Warum die Prager Erklärung nicht antisemitisch ist

27. Februar 2012 § Ein Kommentar

Gegen Gauck wird ja – etwa in der taz – unter anderem eingewandt, dass er (mit Václav Havel) Mitunterzeichner der Prager Erklärung zum Gewissen Europas und zum Kommunismus sei und diese den Nationalsozialismus verharmlose. Der Politikwissenschaftler Barry Rubin befasst sich in der Jerusalem Post mit der Prager Erklärung:

„A relentless campaign has been waged by a tiny group of people to persuade Jews and Israelis to oppose the June 3, 2008 Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, as if it were some horrible anti-Semitic document. This is a slanderously wrong claim. …

It is in the interest of Jews and Israelis to support this declaration and the ideas that lie behind it. Here’s why.

The declaration was signed by a number of central European leaders, former dissidents against the Soviet empire, and historians, all with impeccable democratic credentials and known as people fair and friendly toward the Jewish people. …

On what basis is this declaration misrepresented? The argument is that the proposal would “equate” the crimes of the two systems and thus somehow subvert the memory of the Holocaust against Jews as a unique event.

Yet in fact what this posture does is:
• Make Jews the defenders of the Communist totalitarian system that murdered and tortured millions of people, including hundreds of thousands of Jews.

• Buries the fact that the Soviet Union systematically destroyed Jewish society including religion, community and the Yiddish language.

• Make it impossible to acknowledge fully the sufferings of Jews under Communism which, in the post-1945 period, emerged as a major world force for anti-Semitism.

• Divide Jews from those who suffered under Communism, at least the non-Russians, intensifying the friction between them.

• Ensure that young people in the West today don’t learn about the crimes of Communism and are indoctrinated to believe that only the political Right can be anti-Semitic, thus strengthening the extreme leftist power over intellectual life (often camouflaged as liberal) which is key in promoting slander and hatred toward Israel. …

THIS IS quite a price to pay for the alleged preservation of the Holocaust as a unique event at a time when for all practical purposes it is fully established as such! Here is what the declaration does say:

“There are substantial similarities between Nazism and Communism in terms of their horrific and appalling character and their crimes against humanity….

“Both the Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes each to be judged by their own terrible merits to be destructive in their policies of systematically applying extreme forms of terror, suppressing all civic and human liberties, starting aggressive wars and, as an inseparable part of their ideologies, exterminating and deporting whole nations and groups of population; and that as such they should be considered to be the main disasters which blighted the 20th century.”

This is not to say they are identical, yet the placing of millions of people into slave labor, concentration, and death camps seems to be a rather significant crime against humanity. Why should the Jewish people be recruited to oppose it?

My relatives and others in their town were deported from Poland to Soviet slave labor camps, often because they were Zionists. True, this saved those who didn’t die there from the Nazis. Relatives of mine also fought with Soviet partisan groups in Poland. We will not forget that history.

Yet if the USSR had not backed Hitler during the 1939-1941 period there would have very possibly not been a Second World War or Holocaust at all. And even in partisan units we know that Soviet officials often discriminated against and even murdered Jews. …

A symbolic step would be to make August 23, the day that the Hitler-Stalin Pact was signed, a day of remembrance for the victims of both totalitarian systems, a symbol of how easily the extremes of Left and Right unite against democracy and use the Jewish people as a scapegoat.“

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