In 2013, Good Friday was not mentioned by Hebrew media. I didn't expect it to behave otherwise; more often than not they publish only what is convenient to them, even if it is not true. Trapped in this brutal desolation named Bolivia, I took a careful look at what had been published. The leading paid-newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, had reviewed a German TV series. Another pertinent newspaper, Haaretz, published a competing review. That was unusual. After reading both, I was so disturbed by the content that I made a quick search on the web. Google provided me with three pages listing Israeli sites reproducing the content of the just published article; this was unusually fast. The list included even the website attached to Settler Channel 7, srugim.co.il. This was scandalous; since when does a religious site openly mention a review made by secular "eaters of hares and swine?" More scandalous was its headline; its timing and content created a linkage that insulted Christians. On Good Friday, Channel 7 analyzed Ezekiel's Dry Bones vision. Yet, the German topic was more urgent, Google had supplied me with three pages reproducing the same hateful Hebrew words about Germany. Israel was on fire, first insulting Christians, then, for dessert, insulting Germans. This was Holy Friday, but not a good day.
Yedioth Ahronot Link to Article
"The Germans as victims: the series that awakened anger"
"In the World" section. "Real Drama" in red box. "Germany: the series that asks what the parent did in the Holocaust"
"Our Mothers, Our Fathers" is a three-part series that follows the lives of five young men and women, two of them are Wehrmacht soldiers. It begins in 1941, on the eve of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, and shows how the young people are rapidly corrupted by the Third Reich. The screenplay is based on the experiences of the screenwriter Stefan Kolditz's father, who was a 19-year-old soldier on the eastern front. The series has been praised for examining the Third Reich at an individual level, by showing how the Nazi system reached every aspect of life. Contrary to most productions dealing with that period, the violence shown is limited; maybe that's the reason for the Israeli reaction. Some of the most brutal scenes show one of the soldiers executing a Russian prisoner while a nurse betrays a Jewish patient to the SS. It has been watched by over 7 million Germans, a 20.5% market share among German viewers aged 14-59 years; this is extremely high for ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, "Second German Television," a public televison channel).
In Israel, the reactions were highly partial, to put it mildly. Haaretz said: "In Germany, meanwhile, some accuse the film of sidelining the Holocaust and depicting Germans as victims rather than a nation responsible for starting a war and committing genocide.
'A film about World War II that omits the bothersome question of six million dead Jews,' remarked columnist Jennifer Nathalie Pyka in Juedische Allgemeine, Germany's leading Jewish weekly. Jan Sueselbeck, a researcher at the University of Marburg, said the series reflects wishful thinking rather than historical facts. The drama glosses over Adolf Hitler's rise to power and the outbreak of war by beginning the story in 1941, two years into the European conflict.
" This reaction was expected, I beg you to remember the words "wishful thinking rather than historical facts" that so pleased the Israeli newspaper; they are relevant to what follows.
The review by Yedioth Ahronot, which was extensively quoted, said "the series successfully angered the Jews," and "there are people who think that it portrays Germans the way they would like to be." The series is criticized by portraying Eastern European soldiers as anti-Semites and showing them raping a German woman. "The Germans were the anti-Semites not the others," is the articles subtext. Israel likes to recall Eastern European anti-Semitism only when it is convenient. Also this article claims that the Holocaust is not shown and that viewers learn nothing about the Warsaw Ghetto. If one makes a movie about the WWII Pacific Theater, does Israel expect Warsaw Ghetto to be mentioned? OK, I mentioned it twice in a paragraph. Israel, please don't attack me.
Our teachers loved to scare us. In the morning hours, the sun already scorched the long barracks we called school. There was no air conditioner. Deep below the sea level, the Jordan Valley didn't offer us cooling breezes. Yet, thankful for not working in the fields at the time, we listened to them. "The Nazis put the Jews in concentration camps. They lived there in long barracks and were forced to work. Barbed wire and landmines blocked their way to freedom." I listened to this with disbelief. The teacher was describing to me the kibbutz where we lived. Barbed wire surrounded it, landmines filled the Jordan River banks, blocking my way out of the Zionist nightmare. The teacher was so serious and so obviously unaware that she was describing us that I laughed. "You won't laugh at our misery!" the Nazi dog barked at me. "Get out of my class!" "Wasn't it my class also?" I wondered while wandering out into the scorching heat.
Our teachers loved to scare us. In the morning hours, the sun already scorched the long barracks we called school. Washed in sweat, they told us that the Nazis had turned our grandparents into soap. Years later, this was found to be a lie, no human DNA was ever found in the infamous soap bars; it was just another scary Israeli soap-opera. "How dare you, the Germans are the bad guys!" my teacher shouted from her cold, white sepulchre.