Here is the complete footnotes in Holocaust Industry by Norman Finkelstein. I will provide all the sources in full. I will do this kind of activity only one, because it requires too much time. Unless I have a lot of assistant.
1. Michael Berenbaum, After Tragedy and Triumph (Cambridge: 1990), 45.
1. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: 2000), intro. by Robert Reich, p. 148.
2. Yvonne Kapp, Eleanor Marx (New York: 1976), vol. 2, p. 632.
1. Ernst Piper (ed.), Gibt es wirklich eine Holocaust-Industrie? (Munchen: 2001), Petra Steinberger (ed.), Die Finkelstein-Debatte (Munchen: 2001), Rolf Surmann (ed.), Das Finkelstein-Alibi (Koln: 2001).
2. See Christopher Hitchens, “Dead Souls,” in The Nation (18-25 September 2000).
3. According to Lexis-Nexis search for 1999, more than a quarter of the dispatches of the Times’s correspondent in Germany, Roger Cohen, hearkened back to the Holocaust. “Listening to Deutsche Welle [a German radio program,]” Raul Hilberg wryly observed, “I experience a totally different Germany than when I’m reading the New York Times.” (Berliner Zeitung, 4 September 2000) Incidentally, when the Nazi extermination was actually unfolding, the Times pretty much ignored it (see Deborah Lipstadt, Beyond Belief [New York: 1993]).
4. Indeed, even the author of Mein Kempf fared rather better in the Times book review. Although highly critical of Hitler’s anti-Semitism, the original Times review awared “this extraordinary man” high marks for “his unification of the Germans, his destruction of Communism, his training of the young, his creation of a Spartan State animated by patriotism, his curbing of parliamentary government, so unsuited to the German character, his protection of the right of private property.” (James W. Gerard, “Hitler As He Explains Himself,” in The New York Times Book Review [15 October 1933])
5. Omer Bartov, “Did Punch Cards Fuel the Holocaust?” in Newsday (25 March 2001).
6. “Holocaust Reparations: Gabriel Schoenfeld and Critics” (January 2001).
7. See Hilberg interviews posted on www.NormanFinkelstein.com under “The Holocaust Industry.”
1. In this text, Nazi holocaust suggest the actual historical event, The Holocaust its ideological representation.
2. For Wiesel’s shameful record of apologetics on behalf of Israel, see Norman G. Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn, A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth (New York: 1988), 91n83, 96n90. His record elsewhere is no better. In a new memoir, And the Sea Is Never Full (New York: 1999), Wiesel offers this incredible explanation for his silence on Palestinian suffering: “In spite of considerable pressure, I have refused to take a public stand in the Israeli-Arab conflict” (125). In his finely detailed survey of Holocaust literature, literary critic Irving Howe dispatched Wiesel’s vast corpus in one lone paragraph with the faint phrase that “Elie Wiesel’s first book, Night, [is] written simply and without rhetorical indulgence.” “There has been nothing worth reading since Night,” literary critic Alfred Kazan agrees. “Elie is now all actor. He described himself to me as a ‘lecturer in anguish.’” (Irving Howe, “Writing and the Holocaust,” in New Republic [27 October 1986]; Alfred Kazan, A Lifetime Burning in Every Moment [New York: 1996], 179)
3. New York: 1999. Norman Finkelstein, “Uses of the Holocaust,” in London Review of Books (6 January 2000).
4. Novick, The Holocaust, 3-6.
5. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (New York: 1961). Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (New York: 1959). Ella Lingens-Reiner, Prisoners of Fear (London: 1848).
1. Gore Vidal, “The Empire Lovers Strikes Back,” in Nation (22 March 1986).
2. Rochelle G. Saidel, Never Too Late to Remember (New York: 1996), 32.
3. Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, revised and enlarged edition (New York: 1965), 282. The situation in Germany wasn’t much different. For example, Joachim Fest’s justly admired biography of Hitler, published in Germany in 1973, devotes just four of 750 pages to the extermination of the Jews and a mere paragraph to Auschwitz and other death camps. (Joachim C. Fest, Hitler [New York: 1975], 679-82)
4. Raul Hilberg, The Politics of Memory (Chicago: 1996), 66, 105-37. As with scholarship, the quality of the few films on the Nazi Holocaust, however, quite impressive. Amazingly, Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) explicitly refers to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s 1927 decision sanctioning sterlization of the “mentally unfit” as a precursor of Nazi eugenics programs; Winston Churchill’s praise for Hitler as late as 1938; the arming of Hitler by profiteering American industrialists; and the opportunist postwar acquittal of German industrialists by the American military tribunal.
5. Nathan Glazer, American Judaism (Chicago: 1957), 114. Stephen J. Whitfield, “The Holocaust and the American Jewish Intellectual,” in Judaism (Fall 1979).
6. For sensitive commentary on these two contrasting types of survivor, see Primo Levi, The Reawakening, with a new afterward (New York: 1986), 207.
7. In this text, Jewish elites designates individuals prominent in the organizational and cultural life of the mainstream Jewish community.
8. Shlomo Shafir, Ambiguous Relations: The American Jewish Community and Germany Since 1945 (Detroit: 1999), 88, 98, 100-1, 111, 113, 114, 177, 192, 215, 231, 251.
9. Ibid., 98, 106, 123-37, 205, 215-16, 249. Robert Warshaw, “The ‘Idealism’ of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg,” in Commentary (November 1953). Was it merely a coincidence that at the same time, mainstream Jewish organizations crucified Hannah Arendt for pointing up the collaboration of aggrandizing Jewish elites during the Nazi era? Recalling the perfidious role of the Jewish council police force, Yitzhak Zuckerman, a leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, observed: ‘There weren’t any ‘decent’ policemen because decent men took off the uniform and became simple Jews” (A Surplus of Memory [Oxford: 1993], 244).
10. Novick, The Holocaust, 98-100. In addition to the Cold War, other factors played an ancillary role in American Jewry’s postwar downplaying of the Nazi holocaust – for example, fear of anti-Semitism, and the optimistic, assimilationist American ethos in the 1950s. Novick explores these matters in chapters 4-7 of The Holocaust.
11. Apparently the only one denying this connection is Elie Wiesel, who claims that the emergence of The Holocaust in American life was primarily his doing. (Saidel, Never Too Late, 33-4)
12. Menahem Kaufman, An Ambiguous Partnership (Jerusalem: 1991), 218, 276-7.
13. Arthur Hertzberg, Jewish Polemics (New York: 1992), 33; although misleadingly apologetic, cf. Isaac Alteras, “Eisenhower, American Jewry, and Israel,” in American Jewish Archives (November 1985), and Michael Reiner, “The Reaction of the US Jewish Organizations to the Sinai Campaign and Its Aftermath,” in Forum (Winter 1980-1)
14. Nathan Glazer, American Judaism (Chicago: 1957), 114. Glazer continued: “Israel has meant almost nothing for American Judaism .... [T]he idea that Israel ... could in any serious way affect Judaism in America ... is recognized as illusory” (115).
15. Shafir, Ambiguous Reader, 222.
16. See, for example, Alexander Bloom, Prodigal Sons (New York: 1986).
17. Lucy Dawidowicz and Milton Himmelfarb (eds), Conference on Jewish Identity Here and Now (American Jewish Committee: 1967).
18. After emigrating from Germany in 1933, Arendt became an activist in the French Zionist movement; during World War II through Israel’s founding, she wrote extensively on Zionism. The son of a prominent American Hebraist, Chomsky was raised in a Zionist home and, shortly after Israel’s independence, spent time on a kibbutz. Both the public campaigns vilifying Arendt in the early 1960s and Chomsky in the 1970s were spearheaded by the ADL. (Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt [New Haven: 1982], 105-8, 138-9, 143-4, 182-4, 223-33, 348; Robert F. Barsky, Noam Chomsky [Cambridge: 1997], 9-93; David Barsamian (ed.), Chronicles of Dissent [Monroe, ME: 1992], 38)
19. For an early prefigurement of my argument, see Hannah Arendt, “Zionism Reconsidered (1944), in Ron Feldman (ed.), The Jew as Pariah (New York: 1978), 159.
20. Making It (New York: 1967), 336.
21. Breaking Ranks (New York: 1979), 335.
22. Robert I. Friedman, “The Anti-Defamation League Is Spying On You,” in Village Voice (11 May 1993). Abdeen Jabara, “The Anti-Defamation League: Civil Rights and Wrongs,” in CovertAction (Summer 1993). Matt Isaacs, “Spy vs Spite,” in SF Weekly (2-8 February 2000).
23. Elie Wiesel, Against Silence, selected and edited by Irving Abrahamson (New York: 1984), v. i, 283.
24. Novick, The Holocaust, 147. Lucy S. Dawidowicz, The Jewish Presence (New York: 1977), 26.
25. “Eruption in the Middle East,” in Dissent (Winter 1957).
26. “Israel: Thinking the Unthinkable,” in New York magazine (24 December 1973).
27. Norman G. Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (New York: 1995), chaps 5-6.
28. Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle (Boston: 1983), 4.
29. Elie Wiesel’s career illuminates the nexus between The Holocaust and the June war. Although he had already published his memoir of Auschwitz, Wiesel won public acclaim only after writing two volumes celebrating Israel’s victory. (Wiesel, And the Sea, 16).
30. Kaufman, Ambiguous Partnership, 287, 306-7. Steven L. Spiegel, The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict (Chicago: 1985), 17, 32.
31. Benny Morris, 1948 And After (Oxford: 1990), 14-15. Uri Bialer, Between East and West (Cambridge: 1990), 180-1.
32. Novick, The Holocaust, 148.
33. See, for example, Amnon Kapeliouk, Israel: la fin des mythes (Paris: 1975).
34. Novick, The Holocaust, 152.
35. Commentary, “Letter from Israel” (February 1957). Throughout the Suez crisis, Commentary repeatedly sounded the warning that Israel’s “very survival” was at stake.
36. Abba Eban, Personal Witness (New York: 1992), 272.
37. Peter Grose, Israel in the Mind of America (New York: 1983), 304.
38. A.F.K. Organski, The $36 Billion Bargain (New York: 1990), 163, 48.
39. Finkelstein, Image and Reality, chap. 6.
40. Novick, The Holocaust, 149-50. Novick cites here the noted Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner.
41. Ibid., 153, 155.
42. Ibid., 69-77.
43. Tom Segev, The Seventh Million (New York: 1993), part VI.
44. Concern for survivors of the Nazi holocaust was equally contrived: a liability before June 1967, they were silenced; an asset after June 1967, they were sanctified.
45. Response (December 1988). Prominent Holocaust-mongers and Israel-supporters like ADL national director Abraham Foxman, past president of the AJC Morris Abram, and chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Kenneth Bialkin, not to mention Henry Kissinger, all rose to Reagan’s defence during the Bitburg visit, while the AJC hosted West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s loyal foreign minister as the guest of honor at its annual meeting the same week. In like spirit, Michael Berenbaum of the Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum later attributed Reagan’s Bitburg trip and statesments to “the naive sense of American optimism.” (Shafir, Ambiguous Relations, 302-4; Berenbaum, After Tragedy, 14).
46. Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene (Cambridge: 1995), 159.
47. Novick, The Holocaust, 166.
48. Lipset and Raab, Jews, 26-7.
49. Charles Silberman, A Certain People (New York: 1985), 78, 80, 81.
50. Novick, The Holocaust, 170-2.
51. Arnold Foster and Benjamin R. Epstein, The New Anti-Semitism (New York: 1974), 107.
52. Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew (New York: 1965), 28.
53. Saidel, Never Too Late, 222. Seth Mnookin, “Will NYPD Look to Los Angeles For Latest ‘Sensitivity’ Training?” in Forward (7 January 2000). The articles reports that the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center are vying for the franchise on programs teaching “tolerance.”
54. Noam Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors (New York: 1986), 29-30 (Rubinstein).
55. For a survey of recent poll data confirming this trend, see Murray Friedman, “Are American Jews Moving to the Right?” in Commentary (April 2000). In the 1997 New York City mayoral contest putting Ruth Messinger, a mainstream Democrat, against Rudolph Giuliani, a law-and-order Republican, for example, fully 75% of the Jewish vote went for Giuliani. Significantly, to vote for Giuliani, Jews had to cross traditional party as well as ethnic lines (Messinger is Jewish).
56. It seems that the shift was also in part due to the displacement of a cosmopolitan Central European Jewish leadership by arriviste and shtetl-chauvinist Jews of Eastern Europe descent like New York City mayor Edward Koch and New York Times executive editor A.M. Rosenthal. In this regard it bears notice that the Jewish historians dissenting from Holocaust dogmatism have typically come from Central Europe – for example, Hannah Arendt, Henry Friedlander, Raul Hilberg, and Arno Mayer.
57. See, e.g., Jack Salzman and Cornel West (eds), Struggles in the Promised Land (New York: 1997), esp. chaps 6, 8, 9, 14, 15. (Kaufman at 111; Greenberg at 166) To be sure, a vocal minority of Jews dissented from this rightward drift.
58. Nathan Perlmutter and Ruth Ann Perlmutter, The Real Anti-Semitism in America (New York: 1982).
59. Novick, The Holocaust, 1973 (Podhoretz).
1. Boas Evron, “Holocaust: The Uses of Disaster,” in Radical America (July-August 1983), 15.
2. For the distinction between Holocaust literature and Nazi holocaust scholarship, See Finkelstein and Birn, Nation, part one, section3.
3. Jacob Neusner (ed.), Judaism in Cold War America, 1945-1990, v. ii: In the Aftermath of the Holocaust (New York: 1993), viii.
4. David Stannard, “Uniqueness as Denial,” in Alan Rosenbaum (ed.), Is the Holocaust Unique? (Boulder: 1996), 193.
5. Jean-Michel Chaumont, La concurrence des victimes (Paris: 1997), 148-9. Chaumont’s dissection of the “Holocaust uniqueness” debate is a tour de force. Yet his central thesis does not persuade, at least for the American scene. According to Chaumont, The Holocaust phenomenon originated in Jewish survivors’ belated search for public recognition of past suffering. Yet survivors hardly figured in the initial push to move The Holocaust center stage.
6. Steven T. Katz, The Holocaust in Historical Context (Oxford: 1994), 28, 58, 60.
7. Chaumont, La concurrence, 137.
8. Novick, The Holocaust, 200-1, 211-12. Wiesel, Against Silence, v. i, 158, 221, 239, 272, v. ii, 62, 81, 111, 278, 293, 347, 371, v. iii, 153, 243. Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea (New York: 1995), 89. Information on Wiesel’s lecture fee provided by Ruth Wheat of the Bnai Brith Lecture Bureau. “Words,” according to Wiesel, “are a kind of horizontal approach, while silence offers you a vertical approach. You plunge into it.” Does Wiesel parachute into his lectures?
9. Wiesel, Against Silence, v. iii, 146.
10. Wiesel, And the Sea, 95. Compare these news items:
Ken Livingstone, a former memberof the Labour Party who is running for mayor of London as an independent, has incensed Jews in Britain by saying global capitalism has claimed as many victims as World War II. “Every year the international financial system kills more people than World War II, but at least Hitler was mad you know?” ... “It’s an insult to all those murdered and persecuted by Adolf Hitler,” said John butterfill, a Conservative Member of Parliament. Mr. Butterfill also said Mr. Livingstone’s indictment of the global financial system had decidedly anti-Semitic overtones. (“Livingstone’s Words Anger Jews,” in International Herald Tribune, 13 April 2000.
Cuban President Fidel Castro ... accused the capitalist system of regularly causing deaths on the scale of World War II by ignoring the needs of the poor. “The images we see of mothers and children in whole regions of Africa under the lash of drought and other catastrophes remind us of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.” Referring to war crimes trials after World War II, the Cuban leader said: “We lack a Nuremberg to judge the economic order imposed upon us, where every three years more men, women and children, die of hunger and preventable diseases than died in the Second World War.” ... In New York City, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said ... “Poverty is serious, it’s painful and maybe deadly, but it’s not the Holocaust and it’s not concentration camps.” (John Rice, “Castro Viciously Attacks Capitalism,” in Associated Press, 13 April 2000).
11. Wiesel, Against Silence, v. iii, 156, 160, 163, 177.
12. Chaumont, Le concurrence, 156. Chaumont also makes the telling point that the claim of The Holocaust’s incomprehensible evil cannot be reconciled with the attendant claim that its perpetrators were perfectly normal. (310).
13. Katz, The Holocaust, 19, 22. “The claim that the assertion of the Holocaust’s uniqueness is not a form of invidious comparison produces systematic double-talk,” Novick observes. “Does any one ... believe that the claim of uniqueness is anything other than a claim for preeminence?” (emphasis in original) Lamentably, Novick himself indulges such invidious comparing. Thus he maintains that although morally evasive in an American context, “the repeated assertion that whatever the United States has done to blacks, Native Americans, Vietnamese, or others pales in comparison to the Holocaust is true.” (The Holocaust, 197, 15.)
14. Jacob Neusner, “A ‘Holocaust’ Primer,” 178. Edward Alexander, “Stealing the Holocuast,” 15-16, in Neusner, Aftermath.
15. Peter Baldwin (ed.), Reworking the Past (Boston: 1990), 21.
16. Nathan Glazer, American Judaism, second edition (Chicago: 1972), 171.
17. Seymour M. Hersch, The Samson Option (New York: 1991), 22. Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb (New York: 1998), 10, 122, 342.
18. Ismar Schorsch, “The Holocaust and Jewish Survival,” in Midstream (January 1981), 39. Chaumont convincingly demonstrates that the claim of Holocaust uniqueness originated in, and only makes coherent sense in the context of, the religious dogma of Jewish chosenness. La concurrence, 102-7, 121.
19. Wiesel, Against Silence, v. i., 153. Wiesel, And the Sea, 133.
20. Novick, The Holocaust, 59, 158-9.
21. Wiesel, And the Sea, 68.
22. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners (New York: 1996). For a critique, see Finkelstein and Birn, Nation.
23. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: 1951), 7.
24. Cynthia Ozick, “All the World Wants the Jews Dead,” in Esquire (November 1974).
25. Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation (Bloomington: 1995), 226-7.
26. Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, 34-5, 39, 42. Wiesel, And the Sea, 48.
27. John Murray Cuddihy, “The Elephant and the Angels: The Incivil Irritatingness of Jewish Theodicy,” in Robert N. Bellah and Frederick E. Greenspahn (eds), Uncivil Religion (New York: 1987), 24. In addition to this article, see his “The Holocaust: The Latent Issue in the Uniqueness Debate,” in P.F. Gallagher (ed.), Christians, Jews, and Other Worlds (Highland Lakes, NJ: 1987).
28. Schorsch, The Holocaust, 39. Incidentally, the claim that Jews constitute a “gifted” minority is also, in my view, a “distasteful secular version of chosenness.”
29. Whereas a full exposition of this topic is beyond the scope of the essay, consider just the first proposition. Hitler’s war against the Jews, even if irrational (and that itself is a complex issue), would hardly constitute a unique historical occurrence. Recall, for example, the central thesis of Joseph Schumpeter’s treatise on imperialism that “non-rational and irrational, purely instinctual inclinations toward war and conquest play a very large rolein the history of mankind ... numberless wars – perhaps the majority of all wars – have been waged without ... reasoned and reasonable interest.” (Joseph Schumpeter, “The Sociology of Imperialism,” in Paul Sweezy (ed.), Imperialism and Social Classes [New York: 1951], 83)
30. Explicitly eschewing the Holocaust framework, Albert S. Lindemann’s recent study of anti-Semitism starts from the premise that “whatever the power of myth, not all hostility to Jews, individually or collectively, has been based on fantastic or chimerical visions of them, or on projections unrelated to any palpable reality. As human beings, Jews have been as capable as any other group of provoking hostility in the everday secular world.” (Esau’s Tears [Cambridge: 1997], xvii).
31. Wiesel, Against Silence, v. i, 255, 384.
32. Chaumont makes the telling point that this Holocaust dogma effectively renders other crimes more acceptable. Insistence on the Jews’ radical innocence – i.e. the absence of any rational motive for persecuting, let alone killing, them – “presupposes a ‘normal’ status for persecutions and killings in other circumstances, creating a de facto division between unconditionally intolerable crimes and crimes which one must – and hence can – live with.” (La concurrence, 176).
33. Perlmutters, Anti-Semitism, 36, 40.
34. Novick, The Holocaust, 351n19.
35. New York: 1965. I rely on James Park Sloan, Jerzy Kosinski (New York: 1996), for background.
36. Elie Wiesel, “Everybody’s Victim,” in New York Times Book Review (31 October 1965). Wiesel, All Rivers, 335. The Ozick quote is from Sloan, 304-5. Wiesel’s admiration of Kosinski does not surprise. Kosinski wanted to analyze the “new language,” Wiesel to “forge a new language,” of the Holocaust. For Kosinski, “what lies between episodes is both a comment on and something commented upon by the episode.” For Wiesel, “the space between any two words is vaster than the distance between heaven and earth.” There’s a Polish proverb for such profundity: “From empty to vacuum.” Both also liberally sprinkled their ruminations with quotes from Albert Camus, the telltale sign of a charlatan. Recalling that Camus once told him, “I envy you for Auschwitz,” Wiesel continues: “Camus could not forgive himself for not knowing that majestic event, that mystery of mysteries.” (Wiesel, All Rivers, 321; Wiesel, Against Silence, v. ii., 133)
37. Geoffrey Stokes and Eliot Fremont-Smith, “Jerzy Kosinski’s Tainted Words,” in Village Voice (22 June 1982). John Corry, “A Case History: 17 Years of Ideological Attack on a Cultural Target,” in New York Times (7 November 1982). To his credit, Kosinski did undergo a kind of deathbed conversion. In the few years between his exposure and his suicide, Kosinski deplored the Holocaust industry’s exclusion non-Jewish victims. “Many North American Jews tend to perceive as Shoah, as an exclusively Jewish disaster .... But at least half of the world’s Romanies (unfaily called Gypsies), some 2.5 million Polish Catholics, millions of Soviet citizens and various nationalities, were also victims of this genocie ....” He also paid tribute to the “bravery of the Poles” who “sheltered” him “during the Holocaust” despite this so-called Semitic “looks.” (Jerzy Kosinski, Passing By [New York: 1992], 165-6, 178-9) Angrily asked at a Holocaust conference what the Poles did to save Jews, Kosinski snapped back: “What did the Jews do to save the Poles?”
38. New York: 1996. For background to the Wilkomirski hoax, see esp. Elena Lappin, “The Man With Two Heads,” in Granta, no. 66, and Philip Gourevitch, “Stealing the Holocaust,” in New Yorker (14 June 1999).
39. Another important “literary” influence on Wilkomirski is Wiesel. Compare these passages:
Wilkomirski: “I saw her wide-open eyes, and all of a sudden I knew: these eyes knew it all, they’d seen everything mine had, they knew infinitely more than anyone else in this country. I knew eyes like this, I’d seen them a thousand times, in the camp and later on. They were Mila’s eyes. We children used to tell each other everything with these eyes. She knew it, too; she looked straight through my eyes and into my heart.”
Wiesel: “The eyes – I must tell you about their eyes. I must begin with that, for their eyes precede all else, and everything is comprehended within them. The rest can wait. It will only confirm what you already know. But their eyes – their eyes flame with a kind of irreducible truth, which burns and is not consumed. Shamed into silence before them, you can only bow your head and accept the judgment. Your only wish now is to see the world as they do. A grown man, a man of wisdom and experience, you are suddenly impotent and terribly impoverished. Those eyes remind you of your childhood, your orphan state, cause you to lose all faith in the power of language. Those eyes negate the value of words; they dispose of the need for speech.” (The Jews of Silence [New York: 1966], 3)
Wiesel rhapsodizes for another page and a half about “the eyes.” His literary prowess is matched by his mastery of the dialectic. In one place Wiesel avows, “I believe in collective guilt, unlike many liberals.” In another place he avows, “I emphasize that I do not believe in collective guilt.” (Wiesel, Against Silence, v. ii, 134; Wiesel, And the Sea, 152, 235).
40. Bernd Naumann, Auschwitz (New York: 1966), 91. See Finkelstein and Birn, Nation, 67-8, for extensive documentation.
41. Lappin, 49. Hilberg always asked the right questions. Hence his pariah status in the Holocaust community; see Hilberg, The Politics of Memory, passim.
42. “Publisher Drops Holocaust Book,” in New York Times (3 November 1999). Allan Hall and Laura Williams, “Holocaust Hoaxer?” in New York Post (4 November 1999).
43. Novick, The Holocaust, 158. Segev, Seventh Million, 425. Wiesel, And the Sea, 198.
44. Bernard Lewis, Semites and Anti-Semites (New York: 1986), chap. 6; Bernard Lewis, The Middle East (New York: 1995), 348-50. Berenbaum, After Tragedy, 84.
45. New York Times, 27 March, 2 April, 3 April 1996. Time, 23 December 1996.
46. Yehuda Bauer, “Reflections Concerning Holocaust History,” in Louis Greenspan and Graeme Nicholson (eds), Fackenheim (Toronto: 1993), 164, 169. Yehuda Bauer, “On Perpetrators of the Holocaust and the Public Discourse,” in Jewish Quarterly Review, no. 87 (1997), 348-50. Norman G. Finkelstein and Yehuda Bauer, “Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners: An Exchange of Views,” in Jewish Quarterly Review, nos 1-2 (1998), 126.
47. For background and the next paragraphs, see Charles Glass, “Hitler’s (un)willing executioners,” in New Statesman (23 January 1998), Laura Shapiro, “A Battle Over the Holocaust,” in Newsweek (23 March 1998), and Tibor Krausz, “The Goldhagen Wars,” in Jerusalem Report (3 August 1998). For these and related items, cf. www.NormanFinkelstein.com (with a link to Goldhagen’s web site).
48. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, “Daniel Jonah Goldhagen Comments on Birn,” in German Politics and Society (Summer 1998), 88, 91n2. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, “The New Discourse of Avoidance,” n25 (www.Goldhagen.com/nda2html)
49. Hoffmann was Goldhagen’s advisor for the dissertation that became Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Yet, in an egregious breach of academic protocol, he not only wrote a glowing review of Goldhagen’s book for Foreign Affairs but also denounced A Nation on Trial as “shocking” in a second review for the same journal. (Foreign Affairs, May/June 1996 and July/August 1998) Maier posted a lengthy intervention on the H-German web site (www2.h-net.msu.edu). Ultimately, the only “aspects of this unfolding situation” that Maier found “really distasteful and reprehensible” were the criticisms of Goldhagen. Thus he lent “support to a subsequent finding of malice” in Goldhagen’s lawsuit against Birn and deplored my argumentation as “fanciful and inflammatory speculation.” (23 November 1997)
50. New York: 1994. Lipstadt occupies the Holocaust chair at Emory University and was recently appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
51. Employing a double negative, the AJC poll practically invited confusion: “Does it seem possible or does it seem impossible to you that the Nazi extermination of the Jews never happened?” Twenty-two percent of respondents answered “It seems possible.” In subsequent polls, which rephrased the question straightforwardly, Holocaust denial approached zero. A recent AJC survey of 11 countries found that, notwithstanding pervasive right-wing extremists’ claims to the contrary, “few people denied the Holocaust.” (Jennifer Golub and Renae Cohen, What Do Americans Know About the Holocaust? [The American Jewish Committee: 1993]; “Holocaust Deniers Unconvincing – Surveys,” in Jerusalem Post [4 February 2000]) Yet in Congressional testimony regarding “anti-Semitism in Europe,” David Harris of the AJC highlighted the salience of Holocaust denial in the European Right without once mentioning the AJC’s own finding that this denial finds virtually no resonance among the general public. (Hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee, United States Senate, 5 April 2000).
52. See “Frances Fines Historian Over Armenian Denial,” in Boston Globe (22 June 1995), and “Bernard Lewis and the Armenians,” in Counterpunch (16-31 December 1997).
53. Israel Charny, “The Conference Crisis. The Turks, Armenians and the Jews,” in The Book of the International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide. Book One: The Conference Program and Crisis (Tel Aviv: 1982). Israel Amrani, “A Little Help for Friends,” in Haaretz (20 April 1990) (Bauer). In Wiesel’s bizarre account, he resigned as conference chair in order “not to offend our Armenian guests.” Presumably he also attempted to abort the conference and urged others against attending out of courtesy to the Armenians. (Wiesel, And the Sea, 92).
54. Edward T. Linenthal, Preserving Memory (New York: 1995), 228ff., 263, 312-13.
55. Lipstadt, Denying, 6, 12, 22, 89-90.
56. Wiesel, All Rivers, 333, 336.
57. Lipstadt, Denying, chapter 11.
58. “A New Serbia,” in New Republic (17 May 1999).
59. See, for example, Meron Benvenisti, “Seeking Tragedy,” in Haaretz (16 April 1999), Zeev Chafets, “What Undergraduate Clinton Has Forgotten,” in Jerusalem Post (10 May 1999), and Gideon Levi, “Kosovo: It is Here,” in Haaretz (4 April 1999). (Benvenisti limits the Serbian comparison to Israeli actions after May 1948.)
60. Arno Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? (New York: 1988). Christopher Hitchens, “Hitler’s Ghost,” in Vanity Fair (June 1996) (Hilberg). For a balanced assessment of Irving, see Gordon A. Craig, “The Devil in the Details,” in New York Review of Books (19 September 1996). Rightly dismissing Irving’s claims on the Nazi holocaust as “obtuse and quickly discredited,” Craig nonetheless continues: “He knows more about National Socialism than most professional scholars in his field, and students of the years 1933-1945 owe more than they are always willing to admit to his energy as a researcher and to the scope and vigor of his publications.... His book Hitler’s War ... remains the best study we have of the German side of the Second World War and, as such, indispensable for all students of that conflict.... Such people as David Irving, then, have an indispensable part in the historical enterprise, and we dare not disregard their views.”
61. For the abortive attempts between 1984 and 1994 to build a national African-American museum on the Washington Mall, see Fath Davis Ruffins, “Culture Wars Won and Lost, Part II: The National African-American Museum Project,” in Radical History Review (Winter 1998). The Congressional initiative was finally killed by Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. The Washington Holocaust museum’s annual budget is $50 million, of which $30 million is federally subsidized.
62. For background, see Linenthal, Preserving Memory, Saidel, Never Too Late, esp. chaps 7, 15, and Tim Cole, Selling the Holocaust (New York: 1999), chap. 6.
63. Michael Berenbaum, The World Must Know (New York: 1993), 2, 214. Omer Bartov, Murder In Our Midst (Oxford: 1996), 180.
64. For details, see Kati Marton, A Death in Jerusalem (New York: 1994), chap. 9. In his memoir Wiesel recalls the “legendary ‘terrorist’ past” of Bernadotte’s actual assassin, Yehoshua Cohen. Note the inverted commas around terrorist. (Wiesel, And the Sea, 58) The New York City Holocaust Museum, although no less mired in politics (both Mayor Ed Koch and Governor Mario Cuomo were courting Jewish developers and financiers. At one point, developers sought to downplay “Holocaust” in the museum’s name for fear that it would depress property values in the adjacent luxury housing complex. Wags quipped that the complex should be named “Treblinka Towers,” and the surrounding streets “Auschwitz Avenue” and “Birkenau Boulevard.” The museum solicited funds from J. Peter Grace despite revelations of his association with a convicted Nazi war criminal, and it organized a gala at The Hot Rod – “The New York Holocaust Memorial Commission invites you to Rock and Roll the Night Away.” (Saidel, Never Too Late, 8, 121, 132, 145, 158, 161, 191, 240)
65. Novick dubs this the “6 million” versus “11 million” controversy. The 5 million figure for non-Jewish civilian deaths apparently originated with famed “Nazi-hunter” Simon Wiesenthal. Noting that it “makes no historical sense,” Novick writes, “Five million is either much too low (for all non-Jewish civilians killed by the Third Reich) or much too high (for non-Jewish groups targeted, like Jews, for murder).” He hastens to add, however, that “what’s at stake, of course, is not numbers as such, but what we mean, what we’re referring to, when we talk of ‘the Holocaust.’” Strangely, after entering this caveat, Novick supports commemorating only Jews because the 6 million figure “describes something specific and determinate,” while the 11 million figure “is unacceptably mushy.” (Novick, The Holocaust, 214-26.
66. Wiesel, Against Silence, v. iii. 162, 166.
67. For the handicapped as Nazism’s first genocidal victims, see esp. Henry Friedlander, The Origins of Nazi Genocide (Chapel Hill: 1995). According to Leon Wieseltier, the non-Jews who perished at Auschwitz “died a death invented for the Jews ... victims of a ‘solution’ designed for others” (Leon Wieseltier, “At Auschwitz Decency Dies Again,” in New York Times [3 September 1989]). Yet, as numerous scholarly studies show, it was the death invented for handicapped Germans that was then inflicted on Jews; in addition to Friedlander’s study, see, for example, Michael Burleigh, Death and Deliverance (Cambridge: 1994).
68. See Guenter Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies (Oxford: 2000), 221-2, for various estimates of Gypsies killed.
69. Friedlander, Origins: “Alongside Jews, the Nazis murdered the European Gypsies. Defined as a ‘dark-skinned’ racial group, Gypsy men, women and children could not escape their fate as victims of Nazi genocide.... [T]he Nazi regime systematically murdered only three groups of human beings: the handicapped, Jews, and Gypsies” (xii-xiii). (Apart from being a first-rate historian, Friedlander is also a former Auschwitz inmate.) Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (New York: 1985) (in three volumes), v. iii, 999-1000. With his usual veracity, Wiesel claims disappointment in his memoir that the Holocaust Memorial Council, which he chaired, didn’t include a Gypsy representative – as if he had been powerless to nominate one. (Wiesel, And the Sea, 211)
70. Linenthal, Preserving Memory, 241-6, 315.
71. Although the New York City Holocaust Museum’s “particularistic jewish bent” (Saidel) was even more pronounced – non-Jewish victims of Nazism early on received notice that it was “for Jews only” – Yehuda Bauer flew into a rage at the Commission’s mere hint that the Holocaust encompassed more than Jewish losses. “Unless this is immediately and radically changed,” Bauer threatened in a letter to Commission members, “I shall take every opportunity to ... attack this outrageous design from every public platform I have.” (Saidel, Never Too Late, 125-6, 129, 212, 221, 224-5.)
72. For background, see Finkelstein, Image and Reality, chap. 2.
73. “ZOA Criticizes Holocaust Museum’s Hiring of Professor Who Compared Israel to Nazis,” in Israel Wire (5 June 1998). Neal M. Sher, “Sweep the Holocaust Museum Clean,” in Jewish World Review (22 June 1998). “Scoundrel Time,” in PS – The Intelligent Guide to Jewish Affairs (21 August 1998). Daniel Kurtzman, “Holocaust Museum Taps One of Its Own for Top Spot,” in Jewish Telegraphic Agency (5 March 1999). Ira Stoll, “Holocaust Museum Acknowledges a Mistake,” in Forward (13 August 1999).
74. Noam Chomsky, World Orders Old and New (New York: 1996), 293-4 (Shavit).
1. Henry Friedlander, “Darkness and Dawn in 1945: The Nazis, the Allies, and the Survivors,” in US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1945 – the Year of Liberation (Washington: 1995), 11-35.
2. See, for example, Segev, Seventh Million, 248.
3. Lappin, Man With Two Heads, 48. D.D. Guttenplan, “The Holocaust on Trial,” in Atlantic Monthly (February 2000), 62 (but cf. text above, where Lipstadt equates doubting a survivor’s testimony with Holocaust denial).
4. Wiesel, All Rivers, 121-30, 139, 163-4, 201-2, 336. Jewish Week, 17 September 1999. New York Times, 5 March 1997.
5. Leonard Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors of the Holocaust (New York: 1982), 24.
6. Daniel Ganzfried, “Binjamin Wikomirski und die verwandelte Polin,” in Weltwoche (4 November 1999).
7. Marilyn B. Young, The Vietnam Wars (New York: 1991), 301-2. “Cohen: US Not Sorry for Vietnam War,” in Associated Press (11 March 2000).
8. For background, see esp. Nana Sagi, German Reparations (New York: 1986), and Ronald W. Zweig, German Reparation and the Jewish World (Boulder: 1987). Both volumes are official histories commissioned by the Claims Conference.
9. In reply to a question recently put by German Parliament member Martin Hohmann (CDU), the German government acknowledged (albeit in extremely convoluted language) that only about 15 percent of the monies given to the Claims Conference actually benefited Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. (personal communication, 23 February 2000)
10. In his official history, Ronald Zweig explicitly acknowledges that the Claims Conference violated the agreement’s terms: “The influx of Conference funds allowed the Joint [Distribution Committee] to continue programs in Europe it would otherwise have terminated, and to undertake programs it would otherwise not have considered because of lack of funds. But the most significant change in the JDC budget resulting from reparations payments was the allocation for the Moslem countries, where the Joint’s activities increased by an average of 68 percent during the first three years of Conference allocations. Despite the formal restrictions on the use of the reparation funds in the agreement with Germany, the money was used where the needs were the greatest. Moses Leavitt [senior Claims Conference officer] ... observed: ‘Our budget was based on priority of needs in and outside of Israel, the Moslem countries, all included ... We did not consider the Conference fund as anything but a part of a general fund placed at our disposal in order to meet the area of Jewish needs for which we were responsible, the area of greatest priority.’” (German Reparations, 74)
11. See for example, Lorraine Adams, “The Reckoning,” in Washington Post Magazine (20 April 1997), Netty C. Gross, “The Old Boys Club,” and “After Years of Stonewalling, the Claims Conference Changes Policy,” in Jerusalem Report (15 May 1997, 16 August 1997), Rebecca Spence, “Holocaust Insurance Team Racking Up Millions in Expenses as Survivors Wait,” in Forward (30 July 1999), and Verena Dobnik, “Oscar Hammerstein’s Cousin Sues German Bank Over Holocaust Assets,” in AP Online (20 November 1998) (Hertzberg).
12. Greg B. Smith, “Federal Judge OKs Holocaust Accord,” in Daily News (7 January 2000). Janny Scott, “Jews Tell of Holocaust Deposits,” in New York Times (17 October 1996). Saul Kagan read a draft of this section on the Claims Conference. The final version incorporates all his factual corrections.
13. Elli Wohlgelernter, “Lawyers and the Holocaust,” in Jerusalem Post (6 July 1999).
14. For background to this section, see Tom Bower, Nazi Gold (New York: 1998), Itamar Levin, The Last Deposit (Westport, Conn.: 1999), Gregg J. Rickman, Swiss Banks and Jewish Souls (New Brunswick, NJ: 1999), Isabel Vincent, Hitler’s Silent Partners (New York: 1997). Although suffering from a pronounced anti-Swiss bias, these books contain much useful information.
15. Levin, Last Deposit, chaps 6-7. For the erroneous Israel report (although he doesn’t mention it, Levin was the author), see Hans J. Halbheer, “To Our American Friends,” in American Swiss Foundation Occasional Papers (n.d.).
16. Thirteen branches of six Swiss banks operated in the United States. Swiss banks loaned American businesses $38 billion in 1994, and managed hundreds of billions of dollars in investments in American stocks and banks for their clients.
17. In 1992, the WJC spawned a new organization, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), which claimed legal jurisdiction over the assets of Holocaust survivors, living and dead. Headed by Bronfman, the WJRO is formally an umbrella of Jewish organizations modeled on the Jewish Claims Conference.
18. Hearings before the Committee on Banking, Housind, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, 23 April 1996. Bronfman’s defense of “Jewish interests” is highly seductive. He is a major business associate of the right-wing German medial mogul Leo Kirch, notorious in recent years for trying to fire a German newspaper editor who supported a Supreme Court decision barring Christian crosses in public schools. (www.Seagram.com/company_info/history/main.html; Oliver Gehrs, “Einfluss aus der Dose,” in Tagesspiegel [12 September 1995])
19. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 50-1. Bower, Nazi Gold, 299-300.
20. Bower, Nazi Gold, 295 (“mouthpiece”), 306-7; cf. 319. Alan Morris Schom, “The Unwanted Guests, Swiss Forced Labor Camps, 1940-1944,” A Report Prepared for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, January 1998. (Schom states these were “in reality slave-labor camps.”) Levin, Last Deposit, 158, 188. For a sober treatment of the Swiss refugee camps, see Ken Newman (ed.), Swiss Wartime Work Camps: A Collection of Eyewitness Testimonies, 1940-1945 (Zurich: 1999), and International Commission of Experts, Switzerland – Second World War, Switzerland and Refugees in the Nazi Era (Bern: 1999), chap. 4.4.4. Saidel, Never Too Late, 222-3 (“Dachau”, “sensationalistic”). Yossi Klein Halevi, “Who Owns the Memory?” in Jerusalem Post (25 February 1993). Wiesenthal rents out his name to the Center for $90,000 annually.
21. Bower, Nazi Gold, xi, xv, 8, 9, 42, 44, 56, 84, 100, 150, 219, 304. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 219.
22. Thomas Sancton, “A Painful History,” in Time, 24 February 1997. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 25 June 1997. Bower, Nazi Gold, 301-2. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 48. Levin is equally silent on Salmanovitz being a Jew (cf. 5, 129, 135).
23. Levin, Last Deposit, 60. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 11 December 1996 (quoting Wiesel’s 16 October 1996 Senate Banking Committee testimony). Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (New York: 1961, chap. 5.
24. Hearings before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, 6 May 1997.
25. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 11 December 1996. Smith complained to the press that the documents he had unearthed long before were being touted by D’Amato as new discoveries. In a bizarre defense, Rickman, who mobilized a massive contingent of researchers through the US Holocaust museum for the Congressional hearings, replies: “While I knew about Smith’s book, I made a point of not reading it so that I could not be accused of using ‘his’ documents” (113). Vincent, Silent Partners, 240.
26. Bower, Nazi Gold, 307. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 25 June 1997.
27. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 77. For the definitive treatment of this topic, see Peter Hug and Marc Perrenoud, Assets in Switzerland of Victims of Nazism and the Compensation Agreements with East Bloc Countries (Bern: 1997). For early discussion in the United States, see Seymour J. Rubin and Abba P. Schwartz, “Refugees and Reparations,” in Law and Contemporary Problems (Duke University School of Law: 1951), 283.
28. Levin, Last Deposit, 93, 186. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 11 December 1996. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 218. Bower, Nazi Gold, 318, 323. A week after establishing the Special Fund, Switzerland’s president, “terrified of unremitting hostility in America” (Bower), announced the creation of a $5 billion Solidarity Foundation “to reduce poverty, despair, and violence” globally. The foundation’s approval, however, required a national referendum, and domestic opposition quickly surfaced. Its fate remains uncertain.
29. Bower, Nazi Gold, 315. Vincent, Silent Partners, 211. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 184 (Vocker).
30. Levin, Last Deposit, 187-8, 125.
31. Levin, Last Deposit, 218. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 214, 223, 221.
32. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 231.
33. Ibid. Rickman fittingly entitled this chapter of his account, “Boycotts and Diktats.”
34. For the complete text of the “Class Action Settlement Agreement,” see Independent Committee of Eminent Persons, Report on Dormant Accounts of Victims of Nazi Persecution in Swiss Banks (Bern: 1999), Appendix O. In addition to the $200 million Special Fund and the $1.2 billion class-action settlement, the Holocaust industry finagled another $70 million from the United States and its allies during a 1997 London conference on the Swiss gold.
35. For US policy on Jewish refugees during these years, see David S. Wyman, Paper Walls (New York: 1985), and The Abandonment of the Jews (New York: 1984). For Swiss policy, see Independent Commission of Experts, Switzerland – Second World War, Switzerland and Refugees in the Nazi Era (Bern: 1999). A similar mix of factors – economic downturn, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and, later, security – accounted for the restrictive American and Swiss quotas. Recalling the “hypocrisy in the speeches by other nations, especially the United States which was completely uninterested in liberalizing its immigration laws,” the Independent Commission, although harshly critical of Switzerland, reports that its refugee policy was “like the governments of most other states.” (42, 263) I found no mention of this point in the extensive US media coverage of the Commission’s critical findings.
36. Hearings before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, 15 May 1997 (Eizenstat and D’Amato. Hearings before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, 23 April 1996 (Bronfman, quoting Clinton and letter of Congressional leaders). Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 11 December 1996 (Leach). Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 25 June 1997 (Leach). Rickman, Swiss Banks, 204 (Albright).
37. The only discordant note during the multiple Congressional hearings on Holocaust compensation was sounded by Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California. While registering “1000 percent” support “to get justice for all of the victims of the Holocaust,” Waters also questioned “how to take this format and use it to deal with slave labor of my ancestors here in the United States. It’s very strange to sit here ... without wondering what I could be doing ... to acknowledge slave labor in the United States .... Reparations in the African-American community have been basically condemned as a radical ideas, and many of those ... who tried so hard to get this issue before the Congress have literally been ridiculed.” Specifically she proposed that government agencies directed to achieving Holocaust compensation be directed as well to achieving compensation for “domestic slave labor.” “The gentle lady raises an extraordinary profound subject,” James Leach of the House Banking Committee replied, “and the Chair will take it under advisement.... The profoundness of the issue you raise in an American historical setting as well as in the human rights setting is deep.” The issue will undoubtedly be deposited deep in the Committee’s memory hole. (Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 9 February 2000) Randall Robinson, who is currently leading a campaign to compensate African-Americans for slavery, juxtaposed the US government’s “silence” on this theft “even as the US Undersecretary of State, Stuart Eizenstat, labored to make 16 German companies compensate Jews used as slave laborers during the Nazi era.” (Randall Robinson, “Compensate the Forgotten Victims of America’s Slavery Holocaust,” in Los Angeles Times [11 February 2000]; cf. Randall Robinson, The Debt [New York: 2000], 245)
38. Philip Lentz, “Reparation Woes,” in Crain’s (15-21 November 1999). Michael Shapiro, “Lawyers in Swiss Bank Settlement Submit Bill, Outraging Jewish Groups,” in Jewish Telegraphic Agency (23 November 1999). Rebecca Spence, “Hearings on Legal Fees in Swiss Bank Case,” in Forward (26 November 1999). James Bone, “Holocaust Survivors Protest Over Legal Fee,” in The Times (London) (1 December 1999). Devlin Barrett, “Holocaust Assets,” in New York Post (2 December 1999). Stewart Ain, “Religious Strife Erupts In Swiss Money Fight,” in Jewish Week (14 January 2000) (“angle”). Adam Dickter, “Discord in the Court,” in Jewish Week (21 January 2000). Swiss Fund for Needy Victims of the Holocaust/Shoa, “Overview on Finances, Payments and Pending Applications” (30 November 1999). Holocaust survivors in Israel never received any of the Special Fund monies earmarked for them; see Yair Sheleg, “Surviving Israeli Bureaucracy,” in Haaretz (6 February 2000).
39. Burt Neuborne, “Totalling the Sum of Swiss Guilt,” in New York Times (24 June 1998). Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 11 December 1996. “Holocaust-Konferenz in Stockholm,” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (26 January 2000) (Bronfman).
40. Independent Commission of Experts, Switzerland – Second World War, Switzerland and Gold Transaction in the Second World War, Interim Report (Bern: 1998).
41. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 11 December 1996. Called as an expert witness, University of North Carolina historian Gerhard L. Weinberg sanctimoniously testified that the “position of the Swiss Government at the time and in the immediate postwar years was always that looting is legal,” and that “priority number one” of the Swiss banks was “making as much money as possible ... and to do so regardless of the legalities, morality and decency or anything else.” (Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 25 June 1997)
42. Raymond W. Baker, “The Biggest Loophole in the Free-Market System,” in Washington Quarterly (Autumn 1999). Although not sanctioned by US law, much of the $500 billion-$1 trillion annually “laundered” from the drug trade is also “safely deposited into US banks.” (ibid.)
43. Ziegler, The Swiss, xii; cf. 19, 265.
44. Switzerland and Gold Transactions in the Second World War, IV, 48.
45. Independent Committee of Eminent Persons, Report on Dormant Accounts of Victims of Nazi Persecution in Swiss Banks (Bern: 1999). (hereafter Report)
46. The “external cost” of the audit was put at $200 million. (Report, p.4, paragraph 17) The cost to the Swiss banks was put at another $300 million. (Swiss Federal Banking Commission, press release, 6 December 1999)
47. Report, Annex 5, p. 81, paragraph 1 (cf. Part I, pp. 13-15, paragraphs 41-9).
48. Report: Part I, p. 6, paragraph 22 (“no evidence”); Part I, p. 6, paragraph 23 (banking laws and percentage); Annex 4, p. 58, paragraph 5 (“truly extraordinary”) and Annex 5, p. 81, paragraph 3 (“truly remarkable”) (cf. Part I, p. 15, paragraph 47, part I, p. 17, paragraph 58, Annex 7, p. 107, paragraphs 3, 9)
49. “The Deceptions of Swiss Banks,” in New York Times (7 December 1999).
50. Report, Annex 5, p. 81, paragraph 2. Report, Annex 5, pp. 87-8, paragraph 27: “There are a variety of explanations for the substantial under-reporting in the early surveys, but some of the main causes can be attributed to the Swiss banks’ use of narrow definitions of ‘dormant’ accounts; their exclusion of certain types of accounts from their searches or inadequate research; their failure to investigate accounts under certain minimum balances; or their failure to consider account holders to be victims of Nazi violence or persecution unless relatives made such claims at the bank.”
51. Report, p. 10, paragraph 30 (“possible or probable”); p. 20, paragraphs 73-5 (significant probability for 25,000 accounts). Report, Annex 4, pp. 65-7, paragraphs 20-6, and p. 72, paragraphs 40-3 (current values). In accordance with the Report recommendation, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission agreed in March 2000 to publish the 25,000 account names. (“Swiss Federal Banking Commission Follows Volcker Recommendations,” press release, 30 March 2000)
52. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 9 February 2000 (quoted from Volcker’s prepared testimony). Compare the caveats entered by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission that “all indications on possible current values of accounts identified are essentially based on assumptions and projections,” and that “only in the case of about 1,200 accounts ... has actual evidence be [sic] found, supported by contemporary in-house banking sources, that the account owners were actually victims of the Holocaust.” (press release, 6 December 1999)
53. Report, p. 2, paragraph 8 (cf. p. 23, paragraph 29). Report, Appendix S, p. A-134; for a more precise breakdown, cf. pp. A-135ff.
54. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 25 June 1997 (quoted from Rubin’s prepared testimony). (For background, see Seymour J. Rubin and Abba P. Schwartz, “Refugees and Reparations,” in Law and Contemporary Problems [Duke University School of Law: 1951], 286-9.
55. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 25 June 1997.
56. Switzerland’s population stood at 4 million for the “Relevant Period” of 1933-45 as compared to the US population of over 130 million. Every Swiss bank account opened, closed or dormant during these years was audited by the Volcker committee.
57. Levin, Last Deposit, 23. Bower, Nazi Gold, 256. Bower deems this Swiss demand “unanswerable rhetoric.” Unanswerable no dbout, but why rhetoric?
58. Rickman, Swiss Banks, 194-5.
59. Bower, Nazi Gold, 350-1. Akiva Eldar, “UK: Israel Didn’t Hand Over Compensation to Survivors,” in Haaretz (21 February 2000). Judy Dempsey, “Jews Find It Hard to Reclaim Wartime Property In Israel,” in Financial Times (1 April 2000). Jack Katzenell, “Israel Has WWII Assets,” in Associated Press (13 April 2000). Joel Greenberg, “Hunt for Holocaust Victims’ Property Turns in New Direction: Toward Israel,” in New York Times (15 April 2000). Akiva Eldar, “People and Politics,” in Haaretz (27 April 2000).
60. For information on the Commission, see www.pcha.gov (Bronfman quoted from a 21 November 1999 Commission press release).
61. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 9 February 2000.
62. Levin, Last Deposit, 223, 204. “Swiss Defensive About WWII Role,” in Associated Press (15 March 2000). Time (24 February 1997) (Bronfman).
63. Levin, Last Deposit, 224.
64. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 14 September 1999.
65. Yair Sheleg, “Not Even Minimum Wage,” in Haaretz (6 October 1999). William Drozdiak, “Germans Up Offer to Nazis’ Slave Laborers,” in Washington Post (18 November 1999). Burt Herman, “Nazi Labor Talks End Without Pact,” in Forward (20 November 1999). “Bayer’s Biggest Headache,” in New York Times (5 October 1999). Jan Cienski, “Wartime Slave-Labour Survivors’ Ads Hit Back,” in National Post (7 October 1999). Edmund L. Andrews, “Germans To Set Up $5.1 Billion Fund For Nazis’ Slaves,” in New York Times (15 December 1999). Edmund L. Andrews, “Germany Accepts $5.1 Billion Accord to End Claims of Nazi Slave Workers,” in New York Times (18 December 1999). Allan Hall, “Slave Labour List Names 255 German Companies,” in The Times (London) (9 December 1999). Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 9 February 2000 (quoted from Eizenstat’s prepared testimony).
66. Sagi, German Reparation, 161. Probably a quarter of the Jewish slave laborers received such a pension, my late father (an Auschwitz inmate) among them. In fact, the Claims Conference’s figure in the current negotiations for Jewish slave laborers still alive is based on those already receiving pensions and compensation from Germany! (German Parliament, 92nd session, 15 March 2000)
67. Zweig, German Reparations and the Jewish World, 98; cf. 25.
68. Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, “Position Paper – Slave Labor. Proposed Remembrance and Responsibility Fund” (15 June 1999). Netty C. Gross, “$5.1-Billion Slave Labor Deal Could Yield Little Cash For Jewish Claimants,” in Jerusalem Report (31 January 2000). Zvi Lavi, “Kleiner (Herut): Germany Claims Conference Has Become Judenrat, Carrying on Nazi Ways,” in Globes (24 February 2000). Yair Sheleg, “MK Kleiner: The Claims Conference Does Not Transfer Indemnifications to Shoah Survivors,” in Haaretz (24 February 2000).
69. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 9 February 2000. Yair Sheleg, “Staking a Claim to Jewish Claims,” in Haaretz (31 March 2000).
70. Henry Friedlander, “Darkness and Dawn in 1945: The Nazis, the Allies, and the Survivors,” in US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1945 – The Year of Liberation (Washington: 1995), 11-35. Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors of the Holocaust, 28. Israeli historian Shlomo Shafir reports “the estimate of Jewish survivors at the end of the war in Europe vary from 50,000 to 70,000” (Ambiguous Relations, 384n1). Friedlander’s total figure for surviving slave laborers, Jewish and non-Jewish, is standard; see Benjamin Ferencz, Less Than Slaves (Cambridge: 1979) – “approximately half a million persons were found more or less alive in the camps that were liberated by the Allied armies” (xvii; cf. 240n5).
71. Stuart Eizenstat, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, Chief US Envoy in German Slave-Labor Negotiations, State Department Briefing, 12 May 1999.
72. See Eizenstat’s “remarks” at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and Austria Annual Meeting (New York: 14 July 1999).
73. Toby Axelrod, “$5.2 Billion Slave-Labor Deal Only the Start,” in Jewish Bulletin (12 December 1999; citing Jewish Telegraphic Agency).
74. Hilberg, The Destruction (1985), v. iii, Appendix B.
75. In an interview with Die Berliner Zeitung, I cast doubt on the Claims Conference’s 135,000 figure, citing Friedlander. The Claims Conference curtly stated in its rebuttal that the 135,000 figure was “based on the best and most trustworthy sources and is therefore correct.” Not one of these alleged sources, however, was identified. (“Die Ausbeutung jüdischen Leidens,” in Berliner Zeitung, 29-30 January 2000; “Gegendarstellung der Jewish Claims Conference,” in Berliner Zeitung, 1 February 2000) Replying to my criticisms in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel, the Claims Conference maintained that some 700,000 Jewish slave laborers survived the war, 350,000-400,000 on the territory of the Reich and 300,000 in concentration camps elsewhere. Pressed to supply scholarly sources, the Claims Conference indignantly refused. Suffice to say that these figures bear no resemblance to any known scholarship on the topic. (Eva Schweitzer, “Entschaedigung für Zwangsarbeiter,” in Tagesspiegel, 6 March 2000)
76. “Never before in history,” Hilberg has observed, “had people been killed on an assembly-line basis.” (Destruction, v. iii, 863). The classic treatment of this topic is Zygmunt Bauman’s Modernity and the Holocaust.
77. Guttenplan, “Holocaust on Trial.” (Hilberg) Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, “Position Paper – Slave Labor,” 15 June 1999.
78. “We Condemn Syria’s Denial of the Holocaust,” in New York Times (9 February 2000). To document “increased anti-Semitism” in Europe, David Harris of the AJC pointed to relatively strong survey support for the statement that “Jews are exploiting the memory of the Nazi extermination of the Jews for their own purposes.” He also adduced the “extremely negative way that some German papers reported on the Jewish Claims Conference ... during the recent negotiations over compensation for slave and forced labor. Numerous stories depicted the Claims Conference itself and the mostly Jewish lawyers as greedy and self-serving, and a bizarre discussion ensued in mainstream newspapers about whether there are as many Jewish survivors as cited by the Claims Conference,” (Hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee, United States Senate, 5 April 2000) In fact, I found it nearly impossible to raise this matter in Germany. Although the taboo was finally broken by the liberal German daily Die Berliner Zeitung, the courage displayed by its editor, Martin Sueskind, and US correspondent, Stefan Elfenbein, found only a faint echo in the German media, in large part owing to the legal threats and moral blackmail of the Claims Conference as well as the general German reluctance to openly criticize Jews.
79. Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 11 December 1996. J.D. Bindenagel (ed.), Proceedings, Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets: 30 November-3 December 1998 (US Government Printing Office: Washington, DC), 687, 700-1, 706.
80. Hearings before International Relations Committee, House of Representatives, 6 August 1998. Bindenagel, Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, 433. Joan Gralia, “Poland Tries to Get Holocaust Lawsuit Dismissed,” in Reuters (23 December 1999). Eric J. Greenberg, “Polish Restitution Plan Slammed,” in Jewish Week (14 January 2000). “Poland Limits WWII Compensation Plan,” in Newsday (6 January 2000).
81. Theo Garb et al. v. Republic of Poland (United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, June 18, 1999). (The class-action lawsuit was brought by Edward E. Klein and Mel Urbach, the latter a veteran of the Swiss and German settlements. An “amended complaint” submitted on 2 March 2000 was joined by many more lawyers but omits some of the more colorful charges against the postwar Polish governments.) “Dear Leads NYC Council in Call to Polish Government to Make Restitution to Victims of Holocaust Era Property Seizure,” in News From Council Member Noach Dear (29 November 1999). (The textual quote is from the actual resolution, No. 1072, adopted on 23 November 1999.) “[Anthony D.] Weiner Urges Polish Government To Repatriate Holocaust Claims,” US House of Representatives (press release, 14 October 1999). (The textual quotes are from the press release and actual letter, dated 13 October 1999.)
82. Hearings before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, 23 April 1996.
83. Hearings before the International Relations Committee, House of Representatives, 6 August 1998.
84. Hearings before the International Relations Committee, House of Representatives, 6 August 1998. Isabel Vincent, “Who Will Reap the Nazi-Era Reparations?” in National Post (20 February 1999).
85. Hearings before the International Relations Committee, House of Representatives, 6 August 1998. Currently an honorary vice-president of the American Jewish Committee, Eizenstat was the first chairman of the AJC’s Institute on American Jewish-Israeli Relations.
86. Hearings before the International Relations Committee, House of Representatives, 6 August 1998. Marilyn Henry, “Whose Claim Is It Anyway?” in Jerusalem Post (4 July 1997). Bindenagel, Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, 705. Editorial, “Jewish Property Belongs to Jews,” in Haaretz (26 October 1999).
87. Sergio Karas, “Unsettled Accounts,” in Globe and Mail (1 September 1998). Stuart Eizenstat, “Remarks,” Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and Austria Annual Meeting (New York: 14 July 1999). Tom Sawicki, “6,000 Witnesses,” in Jerusalem Post (5 May 1994).
88. Bindenagel, Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, 146. Michael Arnold, “Israeli Teens Frolic With Strippers After Auschwitz Visit,” in Forward (26 November 1999). Manhattan Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney proudly informed the House Banking Committee of a bill she introduced, the Holocaust Education Act, which “will provide grants through the Department of Education to Holocaust organizations for teacher training, and provide materials to schools and communities that increase Holocaust education.” Representing a city with a public school system notoriously lacking basic teachers and textbooks, Maloney might have set different priorities for scarce Department of Education funds. (Hearings before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, 9 February 2000).
89. Zweig, German Reparations and the Jewish World, 118. Goldmann was founder of the World Jewish Congress and the first president of the Claims Conference.
90. Marilyn Henry, “International Holocaust Education Conference Begins,” in Jerusalem Post (26 January 2000). Marilyn Henry, “PM: We Have No Moral Obligation to Refugees,” in Jerusalem Post (27 January 2000). Marilyn Henry, “Holocaust ‘Must Be Seared in Collective Memory,’” in Jerusalem Post (30 January 2000).
91. Claims Conference, Guide to Compensation and Restitution of Holocaust Survivors (New York: n.d.). Vincent, Hitler’s Silent Partners, 302 (“expropriation”); cf. 308-9. Ralf Eibl, “Die Jewish Claims Conference ringt um ihren Leumund. Nachkommen jüdischer Sklaven....,” in Die Welt (8 March 2000) (lawsuits). The Holocaust compensation industry is a taboo subject in the United States. The H-Holocaust web site (www2.h-net.msu.edu), for example, barred critical postings even if fully supported with documentary evidence (personal correspondence with board member Richard S. Levy, 19-21 November 1999).
92. Ilan Pappé, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-51 (London: 1992), 268.
93. Clinton Bailey, “Holocaust Funds to Palestinians May Meet Some Cost of Compensation,” in International Herald Tribune; reprinted in Jordan Times (20 June 1999).
94. Eli Wohlgelernter, “WJC: Austria Holding $10b. In Holocaust Victims’ Assets,” in Jerusalem Post (14 March 2000). In his subsequent Congressional testimony, Singer highlighted the allegation against Austria but – typically – maintained a discreet silence on the charges against the US. (Hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee, United States Senate, 6 April 2000)
1. Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost (Boston: 1998).
2. Wiesel, Against Silence, v. iii, 190; cf. v. i, 186, v. ii, 82, v. iii, 242, and Wiesel, And the Sea, 18.
3. Novick, The Holocaust, 230-1.
4. New York Times (25 May 1999).
5. Novick, The Holocaust, 15.
6. John Toland, Adolf Hitler (New York: 1976), 702. Joachim Fest, Hitler (New York: 1975), 214, 650. See also Finkelstein, Image and Reality, chap. 4.
7. See, for example, Stefan Kühl, The Nazi Connection (Oxford: 1994).
8. See, for example, Leon F. Litwack, Trouble in Mind (New York: 1998), esp. chaps 5-6. The vaunted Western tradition is deeply implicated in Nazism as well. To justify the extermination of the handicapped – the percursor of the Final Solution – Nazi doctors deployed the concept “life unworthy of life” (lebensunwertes Leben). In Gorgias, Plato wrote: “I can’t see that life is worth living if a person’s body is in a terrible state.” In The Republic, Plato sanctioned the murder of defective children. On a related point, Hitler’s opposition in Mein Kampf to birth control on the ground that it preempts natural selection was prefigured by Rousseau in his Discourse on the Origins of Inequality. Shortly after World War II, Hannah Arendt reflected that “the subterranean stream of Western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our tradition” (Origins of Totalitarianism, ix).
9. See, for example, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, The Political Economy of Human Rights, v. i: The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (Boston: 1979), 129-204.
10. Response (March 1983 and January 1986).
11. Noam Chomsky, Turning the Tide (Boston: 1985), 36 (Wiesel cited from interview in the Hebrew press). Berenbaum, World Must Know, 3.
12. Financial Times (8 September 1999).
13. Novick, The Holocaust, 255.
14. See, for example, Geoff Simons, The Scourging of Iraq (New York: 1998).
15. Novick, The Holocaust, 244, 14.
16. On this point, see esp. Chaumont, La concurrence, 316-18.
17. See, for example, Carl N. Degler, In Search of Human Nature (Oxford: 1991), 202ff.
18. John Stuart Mill, On the Subjection of Women (Cambridge: 1991), 148.
19. It is no less repugnant to compare the Nazi holocaust, as Michael Berenbaum proposes, only in order to “demonstrate the claim of uniqueness” (After Tragedy, 29).
20. Zuckerman, A Surplus of Memory, 210.
21. I refer here both to the Historikerstreit and to the published correspondence between Saul Friedländer and Martin Broszat. In both instances, the debate largely turned on the absolute versus relative nature of Nazi crimes; for example, the validity of comparisons with the Gulag. See Peter Baldwin (ed.), Reworking the Past, Richard J. Evans, In Hitler’s Shadow (New York: 1989), James Knowlton and Truett Cates, Forever in the Shadow of Hitler? (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: 1993), and Aharon Weiss (ed.), Yad Vashem Studies XIX (Jerusalem: 1988).
1. For this and the next paragraph, see Joan Gralla, “Holocaust Foundation Set for Restitution Funds,” in Reuters (22 August 2000); Michael J. Jordan, “Spending Restitution Money Pits Survivors Against Groups,” in Jewish Telegraphic Agency (29 August 2000); NAHOS (The Newsletter of the National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors) (1 September 2000, 6 October 2000, and 6 November 2000); Marilyn Henry, “Proposed ‘Foundation for Jewish People’ Has No Cash,” in Jerusalem Post (8 September 2000); Joan Gralla, “Battle Brews Over Holocaust Compensation,” in Reuters (11 September 2000); Shlomo Shamir, “Government to Set Up New Fund for Holocaust Payments,” in Haaretz (12 September 2000); Yair Sheleg, “Burg Honored at Controversial NY Dinner,” in Haaretz (12 September 2000); E.J. Kessler, “Hillary the Holocaust Heroine?” in New York Post (12 September 2000); Melissa Radler, “Survivors Get Most of Cash in Shoah Fund,” in Forward (17 September 2000); “The WJC Defends Event Panned by Commentary,” in Jewish Post (20 September 2000).
2. “Remarks by The President During Bronfman Gala,” Office of The Press Secretary, The White House. Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State (http://usinfo.state.gov).
3. The Plan was formulated of Judah Gribetz, past president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, and currently member of the board of New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. He was appointed “Special Master” by Judge Edward Korman of New York’s Eastern District Court, who presided over the class-action litigation in the Swiss case. The full Plan is posted on http://www.Swissbankclaims.com, and is referred to here as the Gribetz Plan. On 22 November 2000 Judge Korman issued a “memorandum and order” that “adopt[s] the Proposed Plan in its entirety.” (In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation [United States District Court for Eastern District of New York: 22 November 2000], 7)
4. Alan Feuer, “Bitter Fight Is Reignited On Splitting of Reparations” (New York Times, 21 November 2000). “Statement of Burt Neuborne” appended to Gribetz Plan. Judge Korman’s “memorandum and order” (see note 3 above) points up the crucial role of Neuborne in deflecting criticism of the Plan (4, 6). Prior to publication I forwarded my analysis of the Plan to Neuborne for his critical input. He replied: “I will leave to Judah Gribetz the pleasure of demolishing your effort to mischaracterize his remarkable work as a ‘shake down’ of holocaust victims.” Reminding Neuborne that he played the crucial role in promoting the Plan and responding to criticism, I rejoined: “If demolishing my analysis promises such pleasure, why don’t you do it yourself?” Despite repeated requests, Gribetz never replied.
5. Radler, “Survivors Get Most of Cash in Shoah Fund.”
6. Significantly, Raul Hilberg, the world’s leading authority on the Nazi holocaust, has explicitly charged that the World Jewish Congress blackmailed the Swiss: “It was the first time in history that Jews made use of a weapon that can only be described as blackmail.” In a declaration supporting the motion to approve the Swiss settlement, Burt Neuborne, clearly worried by the blackmail allegation (“certain persons may be tempted to mischaracterize legitimate settlement payments as a form of blackmail”), called on Judge Korman to repudiate it, which the Judge dutifully did. (“Holocaust Expert Says Swiss Banks Are Paying Too Much,” in Deutsche Presse-Angetur, 28 January 1999; Declaration of Burt Neuborne, Esq. (5 November 1999), para. 8; Edward R. Korman, In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation [United States District Court for Eastern District of New York: 26 July 2000], 23-4.
7. In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, 19 (Korman).
8. Burt Neuborne, “Memorandum of Law Submitted by Plaintiffs in Response to Expert Submissions Filed By Legal Academics Retained by Defendants” (United States District Court for Eastern District of New York: 16 June 1997), 68 (compare 62-4). Hereafter: Neuborne Memorandum.
9. For non-recoverability of the final settlement, see Gribetz Plan, 12n18: “It should be noted that no part of the $1.25 billion settlement amount will revert to the defendant banks or to any other Swiss entities.”
10. Gribetz Plan, 11 (“vital significance”), 13-14, 93, 101-4.
11. Neuborne Memorandum, 3, 6-7, 11-12, 28-31, 34-5, 43, 47-8. The memorandum concedes that the Swiss banks would be legally liable only if they “knowingly” profited from the ill-gotten gains of the Nazis: “If one assumes lack of notice on the part of defendant banks, defendants’ actions would not give rise to a claim for equitable disgorgement of unjust profits” (34).
12. Gribetz Plan, 23, 29, 113-14, 118n345, 128-9n371, 145-8, Annex G (“The Looted Assets Class”), G-3, G-43, G-57, Annex H (“Slave Labor Class I”), H-52, H-57-8.
13. Gribetz Plan, Annex J (“The Refugee Class”), J-26n85. Buried in a footnote we also learn that, according to a leading authority, Seymour J. Rubin, “Switzerland did admit many more refugees, in proportion to its population, than any other nation. This is in contrast to a United States not only denied entry to the desperate St. Louis refugees, but systematically failed to fill even the limited immigration quota that was available” (J-5). Noting that refugees barred from entering Switzerland during World War II would now receive compensation, Burt Neuborne, in a letter to the Nation magazine, rued: “I only wish that a similar sanction could be imposed on the United States for its identical refusal to accept desperate refugees from Nazi persecution” (5 October 2000). Apart from hypocrisy and cowardice, what prevented the Holocaust industry’s lead counsel from pressing this claim?
14. Gribetz Plan, 89. The quote is cited from Judge Korman’s court order granting final approval to the Settlement Agreement.
15. Gribetz Plan, Annex C. (“Demographics of ‘Victim or Target’ Groups”), C-13.
16. Gribetz Plan, 135-6.
17. Gribetz Plan, Annex C, C-12, Annex F (“Social Safety Nets”), F-15.
18. Ukeles Associates Inc., Paper #3 (revised), Projection of the Population of Victims of Nazi Persecution, 2000-2040 (31 May 2000).
19. Gribetz Plan, p. 9, Annex C, C-8, Annex E (“Holocaust Compensation”), E-89 and E-90n282. The 250,000 figure was used to distribute the monies from the “Special Fund for Needy Victims of the Holocaust” established by the Swiss in February 1997.
20. Gribetz Plan, Annex C, C-7, Table 3. The Plan concedes in a footnote that “in the former Soviet Union, there are relatively few survivors of the concentration camps, ghettos, or work camps” (Annex E, E-56n150).
21. Gribetz Plan, 122-3, 125, Annex E, E-138, Annex F, F-4n13.
22. Gribetz Plan, Annex E, E-56.
23. Steve Paulsson, “Re: Survivor Article,” posted on http://email@example.com (28 September 2000).
24. Gribetz Plan, 135. It bears notice that the figure for Holocaust survivors in the original sense also undergoes a radical revision upward in the Gribetz Plan. The Plan states that roughly 170,000 former Jewish slave-laborers currently receive pensions from Germany. (Gribetz Plan, Annex H [“Slave Labor Class I”], H-5-6) It is estimated that only one in four former Jewish slave laborers received a German pension. This would put the total figure for former Jewish slave laborers still alive today at nearly 700,000, and the total for Jewish slave laborers alive at war’s end at 2,800,000. The standard scholarly figure for Jewish slave laborers avlie at war’s end is about 100,000, with perhaps several tends of thousands still alive.
25. Gribetz Plan, 7, 25-7, 83-4, 118-19, 138-9, 149, 154, and “Summary of Major Holocaust Compensation Programs.” Apart from precedent, the Plan tautologically justifies this distribution “by current demographics, as Jewish victims now constitute the overwhelming proportion of surviving ‘Victims or Targets of Nazi Persecution’ as defined under the Settlement Agreement” (119). Jews only constitute the “overwhelming proportion” because of how the category “Victims or Targets...” was reached. For Gypsy reservations to the Plan, see Romani Comments and Objections to the Special Master’s Proposed Plan of Allocation and Distribution (Ramsey Clark et al., In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation [United States District Court for Eastern District of New York: November 2000]).
26. Gribetz Plan, 15. The same statement is repeated verbatim on 98-9.
27. The Volcker Committee recommended publication of the names of some 25,000 accounts having the highest probability of a relation to victims of Nazi persecution. The total “fair current value” of 10,000 of these accounts for which some information is available runs to $150-$230 million. Projecting these estimates on the 25,000 accounts yields $375-575 million. To judge by the Claims Resolution Tribunal’s prior processing experience, valid claims will be filed against only one half of the 25,000 accounts and one half of the monies in these accounts for a total value of $188-$288 million. In addition, however, the 25,000 list overwhelmingly comprises not dormant but closed accounts bearing names that match a Holocaust victim. The Volcker Committee concluded that there is “no evidence of ... concerted efforts to divert the funds of victims of Nazi persecution to improper purposes.” Accordingly, the safe assumption is that almost all the closed accounts on the 25,000 list were properly closed by the actual account holders, rightful heirs, or those with a legitimate and credible power of attorney, and that the CRT will validate only a few claims against these closed accounts. The total value of validated claims against the 25,000 accounts will thus likely fall well below even the $188-$288 million estimate that assumed all the accounts were dormant and the claims on half legitimate. (Gribetz Plan, 94n298, 96-7, 105-6n326; Independent Committee of Eminent Persons, Report on Dormant Accounts of Victims of Nazi Persecution in Swiss Banks [Bern: 1999], 13, para. 41[a])
28. Gribetz Plan, 12, 19-20. The Plan states on page 12 that the “remainder of the Settlement Fund is to be distributed among the other ... settlement classes” – i.e., “looted assets,” “refugees,” and “slave laborers.” As shown below, the monies allocated for the “looted assets” class will be paid not to Holocaust survivors directly but rather to Jewish organizations involved in Holocaust work. The Plan further states on page 19-20 that “it also may be possible to allocate a portion of the remaining Settlement Fund to some of the proposed cultural, memorial or educational projects that have been submitted to the Special Master.”
29. The Plan specifies that distribution of residuals from the $800 million cannot begin until all claims on the 25,000 accounts have been processed. It took the CRT fully three years to process 10,000 claims on a prior, separate list of 5,600 Swiss accounts. The Plan reports that many more than 80,000 claims will likely be filed against the list of 25,000. In addition, the Plan provides that all claims must be checked not only against the published list of 25,000 accounts but against millions of other Swiss accounts bearing no apparent relationship to Holocaust victims. Thus even if the CRT process is streamlined, it will surely take many years to complete. (Gribetz Plan, 91, 94n299, 105-6n126) Apart from Holocaust victims holding dormant accounts, the Plan makes only vague and narrow provision for heirs. (18-19, and Annex D [“Heirs”])
30. Gribetz Plan, 16-17.
31. Gribetz Plan, 25-6, 120-1, 119-38.
32. Gribetz Plan, 18, 27, 116, Annex C, C-10, Exhibit 3 to Annex C, 1. (The “Initial Questionnaires” were distributed to “Victims and Targets of Nazi Persecution” after Judge Korman approved the Swiss settlement.) Dismissing the extravagant claims of the Holocaust industry against the Swiss banks, Raul Hilberg, who feld Austria as a child with his parents, recalled in a recent interview: “In the 1930s, Jews were poor. My family belonged to the middle class, but we did not have a bank account in Austria, let alone in Switzerland.” (Berliner Zeitung, 4 September 2000)
33. Gribetz Plan, 29-31, 154-6.
34. Gribetz Plan, 35-9, 172-5.
35. Nation, 18 December 2000.
36. Nation, 25 December 2000.
37. In addition to the Swiss shakedown, Neuborne figured centrally in the German slave-labor negotiations. For the latter travail, he raked in $5,000,000 – a “not particularly high” fee, Neuborne opined, especially as compared with the German settlement’s allocation of fully $7,500 to an Auschwitz survivor. (Jane Fritsch, “$52 Million for Lawyers’ Fees in Nazi-Era Slave Labor Suits,” in New York Times [15 June 2001]; Daniel Wise, “$60 Million in Fees Awarded To Lawyers Who Negotiated $5 Billion Holocaust Fund,” in New York Law Journal [15 June 2001]; Gerald Locklin, “Lawyers Get Millions, Victims Get Thousands From Holocaust Deal,” in National Post [18 June 2001])
38. For background, see above 119. The commission was formed at the peak of US pressures on the Swiss banks and in the face of Swiss criticism that the US was itself not blameless in the matter of Holocaust compensation.
39. Washington, DC. (Hereafter: P&R) It is divided into two parts: “Findings and Recommendations,” and “Self Report”. Page numbers for the Staff Report are denoted “SR”.
40. P&R, 5.
41. It bears passing notice that this report is replete with the hyperbole typical of Holocaust industry publications. Thus the Holocaust is deemed “the greatest mass theft in history.” (P&R, SR-3) The entire United States was built on land stolen from the indigenous population, and US industrial development was fueled by centuries of unpaid labor of Afrian-American in the cotton industry: Did the Commission reckon these thefts in its calculations?
42. P&R, 4, 5.
43. See above 111-12.
44. P&R, 11-12; SR-167-8. The report also observes: “No noticeable relaxation of the rules or procedures facilitated victims’ claims ... Heirs faced more challenges than named account holders. Many case histories demonstrated that the initial claimant died during the claim process. In those cases, ... further investigations ... delayed cases.”
45. P&R, SR-170, See above 111-12.
46. See above 112.
47. P&R, SR-4, SR-213-14.
48. See above 97-8.
49. P&R, 12; SR-6, SR-170.
50. See above 96-7, 108-9.
51. P&R, SR-51.
52. See above 97, 110-11.
53. P&R, SR-214.
54. For details, see above 89-120 passim.
55. See above 114-15.
56. P&R, 7.
57. P&R, 19; SR-212-13.
58. The Commission merely conducted a “pilot project matching the names of a limited list of Holocaust victims with a list of escheated property maintained by the State of New York ... This procedure ... yielded 18 matches of names of victims with dormant bank accounts in the State of New York ... the value of these accounts ranges from a few dollars to five thousand dollars.” (Under the doctrine of escheat, American banks are supposed to transfer abandoned dormant accounts to the respective state government.) In addition, the Commission reached an agreement with major banks “defining suggested best practices to be used by banks when they search for Holocaust assets.” Under this accord, banks volunteering to participate are supposed to conduct “their own investigations” of relevant records, and inform state officials of any Holocaust-era dormant accounts found. An abyss plainly separates these “suggested best practices” from the exhaustive, external audit imposed on the Swiss banks. Remarkably, the agreement even provides that cooperating banks don’t have to publicly report “the identity of the account holder” for “any accounts defined.” (P&R, 3, 15-17)
59. P&R, SR-184n249.
60. P&R, SR-138. The JRSO was responsible for recovering heirless Holocaust-era assets after the war. Interestingly, the Commission reports that the JRSO claimed for itself property belonging to Holocaust survivors and their heirs:
Individuals sometimes discovered that the JRSO had submitted a claim for their property and they then turned to the successor organization for restitution; the JRSO handled over 4,800 such claims by 1955. After internal discussion, the JRSO agreed to restitute property to such claimants even though it had obtained title to such assets ... It did, however, assess a service charge to the late petitioners to cover its costs. The fees depended on the relationship of the claimant to the former owner and the appraisal of the property. If the JRSO had actually recovered a property, a surcharge of ten percent augmented these costs (although the organization reduced this to five percent if a claimant was indigent). One claimant sharply criticized US authorities for “awarding” her property to the JRSO. She argued that she had not heard about the filing deadline until after it had passed, and instead discovered that, “I shall be punished because the Occupation Army, for whom my husband and I pay plenty, deems it right to take my property and gives it to who knows whom.” The frustration and anger expressed in this letter likely mirrored the sentiments of other claimants who missed the deadline; individuals hurled “demands” and “protests” at the JRSO for the immediate return of their property. (P&R, SR-156)
A half century later the Jewish Claims Conference (successor to the JRSO) pursues the identical strategy to rob legitimate Jewish heirs of their properties in the former East Germany (see references cited above 87n11, and Netty Gross, “Time’s Running Out,” in Jerusalem Post [7 May 2001]).
61. P&R, SR-171. The quoted phrase comes from a statement by Seymour Rubin in 1959 (for Rubin, see above 115-16). The JRSO ultimately acceded to this figure, according to Rubin, because Holocaust survivors were approaching death: “time is running out for these people.” We have seen that the Holocaust industry was still playing the “time is running out” tune during the Swiss shakedown. One might have thought that a half-century later time had already run out. For suggestive evidence that the total value of unclaimed Holocaust-era assets ran much higher, see P&R: SR-6, SR-166-7, SR-172, SR-214-15.
62. P&R, 7.
63. P&R, 21-6.
64. P&R, SR-117ff.
1. This assessment is based in part on interviews with the principals in the case, several of whom requested anonymity. Jytte Kjaergaard of the Danish newspaper B.T. conducted the interviews with Michael Bradfield and Burt Neuborne, this writer interviewed Judge Edward R. Korman, and David Ridgen of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed Raul Hilberg, Bradfield, Neuborne and Korman each received successive drafts of this assessment and were invited to identify for correction factual errors. None of the three reported any. All dock numbers refer to United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, Case Number 96-CV-4849.
2. “The Claims Resolution Tribunal has completed its initial mission” (press release, Zurich: 11 October 2001).
3. This finally tally received scant attention in the foreign media. The one notable exception was a London Times article by Adam Sage and Roger Boyes, “Swiss Holocaust cash revealed to be myth” (13 October 2001).
4. Interview with Michael Bradfield on 22 July 2002. Unless otherwise indicated, all Bradfield quotes and paraphrases are from this interview. See also the exchange of letters between Paul Volcker and Prof. Riemer, dated 29 October 2001, and 7 November 2001 (docket numbers 1087 and 1092).
5. Final Report on the Work of the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland (5 October 2001).
6. Interview with Judge Korman on 5 July 2002. Unless otherwise indicated, all Korman quotes and paraphrases are from this interview. (The CRT-I final report was never docketed.)
7. All figures in this assessment are rounded off to nearest ten, hundred or thousand depending on order of magnitude.
8. See Burt Neuborne’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 26 February 2002, and attached declaration (docket numbers 1171 and 1172).
9. Projection based on the $40 million paid out against the 3,000 approved claims in CRT-I (some $10 million would be paid out against an additional 600 approved claims).
10. The decision to expand the audit of the Swiss banks to include closed accounts was made by Volcker, “tenaciously pushed” by Bradfield. See John Authers and Richard Wolffe, The Victim’s Fortune (New York: 2002), 356.
11. Independent Committee of Eminent Persons, Report on Dormant Accounts of Victims of Nazi Persecution in Swiss Banks (Bern: 1999), p. 13, paragraph 41 (a).
12. Ibid., p. 82, paragraph 4; cf. pp. 86-7, paragraphs 22-5. Regarding this complex matter, a former CRT senior judge observed: “I can recall at least one specific CRT-II case where an account holder was told by the Nazi authorities that he and his family could leave Germany only if they arranged for the prior transfer of their Swiss bank assets to a Nazi-controlled bank. In that case, obviously, the account owner affirmatively wanted the transfer to take place, and there has been no suggestion by anyone that in such circumstances the bank was ‘culpable’ for doing what the account owner wanted it to do. My recollection is that in that case, with New York approval, the heirs of the account owner were permitted to recover from the Settlement Fund” – i.e., the claim against the Swiss banks was nonetheless approved (private correspondence).
13. A key source for this section is a 11 June 2002 letter by Roberts B. Owen running to nine single-space pages and originally addressed to his colleagues on CRT-II, which provides a careful overview and evaluation of the events narrated here. Owen, an American, served as Vice-Chairman of CRT-I and CRT-II and was the only active senior judge on CRT-II. On Paul Volcker’s urging (he was shown an advanced copy), Owen did not distribute the letter to his colleagues but did send it to Messrs. Volcker, Bradfield, and Singer, and Judge Korman, from whom this writer obtained a copy. (This document was never docketed.) (Hereafter: Owen Letter.)
14. Budgeting for CRT-II began already in February 2000, and the actual processing of claims for CRT-II commenced in May 2001, but this initial stage running to the end of the year proved abortive (former CRT-II employees put the blame for the false start on Bradfield).
15. For the new rules regarding closed accounts, see Article 34 of “Rules Governing the Claims Resolution Process.” (Hereafter: Rules.)
16. See Hanspeter Born’s articles, “Awarding the millions, eyes closed,” in Weltwoche (23 May 2002), and “The Claims Resolution Tribunal without a Judge,” in Weltwoche (6 June 2002), as well as “ ‘Hitler had Switzerland in his pocket,’” in NZZ am Sonntag (9 June 2002), “$800 Million Dollars, Rough Justice,” and “If Too Little is Known, Then Speculate,” in NZZ am Sonntag (16 June 2002). The thrust of these articles was confirmed in numerous interviews and extensive correspondence with the parties involved. For “good hard-working lawyers ...” and “shameful act” as well as further details, see Owen Letter.
17. For the 15 percent approval rate, see Owen Letter, and “$800 Million Dollars, Rough Justice,” in NZZ am Sonntag (9 June 2002). It merits notice that Bradfield’s predictions for CRT-II proved wildly overblown. For example, in a 26 December 2000 memorandum to Judge Korman (“Draft Proposed Budget, January 2001-June 2003, for CRT”), he anticipated that 100,000 claims would be filed, of which (apparently) 85,000 would pass the initial screening, and 12,750 (15 percent of 85,000) would be approved (docket number 1064).
18. For instance, the computer program initially used to match claims against account names underestimated the number of name matches due to data-entry problems.
19. Although Paul Volcker is officially also a Special Master, he is apparently not actively involved.
20. For details, see Owen Letter. Owen observes that Bradfield had established a “cumbersome, overly elaborate arbitral mechanism” for CRT-I, and not only failed – despite the entreaties of the CRT-II leadership – to implement plainly needed reforms in CRT-II but “began to add additional cumbersome requirements.”
21. For this new leadership’s dubious credentials, including “a young New York lawyer with only three years of law practice and no mass claims experience,” and “a young Swedish lawyer who has not yet been admitted to the bar,” see Owen Letter.
22. “Notes from phone call from Judge Korman to CRT on 6 June 2002.” For three and a half years, see Owen Letter.
23. Yair Sheleg, “A long and winding road to compensation,” in Haaretz (8 July 2002), quoting Rabbi Singer.
24. Neuborne letter to Judge Korman, dated 26 February 2002, and attached declaration (docket numbers 1171 and 1172). It’s hard to find a public statement by this trio that’s not either false or egregiously misleading. Consider Neuborne. He has repeatedly maintained that his services on behalf of Holocaust compensation are provided pro bono. Although this was true in the Swiss case (throughout he was still employed full time as a professor at New York University), it was emphatically not the case in the subsequent German settlement, where he raked in $5 million. See The Victim’s Fortune, 250, 374, as well as the letter, dated 12 September 2002, of Sam Dubbin, an attorney enlisted by disgruntled Holocaust victims, to Burt Neuborne: “You tell my client … that you ‘served without fee’ [in the Swiss case]. You fail to inform … that you and the other attorneys who ‘declined to seek fees in this case’ collected $20 million in ‘survivors money’ for your roles in the German settlement, without public disclosure of your services (including whether you sought payment in that case for work you did in the Swiss case), time records, lodestar, or explanation of the value your work allegedly brought to that matter. Your statement gives my client the false impression that you are representing survivors selflessly and at great personal sacrifice” (docket number 1739). Indeed, a “Memorandum” to Judge Korman pointedly observed: “As the Court is well aware, a group of counsel that Professor Neuborne subsequently aligned with attempted to hijack the [Swiss bank] litigation under the ruse that they would work pro bono … By gaining control of the Swiss Bank litigation, they hoped to control any other Holocaust litigation in which they would seek fees” (docket number 1197). As they did. Neuborne is also given to highlighting that the Swiss bank settlement “benefit[s] not only Jews but other victims or targets of Nazi persecution.” See letter to The Nation, dated 5 October 2000. In fact, not only did the “other victims” receive barely a pittance, but it was Neuborne who strenuously fought to minimize disbursements to non-Jews. See 162 in this volume, and The Victim’s Fortune, 354.
25. “Notes from phone call from Judge Korman to CRT on 6 June 2002.”
26. Interview with Burt Neuborne on 25 July 2002. Unless otherwise indicated, all Neuborne quotes and paraphrases are from this interview.
27. Neuborne has recommended that residuals from the $800 million allocated for Holocaust-victim accounts be used for a health plan. See NAHOS: The Newsletter of the National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors (16 October 2001).
28. Born, “Awarding the millions, eye closed.”
29. “Notes from phone call from Judge Korman to CRT on 6 June 2002.”
30. John Authers and William Hall, “Judge angers Swiss on Holocaust cash,” in Financial Times (12 June 2002).
31. “Final Approval Order” (26 July 2000) in In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation 96 Civ. 4849 (ERK) (MDG). Judge Korman never misses an occasion to publicly praise Neuborne’s “brilliance.” See, for instance, his “Memorandum” dated 29 July 2002 (docket number 1308). Recall, incidentally, that during the Swiss banks litigation, these two members of the mutual admiration society served, respectively, as presiding judge and chief plaintiff counsel.
32. “Notes from phone call from Judge Korman to CRT on 6 June 2002.”
33. See Burt Neuborne’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 26 February 2002, and attached declaration, and Neuborne’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 11 April 2002 (docket numbers 1171, 1172 and 1205). For the CRT-II rules already incorporating Neuborne’s recommendation, see Roger M. Witten’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 16 May 2002. (This highly illuminating letter by Witten, a lawyer for the Swiss banks, was never docketed). The presumptions on behalf of claimants that Neuborne proposed had already been incorporated in Article 34 of the Rules.
34. Michael Bradfield “Memorandum” to Judge Korman, “Comparison of CRT-I and CRT-II rules,” dated 16 July 2002 (not docketed). The new method of calculation was incorporated in Article 35 of the Rules.
35. Owen Letter.
36. See Bradfield’s official report filed with the Court on 28 November 2002 (docket number 1487). The “total of all the Awards to date amounts to $50,352,616.14.”
37. Letter to “Claims Resolution Tribunal Staff Members,” dated 12 July 2002 (not docketed). For the sordid record of the Jewish Claims Conference, see chap. 3 in this volume.
38. As of its “Report and Recommendations,” dated 22 August 2002, the Claims Conference asserts it has paid 115,199 Jewish slave laborers (docket number 1353).
39. Interview with Raul Hilberg on 22 April 2002. Respected scholars like Henry Friedlander reach the same figure (see 81 in this volume).
40. The Victim’s Fortune, 368.
41. The quoted phrase “submitted under seal …” is standard in every request by the Claims Conference to the Court for monies from the Swiss settlement fund to compensate Jewish slave laborers. See, for instance, “Report and Recommendations of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. for the Fifth Group of Slave Labor Class I Claims” in In re Holocaust Victims Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks), dated 11 March 2002 (docket number 1180). The Claims Conference has estimated that ultimately 170,000-180,000 Jewish slave laborers will be identified. See Greg Schneider’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 18 January 2002 (docket number 1140). The last figure technically includes 30,000 Jewish former forced laborers classified as Jewish slave laborers in the distribution plan for the Swiss monies.
42. Korman has also rubber-stamped all of Bradfield’s requests to cover CRT administrative expenses – recently averaging more than one million dollar per month – which are deducted from the $1.25 billion settlement fund. For these expenses, see Greg Schneider’s letter to Judge Korman dated 17 September 2002 (docket number 1402). Serious allegations have been leveled about administrative waste, but this writer cannot independently assess them. Apparently in only one instance did a counsel for plaintiffs explicitly question administrative costs. Concerned about a supplemental request by the Claims Conference for nearly a million dollars, attorney Robert Swift wrote Judge Korman on 2 November 2001: “I think it is time to test the basis for the … application and determine whether past expenditures were appropriately distributed and whether future requested expenditures are prudent” (docket number 1096). The Claims Conference denied Swift’s charges, and Korman sustained the Claims Conference, granting its request. See Jean M. Geoppinger’s letter Judge Korman, dated 20 November 2001, and Judge Korman’s “Order,” dated 28 November 2001 (docket numbers 1099 and 1098). In a prior letter to Judge Korman regarding a $2 million allocation to the Claims Conference, Swift had recommended the “employment of an accountant … to assure … that the settlement fund is being spent wisely and the work is being done productively” (9 March 2001; not docketed) – which the Claims Conference promptly shot down: “There is absolutely no foundation for Mr. Swift’s thinly-veiled accusations” (letter dated 4 April 2001; docket number 982).
43. See www.crt-ii.org, under “Awards,” respectively, in re Account of Hedwig Wetzlar (claim number 205408), in re Accounts of Ivo Herman (claim number 207328/HM), and in re Account of Illes Fillenz (claim number 206733/MBC). In his Letter, Owen recalled: “After Bradfield had identified some practices engaged in by some Swiss Banks during World War II, he demanded that I include, in every Award, a description of the practices and then to presume that the particular bank in the particular case had subjected the particular account owner to those practices, even if there was no evidence of such behavior by the particular bank, and even if the point was not necessary to make an Award” (emphasis in original). Owen refused, and eventually Bradfield “backed down.” Regarding Bradfield’s repeated assertion that “Account Owners and their heirs would not have been able to access accounts after the War” (see, for instance, his letter to Judge Korman, dated 1 October 2002, docket number 1416), a CRT attorney with impeccable credentials commented: “This is based on nothing. It is true that banks often (too often) stonewalled heirs (often by interpreting the secrecy laws too rigidly – but those were the laws). It is also true that banks often refused to help Account Owners themselves who had their accounts confiscated by the Nazis …, thus blocking former Account Owners from claiming restitution from Germany. But there is no evidence that, when the account was still open after the war and the account owner survived, the banks refused to recognize the account owner himself” (private communication). The Volcker Committee also reached this conclusion (see below).
44. Zurich: 2002. [Final Report, Switzerland, National Socialism and the Second World War. Jean-François Bergier.]
45. Independent Commission of Experts, Switzerland – Second World War, Switzerland and Gold Transactions in the Second World War, Interim Report (Bern: 1998), IV.
46. See, for instance, Tom Bower, The Paperclip Conspiracy (London: 1987), as well as Christopher Simpson, Blowback (London: 1998), and The Splendid Blond Beast (New York: 1993).
47. There is one passing, vague allusion to “recent international criticism” (494).
48. Report on Dormant Accounts, Annex 5, p. 81; Part I, p. 6.
49. Neuborne’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 11 April 2002 (docket number 1205).
50. Bradfield’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 10 May 2002 (docket number 1224). Bradfield adduces the Bergier Commission Final Report to justify revision of the CRT-II Rules. Yet, if the Bergier Commission reached “similar findings” to the Volcker Committee, why didn’t Bradfield implement the revision after publication of the Volcker Report?
51. “Final Approval Order” (26 July 2000).
52. Letter to The Nation (19 February 2002).
53. “Final Approval Order” (26 July 2000).
54. Neuborne’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 11 April 2002 (docket number 1205).
55. Nachrichtenlose Vermogen bei Schweizer Banken Depots, Konen und Safes von Opfen des nationalsozialistischen Regimes und Restitutionsprobleme in der Nachkriegszeit. Veroffentlichunger der UEK band 15 (Zurich: 2001).
56. In multiple submissions to the Court, Bradfield has continued to maintain regarding closed accounts that Swiss banks were “responsible for maintaining complete records,” and that they “did not maintain the appropriate records on account disposition.” See, for instance, his letter to Judge Korman, dated 15 August 2002 (docket number 1358). Yet under Swiss law, banks were not required to keep records on closed accounts beyond ten years. It ought to be remembered that there were no computers back then, so preserving anything meant huge space dedicated to physical files. That the banks have preserved anything on closed accounts is beyond the requirements of the law.
57. Tages Anzeiger (1 June 2002). For Bradfield’s (mis)use of the Bonhage et al. study to justify rule changes, see his letter to Judge Korman, dated 23 May 2002 (docket number 1245).
58. For references, see 154n5 in this volume, and Raul Hilberg interviews posted on www.normanfinkelstein.com under “The Holocaust Industry.” This writer independently reached the same conclusion as Hilberg (see chap. 3 in this volume).
59. Sheleg (“A long and winding road…”) observes that the few Holocaust-victim accounts found in the Swiss banks “could mean that the Jewish representatives will be seen as having waged an international battle over a sum far higher than deserves to be paid out.”
60. The Victim’s Fortune, 32-6. The disgust was communicated in personal correspondence initiated by Meilli with this writer.
61. Neuborne’s letter to Judge Korman, dated 26 February 2002, and attached declaration, and Judge Korman, “Order,” dated 15 March 2002 (docket numbers 1171, 1172 and 1186). In accordance with Neuborne’s recommendation, Korman ordered that Meilli immediately be given an initial payment of $775,000.
1. New York: Public Affairs, 2003. All parenthetical references in the body of the text refer to Eizenstat’s book.
2. For the US Holocaust Museum, see 72-8 in this volume. (Hereafter: HI.)
3. HI, 90.
4. See HI, 22, 65-6, “Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Letter to Georgetown University,” at www.normanfinkelstein.com (under “The real ‘Axis of Evil’”), and the March Rich scandal below.
5. See John Laughland, “The Prague racket,” in Guardian (22 November 2002), and HI, 133.
6. See “The final findings of the investigation regarding the events in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941” (9 July 2002) at http://www.ipn.gov.pl.
7. In typical Holocaust industry style, Michael J. Bazyler begins his book on – that “The Holocaust was both the greatest murder and the greatest theft in history.” Elsewhere he writes that “the Nazi art confiscation program” during the Holocaust was “the greatest displacement of art in human history,” and Hitler “spent more on art then [sic] anybody in the history of the world” (quoting another Holocaust industry historian). (Michael J. Bazyler, Holocaust Justice [New York: 2003], xi, 2002), Victor Klemperer recalls the Nazis’ chauvinist mania for “superlatives” and kindred qualifiers like “unique” (110, 214, 215-24). For analysis of the Holocaust industry’s “inverted” linguistic chavinism (“greatest crime,” “unique crime”), see HI, 41-9.
8. Independent Commission of Experts, Final Report, Switzerland, National Socialism and the Second World War (Zurich: 2002), 261. (Hereafter: Bergier Final Report.)
9. Information on Bronfman obtained from Douglas Weber of the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org); for background on Bronfman’s wealth, see http://www.motherjones.com/coinop_congress/97mojo_400/profile5.html. J.J. Goldberg, Jewish Power (Reading, MA: 1996), 275-6 (“Jewish money”). (Goldberg is editor of The Forward, the main national Jewish newspaper.)
10. Niles Latham, “Marc Rich Was ‘A Mossad’ Spy for Israel,” in New York Post (5 February 2001) (multi-billion dollar). Matthew E. Berger, “Did Pollard Pay For Efforts to Pardon Rich?,” in Jewish Telegraphic Agency (13 February 2001) (Wiesel). Melissa Radler, “Foxman: I ‘Probably’ Shouldn’t Have Asked for Rich Pardon,” in Jerusalem Post (22 March 2001). Alison Leigh Cowan, “Supporter of Pardon For Fugitive Has Regrets,” in New York Times (24 March 2001). P.K. Semler, “Marc Rich Was ‘A Mossad’ Spy For Israel,” in Washington Times (21 June 2002) Russian mafia). Andrew Silow-Carroll, “The Featherman File,” in Forward (24 August 2001) (“no precedent”).
11. For background, see HI, 89-120.
12. This discussion will not treat the trivialities featured in the press as well as sensationalist book-length accounts such as the alleged failure of the Swiss bankers to offer Bronfman a chair at their first encounter in September 1995; for a rebuttal of this allegation, see the letter of Dr. Georg F. Krayer, chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, to Edgar Bronfman (13 March 1997; private source).
13. In the perfervid imagination of Bazyler, Holocaust Justice, Hausfeld had discovered “historical documents [that] became important pieces of legal evidence that he would use later against the Swiss banks to push them into a settlement. If the Swiss banks did not settle, Hausfeld was ready to introduce these documents as prime exhibits during trial” (9).
14. The lawyers also claimed that its financing by the Swiss compromised the audit, although this monetary burden – as Eizenstat makes clear (27) – was also imposed on the Swiss (cf. HI, 156). Echoing the Holocaust industry lawyers, Bazyler, Holocaust Justice, repeatedly asserts the fraudulent claim that creating the Volcker Committee was a “tactic that the Swiss had employed in the litigation filed against them” (132, 179).
15. See also, HI, 157.
16. For the Kram imbroglio, see Nacha Cattan, “Survivors, German Firms Join Hands To Blast Judge as Shoah Pact Stalls,” in Forward (20 April 2001), Jane Fritsch, “Judge Clears Obstacles To Pay Slaves Of The Nazis,” in New York Times (11 May 2001), “Germans Dispute Judge’s Order on Pay To Victims of Nazis,” in New York Times (12 May 2001), “Decision on Nazi Reparations Is Appealed,” in New York Times (16 May 2001), Jane Fritsch, “One Step Closer To Reparations For Nazi Victims,” in New York Times (18 May 2001), Nacha Cattan, “With Judge’s Ruling, Shoah Pacts Clear ‘Last Hurdle,’” in Forward (25 May 2001). For the Hausfeld lawsuit, see Betsy Schiffman, “IBM Gets An Ugly History Lesson,” in Forbes (12 February 2001), Michelle Kessler, “Book links IBM to Holocaust,” in USA Today (12 February 2001), “Lawyer to drop IBM Holocaust case,” in Reuters (30 March 2001), Robyn Weisman, “IBM Holocaust Lawsuit Dropped” (http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/8596.html). In addition to IBM, which alledgedly “provided the technology, products, and services that catalogued concentration camp victims and substantially aided the persecution, suffering and genocide experienced in the camps before and during World War II,” Hausfeld apparently intended to sue “a further 100 American corporations – identified by records culled from the FBI and the United States Treasury Department – as having traded with the Nazi regime,” including “leading industrial and chemical companies and some of the top names in US banking” (“Case Watch: Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. Files Class Action Lawsuit Against IBM” at http://www.cmht.com/casewatch/cases/cwibm.html; Robert L. Gleiser, “IBM sued, 100 U.S. firms are accused of Nazi links” at http://www.mugu.com/pipermail/upstream-list/2001-February/001393.html). A federal appeals court also struck down a California law enabling World War II slave laborers in mostly Japanese firms to sue for wages and injuries after the federal government filed a brief on behalf of the defendants (Adam Liptak, “Court Dismisses Claims of Slave Laborers,” in New York Times (22 January 2003); for the US government’s shameless double standard of supporting the Holocaust industry’s claims against German industry but opposing comparable claims by its own American POWs against Japanese industry, see Bazyler, Holocaust Justice, 307-17.
17. For Neuborne’s sordid role in the Holocaust shakedown, see HI, 154ff., 168-9, and Postscript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume. Incidentally, Neuborne himself effectively concedes that, apart from the dormant accounts (which were already subject to the Volcker audit), the claims against the Swiss banks lacked any legal merit. In the German case, Neuborne faults the US courts for dismissing the lawsuits before a settlement was reached: even if they lacked merit, Neuborne seems to suggest, the courts should have (as in the Swiss case) delayed deciding to pressure the defendants (Burt Neuborne, “Preliminary Reflections on Aspects of Holocaust-Era Litigation in American Courts,” in Washington University Law Quarterly (Fall 2002), 805n23, 807n31, 816n73).
18. Neuborne – who claims no less than Aristotle as his mentor on Ethics in the Holocaust litigation – repeatedly defers to and heaps praise on “the extraordinary combination of the talents of Mel Weiss and Mike Hausfield” (Neuborne, “Preliminary Reflections,” 292n3, 805n26, 829).
19. Bergier Final Report, 518; for the Final Report’s penchant for hyperbolic criticism of Swiss policy, see Postscript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume.
20. Ibid., 31.
21. Elli Wohlgelernter, “Media were key in resolving Holocaust restitution issues, reporters tell Yad Vashem conference,” in Jerusalem Post (1 January 2003), quoting Itamar Levin, deputy editor of the Israeli business magazine Globes, and author of The Last Deposit, on the Swiss banks case; for Levin, see HI, esp. 89, 120.
22. In Burt Neuborne’s fantastical analogy, this massive mobilization of American power to extract money on unfounded claims was reminiscent of “when I boycotted grapes to support farm workers seeking a union contract” (Neuborne, “Preliminary Reflections,” 828n117).
23. Letter to The Nation (18 February 2002).
24. See Postscript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume.
25. HI, 163-4.
26. By all indications, the Holocaust industry has been pursuing against European insurance companies a strategy identical to its Swiss blackmail campaign. Meanwhile the International Commission of Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) is embroiled in scandal as it has spent more than $30 million on administrative expenses – including multiple international conferences lasting no more than 24 hours with first-class accommodations and business-class flight arrangements – while distributing only $3 million to Holocaust claimants. Shrugging off the criticism, WJC executive director Elan Steinberg said that the “bill is footed by the insurance companies and banks” – i.e. “It’s on the goyim” (Yair Sheleg, “Profits of doom,” in Haaretz [29 June 2001], Henry Weinstein, “Spending by Holocaust Claims Panel Criticized,” in Los Angeles Times [17 May 2001]). Apart from its vulgarity, the statement is almost certainly untrue: under the German settlement’s terms, administrative expenses are deducted from the $100 million total allotment to policy-holders. Typically, the Holocaust industry is now demanding that the German insurers foot its vacation bills. In yet another ICHEIC scandal, Neil Sher, chief of staff of ICHEIC’s Washington office, was “investigated for allegedly misappropriating commission funds for personal use before resigning” (Nacha Cattan, “Restitution Exec Was Probed on Spending,” in Forward [1 November 2002]).
27. Independent Committee of Eminent Persons, Report on Dormant Accounts of Victims of Nazi Persecution in Swiss Banks (Bern: 1999). The report observes that, although “after the settlement of the class action lawsuit in New York in 1998, Swiss banks collectively took a more critical view of the investigation[,] ... these problems were worked out to the satisfaction of the Committee and almost all Swiss banks without compromising the integrity of the investigation” (Annex 3, p. 56, paras 65-6).
28. Ibid., Annex 5, p. 81, para. 1; for analysis of Volcker findings, cf. HI, 111ff.
29. Bergier Final Report, 34, 456; for analysis, cf. Postscript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume. Like Eizenstat, Bazyler, Holocaust Justice, devotes all of one sentence buried in an endnote to the Volcker Committee’s findings (342n80), while giving over nearly three full pages (46-9) to what the Bergier Commission (allegedly) found.
30. For the Claims Resolution Tribunal’s findings, see Postscript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume; for Hilberg, see “Comment s’écrira désormais l’histoire de l’Holocauste? Entretien avec l’auteur de ‘La destruction des juifs d’Europe,’” in Libération (Paris, 15 September 2001) (“spectacular figures”), and “Holocaust Expert Says Swiss Banks Are Paying Too Much,” in Deutsche Presse-Agentur (28 January 1999) (“blackmail”). In Bazyler’s mathematical universe, the Claims Resolution Tribunal’s award in a single instance of $5 million to a claimant “directly” proves that the $1.25 billion settlement was justified (Holocaust Justice, 43).
31. Pierre Heumann, “Israel fordert neuen Bankenvergleich,” in Weltwoche (10 January 2002).
32. For the 36,000 figure, see Postscript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume.
33. For the libelous campaign against the Swiss, see HI, 93-4.
34. The Volcker Committee identified some 15,000 dormant accounts with a “probable or possible relationship” to Holocaust victims. Another 39,000 closed accounts with a “probable or possible relationship” were also identified. After vetting this list of 54,000 dormant and closed accounts for errors, the total was found to be 36,000 (it’s not known how many of these were dormant and how many closed); cf. Volcker Report, 10, and Postscript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume.
35. Netty C. Gross, “Cheating Our Own,” in Jerusalem Report (16 December 2002); cf. Netty C. Gross, “Up Front: Too Many Questions,” in Jerusalem Report (13 January 2003). (All quotes in this paragraph are from Gross’s articles.) A Knesset committee put the value of the dormant accounts at “more than $20 million” (whether this total includes accumulated interest is unclear).
36. For Hirschson, see HI, 134-5.
37. For background, see HI, 83ff. Eizenstat repeats the standard Holocaust industry claim that the German government only compensated Holocaust victims for “their general loss of liberty and damage to their health …, [b]ut they explicitly excluded payments for their slave and forced labor” (207) – as if the lifetime pensions Holocaust victims received for injuries incurred in the camps were totally unrelated to their coerced labor.
38. For the Claims Conference, see HI, 85.
39. See, for instance, Burt Neuborne’s letter to The Nation (5 October 2002).
40. See also Norman Finkelstein, “Reply to my Critics in Germany: Conjuring Conspiracies or Breaking Taboos?” at www.normanfinkelstein.com under “The Holocaust Industry” (first published in 9 September 2000 issue of Suddeutsche Zeitung).
41. For the Freidlander and Hilberg figures, see HI, 125-6, and Postcript to the Second Paperback Edition in this volume. (Hilberg has kindly provided this writer with a breakdown and explanation of his calculations.) For the Holocaust industry’s numbers game on Holocaust survivors, and Eizenstat’s part in it, see HI, 126ff., 158ff., 168-9. Judging from the context it’s conceivable that Eizenstat meant the 200,000 figure to designate only Jewish slave laborers alive at war’s end but, as argued below, this figure still can’t be reconciled with 140,000 former Jewish slave laborers among the living 50 years later.
42. Yehuda Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust (New Haven: 2001), 246. Before the Holocaust compensation campaign, Bauer estimated that, referring to the camps, “the number of Jewish survivors who remained alive ... was 100,000” at war’s end (Yad Vashem Studies, vol. 8 , 127-8n3). The likelihood is that only about 10-20 percent of the Jewish slave-laborers alive at war’s end still remain among the living. This percentage is supported by recent estimates that during the war Germany’s Roman Catholic Church “used 10,000 forced laborers and about 1,000 are still alive” (New York Times, 8 November 2000). On this and related matters, see esp. Gunnar Heinsohn, Juedische Sklavenarbeiter Hitlerdeutschlands – Wie viele ueberlebten 1945 den Genozid und wie viele konnten im Jahr 2000 noch leben?, Schriftenreihe des Raphael-Lemkin-Instituts Nr. 9 (Bremen: 2001); revealingly, Heinsohn reports that the German media suppressed serious discussion of the slave-labor numbers (67). The exact figure for former Jewish slave-laborers still alive will probably never be known, however, since the German government has elected to only spotcheck the applications for compensation submitted by the Claims Conference (see Ministry of Finance’s response to query of Martin Hohmann [CDU], 9 October 2001).
43. NAHOS, The Newsletter of the National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors, vol. 7, no. 18 (14 August 2001); cf. NAHOS, vol. 7, no. 15 (11 May 2001), which upbraids the Claims Conference for manipulating survivor numbers “depending on political exigencies” – for instance, to expedite negotiations the Holocaust industry has lamented from the mid-1990s that “Holocaust survivors are dying every day” and “ten percent” are dying annually, yet to justify ever-escalating demands the number it sets forth for living Holocaust survivors increases from one year to the next.
44. “Nun bitte auch zahlen,” in Die Zeit (12/2001).
45. Nacha Cattan, “Shoah ‘People’ Fund Attacked,” in Forward (28 December 2001) (“rules”). Yair Sheleg, “Only he knows what needs to be done,” in Haaretz (9 November 2001) (“gangster”).
46. Wolfgang Koydl, “ ‘Berlin sollte nicht schachern’. Israel Singer sieht die Bundesregierung trotz Etat-Problemen zu Zahlungen an alle Zwangsarbeiter verpflichtet,” in Suddeutsche Zeitung (3 February 2003) (“dozen millions,” “existence,” “last visit,” “face”), and “Singer sieht Deutschland in der Pflicht,” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (13 February 2003) (“bread crumbs”).
47. Criticizing these postwar compensation laws, Eizenstat writes: “Perhaps most egregious were the judgments of some Austrian courts in deciding property claims after the war. They required the original Jewish owners to repay the current occupant the forced sales price he had been required to take, adjusted upward for inflation, thus enriching the Aryanizers twice” (302). Why “twice”? The original Jewish owners were simply called upon to return the payment (adjusted for inflation) that they received from the current occupant before reclaiming the property.
48. Matthew Lee, “US vows to keep an eye on new government in Vienna,” in Agence France Presse (5 February 2000) (“step back”), David E. Sanger, “U.S. Is Facing Wider Issues In Its Actions Over Austria,” in New York Times (6 February 2000) (“never allow”), Joel Greenberg, “Israel Plans to Recall Envoy Over Right-Wingers in Austria” in New York Times (3 February 2000) (“not be business”), “Austrian far-right enters government,” in BBC News (“cannot remain”). The European Union applied stiff diplomatic sanctions on Austria but lifted them several months later.
49. See, for instance, the WJC’s critical coverage of the Pope’s meeting with Haider in Dialogues (newsletter of the Institute of the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem) (June 2001).
50. For Singer’s $10 billion document, see HI, 139; for the demonstration, see “Say No to Haiderism” (press release), in JAFI (The Jewish Agency for Israel).
51. Donald G. McNeil, “Chancellor Proposes to Compensate Austria’s Wartime Slaves,” in New York Times (10 February 2000), Sue Masterman, “Not United: U.S., Israel Reject EU’s Lifting of Sanctions Against Austria,” in ABCnews.com (13 September 2000) (“particularly concerned”).
52. For Eizenstat’s remarks, see “Unofficial Transcript: Schaumayer, Eizenstat on Nazi Slave Labor Fund” (17 May 2000). Never passing up an opportunity to make a buck, the WJC also called on Jews to “stop Austria’s Joerg Haider and other extremists by making an emergency contribution to the World Jewish Congress” (mail solicitation). A top American Jewish philanthropist and financier, Michael Steinhardt, noting that “anti-Semitism sells,” told the Jerusalem Post that organized Jewry “vastly exaggerated” anti-Semitism for fundraising purposes (Jerusalem Post Internet Staff, 5 January 2003).
53. Jane Fritsch, “$52 Million for Lawyers’ Fees in Nazi-Era Slave-Labor Suits,” in New York Times (15 June 2001) (Neuborne), Daniel Wise, “$60 Million in Fees Awarded to Lawyers Who Negotiated $5 Billion Holocaust Fund,” in New York Law Journal (15 June 2001), Larry Neumeister, “Millions in legal fees awarded in slave labor cases,” in Associated Press (18 June 2001) (Eizenstat, Swift), Jonathan Goddard, “Holocaust lawyers make millions as the survivors wait,” in London Jewish News (22 June 2001), Jonathan Goddard, “Nazi Story Sold,” in London Jewish News (6 July 2001) (Hollywood). “The Survivors Belong At The Head Of The Table,” in NAHOS (1 November 2001), reprint of article originally published in Aufbau (28 March 2001) (survivors). For Weiss’s annual earnings, see Bazyler, Holocaust Justice, 338n25. For Hausfeld, Weiss and Neuborne litigating the Swiss case pro bono as a “ruse” in order to “control any other Holocaust litigation in which they would seek fees,” see HI, 191n24.
54. For the Claims Conference’s squandering of compensation monies earmarked by the German government and German private industry for Holocaust victims, see HI, 84ff., and esp. Auschwitz survivor Gerhard Maschkowski’s “Correspondence with Claims Conference and others,” at www.jewishcompensation.com. My original conclusions relied heavily on Prof. Ronald Zweig’s study commissioned by the Claims Conference, German Reparations and the Jewish World. After publication of The Holocaust Industry, Zweig repeatedly charged that I “misused” and “distorted” his research, yet – despite ample space and time to present his case – cited not a single example (cf. Zweig’s review on www.Amazon.com for The Holocaust Industry, and p. 10 of his introduction to the second edition of German Reparations and the Jewish World (London: 2001, as well as our “Democracy Now” radio debate at www.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20000713.html).
55. Jon Greenberg, “Jewish leaders say Holocaust reparations are nearly complete,” in Associated Press (2 November 2001) (“11 billion”), Yair Sheleg, “Conflicting claims,” in Haaretz (10 December 2001) (German properties), Cattan, “Shoah ‘People’ Fund Attacked” (“debating”), Nacha Cattan, “Clash Looming Over Uses of Shoah Funds,” in Forward (9 November 2001) (“scene”), Israel Singer, “Transparency, Truth, and Restitution,” in Sh’ma (June 2002) (“soul and spirit”).
56. For these figures, see HI, 152, 159-60.
57. Eva Fogelman, “Out Task: To Dignify the Lives of Survivors,” in Sh’ma (June 2002) (“basic necessities”), Menachem Rosensaft, “For Aging Survivors, a Prescription for Disaster,” in Forward (31 January 2003) (“German government ... German industry”). PRNewswire (4 June 2001) (“ensure,” Sachs, Schaecter), NAHOS, vol. 7, no. 15 (11 May 2001) (Rechter), NAHOS, vol. 7, no. 17 (16 July 2001), NAHOS, vol. 8, no. 2 (20 December 2001), NAHOS, vol. 8, no. 13 (6 February 2003), and David Schaecter, “Use Restituted Funds for Urgent Survivors’ Needs,” in Sh’ma (June 2002) (doubtful undertakings). NAHOS, vol. 7, no. 13 (9 March 2001) (“sizeable chunk”), Cattan, “Shoah ‘People’ Fund Attacked” (“favorite charities”). Yair Sheleg, “Future imperfect, tense,” in Haaretz (1 Feburary 2002) (Michael Kleiner). Eliahu Salpeter, “Time is running out for compensation,” in Haaretz (13 February 2002) (“tool”). Taylor’s salary and benefits from the Claims Conference’s 2001 Tax Return provided by the Internal Revenue Service; although the Claims Conference web site stipulates “full” disclosure of “Financial Statements,” its Director of Communications, Hillary Kessler-Godin, refused to supply financial data. “Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc.”: Memorandum to Hon. Edward R. Korman (1 August 2002) (“reduction”). See also Amy Dockser Marcus, “As Survivors Age, Debate Breaks Out on Holocaust Funds,” in Wall Street Journal (15 January 2003), and Eric J. Greenberg, “Shoah Money Debate Intensifies,” in Jewish Week (21 February 2003). Rechter wondered why the constituent organizations of the Holocaust industry are “fighting so ferociously” for a cut of the compensation monies if there supposedly isn’t even enough to cover a health-care program (NAHOS, vol. 8, no. 3 [8 February 2002]). Denouncing the Holocaust industry’s fraudulent use of the term “Holocaust survivor” to deny actual survivors their due, Rechter also observed: “Giving aid to needy Jews is certainly a worthy cause, but it must be remembered that this money was demanded on behalf of Holocaust survivors and it should go to their welfare. Russia was not under Nazi occupation. Many of its Jews did flee eastward for fear of the Nazis, and therefore they constitute ‘war victims,’ but they are not Holocaust survivors.” The term was similarly falsified to inflate the number of survivors during compensation negotiations (Sheleg, “Conflicting claims,” and HI, 160).
58. See HI, 135. One lucrative spin-off of Holocaust education for university academics is the “historical commission”; for one egregious example, see “Prof. Gerald Feldman – Another Holocaust huckster?” at www.NormanFinkelstein.com (under “The Holocaust Industry”), as well as Gerald Feldman, “Holocaust Assets and German Business History: Beginning to End?” in German Studies Review (February 2002), protesting rather too much that “I see no reason why historians should not be paid for their services in the manner of other professionals” (30).
59. Together: American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors (November 2001), Ron Rosenbaum, “Degrees of Evil,” in Atlantic Monthly (February 2000), Andrew Sullivan, “Who Says It’s Not about Religion?” in The New York Times Magazine (7 October 2001). For mainstream American Jewish support for attacking Iraq, see, for instance, “ADL Commends President Bush’s Message To International Community On Iraq Calling It ‘Clear and Forceful’” (Anti-Defamation League, press release [12 September 2002]), and “AJC Lauds Bush on State of Union Message on Terrorism ...” (American Jewish Committee, press release [7 February 2003]); for Israel’s enthusiastic support, see Meron Benvenisti, “Hey ho, here comes the war,” in Haaretz (13 February 2003), Uzi Benziman, “Corridors of Power/O What a lovely war,” in Haaretz (14 February 2003), Gideon Levy, “A great silence over the land,” in Haaretz (16 February 2003), Aluf Benn, “Background/Enthusiastic IDF awaits war in Iraq,” in Haaretz (16 February 2003), and Aluf Benn, “The celebrations have already begun,” in Haaretz (20 February 2003); for Wiesel, see “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (transcript for “Where Are We Now?,” aired 9 October 2002), “War is the only option,” in Observer (22 December 2002), and Randall Mikkelsen, “Nobel Laureate Wiesel backs Bush over Iraq,” in Reuters (27 February 2003); for Wiesenthal, see Simon Wiesenthal Center, “Famed Nazi Hunter Simon Wiesenthal’s Statement On Impending Iraq War,” at www.wiesenthal.com; for “appeasement,” see Brian Knowlton, “Top U.S. Official Urges U.N. to Maintain Pressure on Hussein” (quoting Condoleezza Rice) in International Herald Tribune (16 February 2003); for “anti-Semitism,” see Eliot A. Cohen, “The Reluctant Warrior,” in Wall Street Journal (6 February 2003) and J. Bottum, “The Poets vs. The First Lady,” in Weekly Standard (17 February 2002), as well as “ADL Says Organizers of Antiwar Protests in Washington and San Francisco Have History of Attacking Israel and Jews” (Anti-Defamation League, press release [15 January 2003]), “Blackballing Lerner” (editorial) and Max Gross, “Leftist Rabbi Claims He’s Too Pro-Israel for Anti-War Group,” in Forward (14 February 2003), and David Brooks, “It’s Back: The socialism of fools has returned in vogue not just in the Middle East and France, but in the American left and Washington,” in Weekly Standard (21 February 2003).
60. “Spiegel kritisiert Nein zum Irak-Krieg” in Suddeutsche Zeitung (26 January 2003), Helmut Breuer and Gernot Facius, “‘Es gibt notwendige Kriege.’ Paul Spiegel, Zentralratsvorsitzender der Juden, sieht die Oeffentlichkeit in einem ‘Dornroeschenschlaf,’” in Die Welt (13 February 2003) (“necessary wars”).
61. Robert Fisk, “Peres stands accused over denial of ‘meaningless’ Armenian Holocaust,” in The Independent (18 April 2001). Recoiling at any comparison between the Nazi and Turkish exterminations, Israel’s ambassador to Georgia and Armenia maintained that Jews suffered a “genocide” while what happened to the Armenians was merely a “tragedy” (“Armenia files complaint with Israel over comments on genocide,” in Associated Press [16 February 2002]; for a bitter response, see “Armenian, Greek, and Kurdish Americans Voice Concern to Nine Jewish American Groups,” in Armenian Weekly [April/May 2002], and see also Thomas O’Dwyer, “Nothing Personal/Among the deniers,” in Haaretz [9 May 2003]).
62. “Bush Remembers Holocaust Victims, Pledges Defense of Israel,” in Reuters (19 April 2001).
63. Amir Oren, “At the gates of Yassergrad,” in Haaretz (25 January 2002), and Uzi Benziman, “Immoral Imperative,” in Haaretz (1 February 2002).
64. According to Einzenstat, his wife also evinced rare moral rectitude during the compensation campaign. Standing in Auschwitz on a cold winter day while listening to stories of the inmates’ suffering, “Fran said out loud that she felt guilty wearing her fur coat” (21). Truly she must have been moved.
65. Mohandas K. Ghandhi, Autobiography (New York: 1983), 424.
66. See HI, 114ff. for background. Recalling a testy exchange with Roger Witten, a lawyer for the Swiss banks, Eizenstat writes: “Witten insisted that ‘wealthy Jewish families sent their money to the U.S., Argentina, and the UK’ rather than Switzerland. I found this an astonishing statement” (141). Eizenstat carefully evades, however, the crucial point that the US was also a major safe haven. For the record, when queried by this writer about the alleged quote, Witten replied: “The point I was making was that it was a mistake to indulge the over-general assumption that Jewish families who succeeded in getting their money out of Germany necessarily sent it to Switzerland. Rather, I said, if they were able to do so, they often sent funds to havens that then appeared to be safer than Switzerland (which was subject to Nazi invasion), particularly the U.K., the U.S., and Argentina (whose economy then was very strong). I also said that when some Jewish families sent money to Switzerland in the first instance, they intended Switzerland to be a way station for some or all of the money, i.e., they expected to be able to transfer it from Switzerland to some place like the U.S., U.K., or Argentina. I believe we had some capital flow data that tended to support these assertions, which certainly had anecdotal support. I certainly never said, nor could reasonably have been understood to say, that Jewish families hadn’t sent funds to Switzerland for safekeeping” (private correspondence, 6 January 2003).
67. See HI, 170ff.
68. HI, 173-4. Eizenstat also repeatedly recalls that the Swiss purchased Nazi gold looted from Holocaust victims (50, 91, 101-2, 111, 114) – passing over in silence the fact that there’s no evidence the Swiss knowingly purchased the “victim gold” and that the US was likely guilty of the same practice HI, 174-5), as well as falsely implying that the value of this “victim gold” purchased by the Swiss came to $14.5 million (114) whereas it was valued at about $135,000 (or $1 million in current values) (HI, 110-11). Congratulating the Swiss for having finally reformed, Eizenstat reports that “they have been freezing secret accounts of dictators like the Nigerian strongman, Sani Abacha” (185) – yet skirting over that the Abachas also secreted their ill-gotten gains in US banks (HI, 110).
69. In a letter to The Nation (18 February 2002), Burt Neuborne sought to defend this grotesque double standard on the grounds that “the Swiss asked that refugees be allowed to participate in the settlement, and we agreed.” In fact, the initial indictment of the class-action lawyers included “the Swiss government in barring refugees” (76). Elsewhere Neuborne concedes that the Swiss settlement included Jewish refugees denied entry due to “the potential theories of liability asserted against various categories of Swiss defendants” (Neuborne, “Preliminiary Reflections,” 808n34).
70. When Holocaust survivors from Hungary sued the US government for the return of assets looted by pro-Nazi Hungarian troops and subsequently misappropriated by American military personnel, Eizenstat (now in private practice) ridiculed the “legal basis” of the claims as “suspect,” and called for merely “some token payment to the Hungarian Jewish community” (Stuart Eizenstat, “Justice Remains Beyond Grasp of Too Many Holocaust Victims,” in Forwards [18 October 2002]). Even in his egregiously apologetic account of the compensation campaign, Bazyler, Holocaust Justice, concedes that “the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission headed by Bronfman was ... a failure. After spending $2.7 million, the commission failed to meet even its primary goal: assembling a database of Holocaust-era assets still in the United States. Moreover, given its limited mandate to look at only the activities of the federal government and thus not the activities of American industry during the war, the commission could not ask the same questions about American corporate complicity with the Nazis that similar government-created historical commissions had asked in Europe ... Unfortunately, there seems to be a double standard here. The demands that we have made on European governments and corporations about honestly confronting and documenting their wartime financial dealings and other activities are not being followed in the United States” (305). Putting to one side the matter of compensation, simply compare the $2.7 million allocated by the US for its own commission with the “nearly $700 million” (300-1) Swiss banks have had to pay out to auditors. In another testament to the double standard, Bazyler, while indignantly dilating on the fate of Holocaust-era Jewish assets deposited in Swiss banks, makes not a single direct reference to the fate of Holocaust-era Jewish assets deposited in US banks.
71. See Andreas Mink, “ ‘Das Schlimmste steht uns noch bevor.’ Der Ex-US-Staatssekretaer Stuart Eizenstat engagiert sich in der Auseinandersetzung um Menschenrechts-Klagen,” in Aufbau (12 Decmeber 2002)
72. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Elouise Pepion Cobell et al., Plaintiffs, v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, Lawrence Summers, Secretary of the Treasury, and Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Civil Action No. 96-1285) (RCL), Memorandum Opinion: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (21 December 1999), 6. (Hereafter: Memorandum Opinion – December 1999.)
73. See David Stannard’s authoritative study, American Holocaust (Oxford: 1992).
74. Jeffrey St. Clair, “Stolen Trust” in CounterPunch (5 September 2002).
75. Memorandum Opinion – December 1999, 5.
76. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Elouise Pepion Cobell, et al., vs. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior et al., Defendants, Plaintiffs’ Plan for Determining Accurate Balances in the Individual Indian Trust (6 January 2003), 2-3 (emphasis in original). (Hereafter: Plaintiffs’ Plan – January 2003.)
77. Memorandum Opinion – December 1999, 6.
78. Committee on Government Operations (102d Congress, House Rept. 102-499), Misplaced Trust: The Bureau of Indian Affairs Mismanagement of the Indian Trust Fund (1 April 1992), 12, 84-5. (Hereafter: Misplaced Trust.)
79. Memorandum Opinion – December 1999, 125; for details of the US government’s long record of delinquency, cf. Misplaced Trust, 86ff.
80. Memorandum Opinion – December 1999, 4-5.
81. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Elouise Pepion Cobell, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Gale A. Norton, Secretary of the Interior, et al., Defendants (Civil Action No. 96-1285) (RCL), Memorandum Opinion (17 September 2002), 1-2 (emphasis in original). (Hereafter: Memorandum Opinion – September 2002).
82. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Elouise Pepion, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, Lawrence Summers, Secretary of the Treasury, and Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Civil Action No. 96-1285) (RCL), Order (21 December 1999).
83. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Elouise Pepion, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, Robert Rubin, Secretary of the Treasury, and Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Civil Action No. 96-1285) (RCL), Memorandum Opinion (22 February 1999), 15 (“travesty”), 17 (“modern times,” “relish”), 33 (“failed,” “substantial”), 50-3 (“destroying”), 62 (“contumacious”), 67 (“cover-up,” “campaign”), 70 (“illegitimate”), 71-2 (“reckless,” “close to criminal” [empahsis in original]), 77 (“shocking,” “egregious”), 79 (“tarnished”). (Hereafter: Memorandum Opinion – February 1999.)
84. United States District Court For the District of Columbia, Elouise Pepion Cobell et al., Plaintiffs, v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, et al., Defendants (Civil Action No. 96-1285) (RCL), Recommendation and Report of the Special Master Regarding the Delayed Disclosure of the Uncurrent Check Records Maintained by the Department of the Treasury (3 December 1999), 24ff. (renewed destruction), 56 (“myriad opportunities”), 117-18 (“potentially,” “out of control”).
85. Memorandum Opinion – December 1999, 33 (“no written plan”), 49 (“shredder”), 90-1 (“four statutory breaches”), 97 (“missing-data problem”), 109 (“longer Interior waits”), 117 (“breach of plaintiffs’ rights”); cf. 112, 118.
86. United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Argued September 5, 2000; Decided 23 February 2001. No. 00-5081. Elouise Pepion Cobell, et al., Appellees v. Gale A. Norton, Secretary of the Interior, et al., Appellants. Consolidated with 00-5084. Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 96cv01285).
87. Memorandum Opinion – September 2002, 199 (“abundantly clear”), 202 (“fifteen years”), 204 (“egregious nature”), 206 (“almost unfathomable”).
88. Misplaced Trust, 38 (“little sense”); Memorandum Opinion – December 1999, 21 (“difficult task”).
89. Memorandum Opinion – September 2002, 64 (“only had”), 180-2 (“saddened”).
90. Memorandum Opinion – September 2002, 41n30, 48-50, 54-55 (“hundreds of millions,” “unlikely to fund”), 190-4 (“numerous meetings,” “overwhelmingly,” “scheme,” “trial ruling,” “dubious”). Although sharply critical of Bush’s Department of Interior, Judge Lamberth did acknowledge that it was “marginally more responsive” (212).
91. Memorandum Opinion – September 2002, 2 (“disgracefully”), 212 (“laughable”), 216 (“despicable”), 218 (“disgraceful actions”), 242 (“recalcitrance”), 267 (“life tenure”).
92. Joe Brinkley, “American Indians Say Documents Show Government Has Chated Them Out of Billions,” in New York Times (7 January 2003). This was one of only 6 articles the Times has devoted to the Cobell case, as against 359 articles to the Swiss banks case. For the court filing, see Plaintiffs’ Plan – January 2003.
93. Neuborne avows that the impetus behind Holocaust compensation was “a sense of the moral obligation of foreign defendants to live by American rules of fundamental fairness ... if they wish to participate in the remarkable success of this economic, social, and political culture,” and that “when a foreign corporation wishes to reap the benefits of our economic and social system, I am not the slightest bit embarrassed to insist that the foreign corporation agree to live by the legal rules that allowed the social and economic system to flourish.” Indeed, why should he be embarrassed that, whenever its own liability is at stake, the US ignores these “rules of fundamental fairness”: for, isn’t the cardinal rule that enabled this system to flourish that none of the rules applies to itself? (Neuborne, “Preliminary Reflections,” 831).