Josh Jury

Undeniable truth is under attack

"Undeniable Truth" pin given out by US Holocaust Memorial Museum photographed by author (Josh Jury)
'Undeniable Truth' pin given out by US Holocaust Memorial Museum photographed by the author (Josh Jury)

According to a recent and alarming poll done by The Economist/YouGov, one in five US citizens aged 18-29 believe that the Holocaust is a myth. Gen Z and Millennial Americans, at a dangerously high rate, are falling victim to the rampant misinformation attempting to deny the tragic killing of nearly six million people, solely because they were born Jewish. The surge of young Americans denying the Holocaust shouldn’t just be shocking, but also a disturbing reality that needs to be tackled head-on. Despite numerous testimonies from survivors, corroboration from those involved, and irrefutable evidence of the existence of the concentration camps, misinformation is being weaponized to drive millions of young Americans to doubt the deadliest attacks on the Jewish community. 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day took place on January 27th, marking 78 years since the liberation of the lethal concentration camp, Auschwitz. Every year on this historic day designated by the United Nations General Assembly, we are reminded of arguably the most horrific event in modern history. This year as we remember the appalling, murderous attacks on the Jewish community during the Holocaust, we are faced with yet another atrocious attack on the Jewish people. The Israel-Hamas War is no time to be complacent in our remembrance of the Holocaust. If anything, the war is a reminder. A reminder that “Never Again” is happening right now. 

This year on International Holocaust Remembrance Day I visited the Washington, D.C. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Upon entering I was handed a pin with the insignia “Undeniable Truth.” In a time of soaring misinformation, blatant antisemitism, and Holocaust denialism, what exactly does this “Undeniable Truth” look like? 

The undeniable truth is the harsh deception online and on social media which is being used to deteriorate Israel’s image solely because the country remains a safe haven for the Jewish people. The undeniable truth is acknowledging the history of persecution toward the Jewish people powered by centuries of senseless hatred. And finally, the undeniable truth is combatting the fallacious claims that bring into question the very existence of the Holocaust. Notably, the recent poll showing young Americans denying the existence of the Holocaust is occurring amidst yet another deadly attack on the Jewish community. In 2024, “Undeniable Truth” is under attack. 

The Holocaust and the October 7th attacks have an unfortunate series of similarities. In both horrific events in Jewish history, the Jewish people were attacked based on well-established antisemitic narratives. Whether by Nazis or by Hamas terrorists, both of these groups have a goal to decimate the Jewish people. In these two horrendous events, the Jewish Americans gave a surprising and contrasting approach.

During the Holocaust, and even after indisputable proof of the horrors at the concentration camps, FDR was reluctant to publicly respond. Very few Jewish leaders were pressuring him, but Rabbi Stephen Wise was an exception. The president wanted to avoid war, but Rabbi Wise made it clear that if the president remained ambiguous about his message of condemnation, the Nazis could continually get away with murdering Jews. On the contrary, at the start of the October 7th attacks, we watched as the United States president, Joe Biden, was quick to respond. The Hamas terrorists were quickly condemned by the top officials of the U.S. government. And it certainly helped that some of these leaders are Jewish. The U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, responded immediately. Not only did he land in Israel to show support for the Jewish people, but so did President Biden less than a few weeks after the war began. These strategic actions by a Jewish leader and U.S. officials are significant in showing that we’ve learned from our past. The inaction of Jewish leaders during the Holocaust has prompted “Never Again” in the headlines throughout the Israel-Hamas war.

The Jewish community must testify to the undeniable truth of both cases of deadly assault on our community. In the DC Holocaust Memorial Museum, there is a wall with the engraved words, “You Are My Witnesses” from Isaiah 43:10. Just as those words resonated after the Holocaust, they resonate now as war rages on against the Jewish state. Israel was founded, in part, to create a safe haven for the Jewish people after a war threatened their lasting security. And now, as this undeniable truth is questioned, we must remain witnesses of the past. To be a witness, is in part our ongoing obligation to testify and teach our history. The poll exhibiting that one in five Americans aged 18-29 deny the existence of the Holocaust should serve as a testament to the exigency for action. In these times, fighting to protect the “Undeniable Truth” is a daunting mission, but we must take initiative to ensure that “Never Again” is our reality.  

About the Author
Josh Jury expedited his high school graduation in the U.S. following a semester at Heller High School in Israel that was cut short by war. He is a voice for education on combating Antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and a Gen Z voice for Israel. Josh recently took part in the URJ Teen Israel Organizing Fellowship, and was honored as one of JUF’s 18 Under 18 for his work representing Israel.
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