Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Costa-Gavras film "Amen" takes place during the years of accelerated Holocaust efforts. It focuses on Kurt Gerstein's futile attempts to bring the knowledge to the outside world and especially his failure to puncture the Pope's rare capacity for staying in a state of graceful denial despite the howling of beasts all around him. The more generic message in the movie is:

No one wants to hear...

The Holocaust was not Germans against Jews. It was Europe against the Jews. The Nazis found assistants in every European country. But in the western, southern and northern countries, the collaboration stopped at the train stations. Dutch police did not murder the Jews; they just put them on trains. It was in the east that one killed them... In Lithuania, 98 percent of the Jews were murdered in their own villages. There was only one transport from there to Auschwitz. In Estonia, Croatia or Ukraine, the Germans found a lot of people who were ready to murder. And of course no one in these countries wants to hear that any more."


Later today: funny, that I should have mentioned the refusal to deal with Holocaust guilt in East Europe, just as this story is breaking:

.. Fr Rydzyk was recorded as saying: "You know what this is about: Poland giving [the Jews] $65 billion (£32 billion). They will come to you and say, 'Give me your coat! Take off your trousers! Give me your shoes!' "

The apparent tirade drew a harsh response from president Lech Kaczynski's office, which described it as "scandalous".

But it is sure to re-ignite suspicions of enduring and widespread anti-semitism in Poland, where three million Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Many of those who survived the war faced continued persecution under the country's communist regime. Poland's Jewish community now numbers only about 30,000.

The compensation deal at the heart of the recording has bedevilled Poland for years, and concerns not only Jews but all those who lost property to the communists.

The total value of assets seized is now worth about £13 billion according to campaign groups, of which approximately £2.2 billion is sought by Jewish claimants.

While the Polish government is certainly anxious the repair the rip in civilization known as the Holocaust, and willing to suit action to word, it is doubtful whether the priest's libel will fail to incite the people.

In another item of news today, the same Rydzyk "is heard on the tapes lashing out at the prime minister's wife Maria, saying her support for limited abortion rights amounts to backing euthanasia:

"The first lady with this euthanasia. . . You witch, I'll let you have it. If you want to kill people, do it to yourself first."[-]

In March he criticised Maria Kaczynska in public after she signed a declaration in support of the existing abortion law – already strict by European standards – which allows terminations only when the pregnancy poses a threat to a woman's life, or results from rape, or when the foetus is damaged.

Rydzyk said Kaczynska has turned the presidential palace from a "perfumery into a sewage tank".

I have to wonder if antisemitic defamation is not a simply cynical tool manipulated by this man of God in order to soften and sway his listeners to accept his word on the second issue. It is not unknown in history, and in the Muslim world, that some people are extremely gullible when it comes to believing the most outlandish allegations about the Jews which serve as a useful tool for kneading public opinion.

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