Is it the job of a book critic in a democratic society to actively engage in preventing an author from reading his book in public?
Is it the job of a book critic to warn a community organization not to make a public event featuring a book?
Is it the job of a book critic to personally engage in a smear campaign against an author, frighten him and his listeners into silence, and then publish a review without ever mentioning such activities?
Will the Chief Editor of a newspaper that claims outstanding standards of journalism condone and support such activities?
The answer to all the above is a resounding "YES," provided the paper involved is the Swiss NZZ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), the book was written by a Jewish author, the community is the Jewish Community, and the issue is anti-Semitism.
For Immediate Release
Contact: The Jewish Theater of New York • TheJTNY@aol.com
NZZ's Chief Editor Markus Spillmann Allows the Publication of a Libelous Review by a 'Critic' Caught Red-Handed in Anti-Semitic Activism, Obsessive Smear-Campaigning, and Attempts to Frighten a Local Jewish Community. The Jewish Theater Demands that NZZ Immediately Release All Records
On March 1, 2013 NZZ published a libelous review by Berlin-based Sieglinde Geisel, defaming Tuvia Tenenbom, the author of Allein unter Deutschen -- originally made public in America ("I Sleep in Hitler's Room") by The Jewish Theater of New York. Titled "Blackmailing with Accusations of anti-Semitism," and sub-titled "His Methods Have Little to Do with Serious Research," Sieglinde's 'review' is motivated more by her deeply hurt feelings that Allein unter Deutschen is enjoying an 11-week ride on the Spiegel Best Seller list than anything else. In fact, ten days before her article's publication Sieglinde was caught red-handed in shameless Tuvia-bashing games amidst a hot crusade to protect anti-Semites.
Here are the facts:
On the 19th of February 2013, Sieglinde approached the Jüdische Gemeinde Berlin with a special request. Righteous Sieglinde, an extremely-talented literary detective, had found out that an actor and an actress would be reading that evening and she wanted to make sure that they don't read a section in the book about cute anti-Semites parading as human-rights activists. In an email to the moderator of the event, a journalist, Sieglinde introduces herself with, "I write to you as a colleague," and claims that Tuvia "put words in the mouth" of interviewees.
Obviously, between 'us,' journalists, we can do whatever we want and we'll have one hand wash the other...
Did she approach Tuvia before spreading lies about him to a "colleague"? No.
Only after she put the Jüdische Gemeinde on notice did Sieglinde find the time to send an email to Tuvia as well. Did she ask him to verify details? No. What she did instead was to blatantly accuse him of "misrepresentations and misquotes." And then she added one question, more telling than any: "How come?"
Tuvia immediately answered her, but she did not respond.
There is also sufficient evidence that Sieglinde tried to instigate interviewees into filing frivolous lawsuits in her attempt to prohibit the sale of the book in Germany. The Jewish Theater of New York demands that NZZ make available all Sieglinde's records, in preparation for a lawsuit against NZZ.
Why would a critic, whose review is not even published yet, be involved in such activism against her subject? Would NZZ's top editors, being the famed neutral Swiss that they are, condone such a questionable activity by their critic?
To find out, Tuvia emailed NZZ's Editor in Chief, Markus Spillmann, requesting that Sieglinde's not-yet-published review stay unpublished due to her campaign against him.
Markus did not reply.
Tuvia phoned him the next day.
Initially, Markus said that he didn't read the email. "I get a thousand emails a day and can't possibly read them all," he explained. When Tuvia told him that Sieglinde's activism would be made public if her 'review' is published, Markus screamed at Tuvia: "Do you know who you are talking to? I am the Chief Editor of the NZZ! We are two hundred and thirty years in business!"
Jews, obviously, must be talked down to; otherwise they don't get it.
Markus' demeaning behavior didn't stop there. "Yes, I read your email," he barked with outrage, "and I will give it to our Legal Department to decide." How quickly the man changes facts; he suddenly read the email, the one of the thousand.
He should have given it to the Ethics Department, in case NZZ has any.
Incidentally, being caught in a lie didn't cause Markus to stop. On the contrary: The barking creature went on to accuse Tuvia of threatening him and then said that as far as he's concerned the conversation is over.
Over or not, we are not going to argue all the details of Sieglinde's absurd activities and claims in this Press Release, as those would better be handled in court. But we will note here one intriguing example: In her 'review' Sieglinde staunchly sides with Uganda Fan Volkhard Knigge of Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial. As short reply, the Jewish Theater of New York is hereby making public that a few days ago Tuvia suggested to engage Volkhard in a public debate at Volkhard's home turf in Weimar. Let's examine the facts in the open and let the people decide, Tuvia said. Volkhard initially refused, then agreed, and then refused again. Obviously, Volkhard doesn't need facts; he has the NZZ doing the dirty work for him.
By publishing a 'review' of such a laughable critic, and by shamelessly trying to protect anti-Semites, NZZ proves once more how right is Allein unter Deutschen in its depiction of the frightening anti-Semitism all around us, and how important it is to have a book that bravely exposes this very illness.
The Jewish Theater of New York will gladly respond to any inquiries by the media. To contact us, or to have copies of Sieglinde’s emails sent to you, please write: TheJTNY@aol.com or TheJTNY@gmail.com.
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