Many of you are familiar with the Purim story told as part of Aish Hatorah's Discovery Seminars.
But I bet you didn't know…
…the truth behind the myth.
First, the myth.
After the first day of fighting, the king asks Esther what else she wants him to grant her. Esther asks the king to hang the 10 sons of Haman. But, the 10 sons have already been killed!
Aish then brings Rabbi Wiessmandl who says that, sometime in the "future" 10 more "sons" of Haman will be killed.
Then, Aish tells you that, as 10 Nazi war criminals were hung at Nuremberg, all together as one, just as with Haman's sons, one of the Nazis, Julius Streicher, called out "Purim Fest 1946!"
Aish then adds another detail meant to give you the willies. There were 11 Nazis slated to be killed that day. Only 10 were because one, Herman Goring, committed suicide in his cell.
Aish tells you that Haman's daughter killed herself as well, and Goring was a well-known cross dresser.
Here's what Aish does not tell you.
Streicher and the Nazis were close students of Jewish culture. They timed deportations and mass killings to coincide with Jewish holidays. They built anti-Jewish propaganda based on Jewish customs and observances – and one of their favorite holidays for this purpose was Purim.
Here's how Menachem Mendel tells the story:
I am reading Saul Friedländer’s Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume I, The Years of Persecution (also see this post), and in his discussion of the infamous anti-Semetic newspaper Der Stürmer, I happen to come across this timely mention of Purim (emphasis added).In other words, the Nazis were intimately familiar with Purim and viewed the holiday as an archetype for the Jews' supposed "bloodthirstiness."In its August 1935 issue (no. 35), Streicher’s paper took up a story previously published by the Reutlinger Tageblatt about a Jewish chemist, Dr. R.F., who had been accused of torturing a cat to death. According to Der Stürmer, in order to kill the cat, F. had tied it up in a sack, which he then threw onto the concrete in front of his door. “After that, he jumped with both feet on the poor animal, performing a true Negroe dance on it. As he could not kill the animal in that way, although it bled through the sack, he took a board and hit the cat with the edge until he killed it.” Der Stürmer linked the killing of the cat to “the slaughter of 75,000 Persians in the Book of Esther” and the killing of “millions of non-Jews” in “the most horrible way” in contemporary Russia. “The complacent bourgeois thinks far too little about what would happen in Germany if the Jews came to power once more,” Der Stürmer concluded. (p. 124)
Purim was a holiday which was important to the Nazis because it showed how bloodthirsty Jews really are.The numerous confessions made by the Jews show that the execution of ritual murders is a law to the Talmud Jew. The former chief rabbi, and later monk, Teofite, declared that the ritual murders take place especially on the Jewish Purim in memory of the Persian murders, and Passover in memory of the murder of Christ. (Der Stürmer, no. 14)
In the Book of Esther, we read that in one bloody night the Jews slaughtered and destroyed 75,000 Persians. Even today, the Jew celebrates Purim to commemorate his great triumph. (Robert Ley, Pesthauch der Welt)
Purim was featured in the Nazi propoganda film The Eternal Jew and the Nazis saw Purim as part of a pattern of Jewish responsibility for tragic events in human history.
Streicher, the publisher of Der Sturmer, by profession needed to be an expert on Jews and Judaism, and he needed to use JUdaism against the Jews. And so he did. Yelling "Purim Fest!" is not only unsurprising, but it fits perfectly with a lifetime of the man's work.
Rabbi Wiessmandl wrote after the war, after Nuremberg, after Striecher's scream had been publicized. Arguing from his conclusion, Rabbi Wiessmandl saw the Megillah played out before his eyes, and Esther's request fulfilled. He wrote that sometime in the "future" 10 more "sons" of Haman will be killed.
This is not unlike "finding" past events using the so-called Torah Code. 6 million Jews were murdered. Esther did not ask for the Jews to be able to defend themselves or for any other measure that would have saved lives. No. She asked for the deaths of 10 Nazis after the murders of 6 million Jews were finished.
What this says about Esther is not particularly kind. What it says about God is even worse.
A simple reading of the text makes it clear what Esther asked for was the public impalement of the dead bodies of Haman's sons, to show the Persian populace that the Jews had, in fact, triumphed.
Is Nuremberg an eerie parallel to Purim?
12 were sentenced to death.Does this match up with the Purim story?
One of those, Martin Bormann, was already dead. He committed suicide in 1945 but his death was not confirmed until 1998.
One, Goring, killed himself the night before the hangings.
10 were hanged.
Another committed suicide the year before.
One was medically unfit to stand trial.
Two were acquitted.
8 were sentenced to varying terms including life in prison.
I don't think so.