Why is the discussion of some historical facts seen as an expression of antisemitism? The question is far from rhetorical because on the one hand, as we all know, it was not least financing by the banks of the Rothschild family that helped Adolf Hitler come to power and on the other hand, thanks to the financing of Leiba Bronstein-Trotsky, the Rothschild Bank also made possible the existence of "Communism covering one sixth of the Earth's surface." The overwhelming majority of the first soviet government were Jews and this government thought up, as a world first, the construction of concentration camps for the isolation and liquidation of opponents of the communist regime. In his famous novel "The Gulag Archipelago" Alexander Solzhenitsyn tried to show the inhumane cruelty prevailing there and he was immediately branded as an "antisemite". The totalitarianism of the Bolshevik regime cost the lives of millions of people (including millions of Jews) in the Soviet Union and throughout the world. But so far nobody has called upon the Rothschild Bank with demands for compensation for suffering or loss of property.
After the Second World War only the GDR clearly distanced itself from the Nazi regime and identified itself with the resistance movement. This is why the GDR also decidedly rejected all claims for damages on the part of Israel. The Austrian government and that of the Federal Republic of Germany did not do so and have been paying regularly until today, which lays the foundations for bad associations.
It is difficult to find a logical explanation for these payments. How could such an obligation come about at all? No people is responsible for the actions of its totalitarian government. Such a people is de facto the victim of its government. This can now be seen very clearly in Ukraine. A couple of billionaires have popped up and the government is protecting the well-being of these profiteers who have appropriated the property of the people. Pensioners can hardly live on their miserable pensions, the cities are full of homeless children and the people are once again the victims.
It is incomprehensible to me why today's Austrian and German governments feel guilty towards the Israeli people and make compensation payments. It is one thing to pay targeted compensation to the victims of the Nazi regime (also Ukrainians) – concentration camp inmates, forced labourers etc. – but a completely different thing (totally incomprehensible) to be paying until today for crimes against Jews during the time of the Second World War. Why do we forget the crimes of the National Socialists against Sinti, Roma and other oppressed ethnic groups? Why is the USA not paying compensation to the Vietnamese people for their use of chemical weapons and napalm?
Stalin was to no extent a less brutal criminal than Hitler. But let us ask ourselves: since he was Georgian, should the Georgian people feel guilty about Stalin's atrocities and buy such an invented, inherited guilt from other citizens of CIS countries? Or perhaps the Corsicans should atone and pay compensation forever for their countryman Napoleon, who almost burned down Europe? Or should the Americans still strew their heads with ashes for the annihilation of the Indians?
And who will be held responsible for the terrible famine in Ukraine in 1933? The initiative of Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich led to the starvation of millions. To oblige Stalin he even had his own brother sent to a concentration camp.
Almost 60 years have passed since the Second World War. Those people who participated in the terrible events of the time are either dead or very old. People born after the war were not involved in those crimes, they bear no responsibility for the actions of their older generations. That would be unjust. Injustice and outrage can engender no love and respect.
I am an Austrian citizen and diligently pay tax. Incidentally, as a child I was also carried off to a German concentration camp. I can thus in no way be a supporter of Nazi ideology and also do not want to be pushed into that corner. I do not feel responsible for Nazi crimes. However, if politicians feel guilty, they should pay Israel from their own pockets. I am convinced that many Austrians and Germans share my opinion.
I do not believe that one people was chosen by God, as is customarily claimed. When one looks with an open mind at this world populated with thousands of nations and ethnic communities, one comes to the inevitable conclusion that all people are God's children and have the same right to life, respect and justice.
In every nation there are people of good and bad will. Every people has, or has had, criminal leaders. The Jewish people is no exception – let us think of present day Israel or look at this nation's past. Let us bring to mind those awful murders of men, women, children and even babies which are handed down to us for example from the Old Testament. "Slay both man and woman, infant and suckling." These words could be seen above the entrance to the Kunstlerhaus at the time of the exhibition "The Land of the Bible". In the Bible this was the call for revenge on a people that had dared to offer resistance to Jewish aggression. This revenge was demanded 400 years after resistance had been broken. It is astonishing that the organisers of this exhibition did not select a different, more "humane" quotation from the whole Bible for the entrance. The exhibition was opened by the Israeli Minister President at the time, Benjamin Netanjahu. A few days later he said in his speech at Mauthausen, "We will never forgive and forget." Interesting – on whom does he want to take revenge? After all, there are no more Nazi criminals in Austria who were involved in transports to concentration camps.
Injustice generates dissatisfaction in every people, which can then turn into outrage and hate. And sometimes the hate knows no limits. Love must be earned. Today all of us should take care that there is no longer any reason for hate. Let us endeavour not only to believe in justice but to strive to remove injustice from the world as far as possible.
The process of the world continues, development does not stand still. I am convinced that today it should not be as it was yesterday and the day before. Each nation must be preserved, have equal rights and not strive for world domination. The third millennium has come. We must think differently because love must be earned.
Dr. Wassil Nowicky
Translation of the article published in the largest circulation Ukrainian daily newspaper
"Silski Visti" Wednesday, 10 March 2004, No. 27 (17548), 6 million readers www.silskivisti.kiev.ua/4_027/315.htm