How (not) to Relativize the Holocaust
OK, I owe everyone an apology. I get it now. I’ve seen the light. I finally understand the true nature of my thoughtcrimes, and I take responsibility for them, and I stand ready to pay my debt to society.
I have to thank the State of Israel for bringing about this sudden epiphany. How it happened was, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, and his delegation wore yellow Stars of David — i.e., the ones the Nazis forced the Jews to wear in public — at a Security Council session to make a statement.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Ambassador Erdan then made remarks comparing the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel to the Holocaust.
“When Jewish babies were burned in Auschwitz, the world was silent, and today Jewish babies were burned in Be’eri and the towns of the South by the Nazi Hamas – and the world is silent again. I will make you remember the shame of your silence every time you look at me,” Arden said. “I will wear the yellow patch until the Nazi Hamas is eliminated and until the Security Council stops being silent and condemns the October 7 massacre. Some of you have learned nothing in the last eighty years! Some of you have forgotten why the United Nations was founded. So I will remind you. From today on, every time you look at me you will remember. When my grandfather and his children were sent to Auschwitz, the world was silent. When his wife and their seven children were sent to the gas chambers, the world was silent. When their bodies were burned alongside millions of other Jewish children, the world was silent,” Erdan said, comparing the silence of the UN about the Hamas massacre on October 7 to the silence of the international community regarding the horrors of the Holocaust.
Now, I’ll be honest, the first thought that went through my head when I read that Jerusalem Post piece was, “Great! Here’s an Israeli diplomat doing exactly what I’m being prosecuted for doing, and no one’s going to prosecute him! All I need to do is bring this to the attention of the Berlin District Court, and they’ll dismiss my case!”
But then I had my epiphany.
Basically, my epiphany was, I realized the two things are completely different, i.e., Israel’s use of a Nazi symbol to make a political statement and me doing the same thing … well, almost the same thing. I’ve never actually relativized or minimized or trivialized or compared anything to the Holocaust, as Gilad Erdan did at the UN. Actually, I’ve advised against doing that. But that doesn’t let me off the hook for my thoughtcrimes! No, I did what I did, and I will have to answer for it in January at the District Court of Berlin!
For readers unfamiliar with my case, what I did was, I tweeted these two Tweets featuring the the cover art of my book, The Rise of the New Normal Reich, which is banned in Germany, and referring to the medical-looking masks that everyone was forced to wear during 2020-2022 as “ideological conformity symbols.”
The important thing is, I understand now how totally wrong (and criminal) it was to do that, and how what I did is completely different from what UN Ambassador Erdan just did!
For starters, it wasn’t just those two Tweets. No, on Twitter, Facebook, and in my essays, and interviews, and, basically, every chance I got, for two years, I compared the rise of the “New Normal” to the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. I noted the similarities between these two forms of totalitarianism: the declaration of a “state of emergency” as a pretext to justify the cancellation of constitutional rights and rule by decree; the propaganda; the censorship; the criminalization of dissent; the mandatory displays of ideological conformity; the invasion of bodily autonomy; the segregation, demonization, and persecution of a scapegoat underclass; and so on … all the classic hallmarks of totalitarian systems.
I understand now how wrong (and criminal) that was.
Watching the Israelis whip out their yellow Stars of David at the Security Council clarified for me when it is and isn’t appropriate to compare things to the Nazis.
Check me, but I think I’ve got it straight now.
When governments and non-governmental entities roll out a “New Normal” on account of a completely fictional “apocalyptic pandemic,” lock people down in their homes for months, terrorize them with official propaganda, force everybody to wear medical-looking masks to display their conformity to the new official “reality” and create the appearance of a deadly plague, outlaw political protests, censor dissent, segregate and demonize anyone refusing to conform to the new official ideology, and otherwise transform societies into pathologized de facto police states, those governments and global non-governmental entities are absolutely nothing like the Nazis.
On the other hand, Hamas, the Islamist political and military organization that governs the Gaza Strip, is definitely exactly like the Nazis … except that there are only around 25,000 of them, and their “Reich” is a tiny stretch of land that has been totally blockaded by Israel for years, and is completely surrounded by an “Israel-Gaza barrier,” and has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967. But, otherwise, Hamas is exactly like the Nazis!
See, the thing I didn’t quite understand when I tweeted my thoughtcrimes in 2022 was that being “exactly like the Nazis” has nothing to do with the actual history of Nazi Germany or totalitarianism per se. I was operating under the assumption that it did. That’s no excuse. I should have known better. Obviously, no one should ever be allowed to compare the rise of Nazism in Germany to any other totalitarian system or movement, no matter how blatantly similar it may be. In fact, the history of the rise of Nazism in Germany is irrelevant to, well, basically everything, unless your discussion is strictly limited to the Holocaust, or if you’re relativizing the Holocaust in defense of Israel’s right to defend itself … in which case, sure, break out those yellow stars and go nuts with the Holocaust comparisons.
Seriously, check my reasoning on this, because I don’t want to get it wrong again and end up facing another prosecution. Based on my new post-epiphany understanding, questioning the details of the official account of the October 7 attack is “Holocaust denial.” Hundreds of thousands of people peacefully demonstrating in support of Palestinians is a “hate march.” “Hamas Holocaust denial is dragging us into a new Dark Age.” The October 7 massacre was “barbarism that is as consequential as the Holocaust,” or at least as barbaric as the Babyn Yar massacre!
How am I doing? Am I good so far? I haven’t relativized the Holocaust, have I?
OK, one more test, just to make sure I’ve got my mind right around this stuff. If I, or anyone, were to compare what the State of Israel is doing to the Palestinians in Gaza to, I don’t know, let’s say, just hypothetically, the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto, that would be completely inappropriate, and anti-Semitic, and a hate crime, right? I mean, the IDF isn’t liquidating the strip. They’re defending Israel against Hamas, and are doing their best to protect civilians as they bomb whole neighborhoods into heaps of rubble, wiping out thousands of men, women, and children, entire extended families, who are trapped inside the “Israel-Gaza barrier,” and have nowhere to run or hide from the slaughter.
If anyone were to make that comparison, that would definitely be relativizing the Holocaust, right? That would be like calling for “the extermination of the Jews,” or literally dressing up like Hitler and walking around barking Nazi slogans in public. In fact, anyone comparing the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto, or to any other enclave of any other Nazi-occupied territory, is relativizing, minimizing, and trivializing the Holocaust, and should be fired from their job, blacklisted, and publicly condemned as “a Hamas-loving anti-Semite.”
Help me out. Am I getting the hang of this?
I hope so. All I can do at this point is apologize for leading people astray with all that stuff I wrote about “The New Normal Reich” and “pathologized totalitarianism” during 2020-2022. That, and try to make amends by humiliating myself on social media …
… which seems to be going pretty well so far.
Anyway, I am terribly sorry. No more “Holocaust relativizing” for me! I have seen how it is wrong, and terribly wrong, to compare anything to Nazi Germany, ever. I have learned my lesson. I’m cured! Praise god!
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