Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There Goes Another Holocaust Denial Story

Kristallnacht was the foreshadowing of the Holocaust.

It seems that the physical evidence of that pogrom is coming to light:-

Refuse Heap Is Archive for Night of Hatred

KLANDORF, Germany — Seventy years ago next month, rioters wreaked havoc on their Jewish neighbors, destroying and burning thousands of synagogues, businesses and homes across the nation...

...Curiously, though, physical evidence of the state-sponsored pogrom has always been extremely scarce. The Jewish Museum, for example, holds many letters describing the night. But the only other related object in its collection is a 38-second black-and-white film of a synagogue burning in Bielefeld, a university town in western Germany.

Last week, however, an Israeli researcher reported finding a trove of such evidence — piles of looted Jewish possessions — in this town 30 miles north of Berlin...The day after Kristallnacht, trains loaded with personal and religious items arrived in the woods outside Klandorf. Political prisoners from a nearby camp unloaded the material and threw it all in a dump here.

...“We have confirmed that the relics are from that period,” said Tanja Ronen-Löhnberg, a historian at the Ghetto Fighters’ House, a well-known Holocaust museum and research center in Israel.

...The Ghetto Fighters’ House hopes to set up a living history center that would bring young Germans and Israelis together to sift through the contents of the dump. Such a project could help the area, one of the many economically depressed parts of the former East Germany.

There promises to be plenty of chaff to sort out from the valuable kernels of history remaining in the dump. According to old maps, the area was used as a dump from the early 20th century until 1945. Distinct sections hold Berlin refuse from different eras. But many of the castoffs are mixed together, and even with forensic studies it can be difficult to pinpoint exact dates.

And the conclusion for historians?

“In the end it doesn’t matter terribly if these articles were taken on Nov. 9 or the following March or the previous August,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “The fact is that it is a relic and testament to these two terrible days and the actions of criminals.”

Mr. Svoray said he was surprised that the dump’s contents were not made public earlier.

“As far as detective work, with 10 being the most difficult and zero being nothing, this was a 2,” he said. “What always amazes me in Germany and Austria is that people assume these stories are over and done with.”

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