Thursday, November 27, 2014
How do these meeting minutes shtim with conventional Satmar wisdom re: what the Zionist leadership did and didn't do during WWII?
Yitzchak Gruenbaum, 1948
Minutes of Meeting May 25, 1944
I linked to the meeting minutes a few days ago but this deserves its own post
I have a hard time remembering all the rhetoric, but every Satmar kid knows the words "רק בדם תהיה לנו הארץ" which was said to have been said by Nathan Schwalbe, a low-level shnook in the Jewish Agency. The source was HaRav Michoel Ber Weissmandl in מן המצר. There is no other source. Which means that the Zionist leadership, David Ben-Gurion and friends, didn't care about the millions dying in Europe, since it would help them gain sympathy from the nations of the world and ultimately their coveted Jewish State. (Then there's the infamous Yitzchak Gruenbaum quote about a thousand Jews in Europe not being worth one cow in Palestine.) So therefore we need to oppose the מדינה. The problem is, that despite the fact that the Jewish Agency kept thousands and thousands of pages of minutes and other documents there is no mention of any such statement. But does the fact that there is no source for that statement keep thousands of otherwise semi-intelligent people from parroting it as the ultimate conspiracy? No. And if Schwalbe did say it, who is he anyway? From the minutes we see here it would seem that they acted pretty soon after the Nazis marched in to Hungary. We won't discuss whether or not the plan of giving trucks to Eichmann in exchange for Jews was a real and feasible one
Here's my predicament:
I'm not here to defend DBG or his buddies. Maybe if it was Begin I'd defend him. (just kidding) But what happens is that the other side, the zealots, start to believe the rhetoric, no matter the lack of sources or evidence. Not only do they believe it, but if YOU don't believe it you're a revisionist. You're somehow a traitor to the Jewish People. Read the Satmar Yiddish forums and you'll see the "כידוע האבען די ציונים געשטערט אז מ'זאל ראטעווען מיליאנען אידען און זענעם ערגער ווי כאמאס" discussions in abundance. Most of it based on R' Michoel Ber. It's not a question of if anymore. It's ידוע already. That would not be such a problem in and of itself, were it not for the fact that somehow wanting a strong Israel today is somehow dependent on what DBG did or didn't do some 70 years ago... or what Teddy Herzl had in mind over 100 years ago. Or the religious persuasion of TH's children. Or what Stephen Wise or Abba Hillel Silver did or didn't do. It almost sounds like those remind us every year what an awful country America is because of what Columbus did to the natives. It would be א האלבע צרה if al the quotes they attribute to them are true! But if they're the figment of somebody's imagination, am I required to believe it and act upon it? Am I missing something?
Nathan Schwalbe Source: USHMM