Rantisi: “The False Holocaust The Greatest of Lies” (and other items)

August 27, 2003

CONTENTS

1. "Hamas Leader Rantisi: The False Holocaust - The Greatest of Lies Funded by the Zionists" (MEMRI, August 27, 2003)
2. "Dresses with Star of David seized in RAK" (By Nassouh Nazzal, Gulf News, August 16, 2003)
3. "Romanian Jews recall "death trains," demand truth" (Reuters, August 14, 2003)
4. "Right Idea, Wrong Holocaust Museum." (Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2003)



[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach five items related to Holocaust denial, with summaries first.

SUMMARIES

1. Hamas Leader Rantisi: The False Holocaust - The Greatest of Lies Funded by the Zionists (August 27, 2003, MEMRI)

Dr. Al-Rantisi has found time between giving his daily interviews to Western television and radio to write an article for Al-Risala (August 21, 2003) titled "Which is Worse - Zionism or Nazism?" He quotes such western Holocaust revisionists as the "famous French philosopher Roger Garaudy," British "historian" David Irving, and Austrian author Gerd Honsik, who "was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment because he wrote a number of articles denying the existence of the gas chambers in the Nazi detention camps." Rantisi's article is in the same vein as the writings of Palestinian prime minister Abu Mazen, who wrote his PHD thesis and a book ("The Other Face: the Secret Connection Between the Nazis and the Zionist Movement," 1984) denying the truth of the Holocaust.

Dr. Al-Rantisi, one of the BBC's favorite interviewees, writes: "When we compare the Zionists to the Nazis, we insult the Nazis."

Interestingly, Dr. Al-Rantisi, also writes: "They [The Jews] have managed to present themselves to the world as the only victims of the Nazis." This is significant because several mainstream western media outlets have lately begun to significantly exaggerate the numbers of homosexuals and Roma (Gypsies) killed in the Holocaust. The New York Times, for example, has twice stated recently that "600,000" Gypsies died in the Holocaust. In fact the highest figure ever given by a serious historian is that "up to 220,000" Gypsies died in the Holocaust. Some historians put the figure at around 100,000. (It is agreed that a total of 32,000 Gypsies died in concentration camps. What is uncertain is the exact figures of Gypsies killed during World War Two in other massacres. The recent efforts to treble the numbers of gypsies killed, which have now found their way into the New York Times, were begun by neo-Nazi groups in Germany in the 1980s, with the specific aim of showing that Jews had exaggerated their "share" of Nazi suffering - TG)

2. "Dresses with Star of David seized in RAK" (By Nassouh Nazzal, Gulf News, August 16, 2003). "A UAE national complained last week to the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality officials that the dress he bought for his wife had the Jewish Star of David on it. Naji Montasir said that he had bought the dress from a boutique in the Al Muaireed area, and that he did not notice it at the time. The dress was a gift for his wife. Even she did not initially notice it, but when she put it on their eight-year-old son recognised the star and told them about it. Montasir thereupon took the dress to the police and filed a complaint against the owner of the shop. Inspectors searched the shop and confiscated all the dresses bearing the symbol, to be destroyed later.."

3. "Romanian Jews recall "death trains," demand truth" (Reuters, August 14, 2003). [This is an update to two previous dispatches I sent on Romanian Holocaust denial.] "At 79, Leizer Finkelstein drinks his beer cold, likes to tell Jewish jokes and loves his wife of 50 years as much as on his wedding day. But when this tall, jovial man recounts the horrors of his youth, his eyes fill with tears and his voice breaks although about 60 years have passed since he survived fascist Romania's extermination of hundreds of thousands of Jews.

"One of the few living survivors of the death trains that killed thousands of Jews in the northeastern city of Iasi, Finkelstein bears witness to a tragic moment in the ex-communist country's past, one that its leaders seem to prefer to forget. Romania's fascist regime under Marshal Ion Antonescu allied with the Nazis and in a climate of rabid anti-Semitism exterminated over half the country's Jews.

"But as recently as in June Romania denied the Holocaust happened within its borders. A government statement that "no Holocaust took place in Romania" prompted the fury of Israel and condemnations from Jewish groups, pushing the country to at last begin to confront this chapter of its history."

"Iasi's once-flourishing Jewish community, which numbered over 50,000 and boasted 127 synagogues, was nearly wiped out. Today 480, mostly elderly Jews remain in Iasi and community officials say no birth has been recorded for over eight years.

"After the diplomatic incident with Israel, the ex-communist government announced measures, including declaring a Holocaust memorial day and expanding education on the issue."

4. "Right Idea, Wrong Holocaust Museum" (By Walter Reich, LA Times, August 18, 2003). "A visit by Abbas to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem, not D.C. institution, would be strong symbol instead of PR stunt. U.S. officials want Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to visit a Holocaust museum. They have the right idea but the wrong museum. The museum they have in mind is in Washington. The one to which he should go is in Jerusalem.

"Like Anwar Sadat's breakthrough trip to Jerusalem, such a visit would be a great act of statesmanship, courage and imagination. It would be a journey to the heart of the darkness that is central to Israel's nightmares. It would establish Abbas as a leader independent of Palestinian politics and taboos and independent of Arafat, and it would reveal the bravery of a man willing to risk attack at home and to do what few of us are ever willing to do: acknowledge that he was wrong. Most important, it could galvanize and reset the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation."

5. Extra Note -

Not only in the Arab world, but many in Europe remain in a state of complete denial about the Holocaust, not to mention contemporary anti-Semitism. For example, the Greek prime minister has refused to properly denounce the desecration earlier this month of the Synagogue of Ioannina, whose fifty worshippers are the final remnant of a community practically wiped out in Auschwitz in 1944. Swastikas, Greek crosses and antisemitic graffiti were placed on all four walls of the synagogue and several graves destroyed. This follows attacks on Holocaust memorials at Thessaloniki and Molos.

-- Tom Gross

 


FULL ARTICLES

HAMAS LEADER RANTISI: THE FALSE HOLOCAUST - THE GREATEST LIES FUNDED BY THE ZIONISTS

Hamas Leader Rantisi: The False Holocaust - The Greatest of Lies Funded by the Zionists
Special Dispatch - Palestinian/Arab Antisemitism No. 558
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
August 27, 2003

Dr. 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Rantisi, a top Hamas activist in the Gaza Strip, wrote an article titled "Which is Worse - Zionism or Nazism?" [1] for the Hamas weekly Al-Risala. The following are excerpts from the article:

The False Holocaust: The Greatest of Lies

"The Zionists, who excel at false propaganda and misleading media, have had phenomenal success in changing the facts. To do this, they relied on the rule of 'lie and lie until everyone believes you.' They have managed to present themselves to the world as the only victims of the Nazis, excelling at misleading until they turned the greatest of lies into historical truth. I do not mean that they have succeeded in misleading the West and making it believe in the false Holocaust, but that they succeeded in persuading the Western world of the need to market these lies. The West is convinced of this because its interests intersect with those of the Zionist enterprise.

"Many thinkers and historians have exposed the lies of the Zionists, thus becoming a target of Zionist persecution. Some have been assassinated, some arrested, and some are prevented from making a living. For example, Jewish associations and organizations have filed lawsuits against famous French philosopher Roger Garaudy, who in 1995 published his book 'The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics' in which he disproves the myth of the 'gas chambers,' saying, 'This idea is not technically possible. So far, no one has clarified how these false gas chambers worked, and what proof there is of their existence. Anyone with proof of their existence must show it.' British historian David Irving was also sued, while Austrian author Gerd Honsik was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment because he wrote a number of articles denying the existence of the gas chambers in the Nazi detention camps." [2]

The Nazis Received Over $100 Million from the Zionists

"It is no longer a secret that the Zionists were behind the Nazis' murder of many Jews, and agreed to it, with the aim of intimidating them [the Jews] and forcing them to immigrate to Palestine. Every time they failed to persuade a group of Jews to immigrate [to Palestine], they unhesitatingly sentenced [them] to death. Afterwards, they would organize great propaganda campaigns, to cash in on their blood.

"The Nazis received tremendous financial aid from the Zionist banks and monopolies, and this contributed to their rise to power. In 1929, the Nazis received $10 million from Mendelssohn and Company, the Zionist bank in Amsterdam. In 1931, they received $15 million, and after Hitler rose to power in 1933, they received $126 million.

"There is no doubt that this great financial aid helped the Nazis build the military and economic force it needed to destroy Europe and annihilate millions. [Former World Jewish Congress president] Nahum Goldmann wrote these words in his autobiography.

"The German researcher Prof. Frederick Toben [3] believes there was no animosity between the Nazis and the Jews, whether politically, ideologically, or philosophically. He said, 'There is no historical scientific evidence proving such [animosity]. On the contrary - there is proof of collaboration between the Jews and the Nazis.'"

Comparing Zionism and Nazism Insults the Nazis

"While the world has realized that the Zionists, with the support of the West, carried out the most abhorrent massacres against the helpless Palestinian people in order to expel them from their homeland; while the Palestinian people still lives out the tragedy and catastrophe of the Jews' occupation of Palestine in 1948, of the expulsion of our helpless people, and of their being prevented from returning to their cities and towns; and while the Zionists still use against our Palestinian people various methods of terror unknown in history, even in its darkest eras - the Zionists present themselves as victims of the Palestinian 'terror!'

"When we compare the Zionists to the Nazis, we insult the Nazis - despite the abhorrent terror they carried out, which we cannot but condemn. The crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against humanity, with all their atrocities, are no more than a tiny particle compared to the Zionists' terror against the Palestinian people. While disagreement proliferates about the veracity of the Zionist charges regarding the Nazis' deeds, no one denies the abhorrent Zionist crimes, some of which camera lenses have managed to document.

"The entire world witnessed the assassination of the Palestinian boy Muhammad Al-Dura . [but] the cameras that immortalized this sight failed to immortalize similar sights, of some 1,000 Palestinian children murdered in cold blood by the Jews. The world has seen the Zionists pulverizing the bones of Palestinian boys with a stone as they shrieked in pain, to carry out the orders of Rabin and Sharon. and there are thousands whose bones were pulverized, but the cameras ignored them.

"One of the Zionist murderers expressed his feelings by saying, 'I enjoy hearing the cries of the Palestinian children groaning from under the heaps [of rubble] of the houses destroyed over their heads.'

"The Zionists have specialized in torturing the relatives of Shahids and prisoners. How often have they killed a boy before the eyes of his parents.

"It is impossible to conduct a [full] count of the crimes of Zionism in [a single] article. We have mentioned some of their crimes - which, had they been attributed to Nazism - would have greatly insulted the Nazis."

Footnotes:

[1] Al-Risala, August 21, 2003.

[2] Gerd Honsik has numerous convictions in Austria and Germany for his actions and publications, including his 1988 book 'Freispruch far Hitler? 36 ungehoerte Zeugen wider die Gaskammer' [Acquittal for Hitler? 36 Unheard Witnesses Versus the Gas Chamber] and Nationalist Socialist reactivation activity. In 1992 Honsik fled to Spain. www2.ca.nizkor.org/hweb/people/f/funke-hajo/Irving-09.02.shtml For more details see translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.idgr.de/lexikon/bio/h/honsik-gerd/honsik.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Gerd%2BHonsik%2522%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8

[3] German-born Frederick Toben has lived in Australia for most of his life and is an Australian citizen. In 1999, German courts sentenced him to 10 months in prison for distributing leaflets in Germany stating that the Holocaust never happened, and for maintaining a website claiming the same. www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/6063.html. For more details see www.nswscl.org.au/journal/50/Seeto.html.

 

DRESSES WITH STAR OF DAVID SEIZED IN RAK

Dresses with Star of David seized in RAK
Ras Al Khaimah
By Nassouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter
Gulf News
August 16, 2003

A UAE national complained last week to the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality officials that the dress he bought for his wife had the Jewish Star of David on it. Naji Montasir said that he had bought the dress from a boutique in the Al Muaireed area, and that he did not notice it at the time.

The dress was a gift for his wife. Even she did not initially notice it, but when she put it on their eight-year-old son recognised the star and told them about it. Montasir thereupon took the dress to the police and filed a complaint against the owner of the shop. He added that the police directed him to the municipality, which is responsible for inspecting the markets. Montasir filed a case here as well. Inspectors searched the shop and confiscated all the dresses bearing the symbol, to be destroyed later.

Mubarak Ali Al Shamsi, Director General of the municipality, meanwhile pointed out that the UAE has official bodies to monitor the entry points at the ports and airports. They are given clear instructions not to let Israeli goods in the country, he noted. He added these goods do not penetrate the UAE markets from Israel directly, but pass through some other third-party countries. Whenever these products enter the UAE, the authorities here try to seize and destroy them, the official noted. However, he clarified that the owner of the shop selling these dresses will not be punished as he has nothing to do with it.

Al Shamsi also urged the public to report such violations at the municipality to keep the country free of Israeli products.

 

ROMANIAN JEWS RECALL "DEATH TRAINS," DEMAND TRUTH

Romanian Jews recall "death trains," demand truth
By Dina Kyriakidou
Reuters
August 14, 2003

At 79, Leizer Finkelstein drinks his beer cold, likes to tell Jewish jokes and loves his wife of 50 years as much as on his wedding day.

But when this tall, jovial man recounts the horrors of his youth, his eyes fill with tears and his voice breaks although about 60 years have passed since he survived fascist Romania's extermination of hundreds of thousands of Jews.

"When I was 17 I took my first train ride and it was on a death train...to this day, I can see everything in my mind," he said. "Now I am drinking beer but back then I also drank urine."

One of the few living survivors of the death trains that killed thousands of Jews in the northeastern city of Iasi, Finkelstein bears witness to a tragic moment in the ex-communist country's past, one that its leaders seem to prefer to forget.

Romania's fascist regime under Marshal Ion Antonescu allied with the Nazis and in a climate of rabid anti-Semitism exterminated over half the country's Jews, often branding them communists who cooperated with the Soviet Union against Romania.

But as recently as in June Romania denied the Holocaust happened within its borders.

A government statement that "no Holocaust took place in Romania" prompted the fury of Israel and condemnations from Jewish groups, pushing the country to at last begin to confront this chapter of its history.

Finkelstein recalls a Sunday morning in June 1941 when Romanian soldiers raided Iasi's Jewish district, forcing his family at gunpoint out of their home and taking thousands of men to the police station yard where SS soldiers killed many with baseball bats.

The next day the rest were crammed on trains, 120 people to a wagon, the air vents nailed shut.

SURVIVOR REMEMBERS

They rode crushed against each other for most of the hot summer day at a snail's-pace around a 20 km (12 miles) radius, most suffocating from the heat, lack of air and water.

"Who had this idea, to make these gas chambers without fire and smoke, I can't imagine," Finkelstein told Reuters. "When somebody died and fell on your foot, you didn't have the strength to pull it out from under the body."

The 22 or 23 people who survived on his wagon were forced to dig mass graves for the dead in the fields outside the town of Podul Iloaiei, west of Iasi.

"Fathers discovered their sons and sons their fathers among the dead," he said. "We virtually threw the bodies into the graves. It was terrifying. They would bounce when thrown on top of each other as if they were still alive."

About 1,240 dead were accounted by the Jews who buried them at Podul Iloaiei alone. More than 10,000 Iasi Jews were murdered during the pogroms and on the death trains. Many more died in forced labour and concentration camps in the neighbouring Moldova region of Dnestr.

According to the Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust, from Romania's pre-war Jewish community of 750,000 about 420,000 perished, including more than 100,000 Jews of Transylvania -- then under Hungarian rule -- who were deported to Auschwitz.

Iasi's once-flourishing Jewish community, which numbered over 50,000 and boasted 127 synagogues, was nearly wiped out.

It was in this city of stately public buildings and tree-shaded boulevards that "Tevye the Milkman" and "The Witch" were performed by the world's first professional Yiddish theatre, founded in 1876.

COMMUNITY DWINDLES

Today 480, mostly elderly Jews remain in Iasi and community officials say no birth has been recorded for over eight years.

"More than 60 percent are over 60 and we have about 20 deaths a year," said the community's secretary, Boris Resch.

Most of those who survived the war fled during Romania's communist years to Israel and other countries.

"Some say the Jews brought communism to Romania but it was communism that drove Jews out of Romania," Resch told Reuters.

Professor Silviu Sanie, director of Iasi's small Jewish Museum inside the last functioning synagogue, said Romania owes its reluctance to deal with its past to Antonescu, still seen by many Romanians as a hero who fought off the Soviet army.

Antonescu joined Adolf Hitler in June 1941 and immediately unleashed the wrath of his fascist Iron Guard on Romania's Jews. Pogroms in Bucharest, Iasi and other towns left hundreds dead. He was later tried and executed as a war criminal but no other Romanian was ever brought to justice over the Holocaust.

In a bid to clean up its image ahead of winning NATO membership and joining the European Union, Romania has banned all fascist symbols, including statues of Antonescu.

But it has done little to uncover the truth about its role in the Holocaust. After the diplomatic incident with Israel, the ex-communist government announced measures, including declaring a Holocaust memorial day and expanding education on the issue.

For Finkelstein, telling the story of the death trains and labour camps is a noble mission and his one wish is for the government to tell the truth.

"It gives me no pleasure to tell this story but I thank God for giving me these years so I can tell it," he said. "This is what happened. You can't live in a lie. Every lie you tell, you twist the future."

 

RIGHT IDEA, WRONG HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

Right Idea, Wrong Holocaust Museum
By Walter Reich
LA Times
August 18, 2003

A visit by Abbas to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem, not D.C. institution, would be strong symbol instead of PR stunt.

U.S. officials want Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to visit a Holocaust museum. They have the right idea but the wrong museum. The museum they have in mind is in Washington. The one to which he should go is in Jerusalem.

Abbas wrote a book that distorted, denied or minimized core facts of Holocaust history. Were he to visit a Holocaust museum, he would have the opportunity to correct his assault on history and at least quell some of the Holocaust denial that's rampant in the Arab world.

But he would be able to accomplish that with seriousness and credibility not in Washington - where any such act would be seen as having been engineered by the American government to enhance Abbas' image - but at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, where it would truly be a courageous and galvanizing act of humanity and education.

The central argument of Abbas' 1984 book, "The Other Face: the Secret Connection Between the Nazis and the Zionist Movement," was that the Zionist movement was a partner in crime with the Nazis against the Jewish people. After the war, Abbas wrote, the Zionist movement inflated the number of Jews killed by the Germans to 6 million in order to arouse sympathy. The actual number, he suggested, might have been fewer than 1 million.

And regarding the gas chambers - which, Abbas wrote, "were supposedly designed for murdering Jews" - he refers his readers to "a scientific study" by the French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson. Faurisson, Abbas points out, believes they were used "only for incinerating bodies, out of concern for the spread of disease and infection in the region."

Last April, after Abbas was designated as the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Tom Lantos, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress, knowing of Abbas' writings on the Holocaust, offered to guide him through the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

According to the congressman, Abbas accepted the offer. But in a letter to Lantos written just before his visit to Washington in July, the Palestinian prime minister said that his schedule would be too tight for a museum visit, adding that he looked forward to seeing it on his next trip to Washington.

Lantos should breathe a sigh of relief that Abbas didn't go through with the museum visit in Washington, which would have been hijacked in the service of political agendas. He should try, instead, to convince Abbas to drive a few miles from his home to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem.

The unsuitability of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for this kind of visit was made evident in 1998, while I was its director, when the State Department initiated an invitation for a visit by Yasser Arafat - a visit I opposed.

At the time, the State Department was encountering bumps in the path of the Oslo peace effort. The hope was that prominent press coverage of Arafat surveying exhibits on the Holocaust would induce American Jews - many of whom opposed the administration's policy of pressuring Israel for concessions because they distrusted Arafat - to see the Palestinian leader as a man who could feel their pain and therefore could be entrusted to protect the security of the Jewish state.

On the day of the planned visit, Arafat himself demonstrated its political essence. He called it off as soon as he learned there would be no press coverage. The Monica Lewinsky story had just broken, and the Washington press corps had decamped to the White House to cover it.

And now the administration is again focused on Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and wants to convince skeptical Jews, in both the United States and Israel, that Abbas is not Arafat.

Were Abbas to visit the Holocaust museum in Washington, many Jews would see the visit as a diplomatic gimmick set up by the administration to manipulate their opinions and as an exploitation of the memory of their dead for political purposes. And Arabs would see it as a humiliating concession extorted from a weak Palestinian leader by a powerful America. The visit's potential to advance Holocaust education would be smothered by the reality and appearance of politics.

On the other hand, a visit by Abbas to Israel's own Holocaust museum would separate the gesture from diplomatic maneuverings by Washington. In the Arab world it would raise doubts about Holocaust denial; in Israel it would be seen as a genuine acknowledgment of the history and fears of Israelis.

Like Anwar Sadat's breakthrough trip to Jerusalem, such a visit would be a great act of statesmanship, courage and imagination. It would be a journey to the heart of the darkness that is central to Israel's nightmares. It would establish Abbas as a leader independent of Palestinian politics and taboos and independent of Arafat, and it would reveal the bravery of a man willing to risk attack at home and to do what few of us are ever willing to do: acknowledge that he was wrong. Most important, it could galvanize and reset the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation.

(Walter Reich, a professor of international affairs, ethics and human behavior at George Washington University, was director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from 1995 to 1998.)


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.