From an issue of Logos Magazine, Winter-Spring 2007, a conversation with Raul Hilberg, the Dean of Holocaust Studies.
Most Jews are pretty nuts about the subject of the Holocaust, I suppose understandably so. They don’t make sense. Their behavior is more one of a crazy and irrational person than someone saying something sensible or meaningful.
But if anyone has a right to be nuts about the subject, it’s Raul Hilberg. After all, he has been doing little us but immersing himself in Holocaust lore for 60 years, almost all of his life. His 1961 book, The Destruction of the European Jews, is considered to be one the best ever written on the subject, though I have not read it. I read a similar book by Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War, and it was excellent, all 976 pages of it.
An interview with Hilberg is always a joy to read.
He has a calmness and reasonableness about him that is very attractive. Almost everything he says about the Holocaust makes sense.
He points out that Jewish ownership over the word Holocaust is ridiculous. Super-Jews always freak out and scream anti-Semite if anyone else grabs their precious little word for any other reason than the approved one.
Probably in rebellion to this idiocy, there are now Holocausts and mini-Holocausts all over the place. There’s a Holocaust in the animal testing labs. There’s one in Palestine. They’re everywhere. The word the Jews wanted to turn into a Judaic religious object, to be touched only by the Jews like the Talmud, is now a degraded and near-meaningless matter of the public domain.
He also derides The New Anti-Semitism, for obvious reasons. Although a Zionist, he says some interesting things about Israel and praises Norman Finkelstein’s anti-Zionism.
Strangely enough, he makes a case that the Nazis were not anti-Semites but something different altogether.
He notes coldly that there are three solutions to the Jewish Problem: conversion, expulsion and extermination. That’s not something you say in polite company, but you just know it’s true.
He also thinks that Holocaust Denial should not be criminalized and doesn’t worry too much about it. He has previously said that Deniers do scholars some favors by raising a lot of important questions about the Holocaust that scholars need to get cracking on.
That the many Jewish expulsions of Europe began to occur not due to bad Jewish behavior as anti-Semites claim but began when all efforts at conversion of the Jews had failed seems to make sense.
All in all, great read. If more Jews acted like Hilberg, people wouldn’t dislike them so much.