Yad Vashem is accused of ‘disappearing’ the pro-Nazi Mufti

Point of No Return exclusive
Yad Vashem denies that this photo, remembered by veteran guides, was ever displayed at the museum
Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, has been accused by veteran guides of covering up the role of the pro-Nazi wartime Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. 

 

Veteran guides have written to the new Chairman of Yad Vashem, Dani Dayan, whose roots are in Egypt, to ask why a floor-to-ceiling photo of Haj Amin meeting Hitler was removed when the Museum was re-designed fifteen years ago.

Dani Dayan denied that such a photo existed: “Never such a picture was displayed in the Museum, let alone not a floor-to-ceiling one.  Therefore, it was never removed.  Pictures of the Mufti convening with Heinrich Himmler and visiting Muslim Bosnian troops allied with the Nazis are displayed in the Museum. ”

To a letter from guide Shalom Pollack,  Yad Vashem replied,” in the new museum, we place a greater emphasis on the victims than on the perpetrators.”
Pollack  pointed out that just five paces from the now minuscule, well- hidden, photo of the Mufti and Himmler (Hitler is gone) is an entire wall of perpetrators –  German, not Arab. “German sensibilities are not spared but we don’t want to upset those of  Arabs in the new Yad Vashem? So much for “not emphasizing the perpetrators’, ” says Pollack.
Yad Vashem rejects as ‘unfounded’ claims that it is politically influenced in its considerations and decisions regarding any component or dimension of the historical narrative of the Shoah, including the museum’s contents.
A  colleague of Pollack’s reported  that when he originally asked Yad Vashem why the Hitler -Husseini photo was gone, he was told: “it is not politically correct.”
Pollack adds: “When I asked ten local Yad Vashem guides where the photo of Husseini with Hitler was, most did not know of it. “It wasn’t important”, they told him. Some said they never discussed it with visitors;  one said it was “political” and walked away. As far as the political or ideological motive of the strange omission of the original photo (and the one just opposite it showing Jewish soldiers in the British army fighting the Nazis) , the public will decide.”
After great effort, he finally found the tiny photo of the Mufti with Himmler  in a dark corner.
“One might think that Yad Vashem is trying to hide something? I understand that the new museum is a “post Oslo” project. I protest the scandalous manipulated narrative instituted by your predecessors”, Pollack wrote to Dayan. “It robs the visitors of an important piece of  the  Holocaust story; a shameful concealment and protection of a murderous participant in the extermination of our people.
“If  non Jews did this what would we say? In a time of devastating moral relativism and Holocaust denial, Yad Vashem should be the beacon in the battle for truth about our history and not hiding it.”
He told Point of no Return: “I hope that Mr. Dayan will use his new position to  act on behalf of the truth and Am Yisrael

3 Comments

  • I was in Israel in the 80s and I remember seeing a small picture of Husseini and Hitler, and another small picture of jews fighting in the British army. I also remember that the yad vashem staff was made up of zionists – they spoke about the Holocaust only in terms of a palestinian state and how israelis are the new nazis, and they also refused to acknowledge the palestinian jewish contribution in fighting the nazis.

    Reply
  • I agree that currently there is a “scandalous manipulated narrative” at Yad Vashem (YV). And it’s done because the staff at YV feel they can get away with it, and they had for decades.

    But, here, in the USA, hundreds of my students (99.99% non-Jews) have complained to me, because they perceived what they think are many distortions at the website of YV. Talking to them, I felt their negative feelings towards Israel and Jews. Indeed, distortion of the Holocaust does cause antisemitism.

    John K. Roth wrote: “the Holocaust is never separable from politics, and thus, its history has been abused and distorted.” (Holocaust Politics, 2001:27)

    Nili Keren, who co-authored with Yehuda Bauer, the book The Holocaust – A History, stated: “Holocaust education has been deeply influenced by national and political perspectives on this tragedy. …in the educational process, when it came to discussions vis-à-vis he issues of Holocaust Studies, political and social arguments were stronger than educational arguments” (Keren, Nili. 2004. “Teaching the Holocaust: A mission.” In Samuel Totten, Paul R. Bartrop, and Steven Leonard Jacobs, Eds, Teaching about the Holocaust: Essays by College Teachers, pp. 124-131. Praeger Publishers).

    Florida Holocaust Center: “There is responsibility to the whole Historical Truth: Perpetuation of distortions, or failure to debunk them, ill seriously hinders the ability of educators and students to derive meaningful lessons from study of the Holocaust.”

    Posted by Edith Shaked, Advisory Board Member, H-Holocaust

    Reply

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