Germany’s Problem Is Not Remembering the Holocaust. Its Problem Is Misusing the Memory

In a recent essay titled “The Vanity of Guilt,” the conservative German journalist Andreas Lombard criticized the attitude toward the Holocaust, and Holocaust guilt, in his country, and particularly the ways in which the Shoah has been used to justify Angela Merkel’s immigration policies. Michel Gurfinkiel, calling the essay simultaneously “close to the truth” and “manifestly erroneous,” responds:

For Lombard, “the imperative of remembering” the Holocaust contributes to the crisis. Remembering is thus part of the problem. For me, the very opposite is the case. Now more than ever, we need to remember Auschwitz. Contrary to Lombard, Holocaust awareness is as great a political, ethical, and theological necessity today as it was in the immediate postwar era. Remembering can strengthen Germany’s (and Europe’s) resistance and resilience in the present circumstances—provided one sees the Holocaust for what it really was. . . .

German patriots like Lombard are rightly concerned about their nation’s future. . . . [But] I worry that Lombard is tempted to downplay the singularity of the Holocaust, downgrading it from an absolute evil to—so to say—regular evil. He does not go quite so far, but the fact that he plays with such a view is troubling. . . .

Germany became a stable democracy, and it learned to be admirably honest about the past, . . . by insisting upon remembering the Holocaust as a tragic part of its own history. [Still], there is a kernel of truth in Lombard’s assertion that “the German political and cultural establishment” has developed “a vanity of guilt.” . . .

But you don’t abolish money altogether because some counterfeit is around. It does not make sense to discard or revise the “Holocaust paradigm” because it has been misused and distorted. What is needed is a more accurate remembrance. Germans (and others, too) need to remember that the Holocaust did not target “human beings”; it targeted Jews. and it targeted Jews not for being different or exotic, but for being an essential foundation of European Christian and humanistic civilization.

Read more at First Things

More about: Angela Merkel, Germany, Holocaust remembrance, Immigration


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security