By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler
In their most recent gimmick, Heeb has outdone even their own high standard of Jewish tomfoolery. Really outdone it. The idiosyncratic Jewish quarterly has announced a fake Holocaust memoir writing contest.
Entirely out of jest, the publicity stunt comes from the exposure of fake Holocaust memoirs by Herman Rosenblat and Misha Defonseca.
The contest’s rules include the following:
7. We reserve the right to mock any and all entries.
8. We reserve the right to publish and mock the winning entry.
9. “Memoirs” shall be defined as a form of writing, not a collage, short film or interpretive dance piece.
11. No parking baby. No parking on the dance floor.
12. No use of the words “tumescent,” “engorged” or “moist,” unless they are referring to cake
13. No previously published fake Holocaust memoirs
15. We are not liable for anything, anytime, anywhere, no givesies backsies, infinity.
The Holocaust, it’s true, is easy joke fodder. Almost every stand-up comedian, Jewish or gentile, has at least one Hitler or Nazi joke. And okay, irreverence is Heeb‘s M.O. But it’s an entirely different thing to use farcical memoirs to openly mock what really did happen in the Holocaust.
It’s hard to imagine a survivor—perhaps an author of legitimate Holocaust memoirs—reading about the contest and finding it as hilarious as Heeb thinks it is. For that reason, it’s hard not be offended by their charade. It’s insensitive to say the least, and, were one to consider the struggles of survivors themselves, downright cruel.