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GERMANY: Hitler, the Holocaust, Antisemitism

Dr.Stephen Read points out the differences among the various holocausts. He denies that there has been a coverup of all but the Nazi one: ( I add my comments ): " The loss of life in the Soviet Union and in China has substantially discredited their claims to be working toward a humanitarian structure of society; these facts have not been ignored." Yes, but they have not had the publicity of the Nazi holocaust, nor led to demands for reparations (which of course would have been vain).

Dr. Read says rightly that "Pol Pot's evil never threatened to engulf the world." Yes, but the Soviet system did.

"The program of Hitler might be most comparable to the Rwandan massacres of the outrages in our times--a planned extermination of a "race" within a nation's population. The extended commitment of the resources of the state to his project, and the substantially successful attempt to internationalize his goals distinguish Hitler." The difference is that in Rwanda two groups were trying to exterminate the other, Hutus and Tutsis.

Dr. Read admits that other holocausts have occurred, going back to pre-historic times, but "Hitler's ability to capture and bend the resources of a powerful state stand apart from these other outrages. (Which does not, to me, reduce their outrageousness)".

Dr. Read admits that intolerant elements exist among Jews, but this does not invalidate his remarks: "Hannah Arendt pointed out the risk of establishing a state on racial/religious grounds about 50 years ago." This to me is the key issue. While I reiterate my conviction that the creation of the state of Israel was a mistake even from the Jewish viewpoint, Israel is there and we must make it work. The only way to do this is for it to become a secular state, a viewpoint probably shared by a majority of Israelis. This point never seems to come up in accounts of US mediation. Now at Camp David, the atmosphere is cordial. For the first time Barak and Arafat are speaking English, rather than going through translators, and they are making effusive displays of friendliness. But Barak (and consequently the US) fear the Jewish intolerant religious right, and there will probably be no public reference to the subject.

Ronald Hilton - 7/12/00