'Today, the biggest problem is one of distortion'

Arutz Sheva speaks to historian and Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff about current attempts to distort the narrative of the Holocaust.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Holocaust survivor
Holocaust survivor
Flash 90

Arutz Sheva spoke at the Limmud FSU Conference in Moscow to historian and Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office in Jerusalem.

Dr. Zuroff noted that today, the great dangert in terms of Holocaust remembrance in western countries is that of the distortion of the historical narrative of the Holocaust. “Today the biggest danger in terms of preserving the memory of the Holocaust is not Holocaust denial, but rather Holocaust distortion [...] This refers to the efforts to rewrite the narrative of World War II and the Holocaust in such a way as to hide the responsibility of certain people or elements of society for participation in Holocaust crimes. “

“This is particularly problematic in Eastern Europe; only in Eastern Europe did collaboration with the Nazis include active participation in mass murder. These countries are trying to do two things: hide or minimize their own role in the crimes of the Holocaust, and convince the world that Communism was just as bad as Nazism - and that they, too, were victims during the ‘genocide’ of the peoples of Eastern Europe at the hands of the Communists.

Zuroff lamented the fact that former German President Joachim Gauck was invited by Israel to the closing Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at The Ghetto Fighters’ Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in the western Galilee. Gauck, he said, was the only German to have signed the so-called “Prague Declaration” of 2008, “which basically says that there were two genocides - one of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis and one of Eastern Europeans at the hands of the Communists. This declaration undermines the uniqueness of the Holocaust [...] this is the person you invite to Israel for Yom Hashoah?”

“I would say to Gauck, when he arrives in Israel: This is the place to say that the crimes of the Holocaust and those of Communism are not equal. The crimes of Communism, as terrible as they were, are not genocide. This is the place to say that he has decided to take his name off of the Prague Declaration.”