21 August 2011

Holocaust Survivor Promises to Walk Out of Freiburg Conference that Conflates Silencing the Palestinian Voice with Criminalisation of Holocaust Denial

Crisis for Gabi Weber’s Conference as Hajo Meyer Threatens to Withdraw because Gilad Atzmon Denies that Auschwitz was a Death Camp

“Why does he not deny that the earth is round and that there was ever a First World War.”
Hajo Meyer on fellow Conference Speaker Gilad Atzmon

By Gabi Weber's own admission two speakers have pulled out of her Conference on September 11th. And now a third speaker, holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer has also threatened to pull out. The Conference, seeks to conflate two entirely different phenomenon – the suppression of the history of the Palestinians and their continuing oppression with the criminalisation in some states of holocaust denial. Of course the proper and obvious comparison is between Nakba deniers and Holocaust deniers not those who suppress, rightly or wrongly, the message of the latter.

After returning from holiday I received this e-mail that Hajo Meyer had sent to the Conference organisers and other activists:

Von: Sara K
Betreff: FW: GA's holocaust denial
Datum: Montag, 8. August, 2011 19:50 Uhr

From: "hajo g. meyer"
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 13:41:18 +0200
To: 'gabi weber'
Cc: 'Alan Hart' ,
Subject: GA's holocaust denial

'‘If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein - free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war?’ ‘If the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? ‘We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative...’ ‘Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their next-door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East.’

Dear Gabi,

If this text is indeed from GA’s hand, there is only one way that he and I can be on the same conference together: viz. he distances himself loud and clearly and for 100% from it at the very start of the conference or I leave the conference after having made a public statement why I do that. This is because if he means this text is valid it implies that I, who saw the smoke from the crematoria, saw the gas chambers and smelled the burnt human flesh and was forced to march with the SS to the east, am implied by his text to be a liar who put the number on his arm in order to make himself interesting. Actually I gave you a similar comment on this text quite a while ago.

I am very, very sorry that I make life difficult for you but I cannot bear to be in any way associated which such a text by a lunatic. Why does he not deny that the earth is round and that there was ever a First World War.

Actually I once published my opinion that holocaust deniers should be put into a lunatic asylum and not into prison. Because they are either full fledged lunatics or they are under influence of drugs and alcohol and need anti addiction treatment.

Sorry for making life difficult for you but there are limits to what I can tolerate.

Cordial regards Hajo

Gabi Meyer, the organiser of the conference, has responded by attempting to pretend that nothing much is happening and that the withdrawal of Ramzi Baroud and the other speaker, is merely because of other commitments. That is not our information. Instead she has booked an additional 3 speakers, presumably fearing that more withdrawals are on the way. She writes:

Dear All,

while attempts to destroy Palestine Days in Freiburg are still going on, I am very pleased to present you our new programme.

Some of the speakers pulled out because the pressure and personal resentments were increasing.

Ramzy Baroud had to cancel the whole German tour as important tasks are waiting for him in September. He will send his message and conference support by video and copies of his speech will be distributed in German and English.

I am very pleased to announce three amazing Palestinian speakers who will join the conference and make an important authentic contribution to the event: Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo from Dallas, Sameh Habeeb from London and Dr. Makram Khoury-Machool from Cambridge.

You will find their topics and biographies on our conference blog



Samir Abed-Rabbo
Gilad Atzmon
Ramzy Baroud (on video)
Ibrahim El-Zayat
Sameh Habeeb
Alan Hart
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski
Makram Khoury-Machool
Ken O´Keefe
Dr. Tilman Lüdke
Prof. Dr. Dr. Bernhard Uhde
Prof. Dr. Heribert Weiland

Viqar Ali
David Borrington

Bürgerhaus Zähringen
Lameystr. 2, 79108 Freiburg

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