All of these figures were deeply influenced by modernity, even though some, like Berkowitz and Greenberg, were Orthodox. What of the ultra-Orthodox Jews? Some like R. Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar, R. Yosef Yizhak of Lubavitch, and R. Elhanan Wasserman (who was murdered by Lithuanian collaborators of the Nazis in the summer of 1941) maintained a belief in the traditional covenant and viewed the Holocaust as punishment for Jewish secularism, including Zionism. Others, such as R. Zvi Yehudah Kook and R. Yaakov Moshe Charlap, viewed it as a punishment for not leaving Europe after the Balfour Declaration. That is, for rejecting Zionism. R. Zvi Yehuda even called the Holocaust an act of “divine surgery.” Each case, however different, is an exercise in “paradigmatic thinking.”
Herzog, on behalf of Germany, was the first German statesman to apologize for German atrocities committed against the Polish nation during the Uprising. During the 60th anniversary of the Uprising in 2004, official delegations included: German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder , UK deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and US Secretary of State Colin Powell ; Pope John Paul II sent a letter to the mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński on this occasion. Russia once again did not send a representative. A day before, 31 July 2004, the Warsaw Uprising Museum opened in Warsaw.
The last critique speaks to how the mantra “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western civ has got to go” is no longer just the creed of fringe activists, but is seeping into the mainstream. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post worries that Trump’s speech invites civilizational conflict . Really? Trump just had a successful trip to Saudi Arabia, where presumably it isn’t news that the West is vested in Western values. Peter Beinart of the Atlantic objects that “the West” is allegedly “a racial and religious term.” This is bizarre, given that countries everywhere can “Westernize,” or adopt the norms and practices that were first adopted in the West and are uniquely suited to human flourishing.