April 5, 2011



It is absurd to even begin to speak about the horrors of this era. No one who failed to see the death, who failed to smell the stench, who failed to live and die a thousand deaths daily in the camps can begin to imagine even one-thousandth or one-tenthousandth of the nightmare that was Nazidom. The writer has yet to be born whose pen could bring these things to life, the artist yet to be created whose easel could reproduce them. It is not six million, but one Abraham, one Yitzhak, one Ya’akov, one Sarah, one David, and on and on ad infinitum, each name representing a human being who cried and screamed and begged and died.

It is not within our capacity to understand. Only those who came upon the camps, who met the horror suddenly face to face. Only those remember that moment, when —

Their hearts went cold, their bodies numb, their speech dumb. The sun stood still and the wind was silent. The heavens gray and foreboding and their tears as gentle rain fell earthward to be buried with those gentle, awful bodies in the cold damp earth. In the cities and the fields, the rivers and the plains, the mountains and the valleys, the voice was stilled, the heartbeat stopped. Their hearts went cold, their bodies numb, their speech dumb. The sun stood still and the wind was silent. The heavens gray and foreboding and their tears as gentle rain fell earthward to be buried with those gentle, awful bodies in the cold damp earth. In the cities and the fields, the rivers and the plains, the mountains and the valleys, the voice was stilled, the heartbeat stopped.

Oh how doth she sit solitary, the continent that was full of our people is become a widow . . . .

The tears flowed unashamedly from men of steel. Their hearts were broken, their dreams were  mashed, and the shattered remnants lay mirrored in the pool of tears, reflected in the river of despair. For in truth this was the end of a dream, the expiration of a vision. If such an abomination could be conceived by man, then there was no longer hope. If such evil could be born within his breast, there was no longer  ight. If from the fruits of civilizationthere could emerge the worms of Satanism, there was no longer purpose. Such a world forfeits its right to existence, such a generation is fit only for the waters of a Flood. Such an era is guilty of the greatest of all crimes — the  destruction of G-d’s dream.

Guilty. They were all guilty. The abominations such as Eichmann who planned it, the devils who executed it. The nations who kept silent and appeased the beasts, the nations whose gates were closed at a time when so many might have been saved. The crime is an albatross that must be hung around their necks with all its evil stench as a faint beginning at atonement, as a pitiful start toward asking for forgiveness.

The decent thing would be for them to slink quietly away. The least we have the right to expect is that they acknowledge their guilt by shamefaced silence. But they lack even this. They have the gall to question the right of Israel to hold this trial. It is the measure of our decadence we must deign to answer them.

There is no legal basis, they say. There is no jurisdiction. Eichmann did not murder Israelis but only Polish Jews or German Jews or Hungarian Jews. Israel was not even in existence at the time of the events. Only those nations whose citizens were killed may legally try him. Only a Germany or an international court has the legal right to try him. The world mutters disapprovingly, the scholars of international law shake their heads, and the world’s gall overflows its banks.

Let it be understood once and for all, THIS WAS A CRIME AGAINST JEWRY. It was not because they were Polish citizens that Eichmann destroyed the scholars of Lublin; it was not because they were Slovaks that they massacred the Jews of Bratislava; it was not because they were Lithuanians that they destroyed the Vilna ghetto. To Eichmann, and those with him, they were Jews, and all Jews, whatever their nationality, were only one entity — a Jewish
entity, the Jewish people. Others might escape by being Quislings; others might live by fawning condescension. Not the Jew. The Jew, be he Dutch or Pole or Slav or Teuton, was the Jew. This was the rationale for the crime, and by Heaven this shall be the rationale for the punishment.
It was the Nazi who decreed the existence of a unique and separate Jewish entity, and it is the Nazi who today must take the consequences of this thinking. For since the Nazi declared a war to the death against the Jewish nation, then that Jewish nation — through its sole sovereign power — the State of Israel — is the only logical tribunal to try him. It was the Nazis by their declaration of war against the Jewish nation who gave jurisdiction today for the receptacle and spokesman for the Jewish nation — the Jewish State of Israel.

And let us indeed ask the principals of the case, those who were destroyed by the Nazi, whom they designate as their agent of punishment. Let us whisper to the crematoriums and the gas chambers, to the ashes of the six million: Who is your spokesman?

Will these ghosts of the past answer: Germany, that destroyed them? Will they tell us Poland or Romania or Lithuania, where they lived in fear and terror, where they suffered poverty and discrimination, whose people were only too anxious to cooperate with the Nazi beasts? Will they choose an international court composed perhaps of the Russians who signed the death warrant for millions of Polish Jews with the Hitler-Stalin pact, or the British who locked
the gates of Palestine so that the Struma might go to the bottom of the sea with its Jews who escaped the Nazis, or the United States that never quite saw its way to raising immigration quotas when hundreds of thousands might have been saved? No, no, a thousand times no. Their answer would split mountains with the fervor of its shout: Israel! Only Israel!

But there is a greater — a far, far greater reason why it can ONLY be Israel, why it must only be Israel. For, if not Israel, there are no answers to the questions. If not Israel, there is no reason for the Holocaust.

We believe with a perfect faith that Evil cannot triumph and Goodness must in the end emerge victorious. This Emunah, this belief, is the cornerstone of our existence, the shield that preserved us through ages of persecution, that gave meaning to our bitter history. Our G-d is a G-d of history. Within his hands are formed the events and occurrences of time. There is purpose and reason to all, and in the end — these may come with chariots and these with horses BUT I SHALL CALL IN THE NAME OF THE L-RD!

They laughed at us all these centuries, they mocked us all these years. Wherefore shall the nations say: “Where is their G-d?” And we in the humbleness of our trust, in the purity of our conviction, answered: He will show Himself. We believe.

And as the fantastic machine of the German crushed our bodies and burned our souls, who believed then that there would sometime come a day when the machine would lie crumbling in the dust of retribution, and the stone that the builders had despised would rise once again?

Wake up, wake up, for your light has come; stir yourselves, sing your song, for the Magnificence of the L-rd is revealed unto you!

The Miracle of G-d! The open and obvious miracle! When the Jewish Brigade marched into Rome in 1944 and, with heads held high, marched under the Arch of Titus, symbol of our exile and suffering, pausing only to paint its base with the bold Hebrew words: “Am Yisroel Chai” (the nation of Israel lives) — that was part of the miracle. When a proud people spat in the face of Britain and threw back the Arab hordes — that was part of the miracle. When a people reborn took a land that was desert and waste and made it as the Lily of the Valley, green with Jewish grass, and sparkling with Jewish water; humming with Jewish song and teeming with Jewish life; rich with Jewish hope and strong with Jewish faith — this was part of the miracle.

And when Adolf Eichmann set foot in the prisoner’s dock of a Jewish courtroom, and faced three Jewish judges, and was restrained by two Jewish policemen, and was condemned by a Jewish prosecutor, and ate Jewish food, and, please G-d, will face Jewish punishment — this is the completion of the miracle.

The trial of Adolf Eichmann by the State of Israel is the proof and affirmation of the truth of our G-d. Eichmann must be tried there. Only thereby will our martyred dead gain some measure of comfort. Only thereby will their passing not have been in vain.

April 12, 1961

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