William E. Grim
Posted Sep 13 2002
(1) It was unfortunate that America and Germany fought each other in World War II because the real enemy was Russia.
(2) Yes, the Nazis were excessive, but terrible things happen during wars, and anyway, the scope of the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated by the American media, which is dominated by Jews.
(3) CNN is controlled by American Jews and is anti-Palestinian. (Yes, I know it sounds incredible, but even among the most highly intelligent Germans, even those with a near-native fluency in English, there is the widespread belief that the news network founded by Fidel Castro’s best friend Ted Turner, who until recently was married to Hanoi Jane Fonda, is a hotbed of pro-Israeli propaganda.)
(4) Almost all Germans were opposed to the Third Reich and nobody in Germany knew anything about the murder of the Jews, but the Jews themselves were really responsible for the Holocaust.
(5) Ariel Sharon is worse than Hitler and the Israelis are Nazis. America supports Israel only because Jews control the American government and media.
For the first time in my life, then, I became conscious of anti-Semitism. Sure, anti-Semitism exists elsewhere in the world, but nowhere have the consequences been as devastating as in Germany.
Looking at it as objectively as possible, 2002 has been a banner year for anti-Semitism in Germany. Synagogues have been firebombed, Jewish cemeteries desecrated, the No. 1 best-selling novel, Martin Walser’s Death of a Critic, is a thinly-veiled roman a clef containing a vicious anti-Semitic attack on Germany?s best-known literary critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki (who is a survivor of both the Warsaw ghetto and Auschwitz); the Free Democrat Party has unofficially adopted anti-Semitism as a campaign tactic to attract Germany’s sizeable Muslim minority; and German revisionist historians now are beginning to define German perpetration of World War II and the Holocaust not as crimes against humanity, but as early battles (with regrettable but understandable excesses) in the Cold War against communism.
The situation is so bad that German Jews are advised not to wear anything in public that would identify them as Jewish because their safety cannot be guaranteed.
How can this be? Isn’t this the “New Germany” that’s gone 57 years without a Holocaust or even a pogrom, where truth, justice and the German way prevail amidst economic wealth, a high standard of living that is the envy of their European neighbors, and a constitution guaranteeing freedom for everyone regardless of race, creed or national origin? What’s changed? The answer is: absolutely nothing.
My thesis is quite simple. While Germany no longer has the military power to enforce the racist ideology of the Nazis and while all extreme manifestations of Nazism are officially outlawed, the internal conditions — that is, the attitudes, worldview and cultural assumptions — that led to the rise of Nazism in Germany are still present because they constitute the basic components of German identity. Nazism was not an aberration; it was the distillation of the German psyche into its essential elements. External Nazism may have been utterly defeated in May of 1945; internal Nazism, however, remains, and will always remain, a potential threat as long as there exists a political and/or cultural entity known as Germany.
Now hold on a second, I hear many people saying. You can’t possibly claim that Germans are as anti-Semitic today as they were during the years 1933-1945. It is true that Germany today is much different than during the Third Reich. What is different is that due to its total defeat by the Allies, Germany today is a client state of America and must do its bidding. That means repression of overt anti-Semitism. It’s bad for business.
The other thing that has changed is that, even though Hitler lost World War II, he was phenomenally successful in carrying out his ideological agenda. Germany, indeed virtually all of Europe, is essentially Judenfrei (free of Jews) today due to the efficiency and zeal of the Germans as they perpetrated the Holocaust during the Third Reich. In fact, a very convincing case can be made that Nazism is one of the most successful political programs of all time. It accomplished more of its goals in a shorter amount of time than any other comparable political movement and permanently changed the face and political structure of several continents. Germany is wealthy, stable, relentlessly bourgeois, and for all intents and purposes free of Jews.
Yes, there is a tiny minority of Jews, mostly centered in Berlin, and yes, there have been a number of Jews from the former Soviet Union who have emigrated to Germany, but most of the immigrants from Russia are not practicing Jews and do little if anything to promote a unique Jewish-German identity. The result of all this is that Germans today are able to reap the benefits of Hitler?s anti-Semitic policies while paying lip service to the “need to remember.”
Young Fritz doesn’t have to be overtly anti-Semitic today because his grandfather’s generation did such a bang-up job of the Holocaust. There just aren’t that many Jews left to hate any more, and besides, the Germans have their old buddies, the Arabs, to do their hating for them. You might call the overwhelming German support for the Palestinians to be a form of anti-Semitism-by-proxy.
The German government has made cash payments to the State of Israel, as well as to individual Jews, to settle claims of murder, torture, false imprisonment, slave labor and genocide. Talk to most Germans and you’ll soon discover that they think that the score has been settled between Germany and the Jews, that somehow the return of just a portion of what the Germans stole from the Jews is fair recompense for the deliberate murder of millions of people.
In many respects Germany got away with the Holocaust without paying much of a price. Yes, many Germans died as a result of German perpetration of World War II and the Holocaust, and yes, there was much physical destruction in the country, but the situation is like the little boy who steals a cookie from the tray when it is cooling on the kitchen table. For his efforts he may have gotten his hand slapped by his mother, but the stolen cookie remains eaten nonetheless.
After having committed the worst crimes in the history of humankind, the Germans were allowed to regain their sovereignty after only ten years; their infrastructure was completely rebuilt thanks to the generosity of the American people; and relatively few Germans were brought to trial for their monstrous crimes. Even those who were tried and convicted received relatively short sentences or had those reduced or commuted in general amnesties. For example, some members of the Einsatzkommandos, those Germans who, before the construction of the death camps, hunted and murdered Jews by the hundreds of thousands, received sentences of as little as five years imprisonment.
If there were true justice in the world, Germany would no longer exist as a separate country, but would have long ago had its territory divided up and dispersed among the Allies. It was an unfortunate historical coincidence that the Cold War began just as Germany was at last being brought to task for its many crimes and atrocities extending back to the First World War. The new threat of the Soviet Union took precedence over a just settling of accounts with Germany. The tragic result is that many of the countries raped and despoiled by Germany, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, are just now coming out of decades of economic decline, while Germany — fat, sassy, arrogant, self-satisfied, and essentially Judenfrei — has enjoyed four decades of undeserved economic prosperity.
We can’t turn back the clock to redress all of the historical wrongs that have been committed by the Germans, but there are a number of things that can be done to assure that Germany can never again be in a position to threaten the rest of the civilized world.
First and foremost is the realization that, while not all Germans are anti-Semitic, there is an anti-Semitic tendency within German culture that extends back to the time of Martin Luther. Germans are instinctively anti-Semitic in the same way that Americans are instinctively freedom loving. Anti-Semitism has been and unfortunately remains the default ideology of the German people. All things being equal, Germans will instinctively support the enemies of the State of Israel. Therefore, America will need to monitor closely and be ready and politically willing to intervene at a moment’s notice in German affairs when it appears that Germany is back-sliding into anti-Semitism.
Additionally, it should be a goal of American foreign policy to oppose and to accelerate the dismemberment of the European Union. We must not allow German domination of the EU to accomplish through parliamentary maneuvering and brokered deals what Hitler and the Germans were unable to accomplish during the Third Reich. Given Germany’s resurgent anti-Semitism (and that of France as well), a strong, German-dominated EU that tolerates and even benignly encourages anti-Semitism, and is diplomatically allied with the Arab world, is potentially the greatest threat to Judaism since Nazi Germany and a major threat to the United States as well.
The enemies of Israel are the enemies of the United States. Let all Jews and Americans stand united as we proclaim never again to both the Holocaust and 9/11. (www.iconoclast.ca)
William E. Grim is a writer who lives in Germany and is a native of Columbus, Ohio. He can be reached at [email protected] You can read more by and about him at The Official William E. Grim Website (williamegrim.tripod.com).