"It's difficult to admit the obvious"
political world

holocause icones;Iconized Images of the Jewish Holocaust and The Implied Marginalization of All Other Genocides

jan peczkis|Thursday, March 15, 2018

The icons discussed in this book include the the railway cars, the shoes of the Jewish victims, the ARBEIT MACHT FREI sign, the 6 million figure, and the Diary of Anne Frank. Author Oren Baruch Stier tells the reader about the significance of these items, “Holocaust icons are powerful, indispensable tools with which people comprehend the Shoah. We use these tools to make sense of the Holocaust and negotiate our relationships to that past in the present. Even more, our understandings depend on the distillation of historical events and memorial representations into easily apprehensible symbols that often operate on noncognitive level—that speak or indicate ‘Holocaust’ to us at first blush, on a visceral level.” (p. 183).




They certainly do, as I elaborate below.

THE MYSTIFICATION OF THE HOLOCAUST

Author Stier does not go as far as calling the Holocaust a cult or civil religion, but does note the close parallels between religious and Holocaust icons, “I AM suggesting that they be interpreted as akin to sacred relics, with all the symbolic impact such relics traditionally invoke. There is something in their role as symbols, within particular contexts, that may be structurally similar to religious symbolization, especially in the meanings they generate.” (pp. 9-10).

ICONS OF THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST—BUT OF NO OTHER GENOCIDE

My review does not question the fact of 6 million Jewish deaths in any way. It does criticize the way the items in question have been Judeo-appropriated in order to promote the standard Judeocentric narrative about the presumed special-ness of the Jews’ genocide during WWII, which I call Holocaust supremacism.

In addition, and not mentioned by Stier, the Holocaust icons did not just pop into place. Were it not for the constant and active promotion of the Holocaust by the media, educational system, and entertainment industry, the items in question would never have become associated, in the public imagination, specifically with the Jews’ Holocaust.

Let us look at some of the icons identified by author Stier. Note that NONE of them are either Jewish-specific or Shoah-specific!

HOLOCAUST ICON I: THE PILES OF SHOES

The eyeglasses, shoes, suitcases, etc., are mute testimony to the fact that their owners are no longer alive. However, Poles, Ukrainians, Armenians, and Cambodians, all slain by genocide, have also left behind unused eyeglasses, shoes, suitcases, etc. Nobody thinks about that.

HOLOCAUST ICON II: THE RAILWAY CAR

Many Holocaust museums have railway cars of the style use to transport Jews to the death camps. (e. g, p. 36). Needless to say, almost no one mentions the millions of Poles deported to Siberia, in similar trains, to die slow deaths.

HOLOCAUST ICON III: THE ARBEIT MACHT FREI “WELCOME” AT AUSCHWITZ

This Holocaust icon is quite a misappropriation. Few Jews dying in Auschwitz ever saw it (p. 81). It was actually intended for Polish and other inmates of Auschwitz (p. 79) who, instead of having the luxury of dying quickly by gas or bullet, got to die slowly of starvation, overwork, and disease.

HOLOCAUST ICON IV: THE SIX MILLION FIGURE

I common with many Holocaust authors, Stier treats the “eleven million” figure as “problematic” (p. 63, 177)—as if only Jewish deaths mattered. Clearly, the Six Million figure for Jews is an icon. This, too, exists only because of media repetition. No one, for instance, supposes that the 1.5 million figure, for the Aghet (Armenian Genocide), is iconic in nature.

HOLOCAUST ICON V: THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

Author Oren Baruch Stier reckons the Diary of Anne Frank as “perhaps the most recognizable icon of the Holocaust.” (p. 100). Of course, it does not matter that teenagers, of virtually all nationalities, had been writing diaries since time immemorial. Nor does it matter if there are diaries written by non-Jewish teenagers whose peoples were undergoing genocide.
Copyright © 2009 www.internationalresearchcenter.org
Strony Internetowe webweave.pl