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Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Haredi weekly censors images of female Holocaust victims

If there was ever a time this "haaradat nashim" (exclusion of women) concept in the Haredi press could become truly offensive, it'd have to be in this case, where history's importance is insulted by horrific political correctness and sheer irresponsibility:
One of the most famous pictures marking the atrocities of the Holocaust, was published in the haredi newspaper Bakehila (literally meaning -- in the community), with the faces of all the women censored.

The picture, featuring a Jewish boy in holding his hands up in submission, depicts the surrender of Jews after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, some 70 years ago.

Most of the Jews in the picture were eventually sent on to extermination camps, including the women, among them Matylda Lamet Goldfinger, whose infant daughter was killed a short while after the picture was taken.

The picture, published in the holiday supplement of the newspaper, accompanied an interview with Aryeh Simonson, who said he was the boy in the photo, after years of investigation into the boy’s identity.

In the interview, Simonson discussed the moments of horror he endured before, during and after the picture was taken, in the face of the horrors inflicted by the Nazis.

'No reason to publish entire photo'

Referring to the censorship of women's faces, the editor of the Bakehila weekly, Avraham Dov Greenbaum told Ynet, “The article focused on the subject of the photo, and thus there was no reason to publish the entire photo. We wanted to emphasize the story of the helpless boy. At the same time, we respect the memory of the Holocaust victims, and… also respect our readers, bringing them only what they need and want to see.”
That's a violation of the 10 Commandments, specifically, Thou Shalt Not Lie. If they blot out the faces of the female victims, they're not even respecting the male ones. If I were in Simonson's position, this would be another moment of horror for me. Goldfinger is as much a subject of the photo as Simonson, so Greedbaum is talking out of both sides of his mouth. As for "respect" for readers, it would only be those whose heads are prejudiced. "What they need" sounds very much like the NY Times slogan "all the news that's fit to print".
Daily newspapers in the haredi sector work under the direction of "spiritual commission," an ancient tradition that does not allow the publication of photos of women.
Ynet isn't completely honest and clear either - the mindset leading to this dishonest censorship only dates back to the 19th century. Seldom have I read about something so offensive, especially if we consider that Haredi women were just as much victims during the Holocaust as anyone else in the Jewish community.

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