Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Dresden Syndrome

For the first time in sixty years, the French daily Le Monde has just shown a bit of humanity and understanding towards the German people in calling to mind some of the atrocious sufferings inflicted on the great defeated nation by the wartime Allies. On the front page of its edition dated 13-14 February, the newspaper carried the three-column headline “La renaissance de Dresde réveille la mémoire allemande” (“the rebirth of Dresden awakens German memory”). Page 2 was entirely devoted to the commemoration of the 1945 bombing of Dresden. The editorial, on page 17, was entitled “Mémoire allemande” (“German memory”); it was, of course, Jesuitical in tone but there were to be noted a few sentences that give some hope; for example: “With the passing of time, we are witnessing a re-examination of Germany’s history with its dark points and bright points”.

January’s Holocaustic tsunami had smothered a good number of French people. But it seems that, from the beginning of this month, a turnaround has started to get underway in the public consciousness. It remains to be hoped that this turnaround will be long-lasting in France, Germany and the rest of the world.

No illusions should be harboured about Le Monde’s capacity to defy a certain coterie in this way. One may even fear that, in order to seek forgiveness for a one-off act of daring, it will resume its holocaustic one-upmanship with the rest of the media, for instance in April, on the occasion of the “Days of the Deportation”, or in July, for the commemoration of the 1944 rounding up of Jews at the “Vel d’Hiv” (the winter cycling arena) in Paris, or in October-November during Chirac’s visit to the camp of Struthof in Alsace. That said, Le Monde has made an effort at probity, and it might be worthwhile to write to chairman Jean-Marie Colombani and encourage him along this new path. Some readers had spoken up against the exorbitant space allotted by the paper to the sixtieth anniversary of the “liberation of the Auschwitz camp”. In his “Chronique du médiateur” (“mediator’s column”), Robert Solé echoed their protests, going so far as to write: “A first front-page headline, in the issue of January 25th, was followed by a second, on the 26th, then by a third, on the 28th. There was doubtless one too many” (Le Monde of 30-31 January, p. 14). Ten days later, a reader’s letter was published with the title “The destruction of Dresden”; it ended with the question: “Don’t you think it would be right to talk about this, not only out of respect for the hapless victims, but also to remind many people that the apocalyptic tragedy occurred just sixty years ago?” (11 February, p. 16).

In Paris on 12 February, sixteen members of the government, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin among them, attended the annual dinner of the CRIF (“representative council of the Jewish institutions of France”). True to form, Roger Cukierman took the liberty of making numerous complaints and threats against France and her government. Hitherto he was always thanked for his observations, with compliments to boot. This time, Michel Barnier, Minister for foreign affairs, deemed R. Cukierman’s talk “disheartening”. For his part François Fillon, education minister, stated: “The president of the CRIF was able to note, upon returning to his seat, that the members of the government considered that the very strong attacks made against France’s foreign policy were not acceptable” (Le Monde, 15 February, p. 9). Not long ago, the voicing by our political leaders of such reservations or criticisms with regard to the omnipotent Jewish organisation would have been inconceivable.

Towards a re-examination of German history?

Will there be talk one day of the “Dresden syndrome”? Are we at present seeing the first signs and symptoms of a return to reason after sixty years of outrageous propaganda against a country that was defeated in the second world war? In January 2005, the French on the whole were staggered at the fits of shoahtic hysteria. They wondered what could ever have produced such sustained epilepsy. The Jews, for their part, know the how and the why, but have to conceal it: the edifice of the “Holocaust” or Shoah seems ever more to them to be shaking at the foundations. Initially, over the period from 1975 to 1995, they had counted on their historians to rebut the revisionists’ arguments. But the outcome was to be a thorough fiasco. On the plane of reason and history, the revisionists have annihilated the Poliakovs, Wellers, Dawidowiczes and Vidal-Naquets like the Klarsfelds and the Berenbaums (who had engaged the services of a Jean-Claude Pressac), or again, the Raul Hilbergs and, later on, the Jan van Pelts. The general public are unaware of this because of the repression exerted by a thought police that has managed to obtain the passage of special laws against the distribution of revisionist material. But then, the Jews themselves read the revisionists and have been spectators to the rout of their own historians. Thus, in a latter period, they have progressively abandoned the field of the rational world for that of whatever may grab some attention. They have dismissed their historians and brought their clowns and tumblers out onto the floor, the Elie Wiesels and the Claude Lanzmanns. To evoke the Shoah they have turned to imagination, to fiction, the cinema, novels, the theatre, television, spectacles and ceremonies of all sorts, and to the phantasmagoria of the “Holocaust” religion, industry or business, all to the point where the average Frenchman, caught in a whirlpool of images, a constant fracas, a tide of recriminations coupled with endless moaning and groaning, has had no choice but to ingest the force-fed frenzied accounts of Nazi barbarism and extermination of the Jews, an extermination which, let it be said in passing, fortunately produced an ever-renewed throng of “lone witnesses”, “sole survivors” and “incredibly, miraculously spared” Jews. The sewers have all been dug open up again. Alleged testimonies and confessions that the Jewish historians themselves had written off as false have since been recycled and presented as genuine. Finally, the most receptive section of the population has been set upon: children from the age of seven (!) and middle and secondary school pupils. They are the choice target of a brazen propaganda. Between the ages of seven and seventeen, possessing only a few scraps of historical knowledge and generally having scant idea of the lengths to which an adult will go — especially in old age — to make himself interesting either as a smooth-talker or a downright liar, youngsters are hardly armed to defend against it. Kitted out with their “Simone Veil satchels”, the children or adolescents thus taken in would be very surprised indeed to learn that the said Veil was for a long time officially listed as an Auschwitz gassing victim (under her maiden name of Jacob) and was, in that camp, a regular witness to specific occurrences which show that the SS men were not at all instructed to treat the Jews like so much expendable livestock.

The propagandists will not be changing tack. Their folly will carry them still further. They will turn up the sound still higher. One day, this folly will be plain for all to see. Perhaps then it will be said that, at least on this chapter of second world war history, the return to reason began in February 2005. The syndrome of Dresden and its white roses will have “awakened German memory” and opened the way for a “re-examination of Germany’s history”. Meanwhile, in Canada, the German pacifist Ernst Zündel languishes in the high security prison where he has been kept for the past two years, without even being charged. His crime? He is a revisionist. His wrongdoing? He works to awaken German memory and demands a re-examination of his country’s history.

February 15, 2005