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Sunday, February 10, 2008

First Arab book about the Holocaust

The first Arab book about the Holocaust has been published. It was written in French by Boualem Sansal and it's called Le village de l’Allemand. It tells the story of a Nazi who served in the Algerian underground during the war against France and was later made mayor of an Algerian city. (Hat Tip: Aryeh Z. in Beit Ilit)

Several years ago, in one of his visits to the town as a Ministry of Industry official, Sansal discovered that the mayor was a German Nazi who had fled from Egypt after the war and had been sent by Gamal Nasser to assist the Algerian underground gather intelligence. Sansal says the recruitment of Nazis for the National Liberation Front underground is one of the war secrets that has never come to light, and reveals the ties between Arab nationalists and Nazis.

“Several Germans who came to fight alongside the Algerians secured high-level posts in the government after [Algeria] won independence,” he told Le Monde in an interview. Sansal said he used the role of the Nazis in order to write about the Holocaust in Algeria. “I asked myself whether Algeria, an Arab, Muslim country, can talk about the Holocaust, which does not exist in Algeria and is officially denied. The Holocaust has been totally erased from Arab countries. It has no trace anywhere, not in the media and not in the schools. If it happens to be mentioned, it is only to claim that it is a Jewish fabrication, a scheme and a lie by the Jews.”

Sansal had to invent characters — two Algerian brothers who, while studying in France, discover their father had been a Nazi war criminal. “I wanted to make the Maghrebs and the Arab world understand that this book was meant for them, so that they would feel, over the course of dozens of pages, the crimes [that were perpetrated] in order to demonstrate that the Holocaust is not [merely] a war crime, but much more than that.”

Unfortunately, you can't find this book anywhere in Algeria or in any other Arab country. Can you all guess why?


At 5:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

We all know why - and we all know what the Arabs would do to the Jews given the chance.

Anyway Carl - let's look at Ehud Olmert telling the people of Sderot to calm down after a Jewish child lost one of his limbs. And he refused to come out of his office to talk to them. I wonder if the Ghetto mentality ever left the Jew. All I need to underline is that 60 years after Israel declared her independence, the truth is the stirring promise of Hatikvah remains largely unrealized. The Jewish people are still not a free people in their own land and in Jerusalem.


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