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Inna Rogatchi
War & Humanity Special Project

Sacrilegious Comparison: Holocaust 2.0

Michael Rogatchi (C). The Third Eye. 1991. The Rogatchi Art Collection
Michael Rogatchi (C). The Third Eye.

The essay is part of the War & Humanity special project.

Holocaust Dimension  

Close to a month after the October 7th, 2023 massacre, we still are digesting indigestible. The shock was and still is so deep that human psychological self-defense worked on its own, thus allowing us to function in some way. 

In our reactions to the massacre, most often, many people are using  two terms encompassing the crimes committed: Nazi atrocities and the Holocaust. 

I have heard some voices noting that ‘we are using these both terms, in general, not regarding the October massacre,  far too easy’. Possibly, this assumption is correct, as we, humans, are often reckless and jumpy in characteristics, and quite too often are quickly coming to the powerful comparisons. In general. Not in this case, to our own horror. 

For many historians who are specializing on the Holocaust, it is also a special and well-guarded, self-guarded, territory. We know the Shoah in such detail that it constitutes its own dimension. 

Could it be the second Holocaust? A hint of such thought was regarded as completely sacrilegious  and totally impossible just a month ago. And today, we are speaking – and thinking – about it a lot. 

In a new epoch marked by October 7th, 2023, the supposition is fully applicable, and the process of comprehension of it makes our initial shock yet deeper. 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Yellow Forest. 2016. Holocaust Album collection.

The aftermath of the October 7th massacre does not provide us with hope either. In a frighteningly surreal development, the Israeli delegation at the UN has decided to wear the Stars of David patches with Never Again sign on them 78 years after the UN has been established as the direct result of WWII and the Holocaust. Any Hitchcock could not invent anything more dramatic and surreal at the same time. But the challenge of the time is that it is all blatant reality of the day. 

A Double  Effect

Among many of our heroic forensic experts and volunteers, there is one brave woman, Shari, who has made aliyah from the US twenty years ago and whose all grandparents were the Holocaust survivors. She, the mother of four, works at the Rabbinat morgue for weeks helping to identify the bodies of our victims. Or what’s left of them. For weeks she is doing this vitally important gruesome work. She has the authority to speak on the matter of the second Holocaust. And she said it: “Based on everything I and my colleagues have been seeing during all this time during the two weeks after the massacre, and having behind me the history of my family, all of my grandparents from Czechoslovakia and their families, I can tell that what we are seeing is worse than the Holocaust”. The cruelty, the brutality, the degree of deprivation thrown on helpless Israeli civilians made Shari to make her terrifying conclusion. 

Among the photo evidence I saw from the military morgue where Shari and her colleagues are heroically conducting their mission, I saw the plastic bag with a severed female head. The eye of the person whose head it was has outgrown to an enormous size as the result of beheading. This is not any Picasso-made exaggerated metaphorical illustration. It is for real. I keep the photo among my working materials. In the file entitled Holocaust 2.0. 

Michael Rogatchi (C). The Third Eye. 1991. The Rogatchi Art Collection

In one of my recent lectures on the aftermath of October the 7th,  I brought a one-line thesis which summarizes the essence of this uneasy comparison for us to make: ‘This is worse than the Holocaust because of the simple and fundamental reason that the Holocaust has happened. ” 

When a couple of years ago Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau whom we have an honor to know well,  said in a powerful interview that ‘people did not learn anything after the Holocaust’, I was quite worried. I know that Rabbi Yisrael had all the reasons to say what he said, but I was still wondering what exactly prompted him to say it? I asked him about it in person, and Rabbi Yisrael told me that in his view and opinion, “people are ready for anything with regard to attacking the Jews, again. The lessons of the Holocaust were not learned, as he was seeing it, at all. I would like to be mistaken, very much so”, – Rabbi Lau said to me and my husband in his office in Tel Aviv. I tended to think that he would be mistaken, that people have decency of memory, at least. 

And now I know what Rabbi Lau meant. And we all see the disastrous outcome of the vicious rejections of the lessons of the Holocaust, does not matter by whom, actually. Anyone. And those are many. And this matters. Those who are cheering Hamas. Those who are excusing Hamas. Those who are threatening Israel. Those who publicly incite against Jews anywhere in the ongoing wave of unleashed hate. We need to see this fact in all its screaming alarm, in the double-weight of unlearned lessons of the giant crime against humanity repeated in front of our eyes.  We need to see it now. And to act. Now.  

An Ultimate Cruelty

There are more horrific aspects of the October 7th massacre and its aftermath that made initially unthinkable comparison with the Holocaust applicable. One of these aspects is an ultimate cruelty committed in a cold drugged blood by the savages against peaceful people, both civilians who were 83% among the attacked people and all of the victims. I can see the point of those editors who are not eager to publish unwatchable photos. There are guidelines in journalism. I also hear the reasoning expressed by some observers who refuse to publish this horrific evidence of inhumanity as they do not like to demonstrate the awful signs of unimaginable suffering of the victims as a matter of respect towards them. And then, each of us has its own, highly individual threshold of what each of us is able to perceive and express. 

I do not post it myself, because of all those reasons, and because I believe that these kinds of publications have to be handled at the special briefings, as it is done by the Israeli government nowadays. 

Those of us who did see at least some of the evidence of the October 7th massacre, or read about it, have simply anything to compare it with. Except the Holocaust. 

When you think that stretching your capacity of visual and descriptive observation, you saw the worst possible violence committed, you are seeing the photo of a couple. Completely charred. Somebody, motivated by compassion to the victims, decided to publish it, and you saw it purely by chance. A man and a woman. Laying nearby. The days come by. I saw it for a second, literally. After that, this photo is ever present in your mind, whatever you do. It is just present there, in the corner of your mind. All the days from the moment you saw it. And there is nothing you can do about it. And you do understand to the core of your being Adorno’s famous furious rejection of even a thought of a possibility of ‘writing poetry after Auschwitz’.  You really do. 

We are getting the evidence in growing numbers, and all possible forms. Photos, videos, descriptions, documents. Instructions, messages, recordings. We are hearing of cut off breasts, gouged eyes, cut off babies, all from alive people, tied together by the metal wire, parents and children burned alive. We are learning of decapitations, sex with corpses, making them corpses after terrible torture and sexual violence of no limit. 

We are learning about affliction at the level we never thought possible. It is not only the unparalleled level of cruelty per se which paralyses, numbs the minds of normal people. It is the eagerness of the beasts to inflict all those unspeakable tortures on the Jews. The Jews. The Jews.  

Inna Rogatchi (C). Memory Garden. 2016. Holocaust Album collection.

Hamas savages not only committed mass premeditated murder. They have attacked Jews in all their savagery and with all their devilish sadism. From this point of view, yes, what had happened qualifies for the Holocaust 2.0. 

Guidelines from the Hell

We saw many instructions in Arabic found on the bodies of the killed satanic agents. And we have documented testimonies of those of them who were arrested and interrogated. I saw it and I’ve read it. The guidelines included some precise targets, such as children and women. “Take hostage children and women”. ‘Attack parents and children together’. The savages were trained and instructed by slightly more senior savages to attack invalids, incapacitated people – because they are unable to provide any resistance, to get rid of elderly ‘quickly and with one bullet’, as they are ‘useless’ . 

Somebody who is regarded as a human, due to his or her physiology only, was busy for a long time, many months, in elaborating the hell on the earth, and making it implemented. Two and a half thousand savages were sent off to carry on the carnage. Substantial numbers were also training them, planning the massacre, preparing it in all its chilling detail. After the massacre, scores of savages are still propagating the burning hatred and methodically inciting the spread of annihilation of Jews world-wide. 

This is not a fight of any sort and in any meaning of the word. This is an unleash of a black force of evil against its opposite. This is not a spontaneous unleashing of it, but conceived, planned, structured, prepared, implemented and having a post-implementation plan and objectives program of destruction of Jewry, both in Israel and anywhere else. In this aspect as well, the text-book of the attack and its aftermath is known. It is still an existing protocol of the Final Solution working meeting in the villa in Wannsee in January 1942, known as the Wannsee Conference.  

Psychological Terror

Intimidation is the air which terrorists breathe. They cannot function otherwise. In comparison with the Holocaust, we are doomed to see the atrocities in real-time. Nobody can control it in our era of instant spread of information, all kinds of , any kind of. So we are privy, instantly, or at the timing devised by perpetrators, to tortures, murders, kidnappings. To humiliation of our brethren, their fright and their and our horror. To intimidation, pressure, haunt. All of it. Unlimited. In an accelerated motion. To serve the enemy’s purpose and objective to spread a total fear with regard to them. This is a sheer and massive psychological terror which Hamas and any pro-Hamas forces and their supporters are carrying on now day and night. Not against Jews and Israel only, but against normal people world-wide.

Well, they are badly mistaken in that. Because our spirit is based on humanity while their’s spirit or whatever it is , is based on destruction and hate. But of course, there is a psychological effect of everything they do, and they are being taught about the existence of this psychological effect.   

During the Holocaust, the Nazis were using many lies aimed, not always, but often enough, to lull Jews into the belief of ‘re-location’. As a rule, till the last days of WWII, the Nazis were not interested in open and cynical stating of their real purpose, the annihilation of Jews. 

Eighty years on, we are in a different situation. The savages who carried the massacre, who are still attacking Israel, and intimidating the Jews world-wide, are pretty open in their actions, purpose, translating it in a real-time to their bosses, families, and world-wide. They believe in a power of fear, and they are spreading it in the latest technological motion. 

In this aspect, the immediacy of the psychological warfare used by Hamas and anyone who supports them, is overcoming the power of evil which has become known to the people during the Holocaust. Apart from those troops who liberated the extermination camps, and the Allies intelligence, the rest of the world has gradually learned about the horrific crimes of the Nazis, after the end of WWII. It weighed on during twenty years after the end of WWII before becoming an indisputable factor of our development and accepted social rules and norms. Which has collapsed in the front of our eyes now, to a sudden and painful dismay of the Israelis and the world’s Jewry.

Now, we all, regardless of age, education, and preparedness to withstand the evil, are thrown into the hurricane of horror, on purpose, by the perpetrators. 

I am sure those animals underestimate human nature. They hope to frighten us, but in fact, they are strengthening us in our commitment to fight against the dark force. 

Still, their savagery, in the aspect of traumatizing people, millions of people around the globe via their real-time psychological warfare should not be under-estimated. They know what they are doing and  what for. They should be confronted in this firmly, and we should not be intimidated on the psychological level which is a primary one, actually. 

I hope, Elon Musk would be willing and able to make some natural, logical and human conclusions in this regard, as well. That would be helpful, wouldn’t it? 

Spread of Violent Hate Beyond Israel

I do not know how much time is needed for people in Israel and Jews world-wide to come to terms with the horrific facts of the October 7th massacre and ongoing haunting turmoil because of 230 hostages including babies and Holocaust survivors elderly. More than one hundred people are still not identified. There is a possibility that some of them won’t be identified at all. Entire families have been murdered. There are many cases when a family has just one survivor, in some cases it is just a 13-year old teenager. How are he and the others in the same position supposed to live their life?

The massacre resulted in many children becoming orphans. It resulted with many people becoming invalids. For very many of us life would never be the same. It is called ongoing trauma. And it never is cured or goes away. Never. 

And against all this massive horrific ongoing multiplied consequences of the massacre, people in Israel and Jews worldwide are facing not unanimous support and compassion but a massive, aggressive, arrogant, well-organised, hysterical wave of hatred. Streets, avenues, squares, campuses, buildings hosting Israeli Embassies and missions, are filled with hundreds of thousands of haters.  Aggressive, loud, violent scums in dizzy quantities. 

This inhuman stand, even trend of anti-Semitic massive global hatred is the only feature, apart from the existence of the IDF, that differs the current situation from the Holocaust. The world’s reaction and post-reaction to the October 7th massacre is appalling. It is appalling in its stupidity, aggression, non-fairness, immorality. It is appalling in its cowardice and idiotic moral equilibristic and moral relativism. It is appalling in its nastiness. It is despicable.

My dear friend, a brave and distinguished British officer, wrote to me recently:I watched the speech the Israeli Ambassador gave in New York.  It was certainly one of the finest I have ever heard; clever, simple, direct, uncompromising and compelling. It was on the level of Winston Churchill. I just wish the audience had a few more like Ambassador Erdan and not mere craven representatives of despotic and some evil countries”.

My friend was absolutely right. Gilad Erdan happened to be the right man in the right place at the right place. My deep gratitude to him and his team, and all our support to their great effort on behalf of us all. 

And I was shaken to the core to see our Israeli delegation led by Ambassador Erdan wearing the yellow Stars of David at the UN floor.

Ambassador Gilad Erdan and Israeli delegation at the UN meeting. October 30, 2023. (C) Screenshot: Inna Rogatchi.

What a terrible, terrible message. And how absolutely justified it is. This is the sign of the time, the mark of the moment: Jews, official representatives of the state of Israel at the United Nations, have to demonstrate the sign of the Holocaust 80 years after in a screaming effort to warn about its repetition.  As so many Jewish people today, I repeatedly would like to awaken, to realise that I am not sleeping. 

What Can Be Worse Than the Holocaust? 

As the horror of the October 7th massacre was becoming known, our first reaction was a psychological rejection: “No, no, no. Impossible”. But then we learned that our worst dreads were true. And another line of psychological self-defence, and also a normal human reaction went like: “No, no, no. There should not be a second Holocaust”. Natural human reaction. In the situation created by anti-humans. In the world where so unimaginably many are taking the side of evil, so eagerly, and so energetically. Why?

Are all those thousands of primarily youth floating the streets of London, Paris, New York, Melbourne, Warsaw, and so on, brainless? Heartless? Deprived of  compassion, humanity and any normal values? There is no doubt that stupid and arrogant wokism played a grotesquely unhealthy role in the education, moral balance and set of artificial values that has nothing to do with the historical way of mankind, and which forcibly and in no time deformed morality to its lowest.

But this is only part of the reasons which formed our current defeat of humanity. Flirting with terrorists at all and every level, from a mentally incapacitated UN, its grotesque, unreal agencies which are shamelessly and emphatically one-sidedly supporting terrorists without naming them so,  as long as they are anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel is another core reason.

Financing the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred during decades by all kinds of supposedly to be respectful institutions in Europe and world-wide with pumping endless money into so-called  education, so-called schools, so -called textbooks of so-called civilians in Gaza, and any other territory where children are methodically taught to hate and kill Jews on the criminal level of forming, sculpting an anti-Jews instinct for millions of children there – we are seeing in abundance proud videos of those ‘schools’ and those lessons of hate and nothing except the hate.

That is hard evidence of real ongoing by decades the way of bringing up children under Palestinian authority and in many other places of the Middle East – and not only, in many other places in Europe, US, Australia, Canada, all over where a large communities from the Middle East have been settled, the way of openly vicious anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred. Which is accepted or overseen by the societies and countries and governments, to the degree which we all finally are witnessing now. 

The children who were brought this way, on the Western tax-payers money, are adults now. They are acting. Both inside Israel killing Jews mercilessly and with their animalistic pleasure and satisfaction,  and outside it, supporting their soul-mates who are burning parents and children alive. In the front of the apoplectic world that allows these rallies of hate and which in a full idiocy repeats its mantra of humanitarian-purposes ceasefire. How about the humanitarian purpose of surviving terrorist attacks? 

After we all saw the unimaginable photos and footage of the 1945 from Auschwitz and any other Nazi extermination camp, my ever-seized total , helpless astonishment was always caused by the scenes of the hysterical pro-Nazi rallies as in Germany, as in many other places – like New York, or Paris, or Rome. How come? I always thought about looking at those thousands of people who were so ever happy to cheer for the maniacs who never actually hide their thoughts and purposes. Now I see first-hand the same cheerfulness and support of evil all over the globe. 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Holocaust Dimension. Holocaust Album. 2018.

Ninety years after the beast awoke and started to act, three and half generations after, we are going there again. After all the nightmares and after decades of researching them, speaking of them, writing about them, filming about them, discussing them, contemplating the anatomy of evil. 

What can be worse than the Holocaust? The Second Holocaust. 

October 2023.

The essay is part of the War & Humanity special project.

About the Author
Inna Rogatchi is author of War & Humanity special project originated in the aftermath of the October 7th, 2023 massacre in Israel. Inna is internationally acclaimed public figure, writer, scholar, artist, art curator and film-maker, the author of widely prized film on Simon Wiesenthal: The Lessons of Survival and other important documentaries on modern history. She is an expert on public diplomacy and was a long-term international affairs adviser for the Members of the European Parliament. She lectures on the topics of international politics and public diplomacy widely. Her professional trade-mark is inter-weave of history, arts, culture and mentality. She is the author of the concept of the Outreach to Humanity cultural and educational projects conducted internationally by The Rogatchi Foundation of which Inna is the co-founder and President. She is also the author of Culture for Humanity concept of The Rogatchi Foundation global initiative that aims to provide psychological comfort to wide audiences by the means of high-class arts and culture in challenging times. Inna is the wife of the world renowned artist Michael Rogatchi. Her family is related to the famous Rose-Mahler musical dynasty. Together with her husband, Inna is a founding member of Music, Art and Memory international cultural educational and commemorative initiative with a multiply projects in several countries. Her professional interests are focused on Jewish heritage, arts and culture, history, Holocaust and post-Holocaust. She is author of several projects on artistic and intellectual studies on various aspect of the Torah and Jewish spiritual heritage. She is twice laureate of the Italian Il Volo di Pegaso Italian National Art, Literature and Music Award, the Patmos Solidarity Award, and the New York Jewish Children's Museum Award for Outstanding Contribution into the Arts and Culture (together with her husband). Inna Rogatchi was the member of the Board of the Finnish National Holocaust Remembrance Association and is member of the International Advisory Board of The Rumbula Memorial Project ( USA). Her art can be seen at Silver Strings: Inna Rogatchi Art site - www.innarogatchiart.com
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