The barrage against the Swiss was launched around the same time that Paul Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, began a $500 million audit of the dormant accounts. Volcker reported that ”There was no evidence of systematic discrimination, obstruction of access, misappropriation, or violation [of the] requirements of Swiss law.“
Similarly, Finkelstein claims, ”It is simply untrue that [slave laborers] hadn’t received any compensation. [They] were covered under the original agreements with Germany compensating concentration-camp inmates.“ Those payments, Finkelstein reports, were the equivalent of $1 billion today. ”Still, 50 years later the Holocaust industry was demanding money for ‘needy Holocaust victims’ who had been living in poverty because Germans allegedly never compensated them.“
The assertion that ”injuries“ are being conjured long after compensation was made may be correct, but one wonders whether Finkelstein hasn‘t been blinded by his own venom. He writes, ”The current campaign of the Holocaust industry to extort money from Europe in the name of ’needy Holocaust victims‘ has shrunk the moral stature of their martyrdom to that of a Monte Carlo casino.“
Finkelstein’s harsh rhetoric obscures the fact that there was once a fierce debate within the Jewish community over the question of ”blood money.“ In 1952, when Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion accepted Germany‘s offer of compensation, Menachem Begin led a throng that nearly torched the Israeli parliament. One wishes, in reading this slender, incendiary volume, that Finkelstein had tempered his justified anger at those who would cash in on the Holocaust with the acknowledgment that reparations are for many Jews a crude marker of their suffering and a repudiation of the Nazi past. His animosity at times overpowers his revelations, which sadly mars and even undermines his heartfelt objective: to restore the Holocaust as a shattering allegory of universal human suffering.