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Milking The Holocaust - Brief Article
American Enterprise, July, 2001 by Daniel Lapin
According to recent press reports, the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims has managed to distribute only a paltry $3 million to Holocaust survivors since 1998. Meanwhile it spent ten times that much on administrative costs, including hotel bills and the $350,000 salary of chairman Lawrence Eagleburger.
The folks at the ICHEIC have plenty of company. America drowns in a pious flood of Holocaust-themed museums, documentaries, books, plays, articles, TV movies, educational programs, and university departments. Each represents a livelihood for Holocaust professionals usually individuals with no personal connection to the disaster who nonetheless benefit personally from stoking the flames of memory or retribution.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. alone annually consumes $34 million in government appropriations and $24 million in private funds. And don't forget the lawsuits, like the one demanding $40 billion from the U.S. government for neglecting to bomb the rail lines to Auschwitz (though America won that war and rescued the surviving Jews of Europe). Other suits stand to enrich a few lawyers by targeting corporations like General Motors and Chase Manhattan Bank for supposedly aiding the Nazis.
We Jews are inheritors of a religion that instructs us to "choose life" (see Deuteronomy 30:19). Yet many of our community leaders are constantly choosing to assail us with images of death, as if Judaism were some fatal cult. I wish the Holocaust was remembered as it should be, on Tisha B'Av, the day set aside to commemorate all Jewish tragedy since the destruction of the first Jerusalem temple. Then all the money spent on remembering Hitler could be devoted instead to something genuinely life-promoting, like teaching young Jews about Judaism.
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