none was too many

They really didn’t want them. In terms of “positive and useful human material” they were wanting. They were a remnant of a remant, one with frayed fibers, holes and separating at the seams. The dregs of the dregs. Israel really didn’t want the holocaust survivors. It was slap in the face of the entire Zionist thesis of the “new Jew”. The more cynical felt if they milked sympathy for their plight, it would be easier to induce the great powers to grant them statehood. Also , they were extremely fragile and would be malleable and not able or willing to challenge the central elite, the narrow corridor of power that was established. Besides, they needed the cheap labor. Take them from one forced labor condition into a deluxe version; in any event, a good part of them were hopeless when compared to this image of the Israeli sabra and could never shed off an exhilic mentality. But their existence also exposed the weakness of Zionism as well…

Read More: ---Caption: “One can do anything to those Goyim. Our people crucified their Christ on the cross, and we do a great business on his birthday....” Explanation: A Christmas cartoon urging Germans to avoid Jewish shops was standard. (#51/1929)---

The conflict is between degrees of damaged newcomers. About divergent strategies employed in a struggle, a love hate relationship for many with the Europe of the past, whether the urban West of Herzl or the backwoods of Belarus and beyond.  And, for all purposes, the transition to  failed to relieve newcomers of the traumas they suffered in exile and the guilt of the victims and of the Zionists for all their bravado who failed to rescue them. As usual, victims end up victimizing each other, while failing to explore the deeper issue of the cost  incurred by the individual for the demands , quite rigid and severe, put on them by the Zionist project. And the contradictions in bringing in new immigrants such as the Sephardim as substitutes for Arab labor…

David S. Wyman:The debate, which began while the Holocaust was raging and still shows no sign of abatement, revolves around charges that Ben-Gurion and his followers, intent on their goal of a Jewish state in Palestine, were willing to let the Jews of Europe die rather than transfer energy and resources to rescuing them. This accusation has come from many sides — from the political left, right and center; from Zionists and anti-Zionists; from academics; and from some ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles. More recently, Tom Segev in his book ”The Seventh Million” has sharply criticized Ben-Gurion. Segev’s work draws Teveth’s heaviest fire….

Holocaust survivor arriving in Israel. Zoltan Kluger. read More:

…In his early chapters Teveth addresses the most familiar specific charges that have been leveled against Ben-Gurion over the years. One comes from oral testimony by a person who accompanied Ben-Gurion on his trip to displaced-persons camps in Germany in October 1945. She reported that he was more interested in driving through the ruins of Frankfurt hunting for rare books than in seeing the devastated Jews. Critics have cited this episode as proof that Ben-Gurion was callous toward Holocaust survivors. Teveth’s research located much more reliable sources concerning Ben-Gurion’s actions on that trip, sources that demolish the credibility of the negative oral testimony.

An incident in February 1945 became a source of long-lasting criticism of Ben-Gurion. At a conference in Palestine, a recently arrived hero of the Vilna ghetto described what had happened to her and her comrades. Not knowing Hebrew, she spoke in Yiddish. Later, when Ben-Gurion was at the podium, he referred positively to her speech but mentioned that it had been given in a ”foreign, grating” language. By seeking out and analyzing several accounts of the meeting, Teveth has reconstructed the episode and demonstrated that Ben-Gurion had not intended to express contempt for Diaspora Jewry or Holocaust survivors. Read More:


( see link at end) …Looking at the history of the Jewish survivors, from the beginning of the Nazi occupation until the liquidation of the ghettos shows that there are common features and similar psychophysiological patterns in their responses to the persecutions. The survivors often experienced several phases of psychosocial response, including attempts to actively master the traumatic situation, cohesive affiliative actions with intense emotional links, and finally, passive compliance with the persecutors. These phases must be understood as the development of special mechanisms to cope with the tensions and dangers of the surrounding horrifying reality of the Holocaust. There were many speculations that survivors of the Holocaust suffered from a static concentration camp syndrome. These theories were proved to have not been valid by research that was done immediately after liberation. Clinical and theoretical research
focused more on psychopathology than on the question of coping and the development of specific adaptive mechanisms during the Holocaust and after. Read More:

1938 German postcard. Read More:

…Another study, of Israeli Holocaust survivors in kibbutzim (collective settlements), revealed that survivors who could not mourn their losses immediately, after the war began mourning and working through their grief when they adjusted to life in the kibbutz. The study also indicated that many Holocaust survivors had a low threshold for emotional stress. This was brought out during situations that reminded them of the Holocaust- especially during the EICHMANN TRIAL, when they had to testify against Nazi criminals, and during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. These were the times when they suffered periods of depression and tension. Studies made in Israel more than 30 years after WWII did not
show significant differences in the extent of psychological damage between people who were in hiding during Nazi occupation and former concentration camp inmates. The only difference that was found was that the inmates experienced more pronounced emotional distress than those who survived the occupation outside the camps. The research done on the elderly Holocaust survivors in Israel indicated that they encountered particular difficulties in absorption because of the serious problems they had to overcome (loss of family and of the social and cultural backround they had known before the Holocaust). ( ibid)

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *