The two articles below overlap in their discussion of the accolades bestowed by the German government on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Many thanks to JLH for the translations.
The translator includes this introductory note:
Here are articles by or about two of the most prominent authors and journalists in the Jewish community in Germany. There are about 100,000 Jews in the Federal Republic, of which approximately 80,000 have come since 1989, when the Iron Curtain fell and migration from Russia and elsewhere east became more feasible.
Giordano is from a half-Jewish family persecuted by the Nazis, who eventually hid out until 1945 because the mother was in danger of deportation or worse. Broder is from a Polish Jewish family that survived the concentration camps and later came to Germany by way of Vienna.
They are both clear and uncompromising in their opinions and in their prose, although I would say that Giordano is a bit more of the elder statesman, while Broder is the in-your-face warrior. They are unsurprisingly in agreement about Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Gerhard Schröder, as about many other things.
First, an article about Henryk Broder from Die Presse:
Henryk M. Broder: “Auschwitz is a Carnival”
March 16, 2012
The German author criticizes a “hypocrisy on behalf of the government” in Germany at the Leipzig Book Fair. He advises “bombing Auschwitz out of existence, because the former concentration camp has degenerated into the “worthless” destination of excursions.
Journalist Henryk M. Broder calls his lifelong confrontation with the subject of anti-Semitism “a kind of obsession.” The basis for his newest book with the title “Forget Auschwitz” is “state-sponsored hypocrisy” in Germany, the author said onThursday at the Leipzig Book Fair.
As an example he named the bestowing of the Steiger Award for Tolerance on the Turkish president Erdogan on the following Saturday. “100 journalists are sitting in prison in Turkey,” said Broder. “Who is giving the tribute? Gerhard Schröder, Gazprom Schröder. If I had not already stopped voting SPD, that would be my motivation.”
Degenerated to Carnival Status
Referring to the provocative title of his book, Broder, who comes from a Jewish family, said, “Although the Allies neglected to bomb Auschwitz, it could be done now.” Because: “Auschwitz is a carnival. In my mother’s day, it was a one-way ticket. Now you can get there and back after breakfast,” Broder complained. “It is worthless, terrible.”
The author sees a “falseness” in today’s society: “Genocide must be more than six million. Anything less is a traffic violation. I get really nauseous when I hear what is being said to the Syrians.” And with that, he attacks Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle for the argument that intervention would make the situation worse: “It is already a conflagration, a massacre. It was the same at the time of the Holocaust.” No one wanted to intervene.
Anti-Semitism is transformed into anti-Zionism
Anti-Semitism , said Broder, was discredited by the Holocaust. So it is looking for a side door and that is anti-Zionism, simultaneously with the confession rituals regarding Auschwitz. “I am very much for criticism,” said Broder, “but this has very little to do with Israel. Instead the intent is to minimize the guilt of the Germans by comparison with Israel’s guilt vis-a-vis the Palestinians.” This variant of anti-Semitism goes “right though all milieus” in Germany.
In this connection, he ferociously criticizes SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel, who has branded Israel an apartheid state. “I do not believe Gabriel is an anti-Senite, but he is an idiot,” said Broder. “If he visits Israel, then Fatso and Dopey [Laurel and Hardy] will be walking around together in the Middle East — in the same skin.”
The author blames the political correctness drummed into Germans for discussions like the one about whether the German Democratic Republic was an illegitimate and unjust state or “only” a dictatorship: “That gives me the creeps. You can differentiate a bloodbath down until there is nothing left.”
The second article, an open letter to former chancellor Gerhard Schröder by Ralph Giordano, is from the blog Die Achse des Guten [The Axis of Good]:
What Will be Left of Schröder
(A letter to the former SPD Chancellor, later defeated by Merkel)
by Ralph Giordano
March 15, 2012
Dear Former Chancellor,
“I am your president!” “Learn German, but stay who you are!” “Form a state in the state, but do not call it that.”
These declarations of war on integration from February, 2008 in Cologne and March, 2011 in Düsseldorf were fired off before an inflamed crowd of 18,000 people by the man who will receive the “Steiger Award for the Tolerance, Humaneness and Growing Together of Europe” — Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey.
This is the same Erdogan who is till denying the genocide of the Armenians after almost one hundred years, and who personifies like no one else this Turkish grand delusion.
That very genocide, Mr. Former Chancellor, recognized under your chancellorship for the first time in almost 100 years by the German Bundestag. On February 22, 2005, to non-partisan applause, without a nay vote or abstention — an almost unfathomable miracle in the history of the German parliament.
Now you are speaking in praise of a firebug: “There are 100,000 Armenians living in my country who are not its citizens. And if necessary, I can say to them: Go, back to the land you came from.” Direct quote from Erdogan — the speech of a thug.
“Tolerance and Humaneness”? I protest giving the Steiger Award to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who can be just as hypocritical as the speech in his praise.
You, Former Chancellor,once called Putin “a flawless democrat.” That will stay in your memory.
But praise and honor of a politician who denies an overwhelmingly attested genocide, that is even heavier.