Oliver Stone may be a nut job, and he has certainly made some wonderful movies. Of late however, he seems to be moving from whacky conspiracy theories to rather more ugly ones. What do I mean?
Stone’s newest project, a Showtime documentary entitle “The Secret History of America” will, Mr. Stone claims, put Hitler “in context”, and not allow his story to remain a product of “the Jewish dominated media”. I am all for expanding our understanding of even the most terrible events in history. In fact, it is those events which are most often addressed in dangerously over-simplified ways. But somehow, a filmmaker who describes his work in terms reeking of Jew-hatred does not seem likely to make any constructive contributions on this issue.
Of course, that was yesterday. Today, Mr. Stone is apologetic, issuing a statement in which he says he “made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry”. Which is the “real” Oliver Stone, the conspiracy theorist who resents the mythic power of Jews or the contrite artist seeking to bring deeper understanding to one of the darkest moments on Human history?
My guess is that he’s a bit of both. But because he simply calls his words a clumsy error and refuses to explore how they are actually part of his ongoing approach to world events — one in which some evil external force is always driving decent “little people” into horrible circumstances, I know that we have not heard the last of such claims about Jews from Mr. Stone.
There is no doubt that we need fuller explanations of the Holocaust, more sophisticated than those which invoke a demonic individual, Hitler, at whose feet all blame can be laid. There is also no doubt that as Jews, we would do well to more fully appreciate the horror of the Holocaust for people other than Jews. None of that however will be accomplished by minimizing the unique horror of the Nazis “Final Solution” to the “Jewish problem”, and certainly not by those, like Mr. Stone, who perpetuate some of the central underpinnings of the methodology which fueled the hatred which led to it.