some reviewers say “inglourious basterds” reminds them of this

Israel’s Nazi-porn problem
Andrew O’Hehir, Salon, Apr 11 2008

Stalags: Photo: Heymann Bros Films

Taking their name from the Nazi prison camps in which they were set, Stalags were Israeli pornographic paperbacks featuring Nazi themes. As many older Israelis evidently remember, the then-new nation was afflicted by a perverse pop-culture craze in the early ’60s, at a time when nearly half the population consisted of Holocaust survivors, nationalist sentiment ran high and moral codes were extremely puritanical. Yet the newsstands in the Tel Aviv bus station sold racks of semi-pornographic pulp novels known as Stalags, whose utterly implausible, Penthouse Forum-meets-Marquis de Sade plots ventured into the most forbidden terrain imaginable. Stalags all followed essentially the same formula: An American or British WW2 pilot (generally not Jewish) is shot down behind enemy lines, where he is imprisoned, tortured and raped by an entire phalanx of sadistic, voluptuous female SS officers. His body violated but his spirit unbroken, the plucky Yank or Brit escapes in the end to rape and murder his captors.

Stalags thrived for a few years and then disappeared, banished to the memory hole as a massive cultural embarrassment. Israel’s national library appears to contain a trove of them, buried deep in the catalog software and hidden from public view. Yet as some Israelis who were children and teenagers at the time testify, the Stalags provided sexual titillation in a society that repressed it, and also the illicit thrill of accessing a dark, secret recent past their European-born parents never discussed. They offered a Stockholm-syndrome equation of evil with eros and a juvenile revenge fantasy, all rolled into one.

Given the scale of trauma that brought the State of Israel into being, and brought so many of its inhabitants over the sea, some kind of twisted and perverse fantasy reaction was inevitable. The televised Eichmann trial transfixed Israelis in the early ’60s, providing many younger people their first look at the horrific and dramatic events many of their parents had witnessed first hand. The Stalags may be understood as a dream-world, midnight version of the Eichmann revelations. This craze reflects Israel’s pseudo-pornographic relationship to the past. Many Jews and non-Jews remain fixated on salacious details of the Holocaust, such as the “Night Porter” idea that female camp inmates ensured their survival by sleeping with German officers, or that the Nazis maintained brothels of Jewish women at Auschwitz and other camps. Such things may have happened here and there, but they are not clearly attested, and in any case fade into total insignificance against the scale of the tragedy.

One Comment

  1. Posted September 1, 2009 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Exactly our problem, exactly the problem brought up by several Jewish reviewers: this is fundamentally a Nazi movie, a movie that could’ve been made by Nazis either straight (to show the inhuman cruelty of Jews) or with roles reversed (to show what the Jewish cruelty “merits”). It inarguably shoves into the viewer’s face that hideous primeval Semitic barbarism which normally can only be seen in an aggravated Tzahal unit or a horrible Bible passage.
    It tells you everything about the evil banality of Jewish memory that Eli Roth’s big worry over his involvement in this movie was not its eye for an eye anti-morality but that stupid goyim would be dumb and suggestible enough to get stoked over the tongue-in-cheek racist propaganda within the film. It solves every problem for the Zionist-racist that the real origin of anti-Semitism is goyim inferiority and a predisposition to hypnosis — waiting for the Pavlovian signal! — and not out-of-control Jewish crime.


    Nezavsimaya Gazeta
    August 31, 2009
    US killer missiles might appear in Israel, Turkey, and the Balkans instead of in East Europe
    Author: Andrei Terekhov
    [Barack Obama’s Administration seems to be looking for a compromise solution to the problem of ballistic missile defense.]

    Official Washington might abandon its plans of ABM development in the Czech Republic and Poland. It is thought that Barack Obama will run them by Dmitry Medvedev at their meeting in September.
    The New York Times reported the US Administration entertaining the hope to revise its stand on ballistic missile defense framework in September. According to the newspaper, Obama might make a new offer to Medvedev at the meeting in New York where the UN General Assembly will be opening soon. Observers in the meantime comment on the ideas suggested in the course of the Space and Missile Defense Conference & Exhibition’2009 in
    Huntsville, Alabama, earlier this month. Ricky Ellison of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance gave an interesting account of the forum.
    According to Ellison, the conference in question never even acknowledged the third position area in the Czech Republic and Poland. USSTRATCOM General Kevin P. Chilton announced that Washington’s priorities concerned maintenance of strategic parity between the United States and Russia and between the United States and China. Chilton recognized that deployment of the third position area in East Europe was a sensitive issue for Russia and said that there were other options.

    Are you still reading Xymph? Excellent pieces on Juan Cole and a brave Canadian homosexual director who has chosen to not to submit his work to the chosen venues.

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