Irena Wachendorff: The German Alibi Jew Who Wasn’t
We all have dreams. Uncle Junior wanted to screw Angie Dickinson, my mother wants to work in a funeral home and Irena Wachendorff just wants to be Jewish and the daughter of Shoah-survivors so she can criticize Israel. Is that so wrong?
Up until now, Wachendorff has made a decent career of being an Alibijude, an alibi Jew. The job is easy: If someone is accused of anti-Semitism, alibi Jews are brought in as defending witnesses. It’s the old “some of my best friends are pantomimes” routine, with an added speaking part for friends. In a country like Germany, where the Jewish community is only sporadically visible, being an Alibijude can be a worthwhile endeavor.
If all anyone ever talks about is how Israel is the root of all global evil, people might start to ask questions. This is when the accused is able to point to the the supportive alibi Jew, who in turn is able to point to his or her family history or just basic Jewishness and say something like: “What the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is what the Nazis did to my parents.” Even better, you’re one yourself: Geert Wilders, famous for his vehement xenophobia and his stupid haircut, always likes to speculate about some Jewish heritage on his father’s side. Because then, you’re not a Nazi or a racist but a defender of Western values. ….
Upon being asked, Wachendorff’s mother says she was never in Auschwitz—‘my husband was though.’ Probably not as an inmate: He wasn’t an Orthodox Jew but a Protestant officer of the Wehrmacht. A speaker of the Israeli army can find no record of an Irena Wachendorff having ever been in the IDF. During the Lebanon war, Irena Wachendorff acted in various productions in local theaters in the Rhine region. The kindergarten she supports does exist, but there is no evidence of her ever having visited it. And finally, she isn’t a member of her alleged congregation.
This is not without precedent. Every couple of years, some fake Jew is revealed. This very publication once had a contest for the best invented Shoah memoirs. What makes this case so interesting is that a leading German politician was fooled. Polenz has released a statement saying that he’s not resposible for the third party’s opinion, that he still supports this dubious Jewish-Arab kindergarten and he’s disgusted with this prying into Wachendorffs private life: ‘This is like an Ariernachweis [certificate of being Aryan] in reverse.’