Holocaust - a religion?
 

Finkelstein is at his best when he skewers the pieties of those who would sacralize the Holocaust by making it into a kind of inverted mystery religion.

Among these is Wiesel, for whom the Holocaust is at once uniquely Jewish and universally human.

 Finkelstein offers a stinging account of the hoaxes and hucksters who have profited from the Holocaust, saving particular vitriol for Benjamin Wilkomirski (a.k.a. Bruno Doessekker), whose fraudulent memoir, "Fragments," still has defenders, including Israel Gutman of Yad Vashem, the Israeli museum of the Holocaust. Gutman admits that though the events the book recounts are phony, "the pain is authentic."

And Finkelstein is finally right to point to the essential strangeness of the American Holocaust Museum:

 "Imagine the wailing accusations of hypocrisy here were Germany to build a national museum in Berlin to commemorate not the Nazi genocide but American slavery or the extermination of the Native Americans."

 Though the comparison is forced, it underscores how the American Holocaust Museum's existence in the nation's capital testifies to the Holocaust particularism that is anathema to Finkelstein.