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EPILOGUE: The Aftermath
 pg. 677 
German schoolchildren, provocatively photographed through a Christian "frame," mill about the main entrance of the former Sachsenhausen, Germany, concentration camp in 1999.
Photo: AP Photo / Jockel Finck
The antisemitic forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was published by antisemites all over the world before and after the Holocaust. This is a Spanish edition, published in 1963.
Photo: Wiener Library / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Preparations for the concert had been under way since 1991, when the idea for it was conceived by Gilbert Levine. An American Jew, Levine had met Pope John Paul II three years earlier after being appointed music director for the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kraków, the Polish city not far from Auschwitz that is the Pope's hometown. In addition to conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which flew from London for the concert, Levine wrote the program notes for the Justice Records CD that followed. They state that John Paul II's leadership--it included helping to select the music--did much to amicably confront difficult issues. The concert was held on "a night of firsts." Those "firsts" reveal the concert to have been truly historic. They also show how moving--in disturbing and disquieting senses--it remains.

April 7, 1994: Consider how long and late the "firsts" were in coming. According to Levine, the chief rabbi of Rome was invited for the first time to co-officiate at a public function in the Vatican. For the first time, Jews and Catholics prayed together, each group in its own way, in such a setting. For the first time, a Jewish cantor, Howard Nevison, sang in the Vatican. For the first time, the 500-year-old Vatican Capella Giulia Choir sang a Hebrew text in performance. For the first time, the Vatican officially commemorated the Holocaust. Levine also cites the report of a Vatican official who said that the concert revealed "the best relations between Catholics and Jews in 2000 years." Accurately, Levine judged that "the Pope himself, the leader of 900 million Catholics worldwide, spoke out clearly on April 7, 1994."

 1973: Only two American universities offer courses on the Holocaust; See 1979.
 October 6, 1973: Egyptian and Syrian forces launch a surprise attack against Israel, hoping to regain territory lost in the Six-Day War of 1967. Early success ends with their defeat.
 November 26, 1975-June 30, 1981: Sixteen former members of the administration at the Majdanek, Poland, death camp are tried at Düsseldorf, Germany. Nine are sentenced to prison with terms ranging from three years to life; four are acquitted; two are deemed unfit to stand trial; one dies during proceedings.
 1977: The Canadian government declares that investigations of former Nazis living in Canada are not viable; See September 1987.
 1977: At Northwestern University in Illinois, engineering professor Arthur R. Butz publishes a revisionist Holocaust "history," The Hoax of the Twentieth Century; See December 1996.
EPILOGUE: The Aftermath
 pg. 677 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.