Assaults on Truth and Memory, Part II

Ward Churchill

The costs of these systematic assaults on
truth and memory by those who argue the uniqueness of Jewish
victimization have often been high for those whose suffering is
correspondingly downgraded or shunted into historical oblivion.
This concerns not only the victims of the many genocides
occurring outside the framework of nazism, but non-Jews targeted
for elimination within the Holocaust itself. Consider, for
example, the example of the Sinti and Roma peoples (Gypsies, also
called "Romani"), whom Lipstadt doesn’t deign to accord
so much as mention in her book- Her omission is no doubt due to
an across-tbe-board and steadfast refusal of the Jewish
scholarly, social and political establishments over the past
fifty years to even admit the Gypsies were part of the Holocaust,
a circumstance manifested most strikingly in their virtual
exclusion from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Washington, DC.

In their zeal to prevent what they call a
"dilution" or "de-judaization" of the
Holocaust, Jewish exclusivists have habitually employed every
device known to deniers to depict the Parramjos (as the
Holocaust is known in the Romani language; the Hebrew equivalent
is Sho’ah) as having been something
"fundamentally different" from the Holocaust itself The
first technique has been to consistently minimize Gypsy
fatalities. Lucy Dawidowicz, for instance, when she mentions them
at all, is prone to repeating the standard mythology that,
"of about one million Gypsies in the countries that fell
under German control, nearly a quarter of them were
murdered." The point being made is that, while Gypsy
suffering was no doubt "unendurable," it was
proportionately far less than that of the Jews."

Actually, as more accurate-or
honest-demographic studies reveal, the Gypsy population of
German-occupied Europe likely came to somewhere around two minion
in 1939. Of these, it was known at least thirty years ago that
between 500,000 and 750,000 died in camps such as Buchenwald,
Neuengamme, Bergen-Belsen, Belzec, Chehmo, Majdanek, Sobib6r and
Auschwitz. More recent research shows that there have been as
many as a million more Gypsies exterminated when the tolls taken
by the Einsatzgruppen, antipartisan operations in eastern
Europe and actions by nazi satellite forces are factored in. One
reason for this ambiguity in terms of how many Gypsies died at
the hands of the nazis, leaving aside the gross undercounting of
their initial population, is that their executioners not
infrequently tallied their dead in with the numbers of Jews
killed (thus somewhat inflating estimations of the Jewish count
while diminishing that of the Sinti and Roma). In sum, it is
plain that the proportional loss of the Gypsies during the
Holocaust was at least as great as that of the Jews, and quite
probably greater.

Be that as it may, exclusivists still
contend that the Gypsies stand apart from the Holocaust because,
unlike the Jews, they were "not marked for complete
annihilation…… According to Richard Breitman,

"The Nazis are not known to have
spoken of the Final Solution of the Polish problem or the gypsy
problem." Or, as Yehuda Bauer had the audacity to put it in
his three-page entry on "Gypsies" in the Encyclopedia
of the Holocaust–that’s
all the space the Sinti and Roma are
accorded in this 2,000 page work, the editor of which lacked the
decency even to have a Gypsy write the material filling it-
"[The] fate of the Gypsies was in line with Nazi thought as
a whole; Gypsies were not Jews, and therefore there was no need
to kill them all.

Keeping in n-mind the likelihood that there
was always a less than perfect mesh between the rhetoric and
realities of nazi exterminations in all cases, including that of
the Jews, the distinctions drawn here bear scrutiny. As we shall
see with respect to the Poles, such claims are of dubious
validity. As concerns the Gypsies, they amount to a boldfaced
lie. This is readily evidenced by Himmler’s "Decree for
Basic Regulations to Resolve the Gypsy Question as Required by
the Nature of Race" of December 8, 1938, which
initiated preparations for the complete extermination of
the Sinti and Roma (emphasis added)." Shortly after this, in
February 1939, a brief was circulated by Johannes Behrendt of the
nazi Office of Racial Hygiene in which it was stated that
"all Gypsies should be treated as hereditarily sick; the
only solution is elimination. The aim should be the elimination
without hesitation of this defective population.""’
Hitler himself is reported to have verbally ordered "the
liquidation of all Jews, gypsies and communist political
functionaries in the entire Soviet Union" as early as June
1940. A year later, Obergruppenfiihrer Reinhard Heydrich, head of
the Reich Main Security Office, followed up by instructing his Einsatzcommandos
to "kill all Jews, Gypsies and mental patients" in
the conquered areas of the East.

Heydrich, who had been entrusted with the
"final solution of the Jewish question" on 31 July
1941, shortly after the German invasion of the USSR, also
included the Gypsies in his "final solution… The senior SS
officer and Chief of Police for the East, Dr. Landgraf, in Riga,
informed Rosenberg’s Reich Commissioner for the East, Lohse, of
the inclusion of the Gypsies in-the "final solution."
Thereupon, Lohse gave the order, on 24th December 1941, that the
Gypsies "should be given the same treatment as the

At about the same time, "Adolf
Eichmann made the recommendation that the ‘Gypsy Question’ be
solved simultaneously with the ‘Jewish Question’… Himmler
signed the order dispatching Germany’s Sinti and Roma to
Auschwitz on 16 December 1942. The ‘Final Solution’ of’ Gypsy
Question’ had begun" at virtually the same moment it can be
said to have really gotten underway for the Jews."’ Indeed,

were automatically subject to whatever
policies applied to Jews during the entire period of the Final
Solution, pursuant to a directive issued by Himmler on December
24,1941 (i.e., four months prior to the Wannsee Conference which
set the full-fledged extermination program in motion). Hence,
there is no defensible way the fate of the Gypsies can be
distinguished from that of the Jews.

One of the more disgusting means by which
Jewish exclusivists have nonetheless attempted to do so, however,
concerns their verbatim regurgitation of the nazi fable that,
again contra the Jews, Gypsies were killed en mass, not
on specifically racial grounds, but because as a group they were
"asocials" (criminals) . And, as if this blatantly
racist derogation weren’t bad enough, the Rabbi Seymour Siegel, a
former professor of ethics at the Jewish Theological Seminary and
at the time executive director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Council, compounded the affront by using the pages of the Washington
Post to
publicly cast doubt as to whether Gypsies can even
make a legitimate claim to comprising a distinct people .

Predictably, Yehuda Bauer, no stranger to
self-contradiction as he thrashes about, playing all ends against
the middle in his interminable effort to "prove beyond all
shadow of doubt" the uniqueness of Jewish suffering,
presumes to have the last word not once, but twice, and in his
usual mutually exclusive fashion. First, completely ignoring the
1935 Nuremberg Laws, which defined Gypsies in precisely the same
racial terms as Jews, he baldly states that "the Gypsies
were not murdered for racial reasons, but as so-called asocials
… nor was their destruction complete." Then, barely two
pages later, he reverses field entirely, arguing that the Sinti
and Romani were privileged over Jews-and were thus separate from
the "true" Holocaust-because a tiny category of
"racially safe" Gypsies were temporarily exempted from
death. Besides trying to have it both ways, it is as if this
leading champion of exclusivism were unaware of the roughly 6,000
Karait Jews who were permanently spared in accordance with
nazism’s bizarre racial logic.

To be fair, there are a few
differences between the Jewish and Gypsy experiences under
nazism. For instance, the Sinti and Roma have a noticeably better
genetic claim to being "racially distinct" than do the
Ashkenazic Jews of Europe. One upshot was that the racial
classification of Gypsies was much more stringent and rigidly
adhered to than that pertaining to Jews. By 1938, if any two of
an individual’s eight great-grandparents were proven to be Gypsy
"by blood," even in part, he or she was formally
categorized as such. This is twice as strict as the criteria used
by the nazis to define Jewishness. Had the standards of
"racial identity" applied to Jews been employed with
regard to the Sinti and Roma, nine-tenths of Germany’s 1939 Gypsy
population would have survived the Holocaust.

All during the 1930s, while Gypsies as well
as Jews were subjected to increasingly draconian racial
oppression, first in Germany, then in Austria and Czechoslovakia,
a certain amount of international outrage was expressed in behalf
of the Jews. Foreign diplomatic and business pressure was
exerted, resulting in an at least partial and transient
alleviation in Jewish circumstances, and facilitating Jewish
emigration to a degree (I 50,000 left by 193 8). From then until
the collapse of the Third Reich, the nazis displayed a periodic
willingness to broker Jewish lives for a variety of reasons, and
diplomats like Sweden’s Count Folke Bernadotte made efforts to
affect their rescue. None of this applies to the Sinti and Roma.

The Western democracies have been
harshly-and properly-criticized for their failure to intervene
more forcefully to prevent the genocide of the Jews, even to the
extent of allowing greater non Jewish refugees to find sanctuary
within their borders. The fact is, however, that nothing at all
was done to save the Gypsies from their identical fate, and in
this connection international Jewish organizations have no better
record than do the governments of the United States, Great
Britain and Canada. To the contrary, it was arguably the Jewish
organizations themselves which served as the vanguard in
obscuring what was happening to the Gypsies even as it happened,
a posture they’ve never abandoned. As researcher Ian Hancock
describes the results: "It is an eerie and disheartening
feeling to pick [reference books like Encyclopedia of the
Third Reich]
and find the attempted genocide of one’s people
written completely out of the historical record. Perhaps worse,
in the English-language translation of at least one book, that by
Lujan Dobroszycki of The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto, the
entire reference to the liquidation of the gypsy camp there
(entry number 22 for April 29 and 20, 1942, in the original work)
has been deleted deliberately. I have been told, but have not yet
verified, that translations of other works on the Holocaust have
also had entries on the Roma and Sinti removed. Furthermore, I do
not want to read references to the United States Holocaust
Memorial Museum in the national press and learn only that it is a
monument to "the plight of European Jews," as the New
York Times–
told its readers on December 23, 1993. 1 want to
be able to watch epics such as Schindler’s List and learn
that Gypsies were a central part of the Holocaust, too; or other
films, such as Escape from Sobib6r, a Polish camp where,
according to Kommandant Franz Stangl in his memoirs, thousands of
Roma and Sinti were murdered, and not hear the word
"Gypsy" except once, and then only as the name of
somebody’s dog.

Or, to take an even more poignant another
example: National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, DC, covered
extensively the fiftieth anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau on
January 26, 199t, but Gypsies were never once mentioned’, despite
being well represented at the commemoration. In its closing
report on NPR’s "Weekend Edition" on January 28;
Michael Goldfarb described how "candles were-placed along
the tracks that delivered Jews and Poles to their death."
But it was little wonder the Gypsies weren’t mentioned; they
were not allowed to participate in the candle ceremony. An
article on the Auschwitz commemoration that appeared not the C.S.
press) included a group of Roma staring mournfully reading
‘Colci-shouldered: "Gypsies, whose ancestors were to watch
the ceremony from outside the compound." In a speech said
that the Jewish people "were singled out for destruction
during the Holocaust."

The attitudes underlying such gestures are
manifested, not merely in Jewish exclusivism’s sustained and
concerted effort to expunge the Parrajmo from history, but, more
concretely, through its ongoing silence concerning the present
resurgence of nazi-like antigypsyism in Europe. In 1992, the
government of the newly-unified German Republic negotiated a deal
in which it paid more than a hundred million deutschmarks to
Romania-notoriously hostile to Gypsies–in exchange for that
cashpoor country’s acceptance of the bulk of Germany’s Sinti/Roma
population (a smaller side deal is being arranged with Poland to
receive the rest). Summary deportations began during the fall of
1993, with more than 20,000 people expelled to date, for no other
reason than that they are Gypsies. Their reception upon arrival?
A December 1993 news story sums it up very well.

An orgy of mob lynching and house-bun-dng
with police collaboration has turned into something more sinister
for Roma’s hated Gypsies: the beginnings of a nationwide
campaign. of terror launch led by groups modeling themselves on
the Ku Klux Klan… "We are many, and very determined. We %
ill skin the Gypsies soon. We will take their eyeballs out, smash
their teeth, and cut off their noses. The first will be

The German government had every reason to
know this would be the case well before it began deportations.
The depth and virulence of Romania’s antigypsy sentiment was
hardly an historical mystery. Moreover, a leader of the Romanian
fascist movement, directly descended from the Arrow Cross
formations which avidly embraced nazi racial policies during
World War 11, had openly announced what would happen nearly six
months earlier: "Our war against the Gypsies will start in
the fall. Until them, preparations will be made to obtain arms;
first we are going to acquire chemical sprays. We will not spare
minors either."

No accurate count of how many Gypsies have
been killed, tortured, maimed or otherwise physically abused in
Romania is presently available (unconfirmed reports run into the
hundreds). What is known is that there has been a veritable news
blackout m the topic, and that reaction from those elements of
the Jewish establishment which profess to serve as the
"world’s conscience" on such matters has been tepid at
best. No serious protest arose from that quarter, not even when
Romani leaders, hoping to avoid what they knew was in store, took
a large delegation of their people during the spring of 1993 to
seek sanctuary in the Neuenganune concentration camp where their
fathers and mothers were murdered a generation earlier.
Certainly, no Jewish human rights activists came forth to stand
with them as an act of solidarity.

As usual, it was Yehuda Bauer who produced
what was perhaps the best articulation of exclusivist sentiment
on the matter. As early as 1990, he was publicly complaining that
such desperate attempts by Gypsies to end the condition of
invisibility he himself had been so instrumental in imposing upon
them was coming into "competition" with the kind of
undeviating focus on "radical anti-Semitism" he’d spent
his life trying to engender. No better illustration of what the
distinguished Princeton historian of the Holocaust Amo J. Mayer
has described as the "exaggerated self-centeredness" of
Jewish exclusivism and its "egregious forgetting of the
larger whole and all of the other victims" can be imagined.

Recovering the Holocaust

There should be no need to go into such
detail in rejoining exclusivist denials of the genocides
perpetrated against Slavic peoples within the overall framework
of the Holocaust. However, a tracing of the general contours
seems appropriate, beginning with the familiar assertion that
"they were treated differently from the Jews, and none were
marked out for total annihilation." As Lucy Dawidowicz puts
it, "It has been said that the Germans … planned to
exterminate the Poles and Russians on racial grounds since,
according to Hitler’s racial doctrine, Slavs were believed to be
subhumans (Untermenschen). But no evidence exists that a
plan to murder the Slavs was ever contemplated or

There is both a grain of truth and a
bucketful of falsity imbedded in these statements. In other
words, it is true that Slavs were not named in the Endlosung (Final
Solution) sketched out for Gypsies and Jews during the 1942
Wannsee Conference. This clearly suggests that the last two
groups were given a certain priority in terms of the completion
of their "special handling," but it is not at all to
say that Slavs weren’t

"marked out" to suffer
essentially the same fate in the end. Presumably, the final
phases of the nazis’ antislavic campaigns) would have gotten
underway once those directed against the much smaller Jewish and
Gypsy populations had been wrapped Up. In any event, the idea
that "no plan [for Slavic extermination] was ever
contemplated or developed" is quite simply false.

As is abundantly documented, the Hitlerian
vision of lebensraumpolitik-the conquest of vast expanses
of Slavic territory in eastern Europe for
"resettlement" by a tremendously enlarged Germanic
populationentailed a carefully calculated policy of eliminating
resident Slavs. In the USSR alone, this planned
"depopulation" was expressly designed to reduce those’
within the intended area of German colonization from about 75
million to no more than thirty million. This sizable
"residue" was to be maintained for an unspecified
period to serve as an expendable slave labor pool to build the
infrastructure required to support what the nazis deemed
"Aryan" living standards. 1 5 0 The 45 million human
beings constituting the difference between the existing
population and its projected diminishment were to be dispensed
with through a combination of massive expulsion-"drive them
eastward"-and a variety of killing programs."’

Plans for more westerly Slavic peoples like
the Poles, Slovenes and Serbs were even worse (or at any rate set
on a faster track). As early as Mein Kampf, Hitler
unambiguously announced that they, like the Jews, were to be
entirely exterminated. For the Poles at least, this was to be
accomplished in a series of stages which seems likely to have
been intended as a model for similarly phased eradication of the
Ukrainians and other peoples to the east: immediately upon
conquest, the Poles would be "decapitated" (i.e., their
social, political and intellectual leadership would be
annihilated, en toto),- second, the mass of the population
would be physically relocated in whatever configuration best
served the interests of the German economy; third, the Poles
would be placed on starvation rations and worked to death. 153
Whether or not there would have been a fourth and
"final" phase a la Auschwitz is irrelevant, since the
results, both practical and intended, are identical.

Unlike the Gypsies and Jews, the Slavs were
mostly organized in a way lending itself to military resistance.
Consequently, planning for their decimation necessarily factored
in attrition through military confrontational Insofar as German
methods in the East, in sharp contrast to those employed against
nonslavic western opponents, always devolved upon the concept of
"a war of annihilation," the extraordinarily high death
rates suffered by Soviet prisoners of war are not really
separable from the extermination plan as a whole. Similarly,
according to SS GruppenfWuer Eric von dern Bach-Zelewski, who
commanded antipartisan operations in eastern Europe, the manner
in which such warfare was wagedwas consciously aimed not just at
suppressing guerrilla activities, but to help "achieve
Himmler’s goal of reducing the Slavic population to 30

Available evidence suggests that the
principle victims in the partisan-Nazi confrontations were the
civilian population. Thus, for example, when 9,902 partisans were
killed or executed between August and November 1942, at the same
time the Germans executed 14,257 civilians whom they suspected of
aiding the partisans… A Polish scholar, Ryszard Torzecki, views
the mass extermination of civilian population as the greatest
drama of the Ukraine during World War II. According to him there
were 250 sites of mass extermination of Ukrainian people-together
with detention camps in which thousands of people perished .. In
a great many cases, mass murder was related to partisan warfare.
H. Kuhnrich estimated that as a result of the antipartisan war
5,909,225 people were killed. Since the Ukraine was the center of
partisan activity, if was there that the greatest losses
occurred. According to Kuhnrich some 4.5 million people, both
fighters and civilians, lost their lives in the Ukraine, as did
1,409,225 in Byelorussia.

Certainly, these slaughtered civilians
should be included in the total of those taken by nazi
extermination policies, not labeled as "war deaths."
And, if the standard practice of lumping the deaths of Jewish
partisan fighters into the total of six million Jews claimed by
the Holocaust were applied equally to Slavs, then plainly the
body count of partisans should be as well. And again, since the
Jews killed by Bach-Zelewski’s SS men during the 1943 Warsaw
ghetto uprising are rightly included among the Jewish victims of
the Holocaust, so too should the masses of civilian Slavs
liquidated during the German seizures of cities like Kiev,
Kharkov, Sebastopol and Mink be tallied. When the totals of those
deliberately worked to death, who died of exposure during the
process of being driven eastward under any and all conditions,
who were intentionally starved to death, and who perished in
epidemics which spread like wildfire because of a calculated nazi
policy of denying vaccines, the true dimensions of the genocide
of the Slavs begins to emerge.

‘Between 1939 and 1945, Poland, the first
Slavic nation to fall to the Germans, suffered 6,028,000
nonmilitary deaths, about ?? percent population reduction (three
million of the Polish dead were Jews, and another 200,000 or so
Gypsies, so the Slavic reduction would come to about fourteen
percent). Virtually every member of the Polish intelligentsia was
murdered. 164 In Yugoslavia, some 1.2 million civilians, or nine
percent of the population, were killed between 1941 and 1945
(this is aside from approximately 300,000 military casualties
suffered by the Yugoslavs). 1 65 Impacts in other non-Soviet
areas of eastern Europe e.g., Slovakia and the Protectorate of
Bohemia and Moravia-were less substantial, although nonetheless

The USSR suffered by far the highest number
of fatalities. By May 10, 1943, the Germans had taken 5,405,616
Soviet military prisoners; of these, around 3.5 million were
starved, frozen, shot, gassed, hanged, killed by unchecked
epidemic or simply worked to death. Another five million people
were deported to Germany as slave laborers–2.2 million from the
Ukraine alone-where an estimated three million died as a result
of the intentionally abysmal conditions to which they were
subjected. 168 By the time the Germans were finally driven
completely out of the Ukraine in 1944, its prewar population of
almost 42 million had been reduced to 27.4 million, a difference
of 14.5 million. Of these, at least seven million were dead. 169
Overall, the Soviet Union lost, at a minimum, eleven million
civilians to nazi extermination measures. The real total may run
as high as fifteen million, to which must be added the 3.5
million exterminated prisoners of war, and perhaps as many as a
million troops who were simply executed by Wehrmacht and Waffen
SS units rather than being taken prisoner in the first place. A
gross estimate of the results of nazi genocide against the Slavs
thus comes to somewhere between 15.5 and 19.5 million in the
USSR, between 19.7 and 23.9 million when the Poles, Slovenes,
Serbs and others are added in. As Simon Weisenthal, himself a
survivor of Auschwitz, long ago observed, "the Holocaust was
not only a matter of the killing of six million Jews. It involved
the killing of eleven million people, six million of whom were
Jews." Weisenthal spoke on the basis of what was then the
best available evidence. Today, some fifty years later, the only
correction to be made to his statement lies in the fact that we
now know his estimate of eleven million was far too low. The true
human costs of nazi genocide came to 26 million or more, six
million of whom were Jews, a million or more of whom were
Gypsies, and the rest mostly Slavs. Only with these facts clearly
in mind can we say have apprehended the full scope of the
Holocaust, and that we have thereby positioned ourselves to begin
to appreciate its real implications.

Uncovering the Hidden Holocausts

University of Hawaii historian David
Stannard has summed up the means by with exclusivists attempt to
avert such understanding. "Uniqueness advocates begin by
defining genocide (or the Holocaust or the Sho’ah) in terms
of what they already believe to be experiences undergone only by
Jews. After much laborious research it is then
"discovered"–mirabile dictu–that the Jewish
experience was unique. If, however, critics point out after a
time that those experiences are not in fact unique, other
allegedly unique experiences are invented and proclaimed. If not
numbers killed, how about percentage of population destroyed? If
not efficiency or method of killing, how about perpetrator
intentionality (emphasis in original)?" It is as Stephen Jay
Gould has said of another group of intellectual charlatans,
"They began with conclusions, peered through their facts,
and came back in a circle to the same conclusions." As
Stannard has concluded, this is not scholarship, it is sophistry.

To put it another way, as Gould does, it is
"advocacy masquerading as objectivity." The connection
being made is important insofar as Gould is describing the
academic edifice of nineteenth century scientific racism which
provided the foundation for the very nazi racial theories under
which the Jews of the Holocaust suffered and died. Given that
Deborah Lipstadt, Yehuda Bauer, Steven Katz, Lucy Dawidowicz and
other exclusivists are of a people which has recently experienced
genocide, the natural inclination is to align with them against
those like Paul Rassinier, Austin App, Robert Faurisson and
Arthur Butz who would absolve the perpetrators. Yet, one cannot.

‘One cannot, because it is no better for
Lipstadt to "neglect" to mention that the Gypsies were
subjected to the same mode of extermination as the Jews-or for
Dawidowicz and Bauer to contrive arguments that they weren’t-than
it is for Rassinier to deliberately minimized the number of
Jewish victims of nazism or for Butz to deny the Holocaust
altogether. C)ne cannot, because there is nothing more redeeming
about Katz’s smug dismissal of the applicability of the term
"genocide" to any group other than his own than there
is about Robert Faurisson’s contention that no Jews were ever
gassed. One cannot, because Yehuda Bauer’s The Holocaust in
Historical Perspective,
Steven Katz’s The Holocaust in
Historical Context and
Lucy Dawidowiez’s The Holocaust and
the Historians
are really only variations of Arthur Butz’s The
Hoax of the Twentieth Century
written in reverse. All of
them, equally, are conscious exercises in the destruction of
truth and memory.

Deniers of the Holocaust must, of course,
be confronted, exposed for what they are, and driven into the
permanent oblivion they so richly deserve. But so too must those
who choose to deny holocausts more generally, and who shape their
work accordingly. Deborah Lipstadt rightly expresses outrage and
concern that Holocaust deniers like Bradley Smith have begun to
make inroads on college campuses during the 1990s. She remains
absolutely silent, however, about the implications of the fact
that she and scores of other holocaust deniers have held
professorial positions for decades, increasingly branding anyone

challenging their manipulations of logic
and evidence an "anti-Semite" or a
"neo-Nazi," and frequently positioning themselves to
determine who is hired and tenured in the bargain. The situation
is little different in principle than if, in the converse,
members of the Institute for Historical Review were similarly
ensconced (which they are not, and, with the exceptions of App
and Harry Elmer Barnes early m, never have been)."

Viewed on balance, then, the holocaust
deniers of Jewish exclusivism represent a proportionately greater
and more insidious threat to understanding than do the Holocaust
deniers of the IHR variety. This is all the more true insofar as
the mythology peddled by exclusivists, unlike that put forth by a
Faurisson or a Richard Verrall, dovetails perfectly with the long
institutionalized denials of genocides in their own histories put
forth by the governments of the United States, Great Britain,
France, Turkey, Indonesia and many others. Indeed, Lucy
Dawidowicz has sweepingly accused those suggesting that the U.S.

transatlantic slave trade was
genocidal–or, by extension, that U.S. extermination campaigns
against American Indians were the same-not only of anti-Semitism
but of "a vicious anti-Americanism." She is equally
straightforward in her efforts to contain what Robert Jay Lifton
and Robert Markusen have called "the genocidal
mentality" within the framework of uniquely German
characteristics." Steven Katz and James Axtell, the reigning
dean of American historical apologism, have taken to virtually
regurgitating one another’s distortive polemics without

Plainly, if we are to recover the meaning
of the Holocaust in all its dimensions, according i t the respect
to which it is surely due and finding within it the explanatory
power it can surely yield, it is vital that we confront, expose
and dismiss these "dogmatists who seek to reify and
sacralize" it, converting it into a shallow and
sanctimonious parody of its own significance ." Only in this
way can we hope arrive at the "universality" called for
by Michael Berenbaum, executive director of the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum, when he suggested that the "Holocaust can
become a symbolic orienting event in human history that can
prevent recurrence……. Undoubtedly, this was what the
executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide
in Jerusalem, Israel Cbamy, had in mind when he denounced
"the leaders and ‘high priests’ of different cultures who
insist on the uniqueness, primacy, superiority, or greater
significance of the specific genocide of their people,"
elsewhere adding that: "I object very strongly to the
efforts to name the genocide of any one people as the
single, ultimate event, or as the most important event against
which all other tragedies of genocidal mass-death are to be,
tested and found wanting… For me, the passion to exclude this
or that mass killing from the universe of genocide, as well
as the intense competition to establish the exclusive
"superiority" or unique form of any one genocide, ends
up creating a fetishistic atmosphere in which !he masses of 9
bodies that are not to be qualified for the definition of
genocide are dumped into a conceptual black hole, where they are

In restoring the Gypsies and Slavic peoples
to the Holocaust itself, where they’ve always belonged, we not
only exhume them from the black hole into which they’ve been
dumped in their millions by Jewish exclusivism and neo-Nazism
alike, we establish ourselves both methodologically and
psychologically to remember other things as well. Not only was
the Armenian holocaust a "true" genocide, the marked
lack of response to it by the Western democracies was used by
Adolf Hitler to reassure his cabinet that there would be no undue
consequences if Germany were to perpetrate its own genocide(s).
Not only were Stalin’s policies in the Ukrainians a genuine
holocaust, the methods by which it was carried out were surely
incorporate into Germany’s General plan Ostjust a few years
later."’ Not only was the Spanish policy of conscripting
entire native populations into forced labor throughout the
Caribbean as well as much of South and Central America
holocaustal, it served as a prototype for nazi policies in
eastern Europe. Not only were U.S. "clearing"
operations directed against the indigenous peoples of North
America genocidal in every sense, they unquestionably served as a
conceptual/practical mooring to which the whole Hitlerian
rendering of lebensraumpolitik was tied.

In every instance, the particularities of
these prior genocides-each of them unique unto themselves-serves
to inform our understanding of the Holocaust. Reciprocally, the
actualities of the Holocaust serve to illuminate the nature of
these earlier holocausts. No less does the procedure apply to the
manner in which we approach genocides occurring since 1945, those
in Katanga, Biafra, Bangladesh, Indochina, Paraguay, Guatemala,
Indonesia, Rwanda, Bosnia and on and on. Our task is-must be-to
fit all the various pieces together in such a way as to
obtain at last a comprehension of the whole. There is no other
means available to us. We must truly "think of the
unthinkable," seriously and without proprietary interest, if
ever we are to put an end to the "human cancer" which
has spread increasingly throughout our collective organism over
the past five centuries. To this end, denial in any form
is anathema.