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Now more than ever, we are responsible for Remembrance, Education, and Diligence

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PEW research of January 2020, showed that just 45 per cent of adult Americans knew that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Thirty per cent had no idea of the number. Fifteen per cent declined to answer.

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Today, there are far too many people who can no longer identify, or perceive, real evil. The evils, instead, are “offensive tweets”. Concepts like “micro-aggressions” are the villains, as with differing opinions — be they about gender, politics, or anything else. Rather than the fostering of dialogue and diplomacy, outrage and victimhood are nursed.

Fired up by these so-called enemies, the angry hordes justify meting out punitive consequences, such as cancel culture, looting, riots and vandalism.

And as one might expect, when there is widespread rage and political upheaval, the Jews are scapegoated. Antisemitic incidents are rising at a fever pitch.

As in the 1930s, the symbols of hate have resurged — the boycotts, the tropes, the shootings, the delegitimization, the attacks, the discrimination, and more.

So now, what are we supposed to do? Often, the answer is to combat ignorance. But how?

Start with something basic, like the Holocaust.

PEW research of January 2020, showed that just 45 per cent of adult Americans knew that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Thirty per cent had no idea of the number. Fifteen per cent declined to answer.

American teens fared no better: 38 per cent knew the six million number, and four per cent said the historical episode had to do with “persecution” not “murder” of Jews. To our great eternal shame.

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We must begin to know, and then teach, how the Shoah was not just the culmination of unchecked hate, but unique in hate among hates:

  1. Every Jew was hunted, everywhere. It was a global goal. No other genocide hunted every last member of an ethnic group.
  2. The Nazis used systematic death machines for efficient mass-killing of six million Jews, and millions of other “non-desirables.”
  3. Virtually every country — save Albania, Finland, Denmark, Philippines, and Dominican Republic — were complicit, complacent or collaborated
  4. Civilians, governments, and businesses were willing executioners
  5. Every step was made to humiliate, enslave, degrade, mutilate and starve Jews
  6. The Nazis’ entire objective, to the bitter end, was to destroy Jews, and any trace of them, to achieve the “Final Solution.”

This should be in every high school history text, memorized for tests and baked into the little minds, to loathe antisemitism.

Anyone attempting to label an individual or opinion as “evil” should really look at this list, as should anyone wishing to equate their suffering with ours.

A screenshot of the Central Database of Shoah Victim Names following a search of Jos family members

Following this, it’s important to learn about the human component. It’s not about numbers; it’s about names.

The Yad Vashem online database is a valuable tool to trace the names of those lost in the Shoah. I searched it to see who in my family was murdered. The gaping hole in the world from this loss is enough to make me educate others about hatred. Connecting with the victims becomes integral, getting to know their stories, the details; and that is why reading the Diary of Anne Frank, or other memoirs of the Holocaust, help give us that personal connection. Before it’s too late, anyone — not just this generation — needs to meet, and talk with, a Survivor, to know the horrors from those who saw them.

Next, we have to ensure, with vigilance, that our past is kept sacred, while our future is protected.

That means standing up and not tolerating antisemitism in any form, but it also means continuing to develop our understanding of the horrors of antisemitism. 

Every year, for example, new information comes out about the Shoah, that we must pay attention to, to remind ourselves of our obligation of “zachor” — to remember.

A sign that reads "Germans, defend yourselves, do not buy from Jews", at the Jewish Tietz store in Berlin in 1933 following a boycott which was announced by the National Socialist party | Photo: David Shapinsky (Public domain)

Just last year, for example, more than 1,200 remains of bodies were found in Belarus. A second mass grave was discovered in Romania

New research shows that there were about 43,000 ghettos and slave-labor camps spanning Eastern Europe during the war — three times more than previously thought. The researchers surmised that, any Germans or Poles who had plead ignorance about the horrors of the Shoah were probably just diverting their eyes.

Surely, and sadly, there’s more information yet to surface.

And finally, we are all responsible to “pass it on” — Remembrance, Education, and Diligence — the “RED” lines of action. If we do not, we’re failing our future, neglecting our present, and turning away our past.

Let’s not delude that we can somehow think peace on Earth is within our grasp. But what we should know, is how hell on Earth too easily occurs.

Chani Jos is excited to be a regular contributor to TheJ.ca, and has a lot to say about all things Jewish. She owns an electric scooter, a turtle, and wants everyone to know she just cancelled her Rogers account

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We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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