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The Holocaust Industry [Paperback]

Norman G. Finkelstein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 17 2003
In an iconoclastic and controversial study, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an interrogation of the place the Holocaust has come to occupy in American culture to a disturbing examination of recent Holocaust compensation agreements. It was not until the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, when Israel’s evident strength brought it into line with US foreign policy, that memory of the Holocaust began to acquire the exceptional prominence it enjoys today. Leaders of America’s Jewish community were delighted that Israel was now deemed a major strategic asset and, Finkelstein contends, exploited the Holocaust to enhance this newfound status. Their subsequent interpretations of the tragedy are often at variance with actual historical events and are employed to deflect any criticism of Israel and its supporters. Recalling Holocaust fraudsters such as Jerzy Kosinski and Binjamin Wilkomirski, as well as the demagogic constructions of writers like Daniel Goldhagen, Finkelstein contends that the main danger posed to the memory of Nazism’s victims comes not from the distortions of Holocaust deniers but from prominent, self-proclaimed guardians of Holocaust memory. Drawing on a wealth of untapped sources, he exposes the double shakedown of European countries as well as legitimate Jewish claimants, and concludes that the Holocaust industry has become an outright extortion racket. Thoroughly researched and closely argued, The Holocaust Industry is all the more disturbing and powerful because the issues it deals with are so rarely discussed.

In a devastating new postscript to this best-selling book, Norman G. Finkelstein documents the Holocaust industry’s scandalous cover-up of the blackmail of Swiss banks, and in a new appendix demolishes an influential apologia for the Holocaust industry.

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The Holocaust Industry + The Invention of the Jewish People + The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine
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“[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

Most helpful customer reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth revealed May 13 2003
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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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Study in Ethnocentrism July 3 2004
Finkelstein takes on the Holocaust industry with a tart-tongued wit. Reading it may make your eyebrows lift at the holocaust industry's narcissistic focus on the suffering of the Jews, which is "unique" according those running the Holocaust industry. A lot of the shakedowns for more money for the holocaust can be seen as just one ethnic groups' way of claiming more resources and power for themselves under the guise of being good humanitarians. Most of the money taken does not go to the few survivors left but is redirected unethically to the Jewish community and to politicized and biased holocaust education. Finkelstein is concerned that the industry may be increasing anti-semitism by behaving in such a way as to confirm stereotypes of Jews as being greedy liar lawyers. He however only criticizes the Jews of the powerful holocaust industry and not Jews as a whole.
I suppose though that all ethnic groups feel that their sufferings are special in some way and are emotionally attached to them. That could be a mitigating factor in any judgements against the industry. A lot of cries of injustice and for reparations are somewhat hypocritical since it seems all ethnic groups act amorally towards one another at times and will probably exploit the underdog group if given the chance and if they have enough power to do so. They seem to work hard to get enough power to do so. Reparations can be seen as a form of revenge.
Things weren't always this way with the nazi holocaust. Before Israel's winning of their war in the Middle East in 1967, there were better, more objective books written about the holocaust; some of which present a more universalist message that we could all learn more about ourselves from the holocaust and there wasn't much mention of Jewish suffering as being unique.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on the topic
Documented, meticulous, and honest : a scientific approach rooted in the social context that Dr. Finkelstein knows perfectly.

Norman G. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R CAMUS
4.0 out of 5 stars Norman G. Finkelstein
A courageous Jew telling the truth on how the Zionists are using the Holocaust to justify the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.
Published 4 months ago by Issa Tawil
5.0 out of 5 stars Well documented and eye-opening.
Great book that accounts for vicious tactics used by WJC to essentially extort money in the spirit of the fallen holocaust victims. Read more
Published 10 months ago by JustaPassenger
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Informative
This book, is a damning relevance to modern history; in past present and future context(s). In a world so deliberately falsified, Dr. Read more
Published 16 months ago by James 'error' Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational.
It is not new, heard from here and there, some involved people where talking about it, but, never in a documented book form. Well-written, documented brave writing. Read more
Published 22 months ago by BELA MOLNAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Holocaust Industry
It is a well researched book and about an important, but not widely discussed topic - how the holocaust is politicized to gain money and favors for only one group of people. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2012 by inhapagan
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I read this book back to back, including apendix.
The most thought provoking book I read in years.
Published on March 18 2011 by Sebastian
3.0 out of 5 stars Life never is what we are told it is.....
I did not give this text '5 STARS' as other reviewers did not because I did not find it believable, because I did. Read more
Published on March 17 2011 by Ronald W. Maron
5.0 out of 5 stars A detailed expose on Holocaust exploitation
I read this book in one day and to tell the truth, I was disgusted. Not at the author, but rather to the people and groups he exposes. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2010 by NameRankSerial
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ZIONISM IS RACISM!!!
I looked forward to reading this book immensely, and I was not disappointed. Also I highly recommend reading the following "CENSORED" books:
Published on March 12 2010 by Nathaniel "Nate" Berkley
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