Sunday, March 22, 2009
Heeb's Fauxlocaust contest ends April 1!
Image via heebmagazine.com
Frustrated by the increasing number of Holocaust memoirs penned by frauds such as as Binjamin Wilkomirski and Herman Rosenblat, Heeb Magazine is fighting back "the only way we know how—with a self-aggrandizing and somewhat offensive publicity stunt."
Enter the Fake Holocaust Memoir Competition and your totally bogus Holocaust survival story could end up published in Heeb. Simply come up with a shameless tear-jerker, write it down and send it off by April 1. Get the full details here.
Heeb says the contest is a way to make fun of the assholes who have used the tragic event for profit, but some readers have boycotted the contest, saying it perpetuates and glorifies fraud. Others say the contest is hurtful to anyone who has had family members who endured Nazi torture and internment.
What will ultimately happen when Heeb publishes the winning stories? I haven't seen the editors take back the offer, but it would be wrong for them not to address the boycott, regardless of their feelings about it.
So is Heeb's contest an effective satire, or just a cruel joke?
Heeb says the contest is a way to reclaim a phenomenon that has been hurtful to the worldwide Jewish community-- and in light of the Pope's recent snafu with a Holocaust-denying bishop in Argentina , their aim is even more timely. But with faux memoirs and Holocaust revisionsists filling headlines in just the past few weeks, these issues show that the Holocaust is still producing cultural, political and religious shock waves almost 70 years after its first victims were imprisioned.
As usual, I'm torn. I'm not Jewish, but I like the idea of throwing insincerity back in the faces of those who have tried to use it for profit. But I can't help wondering what Heeb will look for when choosing the winner: an essay that uses suffering and pain as humor? If I've been reading the right articles in that magazine, I suspect an essay that involves gay Nazis, copious pop culture references and an occasional appearance from Sarah Silverman might make the cut instead.