Thursday, January 29, 2009
Fr. Floriano Abrahamowicz , is the Lefebvrite community anti-Semitic?
Interview with Fr. Floriano Abrahamowicz
Laura Canzian, La Tribuna di Treviso, Jan 29, 2009
Fr. Floriano, is the Lefebvrite community anti-Semitic?
It’s truly impossible for a Catholic Christian to be anti-Semitic. I myself, on my father’s side, have Jewish roots. My last name even suggests this. This entire polemic regarding the statements of Bishop Williamson concerns the existence of gas chambers, and has been strongly instrumentalized for anti-Vatican purposes. Williamson simply expressed his doubts, and his ‘denial’ is not of the Holocaust – as newspapers have falsely said – but of the technical aspect of the gas chambers.
In your view, what’s the ‘technical aspect’ of the gas chambers?
Certainly, it was imprudent of Williamson to get into technical questions. In the famous interview, you can see that the journalist was obviously leading up to this specific aspect. But you have to understand that the theme of the Holocaust is situated on a much higher level than the question of knowing whether the victims died from gas or from other causes.
What do you think? About the gas chambers, I mean.
Truly, I don’t know. I know that gas chambers existed at least for disinfection, but I don’t know if they were used to kill people or not, because I haven’t studied the question. I know that, alongside the official version [of events], there’s another version based on the observations of the first Allied technicians who entered the camps.
Do you cast doubt on the number of victims of the Holocaust?
No, I don’t cast doubt on the numbers. There could have been more than six million victims. Even in the Jewish world, the number has a symbolic value. Pope Ratzinger says that even one person killed unjustly is too many, which is a way of saying that it’s equal to six million. To speak about numbers doesn’t change anything with respect to the essence of genocide, which is always an exaggeration.
An exaggeration? In what sense?
The number [of six million] is derived from what the head of the German Jewish community said to the Anglo-Americans shortly after the liberation. In the heat of the moment, he fired off a number. But how could he know? For him, the important point was that these victims were unjustly killed for religious motives. If there’s a criticism to be made of the way in which the tragedy of the Holocaust has been handled, it’s in giving it a supremacy with respect to other genocides.
To which other exterminations are you referring?
If Bishop Williamson had gone on television to deny the genocide of 1.2 million Armenians by the Turks, I don’t think that all the newspapers would have talked about his statements in the same terms they’re using now. Who has ever talked about the Anglo-American genocide in the bombing of German cities? Who has ever talked about Churchill, who ordered the phosphorous bombing of Dresden, where there were not only many civilians, but also many Allied soldiers? Who has spoken about the English air force, which, in the bombing of the cities, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians? And the Israelis certainly can’t tell me that the genocide they suffered from the Nazis is less serious than that of Gaza, simply because they’ve taken out a few thousand persons, while the Nazis took out six million. This is where I fault Judaism, which exasperates rather than honoring the victims of genocide decently. It’s as if there were only one genocide in history, that of the Jews during the Second World War. It seems like you can say anything you want about all the other exterminated peoples, but no one at the global level has spoken in the terms in which people are speaking today after the declarations of Bishop Williamson.
Why do so many people still cast doubt on the Shoah? Why is it a subject that still divides people so viscerally?
Because the whole history of humanity is marked by the people of Israel, who initially were the people of God, who then became the people of deicide, and who at the end of time will reconvert to Jesus Christ. Behind it all is a mysterious theological aspect, which is that of the people of God which rejected its Messiah and which still combats him. It’s a mystery of doctrine. Anti-Semitism is born from the illuminated liberal and Gnostic world. The church throughout history has always protected the Jews from pogroms, as one reads, for example, in Domenico Savino’s book on ritual homicide.
What do you think of [Holocaust] denial?
Denial is a false problem, because it focuses on methods and numbers and doesn’t address the substance of the problem. Those who have studied the technical data, and who have cast certain doubts on the versions that we find in history books, aren’t anti-Semites. It’s enough to recall that the first ones to find this data were also those who saved the Jews, meaning the Allies.
Do you want to offer a message to the Jewish community?
One message: As a Catholic Christian, adding that little Jewish blood that runs in my veins, I express the hope that the Jews will embrace Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.