Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner, Rosh Yeshiva of Chaim Berlin (1906-1980)

On the Zionists’ guilt in the Holocaust, Rabbi Hutner said:

An example of how public opinion can be molded — indeed, warped — at the whim of powerful individuals can be taken from a study of Russian history textbooks published during the respective reigns of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev. During each period, the textbooks hail the then-current leader to the exclusion of all his predecessors as the savior of Russia and hero of his people. Undoubtedly, “public opinion” during each period, once children’s minds had been suitably molded, reflected the thinking and wishes of the state. While more subtle in form, this ability to direct public opinion exists in democratic countries as well. Thus, we already pointed out at the beginning that we must make every effort to free ourselves from the powerful grip of public opinion, and must be ever on our guard that our opinions of the true nature of world events will be shaped only by Torah views as seen through Torah eyes. 

Sadly, even in our own circles, the mold for shaping public opinion lies in the hands of the State of Israel. An appropriate example of this dangerous process of selectively “rewriting” history may be found in the extraordinary purging from the public record of all evidence of the culpability of the forerunners of the State in the tragedy of European Jewry, and the sub-situation in is place of factors inconsequential to the calamity which ultimately occurred. 

To cover its own contribution to the final catastrophic events, those of the State in a position to influence public opinion circulated the notorious canard that Gedolei Yisroel were responsible for the destruction of many communities because they did not urge immigration. This charge is, of course, a gross distortion of the truth, and need not be granted more dignity than it deserves by issuing a formal refutation. However, at the same time as the State made certain to include this charge as historical fact in every account of the war years, it successfully sought to omit any mention of its own contribution to the impending tragedy. While the State omitted in its own version of history is the second of the above-mentioned new directions in recent Jewish history. It is that phenomenon which we must now examine. (The Jewish Observer, October 1977)

On the friendship between Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Rabbi Hutner said:

It should be manifest that until the great public pressures for the establishment of a Jewish State, the Mufti had no interest in the Jews of Warsaw, Budapest or Vilna. Once the Jews of Europe became a threat to the Mufti because of their imminent influx into the Holy Land, the Mufti in turn became for them the incarnation of the Angel of Death. Years ago, it was still easy to find old residents of Yerushalayim who remembered the cordial relations they had maintained with the Mufti in the years before the impending creation of a Jewish State. Once the looming reality of the State of Israel was before him, the Mufti spared no effort at influencing Hitler to murder as many Jews as possible in the shortest amount of time. This shameful episode, where the founders and early leaders of the State were clearly a factor in the destruction of many Jews, has been completely suppressed and expunged from the record.” (The Jewish Observer, October 1977)


Rabbinic Quotations


Haj Amin Al-Husseini