Monday, August 2, 2010

Insufficiently Righteous

"For neither man nor angel can discern Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone..." John Milton

"An Aboriginal elder is about to make history by becoming the first indigenous Australian to be honoured with his own memorial and garden at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Following a year-long examination of records, historians at Yad Vashem have approved the memorial for the late William Cooper, who led a protest march in Melbourne against the treatment of Jews in Germany only weeks after Kristillnacht in 1938... The decision to approve the memorial dedication follows a year of representation by Albert Dadon, a leading Melbourne businessman and founder and chair of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange." (Israel honours elder for defying Nazis, John Lyons, The Australian, 31/7/10)

Over 22,000 non-Jews, who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, have been accorded the status of Righteous Gentiles by the historians of Yad Vashem, the best-known being Oskar Schindler, credited with saving 1200 Jews.

Interestingly, Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte, the non-Jew who saved more Jews from the Nazis than any other - between 6,500 and 11,000 - has neither the status of Righteous Gentile nor a memorial of any kind at Yad Vashem.

Could it be because he was assassinated by the Jewish terrorist Stern Gang on 17 September 1948, the day after submitting, in his capacity as United Nations Mediator for Palestine, a plan in which he declared: "The right of innocent people, uprooted from their homes by the present terror and ravages of war, to return to their homes, should be affirmed and made effective, with assurance of adequate compensation for the property of those who may choose not to return... [N]o settlement can be just and complete if recognition is not accorded to the right of the Arab refugee to return to the home from which he has been dislodged. It will be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right of return to their homes while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine..."?

1 comment:

Syd Walker said...

I wonder what original archival documentation exists for the story of William Cooper's post-Kristallnacht protest.

Presumably there are press reports from the time for those with access to decent libraries?