TRULY WE ARE OUR BROTHER’S KEEPER – or are we
EHUD BARAK HAS DONE IT AGAIN – betrayed Israel; He did it before, when he threw Jonathan Pollard to the (American) wolves, who have been feasting on him ever since.
It has been suggested that Jonathan Pollard betrayed America. That’s wrong. Totally wrong. Jonathan Pollard did not betray America. America betrayed Jonathan Pollard.
America betrayed the Jews, everywhere. And America flagrantly betrayed Israel as well.
The world cheers Ehud for having given away Israel. And why not? They are aware that Israel’s demise is that much closer, and with it, reduced threats of Arab terrorism.
Hizballah Chief Hassan Nasrallah predicts that Israel will cease to exist within ten years. He has seen all the signs. He knows victory is at hand, just given a little bit more time. All the Arabs know it. They knew it when Scud missiles rained down on Israel, and Israel did nothing about it. They knew it when Israel left Lebanon, defeated. They knew it when four Israeli buses made a wrong turn and wound up in an Arab district near Ramallah, three of them set alight by the Arabs, with the Israelis fleeing for their lives on the fourth – and no retaliation followed.
Israelis have nothing to worry about, their government tells them, for at least five years, which is how long the government says it will take Iran to become nuclear and provide itself with a delivery system that can reach Tel Aviv. Israel is probably preparing for a second strike, but the first will put an end to Israel forever.
NOW THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY that the United States will have a Jewish vice-president. The concept is a good one, and Jews can take comfort from it. But in reality, Jews in high office try to insure that nothing they do is seen as being good for the Jews (remember Henry Kissinger, as well as the other "she didn’t know she was Jewish," Secretary of State, Madeline Albright) and certainly Kapo Lieberman is not being very helpful to one Jew in particular – Jonathan Pollard. But as a religious man he should know that if one Jew is held as a captive, all Jews are in captivity. Nothing is better proof than the Pollard situation.
We haven’t arrived yet – not as long as a vice-presidential nominee – and many others as well – choose to betray Jonathan Pollard by assuming the kapo’s role as a (cowardly) means of avoiding the charge of "dual loyalty," which otherwise they would casually dismiss as contemptible rubbish; it is a charge that only the anti-Semites would choose to make, and out of their own sick need, will find others, equally contemptible.
THE BBC LIKES TO TELL US HOW OBJECTIVE they are, for example, presenting the Arab case, to be followed by a left-wing Israeli who says virtually the same thing. They tell us they don’t ban anything, but the novel, ON SINAI’S LOFTY MOUNTAIN, was clearly banned; they didn’t like the point of view, and they didn’t want to discuss Jonathan Pollard. But the time has come when we need to consider Britain’s role in the virtual destruction of European Jewry.
As compensation, seemingly, they provided listeners with a crude and vulgar weekly series of programmes entitled "The Attractive Young Rabbi", which is both stupid and offensive, dribble that is an insult to every Jew, and every decent gentile. It is of such a low level that to call it "craven" would be seen as a compliment. It is a disgrace that such nonsense – including the announcement that the lady rabbi (who has an atrocious accent) has been jilted by her fiancé who decided he was more homosexual than heterosexual - can find a voice on the BBC.
As if it were required, here is irrefutable proof of the BBC’s profound anti-Semitism, their eagerness to project the words and thoughts of Norman Finklestein, seen in most places as a professional Jew-hater, a man so obviously sick that he eagerly promulgates concepts that are little different from those of yesterday's Nazis, or today's. He appears to be a man who does not like himself very much, which is quite understandable. Under the circumstances, one could feel sympathy for him, because he is a victim too. He contends that the entire field of Holocaust studies is mainly fraudulent, funded by well-to-do American Jews who want to silence Israel’s critics.
He is in need of help for his sickness, and maybe he has sought it, and if so, it hasn’t worked. This man’s parents were both Holocaust survivors, a fact he does not hesitate to exploit in order to lend authenticity to his words. It will sound to many that the parents, victimised, may have begun to see themselves as they have been portrayed by their persecutors. (They won’t be the first.) There were those who were punished for something they must have done. For being Jews. And if that is so, being Jewish cannot have been a very good thing. Therefore, to reject Jewishness is to escape guilt, to avoid prosecution and persecution. Join up with those who sought to destroy you, who seek it now, and perhaps you will be viewed as "all right," an "all right Jew," "different from the rest," and therefore, spared destruction.
A boy growing up in this atmosphere, regardless of the thought processes of two Holocaust survivors – which is not necessarily logical – could well assume a position devoid of logic. But the problem is, this man lends his voice, however invalid in most places, to those who, like the BBC, for their own reasons, would like to inflict irreversible damage on those Jews who are left.
We have a right to be angry – more than a right – a duty, an obligation to vehemently protest when we hear the voice demanding our destruction.
LOOKING BRIEFLY AT SOME OF THE "HELP" the United States provided for Israel over the years, look at 1936, for example, when that "great" American president, Franklin Roosevelt - who watched six million Jews die, and resisted every attempt to save them – concluded an agreement with Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, insuring that Israel would never become a free and independent country.
The US allowed Britain to maintain restrictions on Jewish immigration into (pre–independence) Israel, both before and after the war; America could easily have ordered a weak and dependent Britain to eliminate all immigration restrictions – but didn’t. With Israel under military attack from all of her neighbours, as well as from Great Britain, America imposed an embargo on arms to Israel, and took away the citizenship of those who went to fight on Israel’s behalf.
In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, with Israel facing annihilation, America refused to re-supply her; the Jewish Secretary of State ignored Israel’s pleas for help, which should make it obvious to anyone viewing America as either a friend or ally, that the United States was prepared to accept the destruction of Israel. Only when Israel threatened to employ nuclear weaponry –and was just minutes away from doing so – did America relent.
Following along the road of American duplicity directed toward Israel, there existed the 1983 Memorandum of understanding between them that obligated them both to exchange intelligence, but was strictly a one-way street. Here Jonathan Pollard entered the picture; he supplied the information that America had deliberately, and illegally, withheld – that Iraq was virtually a nuclear power, in possession of large amounts of biological and chemical weaponry which Iraq was prepared to employ. Once again there was no reluctance on the part of America to be a direct participant in Israel’s destruction, if by an act of omission rather than commission. Not that there wasn’t an abundance of commission as well; America had supplied Iraq with five billion dollars worth of credit, which would help to destroy Israel ( Germany, France and many others saw to Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological requirements).
In 1991 Iraqi Scuds rained down upon Israel, our only defence, gas masks, (said to be ineffective). The warning came over the television screen as we sat with Anne Pollard in her Asuta Hospital room in Tel Aviv, where she was undergoing medical tests for the severe intestinal problems she was suffering, which she had acquired in prison, and which had gone, deliberately, untreated. Now we sat there and counted the Scuds as they hit the ground with a dull thud around us. We got up to seven. Than Saddam Hussein closed down for the night. But we knew he would be back again. And he was. Israelis were advised to "take it, the way the British did during the war" – so that America could , at least on paper, pretend that it had Arab support for its action against Iraq, but which would have been denied had Israel also been a participant. (Almost without exception, Israel’s "loyal," Arab citizens supported Saddam Hussein’s action.) Israel may have made it clear that if biological or chemical weaponry had been deployed against her, she would have retaliated with a nuclear response. But why couldn’t Israel have issued the same warning with the just the plain every-day Scuds, which needn’t have fallen on us, except for America’s insistence. It was ironic that Anne, who had been given a five-year prison sentence as an accessory, was Israel’s victim, and America’s victim, and now, Iraq’s victim.
THE PREVIOUS EDITOR OF THE JERUSALEM REPORT didn’t like what we said and informed us that were we (The Jonathan and Anne Pollard Committee) not so "marginal," he would sue us. Well, we are indeed marginal, which is extremely unfortunate. Pollard’s heroism doesn’t seem to have impressed the Jerusalem Report much; Pollard held the future of Israel in his hands. Would anyone connected with the Jerusalem Report have acted the way Pollard did, or would they have been on the next flight out of Israel? It is they who should have taken up the fight on his behalf. (The Jerusalem Report appears to have a new editor, who might or might not want to sue us. He has, however, created a far more interesting magazine than the dull one hitherto.) The Left cannot be unaware of America’s treachery over the years, which makes it difficult to understand why they should be so eager to throw themselves into America’s pocket, where they are not, in any event, wanted, since it tends to blight the picture America tries to promote of themselves as the Arabs’ Friend.
WE DO NOT WANT TO APPEAR UNGRATEFUL to the Prime Minister of Israel for his gracious words (in light of our unequivocal denunciation of his action in betraying Israel) relayed through his spokesman, Haim Mandel- Shaked, Head of the Prime Minister’s Bureau, who said:
"Dear Mr. Du Broff, on behalf of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, thank you for the copy of the book ON SINAI’S LOFTY MOUNTAIN, and the warm inscription.
"The Prime Minister acknowledges your deep commitment to the release of Jonathan Pollard. This novel will make a nice addition to his library..
"With best wishes,
What a nice letter to receive. But naturally we are distressed and disturbed that Prime Minister Barak has not yet brought about Jonathan Pollard’s release, and appears to be rather disinclined to devote himself to that end
WE HEAR THAT HA’ARETZ is to face court proceedings for the unpleasant, and apparently untrue things they have been saying about Jonathan Pollard. It is said of them that they are the vehicle for certain elements of the Defense/Intelligence community who want to keep Pollard in prison forever. Loftus and Aarons, in their book, THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE JEWS, said this too that Pollard had "screwed" up relations with the US, and as a result they thought a life term in prison was the right amount of time for him to spend there.
We understand that Barak was the head of Military Intelligence at the time Pollard was apprehended, and immediately flew to Washington to try and make things better; bearing in mind that Israel returned Pollard’s purloined intelligence notes, complete with his finger prints attached.
Loftus and Aarons tell us that Mossad was furious that someone else got to run Pollard, and not them, having set themselves up as the tail that wags the dog.
It is therefore not so strange that Amnon Dror, the man from Mossad, would fill the dual role of being in charge of the Israel Government-created body pretending to be working to get Pollard out, while his real efforts were devoted to insuring that Pollard stayed in. It was easy to see through Amnon Dror – long before I ever met him – merely by the way he was trying to direct the efforts of our Committee. He was so flagrant, and so clumsy in his phoney role of Pollard protector that it took no great intelligence or insight to see right through him. Yet Guela Cohen, that fiery ex-Irgunist and equally fiery Right-winger unequivocally accepted him as a genuine Pollard supporter, which led to a bit of shouting when I encountered her in the Knesset in Jerusalem during the Gulf War.
AFTER MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS of living with Arabs around them, Israelis do not begin to understand their wily neighbours.
They thought that by being good neighbours to the Arabs, the Arabs would be good neighbours back. But it hasn’t worked that way, and it is long past the time when Israelis should have understood this. In Arab eyes, if you are willing to concede anything, it is because you have lost, and/or because you are weak, or because you are afraid. Israel is seen in this light.
The Arabs know that, were they to be victorious, they would not concede anything; that is not their culture or their history. That is not the way they deal with each other. The vanquished are truly vanquished. They are no more. They become dust in the wind.
It is universally recognised that were Israel to be defeated, it would result in total elimination – of the State and the people. But for Israel, applying a different standard, her victories – some of the greatest in history – count for nothing in the process of writing new chapters of Jewish history. They are merely battles won, and not great victorious wars that have any meaningful significance. The fact that the Arabs could be allowed to rise and fight again, is proof, in Arab eyes, that the Israelis are both weak and frightened.
What more proof do the Arabs need, than Israel’s hasty departure from Lebanon. Arabs know that the vanquished should stay that way, whereas Israel, despite countless good examples, hasn’t yet learned this. The real danger is that they never will. Mohamed eliminated those whom he perceived as enemies – including the Jews – and there is no reason why Arabs today feel any need to conduct themselves any differently.
JEWISH BLOOD NEED NOT HAVE BEEN SPILLED in Lebanon. Why bother fighting with a few Arabs on the ground, when the real war is with Syria? If it hurts enough, they will not encourage terrorist activities directed against Israel. Israel needs to remind her neighbours, including those far neighbours, that within fifteen minutes Israel has the capacity to eliminate them all – forever!
WHEN WE MET WITH LARRY DUB IN JERUSALEM (Jonathan Pollard’s lawyer), we asked what we could do in England to be of help to Jonathan Pollard. He suggested that we try to enlist Tony Blair’s assistance. Larry, we have made our feelings pretty obvious to the British Government, who are as sympathetic to Israel as was the Labour Government in which Earnest Bevin, notoriously anti-Semitic, served as Foreign Minister. While we are not back to 1946, the mentality of that era persists in Foreign Office circles today, and Tony Blair has very little interest in Jonathan Pollard, who does not vote in Britain – and if he did, certainly wouldn’t vote for Tony Blair.
This is a British Government that likes being in office – never mind what they do there. First they stole the Tory’s clothes, and named themselves "New Labour," deeply aware that the Old Labour was completely discredited and rejected. Then they said they would set all the wrongs to right. Trouble is, they haven’t the vaguest idea how to do this, since they are one huge collection of total incompetents. They have virtually destroyed the National Health Service, the most precious jewel in the British crown. They spent almost a billion on what they thought was going to be a tribute to New Labour and Tony Blair – the Millennium Dome; at the same time, women were dying of cancer because the National Health Service didn’t have the seven thousand pounds it cost to pay for the treatment required to save their lives. That Tony Blair suffers from megalomania will be confirmed by many; that he is a "closet Catholic," will be a matter on which many will ponder. Bosnia offered him a large scope in which, with Bill Clinton, he could fully express himself, while committing war crimes against innocent civilians. More recently he antagonised the Women’s Institute, a devoted and dedicated body concerned with rural Britain, strongly non-political, when he came around, electioneering. Blair said that he would take appropriate action: people wondered if this included beating up the women.
The petrol crisis, in which an avaricious Labour Government, exacting a 76 percent tax on fuel, sparked a revolution, will result, no doubt, in a future defeat for a well-hated and sanctimonious Tony Blair at the next election.
The world, held to ransom by the Arabs, will need to take appropriate action in order to insure its own future – by taking possession of the oil on which it depends.
No, Larry, don’t encourage Jonathan to expect much help from Tony Blair.
NOR SHOULD ANY ONE MAKE THE MISTAKE of expecting anything from the Pope, who failed to fall on his knees at Yad Vashem and ask forgiveness. He probably doesn’t think he need ask forgiveness for his Church, the same one which Hitler claimed as his own (Hitler said he was only doing the work of the Church. And he was too) The Pope came to Israel and stirred things up, at the same time trying to project himself as a "friend of the Jewish people". Should there be any Jews about so naive as to think that might be the case, they are seriously and dangerously, deluding themselves. The Pope knew exactly what he was doing when he came to Jerusalem, busily proclaiming that the Palestinians needed their own state, with Jerusalem as their capital; this de-legitimises Israeli sovereignty, which serves to exacerbate the conflict, hardly an accident. The Pope and Yassar Arafat see things the same way, share a common vision of the Holy Land and strive together to achieve that outcome.
GERMANY CONTINUES TO TRY AND CONVINCE US that it wasn’t them – but a few bad people – called Nazis. They did it all, and in the process made the Germans suffer, good Germans who completely and totally rejected what the Nazis did, thought or believed. Yes, they – the Nazis – were bad to the Jews too, something no German would ever do. Alexander Goldhagen tells it differently: It was all the Germans. Hitler was doing the bidding of the German people; he was their instrument, and not the other way around.
It has been revealed that German children’s books are replete with the concept that the Germans were the victims. Henceforth, German children’s books should carry a "Truth Warning" like the health warning on cigarette packages – that what they are about to read is a complete and total lie. They should include a summery of Goldhagen’s book, HITLER’ WILLING EXECUTIONERS.
The Germans, meanwhile, are busy taking over institutions like the Weiner Library in London – meant to expose the evils of Nazism, as expressed by the German people generally – by paying the salary of the Chief Librarian, a German, not a Jew, in what would appear to be a selfless act of altruism but is in reality the method by which they can censor what ever it is that does not have their approval. One such example is the book HISTORIC SOLUTION, by Sidney Du Broff, with Nedra Du Broff, which makes it apparent that Germany today is not the unmitigated blessing for the Jews that they would like us to believe. The Germans might be more convincing than they are, had they not supplied Iraq with the same, virtually unaltered poison gas that they employed so effectively in their death camps. Find out more about HISTORIC SOLUTION.
The Germans were also busy buying up venerable publishing houses, in the US and elsewhere, some of them Jewish, in order to promote the concept of their innocence, and prevent revelations of their guilt, past and present.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS ON THE WEB, then also have a look at the play that is being created, called BEHIND THE SCENES, by Sidney Du Broff, taken from his novel, ON SINAI’S LOFTY MOUNTAIN. The title is drawn from the fact that everyone was working "behind the scenes," to spring Jonathan, when in reality they weren’t doing anything, except placating us. Have a scene by scene look.
THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2000, was immensely successful. It has a marvellous atmosphere. It buzzes with enthusiasm. There is a universal delight in being there. It grows bigger each year as publishers from around the world come to display their books. The organisers function with amazing professionalism; the three-day fair needs to be extended so that visitors can take it all in.
We were pleased to meet publisher Vallentine Mitchell/Frank Cass again, presenting so many books of Jewish interest, important, imperative books that need to be read. There is a whole series on Holocaust Studies, a Library of Holocaust Testimonies. We review two of their books below. We are profoundly grateful to Valentine Mitchell/Frank Cass for making these, and so many other important works, available.
ON SINAI’S LOFTY MOUNTAIN was at the Fair, and so was its sequel, now almost completed, ON GALILEE’S SACRED HILL, which created a very considerable amount of interest. GALILEE starts where SINAI left off. David, now grown up, and working as a journalist in Israel, and the Spaulding Foundation’s representative there (the family-controlled think-tank), encounters again, Jihan Husseini, a prominent Israeli-Arab girl who had saved his life earlier when she revealed that a bomb had been placed under his car.
OUT OF THE GHETTO by Jack Klajman with Ed Klajman (his son). Published by Vallentine Mitchell: London, England/ Portland, Oregon, USA under the auspices of the Yad Vashem Committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Centre for Holocaust Studies, University of Leicester. £14.50/$19.50. We don’t ever want to forget that this happened to our people. His book brings you there, and keeps you there, as you feel the Germans bombing Warsaw. Jack – Jankiel –is running through the streets of Warsaw with his younger sister, the apartment building in which they had lived, ablaze, having sustained a direct hit from a bomb dropped by a German aircraft.
Jankiels’s four siblings and his parents, are left with the clothes in which they are sanding. Everything else is gone. Ultimately they make their way to the home of an uncle, where together they make twelve. A Polish Army horse is killed by shrapnel in front of the house. Jankiel’s father, along with others, rushes out and carves up the horse, which provides a feast.
Fifteen to twenty square blocks became the Warsaw Ghetto, the newly-constructed high walls enclosing it. By 1941 it was common to see people dying in the street of starvation. Corpses were buried fifty at a time. The clothes of the dead were stripped off, the bodies covered with newspaper. ‘Eventually,’ Jankiel tells us, "people became so blasé about death that no one even bothered to cover the bodies any more.’
Leaving the Ghetto was punishable by death, but leaving it was the only way to survive. Jankiel, taking out watches and clothes, brings back food. His father dies of a kidney problem; medicine is unavailable. His mother dies before Jankiel’s eleventh birthday, from starvation, insisting the children take what little food is available. Jankiel and his younger brother find temporary refuge in the home of a Polish couple. Concealing a Jew is punishable by death. Revealing the presence of one is rewarded by eleven pounds of sugar, and eleven pounds of flour.
During the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Jankiel, with about 100 others, is discovered in a bunker, but he manages to escape, hiding amongst the dead, pretending to be one of them. His siblings die. Only he is left. It is 1943. Jankiel, age 12, and streetwise, knows never to sleep in the same place two nights running, has taken refuge amongst the garbage cans in close proximity of an apartment building. The janitress finds him there in the morning, and takes him in. This is Mrs Lodzia, who has two young daughters, whose husband has left her. Jankiel reminds her what happens to people who are caught harbouring Jews. Mrs Lodzia asks her daughters if they are prepared to take the risk. They are.
Jankiel gets false identity papers, provided by the Jewish underground, and becomes "Janek". He earns his living selling cigarettes. Here he encounters other cigarette sellers, who also happen to be Jews, amongst them Pavel and Zenek, who take part in the Warsaw Uprising, are captured, deported to Germany, are liberated there. In Poland they are regarded as heroes, and copiously decorated, but there is considerably less enthusiasm for their efforts when it is discovered that they are Jews. Ultimately they make their way to Israel, where they fight in her wars, and become high-ranking officers.
From the day he let Poland he maintained contact with Mrs Lodzia, whom he calls his second mother, and her daughters. Mrs Lodzia died in 1978, age 73. He sent parcels to her and the girls at Easter, Christmas and on their birthdays, and to this day still maintains contact.
Married, with four successful children, and living in Canada, Jankiel has made a tremendous contribution We are grateful to him for telling his story. It wasn’t easy; the pain never goes away. His entire family was destroyed - not a single member was ever located. The nightmares persist – that the Germans are chasing him, or that he is trapped in his burning hiding-place. He had intended to return to Poland for the fiftieth Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, but the pain of going back there prevented his return. Thank you, Jack Klajman. We know you will never forget. And neither will we.
THE CHILDREN ACCUSE, edited by Maria Hochberg-Mariánska and Noe Grüss. Published by Vallentine Mitchell, translated by Bill Johnson. Originally published by the Jewish Historical Commission, Cracow in 1946. Under the auspices of the Yad Vashem Committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Centre for Holocaust Studies, University of Leicester. £16.95, paperback.
Our deepest thanks to all of those who brought forth this compelling book, absolutely essential reading. The survivors – young people – tell their own story: how they survived in German occupied Poland. This is their testimony, taken down shortly after the events.
Maria Kopel, born in Krasnobrody, in 1932, provides a written account of her life, and the casual reporting of the death of her parents, her brothers and sisters. The village people also killed her aunt. The Banderists – Ukrainian Nationalists living in Poland – killed the man who had taken her in. (The Banderists were not all that fond of the gentile Poles either, and were responsible for burning down entire Polish villages.)
What immediately strikes one is the casual manner in which those who testify, report death – of parents, siblings, other Jews. It was just a fact of life – and death. Mirka Bram – born 1936, in Kalisz: "Three days later the Germans came to Adampol and shot all the Jews who lived there and threw them into the well. They searched everywhere, in stables and barns. The farmer’s wife I knew hid me on top of the stove and covered me with wood. But when the Germans left, she would not keep me any longer because she was afraid that someone would give me away…"
Given another identity, Mirka has to appear before a board staffed by Germans, where, passing all the tests, she is certified "German". The Germans claimed to be able to tell Jews by the way they walked. They also took a sample of blood from the candidate’s ear – as Jewish blood was immediately recognisable.
David Wulf, born in Krakow, in 1936: "Mama would prepare me for the fact that the Germans might catch us and shoot us. I often talked about this with Mama. I asked her if it hurt, and Mama assured me that it only lasts a moment and that it doesn’t hurt at all. If it came to it, I wanted us both to be shot with the same bullet, and I asked Mama if that was possible; and also if it was better to stand facing ‘them’ or to turn my back and press my face against Mama."
Samuel Eisen, born in Tluste, 1932, a partisan with the Soviet Partisans: "I had lessons in horse riding and shooting …You had to do it holding the reins between your teeth in order to have both hands free to load your machine gun…When we found out that the Ukrainian police were in one of the villages, we went straight there and captured them, then we hanged them from trees in the woods." They stage an attack against the Wehrmacht. "Some of the officers escaped. A lot of them we shot, and took 150 soldiers prisoner"…"As soon as we heard that Soviet tanks were in Tluste, we rode to meet them. As I was the youngest, they gave me the Red Flag and I rode at the front between the officers."
As Hannah Arendt pointed out in her book EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM, the quickest route to the gas chamber was through the Jewish Community leadership, who assembled the children together, had them painting pictures, and available for what followed. This leadership, who also reports in this book, needn’t feel so self-satisfied, and would have been better advised to seek safe shelters for their charges, some of whom at least might otherwise have survived.
MY JUST WAR – THE MEMOIR OF A JEWISH RED ARMY SOLDIER IN WORLD WAR II, by Gabriel Temkin, published by Presidio (USA) at $24.95. This is another book you have to read. Temkin, fleeing Poland with his fiancée, later his wife, Hanna, is inducted into the Soviet Army where he is pleased to serve, and makes it to sergeant (he would have been an officer were it not for his Polish birth). His job is to get information from the prisoners they catch – and the method by which they obtain the prisoners is to go out, behind the enemy lines, and catch them, themselves. Serving on the southern front, they cross into Rumania in March, 1944. Temkin is awarded the Order of Glory for his efforts. Temkin tells us how the Soviet Union is now producing great amounts of war-material, including Katyushas – "Little Kates" – named after the popular Russian love song. They arrive on American trucks, concealed under tarpaulins. "Those multiple rockets blasting off from the truck-mounted rails delivered their explosives in salvos, each Katyusha distributing 4.35 tons of ordnance over an area of ten acres for a span of between seven and ten seconds."
The German-Rumanian defence disintegrated. There were 180,000 German dead, 106,000 prisoners.
After the war, they try to seek out relatives who might have survived – but none have. They attend university in Leningrad, and later return to Poland, and attend university there. Hanna becomes a university professor, teaching the history of philosophy. Temkin too becomes a professor, of economics. Later he becomes the economic advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, but is fired during the anti-Semitic purge, by the Prime Minister, who six months before had personally decorated him with the Officers’ Crest of the Revival of Poland.
Forced to flee Poland once again, they go to the US, then to Canada, where they resume their careers. Both their children have PhDs; their son is a physicist, their daughter an anthropologist. This is a fascinating book, and Temkin tells the story so well, with such clarity. It is good to read about resistance, good to read about how the Red Army, in which so many Jews served, ultimately destroyed the German Army and their allies. Anybody not reading this book will be poorer for depriving themselves of the experience.
BEER AND BAGELS FOR BREAKFAST, BY John Carson, published by Fusion Press, a division of Satin Publications Limited, at £9.99. This is the diary of an English gentile volunteer on Kibbutz Naloz, near the Gaza Strip. He says, in his February 1st entry, having now been in Israel nine months: ‘Pity this year isn’t a leap year, because then I’d be able to stay in Israel for one extra day.’
It is a powerful statement, and difficult to fully comprehend, though other gentile volunteers have expressed sentiments not too dissimilar, even though they had a long list of complaints. What is it that makes gentiles, from many lands, feel this very deep bond with Israel, though they are neither Zionists nor have any historic bond with Eretz Israel? I don’t know the answer. If anybody does, we would be interested in hearing from them.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a very good book. One wonders why anybody would want to publish it, or why anyone would want to read it. That the chap would want to write it is understandable, but despite being in one of the most exciting lands in the world, he has produced mainly boredom. He digs a hole, he cuts down a tree, he digs another hole. Sometimes he works in the kitchen. Most of the rest of the time, he, along with the other volunteers, works diligently to get drunk. They do this often and very successfully. Afterwards they nurse their hangovers. The kibbutz authorities, far from disapproving, appear to encourage their intoxication, probably having heard the old song: ‘Oy. Oy, Oy, shicker vi a goy" and assuming this applies to all gentiles. The author has done his best to prove this.
The English language eludes the author; he just does not have enough words at his disposal to express himself adequately and needs to resort to the slang and crudeness that is typical of his class. His understanding of Israel and the kibbutz is muddled and confused, the historical facts concerned with Israel’s creation, non-existent. The insight he provides leads one to conclude that the volunteers he describes are life’s misfits, and they have found their way here, where they will be tolerated, in what, in many ways, is a "Beyond the Pale" society. Carson, the author, puts it this way: "Most of the volunteers, including myself, had a one-way ticket to Hangover City."
What a terribly place in which to live. What kind of people would inflict this upon themselves repeatedly? Small wonder that Jewish youth fails to find inspiration in this volunteers project.
I WOULD NOT have bothered reading OVER THERE by Raymond Seitz, published by Phoenix at £7.99, had it not been given to me as a Christmas present. But by the next Christmas I was still reading it. It is not that I am such a slow reader, but that it is such a long, boring and trivial book, in which the author takes copious amounts of space to tell how marvellous he is. What really comes across is his pomposity. As an American Ambassador serving in Britain, he was a career diplomat, rather than a political appointee who gets the job because he contributed a substantial amount of money to the party, and still has enough left over to pay for booze which the American Government has no wish to supply to the ever-eager British who are thick as flies when there is the prospect of a free drink.
This was my second encounter with Mr Seitz, neither of them pleasant, but the second one lasted longer, and was therefore more painful. The first one was when I wrote to him regarding Jonathan Pollard. He wrote back to inform me that Jonathan Pollard had had a fair trial, and that was that. Pollard and I were both dismissed. There was nothing further to say in the matter – as far as he was concerned.
His book is replete with sweeping generalities, filled with clichés; he is thoroughly convinced that he has a profound knowledge of Britain and the British, but it is an illusion – his own. The profundity he attribute’s to himself is delusional. Like the blind men with the elephant, all that Seitz can really tell us about the elephant is that it isn’t circumcised.
He points out that in Europe, only Britain has no wish to change her borders (unlike all those other nasty European governments who would if they could) and likens Britain to the United States in that respect. No, the United States does not appear to harbour any territorial aspirations towards Mexico or Canada. But what Seitz seems to lack the capacity to understand, is that the United States has tried in every other country, where it doesn’t like the shape of the existent government, to change it internally. Has Mr Seitz never heard of Viet Nam, Korea, Chile, Cuba, for examples? The United States, in the pursuit of its war against the Soviet Union, gave Pakistan the nuclear bomb for its help in facilitating the confrontation with the Soviet military in Afghanistan.
The United States has always needed to function on a war footing; prior to World War II, America was in a state of financial depression, emerging only with the advent of war. By 1950 there were conspicuous signs that America was going straight back into another depression. However, the situation was saved by America’s intervention in Korea. It was easy to argue that things were better when prosperity stemmed from the military than when the Federal Government created the WPA – the Works Project Administration – considered by many to be busy-work that employed the unemployed. (There were those who described the WPA, seemingly with some accuracy, as the ‘We Potschke Association’.)
However, America had progressed, even though President (and former General) Dwight D Eisenhower, in his farewell address to Congress, admonished his listeners to beware of the "Military/Industrial complex that is taking over America." But his warning came too late, even for those who might have wanted to heed it. It had already happened. The United States, with the help of his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, had long before committed America to the Cold, sometimes hot, War, by a country who couldn’t afford peace, against a country who couldn’t afford war – having, in the process of destroying the German military, lost twenty million of its people.
Even before the termination of World War II, with victory in sight, there were those, particularly in the US Military, who advocated the continuance of hostilities; but now they wanted to enlist the efforts of their former enemy against their current ally. The concept of this proposed – and despicable – double-cross was not lost on the Russians, who remained deeply suspicious, and who saw, in due course, just such a policy instituted. The German enemy was suddenly transformed into the German friend and closest ally, thus exonerating a nation of war-criminals who were guilty of the destruction of European Jewry.
America had already signed the death warrant for fifty-eight thousand of its young people – in Vietnam – who were destined to die, before they had lived.
© SIDNEY DU BROFF