I drove to Berlin to search the files of the Allied Documentation
Center at Clay Allee.
While leafing through a mountain of documents, I discovered that Lina
Heydrich was still alive, had remarried with a Finn named Manninen and was living on the island of Fehmarn.
Using part of my vacation, I traveled to Luebeck and took a ferry to Fehmarn where I found Lina Heydrich Manninen, now an old woman in whom I was able to see trsces of the great Nordic beauty so much admired by Hitler and other leading Nazis.
During the two hours I spent talking with her she insisted almost vehemently that her late husband, although a fervent Nazi was not an anti-Semite and even boasted privately of having had a Jewish
grandmother named Sarah.
She recounted an anecdote of a conversation she and Heydrich had
had after he returned from the infamous Wansee conference. She told me that he felt privately, that the "Final Solution" of the Jewish 'problem' decide on at Wansee was a terrible mistake and would
damage the German soul for centuries.
She recalled him saying, "if only Jews could be made to think and act like good Nazis, their lives could be saved and they might even be useful for the Third Reich.'
I left Burg on Fehmarn with the feeling that I had been bamboozled. What she told me sounded more like her attempt to reinvent her late husband to make him more acceptable to the New Germany. I was not taken in and decided not to write the story.
Furthermore, at the time I could not imagine any Jew thinking and acting like a Nazi. I knew the theme of the great American novel, MOBY DICK by Herman Mellville, that we often become like the thing we hate, but I believed that the post-Holocaust Jews had learned the painful lesson, that we as a people and as individuals must never do to another people what had been done to us.
That I believed until I saw what was being done to the Palestinian
people in Israel and read an open letter by an Israeli writer, Ehud Ben-Ezer, whose fiction I had admired many years ago. But before I comment on this letter, I must return to my title for this piece.
Baruch Goldstein is an infamous murderer, a man who wilfully massacred defenseless Palestinians as they prostrated themselves iat early morning prayer in a mosque in Hebron.
Wearing the olive green uniform of an Israeli army major, Goldstein, an American immigrant settler, a KACH adherent and follower of
the Jewish Fascist Rabbi Kahane (who espoused the doctrine of genocide for all Arabs) from nearby Kiryat Arba, entered the packed Ibrahim Mosque in the Cave of the Patriarchs, a shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims, and killed nearly 30 Muslims and wounding 170 more before taking his own life.
What makes it all even more horrible is that this Jewish Dr. Mengele, was also a physician, a man sworn by his Hippocratic oath to save lives instead of taking them.
Was Heydrich right then?
Had the Israeli-Palestinian conflict finally produced a Jew capable of thinking and acting lijke a Nazi?
His grave in Kyriat Arba has become a shrine and place of pilgrimage for Jewish terrorists. With all this, I still believed that there were sane people in Israel and that it was only a vociferous group of politicians like Sharon and other militarists that still preserved their dream of a 'greater Israel' who were willing to advocate the destruction of Palestinians, even to the point of mass genocide, in order to prevent a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
And then I read the letter of Ben Ezer, a former adversary of Sharon.
In it I was shocked to find such hackneyed cliche phrases as: "Israel the bulwark of democracy, of humanism, and western culture" in conflict with "the majority of an Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian
world, that have produced nothing except oil and hate", "What is now taking place is the war of the children of light against the children of darkness"
(This last sounds like a Hollywood advertisement for
the Tolkien trilogy, THE LORD OF THE RINGS).
"One cannot make deals with the powers of darkness."
How sad that a writer who was once able think clearly and logically has now become so depraved that he cynically employs apocalyptic rhetoric to justify state terrorism by Israel and the
indiscriminate murder of small children and mothers.
Is this typical of what has happened to the majority of Israelis who. according to Ben Ezer, feel as he does?
I managed to escape the holocaust although most of my loved ones went up in the smoke of German ovens.
It took me a long time to get over my hatred but I came to realize that if I did not heal my soul of hatred it would destory me just as hatred of Moby Dick destroyed Cpatain Ahab, Hitler's hatred
of the Jews destroyed him and nearly destroyed all of Germany, and Israeli hatred of the Palestinians is well on the way to destroying Israel, if not militarily, than morally and spirtually from the internal contradictions of its actions.
The great Viennese psychoanalyst, Viktor Frankl, a Jew has formulated
the problem I am adumbrating in his essay. He spent many years in a Nazi prison camp.
You might say that while he was there he discovered 'Why the Caged Bird Sings'. That is, He ran smack dab into 'enlightenment'.
When he came out he wrote a little book about it called: Man's Search for Meaning.
In it he describes what happens when you take an accomplished, rich, educated human and remove all the trappings, further reducing him down to naked skin and bones.
He discovered that when man loses everything he THINKS he is, Man has the potential to find himself staring straight into the Face of God.
At the end of his book, he writes about what the experience was doing to those who had not reached that Mighty Doorway OUT.
He said they had a strong desire to make the world pay for what was done to them.
He could not really blame them, but he understood the potential to use the energy destructively.
He was most concerned about what it might do to the world. I think we are seeing that very outcome in Israeli society.
Some commentators have spoken about a Masada Complex and that is certainly one way of interpreting the Goldstein statement I cited above.
But there is something even stronger that has been referred to as the Samson syndrome: the aggresive posture of the only former democracy of the Middle East that has become a runaway terrorist state with weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a military cabal,which is ready to use the ultimate weapon that will insure not only the death of its misperceived enemies as well as its own.