This week in London, a lone figure walks the streets of North London, which has been this person's home going back to the late '40s, when he came to this city naked and speechless. He weighed then less than 10 lbs.
Sixty years on he is feeling speechless, but not that he has nothing to say. He has lots to say, and his neighbours, many of them Jewish, are listening and supporting him against a vicious attack. Good job for him he has such support, as the basis of his dour mood is the posting on certain blogs a picture of him in full Nazi regalia.
So there you have it, a major Nazi gets exposed... Except that he has no Nazi leanings, nor do his sartorial preferences include brown shirts with swastikas. What has really been exposed is the depths of human depravity, when nasty idlers would go to such lengths to calumny someone.
Nick Kollerstrom, the subject of this defamation, has not only much support in the Jewish community, but is far from being on the right; he writes for such things as INLAP, the Institute of Law and Peace. His clothes, rather than being Third Reich uniforms, are usually a bit hippy, including his trademark hemp hat.
So why does someone go to lengths to slander him? The world is full of such people, and their work can go far. It can also be stopped, and this is what has propelled me to start this blog. Not that there is no other broiges worthy of a few words in London, but this one has catalysed my writing - with Job, I lament: "Oh that my words were written in a book." Job did not have the internet, but the Lord saw fit to grant him his wish. OK, this blog will never be a part of the Bible, but it has its purpose, and getting back to that let me give the history of the attacks on Nick.
It started earlier this month, around 14 April, when the blogger ad nauseum Rachel 'North' decided that he was a Holocaust denier! This woman found out that he had some questions about the location of the gas chambers in Auschwitz. He is not a denier, but has found credible some research that suggests the gas chambers, as marked today, show no traces of cyanide gas.
Rather than react strongly to this possible mishegaas on his part, I let him show me some of the evidence. I shrugged my shoulders. It is possible that some of the Holocaust stories are made up, exaggerated, or contain honest errors. In fact, this is what the Jewish Chronicle wrote in this week's issue, specifically noting that some entire books on Auschwitz experiences were fiction - but not that Auschwitz was fiction. The sad thing is that those who choose to cash in by writing such junk do the truth a disservice and give ammunition to deniers. In addition to totally bogus stories, there are bound to be, in any corpus delecti, a number of errors; those who find those errors are not deniers, they are not Nazis, they are citizens in a democracy exercising their right to speech - which Rachel 'North' does not seem to know much about. In fact, when people who knew Nick personally posted their comments on her site, she just took them down. Then she took her site off the hook for the weekend. So I could not communicate with this blogger, and decided to start my own when the situation went out of hand with Nick's image being photoshopped in a Nazi uniform. That said, let me note that I will allow a full range of comments here, let Rachel 'North' come back and state her case and I will let it be, as long as it is honest, not full of abusive language, anti-Semitic or illegal in content.
We do know Ms. 'North' to be a bit touchy on her blogging, and also litigous, having recently worked hard to send a homeless woman to prison. Felicity Jane Lowde, who got into a bit of more than a broiges with Ms. 'North', was done for cyber-stalking - even though none of her posts or emails threatened North, as far as I have been able to see from what 'North' et al., and I am sure they would have been quite happy to show such evidence if they had it.
As many other bloggers have said, why did not 'North' just delete/block the comments? That was her remedy, why put someone in jail and make a mountain out of a molehill?
And why state that Nick is a Holocaust denier, when he is not? And is she responsible for photoshopping his image into a Nazi uniform?
What is of concern is that Rachel uses her victim status to get attention, constantly reminding the world that she was raped years ago by a black man and then hurt her wrist on 7/7. She is insisting on a new inquiry into 7/7, despite much research already having been put into it. But while she has perhaps some personal conspiracy theory of her own, she vehemently puts down anyone else with some questions about 9/11, 7/7, the anthrax attacks, the Russian apartment bombing, etc. Some of those include a number of Jews and Israelis, including Barry Chamish, Jarred Israel, Yuri Feltshinsky, Simon Aaronowitz, Karl Schwartz, Dr. Len Horowitz, Dr. Barbara Hatch-Rosenberg, etc. These people, and their Gentile colleagues (including Col. Alexander Litvinenko and William Rodriguez), may be right or wrong, but they have a right to ask questions - let them be answered and not stifled. Further, these people do a mitzvah in questioning, even if they are wrong - and I would bring to mind a certain fire that occurred rather conveniently in Berlin in February of 1933. Anyone questioning that was sent to camps (and now, a certain former US Congressman has stated on the air that he wants to send present day questioner to "secret camps in Eastern Europe").
But guess what? There are many sources that prove the Reischstag Fire was the work of the Gestapo - I refer the reader to a book titled Conjuring Hitler. There is of course the definitive record of the Nuremberg trials, at which one of the 10 perpetrators confessed; most of the others were done in by the Third Reich in the Roehm Putsch of 1934. There is also note of a general suspicion in a 1939 book titled A Mother Fights Hitler, by Ingrid Litten (her son Hans, who was part Jewish, was Germany's leading civil rights' lawyer - he it was who tore Hitler apart in the dock during the famous murder trials in the late '20s).
But of course, the Rachel 'Norths' of Germany opposed this questioning - thank you all very much indeed. I lost one relative there, who was caught by the Germans when trying to rescue other relatives from the Baltic states. They would today not support 'North' or let her use them.
But back to the present, which is a function of the past - let me warn the UK diaspora community not to be used by Rachel 'North'. This clergyman's daughter might well look into the Bible and think about bearing false witness. She might also find that imprisoning homeless babblers is not a tenet of the Good Book. OK, I ought not to preach to her; I, thank the Lord, am not her father, but let me admonish her that she ought not to stir up trouble against her neighbours and try to use us against each other.
To my fellow Jews in London, ignore her and others' nonsense about Nick Kollerstrom. He is actually a very good-natured person, he has lived among us for 60 years and we know who he is - I do not need to use brackets around his surname as I have done with 'North', who, by the way, has been known to introduce herself by telling people she is not an MI5 agent. Rather strange, and one expects their standards are above taking in the likes of her, but after what we saw with David Shayler, who knows. As Elton John once crooned: "Is it foolproof or a bluff?" ['Fascist Faces', on the Fox album].
We do not need Shayler, who was (and may still be) in MI5, nor do we need 'North', who I suspect is telling the truth on that account. But as to Nick Kollerstrom being a Nazi or Holocaust denier, no way.