Memory hole

I wrote last month about the opening of the definitive archive of the Holocaust in Germany, called the International Tracing Service, which was featured in this extraordinary report on 60 Minutes. That segment said that the archive was finally, after years of being — for no particularly good reason — closed to the public, going to be opened. But Anne Applebaum, writing in Slate, says that “although commission members are meeting in Holland this week, supposedly to make final arrangements, it’s still far from clear that they will finish the process soon.” She’s naturally upset about that, and rightly so.

There is sense in this world, even when the Hand of God is not so evident, as Jews were reminded last Sunday in celebrating the holiday of Purim. The Book of Esther commemorates that Hidden Hand, describing how a seemingly unconnected series of events and “coincidences” in ancient Persia resulted in salvation of the Jews from yet another plot to destroy them all. To the Jews it is elementary that, through all the Purims of history, Providence directs the events. Sometimes we need the perspective of many years to understand why awful things are perpetrated in this world.

So once again, in Persia — not ancient Persia, but one which resists modernity with a vengeance — awful events, such as the threat by the national leadership to annihilate the Jews of the region, the staging of a neo-Nazi “Holocaust Conference,” and a bizarre obsession with The Jews — may perhaps act as something of an historical spur to the urgent need to unlock the archives. The purpose is not to bask in Holocaustism (one of the worst religion-replacements Western Jews have yet invented) but to take the cap off the memory hole so truth and horror may be seen, and learned from. If learning is still at all possible.

UPDATE: Turnabout! And then some.

4 Responses to “Memory hole”

  1. ArnoldHarris Says:

    1) Actually, “Purim” itself is a plural. “Pur” = one lot. “Purim” = multiple lots. “Lot” as in the kind you cast like a pair of dice. (I think.)

    2) That’s the worst thing about the iranian Adolf Hitler, this never-ending obsession with the Jews. It’ll kill him one day. I think.

    2) You got a nice blogsite here. I promise not to use filthy language, inasmuch as that was your particular line in the sand. And I respect lines in sand. Even if they inevitably shift with the winds and tides.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI


  2. Ron Coleman Says:

    You’re right, Arnold — and welcome, by the way — that purim is plural for pur. But Purim is singular for the Jewish holiday of Purim and for the way I used it — the event it commemorates.

    It does look like things are unraveling over there, doesn’t it? Can’t be too soon.

    Thank you for your kind and temperate words, Arnold! I will try to keep rulemaking to a minimum.


  3. Ara Says:

    The 60 Minutes piece WAS extraordinary, was it not? That moment when they show the file number to the man and he rolls up his sleeve to show the matching number…

    As for Holocaustism, I read the link and was reminded of something I heard recently. It was an interview with Elif Shafak, author of Bastard of Istanbul. She was speaking of her friend, Hrant Dink, the murdered Armenian writer. She said that he lived his life looking to the future, not to the past. She said that he was just as much against the law in France making it a crime NOT to recognize the Armenian genocide as he was against the law in Turkey making it a crime to “insult Turkishness.”

    He was a good guy and it’s too bad he’s gone.


  4. Do Purim « Likelihood of Success Says:

    [...] As well explained in the Book of Esther, it’s the holiday of turnabout, surprises, false identities, intrigue, and not a little spiritual confusion. The outcome isn’t always funny, or even fun, except perhaps in the sense of the divine comedy. [...]


Attorney Ronald D. Coleman