Ireland had a terrible record when it came to stopping the extermination of Jews, Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter stated yesterday, the Irish Times reports. He was speaking at a conference in Dublin commemorating the work of Raoul Wallenberg who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.
The only Jewish member of the Irish cabinet stated that; “The Irish government of the day sat on its hands. And even after the death camps were liberated, the Irish government denied Jews refuge in Ireland. To those who asked, ‘What could I have done?’ the answer must be, ‘Look at what Raoul Wallenberg did.’
“Hitler and his henchmen always felt reassured that they could act with impunity when the international community kept silent in the face of Nazi outrages. Silence was interpreted as acquiescence. Thus acquiescence helped evil to flourish.”
He quoted Martin Luther King, who said: “The greatest tragedy of this generation which history will record is not the vitriolic words of those who hate, or the aggressive acts of others, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
Mr Shatter stated that the international community could have stopped the Holocaust but no one spoke up or acted against Hitler until it was too late.
Then Irish leader Eamon De Valera paid his respects at the German Embassy after Hitler’s death.
Turning to the modern-day he called for the ousting of Iran’s president Ahmadinejad.
“Iran’s president Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened a nuclear holocaust against Israel while denying the Shoah (Holocaust). Moreover, modern anti-Semitism obsessively singles out Israel for disproportionate forms of condemnation that barely conceal a denial of Israel’s right to exist.
“It is morally absurd that Ahmadinejad still rules Iran, an active denier of the Shoah who has promised to use nuclear missiles to turn Israel to smoke and ash. And the silence of so many of the non-aligned states in the face of his threats must surely undermine their moral authority to speak on important issues of international concern,” said Mr Shatter.
“Raoul Wallenberg had the option to sit out World War Two safe in neutral Sweden. But for him not to act against the genocidal evil would have been passively to accept that evil. For him, omitting to act would itself have amounted to the wrongful action of acquiescence. So he answered yes when he was asked to go to Budapest. He could not be a bystander to evil.”