Hitler, Anne Frank as Halloween costumes
Hitler, Anne Frank as Halloween costumes Twitter
Someone’s gotta say it. Few ever do. And really, in all fairness, only a Jew with Judaic credentials like mine can write this. So here goes:

The Shoah — the Hitler Nazi Holocaust — has been turned into something akin to a game show or board game. It no longer is taken as a serious thing. It has been made into a joke.

I grew up in the 1950’s and much of the 1960’s relatively unaware of the Holocaust. In time, as I hit my teens and high school, I learned plenty — not from movies or TV but from books and from men and women with digits tattooed on their wrists. By my college years in the 1970’s those lessons impelled me to become active in the movement to free Soviet Jewry from the clutches of Communism’s iron grip. My years during that decade fighting for Soviet Jewry would transmogrify me and played major roles in my becoming passionate about studying all pertinent history and in my deciding to become a rav (Orthodox rabbi) and to defer a previous law-school plan on the back burner.

I relate to the Shoah differently from others. For me it was and always will be not about whining about a past that I cannot change but a call to action for Jewish survival now. Moreover, for me it is not a universal matter. Rather, it is parochial, a uniquely Jewish matter that saw a maniac fixated on one people, scattered and dispered among others, and determined to eradicate them. Yes, he also went after homosexuals, political opponents, and the Romani people (disparagingly called “Gypsies”), but he was fixated on eradicating Jews.

Thus, for me, the lessons and ramifications of the Holocaust are personal and not universal. It impelled me to do everything I could when a moment in history came to pry open the Iron Bars of Communism and to force Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin to let my people go. It impels me still to do my part advocating for Israel.

So that is where the Holocaust fits into my values system. I never can forget that two thousand years of Roman Exile also teaches me as a Jew what Exile is: ever in peril, ever at risk that it all can change overnight:

The same England, France, and Germany that welcome warmly can turn on a dime and launch Crusades, Blood Libels, and Black Death massacres as national policy culminating in expelling all Jews. When they thereupon collapse financially, they welcome us back, and then expel us again after recovering. England 1290 through 1648. France 1182, and later welcome back, then 1306, then welcome back, then 1394. Spain 1492. Portugal 1497. Amid the bubonic plague pandemic that ravaged Western Europe in the mid-14th century and then led to massacres built on Big Lies about poisoning wells, Poland welcomed us under blessed King Casimir III. Eventually, though, there were the mid-17th century Chmielnicki Cossack pogroms, and later Hitler built his most heinous death camps in that same Poland, in places like Oswiecim: Auschwitz-Birkenau. Russia, too, initially welcomed the 14th-15th century eastward migrations from Western Europe, but that embrace also changed soon enough. The repressions of Catherine the Great came — and later the Tsarist pogroms. And then Stalin, the bloodiest murderer of all.

But the Shoah cannot and must not define Judaic life. Judaism, rather, is about the Word of G-d, the Sinaitic Oral and Written Torah laws and values that changed the course of human history and gave rise to other monotheistic faith systems derived from it, more than three thousand years of a richly flourishing culture and history built on love of the Promised Land and two millennia of the faithful teachings of our Sages of Blessed Memory who transmitted and interpreted those teachings and values to govern our contemporary times.

Yes, folks, there’s no business like Shoah business.
I always have looked askance at an American Jewish secular community that erects Holocaust museums and Holocaust statues all over the place rather than build and supportively maintain Jewish educational institutions — elementary yeshiva day schools and high schools — to assure that future Jewish generations will know their Torah and Talmud and Rashi and Tosafot and other scholarly rabbinic commentaries, their Hebrew language and the laws and customs and observances of traditional Jewish life and Judaic practices.

Because without that Torah foundation, American Jews sink to the pathetic ignorance of an oblivious Doug Emhoff, whose daughter publicly declares herself not Jewish and whose non-Jewish wife, the descendant of slave-owners, rambles foolishly about the Chanukah she does not comprehend (see video at end), manifesting as much ignorance as a citizen of Inner Mongolia explaining the rules of American football to an Outer Mongolian (and vice-versa).

In America, the Holocaust has become a joke. One walks into a multi-million-dollar Holocaust museum, and a docent gives a lecture about “misogyny” or transgender rights, while exhibits politically promote a kinder gentler FDR than the cruel villain who prevented America’s immigration quotas from being filled by Refugees from Hitler. One encounters a Holocaust statue and sees pigeons nesting while Jewish teens and adults walk past, not only unaware of the monument but of their heritage and culture. The only ones who seem to notice the statues memorializing those who fought Hitler are the Jew-haters in Black Lives Matter who desecrate them. And instead of teaching the Shoah’s deepest lessons, the Holocaust instead becomes a game and an enterprise. And there’s no business like Shoah business.

If you want to make it in Hollywood, at some point you have to direct or produce a Holocaust movie. As this list demonstrates, we don’t have enough such movies, and any new one will be a shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination. More importantly, you then have paid your dues. Having produced, directed, or even appeared in one, you now have the right to attack Israel and BDS Israel. But there is so much more to the Game of Holocaust.

It is fair to hate Trump if that is one’s political inclination. That is called freedom. But to call Trump an “anti-Semite”? A Nazi sympathizer? That is outside the pale of decency, civility, and fairness — but it is an acceptable maneuver in the Game of Holocaust. No sooner had Trump become our President than a rabid leftist Gay Rights activist showed up on CNN as a spokesman for the name of Anne Frank, and was there as an “expert” tying the name of Anne Frank to his rant that Trump promoted anti-Semitism.

History’s truth is that Trump soon after proceeded to reverse Obama’s anti-Semitism and eight-year anti-Israel agenda, recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, move our Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan region, deem Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) as perfectly legal, pull out of anti-Semitic U.N. agencies like the “U.N. Human Rights Council,” close down the PLO office in Washington, D.C., stop funding the anti-Jewish UNRWA and even the non-sovereign Palestine Authority, and craft the “Abraham Accords.”

Yet, by the rules of the Game of Holocaust, not only did this rabid Leftist invoking Anne Frank get CNN air time but even got featured in major left newspapers like the anti-Semitic New York Times, spouting garbage like this: “The president-elect has shown the grossest possible insensitivity to survivors of the Holocaust before he even takes office.” Pure unadulterated garbage. The Game of Holocaust.

When Laura Ingraham spoke at the 2016 Republican convention, she waved to the cheering crowd. Someone photographed her wave at a split-second when her greeting arm was outstretched. Soon, all over the increasingly depraved mass-communications vehicles we call “Facebook” and “Twitter,” Holocaust Game contestants were sharing the photo with their deranged comments that she was offering a “Sieg Heil” Nazi salute. Don’t believe me? Just Google “laura ingraham sieg heil” now, nearly five years later, and see the images that come up. The Game of Holocaust.

Illinois Representative Mary Miller is a conservative Republican. Speaking to a crowd of “Moms for America,” she stated — absolutely correctly: “Each generation has the responsibility to teach and train the next generation. You know, if we win a few elections, we’re still gonna be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”

Mary Miller absolutely was and is right. But she did not know the rules of the Game of Holocaust. When you play Holocaust, conservatives and Republicans have to remember that Democrats, other leftists, and their Mainstream Media get to call you a Nazi and a Hitler sympathizer and then to demand you be removed, fired — canceled from society. In the Game of Holocaust, Leftist Jews get to select a playing piece for the board — thimble, top hat, cannon, shank bone — and spin the wheel first. So Illinois’s leftist Democrat governor, Jay Pritzker, got to be first to demand Miller’s resignation.

Next to jump in was the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL formerly was a Jewish defense organization, created in 1913 amid the Leo Frank Jew-hatred frenzy in Georgia that culminated in his 1915 lynching. However, now it has evolved into an Obama association, led by a former Obama White House executive, with a decidedly leftist agenda. So out came the leftists, Jewish and non-Jewish Democrats alike, gathering on line like passengers awaiting boarding on Noah’s ark, calling for Mary Miller to resign.

It took only, oh, one thousand and five hundred Orthodox Jewish rabbis to stand alongside Rep. Miller and to urge her to stand her ground. But while the leftist Mainstream Media reported heavily on the leftist Democrat attacks against Rep. Miller, they blacked-out all coverage of the 1,500 Orthodox rabbis who supported her and the point she was making, The Game of Holocaust.

Notice, by the way, that in the Game of Holocaust, the Left — progressives, Democrats, their Mainstream Media — enthusiastically support the actual Jew-hatersin Congress, the Rashida Tlaibs and Ilhan Omars and their cohort including such Jewish apostates as Bernie Sanders, when those Jew-haters utter and tweet vile anti-Semitic bigotry aiming to destroy the only majority-Jewish country in the world. Thus, an Ocasio will snuggle politically with those blatant Jew-haters while she attacks compassionate professionals among Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for running “concentration camps.” The Game of Holocaust.

Most recently we watched the new board game version. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a significant annual conservative gathering hosted by the American Conservative Union and Young Americans for Freedom and led by the wonderful Matt Schlapp, met in Washington, D.C. for several days of stirring speeches by the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and a guy named Donald Trump. It was a perfect opportunity to hear the conservative populist message that so often gets drowned out by Left Mainstream Media and suppressed by Facebook and Twitter. But this year, amid pandemic, the Left decided to play the Game of Holocaust. Instead of debating ideas presented, the Democrats’ Left became obsessed with the contour of the stage: Did the CPAC runway layout somehow seem geometrically similar to the Odal Rune?

In the Game of Holocaust, it does not matter that more than 95 percent of American Jews, even among those who have studied the Holocaust academically and teach it at universities, never before heard of an Odal Rune. Indeed, what the heck is an odal rune? Is it a swastika? No. Is it those two lightning rods that Himmler’s SS, the Schutzstaffel, wore as insignia? No. The totenkopf that was on the SS caps? Nope. Well, three wrong guesses, and the other side now gets to play Holocaust — “Three Days of the Contour” version.

It turns out that the Nazis also had another insignia, the odal rune, which was used as the badge of (i) the SS Race and Settlement Main Office, (ii) the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, and (iii) the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland. Well, OK. Yet the term and insignia do not even appear on the Wikipedia page on the Schutzstaffel (as of this writing). It is that esoteric. However, the Game of Holocaust is not like a Parker Brothers “Monopoly” or “Risk” game based on commonsense rules. Rather, it is a Gotcha! game, reminiscent a bit of the old 1960’s TV game show of “Camouflage”: contestants look for the image hidden under layers of camouflage. No one even knows it is there until some leftist tweets it on social media to share with intellectuals who swallow Tide pods.

The Game of Holocaust is played in America by Democrat leftists, and the targets exclusively are Republican conservatives: Trumps, Laura Ingraham, Jeffrey Lord, Mary Miller, CPAC and Matt Schlapp. Meanwhile, the real Jew-haters — Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Raphael Warnock, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Al Sharpton, and their cohort — get free passes like the “Get Out of Jail Free” card in “Monopoly.” They cannot be touched in the Game of Holocaust. Instead, they get to offer Holocaust commentary, as when Rashida Tlaib tweeted that the Holocaust gives her a “calming feeling.”

Yes, folks, there’s no business like Shoah business. Ready for a calming afternoon with the family? Come one and all — and Let’s Play Holocaust!

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com .