Revisionist Lies (II)

SOBIBÓR/THE HAGUE/BERLIN |

SOBIBÓR/THE HAGUE/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government received unambiguous international criticism at yesterday's ceremonies commemorating the victims of the Nazi Sobibór extermination camp in today's Poland. The ceremonies commemorated the more than 200,000 who had been murdered, including 20,000 German Jews. The German Foreign Ministry had claimed that there had been no German "prisoners" in Sobibór, thereby making a German financial contribution to the construction of its new museum obsolete. Because of its negationist attempts, the German government was embarrassed in the presence of the diplomatic corps, brought in from Warsaw, and high-ranking government representatives from Israel, Slovakia, Poland and the Netherlands. Berlin must also contribute to the costs of the commemoration, because its own citizens had been murdered in Sobibór, declared Poland's Vice Minister of Culture, Piotr Zuchowski. Like Zuchowski, the government representative from the Netherlands also criticized the German government's attitude.

Hundreds of youth from Israel and youth groups from Slovakia, Ukraine and other countries, victimized by the Nazis, had come to participate in the ceremony, which lasted several hours. From Germany, the citizens initiative "Train of Commemoration" was represented with youth from Frankfurt (Oder), Berlin, Dortmund and Constance. In Warsaw and Sobibór, the citizens' initiative distributed a Memorandum accusing the German government of negationist tendencies.

Signs of a Negationist Government Policy

The Memorandum, for example, making reference to a television broadcast in late September,[1] reports that it was learned "with outrage (...) that the government of the Federal Republic of Germany is denying the murders of more than 20,000 German Jews 70 years ago in the Nazi Sobibór extermination camp." The respective declarations, meant to justify "Germany's refusal to participate in the costs of the museum's new construction in today's Sobibór" represent not only "an insult to the obscured German victims of the former Nazi Sobibór extermination camp," but "is just as insulting to the victims of all of the countries that had fallen victim to the Nazis." In the German civil society there is clear criticism because of "the growing number of indications of a negationist government policy."[2]

Avoid Paying Restitution

At the commemorative ceremonies, the para-governmental Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ) was also sharply criticized. Over the past few months, it had repeatedly denied financial grants to the "Train of Commemoration" for the commemoration of the Sobibór victims. The civic initiative's Memorandum considers that the foundation is attempting "to influence activities inside Germany to prevent material restitution to Nazi-terror survivors."[3] Four years ago, the "Train of Commemoration" published an expertise, indicating that the "Deutsche Reichsbahn's" receipts resulting from its role in the deportations are valued at more than 440 million Euros. The "Train of Commemoration" is campaigning for compensation for the survivors. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[4])

Example and Model

In conclusion, the Memorandum explains that "the current economic dependence of nearly all European countries" encourages "the German criminals' heirs to abdicate from their material responsibility and to declare restitution for these crimes as settled." They want to counteract this and to commemorate the rebellion that had taken place in the Nazi Sobibór extermination camp exactly 70 years ago, on October 14, 1943, "as exemplary and a model of taking resolute action against German anti-Semitism and nationalist megalomania."[5]

Here, german-foreign-policy.com documents the Memorandum on the German Commemoration Culture in both German and English.

Further reporting and background information can be found here: Berlin Central Station and "Policy of Historical Memory".

[1] "Kontraste" vom 26.09.2013, 21.45 Uhr
[2], [3] see also German Commemoration
[4] see also Umgehende Fürsorge and Verlängerung des Verbrechens
[5] s. dazu Deutsche Erinnerungskultur