EssaysHadding Scott

Does Norman Finkelstein Embellish His Family’s History of Suffering?

Norman Finkelstein

by Hadding Scott

GENERALLY WHEN I hear some Jew say that he lost some huge number of relatives in the Holocaust, of course I am skeptical, because we know that there were no homicidal gas-chambers, which are supposed to have been responsible for the vast majority of such deaths, and because from time to time it is reported that some person “lost in the Holocaust” turns out to be still alive and was merely separated from the rest of his family in the chaos following the war. Usually, however, it is not practical to investigate a person’s specific claim about his family.

Usually the most you can do is ask the Jew making the claim to explain how he could know what he is claiming, and also have him give some details so as to determine whether his story is consistent with known facts.

Norman Finkelstein is a Jew with academic credentials who has criticized the uses of the Holocaust, and policies of the State of Israel. He does not, however, suggest that the Holocaust may not have occurred (despite abundant evidence that should raise that question in the mind of any thoughtful person examining the matter). He even goes so far as to call the people who do ask these questions “crackpots.”

In a presentation at Waterloo University (Canada), Dr. Finkelstein, facing a difficult audience, decides, as he calls it, “to play the Holocaust card.” Finkelstein says that both of his parents were in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and that (subsequently) his father was in Auschwitz and his mother was in Majdanek. All of his mother’s relatives and all of his father’s relatives, he says, were “exterminated.”

“My late father was in Auschwitz concentration camp; my late mother was in Majdanek concentration camp. Every single member of my family on both sides was exterminated. Both of my parents were in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.”

Finkelstein spoke with greater explicitness in a Canadian interview:

“My parents were in the Warsaw Ghetto from September 1939 to May 1943. My father was then taken to Auschwitz concentration camp. My mother was in Majdanek concentration camp. They were there through the duration of the war.”

There is a problem here. The overwhelming majority (more than 300,000) of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were sent before the uprising to Treblinka, so that about 70,000 were left at the time of the uprising. After the uprising, a relatively small number were sent to Majdanek, but according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum none were sent to Auschwitz.

The USHMM gives the following approximate figures for Jews deported from Warsaw after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April-May 1943:

  • 7,000 to Treblinka
  • 18,000 to Majdanek
  • 16,000 to Poniatowa forced-labor camp
  • 6,000 to Trawniki forced-labor camp
  • 2,000 to smaller forced-labor camps such as Budzyn and Krasnik

None of the named camps is anywhere near Auschwitz, where Finkelstein says that his father was sent.

Finkelstein may have learned, since I originally posted on this matter in 2011, that the story that he had been telling about his father does not match the record, because he now tells a different story.

On 5 April 2017 I asked Finkelstein this question: “Did your father go directly from the Warsaw Ghetto to Auschwitz, or was he sent to another camp and from there to Auschwitz? If so, to which camp?”

Finkelstein was kind enough to answer: “Majdanek.”

So now it is alleged that Finkelstein’s father was sent to Majdanek, and thence to Auschwitz. It is a direct contradiction of what he told Michael Coren.

He also told Michael Coren that his father was in Auschwitz until the end of the war. This is not what he says now. Responding to a question, Finkelstein wrote on 5 April 2017:

“My Father was in seven different camps. He ended up Auschwitz, and was on the Auschwitz Death March.”

When I asked how long his father was in Auschwitz, Finkelstein said:
“I don’t know. We never discussed it.”

Previously, Finkelstein claimed to know that his father was sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to Auschwitz and stayed there until the end of the war. Now he claims that his father was in seven different camps, and admits that he does not even know how long his father was in Auschwitz.

Finkelstein also could not possibly know that all the relatives of both his parents were “exterminated.” This is at best a surmise based on not knowing the whereabouts of these people. Some may have died, but it frequently happens that Jews presumed by their relatives to have been killed during the war turn out to be alive (example 1) (example 2) (example 3).

Finkelstein’s account of his family’s experience in the Holocaust, changing as it does, seems to be an invention. This is not to say that Finkelstein’s parents were never in a concentration camp, but he fabricates the details, including the detail about all his relatives on both sides having been killed. The rhetorical advantage that Finkelstein gains with such fiction is obvious: in a milieu where it is customary to tell this kind of lie, it enables him to out-kvetch his critics.

* * *

Source: National-Socialist Worldview

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Ted Truewil
Ted Truewil
6 March, 2019 10:11 am

Never trust a Jew. NEVER. No exceptions.

Reply to  Ted Truewil
10 March, 2019 12:05 am

Amen, brother! That’s EXACTLY what I was going to type. I don’t care WHO it is… NEVER trust (((them))). They will stab you in the back at the first opportunity.

6 March, 2019 11:08 am

When it has been discovered that someone did not die during the holocost, has the six million figure ever been reduced?

The Auschwitz inmates were given the opportunity to be liberated by the Soviets or follow their guards further into Germany. They knew that at least their guards had struggled to keep them alive and therefore 150,000 chose to follow the guards. Many died because of the lack of food and because of the weather This ‘death march’ was a far smaller death march than those suffered by refugee Germans, during and after the war, but we are not meant to know about those.

6 March, 2019 5:23 pm

Architect Daniel Liebeskind is shown in a documentary at the place in Poland where he was born. He deceptively states that there were thousands of Jews there when he was a child but where are they now? He is then shown departing for Israel. That’s where they are! He went there to visit them. After the war about 40,000 formerly dead Jews fled into Germany to escape Poland – how embarrassing! They were quickly sent to Israel to avoid tricky questions.

The Poles had learned to associate the Jews with the Jewish communists who had committed the Katyn atrocities (and blamed it on the Germans). The Jewish Katyn executioners were presented in a documentary filmed in Jerusalem after the war but of course they were not punished.

8 July, 2019 5:46 am

Note that life expectancy in the 1940s was much lower than at present. People in their fifties were considered old and those in their sixties died of old age. Many of those said to have been killed in the holocaust merely died of natural causes during the same time.