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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Finkelstein, Holocaust hoaxes and denials

I’ve been trying to put my list of books to read online so I can stop carrying around 100s of tiny bits of paper with titles or authors scribbled on them. I decided to see which ones I could find at my little local library. I found 2 or 3 of the 40 or so. I did find 2 others on the Middle East and The Conflict that sounded interesting. Prisoners was one. Should have left that one on the shelf. So, that brings me to Finkelstein’s book. I searched and found no Pappe, Findley, Segev, etc, but Dershowitz aplenty. Naturally I was pretty surprised to see Finkelstein come up in the search results.

"The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering" by Norman Finkelstein discusses some of these works (of fiction, as it turns out) below and the implications and or possible causes.

I would feel a little sad to read a great memoir of someone who overcomes such tragedy only to find out its a fake. Maybe it wouldn't make much difference, though. A good story is a good story. But there is just something about it being a true account. Maybe, as suggested elsewhere, the story became their own in the course of the writing such that they couldn't separate themselves from it. Creative genius?

Holocaust Memoirs Subsequently Found to be Fictional:

"The Painted Bird" by Jerzy Kosinsky

"Hitler's Willing Executioners" by Goldhagen (Finkelstein calls it “Fragments with footnotes”)

"Fragments" by Binjamin Wilkomirski

"Angel at the Fence" by Herman Rosenblat- outed ~ Dec 2008

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"In A Nation on Trial" by Ruth Bettina Birn- an exposee on one or more of these frauds

FYI-- Raul Hilberg is thought by Finkelstein to be a Holocaust scholar, in contrast to the above collection

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The Holocaust isn't unique in its hoax production...

Another Hoax:

A Hoax and Honor Lost for Norma Khouri
http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/7966

Book: Forbidden Love/ Honor Lost

The Real Deal:

Rana Husseini: Jordanian Journalist Who Exposed 'Honor Killings' Tells Story In New Book
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/28/rana-husseini-jordanian-j_n_246534.html
Book: "Murder in the Name of Honor"


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Around the time of the last Holocaust memoir hoax, the BBC discussed Holocaust denial or the taboo of questioning the Holocaust on WHYS. Finkelstein's book also reminded me of this. He comments on this taboo of how it is considered sacreligious to question details or to compare this tragedy with others or its victims with other victims. Both the book and the BBC make interesting points and raise interesting questions probably in a way that no one else can without being labeled anti-Semitic.

Here's the email with the show topic info:

Hi Chloe here,

He was ordered to leave Argentina after the inflammatory comments he made about the holocaust, now the Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson has returned to Britain. Now let's be clear in an interview with Swedish television he didn't deny the holocaust took place, but he did deny the extent of it. He said

"I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against -- is hugely against -- 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.....I believe there were no gas chambers."

More here: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/02/25/holocaust.bishop.britain/index.html

ON AIR: WHAT'S WRONG WITH QUESTIONING THE HOLOCAUST?

Bishop Williamson isn't the first person to step into this area. British historian David Irving was sentenced to a prison term for denying the holocaust

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4733820.stm


Richard Williamson has even been in contact with David Irving about how to present his views
http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/02/25/13327/


We're not debating whether the holocaust took place. But is this the one event in history that can't be questioned? Some people would argue that questioning the holocaust is just an opinion, and a minority one at that, so does it matter? Isn't the right to free speech important to protect, even if we find certain views offensive? Have laws outlawing holocaust denial in Germany stopped people having those views?

Or is there a danger that people who question or deny that the holocaust took place are actually legitimising the views of Neo- Nazis.

If you're to question someone's religious faith, you wouldn't be shunned by people or lose your job. But you could be if you questioned holocaust ....Why?

There is a debate taking place already....

http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/02/debating-holocaust-new-look-at-both.html

More here: http://hdot.org/

Speak later,
Chloe

SUGGEST A DEBATE FOR WHYS: http://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/suggest-a-debate/

SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHYS PODCAST: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/whys/



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