The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/m/morris.john/1999/on_Wilkomirski_and_Anne_Frank

From: John Morris 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Anne Frank's futuristic ballpoint pen
Organization: University of Alberta
Reply-To: John.Morris@UAlberta.CA
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Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 17:54:25 GMT
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In  in
alt.revisionism, on Mon, 01 Nov 1999 08:31:06 -0700, (Orest Slepokura) wrote:

>In article , John.Morris@UAlberta.CA


>> >> >Copied below is a message I received from Nizkorite John Morris a week ago. 
>> >> >Note the civility, praise and encouragement in marked contrast to your own
>> >> >disdain.

>> >> John preferred sarcasm in this instance. I preferred disdain, which you richly
>> >> deserve.

>> >> Now run along and try to do better in the future. You are letting your fellow
>> >> mindless deniers down.

>> >> Philip Mathews

>> >[...SNIP...]

>> >0=0=0=0=0=0

>> >You mean to say John Morris was insincere? 

>> >Was, in effect, lying? 

>> >That John Morris is a liar?

>> I was perfectly sincere.  You are simply too stupid to understand what
>> I said.


>See, Phil. It was NOT sarcasm. 

It most certainly was sarcasm.

>John was being sincere. To repeat: He was NOT employing sarcasm. 

You seem to be a little bit confused.

>IOW, he was NOT lying--you were!

No, I was not lying.  And neither was Phil.

>Or maybe--to borrow John's words--you were "simply too stupid to understand 
>what [he] said."

I think the words still apply to you.

Regarding the remark that you seem so pleased with, I'm not sure that
there's a simpler way to put it.  But I'll try anyway.

One of the central myths of the Revisionist mythology is that the
Holocaust is above critical examination.  Part and parcel of that myth
is that eyewitness accounts especially are sacrosanct.  Yet in your
attack on the Wilkomirski memoir, you relied *exclusively* on
non-Revisionist sources to demonstrate that Wilkomirski's memoir is a
fiction.  There is but one obvious conclusion that one would draw from
the nature of your evidence: the Holocaust is not above critical
examination, and survivor testimony is not sacrosanct.  What you
demonstrated with your belated exposť of Wilkomirski is that one of
the central myths of Revisionism is a falsehood.

There are so many more interesting questions about truth and fiction
in biography than making simple-minded propaganda mileage out of the
occasional fiction.  For instance, with the vast wealth of information
about the Holocaust in the scholarship of the last twenty years, why
was Wilkomirski unable to produce a seamless fiction?  It's no
surprise that Wilkomirski was able to get his memoir past the readers
and editors at a mass market publisher.  After all, Lillian Hellman
got _Pentimento_ past her editors, and she led a much more public life
than Benjamin Wilkomirski.  Jane Fonda even won an Oscar for playing
Hellman's best friend, Julia.  We only learned that _Pentimento_ was
partly fiction when the real-life model of Julia revealed that she was
neither dead nor had she ever met Lillian Hellman.  Was Wilkomirski's
problem perhaps that there is too much information?  Is it now
impossible to say that certain events occurred at certain times and
places without somebody remembering that Wilkomirski wasn't there?

Holocaust fiction has always been tolerated--barely--if it is clearly
labeled as fiction such as in _Sophie's Choice_ or _It's a Beautiful
Life_, or if it has a factual foundation such as in _Schindler's
List_.  I see no reason why Wilkomirski's story couldn't be
re-released as a novel.  That won't happen unless Wilkomirski comes
clean.  It seems unlikely whether he will be able to vindicate

If Wilkomirski sticks to his story, the story will die out
irresolutely; his insistence that his story is true offers the easy
explanation that he is simply disturbed.  In imaginative works, we
want the imagination to be controlled, not controlling.  But I can
also imagine that Revisionists will eventually plagiarize enough
commentary from non-Revisionist sources to mythologize Wilkomirski as
a Revisionist triumph.  You people will still be talking about
Wilkomirski ten years from, long after the rest of us have forgotten
him, but you will also have forgotten that it was not Revisionists who
exposed his memoir as fiction.

I find the recent trend among alt.Revisionists to ask my permission to
post their opinions altogether curious.  Several people have done that
recently.  You seemed to show enough initiative to interpret my
remarks on Wilkomirski as permission to spew hatred against Jews.

I don't understand you people at all.  I don't understand how you
could regard yourself as an honest man.  My remarks were clearly a
limited comment on the folly of your approach to Wilkomirski.  Yet you
seem to take them as permission to post lies upon lies.  You know
before you post that you are posting lies.  You know before you post
that your lies are likely to be debunked.  And your response is never
to acknowledge the falsity of your claims, but rather to produce a
further lie.  What kind of person is filled with that kind of hate?

You damned well that no portions of Anne Frank's diary were written in
ballpoint pen.  You know damned well that the only speculation raised
was Faurisson's.  You damned well Dutch forensic experts gave a
definitive answer to Faurisson's objections.  Yet you have this
strange desire to retail the same lies that Revisionists have retailed
over and over again.

It must be awfully frustrating for you that you can't kill Anne Frank
again.  But you must kill her again.  And again and again.  And yet
there she is still looking at you out of those portraits, a permanent
reproach to the sickness of your soul that would apologize for the
regime that killed her.

What is it about Anne Frank that galls you so?  Her diary says nothing
about the Holocaust.  There are no gas chambers in the hidden room, no
trains, no disease, no hunger, no death.  There is only Anne and her
family, Anne and her frustrations at being cooped up, Anne and her
hopes for the future.  The diary ends abruptly because of her arrest.
Only then does the Holocaust begin for Anne Frank.  Why should the
ordinary thoughts confided to an ordinary diary by a bright but
otherwise ordinary girl inspire in you the need kill her again?

For some reason that remains opaque to me, you need to spend your days
mining newspapers for reasons to hate Jews.  You need to spend your
days finding ways to convince yourself that the Nazis ought to have
killed Jews.  You need to spend your days finding ways to convince
yourself that the Jews are so evil that they invented the Holocaust.

Yet Anne Frank wasn't evil, was she?  Even in her teenaged sullenness,
she was ordinary.  She did nothing to merit arrest.  She did nothing
to merit imprisonment in Auschwitz.  She did nothing to merit the
murder of her family.  She did nothing to merit being crammed into
Belsen where it was almost guaranteed that she would die of starvation
or disease.

Anne Frank multiplies into hundreds of thousands of ordinary girls who
didn't write diaries and who didn't deserve to die.  Anne Frank won't
allow you to convince yourself finally that the Jews deserved to die. 

That's why you have to kill her over and over again.  But she always
comes to back to haunt you.

 John Morris                                
 at University of Alberta  
"Fuch the world lets murder people." -- Matt Giwer, October 26, 1999

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