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
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