Australian Holocaust survivors are furious with US-based Rabbi Manis Freidman for apologizing for comparing sexual abuse with diarrhea but not for expressing regret for remarks he made around 30 years ago that the Nazis should not be blamed for the Holocaust because it was part of a Divine plan.
Rabbi Friedman recently posted a YouTube, which since has been removed, in which he stated that that sexual abuse, like diarrhea, “should be kept private and that victims of abuse are that damaged.”
He had said in the clip that anyone who abuses others sexually can do mitzvot to atone for his acts and that the victim must get over the abuse. “[If} You’ve learned that not every uncle is your best friend, you’ve learned an important lesson,” according to him.
Rabbi Friedman apologized for his “completely inappropriate use of language,” called sexual abuse one of the “worst crimes imaginable” and added that perpetrators of molestation should be prosecuted by the police.
However, the Australian Jewish News (AJN) reported that Rabbi Friedman made seriously disturbing remarks about the Holocaust and Nazis in remarks in a Melbourne home in the 1980s.
“Who in fact died and who remained alive had nothing to do with the Nazis,” Rabbi Friedman had stated. “Not a single Jewish child died because of the Nazis … they died in their relationship with God,” according to a transcript obtained by the AJN from the Jewish Holocaust Center’s (JHC) archives.
Referring to Rabbi Friedman’s official apology for the comments he made about sexual abuse, Holocaust survivor Abe Goldberg told the AJN said, “Suddenly he is apologizing? He never apologized before. Why does he only apologize now?”
Survivor Moshe Fiszman, still enraged by Rabbi Friedman’s remarks about the Holocaust, said the comments were “immoral.”
“For someone who witnessed all that hell, who went through as many camps as I went through … to read and hear that is just … I don’t know. I cannot explain to you how I feel, there is no way,” the 91-year-old said.
The AJN added, “Rabbi Friedman has failed to respond to requests for a comment on his remarks about the Holocaust.”