Freaky deaky: Iranian Holocaust miniseries sympathetic to Jews? Update: AP story has it all wrong?

posted at 9:57 pm on September 16, 2007 by Allahpundit

State-produced and airing on state TV, no less.

[T]he series, titled “Zero Degree Turn,” is clearly sympathetic to the Jews’ plight during World War II. Scenes show men, women and children with yellow stars on their clothes being taken forcibly out of their homes and loaded into trucks by Nazi soldiers.

“Where are they taking them?” the horrified hero, a young Iranian diplomat who works at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, asks someone in a crowd of onlookers.

“The Fascists are taking the Jews to the concentration camps,” the man says. The hero, named Habib Parsa, then begins giving Iranian passports to Jews to allow them to flee occupied France to then-Palestine – a fictionalized version of a true story.

The series could not have aired without being condoned by Iran’s clerical leadership.

What gives? Well, Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust revisionism may get the headlines but his take on the subject has always been of the either/or variety: either the Holocaust didn’t happen, in which case Israel’s raison d’etre as a refuge from persecution is fraudulent, or it did happen, in which case Europeans should atone for their crimes by granting Jews a state in Europe rather than have them confiscate land from the, ahem, “innocent Palestinians.” This miniseries may be the leadership’s way of embracing the second theory, which will earn them some grudging, much-needed goodwill internationally while not doing much to undermine their objections to Israel. The AP story notes that there are eight episodes left. Expect it to veer sharply towards moral equivalence as the Jews saved by Parsa alight in Palestine and then gradually start behaving like the Nazis did earlier in the series, with lots of heavy handed visual parallels to drive the point home. MEMRI will no doubt have clips. In fact, I’m going to e-mail their web guy now to see what he can do.

Update: Reader Niko K. writes below that a Spiegel story on the miniseries sharply contradicts the AP’s account. So sharply, in fact, that I’m wondering now if the AP story is a deliberate whitewash. Writes Niko:

The article has it all wrong, and also the Wall Street Journal article that appeared earlier.

Mohammed Reza Kazemi cleared up the matter in a recent SPIEGEL article (link in German only, sorry). Main points:

* the major point of the series is that it was allegedly the German Jews themselves who collaborated with Hitler to kill those Jews who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine
* for example, a plot line shows that a Jewish researcher is in possession of documents that prove the connection between Hitler and Zionists
* the credits of each episode feature the work of anti-Semite Roger Garaudy as a “historical source”
* “historical adviser” to the series is Holocaust denier Abdollah Shahbazi who openly admits in his blog that he’s a denier
* director and screenwriter Hassan Fatthi alleged to SPIEGEL that according to “historical evidence” a majority of Hitler’s victims were those who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine

Niko on September 16, 2007 at 10:11 PM


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It also works to Iran’s benefit to paint themselves opposite the “fascists”, as they have often used that phraseology in accusing the west, and Israel, of imperialism.

The irony of course, is that Iran is named Iran in reverence to Hitler. In 1935 Reza Pahlavi felt that it was good for relations with Nazi Germany as there was a revival of interest in the so-called Aryan races, cradled in ancient Persia. Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, the Nazi Economics minister, noted the Aryan origin of the Persians and the name was changed.

jihadwatcher on September 16, 2007 at 10:09 PM

The article has it all wrong, and also the Wall Street Journal article that appeared earlier.

Mohammed Reza Kazemi cleared up the matter in a recent SPIEGEL article (link in German only, sorry). Main points:

* the major point of the series is that it was allegedly the German Jews themselves who collaborated with Hitler to kill those Jews who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine
* for example, a plot line shows that a Jewish researcher is in possession of documents that prove the connection between Hitler and Zionists
* the credits of each episode feature the work of anti-Semite Roger Garaudy as a “historical source”
* “historical adviser” to the series is Holocaust denier Abdollah Shahbazi who openly admits in his blog that he’s a denier
* director and screenwriter Hassan Fatthi alleged to SPIEGEL that according to “historical evidence” a majority of Hitler’s victims were those who opposed the re-settlement of Palestine

Niko on September 16, 2007 at 10:11 PM

Pandering to the EU. That’s all it is. Oh look we changed our ways. By the way Merkle, thanks for stepping on those sanctions. We are good people, you’ll see.

Limerick on September 16, 2007 at 10:15 PM

it provides ‘politically correct’ cover to mronic liberals to show how iran isn’t as evil as BOOOOOSH says he is nor is he anti-semetic. Its just the evil Zionist Conspiracy that’s making him sound like it.

Defector01 on September 16, 2007 at 10:20 PM

Darn, jihadwatcher beat me to the point I was going to make! I suppose I can add just add that it is extremely unlikely that a diplomat of the pro-Nazi Iranian regime would help the Jews in Paris.

thuja on September 16, 2007 at 10:28 PM

The Wall Street Journal was also party to the whitewashing. They had this interesting piece of information, though:

Episodes of “Zero Degree Turn,” broadcast in Farsi, can be seen outside of Iran on the Internet, either streaming live or downloaded at tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/sharhefilm.asp?code=0011109036106. It is also broadcast with English subtitles on the state-controlled Jameh Jam satellite channel, which is available on Europe’s Hot Bird satellite network.

Naturally the caps made their way to YouTube

Niko on September 16, 2007 at 11:03 PM

And CNN compares the series to Desperate Housewives. A spokesman for the Carnegie Endowment alleges in the report that Iran’s Ayatollah wanted “to send a signal to Iran’s Jewish community that despite the rantings of President Ahmadinejad [they] should feel secure [in Iran]“. And “CNN’s sources in Iran” claim that the series were not at odds with President Ahmadinejad’s view because he does not dislike Jews but Israel.

Looks increasingly like a concerted effort by “Iranian experts” in the West to whitewash the regime.

Niko on September 16, 2007 at 11:15 PM

It also works to Iran’s benefit to paint themselves opposite the “fascists”, as they have often used that phraseology in accusing the west, and Israel, of imperialism.

jihadwatcher on September 16, 2007 at 10:09 PM

The U.S.: You hate the Jews!

Iran: Nu uh, there was that one guy once!

The U.S.: You’ll use your nukes to bomb Israel!

Iran: Nu uh, watch the mini-series!

- The Cat

MirCat on September 17, 2007 at 12:30 AM

Ya kind of saw that update coming, didn’t ya? :)

Merovign on September 17, 2007 at 12:54 AM

Looks like I’ll watch that miniseries, just to find out who is lying here, Der Spiegel or the AP?

mram on September 17, 2007 at 1:22 AM

I skimmed through the 1st episode and there are these misterious documents that had to be kept away from the Germans. Were they ever explained as to what they were?

bnelson44 on September 17, 2007 at 1:34 AM

Has it occurred to anyone that as long as the Iranians and the Muslim world in general is obsessed with hatred for Jews to the exclusion of almost all else, that they will never be able to do anything “civilized” and will be limited to killing and abusing other people as national policy.

Just wonderin’

Always Right on September 17, 2007 at 7:15 AM

The Muslim SS was ever vigilant in its work to kill Jews and assisting the Third Reich. There were Jews in Southeast Europe, who the SS was going to release to be deported and the Muslim SS met with top Nazi leaders to make sure they were murdered instead.

The Nazis’ were happy to rid themselves of Jews in Europe, while Islam wants them dead.

Period.

Hening on September 17, 2007 at 8:34 AM

The associated (with terrorists) press has ZERO credibility in my eyes. EVERYTHING that propaganda bureau distributes is suspect. Be leery of spiegel too.

But those open minded and oh so tolerant kidlets over at hoofypoo have jumped all over this story as PROOF that the boooshitler-darthcheney-jooooo christianista banker-bloodyoil kabal is truthier than ever!

Oh, and for whatever reasons (probably too much early morn ganja), their brilliant history revisionists have used Iran’s love of the joooos mini-series to prove that the U.S. of A. had little influence in winning WWII. Huh? Seriously. Go read.

~You can’t make this crap up.

locomotivebreath1901 on September 17, 2007 at 9:08 AM

There were Jews in Southeast Europe, who the SS was going to release to be deported and the Muslim SS met with top Nazi leaders to make sure they were murdered instead.

You can thank the “honorary Aryan”, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni for that little gift. The bastard made radio broadcasts from Berlin in Arabic calling for Jihad against the British and Americans, and to “kill the Jew wherever you may find him”. Why the evil prick was never hauled up before the Nuremburg war crimes tribunal is a mystery.

Spiny Norman on September 17, 2007 at 11:08 AM