The John Sack / An Eye for an Eye conference reprinted below took place on CompuServe's Book Preview Forum on April 30, 1997. Those wishing to exchange messages with John Sack can use the command GO PREVIEW on CompuServe to visit the forum and take part in the discussion on the message board. This transcript is copyright 1997 by Readers & Writers Ink on CompuServe. All rights reserved. Reprinted on Nizkor by permission. Nizkor asks that its readers respect CompuServe's copyright, and not redistribute this document electronically or by other means without contacting us. Alex/Sysop | % Room is moderated | % Your moderator is [76703,243] Alex/Sysop | % The floor is now OPEN Michael S. Curtis | I would ask Mr. Sack is | how he feels now, knowing that his book has been | embraced by | Holocaust revisionists. Although that was not his | purpose, and | although his book is not a work of Holocaust | denial, the IHR/ | Noontide Press distributes his book and obviously | takes delight | in the story that he tells. Does he have any | regrets? John Sack | Thank you for the question, Michael. I want as | many revisionists as possible to read this. If | you'll hang in for a minute I'll John Sack | put on line some of a letter I sent to Aaron | Breitbart at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. John Sack | Thank you for the flier from the Institute for | Hysterical Review. Yes yes, I know the Institute's | selling An Eye for an Eye, John Sack | and it's either a sign of an author's overoptimism | or of his overego (but which? please tell me) that | I actually welcome it. John Sack | The Institute says that the Holocaust didn't | happen. Well, I write on the second page of An Eye | for an Eye, "The people John Sack | who say it are fools, maybe worse," so I welcome | the fact that the Institute's selling these words. | On the same page I John Sack | write, "Yes, the Holocaust happened," and I then | write 33 pages specifically about the Holocaust. John Sack | In these first 33 pages of An Eye For an Eye, the | Germans invade Poland, the Germans burn down a | Jewish temple, "the John Sack | cries of the worshipers were like an enormous | scream," the Germans kill 800 Jews, the Germans | send Jews to the John Sack | Gleiwitz concentration camp, the Germans send Jews | to the Bedzin ghetto, the Gestapo tortures a Jew, | the SS attacks John Sack | the Bedzin ghetto, "the SS took some babies away to | rip in two pieces or pitch at the walls or toss in | the air and catch like John Sack | quoits on their bayonets," the SS sends Jews to | Auschwitz, the SS puts fifty-seven into an | Auschwitz cyanide chamber, John Sack | the SS kills twenty-nine, the SS beats Jews with | clubs, "almost all Jews at Auschwitz went, as they | said, up the chimney," John Sack | thirteen specifically die this way, the SS seizes a | Jew and "beat her, whipped her, and tortured her, | crushing her hands John Sack | and feet like walnut shells," the SS hangs four | Jews, the SS shoots some Jews, the SS sends 60,000 | people on foot (at John Sack | 10 below) out of Auschwitz, the SS shoots hundreds | of Jews, and the SS, I write, creates a scene out | of Dante's Inferno. Alex/Sysop | Once again, folks, for now we're using an open | floor, but you can also use the ASK button or | /question command to put a question into the | question queue at any time. It'll look like this | when you do! John Sack | "In the snow were the Jews....There were maybe one | thousand, living, dying, dead--the living | screaming, the dying crying, John Sack | the dead ones kneeling, their hands on their heads, | their bodies as white as snow statues, frozen | solid....The colors John Sack | were those in a steel engraving, black and white: a | drawing of the last ring of hell." John Sack | The rest of An Eye For an Eye is often about the | Holocaust. The Germans hang Lola's brother, the | Germans kill Barek's John Sack | mother, father and two sisters, "the bodies, logs, | bodies, logs rose for a half-dozen tiers that the | SS had burned like a John Sack | funeral pyre till a man couldn't tell if some of | the char was animal or vegetable," the Germans kill | Shlomo's father, John Sack | mother, three sisters, and all his uncles, aunts | and cousins, the Gestapo tortures Pinek's sister, | the SS castrates a John Sack | Jewish man, the Germans kill Shlomo's (another | Shlomo's) father, mother, brothers, uncles, aunts, | and "all but one John Sack | ailing cousin and six million more." I conclude | in An Eye For an Eye, "What the Germans...did to | the Jews was John Sack | monstrous." John Sack | I welcome all Nazis, neo-Nazis, antisemites, and | Holocaust deniers who for God knows what motives | choose to read John Sack | this, let alone pay for it. Alex/Sysop | Why is there such a strong reaction to the book? | Would people rather believe the Goldhagen theory | that Germans are somehow--different? John Sack | Well, Goldhagen has the theory that what the | Holocaust teaches us is, all Jews are good and all | Germans are bad. I John Sack | think that the Holocaust teaches us something more | universal than that. Michael S. Curtis | What the deniers are doing is using your book to | relativize and trivialize what the Germans did by | saying, "Hey the Jews did this too! | What makes the Germans so special?" John Sack | Well, the Jews didn't, repeat, didn't do what the | Germans did. They didn't kill even two percent as | many people. They John Sack | certainly didn't put Germans on trains and send | them to cyanide chambers and crematoriums. I say | that in An Eye for an John Sack | Eye, almost word-for-word. Anyone who says the | Jews did the same things the Germans did is saying | his or her John Sack | own words, not mine. Alex/Sysop | You describe your book as being more than a book | about Jewish revenge, but also a book of Jewish | redemption. Could you elborate on that a little? Michael S. Curtis | One last question from a friend: Mr. Sack presents | one Czeslaw Geborski as one Michael S. Curtis | of the most brutal commandants of camps for ethnic | Germans. He mentions that Michael S. Curtis | Geborski claimed to be a Catholic, not a Jew, but | Mr. Sack seems to Michael S. Curtis | present this claim with some skepticism. Given the | avowed subject Michael S. Curtis | matter of his book, why didn't he ascertain the | truth in this matter? Michael S. Curtis | Wasn't it important to positively identify Gentiles | as such in a book Michael S. Curtis | emphasizing Jewish guilt in the mistreatment of | ethnic Germans? Does Michael S. Curtis | Mr. Sack at this time know whether Geborski was | Jewish or Catholic? John Sack | The heroine of the book is Lola Potok, a real | person who now lives in Australia. For months she | sought to do what the John Sack | Germans did to the Jews, to her own family, in | fact. She beat the Germans and let her guards | torture them, let the John Sack | Germans die. Then she remembered what her religion | taught her. She changed. Now I'll go on to | Michael's question. John Sack | Michael, I really don't know if Geborski is | Catholic or Jewish. He was at Auschwitz. All his | friends were Jews. He always John Sack | dined at the Jewish Cultural Club in Katowice. He | made all his prisoners wear yellow stars of David. | And the prisoners John Sack | believed that he was a Jew, this according to | testimony at a trial in Germany. But I can't prove | it, for Geborski refused to John Sack | speak to me. So I never say it. Alex/Sysop | More questions, folks? Alex/Sysop | You've been in journalism for decades. I first | encountered your work in Esquire in the '60s, in | fact. What made you take on this subject? Arthur S. Liebeskind | Is anything happerning? Alex/Sysop | Arthur, we're having a live conference with John | Sack, author of AN EYE FOR AN EYE. Bob Weien | Just joined the conference. Saw something earlier Bob Weien | about being about to buy and then download the Bob Weien | book. How to go about that? John Sack | Alex, I met Lola in Los Angeles. She told me a | swee tlittle story about slapping some Germans who | were SS and John Sack | Gestapo. That's the story I wrote in California | magazine, and that's the story that was reprinted | in Best Magazine Articles, John Sack | 1988. I knew nothing then about torture, about | Germans dying. I knew nothing about the 226 other | prisons and 1,255 John Sack | concentration camps run by Jews. When I wrote my | book proposal, when I signed my book contract, I | thought I'd be John Sack | telling this sweet little story. Alex/Sysop | I'll answer Bob's question when you're through | answering mine (grin) GA John Sack | Alex, I answered you, you answer Bob. Alex/Sysop | Okay. Bob, "An Eye for an Eye" will be available | for download from the Readers & Writers Ink menu | quite soon--probably by tomorrow. Alex/Sysop | I've got a technical matter to wait on, and then | it'll be downloadable at the click of a button. | The menu is at GO READER, and th Alex/Sysop | e download price will be $2.95. Michael S. Curtis | Thanks, we'll probably speak more in forum after | *I* have had a chance to study Michael S. Curtis | the book. Yet it makes me sad that day after day as | I deal with deniers I have Michael S. Curtis | to battle your book. Though I've seen this book | quite often in local stores, I Michael S. Curtis | haven't bought it. I have spent enough wasted time | with Butz and Mark Weber. Michael S. Curtis | Their use of your book didn't make it ride the top | of my list and I have Michael S. Curtis | depended upon others who have read it to help with | the refutations. Most of us Michael S. Curtis | who deal with refuting the deniers have to deal | with how your book is used and Michael S. Curtis | abused. Trust me, I will download it wen it becomes | available. I will show you Michael S. Curtis | how the deniers are actually using your book. It'll | take me some time to put it Michael S. Curtis | together. Alex/Sysop | Knowledge of how deniers are using it is one reason | I'm glad to be able to offer it here, in fact. | Having read it, I'm all the mor John Sack | Michael, I say right in the preface, right on the | second page, that the people who deny the Holocaust | are fools, maybe John Sack | worse. Alex/Sysop | e incensed. Alex/Sysop | Along these lines, can you tell the people here a | bit about the book's suppression in different | countries? John Sack | Sure. The worst was Germany. The publisher | printed 6,000 copies. The day before he was to | send them to bookstores, John Sack | he changed his mind and destroyed all 6,000. Then | another publisher bought it, and it became a | best-seller there. Alex/Sysop | Some have complained that the book reads like a | story--almost novelistic in its approach. What do | you think of their belief that a purely scholarly | approach is more proper? John Sack | The most recent suppression was on February 13th | this year. I'd been invited to speak at the U.S. | Holocaust Memorial John Sack | Museum. It was announced on the Internet and in | thousands of Museum brochures. Then, without | explanation, the John Sack | Museum canceled it. Well, of course what happened | was, the press was up in arms and I spoke instead | on NPR and at John Sack | the National Press Club. Michael S. Curtis | What excuse did the earlier publisher give? What | was USHMM excuse? John Sack | But to answer your question, Alex. I wish, I wish, | that some scholar would write a scholarly book | about this, with all the John Sack | footnotes and that good stuff. It's just not the | way that I myself write. Bob Weien | Alex, thanks for the info, and I'll certainly | download Bob Weien | and read it as soon as it's available. Sounds Bob Weien | fascinating! John Sack | Michael, the German publisher said that the | discussions about the book might go off in the | wrong direction. The John Sack | Holocaust Museum said the topic was inappropriate. | Neither of them said anything more. Michael S. Curtis | We do have the de Zayas books do we not? What about | David Irving's troubles? John Sack | I'm surprised that you're comparing de Zayas and | David Irving. De Zayas has never denied the | Holocaust. What's your John Sack | specific question about David Irving? Michael S. Curtis | I'm not saying de Zayas is a denier! David Irving | has had suppression troubles Michael S. Curtis | has he not? John Sack | Michael, he certainly has. And I think that all | suppression is bad. Whether it's David Irving or | Mark Twain. Alex/Sysop | We've a number of people here--please, folks, feel | free to ask our guest a question! You can put it | right here in the conference. A Alex/Sysop | nd you can also use the ASK button or /question | command to put a question into the question queue | at any time. Andrea Van Every | Hi John, this is Andrea | How did you get the idea for this book? John Sack | Hi, Andrea. I was at Paramount Pictures in 1984. | A secretary told me her mother was at Auscwhitz and | then ran a prison John Sack | for SS men. I said, "What! Do you know there's a | movie there?" The secretary's mother was Lola | Potok. Alex/Sysop | You mentioned one man who wouldn't talk to you. | Was it hard to get folks to open up about this | story? Did many want to keep it "under the rug" as | it were? John Sack | Alex, I'm writing a book now about the Chinese | Mafia. I promise it's much, much easier to get a | Chinese gangster to talk John Sack | to you, even to tell you about the people he | murdered that the police don't know of, than to get | the Jews who ran the John Sack | concentration camps for Germans in 1945 to talk | about that. John Sack | One man said he'd sue me. One man said he'd | destroy me. One man said he'd kill me. I think he | meant it. Alex/Sysop | I note that Michael Barenbaum invited you to speak | at the Holocaust museum, but his successor withdrew | that invitation. Has the issue caused much | division in the Jewish community? Or was Barenbaum | the exception to the rule? John Sack | Alex, I'm flying to Los Angeles and meeting with | Michael Berenbaum in the middle of May. He's the | very first critic of An John Sack | Eye for an Eye who's willing to meet with me. The | others just denounce me, then run for cover and | hide. But to answer John Sack | your question.... John Sack | I'd say no. There's no division in any Jewish | community that I am a part of. My agent, my | lawyer, my publisher, my editor, John Sack | my publicity person at Basic Books, and even my | beloved Sysop at CompuServe are all Jews, and | they're behind An Eye John Sack | for an Eye. They realize that (as the Jewish | magazine PS put it) we have nothing to fear and | much togain from An Eye for John Sack | an Eye. Michael S. Curtis | I can understand the revenge factor. Can you offer | a trail of how many Jewish folks ended up | controlling concentration camps after the war and | where they were? Or is the concern more with | revenge carried out by small groups who captured | ex-concentration camp SS in their snares? John Sack | Michael, there's no way of knowing how many Jews | there were. That's because almost all of them | changed their names John Sack | to Polish Catholic ones, even on their application | forms for the Polish secret police. Daniel | Goldhagen of Harvard, who's John Sack | certainly no friend of An Eye for an Eye, says that | in November, 1945, there were 400-and-something | Jews in the Polish John Sack | secret police, and I say that by November | practically all the Jews had left. If we're both | right, then early in 1945 there John Sack | would have been thousands of Jews. Michael S. Curtis | I think Goldhagen had problems with your | substantiations. In fact, I have Michael S. Curtis | problems with some of his. :-) John Sack | More in answer to Michael's question. The Jews ran | and worked for the Office of State Security, the | Polish political police. John Sack | They wore uniforms and called themselves | lieutenants, captains, even generals. They | certainly weren't working in small John Sack | groups. Now to your next question.... John Sack | Goldhagen said that only 1.7 percent of the Office | of State Security were Jews. That statement is a | disservice to the John Sack | motto ("Veritas") of Goldhagen's university. Only | last month, a distinguished professor at Columbia, | speaking at a John Sack | conference at UCLA, referred to "the misdeeds of | the almost entirely Jewish-led Polish secret | police." He said these John Sack | misdeeds--torture and murder among them--were | notorious. Michael S. Curtis | It would seem that the sacking of Poland would have | upset a lot of non-Jewish Michael S. Curtis | Poles? John Sack | It did. But that's another matter. A lot has been | written about what the secret police did to the | Poles. I'm writing about John Sack | what the secret police ("almost entirely | Jewish-led," the Columbia professor said) did to | Germans, innocent Germans, John Sack | even German babies. Alex/Sysop | We've still time for a few more questions, folks. | Anyone? Andrea Van Every | John, as I understand you had some pretty negative | reaction within the Jewish Andrea Van Every | community. What's the problem? Michael S. Curtis | What proof do you have that the Christian names | were in fact Jews? John Sack | Let me answer Michael's question. I know that a | man is a Jew when I meet him and he tells me he's a | Jew. For John Sack | example David Feuerstein. He was a very brutal | interrogator (under another name) in Neisse in | 1945. He and his John Sack | friends tell me he's a Jew, and since he's vice | president of the International Society for Yad | Vashem, I believe him. Michael S. Curtis | Thanks, John. John Sack | Now for Andrea's question. Well, someone in my | local "Jewish community" asked me, "How could you, | as a Jew, write a John Sack | book like this about Jews." I answered, "How could | I as a Jew (italics) not (end italics) write it?" John Sack | Joe Pistone, the FBI agent who posed as Donnie | Brasco, says that some Italians asked him, "How | could you do this to John Sack | other Italians?" Alex/Sysop | Do you think we Jews, as a whole, have gotten too | far into --well, I don't know what to call it other | than our "victimhood." Do we Alex/Sysop | have a need to think of ourselves only as victims | because of the holocaust? John Sack | Well, not the Jews that I know. If some other Jews | think that what the Jewish religion's about is | never forgetting the John Sack | Holocaust, they should re-read the words of Micah: | "What does the Lord require of thee? Only to do | justly and to love John Sack | mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." Alex/Sysop | We've passed the hour--anyone have any last | questions for our guest? Andrea Van Every | I think you are very brave to touch a subject like | this -( and as a German Andrea Van Every | living in the States) I congratulate you for it. Michael S. Curtis | Thanks for the hour, John. Alex/Sysop | Thanks to all of you for coming! Remember, John | Sack will be here on the message board when he has | time to check the AN EYE FOR AN Alex/Sysop | EYE section, and the book will be available for | download from the GO READER menu very soon. John Sack | Thank you, Andrea. I didn't think that I was being | brave at the time I wrote it. I just thought, This | story's never been told, it's my job as a reporter | to write it. Carolyn Poston | Yes, John, thank you--I had no idea of this. John Sack | Thank you, Caolyn. I'm happy to stay and answer | any of your questions if Alex allows me. Alex/Sysop | Sure, if anyone has more questions, fire away! Carolyn Poston | Is there a difference between a "revisionist" and | one who just flat out denies that the holocaust | happened? Andrea Van Every | John, did you get any negative reactions from any | Non-Jews, what ever Andrea Van Every | nationality? John Sack | Carolyn, I've met some "revisionists" and | "deniers." They say there weren't any gas chambers | at Auschwitz. They're John Sack | wrong, terribly wrong, and I've told them so, but | they're not not not saying the Holocaust didn't | happen. I've never met John Sack | anyone who says that the Holocaust didn't happen. John Sack | Andrea, yes. The review in the Frankfurter | Rundschau, the one that caused the German publisher | to destroy 6,000 John Sack | books, was written (I'm told) by a Gentile. Carolyn Poston | John, I am sad to say that I live in the heart of | the Carolyn Poston | Aryan Nations/Order Country and there are most Carolyn Poston | definitely those who say the Holocaust di not Carolyn Poston | happen. Michael S. Curtis | Carolyn's right. No gas chambers = no holocaust to | them. Alex/Sysop | I've also met some online who insist there was no | holocaust, and that fewer than 80,000 Jews died | during the entire war. You've bee Alex/Sysop | n lucky so far (grin). John Sack | Thank you, Carolyn. I'd like to see their | literature, so I don't deny the existence of the | deniers before a wider audience. John Sack | But Michael, I've seen a tape of a televsion talk | show where some major deniers said yes, the | Holocaust happened. Michael S. Curtis | Oh, but then they will turn around and deny it. | I'll present you some of this Michael S. Curtis | in the future. John Sack | Thank you, Michael. I'd like to see it. I've got | a magazine assignment to write about it. Michael S. Curtis | This makes the post-War murderous Jews even worse! John Sack | Michael, I didn't quite understand. John Sack | Do you mean it makes the Jews worse in the eyes of | the Holocaust deniers? Michael S. Curtis | If their was no holocaust then there was no reason | for the Jews to do as you Michael S. Curtis | have described. This is there thinking. Yes. John Sack | These people have their heads screwed on all wrong, | then. Michael S. Curtis | Yes, sir. It is called anti-Semitism. Carolyn Poston | And also called White Supremitism Alex/Sysop | Any more questions, anyone? John Sack | I met Mark Weber. A Jew who knows him says that | he's racist. Why? Because he thinks that whites | are smarter than John Sack | blacks, and thinks that Jews are smarter than | Gentiles. That may be racist, but I can't call it | anti-Semitism. Michael S. Curtis | Mark Weber has a degree in European Studies. M.A. Michael S. Curtis | Mark Weber is very clever. You will have to read | some of his stuff. He's a Michael S. Curtis | deneir. John Sack | I've got a stack of it, Mike, but I haven't had the | time or the heart to start reading it. Not yet. Alex/Sysop | Actually, I'm not sure that "they're smarter" can't | be anti-semitic, if it's given as a reason not to | _trust_ Jews. Alex/Sysop | I've seen exactly that aimed at Orientals in recent | years. John Sack | Interesting point. But then the people he'd trust | the most are the blacks. Michael S. Curtis | Well, Alex, the Jews run the "media." :-) Alex/Sysop | Well, a Jew runs this particular bit of it anyway | (grin). Alex/Sysop | We're down to four here in the CO room, but I | note, by the way, that a heckuvalot of people have | been lurking in the outer reaches Alex/Sysop | of the forum without joining the conference. The | new software encourages that. Hey, folks, next | time feel free to come on down to Alex/Sysop | the CO room! (There were 22 up there at one point, | but most have left.) John Sack | Yeah, don't be a wallflower. Carolyn Poston | Alex, whoch new software? What version? Michael S. Curtis | I must be off. Thank you much Alex and John. See | you in the Book Review Froum. Alex/Sysop | Carolyn, in CompuServe 3.0 (or later) you can | "listen" to a conference room without leaving the | message board or the libraries. John Sack | Thank you, Mike. Bye. Alex/Sysop | Michael, thanks for coming! The John Sack / An Eye for an Eye conference took place on CompuServe's Book Preview Forum. Those wishing to exchange messages with John Sack can use the command GO PREVIEW on CompuServe to visit the forum and take part in the discussion on the message board. This transcript is copyright 1997 by Readers & Writers Ink on CompuServe. All rights reserved. Reprinted on Nizkor by permission.
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