Never again, for anyone - Hajo Meyer

Hajo Meyer

Speech by holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer at a public meeting in the Augustine Church, Edinburgh on Saturday 23 January 2010. Palestinian political commentator and activist Haidar Eid participated in the meeting by phone from Gaza. The meeting was organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Dr. Hajo G. Meyer was born in 1924 in Bielefeld, Germany. Not allowed to attend school there after November 1938, he fled to the Netherlands, alone. In I944, after a year in the underground, he was caught and subsequently survived 10 months at Auschwitz. After the war he returned to the Netherlands, where he studied physics and eventually became director of the Phillips Physics Laboratory. After retirement he became politically active, and at the time of the Edinburgh meeting he was working as a publicist and essayist. A member of IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network), Hajo Meyer was on the board of the Dutch group “A Different Jewish Voice”, part of the coalition of European Jews for Just Peace. He authored three books on Judaism, Holocaust and Zionism.

Hajo Meyer died on 23 August 2014. He was vilified by the Israel lobby even after his death. In 2018 Jeremy Corbyn was forced to apologise for having shared a platform with him in 2010.

Hajo Meyer:

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I am very happy that I can talk to you and that you have come in such great numbers. I would do short of Haidar [Dr Haidar Eid, who had addressed the meeting by phone link from Gaza] if I did not answer two of his questions very briefly.

Haidar said that there is no time for theoretical analysis of Zionism, by that he means political Zionism. I hope I can answer his questions, in order to honour Haidar. It is an ideology which is deeply bad. It is ideology with an eschatological view comparable to Stalinism, comparable with Nazism: hoping for a bliss state without any enemy. So it’s eschatological: it’s based on the view that the enemy must be completely wiped out. This is the intrinsic bad nature of Zionism. That's one thing I wanted to say.

The second point is how is Israel allowed. You are here in greater crowds than I find mostly in continental Europe. It is due to the fact that you as British or Scots men and women, cannot be so easily blackmailed with the Holocaust, which is the greatest weapon. Please do not let yourself be blackmailed ever. Formerly an anti-Semite was someone who didn’t like Jews because of their nature or soul. Nowadays an anti-Semite is someone that some Zionistic Jews don’t like. I am called an anti-Semite according to these Zionists

The theme of my talk is the explicit wish of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, IJAN, because the 27th of January is near and that is the date that Auschwitz was liberated. I happened to be one who survived 10 months of Auschwitz, and so I feel relatively justified to talk about it.

The misuse is illustrated by a number of facts. As recently as Sept 2009, Israel’s Prime-Minister Netanyahu did not feel ashamed to mention the number of our arms while addressing the United Nations. He misused this attempt at our dehumanisation to justify an attack on Iran.

The latest misuse of the term holocaust: you won’t believe, it’s mind-boggling! On the 27th of January, the day of liberation, which has become a symbol, which is over-stressed. By the way, this morning from our bed and breakfast we were served by a very kindly women from Estonia and she told us her whole family were murdered by the Russians. So we don’t have the monopoly (on suffering). The latest misuse, one of the greatest and most despicable Israel political criminals Shimon Peres, is commemorating the Holocaust together with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel is commemorating Auschwitz. I think them together is the greatest misuse of the Holocaust. Hardly any of the victims had any sympathy with Zionism. In mid-Europe, especially in Germany where I come from, in my youth only a very tiny fraction adhered to it. Even more important Zionism had no sympathy whatsoever for the victims during and after the holocaust. When there were chances to do something, Ben Gurion used to say that those who had been in the concentration camp were ‘non-useable material’ like me. The victims in the camps were not Zionists. I hope you will remember this for the rest of your lives.

Judaism and Zionism are absolute antipodes. Both have roots in the Old Testament. It is a pity that both are called ‘isms’. Judaism is a religion and Zionism is an ideology. They both have roots in the Old Testament, but these roots are completely different. Pre-world war II, Judaism was greatly distributed within the United States. It is humanitarianism: all humans are fully equivalent. This somewhat watered down version of Judaism distributed here in Great Britain, and was the main form in the US before the Second World War. The Bible - Leviticus 1934 - says: “The foreigner who is amongst you, you should treat as if he was born amongst you. The foreigner amongst you he is like you because you were once foreigners in Egypt.” This essential golden rule of inter-human ethics, was in one of the stories of the Talmud, repeated or compressed by Rabbi Hillel, 100 years before Christ. He said to a man who wanted to know what is the content of the Tora: "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

So go and study. This golden rule of ethics is exactly what is antagonistic to the behaviour of Israel criminals. It is contrary to what Jewish ethics says. Indeed, political Zionism is xenophobic, nationalistic, colonialistic and racist. It is based on different part of the Old Testament, Joshua 7 24 to 28 is the father and the mother of all ethnic cleansings. The theory of all ethnic cleansings, it tells you that God, who has so-called chosen the Jewish people maybe, ‘that God is angry if they leave one child living’. This is absolutely terrible.

Political Zionism is what is actually existing at the moment, since the existence of the Zionist State, not the Jewish State, Israel. It is the only doctrine brought into practice and independent of which party wins in Israel. The so-called only Jewish democratic state is democratic for the Jews but not democratic for the Palestinians. The aim of political Zionism is very simple: they want to have all the area of the old mandate Palestine with zero Palestinians on it. The rest is only show and sand in the eyes! Obviously, the Zionists see it differently. They have no idea of how colonistic, how racist, what an apartheid state they are, and how inhuman they are.

Political Zionism, is the existing form of Zionism. Zionism started out around 1900. It started out multifaceted but like many ideologies it ends up in a very cruel form. The historical facts are that around 1900, there was virulent anti-Semitism. Theodore Herzl, who is considered the founder of Zionism, he was a fully assimilated Jew. He was a journalist in Paris reporting on the Dreyfus affair. This was one of the manifestations of the virulent anti-Semitism. There were pogroms in Russia. Many Jews fled to Britain.

There was the great Lord Balfour, one of the great anti-Semites, he was one of the real old fashioned anti-Semites (not the new type!): he didn’t want the Russian Jews to pass his window! So, he said you better send them to Palestine so he didn’t need to see them! This was the real root of the Balfour Declaration.

So, unfortunately Great Britain, one of the countries that really did a great deal to help some Jews, especially your great Churchill, who fought the Nazis and prevented it from becoming even worse. But in this respect, they are not completely without guilt. Mr Dreyfus was a colonel in the French staff, but because he was a Jew somebody who was a real anti-Semite forged his papers to accuse him of being a spy for the Germans. Mr Herzl, who reported on the process, was appalled that France was anti-Semitic because the emancipation of Jews in Europe had started in France. The pioneer country of Jewish emancipation was so anti-Semitic.

I have made a scheme [diagram projected for the audience to see] to show you how things work, to see history. From the Enlightenment comes the French Revolution and the French Revolution brings forward Napoleon. He does two things. He occupies great parts of Europe and on the other hand he furthers greatly the emancipation of Jews but he also brought about great fear. Until then the Jews were excluded from most trades, except money lending. From the fear of an economic threat, the virulent anti-Semitic events in Europe started. Mr Herzl, he had completely the wrong idea because he thought: the Jews are everywhere in the world they have no country of their own and that’s why people are anti-Semitic. In Great Britain, you had Karl Marx who knew better, and that economic motives are much more important.

Herzl had an antidote. He realised that to stay in existence Zionism needs anti-Semitism and that it is in many ways anti-Semitic. As he was so assimilated, he didn’t care so much for Palestine, and he would have gone to Madagascar or the British colony, Uganda.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, new sciences came up philology. And it is convincingly shown that all European languages, besides Basque, Estonian, Finnish and Hungarian have this Indo-Iranian roots. There were some fatal wrong interpretations.

Here in Great Britain it should be very clear that you all talk the same language but to conclude from that that you are not all the same ethnicity would be completely crazy. Professor Muller in Oxford, he invented the Aryan forefather. He was a German who wrote poems that Schubert put to music. He made big mistakes. He invented the Aryan forefather, very stupid. The main language which is spoken somewhere is always the language of the conqueror. From the human races, which exist, and which can be described, they analysed the forms of the crania and the colours of the skin, and what have you. They made the big mistake to formulate that there were inferior and superior races.

The Indo-Iranian language was the origin of the Indo–Germanic language, as they are called sometimes. There was a Danish philologist of great merit. He travelled to India and he visited all people whose language had this Indo-Iranian origin, and was derived from it. He wrote literally that “I was astonished to see so many people who talked the Indo-Iranian language that had brown skin, but not so brown that it couldn’t have occurred by the constant influence of the sun.” So that’s a more or less literal quote. The crown on the criminal ideology of the Zionists is the holocaust and the holocaust religion. In Israel, Judaism is not the religion: in Israel they have embraced the Holocaust.

The misuse of the Holocaust in Israel: it contends that the Jews have the monopoly on suffering. Therefore whatever the Israelis do to the Palestinians is always less than what they have suffered. This is the complete denial of Hillel’s wisdom. This is a direct denial.

The high priest of this religion is Elie Wiesel. Its content if any is to that the Jews have the monopoly on suffering. To show you, literally Mr Wiesel says that ‘Auschwitz is comparable to the Sinai experience only’. As most of you will know this is when Moses got the Ten Commandments from God himself. And so this is the new commandments according to Mr Wiesel and his followers in Israel and elsewhere. My personal recommendation is totally the opposite. He says ‘because we Jews have a monopoly on suffering we can do what we want to anyone.’ This has been explicitly stated very recently by various generals of the Israeli occupation force (I don’t call it the army!) after the Gaza massacre.

It is called the Dahye doctrine because Dahye is a suburb of Beirut where shots came from in the second Lebanon war. Shots came from that region and so the Israeli murderers erased that part of the city, bombarded it to rubble. “Whenever we find aggression from somewhere we will use disproportionate retaliation in order to collectively punish the population.” If you need proof that they are war criminals here it is.

Only people who are already dehumanised due to indoctrination and propaganda are able to dehumanise others. These occupation forces are not really human. A great part of the Israeli population, not all of them, is dehumanised after three generations. There was never any mass protest against the bombardment in Gaza. In contrast the Israeli citizens went up with their children on to the hills and looked at the bombardment. My personal contract is that the only way to stay human is to never want to inflict suffering on anyone.

I was born in Germany and lived there until 1939. I know how carefully the Nazis prepared. There is universal human ethics from Confucius to Buddha to the monotheist religions to help each other and not to be too cruel. Any population with any culture and ethics needs first to be indoctrinated about the other group that has to be deported, it has to be dehumanised. In Germany that started by different laws for Jews and Aryans, comparisons with insects, bacteria cancer etc.

The Germans had much less time than the Israelis to prepare for industrial mass murder like the Jews, Gypsy and others. Before 1941 there were only plans for the deportation of the Jews to Madagascar, The mass murders came when the British fleet made deportation impossible. Then they started to plan the mass murder. Make them poor so they are at the verge of society. Take away all forms of making money, forbidding all forms of making money, no access to education this makes people want to immigrate.

Now, there are different laws for Jews and Palestinians and detention without warrant, so-called administrative detention. The whole Nazi drama lasted 12 years, half a generation. The drama with the Palestinians has lasted 60 years. This is nearly three generations. Not all Israelis are dehumanised. It is going on with more force than in my time in Nazi Germany. Then, shops had signs saying please don’t go, but you still could go. In Hebron, there are 2,500 shops and the people are without earnings, where you just can’t go. I think it is an attempt at slow genocide.

Political Zionism is the absolute opposite of Judaism, which is Humanist and Universal. Therefore, you should support the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Society (SPSC). I have written to your Prime Minister - if he changes the law so that Israeli politicians cannot be arrested when in this country for war crimes in Gaza you will all be complicit. You don’t need to feel guilty, at least not for the Holocaust in any case.

This article was first published by SACC on 12 February 2010, but was subsequently lost from the website during a site migration. It was republished from our archives on 28 January 2020.

Photo: Hajo Meyer in the video My Good Fortune in Auschwitz, © Reber Dosky