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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave book and a thought provoking read
I have read many books on the Nazi Holocaust and had a growing personal discomfort about the manner in which the non-Jewish element was increasingly marginalised (I must admit that I had a similar feeling when I started learning about the numbers of Asian non-POWS who had been killed in building the Death Railway in Burma in WWII, a feature that is ignored in most books...
Published on 22 Sep 2007 by Siriam

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17 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Polemical - Novick's account is vastly superior.
In a polemical barrage, Finklesten seeks to expose the 'truth' about the holocaust in recent history. Readers of Finklestein's book need to put it in its historical context. Peter Novick has written a balanced and highly persuasive account of the holocaust in collective memory, presenting an abundance of evidence to support his finely nuanced argument. Finklestein has...
Published on 25 Jan 2001


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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly direct, 23 July 2000
By 
R. Bard Sweet Ltd (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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The book is a direct attack on the industries that have arisen around the Holocaust. Finkelstein is arguing that the Holocaust has been used for political reasons to justify Israeli actions. In other words, within Israel, torture, imprisonment and persecution of Palestinians as well as massacres in Lebanon are justifiable when viewed through the experience of the Holocaust. His primary theme though is that an industry has arisen on the back of what originally was a very private matter for the survivors. Huge sums are paid to Jewish organisations, which are never distributed to the increasingly fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors. Instead, heads of these organisations draw fantastic salaries to run self perpetuating organisations that have far more to do with American politics than helping the remaining individuals. As Finkelstein puts it, we have arrived at a Dachau meets Disneyland situation. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Finkelstein's arguments, this is a cutting, direct no-nonsense book which will undoubtedly create a lot of controversy.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shoahbusiness, 17 Jun 2012
By 
F Henwood "The bookworm that turned" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Paperback)
This book has attracted mostly positive reviews and comments here - some of them get it right.

Finkelstein argues that before 1967, the holocaust did not feature as salient fact of American-Jewish life. The Six-Day war that same year changed this: the holocaust became a weapon in an ideological war to legitimise Israel's treatment of its conquered Palestinian population, and American complicity in this. From this, the `holocaust industry' emerged.

What is the holocaust industry? Finkelstein does not offer any systematic definition. He appears to be using this term as shorthand for a collection of ideological tropes and attitudes deployed by American-Jewish interest groups for political purposes. The lack of systematic definition of this term however does not vitiate this book as a serious work of criticism. The reason for this is because the bulk of the book is devoted to documenting the political misuse of the holocaust for cynical political purposes.

The showpiece of the book is the so-called `double shakedown' of Swiss banks and German firms in the 1990s and early 2000s. In the Swiss case, American-Jewish leaders of the World Jewish Congress and other organisations extorted substantial reparations on a false pretext that the country's banks looted the accounts of Jewish survivors and victims. In the German case, the shakedown assumed the form of blackmailing German businesses into making further reparations for their participation in Nazi crimes, despite Germany already having paid substantial compensation to holocaust survivors. What's more, having extracted these monies by threat (e.g. the threat of US sanctions), the real survivors of the holocaust barely received anything. Hence the double shakedown: of Swiss banks and German firms on the one hand, and of holocaust survivors on the other.

In two later editions of this book, Dr. Finkelstein devotes considerable space to expanding and defending his findings. I do not know of any critic that has actually taken issue with the substance of his findings, let alone actually rebut or falsify them.

The broader purposes of the holocaust industry are by now widely accepted: to sanctify the state of Israel and render it immune to criticism, and to taint any criticism of the conduct of the Israeli state with the stigma of anti-Semitism.

One can take issue with individual statements he makes. As Finkelstein's style is polemical, occasionally shrill, he is wont to make the odd sweeping statement. He compares Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to American Jewish treatment of African-Americans, polemical flourishes which are clearly meant to provoke tempers rather than reasoned debate. However, it would be cheap to poke holes in his argument by seizing and faulting individual statements while ignoring his principal contentions, where the substance of his argument is made, and for which he supports with meticulous referencing. As I have already said, the contentions he makes on the chapter of the double shakedown have never, to my knowledge, been addressed by his critics, let alone falsified.

One criticism I have of the book is that the notion of a holocaust `industry' is not well developed, as I have already intimated - is it a conspiracy, a bundle of attitudes, an industry in the literal sense of a conscious manufacturing of myth or what? But again, this weakness does not detract from the central contentions he makes. It is not necessary to prove that there is a centralised conspiracy, only that interest groups use the holocaust in an entirely cynical way in which he describes and documents. For this reason, to compare this book to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as one of Finkelstein's critics did, is utterly contemptible. It is a fact that the Nazi holocaust happened. The Jewish people of occupied Nazi Europe suffered immensely - `colossal suffering' as Finkelstein puts it. But it does not follow from this fact that everything Israel says and does, or that everything Jewish individuals say and do, is automatically vindicated and rendered immune to any criticism whatsoever.

Despite the calumnies laid against him, this is NOT a work of holocaust denial. Numerous members of his family perished in the holocaust. Both of his parents survived the camps. His central findings in relation to the double shakedown of Swiss banks were replicated independently by no less than Raul Hilberg, the doyen of holocaust historians. He does not take issue with serious holocaust scholars like Raul Hilberg and Henry Friedlander (whose works he references in this book). His outrage is against those who exploit the fact of the colossal suffering of the Jewish people during the Second World War for wholly unrelated contemporary political ends.

If the holocaust is to be properly studied, and it historical justice is to be done to its victims, then attempts to hijack it to promote contemporary political and ideological interests must be emphatically rejected. Any reasonable person can agree that to exploit the dead in order to harm the interests of the living deserves contempt. That, fundamentally, is what this book is about.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually revealing, 11 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Paperback)
Having just seen the eye-opening movie about Finkelstein (American Radical), I had very high hopes for this book, and they were certainly met. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the Holocaust, Israel, and contemporary history and politics. Excellent!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening and a must read for anyone, 23 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Paperback)
The suffering of holocaust survivors has been well documented, but far less well known is how those who sought compensation on their behalf have abused that trust in an unbelievable way. Finkelstein's book exposes those responsible and lays open the facts for all to see. A masterpiece of its time.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exposing the "second holocaust", 27 July 2000
Finkelstein does an excellent job of exposing the moral bankruptcy of those organisation who purport to aid the victims of one of man's greatest atrocities, while profiteering from the suffering of those victims.
In addition to the highlighting the criminal behaviour of the "holocaust industry", he also casts light on the hypocrisy of American foreign policy. While American politicians vilified Swiss bankers and German industrialists for shirking their moral duty to pay restitution to victims, the American government has overlooked its complicity during the holocaust, its responsibility to African and Native Americans, and its responsibilities to the victims of the atrocities its military and intelligence agencies have committed over the years. Having read this book, one begins to wonder if "the world's policeman" is "on the take".
This book would definitely spark a firestorm of controversy - if only more Americans could read.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bravo, 26 Oct 2000
At last, somebody who speaks with authority on a taboo subject which others dare not touch for fear of being called Nazi's / anti-semites. Superbly well researched, I don't think I can add any more plaudits than those already written below.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book, 9 Mar 2014
By 
Beal Feirste (Beal Feirste, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Paperback)
This book is one of the best I have ever read. It really helps the reader better understand the many issues that surround Israel and it's lobby in America. A must read for anyone interested in the subject
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener, 3 Sep 2007
This review is from: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Paperback)
A very interesting book with lots of facts and figures that really cause one to reflect. Unlike many books that I have read, it is not fiction pretending to be fact. It is a serious book, and often not easy to read. I would venture that it's not particularly well organised and at times perhaps not even that well written. But that's fine because our primary demand from factual books is that they are factual, not that they are great literary works.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 Oct 2013
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Deep and accurate explanation of why the Holocaust is the best and most disgusting money raising ploy since the Invasion of Iraq
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 2 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Paperback)
Finklestien says in print what everyone is thinking, the content is daring, fresh and a must-read!
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The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering
The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering by Norman G. Finkelstein (Paperback - 26 Sep 2003)
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