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Mostrando postagens com marcador holocausto. Mostrar todas as postagens
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quarta-feira, 9 de agosto de 2017

Tribunais de direitos humanos - Ian Buruma (NYRBooks)

Fools, Cowards, or Criminals?
The New York Review of Books,

The Memory of Justice

a documentary film directed by Marcel Ophuls, restored by the Academy Film Archive in association with Paramount Pictures and the Film Foundation
available on HBO
AFP/Getty ImagesNazi leaders accused of war crimes during World War II standing to hear the verdict in their trial, Nuremburg, October 2, 1946. Albert Speer is third from right in the back row of defendants; Karl Dönitz is at the far left of the same row.


The main Nuremberg war crimes trials began in November 1945 and continued until October 1946. Rebecca West, who reported on the painfully slow proceedings for The New Yorker, described the courtroom as a “citadel of boredom.” But there were moments of drama: Hermann Göring under cross-examination running rings around the chief US prosecutor Robert H. Jackson, for example. Jackson’s opening statement, however, provided the trial’s most famous words:
We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well. We must summon such detachment and intellectual integrity to our task that this Trial will commend itself to posterity as fulfilling humanity’s aspirations to do justice.
How well humanity lived up to these words, after a good number of bloody conflicts involving some of the same powers that sat in judgment on the Nazi leaders, is the subject of The Memory of Justice, the four-and-a-half-hour documentary that has rarely been seen since 1976 but is considered by its director, Marcel Ophuls, to be his best—even better, perhaps, than his more famous The Sorrow and the Pity (1969), about the Nazi occupation of France, the Vichy government, and the French Resistance.
Near the beginning of The Memory of Justice, the violinist Yehudi Menuhin declares that the barbarism of Nazi Germany can only be seen as a universal moral catastrophe: “I proceed from the assumption that every human being is guilty.” The fact that it happened in Germany, he says, doesn’t mean that it cannot happen elsewhere. This statement comes just after we have seen the Nazi leaders, one after the other, declare their innocence in the Nuremberg courtroom.

We also hear a former French paratrooper recall how the French in Algeria systematically tortured and murdered men, women, and children. There are gruesome images of the Vietnam War. And Telford Taylor, US counsel for the prosecution at Nuremberg, wonders how any of us would cope with the “degeneration of standards under pressures.” Later in the film, Taylor says that his views on Americans and American history have changed more than his views on the Germans whom he once judged.
Such juxtapositions are enough to send some people into a fury. The art critic Harold Rosenberg accused Ophuls in these pages of being “lured…into a near-nihilistic bog in which no one is guilty, because all are guilty and there is no one who is morally qualified to judge.”1 Ophuls, according to Rosenberg, “trivialized” the Nazi crimes and “diluted” the moral awfulness of the death camps.
This is to misunderstand what Ophuls was up to. The film never suggests that Auschwitz and the My Lai massacre, or French torture prisons in Algiers, are equivalent, let alone that the Vietnam War was a criminal enterprise on the same level as the Holocaust. Nor does Ophuls doubt that the judgment on Göring and his gang at Nuremberg was justified. Ophuls himself was a refugee from the Nazis, forced to leave Germany in 1933, and to flee again when France was invaded in 1940. Instead he tries, dispassionately and sometimes with touches of sardonic humor, to complicate the problem of moral judgment. What makes human beings who are normally unexceptional commit atrocities under abnormal circumstances? What if such crimes are committed by our fellow citizens in the name of our own country? How does our commitment to justice appear today in the light of the judgments at Nuremberg? Will the memory of justice, as Plato assumed, make us strive to do better?
Ophuls does not dilute the monstrosity of Nazi crimes at all. But he refuses to simply regard the perpetrators as monsters. “Belief in the Nazis as monsters,” he once said, “is a form of complacency.” This reminds me of something the controversial German novelist Martin Walser once said about the Auschwitz trials held in Frankfurt in the 1960s. He wasn’t against them. But he argued that the daily horror stories in the popular German press about the grotesque tortures inflicted by Nazi butchers made it easier for ordinary Germans to distance themselves from these crimes and the regime that made them happen. Who could possibly identify with such brutes? If only monsters were responsible for the Holocaust and other mass murders, there would never be any need for the rest of us to look in the mirror.
It is true that Ophuls does not interview former Nazis, such as Albert Speer and Admiral Karl Dönitz, as a prosecutor. His role is not to indict, but to understand better what motivates such men, especially men (and women) who seem otherwise quite civilized. For this, too, Rosenberg condemned him, arguing that he should have balanced the views voiced by these criminals with those of their victims, for otherwise viewers might give the old rogues the benefit of the doubt.
There seems to be little danger of that. Consider Dönitz, for example, who makes the bizarre statement that he could not have been anti-Semitic, since he never discriminated against Jews in the German navy, forgetting for a moment that there were no known Jews in Hitler’s Kriegsmarine. When Ophuls asks him whether he really believes that there was no connection between his ferociously anti-Semitic speeches and the fate of the Jews under the government he served, the admiral’s tight little mouth twitches alarmingly before denying everything in the harsh yelp of a cornered dog. This speaks for itself, and needs no “balancing” by another voice.
Ophuls is a superb interviewer, polite, cool, and relentless. His tone is often skeptical, but never moralistic or aggressive. This allows him to get people to say things they may not have divulged to a more confrontational interlocutor. Albert Speer was responsible for, among other things, the ghastly fate of countless slave laborers pulled from concentration camps to work in German armaments factories. Responding to Ophuls’s quiet probing, this most slippery of customers speaks at length about the moral blindness and criminal opportunism that came from his ruthless ambition. Unlike most Germans of his generation, Speer believed that the Nuremberg trials were justified. But then, he could be said to have got off rather lightly with a prison sentence rather than being hanged.
Where Dönitz is shrill and defensive, Speer is smooth, even charming. This almost certainly saved his life. Telford Taylor believed that Speer should have been hanged, according to the evidence and criteria of Nuremberg. Julius Streicher was executed for being a vile anti-Semitic propagandist, even though he never had anything like the power of Speer. But he was an uncouth, bullet-headed ruffian, described by Rebecca West as “a dirty old man of the sort that gives trouble in parks,” a man one could easily regard as a monster. The judges warmed to Speer as a kind of relief. Compared to Streicher, the vulgar, strutting Göring, the pompous martinet General Alfred Jodl, or the hulking SS chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Speer was a gentleman. What saved him, Taylor recalls in the film, was his superior class. When Ophuls puts this to him, a ghostly smile flits across Speer’s face: “If that’s the explanation…, then I am only too pleased I made such a good impression.” In the event, Speer got twenty years; Dönitz only got ten.
Ophuls said in an interview that it was easy to like Speer. But there is no suggestion that this mitigated his guilt. The historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, who also interviewed Speer at length, called him “the true criminal of Nazi Germany,” precisely because he was clearly not a sadistic brute but a highly educated, well-mannered, “normal” human being who should have known better than to be part of a murderous regime. This is perhaps the main point of Ophuls’s film as well: there was nothing special about the Germans that predisposed them to become killers or, more often, to look away when the killings were done. There is no such thing as a criminal people. A quiet-spoken young architect can end up with more blood on his hands than a Jew-baiting thug. This, I think, is what Yehudi Menuhin meant by his warning that it could happen anywhere.


Far from being a moral nihilist who trivialized the Nazi crimes, Ophuls was so committed to his examination of guilt and justice that The Memory of Justice had a narrow escape from oblivion. The companies that commissioned it, including the BBC, did not like the rough cut. They thought it was far too long. Since the film was to be based on Telford Taylor’s book Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy (1970), they wanted more on the Vietnam War and less on Nuremberg. Rejection only made Ophuls, who never took kindly to being told what to do by the men in suits, stick more stubbornly to his own vision. He was less interested in a specifically American tragedy, or indeed a German tragedy, than in man’s descent into barbarousness, wherever or whenever it happens.
Ophuls was locked out of the cutting room in London. The producers put together a shorter version of the film, with a different spin, which was sold to ZDF television in Germany. Ophuls then traveled all over Europe to save his own version. A German court stopped ZDF from showing the shorter one. The original edit was smuggled to the US, where a private screening reduced Mike Nichols to tears. Hamilton Fish, later a well-known publisher, managed to persuade a group of investors to buy the original movie back and Paramount to distribute it. It was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976, and then in New York and on college campuses, as well as on television in many countries. But for the cussed perseverance of Ophuls and the help of his American backers, The Memory of Justice would never have been seen. In Fish’s words, “You needed his type of personality to make such a film. He took history on personally.”
After its initial run, however, the movie disappeared. Contracts on archival rights ran out. The film stock was in danger of deteriorating. And so a documentary masterpiece could easily have been lost if Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation had not stepped in with Paramount to put it all back together again, a labor that took ten years and was completed in 2015.
Much has changed, of course, since 1976. Germany is a different country now, geographically, politically, and culturally. When Ophuls talked to Dönitz, the West German establishment was still riddled with former Nazis. Most of the wartime generation masked their dirty secrets with evasions or shabby justifications. The history of the Third Reich, in the words of Eugen Kogon, a Holocaust survivor and the first German historian to write about the camps, was still “the corpse in the cellar.”
Quite ordinary people, like the smiling man encountered by Ophuls in a small town in Schleswig-Holstein, still remembered the Third Reich with great fondness as an orderly time when people knew how to behave and there was “no problem of crime.” Ophuls happened to meet this friendly burgher while he was trying to track down a female doctor who had been convicted at Nuremberg for murdering children in concentration camps by injecting oil into their veins, to name just one of her grisly experiments. After she was released from prison in 1952, she continued for a time to practice as a family doctor. She was, it appears, well respected, even friendly.
When Ophuls finally managed to find her, she very politely declined to be interviewed, since she was in poor health. Another former concentration camp doctor, Gerhard Rose, did agree to talk, however, but only to deny any guilt, claiming that his medical experiments (infecting victims with malaria, for example) served a humanitarian purpose, and that the US Army performed experiments too. Ophuls observes, quite rightly, that American experiments were hardly conducted under the kind of circumstances prevailing in Dachau and Buchenwald. But the hypocrisy of the Western Allies in this matter might have been better illustrated by pointing out that German and Japanese doctors who committed even worse crimes than Dr. Rose were protected by the US government because their knowledge might come in handy during the cold war.2
Perhaps the most disturbing interview in the movie is not with an unrepentant Nazi or a war criminal, but with the gentlemanly and highly esteemed lawyer Otto Kranzbühler. A navy judge during the war, Kranzbühler was defense counsel for Admiral Dönitz at Nuremberg, where he cut a dashing figure in his navy uniform. He later had a successful career as a corporate lawyer, after defending the likes of Alfried Krupp against accusations of having exploited slave labor. Kranzbühler never justified Nazism. But when asked by Ophuls whether he had discussed his own part in the Third Reich with his children, he replied that he had come up with a formula to make them understand: if you were ignorant of what went on, you were a fool; if you knew, but looked the other way, you were a coward; if you knew, and took part, you were a criminal. Were his children reassured? Kranzbühler: “My children didn’t recognize their father in any of the above.”
Dominique Nabokov: Marcel Ophuls, Neuilly, circa 1988
It was a brilliant evasion. But Kranzbühler was no more evasive than the French prosecutor at Nuremberg, the equally urbane Edgar Faure, who had been a member of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France. Ophuls asked him about French war crimes during the Algerian War of Independence, when torture was systematically applied, civilians were massacred, and prisoners were thrown out of helicopters, a practice that later became widespread under South American military regimes. “Well,” said Faure, “events do get out of hand. But you can’t really criticize politicians who have the difficult task of running the government.” Edgar Faure was prime minister of France during part of that war.
The 1970s were a critical time in Germany. There were still people, like the son of the former Waffen SS officer interviewed by Ophuls, who believed that the Nazi death camps were a lie, and it was the Americans who built the gas chambers in concentration camps. But the postwar generation had begun to question their parents amid the student revolts of the 1960s. Just a year after The Memory of Justice was completed, radicalism in Germany turned toxic, when members of the Red Army Faction murdered bankers, kidnapped industrialists, and hijacked planes, all in the name of antifascism, as though to make up for their parents’ complicity with the Nazis.
German families were torn apart by memories of the war. Ophuls includes his own not uncomplicated family in the film. His German wife, Regine, the daughter of a Wehrmacht veteran, speaks openly to American students about her own childhood under the Nazis. One of their teenaged daughters talks about the need to come to terms with the past, even though their mother finds seventeen a little too young to be confronted with images of concentration camps. Then Regine says something personal that cuts to the core of her husband’s life and work. She wishes sometimes that Ophuls would make films that were not about such dark matters. What kind of films? he asks. Lubitsch films, she replies, or My Fair Lady all over again. We then hear Cyd Charisse singing “New Sun in the Sky” from The Band Wagon (1953), while watching Ophuls in a car on his way to find the doctor who murdered children in concentration camps.
This is typical of the Ophuls touch, show tunes evoking happier times overlapping with memories of horror. The motive is not to pile on cheap irony, but to bring in a note of autobiography. His father was Max Ophuls, the great director of Liebelei (1933), La Ronde (1950), and Lola Montès (1955). Max was one of the geniuses of the exile cinema. Memories of a sweeter life in imperial Vienna or nineteenth-century France are darkened in his films by a sense of betrayal and perverse sexuality.
Nostalgia for better days haunted his son, who spent his youth on the run from terror with a father whose genius he always felt he couldn’t live up to. He would have loved to direct movies like La Ronde. Instead he made great documentary films about the past that won’t let him go, about Vichy France, or Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo butcher of Lyon, or Nuremberg. The true horror stories are mixed in all his work, as in a collage, with songs from pre-war Berlin music halls and Hollywood movies.
One of the most unforgettable examples of the Ophuls touch is a scene in a film that has almost never been viewed (another bitter fight with producers). November Days (1991) is about the fall of the Berlin wall. One of the people he interviews is Markus Wolf, the former East German spy chief, whose father, the Communist writer Friedrich Wolf, had known Max Ophuls in pre-war Berlin. While Markus dodges every question about his past with blatant lies, we hear music from one of Max’s movies slowly swell on the soundtrack as Marcel thinks out loud to himself how lucky he was that his father decided to move west instead of east.


In the second half of The Memory of Justice, the focus shifts from east to west, as it were, from Germany to France and the US. Daniel Ellsberg, speaking of Vietnam, says that “this war will cause us to be monstrous.” We hear stories from men who were there of American soldiers murdering civilians in cold blood. We hear a Vietnam veteran talk about being told to shut up by his superiors when he reports a massacre of civilians ordered by his commanding officer. We hear Ellsberg say that no one higher than a lieutenant was ever convicted for the mass killing of Vietnamese civilians by US soldiers in My Lai.
On the French side, stories about summary executions and the use of torture during the Algerian War (1954–1962) are followed by a crucial question put by Ophuls to Edgar Faure, the former Nuremberg prosecutor and later prime minister of France: Did he, Edgar Faure, think the French would have accepted an international commission that would judge, on the basis of Nuremberg, what the French did in Algeria? No, said Faure, after a pensive suck on his pipe, since one cannot compare the invasion of another country to the actions taken by a sovereign state in its own colony.
Sir Hartley Shawcross, the British prosecutor at Nuremberg, speaking to Ophuls in his elegant country house in Sussex, remembers how much his American colleagues had believed in justice and the rule of law. Like other British officials at the time, he took a more cynical view: “All law is created by the victors for the vanquished.” What mattered in his opinion, however, was not who made the laws, but whether the principles were right. About this he had little doubt.
Looking back, Otto Kranzbühler shared Shawcross’s memory of American idealism. But he believed that as a model for the future, Nuremberg had been a failure. The trial, as he saw it, presupposed a united world community in which wars would be a thing of the past. This illusion did not last long.
In fact, the trial was tainted from the beginning, not only because among the men who judged the Nazi leaders were Soviet veterans of Stalin’s bloody show trials, but also because Allied war crimes could not even be mentioned. A former British officer involved in the wartime bomber command had no doubt that the destruction of Dresden was a war crime.
If The Memory of Justice has a weakness, it is that this second half of the film, concentrating on French and American war crimes, is not quite as gripping as the first half about the German legacy of Nuremberg. Perhaps Ophuls’s heart was not in it to the same extent. Or perhaps no matter what one thinks of My Lai or Algiers, they are overshadowed by the sheer scale and savagery of the Nazi crimes.
Then again, pace Rosenberg, Ophuls doesn’t suggest that they are equivalent. What is comparable is the way people look away from, or justify, or deny what is done in their name, or under their watch. The wife of a US marine who died in Vietnam, living in a house stuffed with flags and military memorabilia, simply refuses to entertain the idea that her country could ever do anything wrong. More interesting, and perhaps more damning, is the statement by John Kenneth Galbraith, an impeccably liberal former diplomat and economist. His view of the Vietnam War, he tells Ophuls, had been entirely practical, without any consideration of moral implications.
Vietnam was not the Eastern Front in 1943. My Lai was not Auschwitz. And Galbraith was certainly no Albert Speer. Nevertheless, this technocratic view of violent conflict is precisely what leads many people so far astray under a criminal regime. In the film, Ellsberg describes the tunnel vision of Speer as “controlled stupidity,” the refusal to see the consequences of what one does and stands for.
This brings to mind another brilliant documentary about controlled stupidity, Errol Morris’s The Fog of War (2003), featuring Robert McNamara, the technocrat behind the annihilation of Japanese cities in World War II and the escalation of the Vietnam War in the 1960s. To him, the deliberate killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians was a mathematical problem. Only many years later did he admit that if the US had lost World War II, he could certainly have been indicted as a war criminal.
Even more chilling is another documentary by Morris, which received less attention than The Fog of War. In The Unknown Known (2013), we see Donald Rumsfeld, another gentlemanly technocrat, shrug his shoulders about Vietnam, commenting that “sometimes things just don’t work out.” When, as the result of another war in which he was even more intimately involved, Baghdad was convulsed in anarchic violence, he notoriously remarked that “stuff happens.” This is what Hannah Arendt called a “criminal lack of imagination.”
Perhaps the US in 1945 set its ideals too high. But it is a tragedy that the same country that believed in international law, and did so much to establish the norms of justice, has done so little to live up to them. The US is not even a signatory to the International Criminal Court, a flawed institution like the Nuremberg tribunal, but a necessary step in the right direction. No one can hold the greatest military power on earth accountable for what it does, not for torture rooms in Abu Ghraib, not for locking people up indefinitely without trial, not for murdering civilians with drones.
For Germans living under the Third Reich it was risky to imagine too well what their rulers were doing. To protest was positively dangerous. This is not yet true for those of us living in the age of Trump, when the president of the US openly condones torture and applauds thugs for beating up people at his rallies. We need films like this masterpiece by Ophuls more than ever to remind us of what happens when even the memories of justice fade away.
  1. “The Shadow of the Furies,” The New York Review, January 20, 1977; see also the exchange between Rosenberg and Ophuls, The New York Review, March 17, 1977.  
  2. The most notorious case was that of Surgeon General Ishii Shiro of Unit 731, the biological warfare unit of the Imperial Japanese Army, who tortured countless people to death in Manchuria in the course of his experiments. He was shielded by US authorities from prosecution as a war criminal in exchange for data from the experiments. 

terça-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2016

Uma nota do Itamaraty sobre o Holocausto em geral (deve ter muitos holocaustos por ai...)

Holocausto contra pigmeus, hotentotes, gente feia, contra quem afinal?
Não tinha reparado nessa nota do Itamaraty no dia 27 de janeiro de 2016, “Dia Internacional em Memória das Vítimas do Holocausto”. Transcrevo:

O Brasil une-se hoje, 27 de janeiro, às celebrações em todo o mundo da memória das vítimas do Holocausto, conforme decisão da Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas. Nesta data, em 1945, tropas do Exército Vermelho libertaram o campo de extermínio de Auschwitz.
Ao recordar a memória dos milhões de vítimas inocentes da barbárie nazista e a atuação heroica daqueles que, como os brasileiros Aracy de Carvalho Guimarães Rosa e Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas, trabalharam em condições adversas e com alto risco pessoal para salvar vidas, o Governo brasileiro reafirma seu inabalável compromisso com os direitos humanos e com a eliminação de todas as formas de racismo e de discriminação.
No momento em que manifestações de intolerância se repetem com preocupante regularidade em várias partes do mundo, é fundamental manter viva a memória do Holocausto e educar as novas gerações, para evitar que voltem a ocorrer crimes contra a humanidade como os que marcaram aquele que é um dos períodos mais sombrios da história.

Hummm, deixa eu ver:
"Exército Vermelho"??!! Uai!
Quem é que fala uma coisa dessas? Só pode ser um daqueles anticomunistas furibundos, hidrófobos, que veem comunistas até nas dobras das calças do Lula. Ou então é um dos entusiastas das gloriosas Forças Armadas da (infelizmente) finada União Soviética, que libertaram a humanidade do monstro do nazi-fascismo, para quem as mesmas FFAA soviéticas que foram simplesmente guilhotinadas em 1937-38 pelo "marechal" Stalin, representaram e representarão sempre o Exército Vermelho.
Será que foi o Itamaraty que redigiu essa nota?
Mas, peraí: Holocausto contra quem?
O Hitler saiu matando gente por aí, indiscriminadamente, vítimas inocentes escolhidas a dedo, ou recolhidas ao acaso, assim como quem cata champignons na floresta?
"Crimes contra a humanidade"???
Foi toda a humanidade que Hitler visou?
O Holocausto era para extirpar feios, gordos, deformados, gente cheirando mal, enfim, quem não era do Partido Nazista?
Que coisa, gente!
Será que foi mesmo o Itamaraty que redigiu essa nota?
Um prêmio para quem descobrir quem foi...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, 2 de fevereiro de 2016

terça-feira, 30 de setembro de 2014

Duas tragedias da humanidade: Ebola e Holocausto - Der Spiegel

Matérias desta data (30/09/2014) na revista alemã Der Spiegel:


'It Is What People Call a Perfect Storm'

Almost four decades ago, Peter Piot was part of the team that discovered the Ebola virus. In a SPIEGEL interview, he describes how the disease was isolated and explains why the current outbreak is different than any that have come before.
Photo Gallery: A Growing Epidemic


Recovering the Lost History of Sobibór

Henchman with the Nazi SS sought to cover up the mass murder that occurred at the Sobibór concentration camp in eastern Poland. Archeologists recently uncovered the site's hidden gas chambers and important artifacts that shed light on the victims.

domingo, 10 de agosto de 2014

Raoul Wallenberg, salvador de judeus: em tempos obscuros, surgem homens dignos...

Schindler sueco' desafiou nazistas e salvou judeus da morte há 70 anos
09/08/2014  Folha.Mundo.

Em julho de 1944, o sueco Raoul Wallenberg tinha 31 anos e uma missão na cabeça: salvar da deportação nazista estimados 100 mil judeus-húngaros que ainda viviam em Budapeste.
Naquele mês, ele chegava à Embaixada da Suécia na capital da Hungria.
Até essa data, o alemão Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962), oficial nazista em Budapeste, já havia enviado cerca de 400 mil pessoas ao campo de extermínio de Auschwitz-Birkenau, na Polônia.
Formado em arquitetura pela Universidade de Michigan (EUA) e vindo de uma família conhecida como "os Rockefellers da Suécia", Wallenberg contou com mais do que um clã influente para adquirir imunidade diplomática sueca e, com ela, agir numa Budapeste convulsionada pela ocupação alemã.
A ajuda extra veio do presidente americano Franklin Roosevelt, que nos derradeiros seis meses da guerra criou a organização "War Refugee Board", à qual o governo sueco aderiu.
A Suécia era neutra na Segunda Guerra Mundial; assim, na condição de diplomata (embora não de carreira), Wallenberg pôde emitir passaportes provisórios ("shutz-passes") e alugar prédios que, pintados de amarelo, serviriam de moradia e de "território seguro", garantindo a sobrevivência para milhares de perseguidos.
Por sua atitude, Wallenberg passou a ser chamado de "Schindler sueco", uma referência ao industrial alemão Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), famoso mundialmente por ter salvado cerca de 1.200 judeus do Holocausto, a maioria empregados de suas fábricas.
No último dia 9 de julho, em memória aos 70 anos da chegada de Wallenberg a Budapeste, o Congresso americano lhe concedeu postumamente a Medalha de Ouro. A honraria foi recebida por sua irmã, Nina Lagergren.
Inimigos nada cordiais, Wallenberg e Eichmann possivelmente discutiram as deportações de judeus num jantar na casa do diplomata sueco Lars Berg, no fim de 1944.
Berg relembrou o diálogo áspero que ambos teriam tido em entrevista publicada pela "The New York Times Magazine" em 1980. "Foi um jantar especialmente civilizado para uma época brutal. Tomamos brandy, ninguém falou alto, mas era possível ver o fogo da artilharia russa através da janela [o Exército Vermelho começava o cerco a Budapeste para expulsar os nazistas]."
Nesse encontro, Wallenberg teria afrontado Eichmann e dito: "Veja, você tem que enfrentar isso. Perdeu a guerra. Por que não desistir agora?"
Eichmann teria respondido que o fim até poderia estar próximo, mas continuaria a fazer seu trabalho, mesmo que fosse morto.
Então, sempre de acordo com o relato de Berg, Eichmann e Wallenberg se encararam. "Não pense que você é imune só porque é um 'diplomata neutro'", teria dito o alemão.
Coincidência ou não, alguns dias depois, o carro diplomático de Wallenberg, sem a sua presença, foi esmagado por um caminhão.
Presidente do instituto que leva o nome de Raoul Wallenberg, o empresário argentino de origem armênia Eduardo Eurnekian, 81, que administra 52 aeroportos e é dono de bancos e vinícolas, diz não ter dúvidas de que Eichmann tinha conhecimento das atividades de Wallenberg.
Eurnekian o define como "brilhante, charmoso, falante e cheio de imaginação", além de ter sido "um dos principais salvadores que a humanidade já teve".
Seis meses após a chegada de Wallenberg a Budapeste, o Exército Vermelho concluiu a ocupação da cidade, em 17 de janeiro de 1945.
Como os soviéticos eram aliados dos americanos, ele foi ao encontro do general russo Malinovsky.
Quando essa reunião ocorreu, a diplomacia soviética enviou telegrama aos suecos dizendo que Wallenberg estava a salvo, mas ele nunca mais foi visto.
A mãe de Wallenberg procurou a embaixada soviética em Estocolmo, capital sueca, em 1945, com um pedido de esclarecimentos sobre seu paradeiro. Como resposta, ouviu que ele "estava bem de saúde, num local seguro, em Moscou".
A diplomacia sueca não fez muito empenho em afrontar a União Soviética, pois Wallenberg não era, de fato, um diplomata de carreira. E, à época, ninguém queria confusão com os soviéticos.
Em 1947, um informe da chancelaria em Moscou disse que Wallenberg tinha morrido depois de sofrer um ataque cardíaco.
Logo depois, no mesmo ano, um encarregado de negócios estrangeiros soviético respondeu à questão do paradeiro de Wallenberg de modo diferente: "Ele não é uma pessoa conhecida na União Soviética".
Surgiram, então, rumores de que ele tinha morrido numa escaramuça de rua durante a tomada de Budapeste.
Em 1957, vários prisioneiros foram libertados e, entre eles, houve quem confirmasse ter visto Wallenberg num 'gulag' (campo de trabalhos forçados) soviético, afirmando que se referiam a ele como "o prisioneiro número 7".
Presidente do instituto, Eurnekian acredita na possibilidade de o ditador soviético Josef Stálin (1878-1953) ter inferido que a operação de resgate dos judeus-húngaros poderia ser apenas um disfarce para Wallenberg, pois havia a suspeita de ele ser um espião a serviço dos EUA.
Hoje é sabido que Wallenberg tinha contato com agentes do Escritório de Serviços Estraégicos (OSS, na sigla em inglês), o serviço de segurança americano durante a Segunda Guerra, que foi o predecessor da CIA.
Especula-se que ele tenha sido cooptado ainda bem jovem, quando estudava na Universidade de Michigan.
"O sumiço de Wallenberg é um capítulo da história que permanece em aberto, e a verdade ainda pode emergir com a abertura de arquivos da burocracia moscovita", afirma Eurnekian.
O instituto que ele dirige oferece recompensa de € 500 mil (aproximadamente R$ 1,53 milhão) para quem der informações que ajudem a esclarecer o paradeiro de Wallenberg. 

segunda-feira, 4 de agosto de 2014

Um judeu antissionista e contra a ocupacao de Israel de territorios palestinos - Marcelo Gruman

Transcrevendo um comentário sincero, independente de quais sejam suas posições. Trata-se de um "intelectual" (ou algo próximo a isso) judeu, que não se sente representado por Israel e que está cançado do vitimismo para justificar o expansionismo israelense.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Não em meu nome
Marcelo Gruman (*)
[Recebido em 4/08/2014, de Maurício David]

Na minha adolescência, tive a oportunidade de visitar Israel por duas vezes, ambas na primeira metade da década de 1990. Era estudante de uma escola judaica da zona sul da cidade do Rio de Janeiro. As viagens foram organizadas por instituições sionistas, e tinham por intuito apresentar à juventude diaspórica a realidade daquele Estado formado após o holocausto judaico da Segunda Guerra Mundial, e para o qual todo e qualquer judeu tem o direito de “retornar” caso assim o deseje. Voltar à terra ancestral. Para as organizações sionistas, ainda que não disposto a deixar a diáspora, todo e qualquer judeu ao redor do mundo deve conhecer a “terra prometida”, prestar-lhe solidariedade material ou simbólica, assim como todo muçulmano deve fazer, pelo menos uma vez na vida, a peregrinação a Meca. Para muitos jovens judeus, a visita a Israel é um rito de passagem, assim como para outros o destino é a Disneylândia.

A equivalência de Israel e Disneylândia tem um motivo. A grande maioria dos jovens não religiosos e sem interesse por questões políticas realizam a viagem apenas para se divertir. O roteiro é basicamente o mesmo: visita ao Muro das Lamentações, com direito a fotos em posição hipócrita de reza (já viram ateu rezando?), ao Museu da Diáspora, ao Museu do Holocausto, às Colinas do Golan, ao Deserto do Neguev e a experiência de tomar um chá com os beduínos, ir ao Mar Morto e boiar na água sem fazer esforço por conta da altíssima concentração de sal, a “vivência” de alguns dias num dos kibutzim ainda existentes em Israel e uma semana num acampamento militar, onde se tem a oportunidade de atirar com uma arma de verdade. Além, é claro, da interação com jovens de outros países hospedados no mesmo local. Para variar, brasileiros e argentinos, esquecendo sua identidade étnica comum, atualizavam a rivalidade futebolística e travavam uma guerra particular pelas meninas. Neste quesito, os argentinos davam de goleada, e os brasileiros ficavam a ver navios.

Minha memória afetiva das duas viagens não é das mais significativas. Aparte ter conhecido parentes por parte de mãe, a “terra prometida” me frustrou quando o assunto é a construção de minha identidade judaica. Achei os israelenses meio grosseiros (dizem que o “sabra”, o israelense “da gema”, é duro por natureza), a comida é medíocre (o melhor falafel que comi até hoje foi em Paris...), é tudo muito árido, a sociedade é militarizada, o serviço militar é compulsório, não existe “excesso de contingente”. A memória construída apenas sobre o sofrimento começava a me incomodar.

Nossos guias, jovens talvez dez anos mais velhos do que nós, andavam armados, o motorista do ônibus andava armado. Um dos nossos passeios foi em Hebron, cidade da Cisjordânia, em que a estrada era rodeada por telas para contenção das pedras atiradas pelos palestinos. Em momento algum os guias se referiram àquele território como “ocupado”, e hoje me envergonho de ter feito parte, ainda que por poucas horas, deste “finca pé” em território ilegalmente ocupado. Para piorar, na segunda viagem quebrei a perna jogando basquete e tive de engessá-la, o que, por outro lado, me liberou da experiência desagradável de ter de apertar o gatilho de uma arma, exatamente naquela semana íamos acampar com o exército israelense.

Sei lá, não me senti tocado por esta realidade, minha fantasia era outra. Não encontrei minhas raízes no solo desértico do Negev, tampouco na neve das colinas do Golan. Apesar disso, trouxe na bagagem uma bandeira de Israel, que coloquei no meu quarto. Muitas vezes meu pai, judeu ateu, não sionista, me perguntou o porquê daquela bandeira estar ali, e eu não sabia responder. Hoje eu sei por que ela NÃO DEVERIA estar ali, porque minha identidade judaica passa pela Europa, pelos vilarejos judaicos descritos nos contos de Scholem Aleichem, pelo humor judaico característico daquela parte do mundo, pela comida judaica daquela parte do mundo, pela música klezmer que os judeus criaram naquela parte do mundo, pelas estórias que meus avós judeus da Polônia contavam ao redor da mesa da sala nos incontáveis lanches nas tardes de domingo.

Sou um judeu da diáspora, com muito orgulho. Na verdade, questiono mesmo este conceito de “diáspora”. Como bem coloca o antropólogo norte-americano James Clifford, as culturas diaspóricas não necessitam de uma representação exclusiva e permanente de um “lar original”. Privilegia-se a multilocalidade dos laços sociais. Diz ele:

As conexões transnacionais que ligam as diásporas não precisam estar articuladas primariamente através de um lar ancestral real ou simbólico (...). Descentradas, as conexões laterais [transnacionais] podem ser tão importantes quanto aquelas formadas ao redor de uma teleologia da origem/retorno. E a história compartilhada de um deslocamento contínuo, do sofrimento, adaptação e resistência pode ser tão importante quanto a projeção de uma origem específica.

Há muita confusão quando se trata de definir o que é judaísmo, ou melhor, o que é a identidade judaica. A partir da criação do Estado de Israel, a identidade judaica em qualquer parte do mundo passou a associar-se, geográfica e simbolicamente, àquele território. A diversidade cultural interna ao judaísmo foi reduzida a um espaço físico que é possível percorrer em algumas horas. A submissão a um lugar físico é a subestimação da capacidade humana de produzir cultura; o mesmo ocorre, analogamente, aos que defendem a relação inexorável de negros fora do continente africano com este continente, como se a cultura passasse literalmente pelo sangue. O que, diga-se de passagem, só serve aos racialistas e, por tabela, racistas de plantão. Prefiro a lateralidade de que nos fala Clifford.

Ser judeu não é o mesmo que ser israelense, e nem todo israelense é judeu, a despeito da cidadania de segunda classe exercida por árabes-israelenses ou por judeus de pele negra discriminados por seus pares originários da Europa Central, de pele e olhos claros. Daí que o exercício da identidade judaica não implica, necessariamente, o exercício de defesa de toda e qualquer posição do Estado de Israel, seja em que campo for.
Muito desta falsa equivalência é culpa dos próprios judeus da “diáspora”, que se alinham imediatamente aos ditames das políticas interna e externa israelense, acríticos, crentes de que tudo que parta do Knesset (o parlamento israelense) é “bom para os judeus”, amém. Muitos judeus diaspóricos se interessam mais pelo que acontece no Oriente Médio do que no seu cotidiano. Veja-se, por exemplo, o número ínfimo de cartas de leitores judeus em jornais de grande circulação, como O Globo, quando o assunto tratado é a corrupção ou violência endêmica em nosso país, em comparação às indefectíveis cartas de leitores judeus em defesa das ações militaristas israelenses nos territórios ocupados. Seria o complexo de gueto falando mais alto?

Não preciso de Israel para ser judeu e não acredito que a existência no presente e no futuro de nós, judeus, dependa da existência de um Estado judeu, argumento utilizado por muitos que defendem a defesa militar israelense por quaisquer meios, que justificam o fim. Não aceito a justificativa de que o holocausto judaico na Segunda Guerra Mundial é o exemplo claro de que apenas um lar nacional única e exclusivamente judaico seja capaz de proteger a etnia da extinção.

A dor vivida pelos judeus, na visão etnocêntrica, reproduzida nas gerações futuras através de narrativas e monumentos, é incomensurável e acima de qualquer dor que outro grupo étnico possa ter sofrido, e justifica qualquer ação que sirva para protegê-los de uma nova tragédia. Certa vez, ouvi de um sobrevivente de campo de concentração que não há comparação entre o genocídio judaico e os genocídios praticados atualmente nos países africanos, por exemplo, em Ruanda, onde tutsis e hutus se digladiaram sob as vistas grossas das ex-potências coloniais. Como este senhor ousa qualificar o sofrimento alheio? Será pelo número mágico? Seis milhões? O genial Woody Allen coloca bem a questão, num diálogo de Desconstruindo Harry (tradução livre):

- Você se importa com o Holocausto ou acha que ele não existiu?

- Não, só eu sei que perdemos seis milhões, mas o mais apavorante é saber que recordes são feitos para serem quebrados.

O holocausto judaico não é inexplicável, e não é explicável pela maldade latente dos alemães. Sem dúvida, o componente antissemita estava presente, mas, conforme demonstrado por diversos pensadores contemporâneos, dentre os quais insuspeitos judeus (seriam judeus antissemitas Hannah Arendt, Raul Hilberg e Zygmunt Bauman?), uma série de características do massacre está relacionada à Modernidade, à burocratização do Estado e à “industrialização da morte”, sofrida também por dirigentes políticos, doentes mentais, ciganos, eslavos, “subversivos” de um modo geral. Práticas sociais genocidas, conforme descritas pelo sociólogo argentino Daniel Feierstein (outro judeu antissemita?), estão presentes tanto na Segunda Guerra Mundial quanto durante o Processo de Reorganização Nacional imposto pela ditadura argentina a partir de 1976. Genocídio é genocídio, e ponto final.

A sacralização do genocídio judaico permite ações que vemos atualmente na televisão, o esmagamento da população palestina em Gaza, transformada em campo de concentração, isolada do resto do mundo. Destruição da infraestrutura, de milhares de casas, a morte de centenas de civis, famílias destroçadas, crianças torturadas em interrogatórios ilegais conforme descrito por advogados israelenses. Não, não são a exceção, não são o efeito colateral de uma guerra suja. São vítimas, sim, de práticas sociais genocidas, que visam, no final do processo, ao aniquilamento físico do grupo.

Recuso-me a acumpliciar-me com esta agressão. O exército israelense não me representa, o governo ultranacionalista não me representa. Os assentados ilegalmente são meus inimigos.

Eu, judeu brasileiro, digo: ACABEM COM A OCUPAÇÃO!!!

(*) Marcelo Gruman é antropólogo.

Referências bibliográficas:
CLIFFORD, James. (1997). Diasporas, in Montserrat Guibernau and John Rex (Eds.) The Ethnicity Reader: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration, Polity Press, Oxford

quinta-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2014

Um Hitchcock para um terror mais que real: o nazista, das exterminacoes nos campos de concentracao


Documentário esquecido de Hitchcock sobre Holocausto é restaurado

O cineasta Alfred Hitchcock
O cineasta Alfred Hitchcock (AP)
Um documentário de Alfred Hitchcock sobre os campos de concentração nazistas, rodado em 1945, será projetado pela primeira vez na íntegra, após ser restaurado pelo Imperial War Museum, de Londres.
O cineasta se envolveu no projeto em 1945, depois que seu amigo Sydney Bernstein pediu ajuda para editar um documentário sobre as atrocidades cometidas pelos alemães durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial (1939-1945). O conteúdo das imagens feitas por operadores de câmera da Unidade de Cinema do Exército Britânico, enquanto as tropas aliadas libertavam os judeus dos campos de concentração, "horrorizaram" e atraíram o criador de Vertigem e Os Pássaros. O diretor, reconhecido como o "mestre do suspense", ficou tão chocado com as gravações que se afastou dos estúdios Pinewood por uma semana.
Toby Haggith, curador do Departamento de Pesquisas do Imperial War Museum (Museu de Guerra Imperial, em tradução direta), afirmou ao jornal britânico The Independent que o documentário terminou deixado de lado devido ao choque sofrido por Hitchcock e à fragilidade da situação política de então. O desejo aliado de não irritar a Alemanha derrotada, que americanos, russos, ingleses e franceses passaram a controlar, levou ao esquecimento cinco dos seis rolos cinematográficos do filme, que terminaram nos arquivos do museu.
Nos anos 1980, as imagens foram descobertas por um pesquisador americano e, em 1984, uma versão incompleta do documentário foi projetada no Festival de Cinema de Berlim. Um ano depois, a mesma cópia foi exibida nos Estados Unidos sob o título Memória dos Campos, mas com má qualidade e sem incluir o sexto rolo.
Agora, há planos para que o filme seja projetado no final de 2014 em uma versão restaurada pelo museu londrino. A decisão de ressuscitar esse documentário deve provocar um debate, pois inclui imagens realmente impactantes dos campos, em particular de Belsen-Berger. 
(Com agência EFE)
Before Hollywood dubbed him the "Master of Suspense," Alfred Hitchcock made anti-Nazi propaganda films for the British Ministry of Information. Some of his work from that period, including "Foreign Correspondent" (1940) and "Saboteur" (1942), enjoyed wide release, but two of the films -- "Bon Voyage" (1944) and "Aventure Malgache" (1944) -- were deemed by ministry officials "too subversive" to serve the allied cause and remained in storage until the 1990s.
Now another of his long-forgotten propaganda films -- perhaps the most disturbing -- is set to make its worldwide debut. The Imperial War Museum announced Wednesday that it had digitally restored and re-edited a nearly 70-year-old Holocaust documentary that Hitchcock worked on with Sidney Bernstein, the film chief of Britain's Psychological Warfare Division. The film has never been publicly screened in its entirety.
Toby Haggith, a senior curator at the Imperial War Museum and one of the people responsible for reviving the film, told the Independent that "colleagues, experts, and film historians" who had pre-screened the movie were profoundly disturbed by it. "One of the common remarks was that it was both terrible and brilliant at the same time," he said.
The film consists of footage captured inside concentration camps by Army videographers at the end of World War II. As the story goes, Hitchcock found the footage so horrific, he refused to return to the studio for a week after first screening it. When he finally did come back, he worked with Bernstein to give the film a cinematic treatment that would set it apart from conventional newsreel documentaries from the period.
The project was meant to be a British-American collaboration and the film was to have three versions, according to documents drafted by Bernstein: one for Germans living in Germany, one for German prisoners of war, and one for Allied audiences. The German versions were intended to remind "the German people of their past acquiescence in the perpetration of [war] crimes" and encourage them to take responsibility for those crimes.
It's not clear how much Hitchcock contributed to the film. He certainly didn't oversee any of the filming -- but he helped Bernstein order and set the mood of the piece. One of his major contributions, according to Bernstein, was situating the atrocities of the Holocaust within a familiar, pastoral setting, the proximity of which would shock audiences. A 2011 article in the journalArcadia argued that the auteur's influence is "clear already in the beginning of the film when images of an idyllic countryside create, in light of the horror to come, a kind of vintage Hitchcockian suspense."
The project was abandoned for a number of reasons. The production ended up taking much longer than expected due to myriad logistical challenges. The U.S. Department of War and its collaborators, impatient to produce a short, to-the-point atrocity film, pulled out in light of these delays to make their own movie, "Death Mills." After hostilities ended in May 1945, the psychological warfare office was dissolved, leaving the film in the hands of the British Ministry of Information. By 1946, official demand for atrocity films had diminished in response to the changing political climate. A note (documentedhere) to Bernstein from an official at the Foreign Office highlighted some of the challenges to completing the film: "Policy at the moment in Germany is entirely in the direction of encouraging, stimulating, and interesting the Germans out of their apathy and there are people around the [regional commander] who will say 'No atrocity film.'"
Eventually, Bernstein, too, abandoned the film. Comprising six reels, the documentary lay forgotten in government archives until the 1980s, when they were discovered by a researcher. Shortly thereafter, PBS aired a version of the documentary made up of the first five reels and some additional Russian footage used in previous Holocaust films.
The digitally remastered version of the film to be released by Imperial War Museum next year will include all six reels, edited in a the way "that Hitchcock, Bernstein, and the other collaborators intended."
But will the footage leave contemporary audiences as traumatized as it left Hitchcock?

terça-feira, 25 de junho de 2013

Aristides Souza Mendes: o homem que salvou judeus e desobedeceu a Salazar

E pagou caro pela sua rebeldia, aliás, um gesto de dignidade moral, ao salvar judeus perseguidos pelo nazismo. Como no caso de Souza Dantas, o embaixador brasileiro em Paris que também desobedeceu ordens da Secretaria de Estado, Aristides Souza Mendes foi ostracizado e viveu seus últimos anos na miseria.
Leiam a matéria do Mundo Português, neste link:


domingo, 3 de março de 2013

Holocausto nazista: bem mais extenso do que o conhecido (NYT)

News Analysis

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum/Collection of Eugenia Hochberg Lanceter
A group of Jewish women at the entrance to the Brody ghetto in Eastern Galicia, 1942. The sign is written in German, Ukrainian and Polish.

THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.
What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.
The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.
The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.
“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data.
“We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was,” he said, “but the numbers are unbelievable.”
The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.
Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear.
The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions.
The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopedia. (The Holocaust museum has published the first two, with five more planned by 2025.)
The existence of many individual camps and ghettos was previously known only on a fragmented, region-by-region basis. But the researchers, using data from some 400 contributors, have been documenting the entire scale for the first time, studying where they were located, how they were run, and what their purpose was.
The brutal experience of Henry Greenbaum, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor who lives outside Washington, typifies the wide range of Nazi sites.
When Mr. Greenbaum, a volunteer at the Holocaust museum, tells visitors today about his wartime odyssey, listeners inevitably focus on his confinement of months at Auschwitz, the most notorious of all the camps.
But the images of the other camps where the Nazis imprisoned him are ingrained in his memory as deeply as the concentration camp number — A188991 — tattooed on his left forearm.
In an interview, he ticked off the locations in rapid fire, the details still vivid.
First came the Starachowice ghetto in his hometown in Poland, where the Germans herded his family and other local Jews in 1940, when he was just 12.
Next came a slave labor camp with six-foot-high fences outside the town, where he and a sister were moved while the rest of the family was sent to die at Treblinka. After his regular work shift at a factory, the Germans would force him and other prisoners to dig trenches that were used for dumping the bodies of victims. He was sent to Auschwitz, then removed to work at a chemical manufacturing plant in Poland known as Buna Monowitz, where he and some 50 other prisoners who had been held at the main camp at Auschwitz were taken to manufacture rubber and synthetic oil. And last was another slave labor camp at Flossenbürg, near the Czech border, where food was so scarce that the weight on his 5-foot-8-inch frame fell away to less than 100 pounds.
By the age of 17, Mr. Greenbaum had been enslaved in five camps in five years, and was on his way to a sixth, when American soldiers freed him in 1945. “Nobody even knows about these places,” Mr. Greenbaum said. “Everything should be documented. That’s very important. We try to tell the youngsters so that they know, and they’ll remember.”
The research could have legal implications as well by helping a small number of survivors document their continuing claims over unpaid insurance policies, looted property, seized land and other financial matters.
“HOW many claims have been rejected because the victims were in a camp that we didn’t even know about?” asked Sam Dubbin, a Florida lawyer who represents a group of survivors who are seeking to bring claims against European insurance companies.
Dr. Megargee, the lead researcher, said the project was changing the understanding among Holocaust scholars of how the camps and ghettos evolved.
As early as 1933, at the start of Hitler’s reign, the Third Reich established about 110 camps specifically designed to imprison some 10,000 political opponents and others, the researchers found. As Germany invaded and began occupying European neighbors, the use of camps and ghettos was expanded to confine and sometimes kill not only Jews but also homosexuals, Gypsies, Poles, Russians and many other ethnic groups in Eastern Europe. The camps and ghettos varied enormously in their mission, organization and size, depending on the Nazis’ needs, the researchers have found.
The biggest site identified is the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, which held about 500,000 people at its height. But as few as a dozen prisoners worked at one of the smallest camps, the München-Schwabing site in Germany. Small groups of prisoners were sent there from the Dachau concentration camp under armed guard. They were reportedly whipped and ordered to do manual labor at the home of a fervent Nazi patron known as “Sister Pia,” cleaning her house, tending her garden and even building children’s toys for her.
When the research began in 2000, Dr. Megargee said he expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing — first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.
The numbers astound: 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.
In Berlin alone, researchers have documented some 3,000 camps and so-called Jew houses, while Hamburg held 1,300 sites.
Dr. Dean, a co-researcher, said the findings left no doubt in his mind that many German citizens, despite the frequent claims of ignorance after the war, must have known about the widespread existence of the Nazi camps at the time.
“You literally could not go anywhere in Germany without running into forced labor camps, P.O.W. camps, concentration camps,” he said. “They were everywhere.”

Eric Lichtblau is a reporter for The New York Times in Washington and a visiting fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

quinta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2013

Memoria das vitimas do Holocausto: defender a dignidade humana e a verdade por vezes custa caro...

Apenas um trecho de matéria da Confederação Israelita do Brasil (Conib), em parceria com a Associação Cultural Israelita de Brasília,  na cerimônia do Dia Internacional em Memória das Vítimas do Holocausto, no dia 30 de janeiro de 2013, em Brasília:

Na solenidade promovida (...) foi também prestada uma homenagem a Aracy Guimarães Rosa, funcionária do consulado em Hamburgo, e Luis Martins de Souza Dantas, embaixador brasileiro na França, que, nas décadas de 1930 e 1940, salvaram centenas de judeus, ao obter vistos para o Brasil contrariando ordens do governo Getúlio Vargas.

Pois é, às vezes é preciso contrariar ordens superiores para manter a dignidade...

sexta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2011

Negacionistas do Holocausto sao cegos voluntarios (alem de idiotas, claro)

Tem muita gente (bem não sei exatamente quantos, mas acredito que, independentemente de tendências pró-nazistas, sempre tem cegos voluntários) que prefere acreditar que não houve algo chamado Holocausto, e que tudo não passa de "propaganda judia", ou algo equivalente.
As informações são, no entanto abundantes, para comprovar a materialidade dos fatos, algo que nem precisava estar em linha de discussão, tamanhas são as evidências das barbáries nazistas.
Abaixo, duas fontes adicionais:

Foi publicada a segunda parte da Enciclopédia do Holocausto em português:

Um álbum sobre o extermínio de judeus em Auschwitz-Birkenau:
Um álbum memorializa a chegada de judeus húngaros em Auschwitz, em maio de 1944. É o único de sua espécie, e é somente devido a este álbum que nós, hoje em dia, temos uma história visual do que ocorreu nos campos de extermínio de Auschwitz-Birchenau. O álbum foi descoberto após a guerra por um sobrevivente de Auschwitz, Lily Jacob, que o doou, em 1980, ao Yad Vashem, o memorial oficial de Israel para lembrar as vítimas judaicas do Holocausto. Agora, com a ajuda da Internet, este álbum pode ser visto por milhões de pessoas, em qualquer lugar do mundo:

quinta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2011

Holocausto e os negacionistas: apenas mais algumas provas

Negacionistas são gente ou absolutamente odiosa -- pois que empenhada em negar o que sabem que ocorreu -- ou sumamente estúpidas -- que cultivam a ignorância ativamente.
Eles costumam dizer que os campos de concentração serviam para desinfecção de doentes (piolhos, tifo, etc.).

Os próprios alemães, como nesta matéria da revista Spiegel, podem testemunhar:
Tem uma galeria de fotos no link abaixo.


Auschwitz Oven Factory Reopens as a Memorial
For years, the site was left to crumble and decay. But now, following
extensive renovation, the factory where the Auschwitz ovens were
designed and built has reopened as a memorial. It shows the intimate
involvement of German industry in the mass murder of the Holocaust.


History of the Holocaust
Auschwitz Oven Factory Reopens as a Memorial
Photo Gallery: 5 Photos

For years, the site was left to crumble and decay. But now, following extensive renovation, the factory where the Auschwitz ovens were designed and built has reopened as a memorial. It shows the intimate involvement of German industry in the mass murder of the Holocaust.

For years, the site was little more than a typical industrial ruin -- the kind of modernist decay that became synonymous with Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism. The crumbling buildings just outside the city center of Erfurt were fenced off and left to the squatters who made the complex their home.

But ever since the company which owned the plant went bankrupt in 1994, historians have had their eyes on the location. Its history, after all, is intimately tied with the darkest chapter of Germany's past. The factory once belonged to Topf & Söhne, the company which supplied the Nazis with the ovens used at Auschwitz and other death camps to cremate Holocaust victims.
And on Thursday, after years of planning, a memorial exhibit in the former administration building opened its doors -- just in time for Jan. 27, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"Nowhere else in Europe is the involvement of industry in the Nazis' machinery of death as visible as it is in the company in Erfurt," Rikola-Gunnar Lüttgenau told the German news agency DPA on Tuesday.

Systematic Mass Murder

The exhibit describes how Topf & Söhne, which began life in 1878 as a specialist for industrial ovens, brewing equipment and chimneys, soon became a leading manufacturer of crematoriums. The SS first commissioned crematorium ovens from the company in 1939 for concentration camps in Dachau, Buchenwald and Flossenbürg.

Once the Nazis embarked on the systematic mass murder of Jews, Gypsies and others, however, the SS needed much greater capacity. Soon, Topf & Söhne engineers set to work calculating the most efficient method to burn thousands of dead bodies. In 1942, company engineer Fritz Sander applied for a patent for a "continually operating corpse incinerator for mass use."

The company also designed ventilation systems to pump poison gas out of the gas chambers once the killing was complete -- and Topf & Söhne employees visited Auschwitz and other camps to help install their products. Ultimately, the company equipped Auschwitz with ovens capable of incinerating 8,000 bodies each day.

"The company was not a place where people were tortured or murdered," memorial head Annegret Schüle told DPA. "Rather it is a place where people thought and calculated how to incinerate as quickly and effectively as possible."

'Always Glad to Serve You'

Topf & Söhne's complicity with the Holocaust was largely ignored and then forgotten following World War II. CEO Ludwig Topf committed suicide once the war ended and several employees, including Sander, were arrested by the Soviets and sentenced to 25 years of hard labor. It was only in the mid-1990s that interest in the company's World War II activities began to gain momentum. Ultimately the state government of Thuringia and the federal government in Berlin provided €600,000 for the creation of a memorial on the site.

Documents now on display in the newly refurbished factory administration building clearly illustrate the pride the company took in the services it provided to the Nazi killing machine. Original drawings are part of the exhibition as are drafting tables where the ovens were designed.
Hundreds of urns made by Topf & Söhne to hold the ashes of deceased Buchenwald inmates are also presented. The urns were found in 1997 during work on the roof of the crematorium at the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial. Early in the Nazis' reign of terror, ashes of deceased concentration camp prisoners were sent back to their home towns for burial. Later, the ashes were stored on site. Once the Holocaust got under way in earnest, however, the ashes were simply dispersed or buried.

Visitors to the new exhibition are greeted with the sentence: "Always glad to serve you." It was taken from a letter from Topf & Söhne to the management of the Auschwitz death camp.

cgh -- with wire reports