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Holocaust Cinema in the Twenty-First Century: Images, Memory, and the Ethics of Representation

jan peczkis|Friday, July 28, 2017

This anthology can be of value insofar as it catalogues many Holocaust-related films. We also learn that the promotion of the Holocaust, notably in films, is now very much an international effort. For instance, in 2000-2004, nearly 40 percent of Holocaust movies were multinational endeavors. (Kobrynskyy and Bayer, p. 15).

However, all this worthwhile information is overshadowed by the book’s pronounced Holocaustspeak, and its biased promotion of the standard narrative on Jews and Eastern Europeans. For instance, the description of POKLOSIE and IDA is in totally uncritical—even laudatory—terms. [See my reviews of those Polonophobic films.]


Some commentators have spoken about a Judaization of Poland and nearby countries, intended to parallel that which has happened long ago in the West. One does not have to believe in conspiracy theories, or in the all-powerful Jew, to realize this. In a roundabout way, author Aleida Axemann [she uses “ss” in her name instead of “xe”] acknowledges that there is in fact a well-organized effort to promote the standard narrative of Holocaust supremacism, and to do so on a massive, international scale. She writes, “Since the beginning of the new millennium, framing a long-term transmission of Holocaust memory has become a concrete project of politicians, survivors and professional experts.” (p. 34). Moreover, this massive effort consists of an undisguised attempt to force Eastern Europeans to rewrite their history in order to conform to Jewish ways of thinking, furthermore at the expense of their own genocidal sufferings. In a roundabout way, Axemann overtly acknowledges as much as she writes, “Although Holocaust museums are now being built in Central and Eastern European countries, this does not necessarily imply that the new transnational memory community INITIATED FROM ABOVE has penetrated all regions and IS ALL-ENCOMPASSING. There are still pockets of silence, denial or indifference in Europe where a self-critical approach to one’s own history is still rejected and the national narrative of pride or suffering excludes or covers up the local history of Jewish victims and other minorities.” (p. 34; Emphasis added).

The standard Jews-are-special mentality comes through as we hear yet again the endlessly-repeated mantra and complaint that the nations of the former Soviet bloc, while admittedly always remembering the murdered Jews, had juxtaposed them with the many Nazi-murdered non-Jews. (Olga Gershenson, p. 78).

The information presented in the last two paragraphs is revealing. Call it what you want—Judaization, Jewish cultural imperialism, or something else.


Not done yet, Gershenson now entertains grandiose visions of the Holocaust as she spanks the Russians for not being Judeocompliant. In doing so, she compares Russia unfavorably with the West, “By contrast, in the Western world, the Holocaust is an event of universal history, a paradigmatic genocide, a crisis of modernity with repercussions for all citizens of the world. Some historians go as far as to ask, ‘Can countries or civilizations that do not acknowledge the Holocaust develop universalistic political moralities’ and affirm ‘the uniqueness and sacredness of the Holocaust as the touchstone of universal moral maturity?’” (p. 90). Is Gershenson serious, or has the mystification of the Holocaust caused her to lose all contact with reality? Is it Holocaust sacredness or is it Holocaust idolatry?


Martin Modlinger uncritically quotes Michael Rothberg, who would have us believe that “‘Far from blocking other historical memories from view in a competitive struggle for recognition, the emergence of global Holocaust memory has contributed to the articulation of other histories’” (p. 164). So war is peace, freedom is slavery, and, now, Holocaust supremacism is universalism. Rothberg might as well say that buildings on fire, far from being something bad, have contributed to the development of superb firefighting equipment and have provided careers for firefighters.

The reality is very, very different from the rather self-serving statements of Rothberg. The Holocaust gets only 95% of all the attention, and all the other genocides put together have to settle for the remaining 5%. [See first comment]. If this is not a zero-sum game, then what is?

Let's face it: Holocaust supremacism is a form of racism, implying as it does that the genocide of the GOYIM is not as significant as the genocide of Jews. It violates the civil rights of all non-Jewish groups that had once experienced genocide.

Genocide-Recognition Equality Now!
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