Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 1, 2015

Anti-Semitism and the amen corner

Filed under: anti-Semitism — louisproyect @ 8:39 pm

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Today, I got a good idea of the mental makeup of the Baathist amen corner. The article above appeared on Thom Prentice’s Facebook timeline. My only knowledge of Prentice is that he used to write me friendly emails about this and that until he discovered that I was not into the whole Baathist fan club deal. When I saw the image of the stereotypical anti-Semitic cartoon on the left, I was a bit taken aback. I am opposed to any French laws that put people in jail for making either anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist statements but I don’t have any use for anti-Semitism per se. For me, the people who adapt to it are not part of the left. They are enemies of the left. When I went to the website where the article taking up the cause of the cartoonist was published, I discovered that it is put out by a couple of characters who mention that among their concerns is “historical revisionism”. You can bet what that is about. Five minutes of exploring their website revealed an article that stated: “Zionist leaders and activists gave Hitler more than enough ammunition to justify interning Jews in camps as a security threat to Germany.” Imagine that? Jews were put into Auschwitz because Hitler had legitimate security concerns. Meanwhile, Prentice continues to defend Hitler as having legitimate concerns. What a fucked up “left” we have today when someone like this can speak in its name.

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14 Comments

  1. Of course you take that one sentence about Hitler and the camps out of context. I wasn’t necessarily defending the action to intern Jews, I was pointing out that the Zionist leadership of the time provided Hitler with ample ammunition for HIM to justify the internment. Principally their March 1933 “JUDEA DECLARES WAR ON GERMANY” campaign of economic warfare against Germany, an action taken long before any serious anti-Jewish measures were undertaken by Hitler. Hitler’s internment of Jews was in essence no different than American internment of the Japanese (once you recognize that Germany’s camps were “labour” camps and not “death camps”), although the Americans had much less reason to intern Japanese Americans who had no demonstrable loyalties to the Japanese state above their adopted nation of America.

    But it’s not at all surprising that a doctrinaire Marxist takes issue with any interpretation of the events surrounding WW2 that doesn’t conform to the establishmentarian Soviet-Jewish propaganda line.

    You may think of yourself as a rebel but in actuality you are perfectly in line with the elite’s agenda on a multitude of different issues. Hence why Marxist literature is available in all major book stores and libraries whereas those who call attention to the negative impact of Jewish supremacism are routinely censored, harried, hounded and jailed across the Western world.

    Comment by Brandon Martinez — November 2, 2015 @ 1:20 am

  2. So fascinating to see someone with a Latino heritage adopting the racist POV of Ernst Zundel et al. But then again who knows who this kid really is.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 2, 2015 @ 1:53 am

  3. Left-wing anti-semitism is nothing new, especially in that sump of antisemitism, France. I was in a Paris inner suburb called Colombes in late 1970 staying with an acquaintance who was a kind of middle-class refugee from conscription by the juntathen ruling Argentina. I happened naively (everything I said or did in those days was naive) to say something about some Jewish acquaintances in college, using the word “Jewish.” His reaction was indescribable. He launched into a vile parody of some sinister moneybags trying to procure the favor of a pure-hearted Argentine girl, the equivalent of a racist blackface comedy routine that ended all conversation then and for several days afterward. The whole incident was so ugly and stood out in such contrast to the man’s normal behavior that it was hard to believe this was the person I thought I knew.

    There are plenty of people like my Argentine acquaintance all over the left, and for such people nowadays anti-Zionism very frequently is a mask for anti-semitism. The anti-semitism, like American racism, creeps in with one’s mother’s milk and operates on a subconscious and deeply irrational level.

    To deny that such a thing exists is pure folly, in my opinion. This does not mean, IMHO, that one has any use for the AIPAC line or is justifying the crimes e.g. in Gaza. It is merely acknowledging yet another fact of contemporary history.

    Comment by Pete Glosser — November 2, 2015 @ 1:37 pm

  4. “Hitler’s internment of Jews was in essence no different than American internment of the Japanese (once you recognize that Germany’s camps were “labour” camps and not “death camps”) . . . .” Come again?!? I heard this before. Bad comparison. Hitler had a pretty aggressive campaign of annihilation, choo-choo trains and chimneys. Doesn’t really compare to WWII hysteria in America. The latter was wrong and disgraceful. The former is a just a plain black hole of madness.

    Comment by mui — November 2, 2015 @ 4:35 pm

  5. @louis

    “Racist POV”? I assume this is Marxist lingo for “views that are contrary to my Marxist brainwashing.” The fact is that you cannot refute the views and assertions of Ernst Zundel and the revisionists, so you resort to name calling, labeling and all manner of ad hominem attacks.

    Marxists rarely resort to reasoned argumentation, they just copy and paste the ravings of outdated 18th and 19th century screeds from Marx, Engels and Lenin. Marxism is a cult.

    Comment by Brandon Martinez — November 2, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

  6. @mui

    The only difference I suppose is that Germany’s camps had soccer fields, swimming pools and brothels, whereas the American camps did not.

    Here are some “survivors” (the ones Spielberg conveniently ignores) talking about leisure activities in the German camps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJYexBnOnBc

    Hardly the harrowing “death factories” we’ve been led to believe.

    Comment by Brandon Martinez — November 2, 2015 @ 4:46 pm

  7. Martinez, or whatever your name is, you are hardly worth answering. You justify Hitler putting Jews in concentration camps because they urged an economic boycott of Germany in 1933 but in fact the camps were used mostly against the left early on, not the Jews. The first wave of putting Jews in camps began in 1938–not 1933. Furthermore, as was indicated in the NY Times pages I added to this post, the Nazis had already begun to punish Jews in the first few months of 1933. The boycott, which mostly amounted to empty bluster, was a response to the repression, not a cause of it. Most people who defend Zundel, like you, are seriously ill. You are a neo-Nazi and a rather sick one at that. What will you tell your children if you are ever lucky enough to attract a woman who finds a neo-Nazi acceptable? That you were emulating Ernest Zundel? What a sad creature you are.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 2, 2015 @ 5:17 pm

  8. @Louis

    Wrong. The Jewish boycott preceded the German counter boycott of Jewish shops and stores in Germany. http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/articles/jdecwar.html

    And again, I didn’t justify the decision to put ordinary Jews in camps, I’ve in fact denounced all sides in WW2 for putting ordinary citizens in camps, but the fact is that the context in which Hitler did this is always omitted from “official” history. Jews are portrayed as helpless, innocent victims who did nothing to bring on what later transpired in Germany in terms of the persecution. Every step of the way Jewish leaders agitated against Germany and deliberately provoked Hitler to ramp up the crackdown on Jews, so as to drive them to Palestine. I’m sure you’re familiar with the Nazi-Zionist “transfer agreement”? The Zionists wanted Jews to be persecuted so they could be corralled and shipped to Palestine to form the “Jewish state”. The Holocaust propaganda served as their cases belli for the ethnic cleansing of that land.

    You act like Hitler’s hostility to Jews had no foundation. He clearly stated that it derives from Jewish domination of German industries and institutions – banking, media and government. It was this excessive domination by Jews in German society and their abuse of power to serve their owns sectarian interests that formed the basis of his thinking on the issue.

    Is it not so different from today, where the Jewish and Israeli lobbies, in conjunction with the Zionist-dominated press, fanatically pursue their own sectarian interests to the detriment of all others? It is certainly the case here in Canada, where the bought and paid for Zionist regime of Stephen Harper pursued pro-Zionist policies to the detriment of ordinary Canadians.

    Is the “war on terror” not a Zionist-contrived scheme to drag the West into wars for Israel in the Middle East? Clearly it is.

    They have done this countless times throughout history, so for you to hone in on the backlash against this and remove the proper context is deceitful. But it is nonetheless stereotypical for a Marxist analysis to omit such important information and context to suit the inbuilt philosemitism in your ideology.

    It is always amusing for a diehard Marxist, presumably a “fan” of Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Pol Pot and other Marxist mass murderers, to moralize about “neo-Nazis”. I am not one, but even if I was, you (a communist) of all people are not standing on moral high ground to scrutinize another markedly less-murderous philosophy.

    Comment by Brandon Martinez — November 2, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

  9. Wrong. The Jewish boycott preceded the German counter boycott of Jewish shops and stores in Germany.

    Do neo-Nazis like you consider the art of evasion key to your success? I just told you that Jews were not put into concentration camps until 1938 so the idea that this had something to do with events a half-decade earlier is ludicrous.

    Also, with respect to this: “You act like Hitler’s hostility to Jews had no foundation. He clearly stated that it derives from Jewish domination of German industries and institutions – banking, media and government. It was this excessive domination by Jews in German society and their abuse of power to serve their owns sectarian interests that formed the basis of his thinking on the issue.” I simply have no incentive to answer something like this that is so fact-free. It is like wasting time with someone arguing that Blacks are genetically inferior. In fact, people following this discussion should understand that Martinez and his fellow neo-Nazi believe that women are genetically inferior to men using language that sounds just like Anders Behring Breivik. Check this out: “In their war against Europeans, Persians, Christians, Muslims, Japanese, Palestinians and other targeted out-groups Cultural Marxists have attempted to pit women against men by popularizing the notion that economic and social disparities between the sexes are solely attributable to socially-constructed patriarchal structures of dominance.” This is really straight from the septic tank.

    Also, for people who are interested in understanding Nazi anti-Semitism, I recommend a look at this:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/fascism_and_war/goldhagen.htm

    Comment by louisproyect — November 2, 2015 @ 6:12 pm

  10. –Brandon. I can’t even answer that. I remember hearing of Nazis putting on Potemkin village style displays for the red cross. Brothels were where Jewish women were often victimized by Nazis. You’re talking ignorant conspiracy theory about a holocaust that also swept away many Roma and Polish as well.
    With the Japanese at least journalists did some photodocumentary a la Library of Congress(please go visit) Yes, they got property taken away. lives were ruined. But it still doesn’t compare to the chimneys of the Nazis.

    Comment by mui — November 2, 2015 @ 8:15 pm

  11. There’s an excellent article on the “Final Solution” on Wikipedia. It convincingly shows in brief how the historically unique and unprecedented campaign of bureaucratized mass killing of Jews on a factory basis now known as “the Holocaust” developed out of the earlier political twists and turns of the Nazi Party as they first consolidated power by throwing their “left-wing” elements under the train after 1933, began Jewish concentration and mass exterminations in Poland in 1939, and then reacted to war with the Soviet Union.

    By the end of November 1941, the Germans had already suffered more than 700,000 casualties in what had been expected to be a triumphant blitzkrieg.

    It seems no accident that the Final Solution as we know it today emerged in its full horror at the same time Germany began to lose the nightmare war with the U.S.S.R. (the final German defeat at Moscow and the infamous Wannsee Conference both occurred in January 1942).

    How this worked exactly, and whether the so-called Holocaust had much political significance for the German people at large, given the relative secrecy in which it was wrapped, I suppose one can only speculate. It does seem interesting that, as the image of Communists shifted from the defeated German communists of the earlier Nazi period to the terrifyingly potent Russian untermenschen of the Winter War, the one effective remaining German Enemy Within, the Jew, also had to be magnified and then attacked in an unprecedented fashion. But I suppose we will never get to the bottom of that.

    Comment by Pete Glosser — November 3, 2015 @ 4:02 pm

  12. It seems no accident that the Final Solution as we know it today emerged in its full horror at the same time Germany began to lose the nightmare war with the U.S.S.R. (the final German defeat at Moscow and the infamous Wannsee Conference both occurred in January 1942).

    That’s the thesis of Arno Mayer’s “Why the Heavens Did not Darken”.

    NY Times, February 19, 1989
    THE TWISTED ROAD TO AUSCHWITZ
    By V. R. BERGHAHN; V. R. Berghahn teaches history at Brown University. The author of several books, he has written widely on modern German history.

    WHY DID THE HEAVENS NOT DARKEN? The ”Final Solution” in History. By Arno J. Mayer. 492 pp. New York: Pantheon Books. $27.95.

    Given the enormity of the crimes perpetrated by Nazi Germany during World War II, the title of Arno Mayer’s new book raises a question that many people will have asked themselves as they remember, and try to comprehend, the Holocaust. Our task would be less difficult and agonizing, if the heavens had actually darkened. Since they did not, we must search for the roots of the ”final solution” in man-made history. The task is to understand the structures and the dynamics of a now extinct regime which resorted to genocide; the task is also to investigate what murderous drives motivated the executioners and their accomplices. It is hard to imagine a more taxing research assignment, not least because reading those sickening files compiled by meticulous bureaucrats is emotionally so exhausting.

    Notwithstanding these obstacles, scholars from many countries and academic backgrounds have greatly advanced our knowledge of the subject during the past 20 years or so. Most of them have done so from a deeply held conviction that the victims of Nazi crimes must never be forgotten and that there are profound lessons to be learned from their murder. Yet, however strong the sense of a common purpose, there have also been disagreements over the meaning of the evidence. Perhaps the most significant development was the collapse of the early postwar consensus that, with anti-Semitism forming the hard core of Nazism, there was a straight line of continuity between Hitler’s verbal threats in the 1920’s and 1930’s and the gas chambers of the early 1940’s. While not denying the importance of Nazi racism and Judeophobia, by the 1970’s many scholars had become skeptical of this ”intentionalist” interpretation of the Holocaust.

    Their investigations had found that, far from being a monolithic Fuhrer state, the Nazi dictatorship had been racked by constant feuding among different governmental and party agencies. Behind the goose-stepping columns and the facade of order there reigned administrative chaos and anarchy. Instead of being a determined leader, Hitler was found to be vacillating, often merely reacting to changing situations, many of which were not of his own making. The implications of this ”functionalist” view of the Third Reich’s power structure should be clear: the factories of death were not envisaged from the start. Although Hitler had designated the Jews as Germany’s greatest enemies, the regime’s anti-Jewish policies remained disputed and incoherent even beyond 1939. The ”final solution” grew out of wartime developments in the course of which preferred alternative routes had become blocked, thus finally leaving the field to the exterminationists.

    Arno J. Mayer, the Dayton-Stockton Professor of European History at Princeton and author of several books, does not explicitly locate his weighty and uncompromising study within this debate. Though scholarly and drawing extensively on published sources and the secondary literature, ”Why Did the Heavens Not Darken” has no footnotes and is addressed to a wider readership. But these readers may wish to have a few signposts in order to know where Mr. Mayer follows earlier interpretations and where he develops his own perspectives.

    At a most general level, it might be said that this important book synthesizes recent research without being a conventional synthesis. Rather, it offers something much more thought-provoking and, at least to some, also upsetting. In fact, Mr. Mayer would probably feel misunderstood if the gauntlets he is throwing in different directions were simply overlooked by readers turning directly to the gruesome story he has to tell. To begin with, he challenges those ”avant-garde professional historians [ who ] continue to make a virtue of the fragmentation of their discipline and all but eliminate politics from it.”

    For him, ”the mass murder of the Jews, more than any other single event, points up the importance of returning to the contextual study of short-term events. In the wake of Treblinka and Auschwitz it is difficult not to scorn Fernand Braudel’s characterization of short-term events as mere ‘dust.’ Braudel went so far as to imply that short-term events were not worth studying since, unlike long- and medium-range events, they ‘traverse history as flashes of light’ destined instantly to ‘turn to darkness, often to oblivion.’ Pace Braudel and his epigones, I have tried not only to contemplate the circumstances in which millions of Jews – along with millions of non-Jews – were reduced to ‘dust’ in seconds of historical time, but also to recapture the evanescent ‘light’ of their torment to illuminate the historical landscape in which it occurred.”

    The author is gentler with those who argue that ”only survivors who actually passed through the fiery ordeal of the killing sites, ghettos, and camps are in a position to speak to it.” He openly admits that their reminiscences ”remain an essential source of information and insight for anyone pondering” the Jewish catastrophe and that ”they also help to preserve and pass on its memory for later generations.” But wherever ”the reflective and transparent remembrances of survivors” have been woven ”in a collective prescriptive ‘memory’ unconducive to critical and contextual thinking about the Jewish calamity,” Mr. Mayer wishes to reassert the primacy of the ”Muse of history” who ”is sworn to certain ideas and rules for recording and interpreting” the past:

    ”Since the Enlightenment, historians have shared certain commonsense notions of causality and accuracy. They have also presumed the past to be accessible by virtue of being profane, not providential. In addition, rather than give free rein to their subjectivity, they are supposed to master it. . . . Historians must also develop a lateral and wide-angled vision, for they are enjoined to probe for linkages between events that were unclear or unknown to contemporaries.”

    What is more, to Mr. Mayer ”historical praxis and interpretation are neither static nor consensual. . . . Whereas the voice of memory is univocal and uncontested, that of history is polyphonic and open to debate. Memory tends to rigidify over time, while history calls for revision.”

    Thirdly, he invites his readers to discard ”the residual Cold War blinders which continue to constrict our view of the Jewish disaster” because they have caused us to see the Soviet Union as an aggressive power, and to forget how much the Nazi ideology and regime were directed aggressively and fanatically against Communism. Without reconstructing pre-1945 history this way, ”it is impossible to trace the nature and dynamics of the interconnection of anticommunism and anti-Semitism in the Nazi ideology and project.” In other words, Mr. Mayer believes that three steps should be taken. He wants us ”to abandon the vantage point of the Cold War; to place the Judeocide in its pertinent historical setting; and to use an overarching interpretative construct to explain the horrors both of the Jewish catastrophe and the historical circumstances in which it occurred.”

    The larger historical setting, which this book never loses sight of and without which the escalation to mass murder on a unique scale cannot be understood, is what Mr. Mayer calls ”the second Thirty Years War,” following the first one of 1618-48. The period starting with the First World War was marked by huge and violent socio-economic convulsions and ideological deformations, particularly in central and east central Europe. What, in the author’s view, propelled and progressively radicalized this European crisis was the frantic rollback policies the terrified upper and middle classes adopted against Bolshevism and Lenin’s successful revolution in Russia. In their hostility toward the left, the centrist leaders were at one with politicians of the extreme right, like Hitler, who were more effective at mobilizing popular support in an increasingly brutal European civil war.

    Hitler’s seizure of power in 1933 is therefore seen as resulting from a compromise between Germany’s traditional elites and the radical Nazis. It was an alliance to defeat Marxism both at home and abroad – an objective that proved potent enough to keep the two sides together until 1944-45. Within this broader context, Mr. Mayer continues, there also occurred a fusion of the religious and social anti-Semitism rampant among the traditional elites and the biological anti-Semitism of the Hitler movement, culminating in the hare-brained notion that the Soviet Union was a Jewish creation and Moscow the citadel of ”Judeobolshevism.”

    Mr. Mayer consequently lays much stress on the proliferation of an irrational ideology-driven fundamentalism of the right, of which anti-Semitism was the most vicious expression, and thus far his analysis follows the ”intentionalists.” Where he finds himself in disagreement with them is in their tendency to center on a few individuals and to see the ”final solution” as the predetermined end product of an obsessive hatred of the Jews. For him the era of the ”second Thirty Years War” was also characterized by a peculiar bureaucratic rationality. It was embodied by the technicians of power, many of them with noble titles or doctorates, with whose help Hitler ”forged a project in which technological and bureaucratic modernity was interwoven with a regressive purpose.” The interplay between the ideological fanaticism and the bureaucratic ”rationality” in Nazi Germany shaped anti-Jewish policies prior to 1939. The early aim was not liquidation, but forced emigration, and to this extent the author would side with the ”functionalists” who would argue against a predetermined policy of extermination.

    He finds himself at odds with these functionalists, though, about the anarchic character of the Third Reich. In Mr. Mayer’s study, Hitler’s role is not completely diminished and whatever bureaucratic conflicts there may have been are deemed to have been overridden by the collaborative effort between the Nazi elite and the technocrats in the armed forces, in industry and the civil service. Their collaboration secured the destruction of the left at home and Germany’s preparations for war; it facilitated Hitler’s conquest of ”living space” in the East, his crusade against Bolshevism and, finally, the mass murder of innocent civilians.

    It is against this background that Mr. Mayer proceeds to a detailed examination of the genesis of the ”final solution.” The controversial point here is that he dates the crucial decisions as late as winter 1941-42, in the context of the infamous Wannsee conference, where the ”final solution” was bureaucratically coordinated. No less important, he firmly puts these decisions into the framework of the faltering campaign against Russia and a deteriorating situation in the ghettos and camps in Poland; these, he believes, had been established in the previous two years as centers of highly exploitative war industries and assembly points for an eventual resettlement of their inmates on the island of Madagascar or beyond the Urals once the war had been won.

    However, this book is everything but an apology for the Nazis who slithered down the ”twisted road to Auschwitz” and who, finding their resettlement plans blocked by the turn of the military tide, opted for Zyklon B in an act of raging revenge. Mr. Mayer’s judgments are clear and unambiguous, and it would be a grave error to link him to the revisionism of the West German historian Ernst Nolte, who in 1986 created a major international uproar that is still rumbling on.

    Certainly Mr. Mayer has no truck with the untenable hypotheses of Mr. Nolte, who has argued that the origins of the Nazi genocide are to be found in a defensive response by Hitler to a perceived threat of extermination by Stalin, and who weighs Auschwitz against the Gulag Archipelago. If Mr. Mayer proposes to reappraise and historicize, he insists on doing so with a sense of moral and professional responsibility. If he makes comparisons, it is not in order to relativize the ”final solution,” but rather to highlight its qualitative difference. Nor should we allow ourselves to be confused by the fact that Mr. Nolte operates with the notion of a ”European Civil War” spanning the same period as Mr. Mayer’s ”second Thirty Years War” and that he too is interested in the interaction of Bolshevism and fascism. For in contrast to Mr. Nolte’s schema, in Mr. Mayer’s analysis the Third Reich and not the Soviet Union appears as the highly dynamic and aggressive party, ultimately confronting Stalin with the need to repel an outright military invasion propelled by a crusading ideology. Nor are the sources of Nazi aggressiveness viewed as originating from outside the Third Reich, but as an outgrowth of intense internal disorders that had made Germany ”the most critical flashpoint of Europe’s seething general crisis.” It is the failure to see this particular pattern that, in Mr. Mayer’s view, leads more generally to what he calls the cold-war vision of 20th-century history. Putting that vision right side up again is supposed to enable us also to place the ”final solution” in its proper historical framework. This means, with reference to the course of the Second World War, that the larger setting of German collective aggressiveness continues to be all-important to him.

    His aim is to show how the military, administrative and economic elites first helped to conquer the operational space and later knowingly provided the shield behind which the murder of millions could be carried out. He demonstrates how, in applying their openly terroristic concept of warfare, the officer corps, and not just the SS, promoted mentalities and practices that prepared the ground for the mass liquidations.

    Yet this is precisely where the problems emerge in Mr. Mayer’s argument: true, the incredible brutalities in the rear areas or in the factories relying on concentration-camp labor were not yet the ”final solution” in the strict sense; but they surely amounted to an extermination program in the wider sense that was well in place before those nightmarish death camps were built. Whatever other debates this book may unleash, it appears that its sharply argued case is most vulnerable at this point; for when we try to deal with the intentions and decision-making processes of the year 1941, we continue to move in murky waters.

    As far as the larger interpretive framework is concerned, there may be a lot of mileage in the author’s concept of a ”Thirty Years War,” which furthermore holds out some comfort for all of us. It was – wasn’t it? – an extraordinary period of crisis, which, before it ended in 1945, produced a unique policy of genocide. But there is a hitch: his analysis of the Nazi invasion of Russia (code-named ”Barbarossa,” after the medieval German emperor) leads Mr. Mayer into an elaborate comparison with the crusades of the Middle Ages, which were also accompanied by anti-Jewish outrages. And suddenly his image of man seems more immutable and hence more disturbing. Are the fanatical crusaders not always, and therefore still, around? And might they not form, in another period of major upheaval, their unholy alliance with what C. Wright Mills called the ”technological crackpots” who sit in their offices drafting tidy ”solutions”?

    This relentless study represents a major effort to make the violent course of the first half of our century, with its staggering 70 million victims, more comprehensible and to give us a few yardsticks for identifying future dangers. But tucked away at the end of his acknowledgments there is a short sentence that would appear to undermine this laudable objective. ”At bottom,” the author – himself a refugee from Nazi anti-Semitism – writes, ”The Judeocide remains as incomprehensible to me today as five years ago, when I set out to study and rethink it.” Who does not share this feeling and the sense of despair it engenders? For the heavens did not even cry.

    ASKING A BIBLICAL QUESTION

    As a professor of European history, Arno J. Mayer believes in taking the long view of a subject. So his book about the Holocaust begins not in the time of Hitler’s ascent to power but on the eve of the First Crusade, nearly 900 years ago. On the way to Jerusalem, the vanguard of Christian zealots first massacred thousands of Jews in Germany. The author said that he derives his title from a chronicle written in 1096 by Solomon bar Simson, who noted that ”no one was found to stand in the breach” and lamented: ”Why did the heavens not darken and the stars not withhold their radiance, why did not the sun and moon turn dark?”

    Speaking from his apartment in Paris, where he is on a sabbatical from Princeton University, Mr. Mayer pointed out that his subtitle – ”The ‘Final Solution’ in History” – was important to his theme. After pondering his ability to grasp the significance of the subject – ”I still find it difficult to visit Germany” – he finally decided to write the book for personal and historical reasons. In 1940, when he was 14, his family left Luxembourg just as the Nazis invaded the Low Countries and France. His grandfather perished in Theresienstadt; his grandmother survived and lived to tell him tales of life and death in the concentration camp.

    On campus, he found his students incredulous about the Holocaust. He said that some believed the views of revisionist historians in France and Germany who denied the very existence of concentration camps; others held that the Holocaust was merely a part of the campaign to defend Europe against Bolshevism.

    ”As the Holocaust recedes in memory, we must take another look,” he said. ”My aim was to fit Judeocide within the context of history.

    ”I am asking a biblical question in my title to show the commonality of the Holocaust. That is why I reach back into historical events to reveal that the ‘final solution’ was not something providential but profane. I call the reactionary historians – who excuse the Holocaust as a part of the cold war – retro-revisionists.

    ”What I’ve tried to do in this book is to provide the background and reasoning to how the Holocaust went from expulsion of the Jews to extermination.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 3, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

  13. This is evidently not a blog run by a “Marxist” but a Jewish crypto-Zionist. Louis Proyect’s mild anti-Zionism is feigned, a cover for his hardcore Jewish tribal agenda. Marxism is simply another branch of the Jewish supremacist nexus of power. It purports to be different from Zionism, but it ultimately serves the same tribal agenda of Jewish eminence over Gentiles.

    Comment by Brandon Martinez — November 4, 2015 @ 1:19 am

  14. Brandon, I think you and your pal have a solid career ahead of you as ultrarightists. There’s a lot of money to be made shilling for the most reactionary woman-hating, Black-hating wing of the bourgeoisie. They’ll eat up your pro-Rushton deal. But I would advise you to go easy on the anti-Semitism and Zundel type shit because that’s going to be a liability. You might want to consider following the orientation of the French National Front that is big-time pro-Israel. I hope that you take my advice and strike it rich. The capitalist class can always use a couple of 2015 versions of Adolph Hitler to argue on its behalf. Look at David Duke. He became a millionaire once he cut out wearing a hooded robe. Just do me a favor and send me a few hundred dollars when you go to work for a think-tank funded by some fracking or hedge fund billionaires. I can always use the dough being retired and all.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 4, 2015 @ 4:46 am


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