The war against anti-Semitism is endless

On October 26, a small demonstration was held in front of the Jewish Community Center in San Antonio, Texas. The protesters, a group calling itself the Goyim Defense League, held a banner that read “Honk the horn if you know the Holocaust is false.” These anti-Semites did it in broad daylight for all to see, what about the drivers? some did honk well.

It is the year 2021 and normative people in a democratic Western country where many Holocaust survivors live still think that the worst crime in human history never happened.

This demonstration may have been small, but it symbolizes a much larger problem: Holocaust education in schools and universities is lacking, if it exists at all, and this is combined with a sense of apathy toward growing anti-Semitism around the world.

Let’s focus for a moment on that strange group from Texas. The identities of its members are known and they frequently participate in anti-Semitic events and spread hatred, but no one does anything about it. They are free to throw their drool everywhere.

Again, this small group of Texax is not the problem, the problem is how countries make empty promises and issue well-worded statements, while the war on anti-Semitism clearly ranks very low on their priority list.

This indifference is the root of all evil. On November 9, 1938, Adolf Hitler tested the world’s response to the systemic abuse of Jews. In this anti-Jewish pogrom, known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, dozens of Jews were killed, tens of thousands were arrested and sent to concentration camps, and around 1,400 Jewish synagogues and businesses were burned to the ground. The world was indifferent to the horrors that began in Europe in Kristallnacht. Hitler realized that he could harm and kill Jews without hindrance, and thus began the greatest crime even though the writing was on the wall.

As we discuss the lessons of the Holocaust, we must remember that it did not come out of nowhere. It was preceded by years of incitement and discrimination. Therefore, we commemorate Kristallnacht as the turning point in the chain of events that ended in the shaft, gas chambers and crematoria. And these events shed light on the historical truth and tell the stories of the last Holocaust survivors who were there.

Education about the Holocaust and the war on anti-Semitism go hand in hand and depend on each other. Without education about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism cannot be stopped. We are part of the last generation that can hear first-hand the stories of those who have been through that hell, those who witnessed that anti-Semitism from the very beginning to the very cruel end.

In March of the Living, which is an annual educational program that brings together students from all over the world in Poland so that they can explore the remains of the Holocaust. We take on the mission of passing the memorial torch to future generations. We hug the survivors and we are looking forward, very anxious, for the day when they will not be able to speak anymore.

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Anne Frank Monument in Idaho, USA"In corrupt

The Anne Frank Memorial in Idaho vandalized with a swastika

(Photo: Wassmuth Center for Human Rights via AP)

In 2021, anti-Semitism continues to proliferate unhindered around the world. A recent survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC shows that one in four American Jews has been a victim of anti-Semitism in the past year; 40% of those surveyed testified that they felt the need to hide their Judaism or reduce activities considered Jewish. A quarter moderated the content they posted online to avoid being identified as Jewish, 22% changed their attire and 17% reconsidered going to certain places. In some European countries, such as Germany, France and Great Britain, the situation is similar or worse.

The COVID-19 pandemic gave anti-Semites new excuses and plots to blame Jews, and the anonymity offered by the internet gives them the trust and platform they need. Once again, we are talking about a small and noisy minority that continues to do so undisturbed.

Anti-Semitism must be confronted wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head, in the streets and virtual spaces. We cannot stop fighting and think that the threat is behind us. Racism, if left alone, will metastasize and will eventually spread to all parts of society.

The March of the Living will soon be marching again on Polish soil, where millions of our people were killed. We will continue to remember, march and shine a light against anti-Semitism, racism and hatred where we can.

Dr. Samuel Rosenman is the president of the March of the Living.

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