Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil;Jews--and Not Poles---Who Collaborated With the Nazis, Were Decisive in the Destruction of Europe's Jews by the Germans (Nazis)jan peczkis|Sunday, January 15, 2017
This classic provides a wealth of information, and upends many of the Holocaust myths that have accreted in the over-50 years since this work was written by the courageous Jewish author. Though relatively old, Jewish author Hannah Arendt's work goes a long way towards undoing the mystification of the Holocaust.
Throughout this work, Arendt gives various biographical details of Adolf Eichmann. For example, she mentions that he was a Gottglaubiger (p. 27), a Nazi term for those who had broken with Christianity, and which Eichmann maintained right up to the very moment of his hanging, having refused the solace and Bible reading of a Protestant minister (p. 252).
THE DECISIVE ROLE OF JEWISH--NOT POLISH--COLLABORATORS IN THE UNFOLDING HOLOCAUST
While most recent Holocaust materials (especially nowadays) focus on the real or imagined collaboration of locals in the sending of Jews to their deaths, Arendt is unsparing in her criticism of Jewish collaborators in this regard: "Without Jewish help in administrative and police work--the final roundup of Jews in Berlin was, as I have mentioned, done entirely by Jewish police--there would have been either complete chaos or an impossibly severe drain on German manpower." (p. 117). She adds that, , "Because of this collaboration, only a few thousand Germans, most of whom furthermore only did office work, were able to send hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths." (p. 117). Finally, Arendt concludes that, "Wherever Jews lived, there were recognized Jewish leaders, and this leadership, almost without exception, cooperated in one way or another, for one reason or another, with the Nazis. The whole truth was that if the Jewish people had been unorganized and leaderless, there would have been chaos and plenty of misery but the total number of victims would hardly have been between four and a half and six million. (According to Freudiger's calculations about half of them could have saved themselves if they had not followed the instructions of the Jewish councils...)." (p. 125).
THE POLES WERE NEXT IN LINE FOR THE FINAL SOLUTION
Neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross, who has gotten a great deal of one-sided publicity for his books (NEIGHBORS, FEAR, and GOLDEN HARVEST), has asserted that the 2-3 million Poles who died in the hands of the Germans were largely the collateral victims of military action. Arendt knows better: "...Eichmann knew that right behind the front lines all Russian functionaries ("Communists"), all Polish members of the professional classes, and all native Jews were being killed in mass shootings." (p. 95). "At no point, however, either in the proceedings or the judgment, did the Jerusalem trial mention even the possibility that extermination of whole ethnic groups--the Jews, or the Poles, or the Gypsies--might be more than a crime against the Jewish or the Polish or the Gypsy people, that the international order, and mankind in its entirety, might have been grievously hurt and endangered." (pp. 275-276). Arendt realizes the alternative future: "The measures against Eastern Jews were not only the result of anti-Semitism, they were part and parcel of an all-embracing demographic policy, in the course of which, had the Germans won the war, the Poles would have suffered the same fate as the Jews--genocide. This is no mere conjecture: the Poles in Germany were already being forced to wear a distinguishing badge in which the "P" replaced the Jewish star, and this, which we have seen, was always the first measure to be taken by the police in instituting the process of destruction)." (pp. 217-218).
NOT TRUE THAT, WHEREAS CAPTIVE POLES COULD SOMETIMES BE RELEASED BY THE NAZIS, CAPTIVE JEWS NEVER COULD BE
Arendt (p. 42, 118, etc.) elaborates on the actions of a Jew, Rudolf Kastner (Kasztner). He made a deal with Eichmann in which 1,684 Jews were allowed to go to Palestine in exchange for Kastner's silence before and during which 476,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
PRE-WWII EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE SHOAH
Arendt (p. 39) gives the readers a taste of the scale of the Kristallnacht (November 1938): 7,500 Jewish shop windows broken, all synagogues burned, and 20,000 Jewish men incarcerated in concentration camps. In common with many others who wrote during the first two decades after WWII, Arendt (p. 5, 11-12) addresses the issue of Jewish passivity in the face of death during the later roundups and transports to the death camps.
A LOT OF PRE-WWII PEOPLE PRAISED HITLER
Arendt briefly discusses Hitler's flouting of the Versailles treaty and his rise to power. While Jan T. Gross has asserted that there were Poles who praised Hitler in the 1930's, Arendt makes it clear that this was far from limited to Poland during that time: "...Hitler was admired everywhere as a great national statesman." (p. 37).
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