Wednesday, February 02, 2011

No Good Comes from Fabrications

This is an interesting article on Simon Wiesenthal, about whom I have long heard not known very little beyond the moniker "Nazi hunter".This is the part that really interests me:
It is thus unfortunate that his fabrications and falsehoods now threaten to overshadow his real accomplishments...Wiesenthal's most egregious distortion of the historical record and Segev's response to it. In the 1970s, Wiesenthal began to refer to "eleven million victims" of the Holocaust, six million Jews and five million non-Jews, but the latter number had no basis in historical reality...When Israeli historians Yehuda Bauer and Yisrael Gutman challenged Wiesenthal on this point, he admitted that he had invented the figure of eleven million victims in order to stimulate interest in the Holocaust among non-Jews. He chose five million because it was almost, but not quite, as large as six million...Any falsification with respect to the Holocaust, whatever its purpose may be, gives comfort and solace, not to speak of ammunition, to Holocaust deniers.
I agree. You just see this strong, human tendency to spin, to twist, to fabricate and distort played out over and over. Of course contemporary pols do it all the time, but you see it often in professional life. The glib managerial response that smooths over the question in today's meeting sows confusion, distrust and cynicism when later shown unjustified.

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