Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Auschwitz @ 65: Polish Bishop Writes Anti-Semitic Screed

It was 65 years ago today that Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Red Army.

When I attended synagogue as a child there were several members of the congregation who had survived Auschwitz. One of those people acted as our congregation's cantor during services. You could hear the pain in his voice as he sung a prayer.

Yet there are some people who will simply never understand the lessons of the Holocaust much less Auschwitz. This is the case with one Tadeuz Pieronek, a prominent Polish bishop who once headed that country's bishops conference. On Monday, Pieronek accused Jews of having "expropriated" the Holocaust. He expressed these opinions on a Catholic website based in Italy.

Pieronek also said, "But they, the Jews, enjoy good press because they have powerful financial means behind them, enormous power and the unconditional backing of the United States and this favors a certain arrogance that I find unbearable."

OK, fine. Let out your hatred.

Pieronek argues there should be memorials for "victims of communism, for Catholics, for persecuted Christians and so on."

Well, who's stopping him? I don't think any Jew would argue against such memorials. For the bishop's edification there is the Global Museum on Communism in Washington, D.C.

Yet this isn't the first time I've heard such a line of reasoning from an anti-Semite and it won't be the last. An anti-Semite makes such an argument in order to minimize the horrors Jews suffered during the Second World War.

Let it never be forgotten that it wasn't Hitler's goal to kill six million Jews. His goal was to kill every Jew in the world. Hence the final solution. He sought to render Jews as extinct as dinosaurs. As cruel as Hitler was to non-Jews he never aimed to exterminate Catholics or Muslims. Jews were beyond redemption. The hatred and contempt towards Jews expressed by Bishop Pieronek demonstrates precisely why the Holocaust must never be forgotten.

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