Yom Hashoah Reflections: Are We Better Off Than 1939?

Every year with the marking of Yom Hashoah, I ask myself if it is and how is it better for the Jews in the world than it was in the 1930’s in Europe while Mein Kampf was a best seller and the Final Solution were being drafted and put into place?

With international radical Islamic terrorists targeting Jewish institutions either through BDS or actual attacks around the world and thousands of missiles aimed and pointed at Israel and armies burrowing tunnels into Israel, my answer is that we are as vulnerable today as we were in the 1930’s and 1940’s and that we must not only be vigilant, we must be strong while maintaining our commitment to social justice and humanitarianism.

It is clear there are forces that continue to seek to destroy us and that those among us who deny it are, like many were in Europe, having their heads in the sand. In fairness, the thought that some people want to wipe you off the face of the earth is realistically unfathomable for many of us. But it is real and never far from the surface. We comprise less than 1% of the world’s population and yet in places like the UN are blamed for 99% of the world’s problems.

That we contribute to societal improvement disproportionately to our numbers is of no concern to the haters and even though some of us try to be “good Jews and not the bad Jews” terrorists bombs and attacks do not discriminate…they are simply aimed at “Jews.” I worry that the further we get away from the Holocaust, the easier it will be to revise it, dismiss it and forget the lessons of it.

Survivors are dying. All have in our family on both sides. Many Children of Survivors are advancing in years as we enter our 70’s and it will be up to our children and their children to remind the world of these lessons of the Holocaust. These are lessons that must be taught over and over again and not revised or dismissed, These lessons protect all humankind. And so my answer to my question is that right now is that people are replaying versions of Mein Kampf on social media and Iran and other tribal states are planning and trying to execute Final Solutions, not just for us, but others as well.

We are once again at the threshold of asking ourselves are we going to allow ongoing and more Holocausts, not just to Jews but to others, whether in Syria or in other countries. It is not enough to simply remember, we must act upon the lessons learned tough as it may be.

About the Author
Retired College Professor (Walden University and Penn State University), President Emeritus and Co-Founder Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Professional and Community Leader. Writer, Blogger, Academic Activist. Residing in Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
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