Ilya Ehrenburg

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1960s Photograph.

Ilya Grigoryewitch Ehrenburg (born 15 January 1891 in Kiev - died 31 August 31 1967 in Moscow) was a Soviet-Jewish writer, journalist, translator, prominent member of Soviet-sponsored Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, and during the Second World War a leading Soviet propagandist, whose propaganda has been argued to have contributed to both the politically correct view on the Holocaust and the Communist part of the claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies.

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Early life

Ehrenburg was born in 1891 in Kiev to a non-religious Jewish family. In 1908, he fled Tsarist Russia because of his revolutionary activities. Although he returned to visit after the Communist revolution, he continued to live abroad, including many years in Paris, and did not settle in the Soviet Union until 1941.[1]

Wartime activities

During the Second World War, he was a leading member of the Soviet-sponsored Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. At fund-raising rallies in the United States for the Soviet war effort, two leading members of the Committee displayed bars of human soap, allegedly manufactured by the Germans from the corpses of murdered Jews. Ehrenburg's writings were circulated among millions of Soviet soldiers. In the leaflet simply headlined "Kill", Ehrenburg incited Soviet soldiers:[1]

The Germans are not human beings. From now on the word German means to use the most terrible oath. From now on the word German strikes us to the quick. We shall not speak any more. We shall not get excited. We shall kill. If you have not killed at least one German a day, you have wasted that day… If you cannot kill your German with a bullet, kill him with your bayonet. If there is calm on your part of the front, or if you are waiting for the fighting, kill a German in the meantime. If you leave a German alive, the German will hang a Russian and rape a Russian woman. If you kill one German, kill another – there is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses. Do not count days, do not count kilometers. Count only the number of Germans killed by you. Kill the German – that is your grandmother's request. Kill the German – that is your child's prayer. Kill the German – that is your motherland's loud request. Do not miss. Do not let through. Kill.

Another incitement:[2]

There is nothing as beautiful as a German corpse. Kill the Germans! – your old mother begs you, kill the Germans! – your child pleads. Germans are not humans, they are wild beasts

Ehrenburg's incendiary writings have been argued to have contributed in no small measure to the Communist part of the claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies.[1]

Ehrenburg and the Holocaust

Ehrenburg published the allegation of six million Jews killed during the war, in the Soviet foreign language press as early as December 1944, more than four months before the war came to an end, long before any demographic information was available, and long before Wilhelm Höttl stated this number during the Nuremberg trials.[3] (Various six million Jews allegations had started long before this, as discussed in the article on this topic.)

Ehrenburg and Zionism

In keeping with official Soviet policy, Ehrenburg publicly criticized Israel and Zionism. However, it has been revealed that he arranged to transfer his private archives to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem library and archive. Ehrenburg has been argued to never privately have disavowed Zionism or forgot his ancestry.[1]

Quotes

Quote from the "Kill" leaflet.
The Germans are not human beings. From now on, the word "German" is the worst possible curse-word to us. From now on the word German strikes us to the quick. We shall say no more. We shall not get excited. We shall kill. If you have not killed at least one German in a day, you have wasted that day. If you think your neighbor will kill a German, then you do not realize the danger. If you don't kill the German, the German will kill you. He will abduct your relatives and bring them back to his accursed Germany where he will torture them. (July 7th, 1942)
If you cannot kill your German with a bullet, kill him with your bayonet. If there is calm on your part of the front, or if you are waiting for the fighting, kill a German in the meantime. If you leave a German alive, the German will hang a Russian and rape a Russian woman. If you kill one German, kill another -- there is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses. Count not the days, nor the kilometers. Count only the number of Germans killed by you. Kill the German -- that is your grandmother's request. Kill the German! -- that is your child's prayer. Kill the German! --your motherland cries out. Do not miss. Do not let through. Kill! (From leaflet "Kill" by Ilja Ehrenburg)
It is not enough to drive the Germans back to the west. The Germans must be hunted, all the way to the grave. Certainly, a Fritz with a black-eye is better than one without. But among all varieties of Fritzes, the best is the dead one. (Ehrenburg, October 1944, writing in Red Star).
Kill, you brave Red-Army men, kill! There is nothing that the German is not guilty of. Comrade Stalin instructs us to put down this rabid animal. Break, with your force, the arrogant racial-pride of the Germanic Woman. Take her as your rightful prize of war. Kill, you brave Red Army men. Kill.
Kill! Kill! In the German race there is nothing but evil; not one among the living, not one among the yet unborn but is evil! Follow the precepts of Comrade Stalin. Stamp out the fascist beast once and for all in its lair! Use force and break the racial pride of these German women. Take them as your lawful booty. Kill! As you storm onward, kill, you gallant soldiers of the Red Army.

External links

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Strange Life of Ilya Ehrenburg, Historical News and Comment http://codoh.com/library/document/2228/
  2. The Suppressed History of Crimes committed on German soldiers in WWII. Part V. http://revblog.codoh.com/2012/05/the-suppressed-history-of-crimes-committed-on-german-soldiers-in-wwii-part-v/
  3. Germar Rudolf. Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
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