Scrapbookpages Blog

April 9, 2014

If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one . . . who did Hitler kill?”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:54 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from Norman Finkelstein’s book entitled The Holocaust Industry, published in the year 2000.

Here is the exact quote from page 81 of The Holocaust Industry:  “If everyone who claims to be a [Holocaust] survivor actually is one, my mother used to exclaim, “who[m] did Hitler kill?”

I thought about this when I read a recent news article at

The article is about a woman who escaped Nazi Germany in 1939 on a Kindertransport to the UK.  After World War II, she moved to the USA where she is now out on the lecture circuit, telling her sad story to college students. There is not a day that goes by, in the USA, that a “Holocaust survivor” is not out telling his or her story about surviving the Holocaust.

In his book, Finkelstein cites a book, written by Henry Friedlander, entitled Darkness and Dawn in 1945: The Nazis, the Allies, and the Suvivors. According to Friedlander, as quoted by Finkelstein, “The figure for Holocaust survivors at war’s end is generally put at some 100,000.”

On page 83 of his book, Finkelstein wrote this:

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office recently put the number of “living Holocaust survivors at nearly a million.”

When I read Finkelstein’s book, back in the year 2000, I was just beginning to study the Holocaust, and I could not comprehend what he was saying. For example, he wrote on page 85 that his mother was “A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Majdanek concentration camp and slave labor camps at Czestochowa and Skarszyksko-Kamiena…”

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

I had made a trip to Poland in 1998, where I had seen the place in the Warsaw Ghetto, from which the Jews were shipped to Treblinka to be killed. I had learned that Treblinka was a “killing center,” not a transit camp, so how did Finkelstein’s mother get to Majdanek?  I was completely confused by this.

To top it all off, I had visited Majdanek in 1998, where I had learned that Majdanek was a “death camp” with 4 gas chambers. According to Soviet testimony at the Nuremberg IMT, there were 1.5 million people, who were killed at Majdanek.

Majdanek "death camp" in Poland

Majdanek “death camp” in Poland

So how did Finkelstein’s mother escape the Majdanek gas chambers? I assumed that the Nazis had spared Finkelstein’s mother because she was young and beautiful.

I have recently learned that Finkelstein’s mother has been accused of being a “Nazi collaborator” because she is suspected of having been a Kapo [a prisoner who was a helper] at Majdanek.

On my 1998 trip to Poland,  I learned about a book entitled The Painted Bird, written by Jerzy Kosinski. My Polish tour guide told me that this book was a fake story. When I returned from Poland, I got the book from my local library and started reading it, but I couldn’t finish it — it was too gory for me.

In his book, Finkelstein wrote:

[The Painted Bird] was purported to be Kosinski’s autobiographical account of his wanderings as a solitary child through rural Poland during World War II. In fact, Kosinski lived with his parents throughout the war. The book’s motif is the sadistic sexual tortures perpetrated by the Polish peasantry. […]  The Painted Bird became a basic Holocaust text. […] … and required reading in high school and college classes.

So what does all this have to do with anything? I suspect that there are numerous fake Holocaust books. For example, on page 82 of his book, Finkelstein dares to criticize Eli Wiesel.

This quote is from page 82 of Finkelstein’s book:

Apart from the frailties of memory, some Holocaust survivor testimony may be suspect for additional reasons. Because survivors are now revered as secular saints, one doesn’t dare question them.

Finkelstein goes on to list the lies told by Elie Wiesel, who is the No. 1 “secular saint,” whom people don’t dare to question.  Except for those pesky Holocaust deniers. How many Holocaust denial laws will it take to stop Holocaust denial?  The Russian Federation is the latest country to make Holocaust denial a crime.  The Russians are now forbidden to question the verdict at the Nuremberg IMT, at which it was “proved” that 1.5 million people were killed at Majdanek — except for Normal Finkelstein’s mother.