Staff Writer

The Washingtom Square News
N.Y. University daily student newspaper
Thursday, April 30, 1992
(Volume 19122)

Offering new and objective evidence that may help clear up some misconceptions about the holocaust, a well-known orthodox rabbi spoke to students at Loeb Student Center yesterday.

Sinai Heritage Director Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin argued that the Axis powers were not entirely responsible for the deaths of the six million Jews during the World War II.

"Japan did not have a policy of genocide against the Jews," said Rudomin. "When they took over Shanghai - a city where many Jewish refugees fled to - the Japanese continued to allow free passage to the city."

"Also, Spain under Franco helped save more Jews than any other county during the war," he added. "Anyone who could make it to Spain or one of its embassies survived. This is a fact."

Rudomin also refuted the notion that the passive attitudes of orthodox rabbis instilled passivity in many of the victims.

"The most active political figures in the United States at the time were rabbis asking for American intervention," he argued. "Unfortunately, it was Jewish government officials who advised Roosevelt not to get involved."

He asserted that the Allies were at least partly responsible for the holocaust, arguing that the Arabs, British, and Americans were contributors to the genocide. He also accused many high-ranking officials of allowing the holocaust to go on relatively unnoticed.

"Perhaps no one said anything because they had their own agenda," he added. "In an attempt to guarantee the establishment of a Jewish state, officials may have chosen to keep their eyes closed."

"The Germans were not fools," he said. "They had a very meticulous machine. However, this was not a black and white phenomenon. There was more to it than that."

"The British were not exactly good guys," he said. "They reneged on their promise to allow Jewish migration to Palestine, with their White Paper policy."

According to Rudomin, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was among those who planned the assassination of a high British official because they considered Great Britain a co-enemy of Germany.

"Germany tried to exterminate the Jews," he said. "But the British would not let them escape to North Africa."

Rudomin also blamed the Arab Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who he said made several visits to Berlin and often met with Hitler.

"Hitler just wanted to kill Jews while the Mufti wanted to keep them out of Palestine," he said "The Mufti urged the construction of extermination camps, and in many ways became an 'Angel of Death' for the Jews."

This, along with general American apathy, allowed Germany to carry out its plan, Rudomin argued.

"While Europe fell under Hitler's grip - forging Fortress Germany - the United States stood on the sidelines hedging its bets," he said. "It took the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor to finally give them a wake-up call, and even then it was Germany who declared war on the United States."

Rudomin also quoted from sources that questioned the alleged Allied ignorance that a genocide was occurring.

"How could it be that, during all the war years, the Allied intelligence system could not detect Hitler's plan?" he asked "either they could not believe the horrifying truth, or they chose not to believe it."

Remaining frank throughout his presentation, Rudomin shied away from offering a religious explanation for the holocaust and advised people to look at things in a different light.

"This isn't a question of where God was during this time, or why he allowed it to happen," he said. "Where were men, both Jews and Gentiles, both religious and secular, while all this was going on?"

"We may not like what we're hearing," Rudomin added."But if it's true then let's face up to it ourselves. We need to know what really happened"

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