The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/17

                                                    [Page 8]

Tab 7. An Open Letter from the "Zundelsite" to all
principled Freedom-of-Speech activists globally:  
We Are In Need Of Intervenors! (p. 2)

     "To claim that World War II was fought by the Germans,
     as the Holocaust Lobby incessantly claims, to kill off
     the Jews as a group, is a deliberately planned,
     systematic deception amounting to financial, political,
     emotional and spiritual extortion. The "Holocaust, "
     first sold as a tragedy, has over time deteriorated
     into a racket cloaked in the tenets of a new temporal
     religion - replete with martyrs to the Faith, holy
     shrines, high priests like Wiesel [sic] and Goldhagen,
     and theologians of the Faith such as Raul Hilberg,
     Deborah Lipstadt, et al"


The second selection differs from the first by (a) the
addition of just in the second line, (b) the replacement of
State with temporal and (c) the addition of the expression "-
replete... et al" to the final sentence. These differences
are in fact quite significant. The term "just" functions as
a delimiter and is used to misdirect the reader to the
conclusion that the Holocaust Lobby claims that the
`singular' and `exclusive' reason the Germans fought World
War II was to kill off the Jews, effectively implying the
claim that there were no other purposes.

The expression `temporal'  replacing `State' and modifying
`religion' serves to suggest that that this is a `religion'
which is at the same time not a real (eternal) religion, but
a fake. Finally, the expression ' cloaked In the tenets of a
new temporal religion - replete with martyrs to the Faith,
holy shrines, high priests like Wiesel [sic] and Goldhagen,
and theologians of the Faith such as Raul Hilberg, Deborah
Lipstadt et al. " is juxtaposed to the noun `racket.' Such a
use of highly elevated language juxtaposed to highly
negative expressions (e.g., `racket') serves to mock and

We turn now to the commonalties of the two passages. The
verb `claim' takes as its complement a clause whose truth is
asserted as a part of the belief system of the speaker.
Thus, in a sentence such as:

     Fred claims that the earth is flat.

the complement clause `that the earth is flat' is asserted
to be what Fred believes. In the first sentence of the quote
above, the complement clause `that World War II ... group,'
is asserted to be a part of the writer's belief about the
activities of the Holocaust Lobby.

The expression `Holocaust Lobby' entails an implicit meaning
that (1) such a well-defined group exists and (2) that it is
constituted of those, including Jews, who advocate the
existence of the Holocaust. Jews, as members of the
Holocaust Lobby, have predicated of them such properties as
`deception' and `financial,' `political,' `emotional' and
`spiritual extortion.' This collocation of expressions and
association of terms implies the covert assertion that Jews
as a group are deceivers and extortionists.

                                                    [Page 9]

The second sentence of the quote contains a passive relative
clause associated with the subject NP `the ''Holocaust,''`
namely `first sold as a tragedy.' Such passive structures
without overt agent NPs are used when the agent is either
shared (`given') information or is understood pragmatically
from the context. By the principle of `topic continuity' and
the maxim of `relevance,' the understood agent in this case
is the NP `the Holocaust Lobby,' which was Introduced in the
previous sentence. The expression ''Holocaust " is placed in
scare quotes, signaling the writer's sceptical attitude
toward the word.

Moreover, the meaning of `sell' in both its literal and
extended senses involves a financial or metaphorical
transaction in which some particular object, etc. is
exchanged in return for payment of some sort. In this
instance, it is the Holocaust which is sold, and which is
implicitly bought by someone else. Since a metaphorical use
of `sell' is involved, its sense is that of `promote' or
`convince.' In that use, `sell' takes on attributes not only
of commercialism, but of shady. illicit, and negative
commercialism, invoking hucksterism and racketeering,
leading to a negative set of attributes stereotypically
associated with Jews. Therefore, the propositional content
of the relative clause is that the Holocaust Lobby convinced
(some unspecified persons) that the Holocaust was a tragedy.
In the first sentence, Jews have been implicitly cast as
deceivers, and financial extortionists, thus inviting the
interpretation in the second sentence that Jews have
deliberately promoted a false notion, namely the Holocaust
and, as the predicate of the second sentence ("has over rime
deteriorated into a racket ... ") emphatically reinforces,
that such activity is illegitimate.

One important consequence in these two passages is that the
term Holocaust Lobby has been established as an epithet for
Jews and others who proclaim the existence of the Holocaust.
Such epithets, usually disparaging, can be cast as code
terms for groups, and that has been done here. The
rhetorical thrust of this text is to establish the falsehood
of the Holocaust and then to treat this as given
information, shared by the writer and reader. The overall
theme of the passage is to explain the continuing bad faith
of those who purport to believe in the Holocaust. In
summary, this brief passage invites the reader to construct
a meaning representation in which Jews are identified as a
group whose identifying properties include deception,
extortion, and promotion of falsehoods.

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