The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Notes on a Discourse Analysis
of Selected Zündelsite Materials
(Part 12 of 13)

Tab 28. Good Morning from the Zundelsite: (July 10, 1997)

"Meanwhile, here is your Thought for the Day, as taken from Protocol 9 of the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion ":

'Anti-Semitism is the means by which we control our lesser brethren. '


P.S. Please note that I note here for my protection that "The Protocols", as this document is called in the vernacular, was declared a 'forgery' by various Jewish spokespeople and in a questionable legal proceeding in Bern, Switzerland, during the 1930s.

So my question is. 'Where is the original? A `forgery' can only be done against an existing 'original ' - otherwise Monopoly money would be real money? "

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In this citation, the author employs the use of scare quotes to highlight her (?) attitude of suspicion that the document cited (the "Protocols ...") is indeed a forgery. First, she attributes the declaration of forgery solely to "Various Jewish spokespeople", implying that the declaration was done solely by Jews. Second, she implies that the legal proceeding is not legitimate, via her use of "questionable". Thus, in this instance, the writer attributes improper legal proceedings to Jews. By using the expression "P.S. Please note ... for my own protection .." The writer used the rhetorical device of inversion to imply that the forgery is in fact not a forgery.

The writer appears to misunderstand, and clearly misuses, the English term forgery. The Random House Webster's College Dictionary (1991) defines forgery as:

1. the crime of falsely making or altering a writing by which the legal rights or obligations of another person apparently affected.

2. a writing so made or altered, as a false document or signature.

3. any spurious work that is claimed to be genuine, as a painting or coin, counterfeit.

4. an act of producing something forged

A forgery therefore need not necessarily be a false replication of an original, though it may be such. Indeed, a forgery can be something created and then falsely attributed to someone. Thus, one could imagine a forged painting by van Gogh or a newly created fugue falsely attributed to Bach or a diary falsely attributed to Hitler. In such cases, there need not have been an original painting, fugue, or diary of which the forgery is a copy.

Thus, the claim that the "Protocols" document is a forgery does not entail that there is an original from which it is copied or altered. The document is attributed to Jews, and the quote above reflects the attitude that certain unspecified Jews (the "elders of Zion") are manipulating non- Jews (the "lesser brethren") by the use of anti-Semitism. The thrust of this use of anti-Semitism echoes the earlier inversion in which Holocaust victims become aggressors. Moreover, the use of the term lesser brethren places Jews in the position of practising racism rather than being its victims.

The thrust of the passage is something like the following:

I (= the writer)

1. assert that Jews use a strategy of anti- Semitism to control non-Jews

2. assert that Jews

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a. themselves consciously constructed the strategy in (1)

b. committed it to writing in a document called the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion"

3.assert that some have claimed that the document is a forgery

4.assert that the "Protocols" is not a forgery since

a. a forgery must be modelled on an original, and

b. therefore, an original must exist

5. therefore imply that the document is not a forgery

6. assert that, since the Protocols is not a forgery (i.e., is true), then

a. Jews are engaged in a massive, secret conspiracy

b. Jews practice racism against their lesser brethren

The flawed step in the argument hinges on the use and misuse of the term forgery, coupled with the use of the inversion strategy which implies that the forgery is not a forgery. Therefore, the argument fails. Accordingly, the passage ascribes to Jews a strategy (the use of anti-Semitism) without a sound reason, thereby singling out Jews as a group and asserting that they are racist and are engaged in a secret conspiracy against non-Jews.

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