Having just returned from a trip to Israel, which included a tour of the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, we have been dismayed to hear and read about anti-Semitism rearing its ugly head again in America and Europe.
A CNN poll conducted last month revealed some startling statistics about anti-Semitic stereotypes that are alive and well in Europe, as the memory of the Holocaust begins to fade. The Holocaust resulted in the mass murder of about six million Jews who lived in lands controlled by Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and first part of the 1940s.
Anti-semitism comes from sheer ignorance mixed with a dose of envy of the Jewish people who were, and still are, some of the hardest working people in the world. They didn’t fit in with Hitler’s plan for a pure Aryan race so they had to be purged from the land. Since not all of them fled, the remaining European Jews had to be disposed of in some of the most inhumane ways imaginable.
Think about it and let that six million figure sink in. These were innocent men, women, and, yes, lots of children, who were rounded up by the Nazis and shipped off in trucks and railcars to infamous death camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland where an estimated 1.1 million were put to death.
We didn’t have enough time to go through the adjacent children’s Holocaust museum when we were there, and that was probably a good thing. We would not have been able to handle that very well. It was bad enough seeing some of the actual prison camp uniforms and piles of shoes from the Jews who were exterminated in the many camps.
Photos and all the names of the Jewish victims are recorded in the Hall of Names in the museum. It is a huge dome-shaped room where information about each victim can found in one of the many volumes of books on display there. The sheer number of large books with some biographical information about each murdered Jew speaks to the size of the Nazi extermination plan.
Holocaust deniers need to take a walk through the Jerusalem museum or the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Then tell us that all of this is something made up and that it never happened. Or they could tour some of the actual camps still to be seen in European lands formerly controlled by the evil Nazi Third Reich.
Don’t try to tell us it never happened.