The Vicious Western Culture that Blends Sex and Shoah

Decadence or viciousness, take your pick. Probably both.

Giulio Meotti

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צילום: עצמי

A great interpreter of modernity such as Michel Foucault once asked, "How is it possible that the Nazis, who were represented by pitiful, squalid Puritans, have now, all over the world, in France, Germany, the United States, become the absolute reference of eroticism?". 

What is the sense of putting sex in a story of human beings who are shaved, tattooed, whipped, gassed, cremated corpses, tangled, bruised, raining down from the suddenly opened doors of the gas chamber?
The first film maker who explained the Holocaust through lust was Liliana Cavani. Her "Night Porter" was a work of furious gloom, a kind of Grand Guignol sublimated by Freudian eroticism. In a hotel in Wien, in 1957, there is an American conductor and his young wife Lucy, an Austrian Jew (in the film she has the face of Charlotte Rampling), who recognizes the hotel's night porter as the SS officer Max (Dirk Bogart in the film), who had tortured her as a teenager in a concentration camp. They enjoy sexual promiscuity once again. 

Put in a bit of voyeurism, fetishism, decadence, a heavy dose of sentimentality, a pinch of theological reflection on the silence of God and that's it. Especially lots of sex, in its most perverse forms. 

One of the characteristics of the actual writings from the Holocaust is that the protagonists are asexual. For this reason, the recent spate of films and novels about the Holocaust corrupt that history, by flooding it with sexual fantasies that can not understand an experience in which Eros was completely eliminated.

What is the sense of putting sex in a story of human beings who are shaved, tattooed, whipped, gassed, cremated corpses, tangled, bruised, raining down from the suddenly opened doors of the gas chamber? 

Schmùstuck, they were called, "pieces of trash". Not objects of sexual desire.

This is what the English writer Martin Amis is doing with his last novel "The Zone of Interest," a novel that in France and Germany large publishers like Gallimard and Hanser rejected with the following explanation: "Frivolous". The novel celebrates the love affair of SS officer Angelus "Golo" Thomsen with Hannah Doll, the wife of the commandant of Auschwitz, Paul Doll. 

It is also the case in William Styron's novel "Sophie's Choice", which Alan Pakula made into a movie. A Southern White Protestant virgin protagonist, Stingo, sexually desires a Polish Catholic woman who survived the camps and whose father was a fierce anti-Semite. 

In Germany we have "Pornonazi", Thor Kunkel's novel, winner of the prestigious Ernst-Willner literary award, in which he tells the story of Karl Fusmann, a young chemist in the service of the SS, who falls in love with Lotte, a prostitute-porn actress who establishes a haunting and painful relation with him.

Martin Waltzer wrote of Kunkel as a "virtuoso of crap" and a "seraph of obscenity." "Ein Buch für den Papierkorb", a book good for trash, was the judgement of the Neue Deutschland, while the Tagesspiegel spoke of a "verbosity without limits in impressive trash."

Even more sarcastic was the literary critic who wrote: "Thor Kunkel rewrites the history of the Third Reich. Nazism does not smell of gas, but of sperm."

Last spring the film of director Lucía Puenzo of Argentina, "The German Doctor", debuted. Featuring doctor Josef Mengele and a little girl named Lilith, his sweet Lolita. A history of sexual longing in which the perpetrator of the SS is attracted by a girl who has growth problems. 

Another movie of this kind was "The Reader", inspired by Bernard Shlink's novel. It is the story of the Nasi Hanna, who burned 300 Jews and then begin a sexual relation with a student, Michael. 

What is extraordinary is the commercial success (less of critics) of "The Kindly Ones" by Jonathan Littell, the novel that won the Goncourt prize telling the story of Max Aue, Nazi official, homosexual, matricide, polymorphous pervert. Sensationalist and deliberately repellent, the thousand pages of the novel are like the memories of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess rewritten by a bad imitator of Genet and de Sade. We are subjected to pages and pages of grotesque sexual fantasies of Nazi Max, including the sodomy of a twin sister.

"Annexed", the recent novel of British author Sharon Dogar, reached the moral paralysis of the sexualization of Anne Frank, portrayed in her romance with Peter van Pels, a fellow of her imprisonment in the famous Amsterdam house. The novel is full of sex scenes between the two thirteen-year-olds. A trivializing operation of postmodern criticism.  

This kind of Western, radical chic Holocaust revisionism is no less dangerous than the Iranian denial of the gas chambers.