Claim: Holocaust survivor Dr. Emanuel Tanay penned an essay on the dangers of Islam.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2015]
Origins: On 21 February 2006, Canadian Paul Marek published on his blog Celestial Junk an article titled "Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant." In passages such as the following, Marek's essay warned about the dangers of Islamic fanaticism and dismissed as irrelevant the notion that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful:
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
Marek's article has been republished in books such as How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth and Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam, and it has been widely circulated on the Internet under the title "A German's View on Islam." However, in the latter form the essay has most commonly been attributed to the late Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor who isn't German (he was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States) and had nothing to do with writing it.
It is uncertain how Dr. Tanay's name became attached to Internet-circulated versions of this essay. Some versions of the message state Tanay was one of the people (perhaps the first) who forwarded Marek's article to a wider audience, but this explanation does not seem likely and has not been proved.
Tanay, who passed away on 5 August 2014, talked about his experience living in occupied Poland during World War II with Dr. Sidney Bolkosky of the University of Michigan-Dearborn for the Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive in 1987:
You know, prior to my analysis, I would have never thought of my own survival as an achievement. I always thought of it as an accident, like most survivors. Oh, I view it now as an accomplishment and achievement. I needed help of great many people. But it began with me. And I think that is true of most survivors and there is limited understanding of that. You know, we, for example, the whole notion that there could have been resistance misses the point. Resistance at that time was a form of collaboration. The true resistance was to survive. I was aware of it even then as a youngster.
I'll never forget the January 1, 1943, or rather, December 31, 1942, I was aware that this was a landmark. I was on a train and I had a sense of victory. I made it beyond January 1, 1943. Because already then, the rumors circulated that Hitler supposedly said that if a Jew will be free after January 1, he will tip his hat to him. I mean there was that kind of a, whether it was true or not, I don't know. It doesn't matter. The point is, there was a sense of accomplishment and achievement just in the very fact that one survived.
Last updated: 14 January 2015