Anti-Zionist anti-Semitism and agitation against Israel as well as the equation of National Socialism and “Communism” are the two most fashionable forms of anti-Semitism today. The latter denies the unprecedented character of the Shoah. Moreover, particularly countries like Lithuania or Latvia want to get rid of their criminal history and deny their participation in the Holocaust.
The Prague Declaration is the symbol of this often neglected new anti-Semitism – the Holocaust Obfuscation movement, a term of Prof. Dovid Katz. It is mostly seen as a Baltic phenomenon. This is not the whole truth. For example, mainstream fox news in the US (which is very good when it comes to Iran and anti-Israel anti-Semitism and Obama’s failure to address Muslim anti-Semitism for example) had a series on “crimes of communism” early in 2010. The organizer of this series is well-known Glenn Beck, who entitled it “revolutionary Holocaust”, framing Soviet crimes. This is an anti-Semitic obfuscation of the Shoah. Such TV shows have nothing to do with history and serious research, rather they are anti-communist and anti-Semitic propaganda, without denying the Holocaust, rather obfuscating it. This is the new trend, particularly in the 21st century.
I gave several lectures on this topic the last months. In October 2009 I was invited to the University of West Bohemia in Plzen (Czech Republic), in December 2009 to the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, in January 2010 to the Jewish Community Center in Berlin and in March 2010 I was invited by the World Congress of Russian Jewry to speak in Riga (Latvia). I presented the following paper. In my short presentation I tried to embed the Prague Declaration in the context of new anti-Semitism in the last decades. Three aspects are crucial:
1) Martin Heidegger’s equation of Auschwitz and Communism in 1949 (alongside with the equation of motorized nutritional industry and the Holocaust, a typical aspect of antimodern philosophy in general, as the example of fashionable Giorgio Agamben can proof)
2) The publication of the “Black book of Communism” in 1997 in France (and translations in several languages since then) is an important step for the Holocaust Obfuscation movement (for criticism of this book still see the German volume “Roter Holocaust”? Kritik des Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus, Hamburg 1998)
3) The launching of the Prague Declaration in 2008 (being prepared in the Baltics)
Documentation of my paper, Riga, march 15, 2010:
International Academic Conference
World War II and the Holocaust:
Victims, Rescuers, Liberators and Executioners
Riga, 14-15 March 2010
Reval Hotel Latvia
55 Elizabetes St, Riga
The Prague Declaration, Antisemitism and Holocaust Obfuscation
– A station of a trolley line in the German city of Halle an der Saale reads like this: “Red bullock: Memorial for political victims of dictatorship 1933-1989” – this imagined continuity of “totalitarian regimes” (an unscholarly term as well) is an anti-Semitic denial of the specific crimes Germans (and their friends, e.g. in the Baltics or Ukraine like the Bandera group ) committed during National Socialism and the Shoah
– Prague Declaration June 3, 2008: equation of National Socialism and Stalinism
– Plaid for a common European remembrance day: August 23, 1939 (Hitler-Stalin Pact)
– Overhauling of text books and saying that the very idea of communism is evil
– Organizing something like the “Nuremberg trials” for “Communism” and its crimes “against humanity”
Equating the unprecedented crimes of the Shoah with the time of the Soviet Union is anti-Semitic – it obfuscates the specificity of the Holocaust
The Shoah was the only “bona fide” “genocide” in world history, says Lithuanian philosopher Leonidas Donskis
Unfortunately we are living in a time of “inflation of genocide” (Donskis)
The Prague Declaration is just one part of this anti-Semitic movement.
In Germany we have the movement “23. August” and many prominent figures are supporting this resolution as well
Antisemitism in its new form as Holocaust Obfuscation started in 1949 when German philosopher Martin Heidegger said: ”Agriculture is nowadays a motorized nutritional industry, by nature the same as the production of corpses in gas chambers and extermination camps, the same as the blockade and the starving out of countries, the same as the production of the H-bomb.“
1997 the French “Black Book of Communism” was published – very unscholarly propaganda against Communism, especially using the number of 100 million (!) victims of Communist regimes in the 20th century
Other more ridiculous forms of Holocaust inflation are appearing: Holocaust of “Turkeys” before Thanksgiving in 1999; “Holocaust on your plate” campaign by Animal rights organization PETA;
Moreover, the German way of new anti-Semitism: “Holocaust of expulsion”, “Bomb Holocaust” – Germans are portrayed as victims (both of the few Nazis and the allies!) and (on a world-wide scale) anti-Zionist defamation of Israel as “new Nazis”
– January 2010: series of mainstream media fox news in the US about “crimes of communism” by Glenn Beck; videos in favour of the ideology of intentional “genocide” against Ukraine at the “Holodomor” by the Soviets; again: equation of Nazism and Stalinism (and other parts of “Communism”)
– Look at http://www.victimsofcommunism.org memorial site in the US: they are saying that Communism was the “deadliest ideology in human history”: this is an anti-Semitic obfuscation of the Shoah!
– There was no such thing as a “Russian Holocaust” as some say (like Prakhin Foundation does)
The Prague Declaration is a more political movement, trying to convince the EU Parliament to have a legislation process for August 23 as remembrance day (substituting without saying January 27, Holocaust remembrance day)
Scholarship needs to strengthen the historical truth: Auschwitz and the Holocaust was the result of genocidal (German) anti-Semitism. The Shoah was an unprecedented crime.
Every comparison of Nazi Germany, the Holocaust and Stalin or Communism as a whole is anti-Semitic and an obfuscation of the Holocaust
Antifascism and the fight against anti-Semitism and Holocaust Obfuscation is an uphill battle