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(Brazil), August 4, 2000


RAUL HILBERG on Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry


Raul Hilberg, left, author of the classic THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EUROPEAN JEWS, is the world's leading authority on the Nazi holocaust. A Brazilian journalist, Carlos Haag, questioned him about Norman Finkelstein's new book.

Below is Hilberg's reply:

Today he [Finkelstein] is rather unpopular and his book will certainly not become a best seller, but what it says is basically true even though incomplete. It is more a journalistic account than an in depth study on the topic, which would need to be much longer. To say that the Holocaust has been used in order to secure Palestine for the Jews is nothing new and we know how important it was in the creation of Israel.

Finkelstein bookNevertheless it will be a bitter yet necessary reminder to the community. He is also right when he argues that nobody talked about this topic in the USA: in 1968 a well known local encyclopedia asked me to write an article on the Holocaust and they only wanted me to talk about Dachau and Buchenwald because they were not interested in Auschwitz; these topics were censored. I agree with him that people overestimate the number of survivors and that the concept itself is ill-defined - it includes not only the victims of the camps - and it is true that there an exaggerated number of compensation requests are made.

There is something radically wrong in this exploitation because it is an issue that should not be used to make money and I must confess that I found the whole affair with the Swiss banks disturbing.

The Jewish-American community is very prosperous and there is no reason for them to ask the Swiss for money. That seems obscene to me.

Related items on this website:

  Evening Standard, London, attacks Holocaust Industry (praise for N Finkelstein) | Anthony Julius on Finkelstein: His people cast aside | N Y Times outrage at Norman Finkelstein | Squabble over book: Outrage in London: Novick "Trash" | N Y Press: "Stormin' Norman" | The battle for the Holocaust legacy: [and a Letter on this] | Smashing the Holocaust Industry Front Line | French lawyer explains why Holocaust History
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