We ascended to Jerusalem today to visit the Yad VaShem Museum of the Holocaust. It is completely different from the museum as I saw it last time, it is not anymore a collection of photos but a claustrophobic laberynth of irregular rooms that tells a clear and coherent story, very impressive. The story starts with racism and the building up of a racist state, starting with the mass killing of German institutionalized people, and the establishment of the first concentration camps - again, for German people who did not fit into the state, such as Jehova's Witnesses, communists, homosexuals, alcoholics, and so on. And then these existing mechanisms were applied to the Jews. I learned something I was not aware of, the importance of El Alamein, which saved the North African Jews and the yishuv in Palestine. It happened in 1942, I thought it had been much later.
Waiting for the ladies of the family, who systematically examined every item (more than four hours), I understood that the direct violence was exclusiveof illiterate Polish and Ukranian neighbors of the local Jews, and it was not motivated by any racial, conspiracy or religious theory but simple jealousy of the middle class compounded by ethnic hate. In the West there was little emotion and violence, more soulless bureaucratic actions. In fact, the antisemitic publications such as the vitriolic Der Sturmer and the cabalistic Protocols of the Elders of Zion (it is so boring nad infantile that I could never complete it) may have had a moderating effect, in the sense that some peoples who were not familiar with actual Jews, accepted the idea that Jews held a mysterious power and out of calculation they helped Jews to escape. For example, the Japanese saved thousand refugees, partly - I think - out of uncertainty about the actual power of the Jewish people. I know Mainland Chinese is also very curious about Jews and suspect we rule the universe, and I dont know if this antisemitic propaganda is not, in fact, objectively, good for us. Moreover, the recent book of Prof. John J. Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, on the all-powerful Jewish lobby in the US, dictating its foreign policy, etc. - may be in fact adulatory and useful to us. I would much prefer be imagined powerful and feared than ignored as intrascendent. Having articulated these thoughts, I could not arrive to a clearcut conclusion, the antisemites writing about Jewish world domination do it clearly because they want to harm us, however, I think that their intention is unimportant, what we should consider is their impact. The Jewish reaction to antisemitism is, from the Antiquity, to argue and to combat the evilwishers. But in many cases this blind reaction may be in fact against our interests. Better minds than me fight antisemitism with determination. As for me, I would like life to be more simple. But it was not given to me.