Jan Peczkis's Reviews > Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949

Final Solution by David Cesarani
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This Holocaust Textbook a Thinly-Veiled Promotion of the Holocaust Industry: Combines Insight and Orwellian Cant in Analyzing Locals’ Acquisition of Post-Jewish Property

To begin with, what does Holocaust mean? Many Jewish historians say it refers exclusively to the Nazi German genocide of Jews, while other scholars recognize the Nazi German genocides of non-Jews as part of the definition of the term Holocaust. (p. xxix). [Since, to most people, the term Holocaust refers only to Jews, I use the term Polokaust to refer to the Nazi German genocide of Poles.]

DON’T FORGET: IT WAS NAZI GERMAN ACTIONS THAT MADE JEWS INTO HUNTED ANIMALS, AND IT WAS HAZI GERMAN ACTIONS THAT INDUCED THE CONQUERED PEOPLES TO ENGAGE IN THE HUNT

The author comments, “By encouraging local populations to plunder their neighbours, the Germans inveigled them into complicity with persecution and genocide…By putting a price on the head of Jewish fugitives and creating opportunities for exploiting those in hiding, they transmuted Jews into commodities, an economic resource to be exploited by populations living in straitened, uncertain times.” (p. xxxviii).

So far, so good. However, Cesarani leaves all this locked up in a narrow, Judeocentric framework. Here Poles were living under the verge of starvation under daily German terror, and Cesarani informs us that they were living in “straitened, uncertain times.” I just love it!

But wait, it gets better.

BLAMING THE POLES FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF NAZI GERMAN CRIMES: A THINLY-VEILED PROMOTION OF THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY

Cesarani then delivers the following volley of loaded statements, “Greed not anti-Semitism motivated many people to align themselves with the German occupiers. Jew-hatred became as much a justification for despoliation as a motive. Those who enriched themselves at the cost of the Jews became committed to an anti-Jewish stance regardless of their previous intentions or feelings about the Jewish people. The steady intensification of anti-Jewish feeling during the war was undoubtedly a product of German propaganda, but it was also a consequence of German-orchestrated plunder. Fear of restitution played a role in the hostility directed at Jewish survivors by people liberated from German rule while in possession of purloined Jewish property…Looking for the roots of Jew-hatred in religious traditions, culture and ideology overlooks the most powerful and rapid device for generating antipathy: the guilt feelings that accompany ill-gotten gains.” (p. xxxviii).

Cesarani gets a few things right: Everything that happened owed to Nazi German actions. Anti-Semitism didn’t cause property acquisition; it was the other way around. And neither Christianity nor Endek beliefs, the usual targets for opprobrium, should be blamed for untoward Polish actions towards Jews.

Otherwise, Cesarani should get an A-plus in Orwellian doublespeak. Here a brutalized and demoralized Polish people were in a day-to-day struggle for survival, in desperate poverty and near-starvation conditions, thanks to the deliberate actions of the Nazi German conqueror, and yet we hear the following gems:

Greed

Jew-hatred

despoliation

enriched themselves

purloined Jewish property

guilt feelings

ill-gotten gains

In fact, the “guilt feelings” rap is straight out of neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross. Can the Holocaust Industry be far behind?

Cesarani doesn’t get it. It was the Germans’ fault, and not the Poles’ fault, that the Poles found themselves in such a degraded condition that some of them denounced and stole from Jews. And, because of the same fault of the Germans, Jews also denounced and stole from other Jews; Jews denounced and stole from Poles; and Poles denounced and stole from other Poles. Apropos to the latter, Cesarani should have read Zygmunt Klukowski’s diary, which he cites, [also see my review] a little more carefully. It is full of examples of Poles acting against other Poles. Yet if Poles acted against Jews, it is now something profound and mystical.

The acquisition of the property of the dead, by the living, is unremarkable. It occurs during and after every war, and is completely normal and proper. It has nothing to do with “greed”, “despoliation”, “enriching” oneself, “purloining” property, and still less “ill-gotten gains”.

Finally, it was because of the Nazi Germans’, not the Poles’, fault that the Jewish owners of most individual and communal properties were no longer alive to use them. There is nothing improper with Poles inheriting and using these once-Jewish properties during and after the war. It is standard operating procedure.

The facts are clear. The Holocaust Industry should go after the perpetrators—the Germans. Keep your hands off the victim Poles!

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THE HOLOCAUST EXCEPTIONALITY MYTH—PROPOUNDED BY AUTHOR CESARINI—OF THE JEWS A PERCEIVED UNIQUE ENEMY OF NAZI GERMANY

David Cesarani writes, “…only the Jews were characterized as an implacable, powerful, global enemy that had to be fought at every turn and finally eliminated. When Hitler reiterated his determination to avert a collapse similar to that which brought down Germany in 1918, he referred to the danger posed by Jews rather than any other element of society.” (pp. xxxix).

Here, Cesarani distorts the facts. To begin with, some 1/3rd of Jews within reach of Nazi Germany remained alive. As for ideological imperatives, Nazi German literature often juxtaposed Poles, Jews, and the Catholic Church as apocalyptic enemies of the Reich. One the eve of his suicide, Hitler was not only obsessed with Jews. He plainly said that the much-despised Slavs had triumphed.

Now see my review of the last set of Goebbels’ diaries, FINAL ENTRIES 1945. Weeks before the defeat of the Third Reich and Goebbels’ own suicide, he still blamed Poles as well as Jews for starting WWII and causing the disaster that was overtaking Germany. Finally, any Nazi German wish for the eventual vicarious defeat of the Third Reich’s enemies was not limited to that of the Jews. Goebbels took seeming pleasure in the fact that Poland would now be under Soviet domination, and that the British Empire would soon come to an end. Both, of course, happened. In a sense, this gave the Third Reich a sought-after posthumous victory.

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Let us end on a positive note. Here are some well thought-out statements by David Cesarani:

THE HOLOCAUST EXCEPTIONALITY MYTH OF AN “IRRATIONAL” GENOCIDE WHERE THE PERPETRATOR HARMED HIMSELF ECONOMICALLY

“Although Jews did provide skills and labour in some places for a time, they were never indispensable and hardly contributed to essential aspects of the Nazi war machine.” (p. xxxiii).

THE HOLOCAUST EXCEPTIONALITY MYTH OF AN “IRRATIONAL” GENOCIDE WHERE THE PERPETRATOR HARMED HIMSELF MILITARILY

“The Germans and their allies were desperately short of locomotives and rolling stock by 1941, but the number of special trains used to carry Jews was a minute proportion of the total volume of rail traffic and the army always had priority. The deportation of Jews was routinely stopped to ensure that supplies flowed to the front but no military action was ever suspended to ensure that the shipment of Jews to the gas chambers continued without interruption.” (p. xxxiii).

THE HOLOCAUST EXCEPTIONALITY MYTH OF AN “IRRATIONAL” GENOCIDE IN WHICH THE PERPETRATOR DID NOT BENEFIT MATERIALLY

“One of the major themes to emerge from research since the 1990s is the extent to which despoliation and economic exploitation underpinned the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazis, their allies and collaborators. For the Germans, the confiscation of Jewish wealth was an important supplementary source of funding for the voracious war economy.” (p. xxxvii).
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January 5, 2019 – Shelved

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