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Posted Thursday, February 8, 2001

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Die Welt's interview with Norman Finkelstein on February 6, 2001

"The holocaust is an ideological club, used to hold Germany in a vice like grip"

"IN the early nineties these organisations discovered an opportunity to shake down European Governments and now they have run amok. They are pursuing blackmail and therefore they should be indicted and tried as criminals before the courts."

A man sees red

Norman Finkelstein on the "Holocaust-Industry" and the culture of remembrance in Germany and America

The American political scientist Norman Finkelstein is starting a tour throughout Germany in order to introduce his controversial new book "The Holocaust Industry". The thin volume consists of polemics against Jewish organisations, who, according to Finkelstein, blackmail European governments with faked data for compensation. On the eve of his "European Book Tour" Alan Posener (Die Welt) interviewed Norman Finkeltstein

Prof. Norman Finkelstein on the 6-million story:

  • "Not only does the '6 Million' figure become more untenable but the numbers of the Holocaust industry are rapidly approaching those of Holocaust deniers." ...
  • "Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense, if not sheer fraud." ...
  • »Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg cast a plague on both sides, sneering that "it's not about justice, it's a fight for money."« ...
  • "In recent years, the Holocaust industry has become an outright extortion racket." ...
  • »In what has become a mantra of the Holocaust restitution racket, this constituted "the greatest robbery in the history of mankind."« ...
  • »"If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one," my mother used to exclaim, "who did Hitler kill?"«

(Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry, Verso, London 2000, pages, 127, 55, 87, 89, 94, 81)


Die Welt: How do you feel prior your journey through Germany?

Norman Finkelstein: Apprehensively. It is a very important step for me personally. I want to do everything right, but one cannot dictate coming events. I must trust my intelligence and rely on my political instinct.

Die Welt:You call the holocaust an ideology.

Norman Finkelstein: To be more precise, an ideological construction, that originally served the interests of the Jewish elite in America and has now degenerated into a money making instrument. It has become a extortion racket.

Die Welt:Are you criticising German organisations as well?

Norman Finkelstein: I have no contacts to German organisations. I am dealing with the headquarters of the Holocaust Industry, which means the USA, with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) or the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC). I asked Saul Kagan from the JCC to sue me, I asked Edgar Bronfman from WJC to sue me, but they wouldn't do it. But one can estimate their strength by the fact that there is literally no debate in America about my book. However, according to it is the number one in South-America, number four in Central-America, number one in Austria, number three in Switzerland and number five in Jordan on the best-selling lists. It is presently translated into eleven languages.

Die Welt:Well, being successful in countries like Jordan or Austria doesn't necessarily mean that your book is good.

Norman Finkelstein: I am not saying that the comments made were positive everywhere. Especially in Germany and - until recently - in Great Britain the press was very critical. But in America there was no willingness to debate my thesis at all. My book has just been

Die Welt:It appears a bit strange to attack "the holocaust industry" in Germany, whilst large parts of the German industry is even to date not prepared to contribute to the compensation fund for forced labours during the NS-period.

Norman Finkelstein: I am strongly for compensation, everything else would be absurd. I am happy that my father received until the end of his life a reasonably generous pension from the German government. But I am as much opposed to any agreement with those self-appointed representatives of the Jews. First of all, because the figures of survivors, presented by organisations like the JCC, are falsified and secondly the JCC does not pass on the money to the victims, but puts it in its own pockets. This is double fraud. In the early nineties these organisations discovered an opportunity to shake down European Governments and now they run amok. They are pursuing blackmail and therefore they should be indicted and tried as criminals before the courts.

Die Welt:Again: The assault on the "holocaust industry" has a different sound in Germany than elsewhere.

Norman Finkelstein: A free and unrestricted discussion is important. I am not an expert on internal German conditions. But the desire for political correctness has determined the reception of my book there as well. I sympathise with the good intentions of the Germans. But good intentions have bad consequences. Certain individuals and organisations have exploited the good will of the Germans for their own evil purposes. For instance, it borders on holocaust denial, what Karl Brozik, Chief of the JCC said about the number of survivors.

Die Welt:You also distinguished yourself as a critic of the American culture of remembrance, which you consider a part of the ideological holocaust construction. What is your position towards the holocaust memorial planned for Berlin?

Norman Finkelstein: I have mixed feelings. Actually I do not favour architecture of a Stalinistic style. We don't need monumental buildings as we do not need extravaganzas in Spielberg films. The bigger a building the smaller the meaning. In that respect I agree with the former Minister of Culture of Germany, Michael Naumann, who said some years ago, it would be more appropriate to preserve the camps rather than building holocaust memorials. Meanwhile he must have changed his opinion. In Japan they remember the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima by releasing doves into the sky and let lanterns float down the river. I find this very tasteful. However, Americans have no right to tell the Germans how they should remember crimes that were committed by a German government. Nobody has the right to dictate to the Germans in this matter. Why doesn't America remember what it did to its Indians and to the Blacks? Why do the Britons not remember what they have done in India, the French what they have done in Algeria? The holocaust is an ideological club, used to hold Germany in a vice like grip. This routine is just a cheap opportunity for us to escape our moral responsibility. And what compensation concerns, well, we should start paying the Blacks, the South-Americans, the Vietnamese ...

Die Welt:Just a moment. Do you really believe that Germany allows itself to be dictated how to cast its remembrance?

Norman Finkelstein: The Germans react sensitively on criticism from America. The most influential papers in America have reported on the debate regarding the Berlin holocaust memorial and about the Jewish museum and therefore have influenced the debate. But if Germany really wants to emulate its American idol it would have to built in the centre of Berlin a museum for America's Indians, just as America has built a Holocaust-Museum in Washington.

Comment by National Journal:

An implacable struggle is raging within Jewry between orthodox groups, devoted to the holy scriptures of Judaism and the secular Zionists. These orthodox strains consider the state of Israel religiously and judicially illegal. As a matter of fact they describe Israel as a "totally Satanic state". Since this state has been founded solely on the 6-million holocaust story its Jewish enemies recognised the necessity of destroying the foundation of this state. It is also true that Germany, the main financier of Israel, the "Satanic state", would cease to exist in its present form, if the holocaust story was exposed to the masses.

Therefore the enemies of Israel, having realised this fact, must destabilise and even dismantle Germany as well. That is what Finkelstein's book is intended to achieve as a first phase of a vast offensive against the big lie. Some people criticise Professor Finkelstein for not attacking the holocaust-lie directly but that he only touches the fringes, the lies around the story. This is actually not true as it would not be possible to wage a factual, revisionist-style war on the holocaust industry through the present media-system.

The war had to be instigated in this manner because by totally destroying the credibility of the holocaust heralds, exposing them as criminals and describing their operations as a huge conspiracy, makes it impossible for the perpetrators to maintain their power control. However, emphasising the fact, that the "6-million-figure is untenable", Professor Finkelstein strikes at the root of the holocaust-lie. When he calls David Irving "a good historian", despite Irving's claim that no gas chambers for killing Jews existed at Auschwitz, he demonstrates his inclination to support this line of revisionist revelation. Here Finkelstein signals that the gas-story will be next on the agenda destroying the holocaust industry's homebase, Israel. Professor Finkelstein could never have published this book without the support of influential Jewish circles.

What Finkelstein writes and says would normally be punished with a minimum sentence of five years in prison in holocaust Germany and up to twenty years in Austria. The conclusion is that besides orthodox Jewish strains even Zionist groups must have perceived the inevitable eruption of the holocaust truth and therefore are now trying to hand over their stooges in anticipation of the imminent rage of the duped German people.

To bring Zionist Germany to its knees it is necessary to aggravate the anti-government mood in Germany by forcing their Berlin vassals to intensify persecution against Germans who know about the lies and the scam whilst Finkelstein publicly denounces the same falsehoods under Jewish protection. This is likely to turn Germany into a boiling pot of resentment and hate. The result can already be observed.

For the first time persecutive Germany censored a Jewish journalist, Tina Mendelsohn . German TV-station SWR said on Monday, February 5, 2001 it cancelled the broadcasting of a documentary on Finkelstein's book, apparently out of fear that the programme could be seen as promoting anti-Jewish views.

Officials at Südwest-Rundfunk, a regional broadcaster station serving south-western Germany, said, it pulled the documentary on author Norman Finkelstein's theories off the air at short notice and asked the London-based producer, Tina Mendelsohn, to make changes. The show had been scheduled to be aired on Monday night (Feb. 5, 2001).

In its original version, the documentary features Finkelstein, supporters and opponents of his views as well as a brief opening clip of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. The station said the show could ''trigger unintended effects,'' indicating it was worried that it might be seen as encouraging extreme-right views in Germany (thus proving that the so-called extreme right are in the right).

SWR co-producer Martina Zöllner said the station was asking for changes to the film and would show it at a later date, but that details were still being discussed.

An influential conservative newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, likened the decision to Soviet-era censorship. Finkelstein is due to promote the German translation of his book in Germany this week. The German persecution machinery would arrest any German on the spot for making the slightest comments which are openly promoted by Professor Finkelstein. But in the case of Finkelstein they must refrain, however difficult it is for them, from implementing their own criminal laws, because Jewish power groups do not allow the persecution of their man, Professor Finkelstein.

This double standard will turn Germany into a boiling pot of outrage which is necessary to destroy the holocaust industry and thus Israel. Zionist-Israel on the other hand can only escape from this dilemma by creating an international war that will distract the focus of the collapsing holocaust industry in Germany and Europe and revenge itself against its non-Zionist enemies. Thus, the election of the "butcher" Ariel Sharon was guaranteed.

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