Yael Eckstein on The Darkness of the Holocaust and the Resurgence of Anti-Semitism

A visitor looks at the display at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on the international Holocaust remembrance day Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. The International Holocaust remembrance day marks the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Jan. 27, 1945. | (Photo: AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Growing up, my grandfather told my siblings and me many stories about the Holocaust. I remember one of them especially vividly. 

When my grandfather’s family was fleeing Nazi Germany, their car ran out of gas with the Nazis no more than a mile or two behind them. The family had no choice but to escape on foot. My grandfather’s mother went one way while his father went another, hoping to increase the chances that at least part of the family would survive.

Miraculously, my grandfather’s immediate family survived. His extended family, however, was virtually wiped out.

This story and other Holocaust stories were a regular part of my childhood, and when I looked into my grandfather’s eyes as he recalled his experiences, the horror felt very real. Yet, I had the comfort of knowing that I lived in very different times. I grew up in America decades after the Holocaust, and felt blessed to live in a country that welcomed the Jewish people and afforded complete religious freedom to all.

We were sure that humanity had moved past anti-Semitism and on to a more enlightened, informed, and compassionate existence. My children, on the other hand, are witnessing the opposite. The world seems to be regressing. Old stereotypes, myths, and lies are being revived at an alarming rate. Anti-Semitic attacks grow exponentially every year.

Anti-Semitism Surges 

The situation in Europe is particularly troubling. It seems hard to believe, but a huge spike in anti-Semitic attacks is occurring in the very part of the world where the Holocaust occurred.

One recent study showed a radical rise in anti-Semitic violence and stereotypes — and a fading memory of the Holocaust — among young people. The world is forgetting one of the greatest massacres ever committed against humankind and the lessons that came with it.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Yael Eckstein