Tuesday, May 3, 2011
What Was Different About the Holocaust?
For those who would disparage the uniqueness of the Holocaust, Jeff Jacoby explains what's different about it.
The destruction of European Jewry stands alone because it was not a means to any end. The "Final Solution" was an end in itself. Jews were not murdered by the millions in the context of a struggle for power or land or wealth. There was no political or economic rationale for wiping out the Jews; they had nothing the Nazis coveted, and Germany gained nothing by their deaths. There was only the monomaniacal ideology of eliminationist antisemitism -- the determination to track down and kill anyone born of Jewish ancestry. "It was precisely this -- the fact of being born -- that was the mortal sin, to be punished by death," the historian Yehuda Bauer has observed. "That had never happened at any time -- or anywhere -- before."
Jews were satanic, Hitler said -- the seed and prototype of the Judeo-Christian values to which the National Socialist revolution was so violently opposed. Their very existence was a threat to the Nazi creed of Aryan power, blood, and soil. Consequently, they had to be physically destroyed. Not segregated, not expelled, not forced to convert or assimilate. Destroyed.
Hitler has been dead for 66 years, but in the ongoing campaign against the Jewish state, Hitlerism thrives. "Its geographic center of gravity has moved to the Middle East," writes Robert Wistrich, the foremost modern scholar of antisemitism, "but the tone and content of the rhetoric, along with the manifest will to exterminate the Jews, are virtually identical to German Nazism. . . . Radical Islamists of every stripe openly proclaim at every opportunity that the eradication of Israel is a divine commandment, the will of God, and a necessary prologue to the liberation of mankind."
Read it all.
Labels: Adolph Hitler, anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Jeff Jacoby
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 3:27 PM