Review of “Holocaust Restitution,” edited by Michael J. Bazyler and Roger P. Alford. 2006.

Reviewer: Jan Peczkis

The Holocaust Industry in Action: International Politics, Intimidation, Fundamental Inequality of Victim-Claims

This book highlights the cases involving Swiss Bank and German companies. It includes a testimony by Judge Edward R. Korman. However, the most interesting information is of an indirect nature, and that is the focus of my review.

HOLOCAUST RESTITUTION: ALL ABOUT JEWISH POLITICS. HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS SECONDARY

In the media and in political discourse, Holocaust restitution is usually framed in terms of justice and compassion for Holocaust survivors—often with a few melodramatic sob stories thrown in. It is a winner. After all, who could be such an ogre as to refuse aid to the traumatized, destitute, long-denied Holocaust survivors?

It is eye-opening to realize that the Luxembourg Agreement (1952) could easily have done NOTHING for Holocaust survivors! Arie Zuckerman quips, “However, as far as Ben-Gurion was concerned, the needs of the hour overrode the intense feelings and the wounded pride that the agreement cause. Nevertheless, during the negotiation with Germany Ben-Gurion felt that it was necessary to distinguish between the acceptance of indemnities for the building of the State of Israel, a country that was absorbing Holocaust survivors, and private property restitution and compensation. It is fair to say that if not for the German condition that obligated the Israeli government to issue monthly indemnities to the injured Holocaust survivors, ALL THE MONEY WOULD HAVE BEEN DIRECTED TOWARDS BUILDING ISRAEL’S ECONOMY AND NONE OF THE SURVIVORS WOULD HAVE BEEN PERSONALLY COMPENSATED BY THE GOVERNMENT.” (Emphasis added. pp. 323-324).

In other words, Jewish political leaders, left to their own devices, would have given NONE of the massive German reparations monies to Holocaust survivors. Now they (or their descendants) have the audacity to accuse Poland (and other prospective targets of attempted Holocaust-Industry shakedowns) of showing a lack of compassion to Holocaust survivors. The crocodile tears are flowing.

Now consider the restitution of private properties, heirless properties, and communal properties. The insufficient allocation of 1950s German monies for any or all these, for whatever motives, on David Ben-Gurion’s part, does not translate into a 21st-century liability or obligation on Poland’s part!

THE USA AND EUROPEAN UNION AS TOOLS FOR PROMOTING JEWISH INTERESTS AT POLAND’S EXPENSE

Poles had long suspected that Jewish influence in the USA, and in the European Union, is being exploited, by the Holocaust Industry, to re-victimize Poland: To bully Poland into paying for German crimes and for the consequences of German crimes. This is now actualized in print.

The statements of Stuart E. Eizenstat are priceless, “If returning communal property is difficult, getting back confiscated private property taken by the Nazis during World War II and/or nationalized by the Eastern European communist countries after the war is often even more difficult. Nowhere is this more evident than in Poland, now a member of both NATO and the European Union. More than a decade and a half after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Poland, traumatized by the potential cost of returning properties or compensating their owners, particularly Polish Jews, has no private property law. Its government has tried time and again but has difficulty coming up with a formula. Poland is now considering a compensation fund of around 15 percent of the value of the property but would exclude any properties in Warsaw from the legislation. HERE AGAIN, DIPLOMATIC INTERVENTION BY THE UNITED STATES AND BY THE EU IS ESSENTIAL TO ACHIEVE SOME JUSTICE.” (Emphasis added). (p. 305).

JEWISH INFLUENCE AND THE FUNDAMENTAL INEQUALITY OF VICTIMS SEEKING JUSTICE IN COURT

Defenders of Holocaust-related restitution allege that the same process is available to non-Jews that had been exploited or wronged in the past. [Think of the Aesop’s fable of the Fox and the Stork. Both animals were on an “equal footing” because, after all, they were eating from the same dish.] While true in theory, it is far from the truth in practice.

Authors Morris Ratner and Caryn Becker ask this introductory question, “Unfortunately, American courts have not proved to be the path to justice for victims of non-Holocaust-era- historical wrongs. Why did the Nazi-era cases not produce a wave of additional success stories for other victims of historical wrongs?” (p. 345).

In a roundabout way, Ratner and Becker acknowledge that Jewish influence in government and media was crucial, if not decisive. They elaborate that, “Additionally, media attention, which played a key role in the Holocaust cases and was intimately linked to the willingness of politicians and regulators to expend political capital on behalf of Holocaust victims, has been far less intensive in the post-Holocaust-litigation context.” (p. 352).

In fact, the difference in media coverage, between Holocaust-related and non-Holocaust-related grievances, was as night and day. Ratner and Becker comment, “While thousands of articles appeared in mainstream papers during the apex of Holocaust litigation, fewer than 150 stories were published about the plight of the braceros, and only hundreds appeared about the ‘comfort women’ and Japanese slave labor cases, with many of the stories appearing in local rather than national papers.” (pp. 352-353).

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Review of Holocaust Justice, by Michael J. Bazyler. 2003.

Belated Justice for the Victims of the Holocaust—Or Something Else?

The author, Michael J. Bazyler, is a Professor of Law, and an attorney who specializes in Holocaust-related litigation. He was born to Holocaust survivors, and grew up in postwar Lodz, Poland. (p. xiii).

INTERESTING FACTS AND FIGURES

Bazyler estimates that the Nazis stole Jewish assets worth between a total of 230 and 320 billion dollars (in 2003 dollars) (p. xi). [So much for the myth that the Holocaust was a uniquely-irrational genocide insofar as it brought no tangible benefits to the perpetrator. It most certainly did.]

Approximately 8-10 (even 12) million people were slaves (forced laborers) for Nazi Germany. (p. 59). Of course, most of them were not Jews.

Between 1933 and 1945, the Germans stole approximately 600,000 pieces of art, not including rare books, stamps, coins, furniture, etc. The looted art alone had a net worth of 2.5 billion dollars (in 1945) and 20.5 billion in 2003. (p. 202).

WHY HAVE HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS NOT BEEN COMPENSATED—FROM GERMAN MONIES—LONG AGO?

Although Bazyler pooh-poohs Norman Finkelstein’s claim that Holocaust survivors are being manufactured for Holocaust Industry purposes, he tacitly acknowledges the validity of Finkelstein’s argument: The very definition of a “Holocaust survivor” is ambiguous. (pp. 274-275).

Since 1952, Germany has paid the Jews a total of 60 billion dollars to some Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. (p. 61). But the Luxembourg Agreement also included considerable monies, as for Israel’s infrastructure, which did not go to Holocaust survivors. If justice and compassion for Holocaust survivors are of such urgency and moral gravity, one must ask why not? Why are we, in 2003 (the date of the publication), STILL hearing about destitute Holocaust survivors that have been denied justice for decades?

As a matter of fact, Holocaust survivors, to this day, complain that even recently-acquired Holocaust-restitution monies largely do not go to them. Other Jewish spokesmen say that this is exactly how it should be, asserting that Holocaust–reparation payments belong to ALL Jews, and not just Jewish survivors. (pp. 80-81; pp. 272-on).

What’s more, Holocaust reparations are being used for Holocaust education. (p. 278-279). Considering the mountains upon mountains of Holocaust-promoting material that already saturates western culture, this is a bit jarring. It tends to support the premise that the Holocaust Industry is, first and foremost, a self-perpetuating racket.

There is more. Wealthy Jewish organizations could have amply met the financial needs of the Holocaust survivors long ago, and not even have felt it—as pointed out by Norman Finkelstein.

One can reasonably suspect that the Holocaust survivors have been kept needy in order to serve as “bait” for never-ending Holocaust-reparation demands—to play on peoples’ and politicians’ emotions (the ARGUMENTAM AD MISERICORDIUM).

HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY MODUS OPERANDI: INTIMIDATION IS AT LEAST AS IMPORTANT AS LITIGATION

In the Swiss bank settlement, according to Bazyler, “True, Judge Korman never ruled on the legal arguments made by both sides in the Swiss bank litigation.” (p. 74). Now add this to the lawsuit against German industries that made use of slave labor. Bazyler adds, “Even if they were now less fearful of American litigation, practical considerations led the Germans to press for a global settlement akin to the settlement achieved by the Swiss banks. First, like the Swiss, the German companies were still under the threat of sanctions imposed by state and local governments…More important, those German multinationals doing a lot of business in the United States wanted to avoid the negative publicity that fresh allegations, unearthed from new historical research, might bring them.” (pp. 78-79).

The same campaign of intimidation worked in the case of the French banks. Bazyler comments, “The political pressure proved to be a significant element in moving the French banks to strive for a speedy end to the litigation.” (p. 182).

ARBITRARY VICTIMS: “HOLOCAUST JUSTICE” SETTLEMENTS PRIMARILY BENEFIT JEWS

In some cases, as stressed by Bazyler, settlements related to the indemnification for Nazi German crimes have benefitted Slavic peoples. However, the lion’s share of payments has gone to Jews, and most of the remainder to specially-designated “victim” groups.

Consider the Swiss banks settlement. The following were beneficiaries: Jews, homosexuals, the physically handicapped, homosexuals, Gypsies (Sinti and Roma). On the other hand, Slavic peoples (Poles and Russians), who confessedly were also victims of the Nazis, were specifically EXCLUDED. (p. 34). This is justice??

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