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The Holocaust Industry Paperback – Oct 17 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 2nd edition (Oct. 17 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185984488X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859844885
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.2 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“[S]cathing in his denunciation of the institutions and individuals who have cropped up around the issue of reparations.”—New York Press

“The most controversial book of the year.”—The Guardian

“His basic argument that memories of the Holocaust are being debased is serious and should be given its due.”—The Economist

“Finkelstein’s downright pugilistic book delivers a wallop.”—LA Weekly

“Breathtaking in [its] angry accuracy and irony.”—The Jewish Quarterly

“A lucid, provocative and passionate book.”—New Statesman

About the Author

Norman G. Finkelstein is the author of A Nation on Trial (with Ruth Bettina Birn), named a notable book for 1998 by the New York Times Book Review, and Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Let me say a bit about myself. I'm an American Jew (living in Canada at the moment) whose grandparents are Nazi holocaust survivors. My entire family has been affected by the losses sustained during WWII, and the effects will no doubt persist for some time to come. This being said, I have absolutely no compunction in stating that this is one of the most important books of our time, and should be read by everyone, survivors included (indeed, I think they especially would agree with many of Dr. Finkelstein's conclusions). This book is a well-documented, well-argued thesis and a just indictment of the bigwigs who claim to represent me, my family, and my fellow Jews.
I should point out, as many reviewers have done already, that Finkelstein categorically does _not_ deny that the holocaust occurred! Those who would seek to attack him on these grounds are shameless apologists who have probably not taken the time to actually read what Dr. Finkelstein has to say.
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While people who have attacked Norman Finkelstein and his work are long on venom, lies and outright libel (more on that later), they are short on facts. Not one reviewer has contested the facts that:
1) The number of Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust has been exagerrated by those seeking to get money from Swiss and German banks. The Simon Wiesenthal Center even claimed that the Swiss put Jews into concentration camps during the war -an outright lie. This dishonesty has given neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers a lot of live ammunition to work with.
2) The money extorted from these banks hasn't gone to the survivors (including Finkelstein's late parents) even though it was supposedly collected for their benefit.
3) By constantly harping on the Nazi genocide, certain Jewish groups have not only cheapened the memory of those who were murdered, but they have also gone out of their way to denigrate the genocide inflicted on others. This has led to an obscene game of "My genocide was worse than yours!" The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. even tried to erase any mention of the Gypsies! The Museum apparently was trying to do to the Gypsies in memory what the Nazis tried to do to them in the flesh.
4) Israel's apologists are quick to draw the "Nazi Card" when anyone protests Israel's atrocities against Palestinians and Lebanese.
Since no one can argue facts with Finkelstein, they resort to slander. The Anti-Defamation League even called Finkelstein a "Holocaust denier" in a letter sent to Georgetown University and reprinted on Finkelstein's website. Given the fact that the claim is an outright lie and that Finkelstein's parents are the only members of his extended family to survive the Shoah, it has to be the most disgusting smear to ever appear in print.
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By way of introduction, it needs to be stressed that Finkelstein by no means attempts to downplay or dismiss the importance of the holocaust. That Jews were subjected to unfathomable suffering in World War II is an irrefutable fact. Nonetheless, Finkelstein claims that Jewish suffering is being exploited by powerful Israeli lobbyists in the US. There is unequivocal evidence that Jewish "elites" exert enormous influence on the US government. According to Finkelstein, there are not many intellectuals who dare criticize Jews. Needless to say, any criticism directed at Jews automatically makes you an anti-semitist. When criticized, Jews frequently refer to Holocaust as a means to dismiss and reject constructive criticism. A few people dare criticize Jews as they might be accused of anti-semitism. In point of fact, Finkelstein claims that by using this insidious argument, powerful Jewish lobbyists in the US avoid being criticized and condemned. Some reviewers reject the idea of powerful Jewish "elites" in the US but Finkelstein provides strong evidence in support of his claim. The fact that the US government protects Israel in light of international criticism of Israel's belligerent war waging supports Finkelstein's theory. Needless to say, exploiting holocaust in this manner is an extremely malicious and calculated move. It is also an enormous disgrace for all the victims of the holocaust. Thus, Finkelstein's principal argument is that no one has the right to commit atrocities against innocent people and then attempt to justify these deeds by referring to one's past. Similar argument holds for murderers. The fact that many murderers were subjected to tremendous suffering in their childhood does not justify nor excuse their abominable actions. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who seeks a balanced and unbiased insight into the holocaust industry.
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Prof. Finkelstein, a son of Holocaust survivors, is obviously not a favorite of the mainstream Jewish organizations, for he exposes in this short book all their secret machinations and their disproportionate influence in, for example, forcing a settlement of issue of the Swiss bank accounts held by Holocaust victims. Most of that money didn't go to the survivors, but to powerful American Jewish interests and lawyers like indicted former U.S. Senator Al d'Amato. A measure of how uncomfortable this book makes people feel is that it never got a review or article in the "New York Times," whereas the Times has trumpeted prominently books by Daniel Goldhagen (who holds forth that all Germans were culpable for the Holocaust, and an adversary of Finkelstein). What Finkelstein shows is how the "Holocaust" has become its own industry, rather than a search for truth and justice.
You'd think a topic this heavy would make this book hard to read. On the contrary, it's brief, concise, utterly coherent and easy to follow, and even funny, as Finkelstein has a fine sense of humor. A must read for all that follow current events.
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