Finkelstein, N. G. (2003). The Holocaust Industry.

Norman Finkelstein provides a detailed and extensively referenced book into the weaponisation of the Holocausts. The books goes into great detail of those at the vanguard of utilising ‘jewish suffering’ for economic and political gain. Bringing to attention how the work of those he dubs to be part of the ‘Holocaust Industry’ has negatively effected the wider Jewish community in the United States and elsewhere. Finkelstein also provides a nuanced analysis of how the Holocaust being remembered as a strictly anti-Jewish phenomenon dismisses the suffering of Gypsies and other groups who went through the same ordeal.

The book is also widely recommended to understand the narratives produced by Israel, and on behalf of Israel by Western political elites. Furthermore, the content in the book provides a new perspective on the recent attempts to portray the Labour Party as anti-semitic.

A thoroughly informative read. Some of the interesting points have been extracted to provide an overview.


1.         In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith observes capitalists ‘seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy to against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices’. Xii

2.         The New York Times serves as the main promotional vehicle of the Holocaust Industry… For frequency of coverage, the Holocaust places a close second to the daily weather report. Xvi

3.         …the author of Mein Kampf fared rather better in the Times book review. Although highly critical of Hitlers anti-Semitism, the original Times review awarded ‘this extraordinary man’ high marks for ‘his unification of the Germans, his destruction of Communism, his training of the young, his creation of a spartan state animated by patriotism, his curbing of parliamentary government, so unsuited to the German character, his protection of the right of private property’. Xvii

4.         Both my [Norman Finkelstein] father and mother were survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps. Apart from my parents, every family member on both sides was exterminated by the Nazis. My earliest memory, so to speak, of the Nazi holocaust is my mother glued in front of the television watching the trial of Adolf Eichmann (1961) when I came back from school. 5

5.         I honestly do not recall a single friend (or parent of a friend) asking a single question about what my mother and father endured. This was not a respectful silence. It was indifference. In this light, one cannot but be sceptical of the outpouring of anguish in later decades, after the Holocaust industry was firmly established. 6

6.         [Winston Churchill praised Hitler as late as 1938, and German industrialist were acquitted by the American military tribunal]. 12

7.         The Final Solution was a taboo topic of American Jewish elites for yet another reason. Leftist Jews, who were opposed to the Cold War alignment with Germany against the Soviet Union, would not stop harping on it. Remembrance of the Nazi was tagged a Communist cause. 15

8.         The AJC [American Jewish Committee] endorsed the death penalty for the Rosenberg’s, while its monthly publication, Commentary, editorialised that they weren’t really Jews. 15

9.         Then came the June War. Impressed by Israel’s overwhelming display of force, the United States moved to incorporate it as a strategic asset… Military and economic assistance started to pour in as Israel turned into a proxy for the US power in the middle east. 20

10.      Only an Israeli Sparta beholden to the American power would do, because only then could US Jewish leaders act as the spokesman for American imperial ambitions. 24

11.      The Reverend Jesse Jackson’s earlier outburst in the 1979 that he was ‘sick and tired of hearing about the Jews’ was not so quickly forgiven or forgotten. 31

12.      [Novick writes] ‘It was when the Holocaust was freshest in the minds of American leaders – the first twenty-five years after the war – that the United States was least supportive of Israel… It was not when Israel was perceived as vulnerable, but after it demonstrated its strength, in the Six Day War, that the American aid to Israel changed from trickle to a flood’. 32

13.      According to Lipset and Raab, per capita Jewish income is almost double that of non-Jews; sixteen of the forty wealthiest Americans are Jews; 40 percent of American Nobel Prize winners are in science and economics are Jewish, as are 20 percent of professors at major universities; and 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington. 32

14.      [Jews] kept their ethnic identity at arm’s length when it constituted a liability and became born again Jews when it constituted an asset. 33

15.      For organised American Jewry, this contrived hysteria over a new anti-Semitism served multiple purposes. It boosted Israel’s stock as the refuge of the last resort if and when American Jews needed one. 34

16.      Israeli Journalist Danny Rubinstein reported: ‘…The Jewish establishment in America needs Israel only as a victim of cruel Arab attack. For such as Israel one can get support, donors, money… Everybody knows the official tally of the contributions collected in the United Jewish Appeal in America, where the name of Israel is used and about half of the money goes not to Israel but to the Jewish institutions in America. Is there a greater cynicism?’. 35

17.      As American Jews enjoyed greater secular success, they moved steadily to the right politically. Although still left-of-centre on cultural questions such as sexual morality and abortions. Jews grew increasingly conservative on politics and the economy. 35

18.      Traditionally aligned with black people against caste discrimination in the United States, many Jews broke with the Civil Right alliance in the late 1960s when, as Jonathan Kaufman reports, ‘the goals of the civil rights movement were shifting – from demands for political and legal equality to demands for economic equality’. 36

19.      More recently, Jewish publicist and organisations have figured prominently in efforts to dismantle affirmative action programme. In key supreme court cases – DeFunis (1974) and Bakke (1978) – the AJC, ADL, and AJ Congress, apparently reflecting mainstream Jewish sentiment, all filed amicus briefs opposing affirmative actions. Moving aggressively to defend their corporate and class interest, Jewish elites branded all opposition to their new conservative policies anti-Semitic. 36-7

20.      Thus ADL head Nathan Perlmutter maintained that the ‘real anti-Semitism’ in America consisted of policy initiatives ‘corrosive of Jewish interest,’ such as affirmative action, cuts in defence budget, and neo-isolationism, as well as opposition to nuclear power and even Electoral College Reform. 37 [Book, The Real Anti-Semitism in America]

21.      Just as organised Jewry remembered The Holocaust when Israeli power peaked, so it remembered The Holocaust when American Jewish power peaked. 37

22.      Just as Israeli, armed to the teeth by the United States, courageously out unruly Palestinians in the place, so American Jews courageously put unruly Blacks in their place. 38

23.      At the most basic level, every historical event in unique, if merely by virtue of time and location. 42

24.      [Fidel Castro Said] ‘We lack a Nuremberg to judge the economic order imposed on us, where every three years more men, women, and children die of hunger and preventable disease that died in the Second World War. 46

25.      [Ken Livingston said] ‘Every year the international financial system kills more people than World War II, but at least Hitler was mad, you know?’. 46

26.      The claims of Holocaust uniqueness are intellectually barren and morally discreditable, yet they persist. The question is, why? In the first place, unique suffering confers unique entitlement. The unique evil of Holocaust, according to Jacob Neusner, not only set Jews apart from others, but also give Jews a ‘claim upon those others.’ 47

27.      The claim of Holocaust uniqueness is a claim of Jewish uniqueness. Not the suffering of Jews but that Jews suffered in what made the Holocaust unique. Or: The Holocaust is special because Jews are special. Thus Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, ridicules the Holocaust uniqueness as ‘a distasteful secular version of chosenness’. 48

28.      The first major Holocaust hoax was purported to be Kosinski autobiographical account of his wandering as solitary child through rural Poland during World War II. In fact, Kosinski lived with his parents throughout the war… Kosinski conjured up almost all the pathological episodes he narrates. The book depicts the Polish peasants he lived with as virulently anti-Semitic. ‘Beat the Jews,’ they jeer. ‘Beat the bastard’. In fact, Polish peasants harboured the Kosinski family even though they were fully aware of their Jewishness and the dire consequence they themselves faced if caught. 56

29.      Kosinski did undergo a deathbed conversion. In the few years between his exposure and his suicide, Kosinski deplored the Holocaust industry exclusion of non-Jewish victims. ‘Many North American Jews tend to perceive it as Shoah, as an exclusively Jewish disaster… But at least half of the world Romanies (unfairly called Gypsies), some 2.5 million Polish Catholics, millions of Soviet citizens and various nationalities were also victims of the Genocide’. 57

30.      [Ella Lingens-Reiner wrote] ‘There were few sadists. Not more than five or ten percent’. 59

31.      [Wilkomirski wrote a book, Fragment, where he noted the struggles of being Jews in Switzerland after World War II] Wilkomirski, it turns out, spent the entire war in Switzerland. He is not even Jewish. 60

32.      True, Wilkomirski fabricated his past, but the larger truth is that Holocaust industry, built on a fraudulent misappropriation of history for ideological purposes, was rimed to celebrate the Wilkomirski fabrication. 61

33.      Incidentally, if the Mufti figured so centrally in Hitlers Final Solution, the wonder is that Israel didn’t bring him to justice like Eichmann. He was living openly right next door in Lebanon after the war. 62

David Irving, Hitler War.

34.      The first question is why we have a federally mandated and funded Holocaust museum in the nation’s capital. It’s presence on the Washington Mall is particularly incongruous in the absence of museum commemorating the crimes in the course of American history. Imagine the wailing accusation of hypocrisy here were Germany to build a national museum to commemorate the not the Nazi genocide but the American slavery or the extermination of the Native Americans. 72

35.      The Washington Holocaust museum’s annual budget is $50 million, of which $30 million is federally subsidised. 72

36.      Yet from the conception through completion, the museum was mired in politics. With a re-election campaign looming, Jimmy Carter initiated the project to placate Jewish contributors and voters, galled by the President’s recognition of the ‘legitimate rights’ of Palestinians. 73

37.      Other political issues also emerge in the museum. It mutes the Christian background of the European anti-Semitism so as not to offend a powerful constituency. It downplays the discriminatory US immigration quotas before the before the war, exaggerates the US role in liberating the camps, and silently passes over the massive recruitment of Nazi war criminals at the wars end. 73

38.      At one point, developers sought to downplay ‘Holocaust’ in the museums name for fear that it would depreciate property values in the adjacent luxury housing complex. 74

39.      The crux of Holocaust museum politics, however, bears of whom to memorialise. Were Jews the only victims of The Holocaust, or did others who perished because of the Nazi persecution also count as victims. 74-75

40.      Not Jews but the Communists were the first political victims, and not Jews but the handicapped were the first genocidal victims, of Nazism. 75

Henry Friedlander, The origins of Nazi Genocide

41.      Numerous scholarly studies show, it was the death invented for handicapped German that was then inflicted on the Jews. 75

42.      The Nazis murdered nearly half-million Gypsies, with proportional losses roughly equal to the Jewish Genocide. 76

43.      The Nazis systematically murdered only three groups of human beings: the handicapped, Jews, and Gypsies. 76

44.      Wiesal claims disappointment in his memoir that the Holocaust Memorial Council, which he chaired, did not include a Gypsy representative – as if he had been powerless to nominate one. 76

45.      Acknowledging the Gypsy genocide meant the loss of an exclusive Jewish franchise over the Holocaust. 77

46.      If the Nazis persecuted Gypsies and Jews alike, the dogma that The Holocaust marked the climax of a millennial Gentile hatred of Jews was clearly untenable. 77

47.      The term ‘Holocaust survivor’ originally designated those who suffered the unique trauma of Jewish ghettos, concentration camps and slave labour camps, often in sequence. The figure for these Holocaust survivors at the war’s end is generally put some 100,000. The number of living survivors cannot be more than a quarter of this figure now. Because enduring the camps became a crown of martyrdom, many Jews who spent the war elsewhere represented themselves as camp survivors. Another strong motive behind this misrepresentation, however, was material. The post-war German government provided compensation to Jews who had been in ghettos or camps. Many Jews fabricated their past to meet this eligibility requirement. 81

48.      Deborah Lipstadt, for example, wryly observes that Holocaust survivors frequently maintain they were personally examined by Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. 82

49.      Elie Wiesel reminisces in his acclaimed memoir that, recently liberated from Buchenwald and only eighteen years old, ‘I read The Critique of Pure Reason – don’t laugh- in Yiddish’. Leaving aside Wiesel’s acknowledgement that at the time ‘I was wholly ignorant of Yiddish Grammar’, The Critique of Pure Reason was never translated into Yiddish. 82

50.      In recent years, ‘Holocaust survivors’ has been defined to designate not only those who endured but also those who managed to evade the Nazis. It includes, for example, more that 100,000 Polish Jews who found refuge in the Soviet Union after the Nazi invasion of Poland. However, ‘those who lived in Russia had not been treated differently that citizens of the country’… while, ‘the survivors of the concentration camps looked like the living dead’. 83

51.      The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office recently put the number of ‘living Holocaust survivors’ at nearly a million. The main reason behind this inflationary revision is again not hard to find. It is difficult to press massive new claims of reparations if only a handful of Holocaust survivors are still alive. 83

52.      As we have seen, aligning with the United States in the Cold War, Germany was quickly rehabilitated, and the Nazi Holocaust forgotten. Nonetheless, in the early 1950s Germany entered into negotiations with Jewish institutions and signed indemnification agreements. With little if any external pressure, it has paid to date some $60 billion. 84

53.      Some 4-5 million men, women, and children died as a result of the war in Indochina. After the American withdrawal, a historian recalls, Vietnam desperately needed aid. ‘In the South, 9,000 out of 15,000 hamlets, 25 million acres of farmland, 12 million acres of forest were destroyed, and 1.5 million farm animals had been killed;  there were an estimated 200,000 prostitutes, 879,000 orphans, 181,000 disabled people, and 1 million widows; all six of the industrial cities in the North had been badly damaged, as were provincial and district towns, and 4,000 out of 5,000 agricultural communes’. Refusing, however, to pay any reparations, President Carter explained that ‘the destruction was mutual’. Declaring that he saw no need for ‘any apologies, certainly, for the war itself’. President Clinton’s Defence secretary, William Cohen, similarly opined: ‘Both nations were scarred by this. They have their scars from the war. We certainly have ours’. 84

54.      [The Claims Conference was given $10 million annually for twelve years by the German government to compensate Jewish victims of Nazi persecution who fell through the radar] 85

55.      The German government acknowledged that only about 15 percent of the monies given to the Claims Conference actually benefited Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. 86

56.      More recently, the Claims Conference sought to appropriate for itself denationalised Jewish properties in the former East Germany worth hundreds of millions of dollars that rightfully belonged to living heirs. 87

57.      The reported salary of Saul Kagan, long-time Executive Secretary of the Claims Conference, $105,000. Between stints at the conference, Kagan was convicted of 33 counts of wilfully misapplying funds and credit while heading New York bank. (The conviction was overturned only after multiple appeals). 88

58.      Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII, Switzerland’s president formally apologised in May 1995 for denying Jews refuge during the Nazi Holocaust. About the same time, discussion reopened on the long simmering question of Jewish assets deposited in Swiss accounts before and during the war. 89

59.      The World Jewish Congress… leapt at this new opportunity to flex its muscles. Early on it was understood that Switzerland was easy prey. Few would sympathise with rich Swiss bankers against ‘needy Holocaust survivors.’ But more importantly, Swiss banks were highly vulnerable to economic pressure from the Unites States. 90

60.      Swiss banks loaned American businesses $38 billion in 1994, and managed hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in American stocks and banks for their clients. 90

Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews

61.      Like Switzerland, the US denied entry to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism before and during the WWII. Yet the American government hasn’t seen fit to compensate, say, Jewish refugees aboard the ill-fated St. Louis. 104

62.      Although dwarfed in size and resources by the United States, Switzerland admitted just as many Jewish refugees as the US (approximately 20,000) during the Nazi holocaust. 104

63.      Secretary of State Madeleine Albright explained that the economic benefits accruing the to the Swiss from the withheld Jewish accounts ‘were passed along to subsequent generations and that is why the world now looks to the people of Switzerland, not to assume actions taken by their forbearers, but to be generous in doing what can be done at this point to right past wrongs’. Noble sentiments all, but nowhere to be heard -unless they are actively being ridiculed- when it comes to African American compensation for slavery. 105

64.      Although not sanctioned by US law, much of the $500 billion – $1 trillion annually ‘laundered’ from the drug trade is also ‘safely deposited into US banks’. 110

65.      An audit of our banks on the scale of Swiss would cost the US taxpayers not millions but billions of dollars. By the time it was completed American Jews would be seeking asylum in Munich. Courage has its limits. 117

66.      [ Every Swiss account opened and closed between the 1933-1945 was audited by the Volcker Committee. ] 117

67.      Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney declared that ‘the passage of time must not be an excuse for unjust enrichment’. 121

68.      As the Holocaust industry plays with numbers to boost its compensation claims, anti-Semites gleefully mock the ‘Jew liars’ who even ‘huckster’ their dead. 127

69.      Raul Hilberg, the leading authority on the Nazi holocaust, put the figure for the Jews murdered at 5.1 million. 127

70.      The Claims Conference maintained that some 700,000 Jewish slave labourers survived the war, 350,00 – 400,000 on the territory of the Reich and 300,000 in concentration camps elsewhere. Pressed to supply scholarly sources, the Claims Conference indignantly refused. Suffice to say these figures bear no resemblance to any known scholarship on the topic. 128

71.      Between 1891 and 1911, some 10 million Africans perished in the course of Europe’s exploitation of Congolese ivory and rubber resources. Yet, the first and only scholarly volume in English directly devoted to this topic was published two years ago [1998]. 143

72.      Hitler moulded his conquest of the East on the American conquest of the West. During the first half of the century, a majority of American states enacted sterilisation laws and tens of thousands of Americans were involuntarily sterilised. The Nazis explicitly invoked this US precedent when they enacted their own sterilisation laws. 145

Stefan Kuhl, The Nazi Connection

73.      Nazi doctors employed the concept ‘life unworthy of life. In Gorgias, Plato wrote ‘I can’t see that life is worth living if a person body is in a terrible state’. In The Republic, Plato sanctioned the murder of defective children. 145

74.      [Hitler was opposed to birth control because it goes counter to natural selection]. 145

75.      [When the US invokes The Holocaust] Crimes of official enemies such as the Khamer Rouge bloodbath in Cambodia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and Serbian ethnic cleansing in Kosovo recall the Holocaust; crimes in which the US in complicit do not.146

76.      [A million children were killed in the Holocaust and many times that number die of malnutrition and preventable disease every year.] 147

77.      United States and Britain forced murderous UN sanctions on that hapless country [Iraq] in an attempt to depose him. As in the Nazi holocaust, a million children have likely perished… [Secretary of State Madeline Albright, when question about the deaths caused by US sanction] replied that ‘the price was worth it’. 148

78.      In chapter 3 of this book I documented the Holocaust industry’s ‘double shakedown’ of European countries as well as Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide. 151

79.      In late August 2000 the World Jewish Congress (WJC) announced that it stood to amass fully $9 billion in Holocaust compensation monies. They were extracted in the name of ‘needy Holocaust victims’ but the WJC now maintained that they money belonged to the ‘Jewish people as a whole’… Conveniently, the WJC is the self-anointed representative of the ‘Jewish people as a whole’. 152

80.      Holocaust industry blackmailed Switzerland. 195

81.      Raul Hilberg… charged that the WJC blackmailed the Swiss: ‘It was he first time in history that Jews made use of a weapon that can only be described as blackmail’. 155

82.      [Gribetz plan claims a substantial number of Jews are likely to be alive 90 years after the end of WWII] 159

83.      For the Holocaust industry, the redefinition and upward revision of the figure for Holocaust survivors serve multiple purposes. Not only does it justify the shakedown of European countries, but it justifies the shakedown of actual Holocaust victims as well. 161

84.      The entire US was built on land stolen from the indigenous population, and US industrial development was fuelled by centuries of unpaid labour of African-Americans in the cotton industry. 171

85.      The Holocaust industry forced the Swiss banks to conduct an exhaustive, external audit costing half billion dollars in order to locate all unclaimed Holocaust-era assets. Before this audit was even completed, the Holocaust industry forced a $1.25 billion settlement on the Swiss. 175

86.      At war’s end, American GIs stationed in Europe engaged in massive looting. 178

87.      Acting in concert with an array of powerful American Jewish organisation and individuals, the Clinton administration extracted from European countries billions of dollars, which had allegedly been stolen from Holocaust victims during and after World War II. 208

88.      During his last hours in office, Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, a billionaire commodities trader who fled to Switzerland in 1983 before standing trial on an indictment for fifty-one counts of tax evasion, racketeering and violating trade sanctions with Iran. 212

89.      Like Jews in Weimer Germany, the Jews were economically prosperous but politically feeble. 230

90.      Rechter wondered why constituent organisation of the Holocaust industry are ‘fighting so ferociously’ for a cut of the compensation monies if there isn’t even enough to cover a healthcare programme. 252

91.      The Holocaust industry had designated as a main beneficiary of the compensation monies ‘Holocaust education’… The purpose of this Holocaust education is naturally to ‘learn the lessons of the Holocaust’. But what lessons does the Holocaust industry want us to learn? One important lesson is ‘do not compare’ the Holocaust with other crimes – unless comparing is politically expedient. 253

92.      Heaven forbid that Israel should itself pay compensation, let alone return stolen property. 257

93.      The only meaningful measure of morality is the claim one makes not on others but on one’s self. 259

94.      According to Eizenstat, his wife also evinced rare moral rectitude during the compensation campaign. Standing in Auschwitz on a cold winter day while listening to stories of the inmates’ suffering, ‘Frans said out loud she felt guilty wearing her fur coat’. Truly she must have been moved. 258

95.      John Rintanki, Ford’s group vice president and Chief of Staff. An energetic, upbeat person, he got right to the point. Strikingly frank, he volunteered that Henry Ford, the company’s founder, was a notorious anti-Semite who had been publicly recognised by Hitler for his work in Germany. He made no attempt to deny that the Nazis had employed forced and slave labourers in Ford’s plants and promised to help recruit American companies with a goal of raising half a billion dollar. 261

96.      ‘The bible says that the sins of the father should not be visited upon the son,’ Eizsenstat reflect.’ ‘But just how much do present generations owe the victim of the past when part of their prosperity is based on their country having enslaved and robbed them’. 263

97.      Although the US industrialisation was crucially based on African slave labour, Eizenstat maintains that the only relevant monetary ‘lessons’ from the Holocaust compensation campaign for the current ‘American slavery cases’ is that ‘the companies sued might’ provide ‘minority scholarship, or training and hiring programmes.’ 263

98.      General Allotment Act (1887), 140 million acres of communally owned tribal lands were broken up into private plots. ‘As the government concedes,’ Judge lambert stated, ‘the purpose of the IIM trust was to deprive plaintiffs’ ancestors of their native lands and rid the nation of the tribal identity’. Fully 90 million acres was deemed ‘surplus’ and quickly opened to non-Indian settlements, while another 40 million acres ‘have never been accounted for’. 265

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