Thursday, 31 December 2015

Greville Janner denied Dachau's gas chamber

Former Labour Party politicians Tony Benn and Greville Janner, and Australian journalist Margaret Jones

In January 1982 Tony Benn said of journalists who criticised the train drivers who were members of the trade union ASLEF, and, in Benn's opinion, refused to write independently of their politically right-wing employers:
'Their role could be likened to the Jews in Dachau who herded other Jews into the gas chambers.'1
Benn later apologised for this comment,2 but not before his colleague Greville Janner criticised his analogy, claiming that it was inaccurate, because there were no gas chambers at Dachau. Greville was quoted in an article written by Margaret Jones:
Mr Benn should have known better. For one thing, as furious leaders of Britain's Jewish community pointed out, there were no gas chambers at Dachau.
The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Mr Greville Janner, who is also MP for Leicester West, said he had received many protests. 
"It was a phrase which caused considerable offence: first because it was incredibly inept, second because it was inaccurate," he said.3
This would not be Janner's last faux pas when disseminating Holocaust "facts". In 2006 he claimed that 3,000,000 people were killed at Auschwitz.4 But in fairness to the recently deceased child molester, in 1982 the Dachau museum insisted that their homicidal gas chamber was never used, although they didn't say that they never had one.5

1. Tony Kushner "Offending the Memory? The Holocaust and Pressure Group Polictics" in Nadia Valman, Tony Kushner (eds.) Philosemitism, Antisemitism and 'the Jews': Perspectives from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2004, p.256, citing: The Times, January 26, 1982.
3. Margaret Jones "Benn's rhetoric angers Jews", The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, February 1, 1982, p.4. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VoVWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=o-YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3303%2C21811
4. "... the vile Auschwitz concentration camp where the Nazis murdered more than three million victims", Greville Janner "People of all faiths must ensure that the Holocaust victims didn't die in vain", Daily Express, Thursday, January 26, 2006, p.10
5. "The gas chamber, which was camouflaged as a shower room, was never put into use." Barbara Distel, Ruth Jakusch (eds.), Jennifer Vernon (trans.), Concentration Camp Dachau 1933-1945 (13th Edition), Brussels: The International Dachau Committee, 1978, p.173. 

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