by Stanley Heller
© 2012 Stanley Heller
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Israel has announced that Günter Grass, Germany’s most acclaimed author, won't be let into the country if he ever tries to visit. It has banned other celebrities in the past, including Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and Ivan Prado, Spain's most famous clown. In 2010 they expelled Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire. And they've barred hundreds of lesser known human rights activists. Israel's Interior Minister said that Grass was barred under a law banning entry to ex-Nazis. Grass was drafted into the Waffen SS at age 17 and put into a tank crew during the last months of the war. He subsequently earned the Nobel Prize in Literature for The Tin Drum and other impassioned anti-Nazi novels.
Of course the real reason Grass was banned was because of his April 4 poem "What Must Be Said" wherein he denounced today’s Germany for selling submarines to Israel and worried that Jerusalem would use them for an atomic attack against Iran. He hoped that many will demand "that the governments of both Iran and Israel allow an international authority free and open inspection of the nuclear potential and capability of both."
What must be said
by Gunter Grass
translated by Breon Mitchell
Why have I kept silent, held back so long,
on something openly practised in
war games, at the end of which those of us
who survive will at best be footnotes?
It's the alleged right to a first strike
that could destroy an Iranian people
subjugated by a loudmouth
and gathered in organized rallies,
because an atom bomb may be being
developed within his arc of power.
Yet why do I hesitate to name
that other land in which
for years – although kept secret –
a growing nuclear power has existed
beyond supervision or verification,
subject to no inspection of any kind?
This general silence on the facts,
before which my own silence has bowed,
seems to me a troubling, enforced lie,
leading to a likely punishment
the moment it's broken:
the verdict "Anti-semitism" falls easily.
But now that my own country,
brought in time after time
for questioning about its own crimes,
profound and beyond compare,
has delivered yet another submarine to Israel,
(in what is purely a business transaction,
though glibly declared an act of reparation)
whose speciality consists in its ability
to direct nuclear warheads toward
an area in which not a single atom bomb
has yet been proved to exist, its feared
existence proof enough, I'll say what must be said.
But why have I kept silent till now?
Because I thought my own origins,
tarnished by a stain that can never be removed,
meant I could not expect Israel, a land
to which I am, and always will be, attached,
to accept this open declaration of the truth.
Why only now, grown old,
and with what ink remains, do I say:
Israel's atomic power endangers
an already fragile world peace?
Because what must be said
may be too late tomorrow;
and because – burdened enough as Germans –
we may be providing material for a crime
that is foreseeable, so that our complicity
will not be expunged by any
of the usual excuses.
And granted: I've broken my silence
because I'm sick of the West's hypocrisy;
and I hope too that many may be freed
from their silence, may demand
that those responsible for the open danger
we face renounce the use of force,
may insist that the governments of
both Iran and Israel allow an international authority
free and open inspection of
the nuclear potential and capability of both.
No other course offers help
to Israelis and Palestinians alike,
to all those living side by side in enmity
in this region occupied by illusions,
and ultimately, to all of us.
Grass' Gedicht im Wortlaut
Was gesagt werden muss
Günter Grass warnt in der "Süddeutschen Zeitung" vor einem Krieg gegen Iran. In seinem Gedicht mit dem Titel "Was gesagt werden muss" fordert der Literaturnobelpreisträger deshalb, Israel dürfe keine deutschen U-Boote mehr bekommen.
Das Gedicht von Günter Grass
Warum schweige ich, verschweige zu lange,
was offensichtlich ist und in Planspielen
geübt wurde, an deren Ende als Überlebende
wir allenfalls Fußnoten sind.
Es ist das behauptete Recht auf den Erstschlag,
der das von einem Maulhelden unterjochte
und zum organisierten Jubel gelenkte
iranische Volk auslöschen könnte,
weil in dessen Machtbereich der Bau
einer Atombombe vermutet wird.
Doch warum untersage ich mir,
jenes andere Land beim Namen zu nennen,
in dem seit Jahren - wenn auch geheimgehalten -
ein wachsend nukleares Potential verfügbar
aber außer Kontrolle, weil keiner Prüfung
Das allgemeine Verschweigen dieses Tatbestandes,
dem sich mein Schweigen untergeordnet hat,
empfinde ich als belastende Lüge
und Zwang, der Strafe in Aussicht stellt,
sobald er mißachtet wird;
das Verdikt "Antisemitismus" ist geläufig.
Jetzt aber, weil aus meinem Land,
das von ureigenen Verbrechen,
die ohne Vergleich sind,
Mal um Mal eingeholt und zur Rede gestellt wird,
wiederum und rein geschäftsmäßig, wenn auch
mit flinker Lippe als Wiedergutmachung deklariert,
ein weiteres U-Boot nach Israel
geliefert werden soll, dessen Spezialität
darin besteht, allesvernichtende Sprengköpfe
dorthin lenken zu können, wo die Existenz
einer einzigen Atombombe unbewiesen ist,
doch als Befürchtung von Beweiskraft sein will,
sage ich, was gesagt werden muß.
Warum aber schwieg ich bislang?
Weil ich meinte, meine Herkunft,
die von nie zu tilgendem Makel behaftet ist,
verbiete, diese Tatsache als ausgesprochene Wahrheit
dem Land Israel, dem ich verbunden bin
und bleiben will, zuzumuten.
Warum sage ich jetzt erst,
gealtert und mit letzter Tinte:
Die Atommacht Israel gefährdet
den ohnehin brüchigen Weltfrieden?
Weil gesagt werden muß,
was schon morgen zu spät sein könnte;
auch weil wir - als Deutsche belastet genug -
Zulieferer eines Verbrechens werden könnten,
das voraussehbar ist, weshalb unsere Mitschuld
durch keine der üblichen Ausreden
zu tilgen wäre.
Und zugegeben: ich schweige nicht mehr,
weil ich der Heuchelei des Westens
überdrüssig bin; zudem ist zu hoffen,
es mögen sich viele vom Schweigen befreien,
den Verursacher der erkennbaren Gefahr
zum Verzicht auf Gewalt auffordern und
gleichfalls darauf bestehen,
daß eine unbehinderte und permanente Kontrolle
des israelischen atomaren Potentials
und der iranischen Atomanlagen
durch eine internationale Instanz
von den Regierungen beider Länder zugelassen wird.
Nur so ist allen, den Israelis und Palästinensern,
mehr noch, allen Menschen, die in dieser
vom Wahn okkupierten Region
dicht bei dicht verfeindet leben
und letztlich auch uns zu helfen.
• This poem was amended on 10 and 11 April 2012 after it was revised by the translator. This was further amended on 13 April 2012 to include a link to the original poem in German.
The Zionists went ballistic about the poem and shrieked about Grass' teenage months in the SS. It's sheer hypocrisy. Their own relations with the German Nazis in the 1930's were scandalous. Twice they actually brought SS men to Haifa.
One was named Baron von Mildenstein who came in 1934. Two others came in 1937. One of them later became infamous for his organizational role in the Holocaust. His name was Adolph Eichmann.
A little background is in order. As Hitler's Nazis grew in power the Left fought them in the streets. The Zionists did not. Once Hitler took power in 1933, the Zionists tried to work out an accommodation with him! There was a mad logic to it. He wanted Jews to get out of Germany, the Zionists wanted them to settle in their colony in then British-ruled Palestine.
The Left everywhere organized boycotts of Nazi products, but in 1933 the World Zionist Organization made a Haavara (Transfer) Agreement with Nazi Germany. With it Jews could send their wealth to Palestine in the form of goods. Berlin put a flight tax on capital leaving Germany but the rate on goods to Palestine was lower than to anywhere else. This helped Zionism in Palestine but, as an editor of the American Yiddish daily "The Forward" wrote at the time, "Palestine thus becomes the official scab-agent against the boycott in the Near-East." In 1934 , the German Zionist Federation Executive urged Baron Leopold von Mildenstein of the SS to write a pro-Zionist piece for the Nazi press. He was eager to do so, but only after visiting Palestine. He went there for six months as the WZO’s guest.
On his return to Berlin, Von Mildenstein wrote "A Nazi Voyages to Palestine,” a collection of twelve articles in "Der Angriff,” a leading Nazi organ. To commemorate the expedition, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had a medal created in honor of Von Mildenstein with a swastika on one side and a star of David on the other.
As the years passed anti-Jewish measures multiplied, but the Zionists didn't sour on their Nazi connection. On February 26, 1937, Feivel Polkes, an agent of the Haganah, the military arm of the WZO’s Palestine executive committee, went to Berlin and met Adolf Eichmann.
An interesting footnote to history is the revelation of the cozy relationships which developed between top Nazi officials and the founders of the Zionist terrorist network, Haganah and the Irgun Zvai Leumi, in the closing days of the Second World War. The Zionists were working to drive the British out of Palestine; the Nazis were also at war with England, which gave birth to the most curious political alliance of the twentieth century. One of the leading advocates of working with the Abwehr, German Intelligence, was one Yitzhak Shamir, now Premier of Israel. After the war, the Zionists employed many former Nazis to help set up their military opposition to the British. The leader in this alliance was the veteran of the old Stern Gang of terrorists, which was now the Irgun Zvai Leumi, none other than Menachem Begin. One of Begin's proteges was a young woman named Mathilde J., as she was known in terrorist circles. She was born in Switzerland after her father left Italy because of "poor economic conditions," no political ideology there. The present Mrs. Krim is described by Current Biography as a "geneticist" and a "philanthropist." She has been the resident biologist at the American Cancer Society for many years. In her younger days, she joined the Irgun Zvai Leumi, marrying a fellow terrorist in a show of solidarity. She soon became a favorite of Begin, and divorced her husband. It was Begin who was asked by a grinning Mike Wallace on the program "Sixty Minutes," "Did you really introduce terrorism into the politics of the Middle East?" Begin answered emphatically, "Not just the Middle East -- the whole world." He was referring to the worldwide terrorist operations of Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence group which is entirely financed by the CIA with American taxpayers' funds.
-- "Murder by Injection -- The Story of the Medical Conspiracy Against America," by Eustace Mullins
A report of their conversation was found in SS files after the war. Eichmann wanted information about Jewish plots against Nazis (a Swiss Nazi had been assassinated in 1936). Polkes offered to help Germany find Middle Eastern oil in return for a lesser tax on transfers for emigrants to Palestine. On October 2, 1937, two ‘journalists,’ Eichmann and his superior, arrived in Haifa and Polkes took them on a trip to a kibbutz. Two days later the British expelled the SS men. Polkes followed them to Cairo and gave the Nazis information on underground Communist radio broadcasts to Germany and Arab leaders’ ties to Communism. Günter Grass is excoriated by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s government because Grass was in the SS at age 17. But compare this to what Polkes and other very adult Zionists were doing in the 1930's.
Take for instance the Prime Minister's own father, Benzion Netanyahu, who is still alive at the age of 102. The elder Netanyahu was secretary to Ze'ev Jabotinsky, leader of the Revisionist Zionist movement. Jabotinsky had the bright idea of working with Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Some of Jabotinsky’s young followers trained at Mussolini's Naval School in Civitavecchia and dozens of them joined the Fascist Party’s student movement. At the same time Mussolini was using chemical weapons against Ethiopia, Jabotinsky was on a tour of the U.S. explaining how Italian Fascism was very different from Hitlerism. So when Israel opens German closets to find skeletons, let Bibi Netanyahu open his daddy's closet. He should ask papa why when most Jews and Leftists were fighting fascism, daddy Netanyahu was the top assistant to a man who collaborated at a high level with the Italian Blackshirts. Postscript: And if you think Zionists learned anything from their perfidy look up their record in Argentina in the 1970's. They happily sold weapons to the Argentine military dictatorship while its Jewish prisoners were made to kneel in front of pictures of Adolph Hitler.
(Note: The facts about Zionism’s links to Hitler and Mussolini can be found in "51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis,” edited by Lenni Brenner. To get a copy of the book, contact him at BrennerL21@aol.com. An earlier book about the period by Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators is online. Click here.)
Many of the facts (but with a very different interpretation) about Nazi-Zionist dealings and in particular the Haavara were also written about by a very Zionist writer, Edwin Black. See his article in the Jewish Virtual Library.
The Struggle, a Project of The Middle East Crisis Committee, P.O. Box 3626, Woodbridge, CT, 203-934-2761, email@example.com
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