Papal envoy marks Holocaust
He opts not to boycott Israeli ceremony over WW II pope portrayal
By Aron Heller, Associated Press, April 16, 2007
JERUSALEM – The Vatican's ambassador to Israel attended a Holocaust memorial service Sunday, reversing an earlier decision to boycott the event.
Monsignor Antonio Franco said last week that he would skip the ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial marking the beginning of Israel's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day because Catholics were offended by a caption at the museum describing the wartime conduct of Pope Pius XII. The caption next to the picture of the pontiff reads, "Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the pope did not protest," refusing to sign a 1942 Allied condemnation of the massacre of Jews.
Pope Pius XII "maintained his neutral position" with two exceptions -- appeals he made to the rulers of Hungary and Slovakia toward the end of the war, the caption says. It also criticizes "his silence and absence of guidelines."
Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic ties in 1993 after hundreds of years of painful relations between Catholics and Jews. Many sensitive issues remain unresolved, including the Vatican's actions during the Nazi genocide of Jews.
The Vatican has struggled to defend its wartime pontiff as it pushes his sainthood cause, insisting that Pope Pius XII spearheaded discreet diplomacy that saved thousands of Jews.
The disputed photo caption first appeared in 2005, when Yad Vashem opened its new museum. Shortly after, the previous Vatican ambassador asked that it be changed.
But Yad Vashem has not done so, insisting its research on the pope's role is accurate.
The memorial service is traditionally attended by all foreign ambassadors to Israel or their representatives. Had Franco stayed away, Yad Vashem said it would have been the first time a foreign emissary deliberately missed the ceremony.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, which commemorates the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II, is observed from sundown Sunday to sundown Monday with memorial ceremonies, somber music on the radio and historical documentaries and movies on national television. On Monday at 10 a.m., sirens will wail throughout Israel for two minutes with Israelis standing silently to remember the victims.
Yad Vashem spokeswoman Iris Rosenberg said the memorial appreciated Franco's decision, calling it "the right thing to do."
"Yad Vashem believes that it was inappropriate to link an issue of historical research with commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust," she said.
Yad Vashem has said it would be ready to re-examine Pope Pius XII's conduct during the Holocaust if the Vatican opened its World War II-era archives to the museum's research staff and new material emerged. Despite frequent requests from Holocaust researchers, the Vatican has denied access to major parts of its archives, including wartime papers.
"The evaluation of the role of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust poses a challenge to those who wish to seriously confront it," Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said Sunday in a letter to Franco.
"It is a complex issue, and we will continue to make sure that we are firmly rooted in the most updated historical truth. We would be pleased to examine any new documentation that may come to light on this issue," he wrote.
Relations between Israel and the Vatican improved under Pope John Paul II, who visited the Holy Land and spoke out against anti-Semitism. The current pope, Benedict XVI, also has pledged warmer ties, visiting synagogues in his native Germany. Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0704150311apr16,1,3625122.story
Dear Mrs. xxxxx:
I am sure they are talking about the Allied declaration of 17 December. 1942. See my Hoax book, p. 77 in the original edition, pp. 100f in the present edition.
I don't know whether or not the Allies wanted the Vatican to sign on to exactly the same statement but they wanted the equivalent. Pius XII resisted but he was in a weak position because the Vatican's principal diplomatic objective at the time was the securing of an Allied pledge to not bomb Rome.
On December 14 the British Minister to the Vatican met with Cardinal Maglione, the Sec. of State, and it seemed to Maglione that Osborne had proposed a deal. If the Vatican condemns the massacres of the Jews, then the Allies will consider giving the no-bombing pledge. See pp. 284f of Hoax (or pp. 352ff). Pius XII still resisted and instead included, in his Christmas message, a statement grieving over "the hundreds of thousands who, through no fault of their own, and solely because of their nation or race, have been condemned to death or progressive extinction."
The statement was widely interpreted as a reference to the Jews, though even today it is still not widely appreciated that it was issued under duress.
The question you raised is fairly important and of current interest so I will also send this to my list after deleting your name.
In a message dated 4/14/07 12:32:37 PM, xxxx writes:
The caption, quoted in the Israeli press, says Pope Pius XII “abstained from signing the Allied declaration condemning the extermination of the Jews” and “maintained his neutral position throughout the war.”
Dear Mr. Butz: What "declaration condemning the 'extermination' of the Jews" are the Jews talking about? Was it during the war? After the war? Who during the war acknowledged the 'extermination' of the Jews? After the war, who signed onto such a "declaration", and was Pius XII asked to sign onto it and refused to sign? Why would he refuse when he signed onto so many of his own documents which spoke against Nazi "racism".
From: Peter Wakefield Sault
Sent: Sunday, 15 April 2007
Subject: Re: Pius XII on "extermination", using that date I have been able to find this:-
>1942: Britain condemns massacre of Jews
The British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, has told the House of Commons about mass executions of Jews by Germans in occupied Europe. Mr Eden also read out a United Nations declaration condemning "this bestial policy".
He said news of German atrocities sent in by the Polish Government and widely reported in the press this month would only serve to strengthen allied determination to fight Nazism and punish all those responsible.
After his announcement the House rose and held a one-minute silence in sympathy for the victims.
Mr Eden described how the German authorities, who have already stripped the Jews of their basic human rights, were now carrying out "Hitler's oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe".
He described how hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were being transported from all German-occupied territory "in conditions of appalling horror and brutality" to Eastern Europe.
In Poland, Jewish ghettoes were being "systematically emptied" except for the able-bodied who were being sent to labour camps.
"None of those taken away are ever heard of again," he said.
Those who are sick or injured are left to die of exposure or starvation or killed in mass executions.
The House then heard him read out a declaration made by the governments of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United States, the UK, the USSR, Yugoslavia and the French National Committee.
It condemned "in the strongest possible terms this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination" and made a "solemn resolution to ensure that those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution".
He said the United Nations would try to give asylum to as many refugees as possible but that there were "immense geographical difficulties" as well as security procedures to overcome.
James A De Rothschild, Labour MP for the Isle of Ely, made an emotional speech on behalf of British Jewry thanking Mr Eden and the United Nations for their declaration.
He said there were many first-generation Jews living in England who believed they had had a lucky escape from the concentration camps.
Four days ago, synagogues all over Britain held a day of mourning as a mark of concern for the massacre of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe.
The Chief Rabbi Dr J H Hertz called on all Jews to commemorate "the numberless victims of the Satanic carnage".
The Archbishop of Canterbury has also expressed his outrage in a letter to The Times earlier this month condemning "a horror beyond what imagination can grasp".
From: Fredlin Daribor - mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wednesday, 2 May 2007 3:05 PM
Subject: Re.: Adelaide-Institute Newsletter No. 327 of May 2007Critiques to some articles in the above-named newsletter:As to: Re.: From Peter Wakefield Sault, 1942 .. Britain condemns massacre ofJews mass executions.Critique to this:How could Eden read out a United Nations declaration in 1942, when the United Nations did not exist in 1942. I am informed about reprisal-executions of partisans, which were legal at the time.
David Irving mentioned in his for-word to the Leuchter-Report:
..."As late as August 1943 the head of the PWE minuted the Cabinet secretly that despite the stories they were putting out, there was not the slightest evidence, that such contraptions existed, and he continued with a warning that stories from Jewish sources in this connection were particularly suspect"...Find this on: http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Leuchter/ReportIntro.html
As to: "Denial is gaining traction, but let's give young Muslimsthe unvarnished truth," say Abraham Cooper & Harold Brackman,Toronto Globe 17/04/2007
Critique:Both of the gentlemen should be reminded of the Jewish Slave-Trade with Blacks from Africa. Hope the tell this their children too. Find all about hereto:CheerioFrelinus Daribor
OTTAWA (AFP)---An extreme-right wing extremist who was deported from Canada to face trial in Germany for spreading racist propaganda over the Internet was denied an audience with Canada’s top justices Thursday.
The Supreme Court of Canada rejected Ernst Zündel’s appeal that he was unlawfully detained and deported from Canada in 2005, after being ruled a threat to national security because of his links to white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups.
Zündel, 67, had sought 10 million Canadian dollars (around 6,5 million euros) in damages.
In February, a German court convicted Zündel on 14 counts of incitement of racial hatred, causing offence, and disturbing the peace of the dead by publishing and distributing anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi materials.
He was sentenced to five years in prison -- the maximum sentence allowed under German law for denying the Holocaust.
Zündel authored "The Hitler We Loved and Why" and helped disseminate several books denying the Holocaust, the systematic murder of some six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
He was arrested on an international warrant issued in 2003 and was held in Canada for two years while he fought extradition. Zündel had lived in Canada from 1958.
BERLIN - AFP-EJP -A conservative German politician whose defence of his predecessor’s Nazi past provoked criticism from Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that he "regretted" his comments.
Günther Oettinger, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said in an "open letter to those who criticised me" that he had not intended to appear to "in any way put into perspective the terrible Nazi dictatorship. In so far as the comments led to misunderstandings, I formally regret them," said the leader of the southwestern Baden-Württemberg regional government.
Oettinger caused outrage by remarks made during a eulogy for Hans Filbinger, a former CDU leader of Baden-Württemberg and a navy judge under the Third Reich, whom he described as an "opponent of the Nazi regime."
Filbinger, who died aged 93 on April 1, had resigned as state leader in 1978 following revelations about his involvement while a judge in death sentences against deserters in World War II. He never expressed regret about his past.
Oettinger’s comments, made on Wednesday, were condemned across Germany and by the Simon-Wiesenthal Centre which called on the politician to resign.
"Is is inadmissible that a German premier can publicly defend an ex-Nazi official and we call for his resignation," Ephraim Zuroff, the director of the Israeli chapter of the Nazi-hunting centre, told AFP in Jerusalem.
On Friday, Chancellor Merkel announced publicly that she had called Oettinger to tell him that she wished "that beyond honouring the great life’s work of premier Hans Filbinger, critical questions about the Nazi era had also been posed."
She added this was particularly crucial "out of respect for the feelings of the victims" of the Third Reich.
LONDON (EJP)--- A UK-based Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned for money laundering has been released because he experienced "flashbacks" of his time spent hidden from the Nazis during WWII.
Mendel Rand had been due to spend a year and a half in prison after he was convicted of involvement in a conspiracy to illegally smuggle cigarettes to England. But last week he was let free on compassionate grounds, just five weeks after being incarcerated.
According to the conviction Rand earned more than 140,000 pounds (200,000 euros) for his help in the smuggling deal worth some 16.9 million pounds (24,8 million euros).
The 76-year-old, who was born in Krakow, Poland, had spent much of the second world war hidden by a non-Jewish Polish family.
And according to reports, a rabbi from Rand’s community of Golders Green in north-west London said the prisoner was having "nightmares of his war experience as a young man".
The judge at London’s Court of Appeal decided that the publicity surrounding the case would be enough of a punishment.
Calling Rand a "wretched old man" Mr Justice Openshaw said: "The resultant shame will no doubt bring a heavy burden for him to carry for the rest of his life. We think, as an act of mercy, he should be allowed to go free."
Openshaw added that Rand’s experiences "often in cellars in the cold and dark, often under-nourished and, of course, in constant fear of capture, this experience has cast a pall over his whole life."
Rand’s lawyer Jonathan Goldberg explained how Rand, previously a well respected businessman, had been shunned by some people in the religious community he came from.
"I’m told it will mean he’s not invited to people’s homes as he once was," he said.
Reacting to the decision Rand told London’s Jewish News newspaper: "I am happy to be home. I am glad it is all over."
BUDAPEST(AFP)---The Hungarian parliament barred a Jewish lawmaker on Thursday from saying a Jewish prayer during a session of parliament to mark Holocaust remembrance day next week.
Tamas Suchman, a member of the ruling Socialist party, said he wanted to say the Kaddish, the mourners prayer, in parliament because this was where the first anti-Jewish laws in Europe were passed in the inter-war period.
But the parliament’s rules committee said Thursday that while Suchman -- who is Jewish -- could speak in parliament on Holocaust remembrance day on Monday he would not be allowed to say the Kaddish.
"It has not been customary to say prayers during the plenary so the parliamentary groups decided not to create a precedent for this," Speaker of Parliament Katalin Szili, a fellow Socialist MP, told Hungarian MTI national news agency.
The Kaddish forms part of the mourning rituals in Judaism in all prayer services as well as at funerals and memorials.
Suchman called the decision "disgraceful and humiliating."
The so-called numerus clausus, the first anti-Jewish law in 20th Century Europe which limited the number of Jews that could attend universities, was passed by the Hungarian legislature in 1920 at a time of rising anti-Semitism.
In a statement Suchman said the law had "laid the ground for the deaths of 600,000 Hungarian Jews at the hands of Hungarian and German fascist powers".
Le Pen: "I am not afraid"
PARIS (AFP-EJP)--- French extreme-right presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen has said he regrets that outgoing French President Jacques Chirac recognized the responsibility of the French state in the deportation of Jews.
"I regret it. He has been the sole president of France to do so. Even François Mitterrand didn’t," Le Pen said in an interview published on Sunday.
Le Pen was answering questions from a reader who asked him if he regrets the manner the Holocaust is being taught in schools.
Le Pen answered: "It is a subject which I shall not approach. When I expressed myself in terms however moderate, this cost me 150 million Francs."
Chirac was the first French president to acknowledge the responsibility of the state in the deportation of Jews in France during WWII when he made his comments in 1995.
Le Pen also came back on the word "detail" he once used and for which he was condemned. "Oh! I am not afraid to use this word which means party of the whole. And I take all my responsibilities, "the National Front leader said.
In September 1987 Le Pen had declared that the Nazi gas chambers were "a minor detail of the history of the Second World War". He was condemned to pay then 1,2 million francs (183.200 euros) for having trivialized persecutions by the Nazis.
"It is the only thing that they found to reproach me in fifty years of public life, while so many of my rivals dipped hands into the case and should be in correctional, not to say more."
Also on Sunday, Socialist presidential candidate Segoline Royal accused presidential frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy of plotting to make a secret pact with Le Pen.
Royal said the former Interior Minister was negotiating a deal with Le Pen’s National Front, after a key aide to Sarkozy announced a plan to add an element of proportional representation into the separate June parliamentary elections, something Le Pen has been demanding for years.
Sarkozy has been accused of seeking the votes of Le Pen’s supporters in the second round of the presidential poll in May. His most likely second round opponent is either Royal or Francois Bayrou, the centrist leader.
Le Pen stunned France in the 2002 presidential race, when he reached the runoff to face then President Chirac. Le Pen was overwhelmingly defeated in a rare show of left-right unity.
The latest polls put Sarkozy still firmly in the lead with 30 per cent, Royal second with 24 per cent, Bayrou third with 18.5 per cent and Le Pen in fourth place with 13.5 per cent. However, 42 per cent of the electorate remain undecided.
Chirac was in 1995 the first French president to acknowledge the responsibility of the state in the deportation of Jews in France.
President Jacques Chirac
The Nazis were 'just amazing' says Bryan Ferry
Bryan Ferry's newfound career as a model could be in jeopardy after he spoke of his admiration for the Nazis.
Jewish leaders demanded yesterday that Marks & Spencer cancel its six-figure contract with the 61-year-old singer over his "deeply offensive" remarks.
In an interview, Ferry described the Nazis as "just amazing" and admitted calling his recording studio the "Führerbunker" - a title associated with Hitler's headquarters.
The face of M&S believes the Nazi parades were 'just amazing'
This could cause severe embarrassment at M&S, whose co-founder Michael Marks was a Jewish immigrant.
Ferry, who is about to embark on a UK tour to promote his latest album, made his comments to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
He said: "My dear gentlemen, the Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves. "Leni Riefenstahl's movies and Albert Speer's buildings and the mass parades and the flags - just amazing. Really beautiful."
He then blurted out: "I call my studio in West London - no, I have to stop because you're German."
But when the term "Führerbunker" was suggested, he admitted: "You surprised me. Normally I always say to German journalists, 'My headquarters'. That is less shocking."
Labour peer Lord Janner, a former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and a campaigner on behalf of Holocaust survivors, said: "It is deeply offensive when people think they can joke about the Nazis. "Riefenstahl was part of the Nazi movement and the Nazis were murderers - and the mass parades he refers to make me vomit. "Marks & Spencer should have a serious rethink about employing him. This man should stick to singing and stay away from making offensive comments of this sort. "Any praise of the Nazis is not acceptable in the Jewish world."
Jeremy Newmark, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, added: "His choice of language was deeply insensitive."
Leni Riefenstahl made a series of Nazi propaganda films glorifying Hitler during the 1930s, often using concentration camp victims. She was investigated after the Second World War but never convicted.
Albert Speer shared an equally close relationship to Hitler and was described as the chief architect of the Third Reich. He was jailed for 20 years in the Nuremberg trials after the war.
Nick Viner, chief executive of London's Jewish Community Centre, said Ferry's "ill-conceived" comments left "a bad taste in the mouth". He added: "Riefenstahl was responsible for sending people to their deaths. There is a fine line between people going about their business and people colluding in truly terrible behaviour."
Ferry's manager Steven Howard defended his outburst, saying: "To suggest a certain appreciation of art and architecture that happens to be associated with the Nazi regime means condoning the action of that regime is illogical."
A spokesman for M&S, which made Ferry the face of its Autograph menswear range in August last year, refused to say whether he would be dropped. "We do not comment on the private views expressed by our models. We chose him because he is a style icon."
*Singer Bryan Ferry apologises after praising 'amazing' Nazis*
British singer Bryan Ferry has apologised "unreservedly" for comments in which he described elements of the Nazi regime in Germany as "just amazing".
Ferry, frontman of 1970s band Roxy Music, reportedly praised the style of Adolf Hitler's far-right regime in the 1930s and 1940s in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
"The Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves," he was quoted as saying.
"Leni Riefenstahl's movies and Albert Speer's buildings and the mass parades and the flags - just amazing. Really beautiful."
Ferry added that he calls his studio in London the "Führerbunker", a name for the underground rooms in Berlin where Adolf Hitler killed himself in 1945.
His statement later stressed that he was only praising the Nazis' aesthetics, not the regime itself.
"I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by my comments on Nazi iconography, which were made solely from an art history perspective," he said.
"I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent."
Former lawmaker Lord Greville Janner, ex-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said he was pleased Ferry had apologised, adding "I trust that he will never make the same mistake again".
Ferry is known for his sharp dress sense and hits such as Let's Stick Together, Virginia Plain and Love Is The Drug.
- AFP From: ABC News Online - Bi-daily bulletin mailing list 17 April 2007.
Fredrick Töben comments
>>Lord Janner says: >Any praise of the Nazis is not acceptable in the Jewish world<.
To that I say: Thanks God I don’t belong to the Jewish world and so I am free to comment on things that may upset Jews …those who let themselves be upset…<<
PMW: Holocaust Denial and Hate in New PA School Textbooks
IsraelNN.com - The Palestinian Authority is systematically teaching its children to deny the Holocaust ever happened, according to a report released Monday by the Palestinian Media Watch - http://www.pmw.org.il/
The new 12th grade textbooks were written by the Center for Developing Palestinian Curricula, an organization which is supported by foreign funding. The textbooks, which bear a special “thanks” to Belgium, were introduced by the PA Ministry of Higher Education at the end of 2006.
Not surprisingly, the new materials which will be used to guide young PA Arab minds were found to educate the children toward Jewish genocide, both virtually and physically.
In fact, the teachings deny Israel’s right to exist altogether, referring to the founding of the Jewish State as a “catastrophe unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses…”
The new PA history books also make no mention of the Holocaust, though the textbook “History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century” includes extensive information on the events of World War II – except those relating to Jews.
Former PA Foreign Minister Mahmoud A-Zahar, who is now a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was quoted recently in a Hamas newspaper as saying, “Germany is imprisoned by a complex of the so-called ‘Holocaust’ and they suffer from it.”
It is also important to note that, PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, touted by the United States and other Western nations as a “moderate” force among terrorists, denied central elements of the genocide of the Jews in his doctoral dissertation.
Hicks return date hangs on prison detention plan
Penelope Debelle, Adelaide
The Age, April 16, 2007
DAVID Hicks may not return to Australia from Guantanamo Bay until mid to late-May, with the federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock still to advise the South Australian Government of the conditions in which the admitted terror supporter is to be held.
Hicks' Adelaide lawyer, David McLeod, said Hicks did not have to leave Guantanamo Bay until May 29 and arrangements were not proceeding with urgency.
"I suspect it will be the middle of May," Mr McLeod said. "I don't think anyone is rushing into this."
Hicks' return to Adelaide as a federal prisoner after being detained at Guantanamo Bay as a war captive by the US military is unique in Australia's history.
Critical issues surrounding his detention, such as whether he will be held in solitary confinement, have still to be communicated to the SA Minister of Correctional Services, Carmel Zollo, by the Federal Government.
"Until a management plan is put forward, we cannot have any input into whether or not we think it is appropriate for his confinement," Mr McLeod said.
Hicks, 31, is expected to be held at Adelaide's Yatala Prison and will go into its high-security G division while he undergoes a security and psychological assessment.
After that, he may be moved to less secure areas of Yatala and could be gradually moved back into society through a low-security prison.
The federal conditions are expected to rule out access to parole.
The Parole Board of SA does not believe it has jurisdiction over Hicks, who will be imprisoned until December 31.
Hicks will receive psychological and social welfare support.
US military lawyer Major Michael Mori spent most of last week briefing Hicks on his return to Australia and taking advice on whether to abandon three outstanding legal actions in Australia, the US and Britain.
What a ludicrous situation!
Leonard Banks, Melbourne
6 April 2007
The knowledge that the USA leases that prison hell hole, Guantanamo, from Fidel Castro’s Cuba, as a naval base, is a most remarkable coincidence of convenient diplomacy in ingenious duplicity to suit the occasion.
I would love to know how these two opposing nations cut a deal like that. What an amazing situation, considering the animosity that exists between these two foes.
Seemingly, as the facts of how Guantanamo prison is run come to be known, it is far more notorious than anything Heinrich Himmler had in existence in correction institutions of the police state.
Furthermore, the Nazi police chief actions of policing Nazi Germany are outdone in how the Bush Administration of the USA manages to imitate the actions necessary in maintaining a police state, which testifies how Guantanamo is run to convenience the Bush Administrations methods of providing information beneficial to the USA intelligence system of defence.
The methods used in Guantanamo concentration camp, are methods that would be unlawful in the United States of America.
Anyone can dispute what I say, but as the news reporters found out - who went to Guantanamo to report on the David Hicks trial of the military court – everything possible is done by the USA army in Guantanamo to see that knowledge of how they treat other prisoners from elsewhere in the world – opposed to America’s aggressive policy world wide – does not come to be known in the manner of their detention and how they are treated.
One has to get to realize that the military personnel chosen for duty in Guantanamo concentration camp prison complex must be chosen after careful attention to their character as reliable military personnel obedient to advice about their task in service to the American Army while they serve the cause for which they chosen for in the Guantanamo military prison.
Seeing that Guantanamo is of significance to the Bush Administration’s foreign affairs policy of world control in regards to policing the political situation where their major business concerns have a relevant interest in seeing that the political policy of the nation giving concern toes the line in what the USA regards as convenient to America’s interests in that particular location in the world.
This is where Guantanamo is of significant interest to the USA. People captured as prisoners in America’s war of aggression end up in Guantanamo for special treatment in gathering intelligence information beneficial to the American cause and to the USA president’s pleasure in their confinement.
I would estimate that the military personnel doing service for the USA in Guantanamo are not unlike Heinrich Himmler’s SS troops that were chosen for their strict attention to duty.
Arrrr! There’s the rub!
Suppose schools stopped teaching the history of slavery because learning about the oppression of blacks might offend white students and their families. Incredibly, an exact analogy is playing out in northern England, where the study of the Holocaust is being dropped from the curriculum "for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial."
Fellow travellers of the Holocaust-denial movement are also lobbying hard in Britain to have Holocaust Remembrance Day changed to "International Genocide Day" to obscure the unique enormity of Europe's crime against its Jews. In Belgium and France, too, teachers are increasingly unwilling or unable to teach mandated Holocaust lessons.
Is "history with the Holocaust left out" merely political correctness run amok? Hardly. This is 21st century Europe, where the jury is still out on whether the EU can succeed in forging a shared democratic culture for disparate nations Hitler sought to unify by force.
Whether Europeans stick to or erase their collective memory may be the tipping point that determines the EU's fate and the future they prepare for their children.
Today, 60 years after the death camps ceased operating, the six million are being victimized again -- only this time it is the memory of their martyrdom that is being murdered by Holocaust deniers, who simultaneously deny Hitler's genocide and plot to finish it.
Despite laws in some countries targeting denial as an incitement to hatred and violence, despite the overwhelming documentation of the Nazis' mass murder of European Jewry, Holocaust denial is gaining traction. The denial movement exploits the Internet to transcend national boundaries and achieve global reach. Most troubling is that the virus of denial morphed from its European roots, taking hold in the mainstream of the Arab and Muslim world.
In Iran, this malignancy has been enshrined as statecraft by the fanatical regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who claims that the Holocaust "is a myth . . . Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan." Tehran's mullahs broadcast this hate globally to infect disaffected Muslim youth.
A decade ago, 38 per cent of American adults and 53 per cent of high-school students either "didn't know" or incorrectly defined the Holocaust.
Today's deniers seek to transform this continuing knowledge deficit into a new warrant for genocide. In Sweden -- which produced Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews -- a third of young people voice skepticism that the Holocaust actually happened. Holocaust denial not only perverts history; it destroys the bonds between new generations and those who endured blood, sweat and tears during the Second World War. It also affronts the dwindling ranks of Holocaust survivors, whose suffering is mocked by the deniers.
So how best to approach young Muslims about the Nazi era? With the unvarnished truth.
The Arab and Muslim world was largely a spectator to the crimes committed by the Nazis. The best-known exception is the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al Husseini, who allied himself with Hitler, toured the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and recruited 20,000 Bosnian Muslims to serve in the Waffen SS. Robert Satloff's recent book, Among The Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach Into Arab Lands, documents the nefarious role of lesser-known Arabs and Muslims who, like too many Christians, abetted the Nazis in North Africa and the Mideast.
Yet Mr. Satloff also uncovers stories of great humanity and courage. Today, on Yom Hashoah -- Holocaust Remembrance Day -- the Simon Wiesenthal Center is posthumously honouring Khaled Abdelwahhab, who rescued Jacob and Odette Boukris and their children, a Jewish family living in Tunisia during the Holocaust. Mr. Abdelwahhab recently became the first Arab ever to be formally nominated as "righteous among the nations" by Israel's Yad Vashem. Grandchildren from the families of both this rescuer and the Jews he saved will participate in the ceremony.
The Wiesenthal Center's recent documentary, Ever Again -- which examines the global resurgence of violent anti-Semitism including Holocaust deniers' impact on Muslim communities in Europe's major cities -- also documents that Mr. Abdelwahhab's example of tolerance and heroism is still alive. Featured is Morad El Hattab, a Muslim writer in France who publicly campaigns against Holocaust denial, and pleads that "Dar al Islam" should strive to become "Dar al Salaam": a true religion of peace.
Erasing the nobility of a decent man like Mr. Abdelwahhab and placating the haters who would silence activists such as Mr. El Hattab will not only murder memory but signal the death knell of human compassion and mutual respect.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Historian Harold Brackman is a consultant to the centre.
Arthur Butz: >>Revisionism at its worst<<
Pope speaks of Nazi atrocities in Easter ritual
By Malcolm Moore in Rome. 07/04/2007
The Pope shocked many Catholics last night with a dramatically revised version of the Stations of the Cross, one of the central rituals of the Easter ceremony.
The Pope carrying the cross
The ceremony, also known as the Via Crucis, recreates Jesus's path on the day of his death from the Antonia fortress to Golgotha, where he was crucified.
The Pope carried the cross for the first and last of the 14 stops on a candle-lit procession around the Coliseum in Rome. However, this year the Pope chose to change both the route and the content of the ceremony. The Vatican said the changes were designed to reflect the gospels more truly and to link Jesus's suffering with the suffering of mankind today.
One of the boldest changes came on the third stop, where Jesus is given up to Pontius Pilate by the Sanhedrin, a council of Jews.
The Pope recalled the sentence that was passed over the Jews by the Nazis, and their suffering in concentration camps. He quoted Etty Hilesum, a Dutch Jew, who was executed in Auschwitz in 1943, saying: "We must oppose every new horror and crime with a new piece of the truth and goodness.
"We may suffer, but we must not succumb."
Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, the prefect of the Ambrosian Library in Milan and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, was asked by the Pope to update the ceremony. He said: "I did not want the ceremony just to be a simple recollection of a past event. I wanted worshippers to feel and live through the raw and bitter reality like a neighbour."
The new changes also included cutting the stop where Jesus drops the Cross, as well as a reference to St Veronica, who mopped Jesus's brow. St Veronica is merely apocryphal and not mentioned in the gospels.
However, a reference to Judas Iscariot was inserted for the first time because, in the words of Mgr Ravasi, "dawn follows night, out of darkness comes light, and after betrayal comes penitence."
Later, on the ninth stop, where Jesus met a group of women, the Pope spoke out against the suffering of "violated" women.
He recalled the women "who have been subjected to tribal practices", the mothers in crisis and alone, "the Jewish or Palestinian mothers and those in all lands ravaged by war, the widows and old ladies forgotten by their children".
The ceremony ended with St Matthew's Passion by Bach.
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