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February 3, 2016 7:24 am

The Broader Framework of Trudeau’s Holocaust Distortion

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Wikipedia.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Wikipedia.

The absence of any mention of Jews in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day has drawn much criticism. The omission of Jews in any commemorative statement on the Holocaust and its victims, even if unintended, serves as a typical example of a much wider phenomenon — the de-Judaization of the Holocaust.

The Anne Frank story perhaps offers the best-known example of such de-Judaization. When the diary was first published in 1947, several of the initial reviews in Dutch papers did not mention that Anne was Jewish. A German edition was published three years later. The foreword, written by the German author Albrecht Goes, also made no mention of Jews, referring to the Jewish people as “Israel” instead.

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the foreword for the first American edition of Anne Frank’s diary, published in 1952. Here, too, no mention was made of the terms  “Jew” or “persecution of Jews.” American writers Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett wrote the first play based on the diary, which was produced in 1955. They pushed facts about Nazis and antisemitism, as well as that Anne Frank was persecuted as a Jewish girl, to the background. This play had an important impact on how Anne Frank was perceived, particularly in the United States.

De-Judaization often appears hand-in-hand with universalization of the Holocaust, and Trudeau’s text illustrates this. He stated: “The Holocaust is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks of allowing hate, prejudice, and discrimination to spread unchallenged. It also reminds us that silence must never be an option when humanity is threatened.”

Louise Arbour, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, went even further in her de-Judaization of the Holocaust. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2010, she gave a lecture to the Dutch Auschwitz Committee entitled “Auschwitz Never Again.” There she mentioned the words “Shoah” and “Holocaust” a number of times, yet managed to avoid saying the word “Jew.” Anyone who knew little about the subject would not have learned from her that the Holocaust had involved the mass murder of Jews. Her four-year tenure at the UNHRC led UN Watch to conclude that “She failed…to address President Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitic campaign of Holocaust denial and incitement to genocide.”

Trudeau’s recent statement was not his first Holocaust-related distortion. Last year, before becoming prime minister, he accused then Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper of deliberately spreading fears and prejudice about Muslims. Trudeau drew a parallel between current Canadian attitudes toward Muslims and Canada’s refusal to admit Jewish refugees before the Second World War.

In response to Trudeau’s remarks, Simon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, called this comparison “inaccurate and inappropriate,” as Canadian restrictions on Jewish immigration in the 1930s reflected the wide-ranging social and institutional discrimination against Jews in Canada at that time. He stated that in the 1930s, “Jewish Canadians were subject to quotas restricting admission to university programs, as well as outright bans from numerous social clubs and corporations. Signs in public parks went so far as to declare: ‘No dogs or Jews allowed.'”

Fogel concluded that although such prejudice still exists in Canada, there is little to compare between the racism and bigotry of 1939 and that of 2015. Trudeau’s spokesman declined to comment on Fogel’s statement.

In cases of de-Judaization, universalization and similar Holocaust distortion, individual incidents must be condemned. However, it is also important to identify them as part of a much broader, insidious framework of Holocaust distortion.

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  • Mickey Oberman

    You may expect nothing better from Trudeau.
    That he reveres Islam is illustrated by his numerous appearances at Muslim celebrations and mosques in and out of costume, often on his knees.

    I hope he is never welcomed to any Jewish celebration or synagogue or honoured by any Jewish organization.

    As for his statement that Quebecois were superior to Anglos. That should have been warning enough that he is a pure laine (dyed in the wool) bigot.

  • Helen Shapiro

    The editor of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin wrote an excellent column about the Trudeau message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

  • Robert Davis

    trudeau is bending to moslem and nazi socialists pressure against Israel but that will lead antisémites nowhere except ww3. The only step that could avoid it is to expel arabs from Western Palestine, it could be enough to stop that anti Israel bashing. If it does not stop it which I doubt, then ww3 will and it is sure to occur if arabs are not expelled anyway. Cowards never prevail.

  • stevenl

    Don’t do to others what U can do to Jews is the western world MO!
    Another term for liberal is socialism of the elite! This of course is not PC!

  • Peark

    Your right Tom. Five million people were killed . But only People was the target of total annihilation .

  • I don’t know why anyone should be surprised. This signals a new acceptable wave of antisemitism which draws its legitimacy from opposition to Israel and Zionism.

    • Araf

      No; opposition to Israel and Zionism draws its “legitimacy” (of which it actually has none) from anti-Semitism.

  • Theresa

    A disturbing trend and reflects a growing antisemetic viewpoint in Canada. Obviously Trudeau holds to this as there could not be any reasonable alterrnative viewpoint.

  • It is possible that 5 million non Jews died in the Holocaust. They would have been part of the 50 to 60 million killed during WW2. But why link them to the Holocaust if they were not Jews? Why were 6 million Jewish men, women and children killed at all?

    A soldier kills his opponent because he sees him as a threat to his own life, a case of kill or be killed. During WW2 civilians were killed by the million for being part of an entity that enabled those threatening one’s life.

    During the Holocaust well over one million children were deliberately murdered for being Jews, Gypsies and other non Aryans. The same is happening today for racial reasons in the Moslem countries. A child is no threat to anyone’s life and those who think otherwise are themselves a threat to human existence.

    So the answer to Tom must be: “Yes, they are to be commemorated for the fact that they were victims of fear,prejudice,hatred and blind and unthinking obedience to the psychopathy of others.

    Those that murdered those innocents were victims themselves, perhaps even of events beyond their control.

    They should compel us who lived through or witnessed
    those atrocities not to hatred but to the determination to never again permit such things to recur.

  • Dale Debber

    What I find worse that Tredeau’s omission, which appears to be intentional is the lack of outrage being expressed in public by Canadian Jewry.
    The words ‘Never Again’ become meaningless, and perhaps even a challange, if we do not act, at every instance of prejudice, to stop it.
    By permitting the Prime Ministers actions we encourage more of the same.

  • Tina May

    Jett Rucker I see that you write about the Holocaust questioning things about it. The Irish experienced “No Irish Need Apply” signs. Why don’t you take a break on Jews and go pick on the Irish history experience?

  • Typical liberal doublespeak from a family of antisemites

    Typical liberal doublespeak from a family of antisemites, the lowly french like the poles rarely hide their bloodline of esau and their disrespect to Israel.

    Boycotting all french products and politicians and supporting the US appropriation of french territories and secession movements in france is number one priority.

  • michael w

    Seems my comment was deleted. Not entirely sure why, as it was respectful and in keeping with the theme of the article. Anyone, anyone???

  • I’d like to see a photo of one of those Canadian signs saying “No dogs or Jews.” I guess it’d be pretty easy to fake one.

    Did Trudeau distort anything in comparing present-day attitudes toward Muslims with earlier-day attitudes toward Jew(ish immigration)?

    • Edna

      As a Canadian Jew resident in Quebec, i am totally dusgusted with the
      fact that the Liberal party with Judtin Trudeau as its leader won a majority.

      This said, my husband and I never voted for this empty barrel and his ‘sunny ways’, his outrageous promises, and his theatrics. Even my two sons who voted for him are totally disgusted with him!!!and his party.

      Over 65% of Canadians did not vote for him.

      Perhaps Vogue Magazine could offer him a job that he, his wife, and their two nannies
      would accept pdq.

    • David

      Yes. Just for starters: Jews were fleeing oppression and literally running for their lives. Muslims today are in the active process of trying to conquer the West. (Read their own literature, don’t take MY word.) Muslims entering western countries have demonstrated, wherever they go, they will attempt, en masse, to implement Shari’a Law. It is irrelevant, BTW, if MOST are “peaceful.” The fact is, AS A GROUP, they will attempt to take over wherever they move. They do not accept the Law of the Land as Jews have always done, everywhere they went. (In fact, for religious Jews, that is a matter of Law – it’s written in our Torah that the Law of the Land IS the Law. And, until the 1880s, virtually ALL Jews were religious Jews.) If you want, continue to stick your head in the sand. You will suffer the consequences, not I. I am safe in the Holy Land. (Don’t worry for us, either: this Land was granted us by the Only One Who Matters and, even though we consistently err in dealing with our Muslim guests, He will help us deal with them in the way He decides in the end.)

    • David

      BTW, I don’t know about Canada but, there were exactly such signs in my native Baltimore. One, in particular, was at the Millford (Milford?) Mill swimming pool (hole, really). That one you can see featured in the film, Avalon (by Barry Levinson). It also happens I attended Johns Hopkins U., which is situated adjacent Homeland – an upscale old Baltimore community. (Some say it is IN Homeland.) At least through the 1950’s, Homeland had incorporated into its By-Laws that no Jews were allowed to purchase homes or land there. This is an historical fact which can be checked. There were other communities with similar by-laws. Hopefully, some Canadian can provide examples from there.

    • Araf

      Let’s see. When the Jews were being massacred, the earlier-day attitudes toward Jewish immigration were summed up by “None is too many”; present-day attitudes toward Muslims are, “Let’s fast-track tens of thousands into Canada, and millions into Europe; and let’s allow them to hide their faces when taking an oath or testifying in court; and let’s prosecute other people for hate crimes if they criticize them or their religion.” You think that Trudeau is accurate in speaking of these two sets of attitudes as the same, or even similar?

  • michael w

    I am not sure what I find more remarkable about this entire debacle; that it was passed off so blatantly in the first place or that any outside observer of the the Liberal party in Canada is remotely surprised.

    It is so obviously an example of de-Judaizing the Jewish experience that it boggles the mind.

    From the nauseatingly insensitive attachment of “the Ballocaust” to a dodge ball team, to the remarkable political doublespeak of Justin Trudeau’s Holocaust Day remarks, this is really reaching brass monkey levels of chutzpah.

    What is profoundly galling is the assertion that the original speech by Mr. Trudeau was an “accidental release”. In other words, a draft that was not meant for public consumption. I am curious what speech writing young turk in the PM’s brigade had the brilliance to write a “rough draft” about the Holocaust that did not include references to Jews.

    Most unbelievable is the CIJA accepting the bald faced “draft” lie as an apology. Shame on an y Canadian jew who accepts this as reasonable.

    • Edna

      The CIJA wrote to me to try and diffuse our total disgust of Trudeau
      But white washing the yob did not impress me.

      I sent the CIJA, Trudeau, Stephane Dion
      (The ‘foreign minister”) as well as my liberal mp
      an old British made video of the unimaginable horrors that they saw
      when the death camps were liberated!!!

      Dehumanising our 6 million Jewish martyrs was the last
      straw. This prime minister is an ignorant idiot!

    • ZG

      Agree with you. We live in a world where even Jews internalize any Jewish attitudes, like our so called unreachable Jewish representatives.

      • ZG

        I meant “anti Jewish attitudes”.

  • Tom

    …but 5 million non Jews also died in the Holocaust.

    Should the world have a separate event to remember them?

    • Golum…

      OVER 60 Million People died in WW2!!!!
      But the Difference is that OVER 6 million JEWS were specific targets for annihilation just because they were Jews…not enemy combatants!!! Gypsies and others were also targeted but not in anywhere near those numbers!!!

    • Golum…

      FYI…RE Anne Frank:
      The Real Diary of Anne Frank was whitewashed by Annie’s Father Otto who felt she told thing’s better left unsaid!!! If you can find a copy of her original manuscript it tells a harsher more realistic story!!!

    • Eve

      If you had any sense or knowledge of history you would know that the term Holocaust (with a capital H) refers to the killing of some six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. To the Nazis, the Holocaust was the “ Final Solution ” to the “Jewish problem,” and would help them establish a pure German master race (see No one claims that millions of others did not die, but no other people were subject to a planned and total extermination. That’s what makes the Holocaust unique,

    • Edna

      The “world” has blood on its hands.

      However, No one stopped Trudeau from mentioning Jews and include Gypsies, gays and etc….

      Our immature PM has a psychological problem. He was deserted by his mother when he wss 5 yrs old and needs to feel he is loved. So he kowtows to Muslims, to Liberal hangers on, and any Tomasina, Dick or Henrietta who will give him a hug!

    • Frederik

      Tom, that’s not quite accurate. Yes, millions of non Jews died in Nazi concentration camp terror, not even to mention the dozens of millions of civilians and soldiers who died during the Nazi-incited war. But the term Holocaust clearly refers to the Nazi intention of systematically and thoroughly, industrially extinguishing any Jewish being.

    • Pierrette Winter

      To Tom: are you referring to the Gypsies, the mentally or physically handicapped, or the soldiers? The only group that was targeted by the Nazis with the enthusiastic passive or active help of most governments was the Jews. They were targeted everywhere: in Germany, in France, in all the Eastern countries (Poland, Rusdia, Rumania, Czecoslovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, to name a few), subjected to horrendous laws, their nationalities taken from them, their possessions ditto, and finally their lives. Your comment, Tom, makes me doubt your humanity.

    • Jeffrey Zucker

      Tom, I would say yes there should be a special day to commemorate all those who died at the hands of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the Ottoman Turks and others. However, the Shoah was different from any other extermination campaign in history and deserves to be separated from the others with its own day. Never before or since has the economic might of a nation been used to manufacture death, use valuable logistics needed to wage war and involve the whole nation and others to operate DEATH INC. We cry for all who have died at the hands of various despots but, the Shoah was unique.

    • Ephraim

      In many cases the non Jews died for different reasons. The Nazis even treated non Jews better in the concentration camps (if you go to Auschwitz you will see what I mean). While the Nazis were racist to the core, their main aim was the destruction of all Jews, and they came close to succeeding in making Europe Judenrein. Anyone running afoul of the Nazis was treated brutally, and many were murdered. But it was the Jews who were targeted for total annihilation. The ‘final solution’ was directed precisely at the ‘Jewish problem.’ If the Jews had not been singled out, many of those 5 million gentiles would have lived.

    • The Jews were murdered because they were Jews, as were the Roma. The millions of others who died, died mostly as slave labourers, no less a crime, but they were not singled out for their race or religion. The Nazis did not have murder squads for the Poles, French etc, but they did have for the Jews.

    • ZG

      The Jews got no chance. Everyone else had at least the option to submit.
      Disgracefull to deny the uniqueness of this Jewish tragedy.

    • David

      Absolutely false. The Holocaust, by definition, was the Nazis war on the Jews. Five million others died DURING the period of the Holocaust. Six million Jews died IN the Holocaust. Those five million were individual tragedies, each one no less than each of the six million individual Jewish tragedies but you deliberately ignore the reality of the War on the Jews conducted by Germany and its allies by attempting to conflate the two groups. Judiasm lost between a third to half its number in the Holocaust. No other group lost a fraction close to that during that period and no other group was so systematically targeted as the Jews.

    • Barry

      The British closed the door to escape to Palestine and North America wouldn’t let them in. This did not happen to the 5 million non-Jews caught up in the war as Germany overran their countries.
      For the Jews the Nazis made the trains run on time for the slaughter houses to function non stop. The Swiss turned a blind eye to the trains passing through their territory. They Played Neutral.

      As for ” Signs in public parks went so far as to declare: ‘No dogs or Jews allowed.’” if true, just shows how blatantly hypocritical the British Empire was especially when they criticized the Afrikaner nationalists for Apartheid which the Afrikaner did not have to invent after many years of British rule.
      A pity the Mondo Cane films are not shown nowadays for people too young to have seen them in the 1960’s, to get a feel for what took place in the last century.

    • Michael Levitt

      These events do generally remember the other groups targeted in the holocaust, in my experience. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that they should be exclusively Jewish. But the distortion is not to mention that the largest group by far deliberately and systematically targeted as a group was Jews.

    • Edna

      They should , in my opinion, be included, and each group mentioned, and prayers be said.

      The 5 million non Jewish martyrs who were also exterminated should be memorialized and mentioned separately.

      This is not a competition!

  • BMS