by Dovid Katz
The following text is the original draft, submitted on 20 January 2015 at the invitation of the London Jewish Chronicle. An edited version (processed with all courtesies to the author) appeared in the JC on 22 January. This version is posted here simply to emphasize the author’s belief that ceremonies at Auschwitz that do not address the current massive campaign by eastern EU states to downgrade and obfuscate the Holocaust are unwittingly part of a cover-up of the very unique historical phenomena they are meant to accurately preservce and pass on. The related issue of whether Russia’s leaders will be invited to the ceremonies has been analyzed in recent pieces by Efraim Zuroff and Pinchos Fridberg.
No Cover-Up at Auschwitz!
The moral cancer of “Double Genocide” (the notion that there were “two equal Holocausts – Soviet and Nazi”), enshrined in the 2008 Prague Declaration and promoted by a Lithuanian-government sponsored “red-brown commission” continues to write the Holocaust out of history (without denying a single death). Some EU countries have even passed laws effectively criminalizing opposing views, among them Hungary and Lithuania in 2010 and Latvia in 2014. It is all sugared over with investment in “Jewish” and “Yiddish” events attractive to some Western Jewish academics and community leaders addicted to honors, funding and junkets in the vast new “Eastern European playground.”
Frighteningly, the bogus narrative has been proliferated westward, usually as a “small political price” for East Europe’s “hating the Russians properly.” Let there be no mistake: the horrendous crimes of Stalinism, and the contemptible policies of today’s Putinism need to be exposed and countered, respectively, but not by obfuscating and downgrading the Holocaust at the whim of ultranationalist elites and their often blood-racialist, anti-Semitic base.
In May of 2014, Baltic ultra-nationalists snuck into the US Congress a resolution calling for a new mix-and-match memorial day (Aug 23rd) for Soviet and Nazi victims jumbled together, which would inevitably lead to the demise of Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the UK, the Cameron government failed to reply to a dying UK Holocaust survivor who asked that his government politely critique Latvia’s annual homage to its Hitlerist Waffen SS forces. Nearly all the West’s generally robust media have given a free pass to the “mainstream” Poroshenko government in Ukraine to declare a national holiday glorifying that country’s most vicious Holocaust collaborator, Stepan Bandera, while employing militias that flaunt swastikas.
And yes, Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Army, whose magnificent bravery and vast sacrifices crushed Hitler’s eastern armies and (belatedly) halted the Holocaust on its ground zero. Three years of Soviet resistance paved the way for D-Day and the Anglo-American invasion of Normandy. For most trapped Jews, rescue by the Soviets (whether by early flight eastward, by joining the partisans in the forests, or hiding with righteous gentiles until liberation by the Red Army) was the one slim hope of survival. The grand Anglo-American-Soviet alliance that brought down Hitler’s domination of Europe, and ended the Holocaust, is one of the most significant victories of Western civilization.