Thursday, April 12, 2012

US document overlooks Shoah

An official background note on Germany posted on the US Department of State's website has left out any mention of the Holocaust.

The website offers background notes on every country, which are meant to serve tourists and give brief profiles of their travel destinations.


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According to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the background note on Germany, which was written by the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and updated on the website a few days ago, gives a distorted picture of the Shoah and belittles it.
The website reads: "The Nazi leadership immediately jailed Jewish opposition and other figures and withdrew their political rights. The Nazis implemented a program of genocide, at first through incarceration and forced labor and then by establishing death camps."
This is the only place in the document where Jews are mentioned, and nowhere does it refer to the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
Avner Shalev, chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust authority in Jerusalem told Yedioth Ahronoth, "We were very surprised to read this. This is a very problematic text that does not reflect historical reality one bit. It seems that whoever wrote this was unaware of the facts.
"I plan to appeal to the US Department of State for clarification and immediate rectification of the issue."

An American source said in response that this was not a historical text but was simply meant to give details of the country with a brief overview of its history.
"We have no intention of belittling or hiding the Holocaust. The government's stance on Holocaust denial is very clear," the source said.
The United States Embassy in Israel was unavailable to comment.

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