When CiF commentary about the Holocaust elicits contempt for Jews by Guardian readers

H/T David T.

Tom Gross’s CiF commentary on September 2, “Goodbye, Golden Rose was a truly sad tale of how Ukrainian authorities are callously erasing the last remaining traces of the 420,000 Polish an Ukrainian Jews murdered by the Nazis  in Lviv (also called Lvov, Lwow, and Lemberg) and its environs.  The author described witnessing bulldozers demolishing parts of the remnants of what was once one of Europe’s most beautiful synagogue complexes, the 16th-century Golden Rose in Lviv.

Most of the rest of the synagogue was burned down, with Jews inside, by the Nazis in 1941 – one of 42 synagogues destroyed by the Nazis in Lviv – and is to be replaced with a hotel.

The Golden Rose represents one of the few remaining vestiges of Jewish existence in Lviv, the majority of whose residents, in 1940, were Jewish.

Two years ago, another site of mass murder in Lviv, the Citadel – where tens of thousands of Jews and others were tortured to death – was converted into a five-star hotel.

There is no monument to the murdered Jews in Lviv’s old town.

The essay, as with any CiF commentary pertaining to Jews, Israel or the Holocaust, elicited quite a high volume of reader comments beneath the line – including this:

What the commenter is referring to is The Soviet caused Ukrainian famine (1932–1933), or Holodomor (literally in Ukrainian, “death by hunger”), which was one of the largest national catastrophes in the modern history of the Ukraine, and is widely recognized as a “crime against humanity” or an outright “genocide” by many.  

The number of deaths in Ukraine’s Holodomer – which was caused by the forced Soviet collectivization, along with the murderous purges of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, religious leaders and politicians under Stalin – are often cited as over 7 million – which includes an estimated 80,000 or so Jews.

The notion, advanced by the Guardian reader, that Jews played a role in Stalin’s ethnic cleansing is simply perverse, and literally beyond comprehension. 

You can find such insidious commentary at the site of White Supremacists such as David Duke and conspiracy theory sites like Rense.com.

Moreover, there’s something disturbing about this perverse moral tick displayed by some Guardian readers – those, as we’ve documented, who can’t simply express unqualified sympathy for Jewish victims of the Holocaust without either evoking alleged Israeli villainy against Palestinians or suggesting Jewish complicity in Soviet crimes – what David Duke refers to as the crimes of “Jewish Bolsheviks”.

The comment above garnered 16 recommends and has not been deleted. 

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