Posted Friday, May 31, 2002

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Walser incensed Germany's Jewish community with a 1998 speech in which he called for an end to using the Holocaust as a 'tool of intimidation or a moral bludgeon' against Germany.

The Jerusalem Post

May 29, 2002

Noted German writer's book about murder of Jewish critic labeled 'document of hate'


Associated Press

AN upcoming novel in which one of Germany's best-known writers toys with the murder of a Jewish critic was shunned Wednesday by a leading newspaper, which labeled the book a "document of hate" and refused to publish excerpts.

David Irving comments: A website correspondent notes,

"THE celebrity status given the communist Reich-Ranicki and other literary communists, by the German and 'western' media since the unification of Germany, may be compared with the marginalization of anyone suggesting "préférence national" - the expression used by former French prime minister Balladur. This is labeled "Rightist extremism" with the suggestion of ostracism. Our Orwellian culture is distorted by this "Red Shift" or cultural communism.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which often offers a forum for intellectual debates, said the account by author Martin Walser was a thinly veiled *settling of scores with Marcel Reich-Ranicki, a prominent German literary critic and a Holocaust survivor.

In an open letter to Walser printed in the newspaper Wednesday, co-publisher Frank Schirrmacher said "Death of a Critic" goes beyond a writer's fantasy of getting back at his critics and aims explicitly against a Jew.

The book "is a document of hate," Schirrmacher said. "It is about the murder of a Jew."

Walser sent the paper a manuscript with a request to serialize excerpts. But Schirrmacher said the paper would not publish a book that "toys with" completing the killing that Reich-Ranicki, now 82, escaped at the hands of the Nazis.

According to the paper, the novel involves a writer suspected of killing a prominent critic and a narrator who investigates the case. Narrator and writer later turn out to be the same person, and the critic is revealed to have faked his death so he could spend time with his mistress.

Walser incensed Germany's Jewish community with a 1998 speech in which he called for an end to using the Holocaust as a "tool of intimidation or a moral bludgeon" against Germany.

The leader of Germany's Jewish community at the time, Ignatz Bubis, accused Walser of "intellectual arson," though the two men later publicly reconciled.

Related items on this website:

  Dossier on the possible origins of anti-Semitism
  German author hit by Holocaust allegation
  Abraham Foxman ("holocaust survivor," Anti-Defamation League) admits that Jews have used the Holocaust as "a bludgeon" to extort money
  Obituary of Ignatz Bubis | Bubis memoir reveals trading in Swiss Gold | Tomb vandal calls Bubis 'thief, cheat'
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