Open Letter to:-
Chancellor Angela Merkel,
Willy Brandt Strasser, No. 1,
Wednesday, 3rd OCTOBER, 2007.
It was once well said: “It is only from reality that we can proceed to realization.” For this reason I believe the airlines with the best safety records are ones which are most meticulous in examination and correction of seemingly small problems such as fuselage fractures which may or may not indicate metal fatigue in their airliners, but at the same time refrain from rushing to false conclusions. Naturally, this principle does not only apply to airlines!
In previous correspondence to Yourself and Richter Dr. Ulrich Meinerzhagen I stressed the importance of the immortal works of the English philosopher Francis Bacon, especially those principles embedded in his greatest work which he titled The Great Instauration, the second part of which the good Francis titled Novum Oganum - for the Baconian inductive method of reasoning has proved essential for the advancement of engineering and science. But alas, these same principles have been sorely neglected in the fields of law - with its theological foundations, politics, and economics, all of which would greatly benefit from their application.
You have “Laws” in Europe preventing historians and scientists from thoroughly and freely investigating the history of the twentieth century without facing the very strong possibility of a long prison sentence. One such “crime” specified under these laws has been labelled Denying The Holocaust, and I am informed there are numerous intelligent, well-meaning, and truth-seeking people languishing in your prisons after having been convicted of this “crime.”
In previous correspondence to you which I have mentioned above, I have attempted to explore the roots of the basic philosophy from which these “Laws” have generated, and have traced them to an ancient Judaic Law system which seeks to control the very thoughts of the individual. This “Law” is the complete opposite of law structured upon genuine basic Christian philosophy which stresses the concept of freedom (Example:- “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”). This ancient Judaic legal system is not conducive to realistic progress of the many and various sciences and practices that are so essential for the development of a healthy, happy, and creative civilization, for it’s cruel, invasive, and destructive nature has been clearly demonstrated in the persecution of Galileo Galilei; the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno at Rome on 17th February, 1600; and the thousands burnt at the stake by Tomas de Torquemada during the Spanish Inquisition. Torquemada, who being a Marrano, would have been well schooled in this ancient Judaic Law, which has clearly demonstrated to posterity this “Law’s” cruel, negative, and destructive nature.
“The Holocaust” requires definition:
In pursuit of a clear understanding of the entity titled The Holocaust I have sought assistance from the Honourable John D. Anderson MHR., the Member of Parliament who serves the Federal Electorate within which I reside, and who for some time held the post of Deputy Prime Minister for Australia, also from Richter Dr. Ulrich Meinerzhagen, the Judge who presided over the most important Holocaust Heresy Trial of the twenty-first century; the “trial” of Herr Ernst Zundel, concluded at Mannheim in Germany this year. The Hon. John D. Anderson appears unable to assist in my request, and Richter Dr. Ulrich Meinerzhagen’s stipulation, by default, is that The Holocaust is an enigma! I enclose for your examination copies of my correspondence to both Mr. John Anderson, and Dr. Ulrich Meinerzhagen.
I believe you would be aware from my correspondence on the subject of Holocaust Heresy that I do not believe creating legislation to criminalize Holocaust Heresy to be good law, for such Law restricts freedom to think and speak, which are God’s gifts to all sound and healthy people, and necessary requirements in building a free, responsible, and creative society, such a society as I understand you desire to generate in Germany.
However, whilst you use the Holocaust Heresy Law for persecution of historians, chemists engineers and others, and your agents search the world for Holocaust Heretics to bring to Europe for prosecution, I believe it is not right that individuals, such as your own Judges in Germany, are allowed to flout this very same “Law,” and avoid prosecution. If they break this Holocaust Heresy Law, they too should be prosecuted, and if and when found guilty punished as are those now in jail in Germany for the very same “crime“!
I enclose copies of the correspondence mentioned above, and several items that may assist you in prosecuting Dr. Ulrich Meinerzhagen for the crime of “Denying the Holocaust“. The Following is the list of items enclosed with this letter:
1. A letter to the Hon. John D. Anderson MHR, Member for Gwydir requesting definition of The Holocaust, dated 5th February, 2007.
2. An open letter to Dr. Ulrich Meinerzhagen requesting clarification of The Holocaust, dated 15th February, 2007.
3. A letter to Dr. G. Gruber, Consul General, German Consulate in Australia, suggesting prosecution of Dr. Ulrich Meinerzhagen for Holocaust Denial, dated 13th March 2007.
4. A letter to His Excellency Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC, (Retd.), Governor-General for Australia, dated 14th March, 2007, supplying copy of letter to the Consul General.
5. A copy of zgram from www.zundelsite.org containing information of Dr. Meinerzhagen’s “Denial of The Holocaust” as found on National Journal, 15th February, 2007.
I wish you well in your pursuit of a free society for the German people.
John David Sterling Barton,
11 Barwon Street,
Collarenebri, N.S.W. 2833
Telephone: (02) 6756 2188
Rudd vows to charge Iran leader
Dennis Shanahan, Political editor | October 03, 2007
A LABOR government would attempt to bring Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, before the International Court of Justice to face charges of "inciting genocide" in an effort to force the rogue Middle East leader to justify his attacks on Israel.
In a dramatic lift in diplomatic pressure on a bellicose and defiant Iran, Kevin Rudd has committed a Labor government to take "legal proceedings against President Ahmadinejad on a charge of incitement to genocide".
The Leader of the Opposition said the charge of incitement to genocide "could occur through the International Court of Justice on reference by the UN Security Council" because of Mr Ahmadinejad's public statements.
"They refer to statements about wiping Israel off the map, questioning whether Zionists are human beings and the recent abhorrent conference that he convened on the veracity of the Holocaust," Mr Rudd said.
"It is strongly arguable that this conduct amounts to incitement to genocide, criminalised under the 1948 genocide convention."
But Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said last night Mr Rudd was knowingly misleading the Australian public and the Jewish community with a "ghastly stunt" that he knew could not be carried out and would only undermine Australia's diplomatic standing.
Labor has also been previously advised by international prosecutors of difficulties with such a proposal.
The ALP has for months been considering the steps against the Iranian President and similar moves against the leadership of Zimbabwe and Burma.
Labor foreign affairs spokesman Rob McClelland was recently advised by the International Criminal Court's special prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampi, of the difficulty of taking such action.
Mr Moreno-Ocampi emphasised to Mr McClelland that the ICC wanted to ensure it undertook cases where warrants could be executed and action taken.
Labor's diplomatic offensive came as Mr Rudd ruled out support for a US military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Asked about US reports that Australia had been briefed on Pentagon plans, the Labor leader said: "The only viable strategy that we can see is diplomacy."
Last night, Mr Downer condemned the plans to charge Mr Ahmadinejad with inciting genocide, telling The Australian that countries only could be taken to the ICJ. Individuals such as Mr Ahmadinejad can only be taken to the International Criminal Court.
"To take an individual to the ICC the relevant country has to be a party to the statute of the ICC, but Iran, Zimbabwe and Burma are not. You can only take them to the ICC if the country is not a party and if all five members of the UN Security Council agree," Mr Downer said.
"The reality is there is just no chance of the UN Security Council agreeing to send to the ICC the leadership of Burma, Zimbabwe or President Ahmadinejad.
"Mr Rudd knows this, he can't (take legal action), but he says he will for a political purpose. He just comes up with stunts and the problem is that Australia's voice will be seen as a voice of stunts."
Mr Rudd said an Australian-sponsored charge would undermine the President's international legitimacy and require him to "justify his inflammatory and destabilising posturing and rhetoric".
The Iranian embassy in Canberra was aware of Mr Rudd's statements but did not comment last night.
Mr Rudd said Mr Ahmadinejad's comments about wiping Israel off the map and his "abhorrent" conference questioning the veracity of the Holocaust were grounds to bring genocide incitement charges.
Mr Rudd's remarks come as he is deeply involved in campaigning in the Sydney seat of Wentworth where there is a large Jewish population and Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull is fighting for his political life against a Jewish Labor candidate, George Newhouse.
Mr Rudd and Melbourne Ports Labor MP Michael Danby, the only Jewish MP, have been working hard to repair relations between Jewish communities and the ALP with policies aimed at helping low-fee private schools.
In a series of written replies to the latest edition of the Australia/Israel Review, Mr Rudd said Iran's "repeated violations of international law and monitoring requirements for its nuclear program are intensely concerning".
He said Iran represented a threat not just to Israel but also to the broader Middle East and the rest of the world as well, and he supported further sanctions.
John Howard, in the same AIR edition, said the Australian Government was "seriously concerned" about the support Iran was giving insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its breach of nuclear regulations and Security Council resolutions.
The Prime Minister said Australia supported the sanctions in place against Iran and would implement any further sanctions imposed by the UN.
Mr Ahmadinejad was at the centre of a furore in New York last week when Columbia University president Lee Bollinger slammed his guest speaker in an opening address that had the Iranian President seething.
"Mr President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," Mr Bollinger said.
He described Mr Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust as "simply ridiculous", saying "the truth is that the Holocaust is the most documented event in human history".
Mr Ahmadinejad has denied making some of the claims attributed to him but sponsored a conference that challenged whether the Holocaust, which killed six million people, mostly Jews, took place.
Last night, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said Mr Ahmadinejad had been allowed to threaten Israel and the free world for "toolong".
"The benefit of Mr Rudd's initiative is that it would challenge Ahmadinejad's legitimacy and highlight the dangers he represents, both directly and through his proxies - Hamas and Hezbollah," he said.
"The most critical issue, however, is Iran's drive towards nuclear enrichment. That is where effective pressure is most urgently needed. A nuclear Iran threatens the entire free world."
Conference probes Holocaust in Ukraine
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 3, 2007
Who is to blame for the killing of 1.5 million Jews in Nazi-occupied Ukraine? How do you define a wartime collaborator? And what can be done now to dispel age-old anti-Semitism in Ukraine, honor Jewish dead and move on?
For the first time, scholars from around the world shared documents and knowledge about the Holocaust in Ukraine at a conference this week in Paris dedicated to this poorly understood passage in Adolf Hitler's torrent of continent-wide terror.
The talks were not easy, as resentment, frustration and emotion bubbled repeatedly to the surface among the researchers from Israel, Ukraine, Germany, the United States and elsewhere.
While no major surprises emerged, pieces of Ukraine's Holocaust story came together as never before: massacres of Jews in western Ukraine even before the occupying Nazis arrived, botched Soviet orders to evacuate Jews from the encroaching Germans, mass grave sites only now being discovered - even as long-known Jewish grave sites are being abandoned, razed, used as open air markets.
"We cannot underestimate this. It is historic, it is history that... may be changed based on new information," said Mikhail Tyaglyy of the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies.
History books, too, many need to be changed - or written - to explain how an estimated 1.4 million of Ukraine's 2.4 million Jews disappeared in just three years, 1941-1944. After repeated waves of emigration, only about 100,000 remain today, according to official figures.
While the Holocaust has long been well-documented in western and central Europe, few have studied what happened when Nazi tentacles spread into what is now Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and western Russia.
Soviet authorities discouraged such scholarship, content to keep history books focused on the costly Red Army victory over Hitler's forces. State-condoned suspicion of Jews, meanwhile, continued to proliferate as it had since the pogroms of pre-revolutionary times.
Tyaglyy long worked in near-isolation in his native Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, while colleagues worked in the capital Kiev or in Kharkiv in the east. Ukraine's central government has paid their studies little heed.
On Monday, they earned welcome recognition as they joined the dais at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne for two days of often electric, sometimes heartrending talks. Related discussions were continuing at other venues in Paris throughout the week.
"This is two totally different universes coming together," that of troubled, long closed-off Ukraine and of well-equipped Western research organizations, said Father Patrick Desbois, a French Roman Catholic priest whose recent work gathering testimonies from Ukrainian Holocaust witnesses helped inspire the idea for the conference.
These testimonies, including those of destitute villagers who had rarely if ever spoken about what they saw and did during the war, formed the most powerful evidence presented. Some are on display at Paris's Holocaust Memorial.
They speak of methodical hailstorms of bullets; of fading cries rising up from pits of the dead and dying; and then silence, generations of silence only now being broken in a burst of shameful memories and questions with no easy answers.
The question of collaboration haunted this week's talks. Were the Ukrainian teenagers ordered to carry corpses and dig pits collaborators or unfortunate witnesses to the Holocaust? No consensus was reached.
Omer Bartov, of Brown University, said such testimonies are only one step in understanding the Holocaust in Ukraine and confronting today's disregard for Jewish heritage.
He showed photos of Jewish schools, synagogues and cemeteries crumbling into disrepair across western Ukraine.
"I urge more money spent on preserving what there is," he said. "That would be a good start for a better relationship."
He pointed to Poland as an example of a country that is coming to terms with its role in the Holocaust and profiting from renovating Jewish neighborhoods and reviving Jewish culture in cities such as Krakow.
Paul Shapiro, director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, urged Ukraine and the conference participants to focus next "not just on commemorating Jewish death but also on celebrating Jewish life" in today's Ukraine.
Not everyone agreed. One participant asked why Jewish scholars should even bother studying Ukraine, given its history of hostility toward Jews.
Ukrainian participants, meanwhile, noted that they were merely "invited to join" the conference, not asked to help organize or play a larger role - even though the talks were about their country.
Tyaglyy said the history of the Holocaust "is tied to the history of Ukraine, the controversial, amorphous history of this country that is still defining itself. That is why today's leaders are not touching this question. It is too difficult."
Citing Holocaust, Shas ministers to boycott German-made cars
By Haaretz Service, Last update - 13:12 10/09/2007
Shas Minister Itzhak Cohen said Monday that his party's ministers would be boycotting new German-made cars offered to members of the cabinet.
The government recently announced that its ministers would part with their Swedish Volvos after German car makers Skoda and Audi won the tender to provide the officials with new cars.
In response, Cohen is calling on all government ministers to refuse to drive German cars out of respect for the Holocaust and in light of what he said was a new wave of people who deny the Holocaust took place.
After World War II ended in 1945 and the State of Israel was founded in 1948, it was common for Israelis to boycott German goods. However, as time as passed since the Holocaust and ties between the two countries developed, the phenomenon has faded.
Cohen repeatedly insisted during an Israel Radio interview that the move is "very emotional and very symbolic," and not a denunciation of all German-made products. He emphasized that Shas had no interest in the private matters of ministers, but rather sought to make a public statement with the boycott.
"On private matters, we don't get involved. Everyone in their home can do what they want."
"Especially today, as Holocaust deniers are multiplying, we're the ones who need to commemorate the Holocaust. And if, by this act, we bring about public discourse on the issue, then we reached our goal," he continued.
In the interview with Israel Radio, Cohen recalled public figures who adopted the policy against German goods, including "important men like Rabbi [Yisrael] Lau who never spent a night on German soil, or [former MK] Shevah Weiss didn't receive German representatives."
Article Last Updated:09/18/2007 06:16:37 PM MDT
In just the last few weeks an ominous chain of events has taken place:
* Two Congressmen (one recently retired) died on the same day of suspicious causes
* A bizarre story of a B52 carrying nukes to the “wrong” airbase was leaked
* The neocons have kept up their pro-war propaganda against Iran
* 4.5 billion in options were placed betting on a large stock market drop by Sep. 21st
* The British news media reports that Bush is setting up a war against Iran
Two Congressmen were reported dead on September 5th. Congressman Paul Gillmor was found dead due to “blunt head and neck trauma.” His death was blamed on a fall down some stairs. No one has seriously discussed the possibility of him being pushed down the stairs or bludgeoned first and then thrown down a stairway. Gillmor was the ranking Republican on the Financial Institutions Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee. Perhaps he noticed the 4.5 billion in options and connected that with the looming neocon war on Iran.
The other death was recently retired Congressperson Jennifer Dunn, who had been vice-chairperson of the House committee on Homeland Security. Jennifer Dunn died of a pulmonary embolism. Curiously, the CIA developed an untraceable pill that can kill a person with a pulmonary embolism. Perhaps Congressman Gillmor heard of plans of a nuclear war on Iran and called up Jennifer Dunn in an effort to go public and stop this madness. The Bush regime routinely wiretaps people without warrants and could easily have been spying on Gillmor and Dunn, and these two Congressmen may have been liquidated to keep them silent.
The same day the deaths of these Congressmen were announced, a curious story about a B52 supposedly flying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to the “wrong base” was announced. It has since been learned that the airbase where these nukes were delivered has been used as a base for bombing runs to the Mid East. Perhaps some individual in the Air Force blew the whistle on Bush’s secret plans for a nuclear war on Iran.
Normally our Congress just rolls over when a warmonger president wants to stomp all over a defenseless nation. Killing thousands of people in some far off land is no big deal to most of our politicians. It’s easier for them to go along with these wars for the oil industry or the Israeli Lobby, than to fight the effort to go to war and risk ending their political career. They can always vote for a war and later claim that they were “fooled” even though they knew all along the war was unjust. Only something highly unusual and potentially disastrous such as a planned nuclear war of aggression, would cause Congressmen to take bold action to expose such efforts.
The London Sunday Telegraph has just announced that “Senior American intelligence and defence officials believe that President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place America on the path to war with Iran…Pentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran… Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran. Now it has emerged that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, is prepared to settle her differences with Vice-President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.”
Over the last several months, the Bush regime has accused Iran of supplying Iraqi rebels with weapons and training. The first attempt to accuse Iran of supplying the Iraqi rebels was clumsy and inept. Pictures of mortar shells were supplied to the public, but there were some problems. The mortar shells weren’t marked in Farsi and the year of manufacture was 2006, which is in the Western-Christian calendar, which the Iranians don’t use. Unfortunately, most Americans have only heard the lies and not the exposure of the lies.
Being exposed as liars, won’t stop the neocons from fabricating even more lies. Bush and the neocons are now claiming that the Iranians are supplying Iraqi rebels and training them and that certain Iranian Revolutionary Guards Units are joining the rebels. The last lie is especially significant since it would give Bush an excuse to go to war against Iran supposedly in self-defense.
The truth is that the Iranians know Bush and the neocons are looking for any excuse to go to war with them. The Iranians are meticulously avoiding any connection with the Iraqi rebels. The Iranians do supply the Arabs in Lebanon (Hezbollah) with weapons to defend themselves against Israeli aggression. These weapons include highly effective anti-tank missiles that destroyed dozens of Israeli tanks last year. The Iranians also mass produce anti-aircraft missiles. If the Iranians really were making a serious effort to supply the Iraqi rebels, we would have burnt out Abrams tanks all over Iraq and we would be losing helicopters on a daily basis.
There are several possibilities in our near term future –none of them good. The neocons may stage a terror attack inside the US and blame it on the Iranians. The neocons may fabricate a border incident with Iran, or the neocons may just go ahead and start bombing Iran (with or without nuclear weapons) using their propaganda from the last several months as justification.
The bottom line is that every day Bush and Cheney occupy the White House is another opportunity for war or dictatorship. We need to be impeaching these two simply to put them on the defensive so they can’t cause more trouble. The election of 2006 gave the Democrats a mandate to end the Iraq War and to investigate the lies that led us into that war. They have failed to do both. The Bush regime is not only a threat to world peace; it is a threat to political freedom in America.
Israel, Iran Cooperate in Crash Probe. By MICK ELMORE
PHUKET, Thailand (AP) — Officials from Israel and Iran put aside political animosity Tuesday to work together in using Israeli forensics expertise to identify their dead from the crash of a jetliner on this Thai resort island.
A Thai aviation official, meanwhile, revealed that half of the Phuket airport's wind-shear warning devices were not working at the time of Sunday's crash. He said the outage could have contributed to the disaster.
Six Israelis and 18 Iranians were among the 89 people killed when the One-Two-Go Airlines jet crashed and burned while trying to land in heavy rain and wind carrying 130 passengers and crew.
Relations are minimal and tense between the Jewish state and the Islamic Republic — whose president once denied the Holocaust — but diplomats from both nations shrugged off any suggestion the antagonism would hinder efforts to help grieving families.
"It's human nature to help in solving this problem as soon as possible," Safdar Shafiee from the Iranian Embassy in Bangkok said after shaking hands with Yaki Oved, head representative of Israeli police in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
"In situations like this you forget the division," Oved said. "The main thing is to help. You don't think about the politics."
Shafiee said 15 of the dead Iranians had been identified, but fingerprints or DNA samples to be sent from relatives in Iran would be needed to try to identify the remaining three.
"He told our delegation how they were worried about their missing. I told him we can help him," Oved said, referring to an Israeli forensics team that came to Thailand.
The team, from an emergency rescue service, has long experience in dealing with victims of traumatic injuries from the decades of Arab-Israeli conflict. It will try to match bodies with dental records, fingerprints, DNA and distinguishing features described by relatives.
"We always are willing to help people in need, and it includes, I guess, the Iranians also," said Lior Weintraub, spokesman for the Israeli government delegation in Phuket.
Shafiee, the Iranian official, said it was natural for people to work together after a humanitarian disaster. "I think there is no difference between the humans. All of them are humans and every nation can give any help that they can," he said.
Investigators have said wind shear — a sudden change in either wind speed or direction in an aircraft's flight path that can destabilize a plane — was among the possible causes of the crash.
Vuttichai Singhamanee, director of the flight standards bureau of Transport Ministry's Aviation Authority Department, said Tuesday that half of the airport's solar-powered wind-shear sensors weren't operating because they ran out of stored power during the overcast weather.
"Three out of six low-level wind shear alert systems were not working at the time," he said.
Vuttichai said that could have made it difficult for the Indonesian pilot, Arief Mulyadi, to judge whether it was safe to land. Officials earlier had said only that the control tower warned the pilot of wind shear.
Kajit Habnanonda, president of Orient-Thai Airlines, which owns One-Two-Go, already pointed to wind shear as a possible factor and on Tuesday he defended the pilot — who died in the crash — as "one of our best."
"He was very experienced, patient and very decisive," Kajit told The Bangkok Post.
David Bartal | Wed. Sep 19, 2007
Anne Sofie von Otter, one of the world’s greatest mezzo-sopranos, has just unveiled an unexpected, and very personal, project: a record of music by Jewish composers confined in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
The Swedish opera singer first conceived of the unusual project when she sang at a forum on the Holocaust in Stockholm in the year 2000. For the event, The Terezin Chamber Music Foundation, which was established in Israel, had provided her with a selection of lullabies, art songs and songs in the Jewish folk tradition, all created by camp inmates. But as it turns out, for decades the mezzo-soprano has had a deep commitment to remembering the Holocaust — and a personal von Otter, warned the Swedish government about the ongoing Nazi genocide during the war, but his warning fell on deaf ears.
According to historians, Baron von Otter, secretary to the Swedish Legation in Berlin, had learned horrific details about the mass killing of Jews when he shared a compartment on a train in August 1942 with SS officer Kurt Gerstein. As head of the Technical Disinfection Department of the Waffen SS, Gerstein was charged with improving the efficiency of the gas chambers by using the toxic agent Zyklon-B.The Nazi officer unburdened his soul to von Otter during the night-long train ride to Berlin from Warsaw.
“This was news to my father. He didn’t know about the death camps, but at the (Swedish) Foreign Ministry they did, apparently,” Anne Sofie von Otter told Sveriges Radio, the national public radio channel. “Nothing came of it.”
“I know that my father was troubled for the rest of his life, because no action was taken,” she said. “One can do this project for its own sake, but I am also doing it a little bit in memory of my papa.”
The Theresienstadt concentration camp — or Terezin, in its Czech name — was used as a sort of propaganda showcase for the Nazi regime. Much of the Jewish cultural and intellectual elite of Central Europe was forced to live in the camp, located about 60 kilometers north of Prague. The first deportees to arrive were the Czechs, followed later by many German, Austrian and Dutch Jews. Although their cultural activities were first conducted underground, the artists’ activities were made legitimate at the start of 1944. Plays, operas, operettas and cabarets were performed for other camp inmates and visitors, including inspectors from the International Red Cross. Behind the false facade, the starving inmates were struggling to survive. Most of the Theresienstadt composers were eventually deported to Auschwitz and murdered.
The songs on the von Otter recording express a number of emotions, ranging from the melancholy and reflective to the romantic. The first track, by Ilse Weber, “Ich Wander Durch Theresienstadt” (“I Wander Through Theresienstadt”), sounds surprisingly upbeat, but the lyrics are heartbreaking:
“I stand there on the bridge/and look down in the valley: I’d so much like to go farther, I’d so much like to go home.” The composer reportedly sang another of her songs, “Wiegala” (“Lullaby”), together with children she accompanied to the gas chamber at Auschwitz.
Deemed by their Nazi captors to be “subhumans,” the composers of Theresienstadt defended their humanity and adherence to a European cultural tradition. Several of their songs evoke a sense of longing and homesickness. One can also hear echoes of the desire to escape from the horrors of the present in “Wir Reiten auf Hölzernen Pferden” (“We’re Riding on Wooden Horses”), with music by Martin Roman. The lyrics are a reference to happy childhood memories of riding on carousels. Among the Theresienstadt artists featured on von Otter’s record, which was released by Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music, are Karel Svenk, Adolf Strauss, Hans Krása, Carlo Sigmund Taube, Viktor Ullmann, Pavel Haas and Erwin Schulhoff.
In the notes accompanying the review copy of the new album, a statement by composer and conductor Ullmann (murdered 1944 in Auschwitz) sums up the spirit of the doomed musicians: “We did not simply sit down by the rivers of Babylon and weep but evinced a desire to produce art that was entirely commensurate with our will to live.”
David Bartal is an American journalist based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Wed. Sep 19, 2007
Iran says US too tied up to fight
Washington's military commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan would hamstring an attempt to wage war on Iran, the Iranian foreign minister has said. "Our analysis is clear: [the] US is not in a position to impose another war in our region, against their taxpayers," Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters. He warned Washington against making such a "mad decision". Iran rejects accusations that it is seeking to build atomic weapons under the cover of a nuclear power programme. Despite its conviction that the US would find launching another military assault extremely taxing, Iran was making preparations for such an attack, Mr Mottaki said on the fringes of a UN General Assembly session in New York. He said information had been received which gave specific details of planned strikes. The US says it is pursuing a diplomatic resolution but has refused to rule out a strike against Iran. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7026754.stm Published: 2007/10/03 18:34:01 GMT © BBC MMVII.
'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century
by Arash Norouzi, May 26, 2007
Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications. According to legend, Iran's president has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, "Israel must be wiped off the map." Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made.
On Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at the Ministry of Interior conference hall in Tehran, newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, reportedly attended by thousands, titled "The World Without Zionism." Large posters surrounding him displayed this title prominently in English, obviously for the benefit of the international press. Below the poster's title was a slick graphic depicting an hour glass containing planet Earth at its top. Two small round orbs representing the United States and Israel are shown falling through the hour glass' narrow neck and crashing to the bottom.
Before we get to the infamous remark, it's important to note that the "quote" in question was itself a quote – they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomenei, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.
The Actual Quote:
So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in Farsi:
"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."
That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "regime." pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).
So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, " nagsheh" is not contained anywhere in his original Farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's president threatened to "wipe Israel off the map." despite never having uttered the words "map." "wipe out" or even "Israel."
The full quote translated directly to English:
"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."
Word by word translation:
Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).
One may wonder: where did this false interpretation originate? Who is responsible for the translation that has sparked such worldwide controversy? The answer is surprising.
The inflammatory "wiped off the map" quote was first disseminated not by Iran's enemies, but by Iran itself. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference. International media including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, Time magazine and countless others picked up the IRNA quote and made headlines out of it without verifying its accuracy, and rarely referring to the source. Iran's Foreign Minister soon attempted to clarify the statement, but the quote had a life of its own. Though the IRNA wording was inaccurate and misleading, the media assumed it was true, and besides, it made great copy.
Amid heated wrangling over Iran's nuclear program, and months of continuous, unfounded accusations against Iran in an attempt to rally support for preemptive strikes against the country, the imperialists had just been handed the perfect raison d'être to invade. To the war hawks, it was a gift from the skies.
It should be noted that in other references to the conference, the IRNA's translation changed. For instance, "map" was replaced with "earth." In some articles it was "The Qods occupier regime should be eliminated from the surface of earth." or the similar "The Qods occup ying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth." The inconsistency of the IRNA's translation should be evidence enough of the unreliability of the source, particularly when transcribing their news from Farsi into the English language.
The mistranslated "wiped off the map" quote attributed to Iran's president has been spread worldwide, repeated thousands of times in international media, and prompted the denouncements of numerous world leaders. Virtually every major and minor media outlet has published or broadcast this false statement to the masses. Big news agencies such as The Associated Press and Reuters refer to the misquote, literally, on an almost daily basis.
Confusing matters further, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pontificates rather than give a direct answer when questioned about the statement,
such as in Lally Weymouth's Washington Post interview in September 2006:
"Q: Are you really serious when you say that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth?
"A: We need to look at the scene in the Middle East – 60 years of war, 60 years of displacement, 60 years of conflict, not even a day of peace. Look at the war in Lebanon, the war in Gaza – what are the reasons for these conditions? We need to address and resolve the root problem.
"Q: Your suggestion is to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth?
"A: Our suggestion is very clear:... Let the Palestinian people decide their fate in a free and fair referendum, and the result, whatever it is, should be accepted.... The people with no roots there are now ruling the land.
"Q: You've been quoted as saying that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth. Is that your belief?
"A: What I have said has made my position clear. If we look at a map of the Middle East from 70 years ago...
"Q: So, the answer is yes, you do believe that it should be wiped off the face of the Earth?
"A: Are you asking me yes or no? Is this a test? Do you respect the right to self-determination for the Palestinian nation? Yes or no? Is Palestine, as a nation, considered a nation with the right to live under humane conditions or not? Let's allow those rights to be enforced for these 5 million displaced people."
The exchange is typical of Ahmadinejad's interviews with the American media. Predictably, both Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes and CNN's Anderson Cooper asked if he wants to "wipe Israel off the map." As usual, the question is thrown back in the reporter's face with his standard "Don't the Palestinians have rights?, etc." retort (which is never directly answered either). Yet he never confirms the "map" comment to be true. This did not prevent Anderson Cooper from referring to earlier portions of his interview after a commercial break and lying, "as he said earlier, he wants Israel wiped off the map."
Even if every media outlet in the world were to retract the mistranslated quote tomorrow, the major damage has already been done, providing the groundwork for the next phase of disinformation: complete character demonization. Ahmadinejad, we are told, is the next Hitler, a grave threat to world peace who wants to bring about a new Holocaust. According to some detractors, he not only wants to destroy Israel, but after that, he will nuke America, and then Europe! An October 2006 memo titled "Words of Hate: Iran's Escalating Threats" released by the powerful Israeli lobby group AIPAC opens with the warning, "Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian leaders are issuing increasingly belligerent statements threatening to destroy the United States, Europe and Israel." These claims not only fabricate an unsubstantiated threat, but assume far more power than he actually possesses. Alarmists would be better off monitoring the statements of the ultra-conservative Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who holds the most power in Iran.
As Iran's U.N. Press Officer, M.A. Mohammadi, complained to the Washington Post in a June 2006 letter:
"It is not amazing at all, the pick-and-choose approach of highlighting the misinterpreted remarks of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in October and ignoring this month's remarks by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that 'We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state.'"
On December 13, 2006, more than a year after The World Without Zionism conference, two leading Israeli newspapers, the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, published reports of a renewed threat from Ahmadinejad. The Jerusalem Post's headline was Ahmadinejad: Israel will be 'wiped out' , while Haaretz posted the title Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will 'soon be wiped out'.
Where did they get their information? It turns out that both papers, like most American and western media, rely heavily on write ups by news wire services such as the Associated Press and Reuters as a source for their articles. Sure enough, their sources are in fact December 12th articles by Reuter's Paul Hughes [ Iran president says Israel's days are numbered ], and the AP's Ali Akbar Dareini [Iran President: Israel will be wiped out].
The first five paragraphs of the Haaretz article, credited to "Haaretz Service and Agencies." are plagiarized almost 100% from the first five paragraphs of the Reuters piece. The only difference is that Haaretz changed "the Jewish state" to "Israel" in the second paragraph, otherwise they are identical.
The Jerusalem Post article by Herb Keinon pilfers from both the Reuters and AP stories. Like Haaretz, it uses the following Ahmadinejad quote without attribution: ["Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added]. Another passage apparently relies on an IRNA report:
"The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom," Ahmadinejad said at Tuesday's meeting with the conference participants in his offices, according to Iran's official news agency, IRNA.
... the actual IRNA quote was:
"As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated."
Compare this to the alleged IRNA quote reported by the Associated Press:
"The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom."
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