Brown students were thought to need emotional support after the trauma of hearing Natan Sharansky speak. Sharansky, who survived years of confinement, including solitary confinement, in the Soviet gulag, reportedly survived the encounter without the need for therapeutic services.
I don’t know if I could do what Roddie Edmonds did. I hope so, but I don’t think any of us can be sure until we are in the clinch. Roddie Edmonds was in the clinch, and he measured up.
The native of Knoxville, Tenn., was captured in the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and held at German POW camp Staleg IXA, according to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. When the Nazis ordered all Jewish-American POWs to step forward on Jan. 27, 1945, Edmonds — the highest-ranking noncommissioned officer at the camp — ordered 1,000 U.S. soldiers to do so, regardless of their religion, per the AP. “They cannot all be Jews,” a German commander said, per Yad Vashem.
The Nazi commander did not shoot, and many American Jews survived. Edmonds deserves every medal they give him.
Europe is re-embracing the oldest of all hatreds: firebombing a Wuppertal, Germany, synagogue; killing four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels; French anti-semitic rioting; and increasing acceptance of anti-Semitic jokes and comments. The hatred comes from three distinct groups: Muslims, far-right ideologues, and far-left ideologues.
World War II is still within the living memory of some people, and it’s aftermath is within the living memory of many more. When I was younger, I never would have believed this possible. Now that I see it happening, I am disgusted with humanity. The least we can do is denounce such hatred when we encounter it.
A clothing chain yanked this from its product line when someone pointed out the obvious. They say they thought it was reminiscent of Old West sheriffs. I grew up watching western movies and television shows, but the Old West is not what this brought to my mind. The movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not that old. These people ought to have someone with a little cultural literacy and historical memory review their products.
When I was young, I often heard “never again” in connection with the Holocaust. I believed it. I was naive enough to think that mankind had learned something and that never again would any group be subjected to the horror of a Holocaust. Now I am older and know better. The Balkans and Rwanda, among other places, taught us otherwise. And now segments of society are turning again to the Jews.
In a recent anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic protest in Boston, among the demonstrators’ chants was “Jews back to Birkenau.” The chant itself shows the inability of many to separate anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism, and it makes my stomach churn to contemplate such evil. Let us be clear what these people are calling for:
All decent people must oppose those who would repeat this
Update–July 23, 2014:
See here for more on rioters chanting “Gas the Jews.” Unsurprisingly, this time it’s in France. There is no depth to which these people will not sink.
Update–August 21, 2014:
At Temple University, a Jewish student is assaulted and called a kike.