Joking about Concentration Camps

A Jewish celebrity, Larry David, recently poked fun at Nazi concentration camps to the hilarious guffaws of millions of television viewers watching Saturday Night Live.

He imagined being sent to a concentration camp while Hitler was in power. “Would I still be checking out women in the camp? (laughter). I think I would have,” said the famed scriptwriter. ”There are no good opening lines in a concentration camp.” (laughter). With a knowing look he imagined approaching a female. “How’s it going? laughter). They treating you okay? (laughter). If we ever get outa here I’d love to take you out for some latkes.” (more laughter).

It immediately legitimized jokes by anti-Semites who will say, “If a Jew can joke about the concentration camps, why can’t we?”

The very least you should do poste haste is apologize. Better still, just Curb Your Enthusiasm. (For the uninitiated that’s the name of his show).

Survivors carry the tattoos branded on their wrists. What we don’t see are their mangled minds, trying to forget the torture and daily brutalities over the years.

Nothing can erase their pain, the murder of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and others, nor heal the wounds of countless surviving relatives.

It is no laughing matter, Larry David. You crossed the line with unspeakable cruelty.

Victims gassed to death or starved, beaten, burned, and medically experimented on would howl in anguish if they could.

The survivors gave every Jew an eternal message: The Triumphant Heritage of Endurance.

That is their legacy for generations to come.

That is what you defiled.

That is the honor that you, Larry David, brushed aside in your ongoing quest for applause. Your “comedy” is at the expense of every survivor. Your jokes are as beastly as those who brutalized others – just because they were Jews.

How I sat horrified while compiling personal accounts of Nazi concentration camp atrocities for my book, Our Crime Was Being Jewish.

When I told a survivor of concentration camps that prominent anti-Semites denied the Holocaust took place, the gentle elder replied, “If the Holocaust never happened then where is my family?”

Have you forgotten, Larry David, that a U.S. soldier helping to liberate Ebensee concentration camp saw 500 corpses stacked in a room like cordwood, and exclaimed, “You don’t forget those things. You cannot.”

What about the girl who watched helplessly as her mother stumbled away to the gas chamber, and said, “From that moment I lost my emotions. I did not know how to cry.”

Remember, Larry David, those four women who defecated in the single bowl they shared, then threw out the contents to drink soup from the very same bowl?

How could you joke about the Holocaust after a girl on her way to be gassed said she was only eighteen and hadn’t even made love?

For a few seconds of laughter you, Larry David, will live the rest of your days in shame.

How could you not know that females were sterilized by painful procedures in the concentration camps, and that males had their testicles savagely severed?

Don’t you know about the man forced to kneel before a Nazi’s dog and beg forgiveness for stealing food from his bowl? Or the slave laborers who couldn’t take it any longer and ran to the fences to be electrocuted?

Did you forget about the survivor of Birkenau concentration camp who witnessed fellow Jews hanging upside down by their feet, and all he could do was recite the memorial prayer in remembrance?

How could you crack jokes about the Holocaust when six million of your innocent people were put to death for the crime of being Jewish?

All for a round of applause and a check for making audiences laugh.

Shame is too nice a consequence befitting you. By suggestively asking a female concentration camp serf, “they treating you okay” you deserve a far worse punishment.

You should be banished to a desert devoid of people. There you can tell all the jokes you like, but no one will be listening.

Anthony S. Pitch is a former journalist in America, England, Israel, and Africa, and the author of non-fiction history books, with 17 appearances on national television.

About the Author
Anthony S. Pitch is the author of Our Crime Was Being Jewish. He was Associated Press Broadcast Editor in Philadelphia and a journalist in England, Israel and Africa before becoming a senior writer in the books division of U.S. News & World Report in Washington, D.C
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