Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Uri Tzvi Greenberg Confirmed By Eichmann

I found this fascinating but why, afterwards:

Bettina Stangneth’s recent Eichmann vor Jerusalem, [the book]...comes as a shock even to those of us convinced that Eichmann was highly motivated and knew exactly what he was doing...[writing in] more than 1,300 pages of writings and transcripts from Eichmann’s Argentine period.

...Eichmann [was] at the very center of a network of unrepentant ex-Nazis there who still had supporters in the upper echelons of the Bundesrepublik...This group held regular meetings [in Argentina] where they would drink and vent their bile, but also worked methodically to extend a network of sympathizers, forged documents to exculpate themselves and National Socialism, and spoke seriously of returning to Germany and staging a coup. In this circle of friends, Stangneth concludes, Eichmann remained a “fanatical Nazi.”

...Stangneth quotes the entire rant, which takes up three densely printed pages in the German edition. What comes through is Eichmann’s intense devotion to Nazi aims and defiance in the face of the enormity of German crimes against the Jews, whose lives mean nothing to him. Denying he was a mere bureaucrat, he presents himself as an engaged fighter for his Volk and Blut, his exact words.

As for the Jews, he gives them almost cosmic significance, explaining that their dominance was secured by their vast learning and the imposition of their revelation on other peoples. He finds it “depressing” to think that the Christian Church is built on Jewish revelation and says (this is not in Life) that “it is from this awareness that I fight against this enemy”—a phrase that could have been taken from Carl Schmitt’s writings on the Jew as civilizational enemy. Eichmann comes through as a classic pro-Zionist anti-Semite, “fascinated” with Judaism—he claimed, falsely, to have learned Hebrew from Benjamin Murmelstein in Vienna—and “passionately” devoted to finding them a new homeland. So long as they were driven, by any means necessary, from their current one.

And now, why for me that was fascination.

The concept that Eichmann expresses, that it was the Judaism of the Jews that provided a religious ethic which undermined the code of behavior which he, and his fellow Nazis, sought, that our religion and culture, in its ‘weakness’, as it were, corrupted what the non-Jewish philosophy of life should be, is reflected in the poems of Uri Tzvi Greenberg published in the volume of collected poems on the Holocaust, Rehovot HaNahar (Streets of the River), that appeared in 1951.

In the poem Shir HaPanim HaKadosh: Acheinu Kol Bet Yisrael (The Holy Poem of the Faces: Our Brothers All of the House of Israel), pages 187 – 194, which originally appeared in September 1946, Greenberg asks in a multi-repeated one line refrain

Eich lo yist’munu goyim…
(“How could the non-Jews but not hate us?”)

And he bases this presumption on the fact that Jews provided the example and the standard for much of what the non-Jews inherited in their own rituals, beliefs, morals and restrictive limitations.

“The shining candelabrum that we lit in the Temple on Mount Moriah
Is that which is burning in their halls and huts;
And had it been extinguished, their souls would have been darkened, as the soul
Of their ancient elder and of the soul of the beast in their forest - -
And this they well know, they truly do!
How could the non-Jews but not hate us?”

He highlights Jewish successes in the realm of morals and spiritual achievements and each theme ends with that refrain.

In another poem, on page 32, entitled “The Poem of Avraham’s Race”, he treats his theme as one in which we liberated mankind from idolatry and slavery but nevertheless, we were not congratulated:

“From the day we overcame the nature of fire and water
And we left them behind joyfully for freedom and majesty,
The fire follows right after us: to grab us amidst the straits;
And the water is behind us: to drown us.
From the day we smashed the idols of wood and stone
And we taught that there is a God who creates all creation –
The wood of the non-Jews lies upon us in its death-shadow,
And every stone is angry at us for they do not wish to be a
Foundation for our house.
And from the day that the idolaters from the generation of Avram
Until the generation of the Cross
That received from us the knowledge of the One God alone,
That cannot be grasped in physical form
We have not known any refuge from the non-Jews’ anger;
Their blood cries out so for their ancient idol…
And in their sub-consciousness, in moments of the weakness of longing,
They come to us – to the Hebrew well
For they have no prayers of their own in their mouths,
Not on a festive day or one of mourning
Not when they crown their king or when they bury him,
Not on a day celebrating heroism or one after a battle campaign,
On land or sea,
Other than our prayers.
From our king, David,
Come the lips
In the choirs
Selah and Hallelujah and Amen – “



Red Cow said...

Sorry, we got the underlying connection- but why should the nations of the world hate us for bringing them good things?
It sounds like they do want the goodness of the Torah- but at the same time some might resent it.

YMedad said...


Because they do not, in his opinion, what to be saddled with ethics and morality but, like children, don't want to be told by parents to clean up and stop playing around.

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