Auschwitz commandant’s grandson urges Europeans: please vote to stop the extremists (& other items)

May 15, 2014

A screenshot from YouTube of the far-right British National Party’s ‘Fight Back’ election video. The BNP accuses “Zionists” of corrupting Britain and “attempting to eradiate British culture and British identity”

 

* As far-right parties poll strongly ahead of next week’s EU elections, Rainer Hoess releases a video urging Europeans to turn out and vote to prevent anti-Semites gaining seats.

* Rainer Hoess now wears a Star of David around his neck, in solidarity with Jews.

***

* Most extensive ever worldwide survey on attitudes towards Jews finds Iran is the least anti-Semitic country in the Middle East, although a majority of adults (56 percent) in Iran still harbor extreme anti-Semitic views.

* More than one-quarter of those surveyed in over 100 countries, 26 percent, harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, representing an estimated 1.09 billion adults around the world.

* It’s not about the Jews: The poll shows that anti-Semitism is higher among people who have never met a Jew. (Tom Gross: Of course, anti-Semitism has nothing, or next to nothing, to do with actual Jews. It has got to do with incitement against Jews (and Israel) by some in the media, some teachers, Muslim and Christian religious figures, “historians,” and others.)

* 30 percent of those polled worldwide, believe Jews make up between 1 to 10 percent of the world’s population. Another 18 percent believe Jews make up more than 10 percent of the world’s population. In fact, 0.19 percent of the world’s population are Jews, including unaffiliated Jews.

* Only 54 percent of people in the world have heard of the Holocaust -- and half of those think it is a myth or hugely exaggerated. Only in Western Europe, have the vast majority of people -- 94 percent -- heard of the Holocaust.

* The Guardian commissions and publishes what is being described as “a repulsive and thoroughly misleading piece even by The Guardian’s standards,” written by extreme left-wing Jews, dismissing the seriousness of this survey and of anti-Semitism in general.

* I have been in Doha for the past few days, as a guest of the Qatari foreign ministry, meeting a broad range of opinion formers, and interestingly I did not hear even one piece of criticism of Israel from the Arabs I met – who were all far more concerned about pressing issues for them such as Syria, Egypt, the succession in Saudi Arabia, the future of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian nuclear threat. Also, in reading the local Qatari press each day this week, I noticed that there was far less criticism of Israel (and even some positive pieces about Israel) than in the International New York Times, which I also read each day this week, and which contained its usual quota of invective and bile against the Jewish state.

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* You can see these and other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia.

 

CONTENTS

1. Grandson of Auschwitz commandant urges Europeans to vote against extremist parties
2. Younger Germans more tolerant
3. The dangers of not voting
4. Largest ever survey finds more than a quarter of the world is anti-Semitic
5. Is some of the response to this survey itself anti-Semitic?
6. Among the survey’s key findings
7. The most and least anti-Semitic countries, according to this poll


[Notes below by Tom Gross]

GRANDSON OF AUSCHWITZ COMMANDANT URGES EUROPEANS TO VOTE AGAINST EXTREMIST PARTIES

Rainer Hoess, the grandson of the commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp Rudolf Hoess, who oversaw the murder of over a million Jews at Auschwitz, has released a video as part of his campaign against the rise of the far right across Europe.

Hoess, aged 48, said he felt it was his moral duty to do so. “Anti-Semites are not stupid,” he told Swedish media on a visit there this week. “They are growing, gaining ground, very slowly but very effectively.” Anti-Semites are not just found among the working classes, but among journalists, academics and teachers, he warned.

His grandfather experimented with different methods of mass killing, before choosing the pesticide Zyklon B as the most effective method of gassing to death the maximum number of Jews.

“He brings a lot of pain in our family, not only for his children but it will last over decades for generations to come,” his grandson said. Rainer Hoess’s grandfather had five children and many grandchildren. Some relatives have criticized him for his forthright stand against anti-Semitism.

On a trip to Israel, where Hoess met Holocaust survivors, he was asked by a group of Jewish students what he would have done if he had met his grandfather (who was hanged in 1946). He replied: “I would have shot him.”

His video, “Never forget to vote,” can be viewed here:


 

YOUNGER GERMANS MORE TOLERANT

In the poll outlined in the item below, 52% of Germans and Austrians said Jews should talk less about the Holocaust and fewer books should be written about it. However, younger Germans disagree – “only” 15% of Germans aged under 34, said they were tired of hearing about the Holocaust.

 

THE DANGERS OF NOT VOTING

Tom Gross adds:

Even if you are not sure which party to vote for, vote for one of the center, center-left or center-right parties. To not vote at all will allow the extreme right (and possibly extreme-left) greater representation in the European parliament.

In countries such as France, the extreme-right wing National Front (which now attracts some Muslim anti-Semitic support including the followers of anti-Semitic “comedian” Dieudonne M’bala M’bala who has endorsed the party) is forecast to come first in next week’s European elections, according to several polls.

In the UK, the British National Party released a slick election video this week titled “Fight back” which attacked “Zionists” for “attempting to eradiate the British culture and British identity.”

In interviews, British National Party founder John Tyndall has said, “Mein Kampf is my Bible,” and other BNP leaders have said the Holocaust is a myth invented by Israel to carry out a real Holocaust against Palestinians, and have cited reports in left-wing media such as The Guardian and Independent to back up their claims.

In election leaflets last week it urged people to “help us prevent the genocide of the indigenous peoples of Britain!”

 

LARGEST EVER SURVEY FINDS MORE THAN A QUARTER OF THE WORLD IS ANTI-SEMITIC

The most extensive survey ever conducted into attitudes towards Jews around the world has revealed that 26 percent of those polled – representing about 1.1 billion adults worldwide – harbor deeply anti-Semitic views.

Tens of thousands of people were surveyed in 93 languages, in 102 countries and territories, covering approximately 86 percent of the world’s population. The survey was commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League, using some of the world’s leading polling agencies.

The ADL, conscious of past criticism from the far left about how to define anti-Semitism, said for their latest and most extensive survey, if anything they were over-cautious and too conservative, and the extent of the problem has been understated rather than overstated.”

To avoid controversy, questions about Israeli policy or the Israeli-Arab conflict were not included in the survey.

 

IS SOME OF THE RESPONSE TO THIS SURVEY ITSELF ANTI-SEMITIC?

As far as I can tell, this survey is as accurate as it can be, although it is not without its faults and no such survey could be free from some valid criticism – for example, two of the questions (about finance) seem similar, whereas there is no question about, for example, whether people think Jews kill Christian children for Passover or engage in human organ harvesting – and some people in eastern Europe, where such murderous blood libels have been historically prevalent, might have answered yes to that. There are also one or two surprising results, such as the very low level of anti-Semitism in Sweden, given the high number of anti-Semitic attacks there in recent years.

Of course, all polls are useful only up to a certain point. This is no less the case in this instance. One wonders whether the sizeable amount of criticism this poll has received could easily have been leveled at any poll ever conducted (similar problems plague most polls, where researchers have to decide what questions to leave in and what to take out based on time and financial constraints). The amount of criticism being directed at this poll, and at the organization which commissioned it (the ADL) might itself be viewed as an example of the double standard used in judging Jews.

-- Tom Gross

 

AMONG THE SURVEY’S KEY FINDINGS

* Some 70 percent of anti-Semites said they have never met a Jew. (Overall, 74 percent of respondents said they had never met a Jew.)

* Thirty-five percent of those surveyed had never heard of the Holocaust. Of those who had, about one-third said it is either a myth or greatly exaggerated.

* The most anti-Semitic region in the world is the Middle East and North Africa, with 74 percent harboring anti-Semitic views. Eastern Europe was second at 34 percent. The least anti-Semitic region was Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) at 14 percent.

* The three countries outside the Middle East with the highest rates of anti-Semitic attitudes were Greece, at 69 percent, Malaysia at 61 percent and Armenia at 58 percent.

* About 49 percent of Muslims worldwide hold anti-Semitic views, compared to 24 percent of Christians.

* The West Bank and Gaza were the most anti-Semitic places surveyed, with 93 percent of respondents expressing anti-Semitic views, including the belief that “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.” As I have repeatedly outlined in these dispatches much of this hate is a result of incitement found in European-funded Palestinian Authority state media.

* The Arab country with the lowest level of anti-Semitic views was Morocco, at 80 percent. Surprisingly (to some) Iran ranked as the least anti-Semitic country in the Middle East, at 56 percent.

* After the Palestinian territories, the most anti-Semitic places were Iraq, where 92 percent harbor anti-Semitic views; Yemen at 88 percent; Algeria and Libya at 87 percent; Tunisia at 86 percent; Kuwait at 82 percent; and Bahrain and Jordan at 81 percent.

* While a large majority of Middle Easterners (74%) hold anti-Semitic views, the two least anti-Semitic peoples among the 18 polled were the two non-Arab ones, although a majority were still found to be anti-Semitic. Over half of Iranians (56%) and two-thirds of Turks (69%) hold anti-Semitic views, compared to 82.5% of Arabs. (Historically too, Persians and Turks were more tolerant of Jews, compared to the Arabs where – contrary to the myths propagated by anti-Zionists – Jews were mistreated for centuries, though not, of course, to the same level as in Europe.)

* Among all Muslims (Arabs included), less than half (49%) are anti-Semitic. Muslims in India, Indonesia and elsewhere are less likely to be anti-Semitic.

* In some places, such as Eastern Europe, Muslims are less likely to be anti-Semitic (20%) than Christians (35%).

* The least anti-Semitic country overall was Laos, where 0.2 percent of the population holds anti-Semitic views. The Philippines, Sweden, the Netherlands and Vietnam all came in at 6 percent or lower.

* Approximately 9 percent of Americans and 14 percent of Canadians harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

* Anti-Semitic attitudes in Britain are relatively low. However, in contrast to some other countries, some anti-Semitic myths about Jews in Britain are more prevalent among young people than older people.

* The Czech Republic stands out as the least anti-Semitic country in Eastern Europe, with 13 percent of Czechs harboring anti-Semitic views. In Eastern Europe, the most anti-Semitic country was Poland (45 percent).

* In Western Europe, the most anti-Semitic countries were Greece (69 percent) and France (37 percent).

* Christians in Eastern Orthodox and Catholic countries are more likely to harbor anti-Semitic views than those in Protestant countries.

* Survey finds that more Ukrainians (38%) than Russians (30%) hold anti-Semitic views.

* Overall, 34 percent of respondents older than 65 were deemed anti-Semitic, compared to 25 percent of those younger than 65. Men polled were slightly more anti-Semitic than women.

 

THE MOST AND LEAST ANTI-SEMITIC COUNTRIES

According to the poll, the most anti-Semitic countries/territories are:

West Bank and Gaza – 93 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views
Iraq – 92 percent
Yemen – 88 percent
Algeria – 87 percent
Libya – 87 percent
Tunisia – 86 percent
Kuwait – 82 percent
Bahrain – 81 percent
Jordan – 81 percent
Morocco – 80 percent

The least anti-Semitic countries/territories are are:

Laos – 0.2 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views
Philippines — 3 percent
Sweden – 4 percent
Netherlands – 5 percent
Vietnam – 6 percent
United Kingdom – 8 percent
United States – 9 percent
Denmark – 9 percent
Tanzania – 12 percent
Thailand – 13 percent


There is another dispatch today here:

The world’s most pervasive form of abuse: The Pleasures of Anti-Semitism.

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