How dare Israel!

Sabine Müller of the Hessian public broadcasting system is deeply disappointed about how Israel recently commemorated the Holocaust.

In a commentary for German national public broadcasting, Sabine Müller wrote: „It certainly wasn’t Federal President Steinmeier’s fault when the commemoration day in Yad Vashem was overshadowed by the selfish performances of Israel and Russia. It was a missed opportunity in the fight against antisemitism.“

Sabine Müller is „sad“ that it didn’t „work out“ in Jerusalem to present a „worthy commemoration“, and is certain that any „failure“ had nothing to do with the Germans. When Germany does things, it’s done efficiently: „Yes, many things were worthy and convincing, as apparent in German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s contribution.”

Yes, the Germans know how to get things right. The German spirit shall heal the world. Regarding Germany’s contribution, Sabine Müller says: „That was right and just.“

Israel, however, behaved disgracefully, according to Ms. Müller: „It was disgraceful how Israel and Russia hijacked this solemn day of remembrance. They made a private party of it, so to speak.“

At least, Benjamin Netanyahu “pulled through at the commemoration ceremony in Yad Vashem without tripping“. But in the end, for Ms. Müller, this day of remembrance was „unfortunately a missed opportunity”.

Who is this Frau Müller who writes so brazenly about the commemoration ceremony? Is she perhaps related to a Mr. Müller, who invented a recipe for a French potato soufflé?

Who knows? Perhaps someone should have shown Frau Müller the recipe for decent behavior.

As a German journalist Frau Müller is highly disrespectful when she accuses a Jewish government in a Jewish state of not commemorating the victims of the Holocaust in a appropriately dignified manner, and making a „private party“ of it all. Her comment sounds something like this:

„How dare Israel! We Germans didn’t murder more than six million Jews, so that today a country with more than six million living Jews can be so audacious. We Germans are entitled to a little more respect than that. We take things seriously! We took the Holocaust seriously and today we take its remembrance seriously. We won’t let some random Jews or Russians ruin it all. Germany, didn’t kill six million Jews for such a shoddy show.“

Ja, Frau Müller, that is roughly how your comment comes over. You seem to be a little upset that living Jews are not as cooperative as dead Jews.

There are two different kinds of memory. There are those who remember because they don’t want to forget and there are others who remember because they can’t forget. Those who can’t forget because it’s part of their own painful history don’t remember for some beneficial reasons. They remember because they can’t otherwise, because remembering is a cry of pain, anger and incomprehension. But those who don’t want to forget hope to profit in some way and see memory as a chance to learn something.

But what is there to learn from the Holocaust? That people are capable of cruel monstrosities? That people shouldn’t be gassed by the millions? That Jews are also human beings? That people should be kind to each other? That one may defend oneself when persecuted? That one declares war on people who gas other people? That one should disarm insane people? That one doesn’t congratulate anti-Jewish regimes on behalf of the German people on their 40th anniversary, as Federal President Steinmeier did with the Iranian regime? That should be common knowledge even without the Holocaust.

The Holocaust is not a lesson for those who are morally stuck. Remembering the Holocaust is not a chance for a better world. The Holocaust is an unforgettable and unforgivable crime from which there is nothing to learn.

But, people who don’t want to forget hope for some lesson or benefit from the crime, that the Holocaust must have been good for something. These people are proud when they succeed in learning a lesson from crime. They are the self-proclaimed masters of coming to terms with the past.

An interpreter of Steinmeier’s speech said on Facebook: „I translated his words with great pride and deep humility.“ Isn’t it touching that some Germans are again proud of the Holocaust, if only of how it’s being dealt with?

Sometimes it’s better just to remain silent. But when people who don’t want to forget meet those who can’t forget, then those who don’t want to forget but can’t keep quiet should at least take care not to explain to those who can’t forget how it „works“ with dignified remembrance.

***
(Translation: William Wires)

Über tapferimnirgendwo

Als Theatermensch spiele, schreibe und inszeniere ich für diverse freie Theater. Im Jahr 2007 erfand ich die mittlerweile europaweit erfolgreiche Bühnenshow „Kunst gegen Bares“. Als Autor verfasse ich Theaterstücke („Gehirne am Strand“), sowie Glossen und Artikel. Mit meinen Vorträgen über Heinrich Heine, Hedwig Dohm und dem von mir entwickelten Begriff des „Nathankomplex“ bin ich alljährlich unterwegs. Und Stand Up Comedian bin ich auch. Mein Lebensmotto habe ich von Kermit, dem Frosch: „Nimm, was Du hast und flieg damit!
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