Dara Horn’s People Love Dead Jews is a must-read.
The book starts off with a fascinating treatise on Anne Frank’s diary and its popularity because it is hopeful even though the reader knows that she will be dead in the concentration camps.
Following chapters talk about Jewish Heritage Sites that really mean property seized from dead or expelled Jews. On a tour of a cemetery near Harbin, the tour director explains that in 1958 the local government was redesigning the city—cemetery had to go-Chinese offered to move the gravestones for $50 per grave but most Jewish families were gone. The Chinese put the bodies into a deep burial which was paved and turned into an amusement park. The tour director said, “It’s nice for them—they are with happy people!!!”
A horrifying section explains how Jewish boys wanted to be part of the Roman Olympics and to disguise their religion by attempting surgery to undo their circumcision—dangerous and fatal
She explains how the Hanukah story where Jews are threatened to be annihilated, is really about destroying Jewish civilization and leave warm and fuzzy de-Jewish bodies intact. This equates to cool Jews. She talks about how the Soviet Union practiced this de-Jewing process-eliminating religion from the lives of Jews.
The chapter on Ellis Island and the Jewish immigration is enlightening. How Jews let antisemitism flourish because of name changing to non-Jewish sounding last names is dissected brilliantly by the author. When the immigrants were asked why they changed their name-antisemitism was never mentioned as the reason. Too difficult to pronounce or spell or too foreign-sounding. Only non-Jews who had Jewish-sounding last names explained their reason was antisemitism and they didn’t want to be mistaken as Jewish.
The little-known Varian Fry who rescued artists during WW2 is explored in-depth—whether it should have been the righteous saved rather than the artists.
Author, Dara tries to give a positive spin in the last chapter but by that time the reader is so horrified that it is difficult to feel hopeful.