Take a second and imagine what it would be like to be a Jew in Germany during the Holocaust. Try to picture your mother trying to flush money down the toilet as quickly as she can so SS Officers do not catch and shoot you. You are seconds away from SS Officers walking in and catching your family in the midst of this…..
This is what Rabbi Nissen Mangel, 82, experienced as a 10 year old in anti-Semitic Germany. If the officer had walked in thirty seconds earlier, both he and his mother would have been shot on the spot.
He even revealed his tattoo that he received in the concentration camp. “I consider it a badge of honor,” said Rabbi Mangel.
As long as there are survivors of the Holocaust, it is important that they keep telling their stories.
Yes, it is true that the Jews suffered atrocities from 1941-1945 but what is even more true is that Jews around the world still face atrocities today and are still targets for hate crimes.
In a Feb. 23 article from Western Journalism, five teenagers in France disrespected 250 Jewish tombs in a Jewish cemetery in the town of Sarre-Union. Although they denied that there were anti-Semitic motives, “the teens had admitted that they had spit on the Star of David on the tombs and had given straight-arm Nazi salutes.”
In Montreal, a hate crime against the Jewish community is being investigated when on Feb. 24 four cars in a garage in Notre-Dame-de- Grâce were spray-painted with swastikas. In addition to the swastikas, “one windshield was smashed, a pickaxe was found, and the four cars had envelopes placed under the windshield wipers with notes inside.”
“All reports and surveys strongly demonstrate that the levels of anti- Semitism have reached unprecedented highs not witnessed since the end of World War II. Jews are on the front lines of this war and while we are a primary target we are certainly not the only target, as terrorists try to harm our way of life by attacking freedom of speech, a basic foundation of Western society,” said Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress. This quote follows the recent attacks on the Jewish communities in France and Copenhagen.
In response to the anti-Semitic attacks that are spreading through Europe, a plan has been implemented by the Israeli government. According to Middle East Monitor, the government met earlier this week to discuss an ‘emergency plan’ to bring large groups of Jewish immigrants from France, Ukraine and Belgium as part of their greater campaign to expand settlements in the Palestinian territories.
The Holocaust ended nearly 70 years ago but prejudices and oppression against Jews is still a thing of the present as well as the past. Just because the Holocaust ended does not mean the mistreatment of Jews has.
“The basis of hatred is there. It is important for people to hear these stories because in society Jews are still being murdered for being Jews,” said Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik.