Sunday, January 28, 2007

Among The Righteous

United Nations 26 January 2007:


The General Assembly today adopted by consensus a resolution condemning, without reservation, any denial of the Holocaust, with the United States, among the text’s 103 sponsors, stressing that to deny the events of the Holocaust -- one of the most tragic moral catastrophes in history -- “was tantamount to approval of genocide in all its forms”.


One year on from writing about it last time, I still can't understand why holocaust denial should be treated as a heresy that is intrinsically more wicked than any other. I'd almost like to agree, but somehow I can't. How can denying the events of the Holocaust be "tantamount to approval of genocide in all its forms”? I just can't draw the dots.

There's better rhetoric available:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.


Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.


Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.


Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.


Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.


Then there are newly discovered stories with morals for today as much as for the 1940s, from Robert Satloff's Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands, which give us Arab heroes like Si Ali Sakkat, a former mayor of Tunis, Tunisia, who sheltered 60 Jewish workers when they showed up at his farm, and Si Kaddour Benghabrit, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, who gave 100 Jews counterfeit Muslim identity papers.
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