecution and eventual death.(164) These

governments uniformly refused to recognize Hitler’s persecutions (including

the murder of anti-fascists and other non-Jews) as an international emergency.

Instead, they punctiliously enforced the most absurd provisions of their

immigration codes and visa requirements. The notorious anti-Semitism of the

classes from which Western diplomats were then recruited does not suffice to

explain the systematic rejection of these useful and otherwise inoffensive

refugees. Although the diplomats’ vile upper-class caddishness was given free

rein, the racist policy decisions were made at the top for reasons of state,

racism being the health of the capitalist state.

 

This closed-door policy of the capitalist democracies faced with Hitler’s

campaign to create a “Jew-free” Reich during 1933-1945 was historically

unique and a direct cause of the “Final Solution.” After all, there was nothing

new or original in Hitler’s plan to scapegoat the Jews, persecute them, steal

their property, and then get rid of them, leaving his Empire free of Jews. The

Fürher was only following in the noble footsteps of European sovereigns over

the centuries. In 1290, King Edward banished all Jews from England… In

1306, Philip IV expelled all Jews from France, seizing their property and

money owed them… In 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella celebrated their marriage

and the unity of the Spanish monarchy by expelling the Jews, and so on…

However, previous to 1933-1945 other states had always been found willing to

welcome the fleeing Jewish refugee populations, if only to use them, squeeze

them, and expel them subsequently. The unique difference in 1933-1940 was

the democracies’ systematic refusal to follow tradition, leaving Hitler little

choice but to introduce the “Final Solution.”

 

2) Holocaust denial. By systematically ignoring, downplaying and keeping

secret a multitude of reliable intelligence reports and survivors’ tales

establishing beyond reasonable doubt the existence of the death-camps, the

Allied governments aided and abetted Hitler’s maniacal crimes. Churchill,

Roosevelt and Stalin were thus the original “negationists” whose denial of the

Holocaust while it was happening enabled it to happen. There is no question

that they “knew.”

 

Although Roosevelt issued an order to his staff not to show him any documents

concerning the Holocaust (Nixon didn’t invent ‘plausible denial’) and turned a

deaf ear to Eleanor’s pleas for Jewish and anti-fascist refugees (among them

Victor Serge), the other Allied governments officially acknowledged the fact

Holocaust… And proceeded to do nothing to stop it. Nonetheless, on 24

August 1941, Radio Moscow transmitted the Appeal of the Soviet Jews: “The

very existence of the Jewish people is today in doubt.” On July 1, 1942 Jean

Marin talked about “gas chambers” on the Free French radio broadcasting from

London. Finally, in December 1942, a declaration was signed by eleven Allied

governments and the Free French Committee: ‘The German authorities are

carrying out Hitler’s often repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people

in Europe.’ (165) How widely was this epochal news circulated? In 1945, when

the camps were finally liberated, the G.I.s and accompanying journalists saw

the extent of the horror, they were totally incredulous. Nothing had prepared

them for what they stumbled into on their advance through Germany and

Poland.

 

All the justifiable furor over the post-facto scribblings of negationist

‘historians’ like Fourisson and his miserable defenders ironically serves to

cloud the issue of the active complicity of the negationist governments and

statesmen during the commission of the actual, and preventable, crimes against

humanity. Instead of daring the raise the question of the guilt of Hitler’s

international accomplices, journalists and scholars touch at most on the

question, “what could they have done?” The answer is: “a great deal.” The

conventional arguments over whether bombing the camps and the rails leading

to them would have “diverted” planes from “important military targets” are

hardly worth considering in the light of the useless bombing of Dresden. In any

case, it was not by withholding the bombers but by withholding the truth that

Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin ultimately condemned the European Jews to

destruction.

 

It takes only a little historical imagination to picture what might have happened

if the Allies had systematically used their radio, airdrop leaflet and

underground propaganda apparatus to spread the word about the death camps

among East European Jewry. By 1943, London was crawling with escaped

Jews clamoring to tell their authentic stories in Yiddish and every language of

Nazi-occupied Europe reached by Allied broadcasts and propaganda.

Assuming the word reached only half the Jews and was believed by only half

of them, the effort would still have resulted in a minimum of one million who

could have hidden, run away, perhaps armed themselves and resisted. Now

imagine the problems that a million refractory Jews would have created for

Nazi administrators like Eichmann, whose vast and minutely-organized

roundup operations depended on his victims’ near-total passivity and

cooperation. Apparently Eichmann had only a couple of hundred troops in his

command. Imagine the diversionary effect on the Nazi war effort if troops had

to be systematically diverted to hunt down, round up and guard these Jews.

 

But why not take this perfectly likely scenario one step further? Among the

million-odd European Jews who might have heard and believed the truth about

the fate Hitler had in store for them if the Allies hadn’t deliberately kept it from

them, there would have been a certain percentage who would have attempted

not just to escape, but to resist – as they finally did in the Warsaw Ghetto. For

if many European Jews were a-political, pious and passive (like their non-

Jewish counterparts), there were also plenty of hot-headed teenagers, Zionists,

Bundists, Socialists, veterans of the First World War ready and able to fight.

And if the Jewish resistance trapped in the Warsaw ghetto was able to inflict

real harm on the Nazis with homemade weapons, what might a Jewish

Resistance have accomplished if coordinated, supported and supplied by the

Allies like the French, Italian, Yugoslav and other Resistance movements

were?

 

There is nothing absurd about this notion. After all, the U.S. wartime OSS

(Office of Strategic Services: predecessor of the CIA) went to great lengths to

recruit its officers among such unlikely groups as labor agitators, Communists,

Spanish Civil War veterans in order to drop them behind the Nazi lines and

link up with their counterparts in the local maquis. So why didn’t they send

anti-fascist American Jews to help the Jews to resist? The sad fact is that the

idea never occurred even, for example, to the Jews who were active in the

French Resistance itself.

 

Forget, for a moment, the number of Jews who might have been saved by such

a policy. Just think of the diversion it would have caused behind the Axis lines

and of the number of Allied lives that might have been saved. And this at the

minimal cost of extending to the Jews the same programs of propaganda and

strategic support services the Allies aimed at stirring up the other peoples of

occupied Europe; indeed at the “cost” of NOT suppressing the truth of the

horrors of Nazism in the case of the Jews!

 

Excuse me for insisting at length on this point. The veil of “military

expediency” has always concealed what seemed to me the blatant guilt of the

Allies what is usually perceived as their “failure to help the Jews.” But if

military expediency dictated sparing Allied lives and materiel by encouraging

the resistance of the Jews with the same cynicism with which the OSS

encouraged the resistance of the Communists, the Gaullists, the Mafia, the

Poles and tutti quanti, then the truth behind the veil is revealed. The truth is the

predominance of Allied anti-Semitism and the complicity in Hitler’s genocidal

crimes of the original Holocaust deniers, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin and their

aids.

 

3) After the fact: hiding the criminals and sharing the loot. It has now

become general knowledge that the Vatican and the Allied Occupation forces

and intelligence services (principally the OSS/CIA) conspired with neo-Nazi

and anti-Communist networks throughout Europe and Latin American to

organize the famous “rat-lines” which enabled thousands of notorious Nazi

war-criminals to escape prosecution and reach safe havens. Indeed, the charge

that the democratic governments were Nazi accomplices after the fact of the

Shoah is barely controversial, since in recent years retired Allied intelligence

officers have willingly told their tales, either out of guilt or in order to justify

coddling Nazi war criminals as recruits in the anti-Communist crusade.

 

We now know how the “rat-lines” network systematically sought out Nazi warcriminals

concealed under aliases in the teeming displaced persons camps, hid

them in churches and monasteries, got them visas and false papers, organized

their escape to Latin America, and employed them as advisors and agents. For

example in training the torturers employed by the right-wing Argentinean junta

and then loaned to the CIA to train the Nicaraguan Contras. So it is hardly a

surprise that the world had to wait until most of the criminals had died natural

deaths before learning how carefully and for how long they were protected.

 

The more shocking revelations of 1997 concerned the disposal of the booty the

Nazi killers looted from the Jews they murdered. Not only did the Swiss banks

knowingly welcome Nazi deposits that probably included gold from the teeth

of death-camp victims, the banks also systematically concealed from the

Jewish survivors and their relatives the records of their wartime holdings in

order to embezzle the money for their own profit. Financial institutions in the

U.S., Britain, and Sweden also profited by concealing confiscated Jewish

wealth during the post-War period when Jewish Holocaust survivors continued

to suffer and die on the road or in Allied displaced person camps for lack of

money to pay for food and medicine. Hanna Arendt coined the phrase “the

banality of evil” to describe the personality and activity of Nazi bureaucrats

like Adolf Eichmann.

 

Looking soberly at the chaotic picture of half-destroyed Europe in the months

after the victory of “democracy” over “Nazism,” one almost has the impression

that the Allies set out to finish the extermination job begun by Hitler. Indeed,

in post-war Poland, thousands of returning Jewish survivors were murdered

and despoiled with impunity. Jewish camp survivors wandered Europe for

years as starving and homeless as DP’s (Displaced Persons) with no support

from the Allied governments and little charity from U.S. Jewish congregations,

which had done little or nothing before and during the Holocaust for fear of

bucking the government and attracting unfavorable attention to themselves,

returning Jewish survivors.(166) On the one hand we see the Nazi victimizers

rescued, coddled, and helped to flee; on the other the Jewish victims despoiled,

neglected, persecuted, confined and forcibly prevented from fleeing to

Palestine.

 

Why do I feel so particularly outraged, indignant and angry over all this

particular hypocrisy? I had grown up believing that WWII was fought to defeat

fascism and save the Jews from Hitler. At home, they worshiped Roosevelt. In

my little bed I imagined the Allies were protecting me and other Jewish

children against the ultimate Bad Guys. Then I learned the truth. We were

betrayed. World War II was ending as when learning to read and learn about

the world. Only once did I dare glimpsed a photo in a book of skeletal Jews in

striped pajamas as a little kid. After that, I walked carefully around the place

that book was kept. But my parents read papers and magazines like The Nation

and the left-wing National Guardian, and our daily paper was the independent

(no ads) P.M. whose star reporter was I. F. Stone, my hero and role model and

a family friend. In 1946, he covered the refugee story and wrote a sensational

book Underground to Palestine describing the plight of the homeless Jews in a

heartless world. Also the Negroes: P.M. was the only paper that regularly

covered the lynching of returning African-American G.I.s that was taking

place all over the South. They got betrayed too. All this was discussed over

endless cups of coffee (mine mostly milk) in our kitchen, and as they say, little

pitchers have big ears.

 

At that time N.Y. Post, which most liberal Jewish NYers read, was violently

anti-German, forgetting that Hitler had sent the all the German Socialists,

Communists, trade-unionists and anarchists to the concentration camps before

he hit on the Jews. This was the theory of “collective guilt” which Victor Serge

satirizes in his novel Unforgiving Years. Then, a few years later, suddenly the

‘Good’ Germans were on our side against the nasty Russians and nobody

talked about the thousands of Nazi administrators, profiteers, torturers, judges,

police chiefs, professors who escaped the quickly-curtailed Nuremberg war

crimes trials and were now back administering, judging, policing and

professing, if not torturing.

 

I was eight, when the Jewish State was declared in Palestine. I learned that

Jews could fight for themselves. Their cry was “Never again like sheep to the

slaughter!” Sounded good. But how do you avoid going like a sheep when the

whole world – including the democracies and the established European Jewish

leadership – is telling you that the slaughter-house is a rest-home for sheep?

Alas, many of these false leaders, these Judas goats, became prominent in

Israel, as did the hardcore right wing Zionists who were ready to collaborate

with Hitler to get more Jews into Palestine. So that even Israel, for political

purposes, is involved in the denial of Allied complicity in the Holocaust.

 

If my voice sounds hoarse in this article, it’s because I want to shout the truth

from the housetops: put not your faith in princes!

 

 

163 Everyone interested in this question should start with Arthur D. Morse’s

pioneering exposé While Six Million Died: A chonicle of American Apathy.

164 Imagine the effect of post-war economic development of the South

American republics if their governments had taken in a couple of million

Jewish engineers, businessmen, teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, skilled

bakers, jewelers, tailors and mechanics. Within a generation or two, this leaven

of European technical and entrepreneurial skill would have enabled Latin

Americans to free themselves from dependency on the U.S., climb out of

poverty and develop modern capitalist economies.

165 Denis Peschanski, “Extermination des juifs: que savait Vichy?” Nouvel

observateur Sept. 18, 1997

166 I am not making this up. The official commemorative histories of local

congregations which I have perused in West Hartford and Philadelphia while

visiting relatives both explicitly express regret and embarrassment at their

temple’s inaction during the Holocaust years.

 

Richard Greeman, Vegetarian Sharks.

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