The Abuse of History

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3 Responses

  1. Shades of Gray says:

    Re: “The Abuse of History” and the Holocaust, R. Adlerstein wrote on Cross Currents a few years ago  (“Spiritual Heroism and the Holocaust”, 9/24/07) about a previous discussion following Shira Schmidt’s “Sounding the Shofar in Auschwitz” of the same month:

    “I have often wondered whether our own community’s playing fast and loose with historical accuracy (in Gedolim biographies, and in sanitizing history that doesn’t fit current expectation) would backfire some day. Would some of the more skeptical in our ranks come to doubt everything they saw in print, resulting in our own form of revisionism?”

    He writes that in this case, the skepticism is misplaced, and concluded that article with a   letter from  Dr. Alex Grobman. Recently, Shira Schmidt followed up her 2007 article with “Shofar in Auschwitz – Did Take Place!” this past September.

  2. lacosta says:

    if dr zuroff is on one polar extreme [seeing no haredi correctness as concerns the holocaust] , his polar opposite is dr wikler, who makes  YadVashem into his anti-haredi punching bag.  [see their rebuttal to his latest diatribe at ]  .

    we can’t have it both ways.  we can’t blame  hiloni institutions,which we ignored or later lambasted , to tell ‘our’ story.  history is written by the winners and the donors.  Artscroll gets to write the stories their way , with no rebuttals.  so does Yad Vashem.       while the latter has tried to balance their approach to include a minimum about the victims  [even SWCenter can’t give a definitive answer as to the haredi proportion of the Holocaust victims],  the haredi community has wisely elected in the last generation to tell their own story to themselves.

    Let’s be honest. the hiloni approach has always been  1] lambs to slaughter  2] glorify the Partisans who fought back  and 3] connect the dots:  Holocaust—> Zionist State.       All three are completely opposite of haredi theology.


    The haredi story must be told. but it can only be told to those who want to listen, paid by those who believe in this message


  3. Steve Brizel says:

    I purchased Rebbitzen Farbstein’s book when it was published and released by Mossad HaRav Kook. One should not discuss the issue of spiritual resistance without reading this book and appreciating the awesome life and death issues posed to rabbinical leaders. I reccomend reading a chapter as part of one’s readings on Tisha B’Av .  When I read the the Zuroff review, I realized that Zuroff did not appreciate how Rebbitzen Farbstein posed such dilemnas as staying versus fleeing by rabbinical leaders, placing children in monasteries and her debunking such stories as the BY students who committed suicide. What Zuroff and other critics seem to be unable to answer is what answer do they have if R”L all of the Charedi rabbinical leadership ( Litvishe and Chasidishe) had been eradicated by the Nazis Yimach Shamam v Zicram? Would Zuroff have advocated that Rishonim who fled in the footsteps of Inquisition and the Crusades to North Africa and elsewhere have stayed and died a heroic death ?

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