Holocaust Industry: the book
by Giovanni De Martis
From the book to the interview
by Giovanni De Martis
Professor Finkelstein, your book "The Holocaust Industry" was
not yet been translated into Italian, and yet volumes have already been
published, written by revisionists who comment on its content. A number
of negationist websites refer to your work, and use it in their campaign
to deny the Shoah. What do you think of this use of your book on the part
of negationists? Does this exploitation of your words make you uncomfortable?
main reason Holocaust revisionists embraced my book is that the Holocaust
industry immediately pigeon-holed it as Holocaust denial to deflect unanswereable
criticism. Had it not been labeled Holocaust denial by the Holocaust industry,
I doubt Holocaust revisionists would have supported it. There's not a
single word in the book that can be interpreted as Holocaust denial. Rather
the contrary, I insist throughout the book that the conventional view
of the Nazi holocaust - i.e, an assembly-line, industrialized killing
of the Jews - is correct, and that the conventional figures on those killed
are (more or less) correct. One main point of the book is that it is the
Holocaust industry that has become the main purveyor of Holocaust denial
in the world. If there were a single word in the book that in any way
supported Holocaust denial, why would the world's leading
authority on the Nazi holocaust, Raul Hilberg, repeatedly endorse the book? Of course I would have preferred if Holocaust revisionists didn't support me - just as I'm sure that many critics of the former Soviet Union would have preferred if right-wing fanatics hadn't supported them.
|You maintain that there exists a lobby which, in actual fact, has made the Shoah into a business. What is, in your view, the most appropriate way to approach the subject of the Shoah?|
|I see no reason to invent new approaches to the Nazi holocaust.
The conventional tools of historians seem to me adequate. Perhaps these
tools are not adequate to fully apprehend what happened, but there's no
reason to suppose that these tools are any more adequate for apprehending
other historical events. The Nazi holocaust raises some new questions,
doesn't call into question conventional approaches for answering those questions. The best historiography on the subject - e.g., Raul Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews - utilizes the most conventional approaches.
| What is your opinion on the phenomenon of negationism,
and what are, in your view, the reasons for its growth?
|In general, negationism is a marginal phenomenon wildly
inflated by the Holocaust industry to justify its existence. However,
the danger does exist that it will grow due to all the falsifications
of the Holocaust industry. Were it not for the fact that my late parents
passed through the Nazi holocaust, I myself would probably would be a
skeptic by now. Who can any
longer believe a single word coming out of the Holocaust industry? To cite just one example, according to the Holocaust industry, "tens of thousands" of Holocaust survivors will still be alive in 2035. It's become a bad joke.
|Pehr Ahlmark, the Swedish ex Prime Minister, recently
wrote: "Traditional antisemitism wanted a "Judenrein" world;
modern antisemitism aims at a "Judenstaatrein" world.
Do you agree with this statement?
|Many anti-Semites support Israel; many orthodox Jews are
fanatic anti-Zionists. The real purpose of Ahlmark's unclever epigram
is to dismiss all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. I just came back
yesterday from spending several horrible weeks in the West Bank and Gaza.
Is it really anti-Semitic to deplore Israel's murderous repression of
the Palestinians? I don't think so.