what price freedom?

A holocaust industry. That god works in mysterious ways seems to be a pretty lame excuse. Forget faith. It was always about the covenant. Trust. The special relationship direct to the throne without intermediary. A misplaced belief? Yahweh simply wasn’t there at the agreed upon time of need. Was it a betrayal or a make it up to you later story? In any event, even a curmudgeon like Raul Hilberg comes up with 5.1 million. Like a market analysis, did this meet analysts expectations? Was the top line death figure confirming to the mean of the solicited experts?

---In this artwork, shown at the exhibition Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art (New York, Jewish Museum, 2002), English Jewish artist Alan Schechner inserted himself in a famous photo taken by Margaret Bourke-White after the liberation of Buchenwald (1945), with a Diet-Coke can in his hand. “The Coke can marks a rupture between the moment in 1945 in which Bourke-White took the original photograph and Schechner’s contemporary presence in the image. The differences between the present and the past are divided by this ideological and historical gap. In this sense Schechner’s image works like an allegorical ruin” (Alessandro Imperato). Schechner is interested in a cultural re-appropriation of signs and icons from the Holocaust through the radical rupture marked by historical distance and touristic perception of memory. A gap that is here symbolized by the Diet-Coke can, a single element that functions as a paradoxical punctum of the image (something that “pierces the viewer”, as defined by Roland Barthes)--- Read More:http://holocaustvisualarchive.wordpress.com/category/contemporary-art/

Norman Finkelstein: Much of the outrage was directed at the chapter entitled The Double Shakedown, in which I documented the Holocaust industry’s blackmail of European governments in the name of “needy Holocaust victims” and then the shakedown of Holocaust victims by the Jewish organizations that pocketed the “Holocaust compensation” monies. Although controversial then, it has now become a commonplace how corrupt this racket was. Nearly all the principals in the Holocaust shakedown racket — Rabbi Israel Singer, Alan Hevesi, Burt Neuborne, Neal Sher, Melyvn Weiss, Edward Fagan, Avraham Herschson — have been exposed as crooks. A central role in this racket has been played by the Claims’ Conference. Read More:http://www.normanfinkelstein.com

---Zbigniew Libera, LEGO Concentration Camp (1996). Seven boxes of different sizes from which a miniature concentration camp can be built. This artwork was included in the exhibition Mirroring Evil: Nazy Imagery/Recent Art held at the Jewish Museum, New York, in 2002. Libera is a Polish artist who lives in Warsaw. His concentration camp work had been originally sponsored by LEGO Corporation, which subsequently retracted the sponsorship and brought a lawsuit against him. LEGO Concentration Camp sparked a controversy as well as many critical interpretations.--- Read More:http://holocaustvisualarchive.wordpress.com/category/contemporary-art/

No doubt, money and physical goods were confiscated by the Nazis, lots of it, of which in reality an entire society was complicit with few exceptions. And restitution as an ethical imperative in the process of dealing with memory and closure is probably necessary. But as Finkelstein points out, restitution funding, extorted and for the profit of the few and not the victims reinforces all the negative dynamics of the tragedy. Its inevitable that the holocaust would be commodified; its just too tempting to avoid profiting on the fears and anxieties of a traumatized psyche, at least to some extent.

Still, despite the Eli Wiesel and Viktor Frankl’s of the world, the subject remains a fascinating ” how could” examination of how precarious the values of civilization are and how close to barbarism we like to have dalliances with. Assertions that Wiesel is a charlatan, a poser are not valid; he speaks for many who truly believe what he says. An almost messianic exercise rooted in nihilism; a scary beauty in total destruction aesthetic that they feel taps into spiritual forces. Nonetheless,  The Milgram experiment, and the related Zimbardo research exemplified how individuals can be carried away psychologically by lynch mob mentality and some deep rooted genes game for sacrifice.


This view was reinforced subsequently when the shady deals involving the New York/New Jersey branch of the Global March of the Living Program were exposed. The March of the Living was founded by Avraham Herschson, the disgraced former Israeli finance minister who is currently serving a jail sentence for fraud. Herschson had arranged for Curtis Hoxter to receive consultancy fees in excess of $700,000 allegedly for fund-raising activities on behalf of the March of the Living, despite the fact that the bulk of contributions were being provided by the Claims Conference. When Hoxter was asked why the March of the Living paid him $700,000 he could not recall. The Claims Conference then undertook to do a thorough investigation to ascertain what had happened to these funds, but since then there has been a deafening silence….

---the cover of Tova Reich’s My Holocaust, satirical novel about the commodification of Holocaust remembrance. Tova Reich is a Jewish American writer who lives in Washington. Short stories and articles by Reich have appeared on The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Her husband, Walter Reich, is a former director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. “The cover of My Holocaust resembles a child’s board game, like Chutes and Ladders but with sprigs of barbed wire and playful figurines in striped prisoner’s garb. A cattle car sits near an ice cream truck. Hanging from colorful striped poles are the words ‘Auschwitz’ and ‘Birkenau’. The concentration camp gate, where the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ always went, now says ‘A Novel’” (David Margolick, Happy Campers, The New York Times).--- Read More:http://holocaustvisualarchive.wordpress.com/category/contemporary-art/

…Most importantly, the Jewish public has difficulty in comprehending why there are so many Holocaust survivors living in abject poverty while considerable sums continue to be expended by the Claims Conference on causes which lack a genuine relationship with the Holocaust, ranging from the Tel Aviv Yiddish Theater, Hatzola Volunteer Ambulance Services in Brooklyn, Birthright and Bnei Brak women’s organizations…. Read More:http://w


Read More:http://vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres4/NFHolindustry.pdfa

---Zinn:My point was that the memory of the Jewish Holocaust should not be encircled by barbed wire, morally ghettoized, kept isolated from other genocides in history.” To him, “If the Holocaust was to have any meaning, I thought, we must transfer our anger to the brutalities of our time. We must atone for our allowing the Jewish Holocaust to happen by refusing to allow similar atrocities to take place now—yes, to use the Day of Atonement not to pray for the dead but to act for the living, to rescue those about to die.” As a true humanist, Zinn was anti-thesis of charlatans like Elie Wiesel who would not even recognize the Holocaust of millions of non-Jews during World War II on the pretext that such a labeling would, what he called, “dilute,” “falsify” or “steal” “Holocaust from us.” Read More:http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2010/01/31/letter-america-howard-zinn-%E2%80%93-american-people%E2%80%99s-historian image:http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/04/09/comic-book-legends-revealed-202/

…Even though Eichmann’s trial did not achieve the desired effect inside Israel, its impact abroad was enormous. Elie Wiesel, a former concentration camp inmate, who came to Jerusalem to report on the process, subsequently initiated a religious modality for handling the Judeocide. This religion was to become very dominant in the ensuing years. It came to be accepted not only by most Jews but also many non-Jews, especially in the industrialized countries. It was to become one of the most important tools of the Israeli propaganda machinery. The relevancy of the Holocaust Religion to the Middle East conflict cannot therefore be overlooked…. Read More:http://www.stateofnature.org/holocaustReligion.html

…The Zionist project needed a lot of money and therefore it is not surprising that the JA did not have too many ethical considerations when they endeavored to save Nazi war criminals, that is, if the Nazis could pay enough for it. Thus the SS officer responsible for the robbery of the Hungarian Jewry, Kurt Becher, and some of his friends were saved. The aforementioned Israel Kastner was sent in 1947 by the Israeli finance minister to Germany to save these Nazis from trial. In return, Becher gave orders to his Swiss trustee to transfer money to the Jewish Agency. …

Boris Lurie. ---Zinn:My point was that the memory of the Jewish Holocaust should not be circled by barbed wire, morally ghettoized, kept isolated from other atrocities in history. To remember what happened to the six million Jews, I said, served no important purpose unless it aroused indignation, anger, action against all atrocities, anywhere in the world. A few days later, in the campus newspaper, there was a letter from a faculty member who had heard me speak. He was a Jewish refugee who had left Europe for Argentina and then the United States. He objected strenuously to my extending the moral issue from Jews in Europe during the war to people in other parts of the world in our time. The Holocaust was a sacred memory, a unique event, he said. And he was outraged that, invited to speak on the Jewish Holocaust, I had chosen to speak about other matters. I was reminded of this experience when I recently read a book by Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Houghton Mifflin, 1999). Novick's starting point is the following question: Why, fifty years after the event, does the Holocaust play a more prominent role in this country-the Holocaust Museum in Washington, hundreds of Holocaust programs in schools-than it did in the first decades after World War II? Surely at the core of the memory of the Holocaust is a horror that should not be forgotten. But around that core, whose integrity needs no enhancement, there has grown up an industry of memorialists who have labored to keep that memory alive for purposes of their own, Novick points out. Some Jews have used the Holocaust as a way of preserving a unique identity, which they see threatened by intermarriage and assimilation. Read More:http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/RespectingHolocaust.html image:http://www.art-agenda.com/shows/no-the-art-of-boris-lurie-at-chelsea-art-museum/

…This was also the case of the important Nazi agent Jaac van Harten, whose money financed in 1945/46 the illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine and acquisitions of weapons. Van Harten was crucial for the flight of Nazis out of Europe, but the agents of the Mossad Le’Aliyah Beth  who protected him, could not care less. He himself found refuge later in Tel Aviv, where he got the protection of no less than Golda Meir, the de-facto foreign minister at that time (1947). Till the 60s Van Harten kept contacts with his former Nazi boss, Friedrich Schwend, who was then working in Peru with other famous Nazis like Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie. Schwend was considered to be a kind of finance minister of the planned Fourth Reich.

The Zionist movement succeeded after WWII in getting restitution illegitimately in the name of the Nazi victims. At the last stages of the war representatives of the Jewish Agency gathered Jewish properties and were nominated as recipient for such assets at the Paris Reparation Conference (1945/46)….Read More:http://www.stateofnature.org/holocaustReligion.html

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