What does it say about hate, if a twenty-year-old woman spits on an eight-year-old because of his background? Last week the New York police arrested a woman, who had lowered herself to do just that, adding for good measure “we will kill you all, I know where you live, and we’ll make sure to get you all next time.”
That will have told you that the boy was Jewish. Another incident with the same hate theme took place the following day when four people were held hostage in a Texas synagogue during the Sabbath service.
Two random events around the 20th of January, which this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference in Nazi Germany when the “Final Solution”- and with it, the genocide of six million Jews – was stamped and sealed.
Mind you, the killing had already begun by then. In Wannsee, it was simply approved to be systematically carried out in extermination camps and elsewhere in German-occupied European countries. Did the occupied object? Did they resist this outrage against their fellow citizens and refugees within their borders? Like hell they did: they happily lent the mass murderers their efficient help. Without this mass assistance, the Germans would have been unable to massacre as many Jews, Sinti and Roma, homosexuals, Polish intellectuals, Russian civilians, prisoners of war, political opponents and others as they did. Jews, Hitler’s main target simply happened to be the largest group of victims.
Last year was the year when Germany officially commemorated 1700 years of the Jewish presence in German lands. Numerous functions were held, thousands of words written and spoken about the long association proving that “Jews belonged to Germany” or concerning their positive contribution to public life. And yet: in the background lurked the open antisemitism that has increased in Germany as elsewhere in recent years.
Even more has been written through the centuries about the cause of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, including the early rivalry of the Church with Judaism, the emphasis on Jews as murderers of the Saviour, coupled with envy and jealousy of a hardworking people.
Unless this present trend is met with open protest, denouncement and support, the unacceptable, unreasonable and unjustified hate will continue to thrive to be passed on to the next generations.