Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Sympathy for dead Jews?

I've commented numerous times on anti-Semitism. It is in fact one of the major "raisons d'etre" of this blog.
I am of the first post-Holocaust generation. My father was 13 when WW2 started. My grandfather was married to a German woman, and so survived the war. But four of his brothers and two of his sisters were deported to Auschwitz, Sobibor and Ravensbruck, with all their families. One single brother survived. All the rest were murdered by Germans and Poles.

I would have had a huge family if it hadn't been for the Germans of WW2, and the Dutch police who helped deport the 114.000 Jews of the Netherlands, and the Poles who assisted the Germans and returned escaped Jews to the custody of the Germans.

I visited a number of death- and concentration camps. If you are as closely affected by the Holocaust as I was (and still am), it is hard just to watch the gate of Auschwitz on TV. But to walk through it for real, after crossing the railroad emplacement shown so often in documentaries and movies, that is overpowering.

It would take a special kind of mentality to attack and harass Jews or Israeli's in that place, after all that has taken place there. And that is where Europe has gotten to.
Jewish students attacked at Auschwitz heads the Jeruzalem Post.
It's really nothing major, considering what goes on in most major W-European cities. Jews get accosted and insulted routinely nowadays when they are recognizable as Jews. As in the 1930's in Germany and most of Eastern Europe, no one even takes notice any more.

But in Auschwitz?
Weinbaum, who has been to Poland more than 30 times on educational tours, says he never before saw anything like what happened, happen. "It was simply shocking," he says. "In some way, I felt that these men were satisfied to visit Auschwitz. This was another reminder that in Western Europe there is sympathy for dead Jews; it's just the live ones that they cannot tolerate."
I don't believe there is sympathy even for dead Jews. Shame perhaps for what was done, and more shame for the knowledge that if such circumstances came about once more, the same WOULD happen again. And no one would change a thing. Except the Jews. I hope.


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