The Dallas Morning News was not the only newspaper to feature a front page article earlier this week on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Not by a long shot. There was no shortage of commentary and reporting on that one concentration camp in Nazi occupied Poland that came to be synonymous with the Holocaust. What most, if not all newspapers failed to cover, is that while Auschwitz was liberated by the Russian army on January 27th, 1945, there are other areas throughout Europe that have yet to be liberated. To be sure, the Third Reich has long been consigned to infamy. Unlike the nightmare that lasted close to six years from 1939 through 1945, there is no government on the European continent that sanctions or even permits acts of anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, anti- Semitism is alive and sick. While Jews are not being rounded up and herded into ghettos, while Jews are not being sent to concentration camps, and while Jews are not being randomly shot on the street, more and more Jews in countries such as France, Germany and even Sweden are beginning to wonder how safe and secure they really are.
Auschwitz has been liberated, but not Paris. Months before the Charlie Hebdo/Kosher Super Market murders, eight synagogues were attacked in France. One was firebombed. A Jewish-owned pharmacy and a kosher supermarket were smashed and looted. The 400-strong mob shouted, “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews throats.” Not that long ago, French Jews sent their children to Public Schools. Now, in addition to enrolling their children in Jewish Day Schools, French Jews are enrolling their children in Catholic administered schools, where they will be “safer”.
Auschwitz has been liberated, but not Malmo (Sweden). Peter Lindgren, a Swedish journalist conducted an experiment, where donned a kippah, put a Jewish Star (Magen David) pendant around his neck and equipped with a hidden camera and microphone proceeded to walk through city streets. One man took a look at the Jewish paraphernalia Peter Lindgren was wearing, and not only called him Jewish S**t, but demanded that he get out of town. Another Swede called him Jewish Satan. As Peter Lindgren continued into the Muslim section of Malmo, the anti-Semitic threats increased to the point where he was confronted by swarms of gangs.
Auschwitz has been liberated, but not Germany. In several cities, chants emanating from pro-Palestinian protesters compared Israel’s actions to the Holocaust. More than a few protesters carried a placards with slogans such as: “Jew, coward, pig, come out and fight alone” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” Elsewhere, they chanted “destroy the Zionist Jews….count them and kill them, to the very last one.” An elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg. A Jewish teenager was punched in the face in Berlin.
Abba Kovner, a Jewish poet who after surviving the Holocaust made Aliyah to Israel is known for the following exhortation: Remember the past. Live the present. Trust the future.
By all means, remember Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen and Dachau and everything else about the Holocaust. Never think that Man’s inhumanity to man does not apply to us in the present
Trust that we never forget the lessons that history visited upon us as we prepare for the future.