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The Holocaust industry

The "Holocaust industry" is driven by American and Israeli interests. But, says Samuel Brittan, no one can fully explain why it took so long to emerge

By Samuel Brittan   November 2000

The horror felt at the Nazi crime of killing 6m European Jews, simply because they were Jews, surely needs no explanation. The puzzling question is, in the words of Peter Novick, “Why now?” Why should so much more have been done to commemorate the Holocaust in the last 20 years than in the 35 years after the second world war when more of the survivors were still alive?

Norman Finkelstein is surely right to claim that commemoration has become an industry. A Holocaust museum was inaugurated in the US by President Carter and subsidised by federal funds. Local versions have…

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