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Posted June 11, 2003
Lenni Brenner¿s new book serves as a documentary ally to his previous work on this issue, especially Zionism in the Age of the Dictators (1983). The underlying idea for the Zionist -Nazi connection was succinctly expressed in a Nazi document, a report on Eichmann¿s 1937 trip to Palestine and Egypt. ¿In Jewish nationalist circles people were very pleased with the radical German policy since the strength of the Jewish population in Palestine would be so far increased thereby that in the foreseeable future the Jews could reckon upon numerical superiority of the Arabs in Palestine.¿ In his famous document of 1923, ¿The Iron Wall¿ Vladimir Jabotinsky makes explicit the Zionist view that ¿justice¿ demands a majority of Jews in Palestine and at the same time, his understanding that the Arabs will never willingly agree to the massive Jewish immigration that would be required to make the Arabs a minority in their own country. One of the most important documents Brenner reprints is one that is based on Eichmann¿s testimony originally published two parts in Life Magazine under the title, ¿¿I Transported Them to the Butcher,¿ Eichmann¿s Own Story,¿ published after Eichmann was captured in 1960. The material comes from taped interviews Eichmann originally gave to a Dutch Nazi journalist in 1955 in connection with the trial in Israel of Dr. Renzo Kastner. At that time, Kastner was an Israeli government official who during the war, had collaborated with Eichmann in order help a few thousand Jews escape to Palestine. Eichmann¿s motivation to agree to the deal was to avoid another Warsaw Ghetto style uprising in Hungary. In the end, Eichmann successfully transported more than 600,000 Hungarian Jews to the ovens of Auschwitz. The few who escaped, he later said, were a cheap price to pay for the smooth Hungarian operation. Eichmann openly says that at a certain moment, Hitler ordered the ¿liquidation¿ of the Jews and hints that he didn¿t necessarily believe that it was a correct decision. Part of Eichmann¿s job entailed his presence at a number of executions of Jews. (One would think that Eichmann¿s testimony alone would be sufficient to silence the Holocaust deniers, but alas, things don¿t seem to work that way in the real world.) The 1978 memoir of Nathan Yellin ¿Mor, one of the leaders of the Stern Gang, is a fascinating example of how ideology shapes reality. He explains the wartime motives behind the Stern gang¿s drive to fight the British and make an alliance with the Nazis despite the clear understanding that ¿Germany had declared war on the Jewish `race.¿ Yellin-Mor quotes Yair, (Avraham Stern¿s underground name), who made a distinction between the ¿foe¿ (Britain) and the ¿arch enemy¿ (Nazi Germany). Since the ¿foe is in control of our homeland and denies the Hebrew people statehood and freedom¿ the presence of the arch enemy must not put off the struggle against the foe ¿ even for a single day.¿ Implicit is the fascist ideology of the Stern Gang which dismissed the humanity of the Arabs to be displaced in Palestine just as the Nazis dehumanized the Jews in order to destroy them. One of the most affecting documents was written by one of the heroes of the Holocaust, Rabbi Michoe Ber Weissmandel, an Oxford student who returned to his native Slovakia when war broke out. His ¿Personal Story¿ printed in 1986 in the Jewish Guardian recounts how he was able to use Jewish money from abroad to save Jewish lives in Europe and how his pleas for more money from rich Jews abroad fell on deaf ears.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.