web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Holocaust Then And Now

Auerbach-092112

I have never visited, nor will I ever enter, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. It opened twenty years ago to help world leaders and citizens to “confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.” These certainly are worthy goals – and pompous platitudes.

To be true to history, an American Holocaust museum should comprise one large empty room, draped in black. That would symbolize what the American government did – essentially nothing – to try to save European Jews, like that 7-year old boy in Warsaw, from Nazi extermination.

To be sure, it was not only an American failure. In his chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Yitzhak Zuckerman struggled to understand the reticence of Zionists in Palestine: “Why wasn’t it possible for them to come to us?” Had only ten paratroopers reached the ghetto, “nothing fateful would have changed, but it would have been different. . . . they would come to us in our distress.” But nobody came.

Especially in Israel, but not only there, Holocaust museums, rather than mollify visitors with trendy political correctness, might confront Zygielbojm’s bitter anguish and Zuckerman’s eternally haunting question.

Jerold S. Auerbach is the author, most recently, of “Against the Grain: A Historian’s Journey,” published in May by Quid Pro Books.

About the Author: Jerold S. Auerbach is the author of “Jewish State/Pariah Nation: Israel and the Dilemmas of Legitimacy,” to be published next month by Quid Pro Books.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “The Holocaust Then And Now”

  1. It's always better to hate everyone, kill African refugees and start a nuclear war with Iran. The person who wrote this just does'nt get it. That's what we have become as a people, haters of everything not Jewish. With such attitudes, we will continue to earn the scorn and hatred of the rest of the world. Jewshaveeven become experts. At hating each other. Six million lives wasted if all we learned from itisto hate everbyone. Feh.

  2. Daniel J. Sieradski says:

    never again to us! everyone else! #jewpremacism

  3. Despite the fact that I disagree with your assessment, Jeanette, of what "we" as a "people" have become, as well as your repeated use of absolutist language to characterize your view, I don't hate you. "Become the change you wish to see in the world." Shabbat shalom.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
“Praised is the nation that understands the quavering sound of the shofar.” (Psalms 89:16).
Orthodox Rabbis to Lobby near Rosh HaShanah against Deal with Iran
Latest Indepth Stories
Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 were likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

More Articles from Jerold S. Auerbach
Knesset

For nearly sixty-five years national self-definition has been the skeleton in the closet of Israeli politics and culture.

Front-Page-081514

Times reporter Anne Barnard reported (7/15) that Israel was to blame (so her Palestinian sources asserted) for its continued “occupation” of Gaza – which, Barnard failed to note, ended nearly a decade ago.

During much of the 20th century, elite American colleges and universities carefully policed their admission gates to restrict the entry of Jews. Like its Big Brothers – Harvard, Yale and Princeton – Wellesley College, where I taught history between 1971 and 2010, designed admission policy to perpetuate a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite.

Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.

In death as in life, Menachem Begin remained who he had always been: a proud yet humble Jew.

Eighty years ago, in January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. Barely a month later Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated president of the United States. For the next twelve years, until their deaths eighteen days apart in April 1945, they personified the horrors of dictatorship and the blessings of democracy.

One of my searing early memories from Israel is a visit nearly four decades ago to the Ghetto Fighters Museum in the Beit Lohamei Hagetaot kibbutz. The world’s first Holocaust museum, it was built soon after the Independence War by survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Nearly sixty-five years ago Israel declared its independence and won the war that secured a Jewish state. But its narrow and permeable postwar armistice lines permitted incessant cross-border terrorist raids. For Egypt, Syria and Jordan, the mere existence of a Jewish state remained an unbearable intrusion into the Arab Middle East. As Egyptian President Nasser declared, “The danger of Israel lies in the very existence of Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-holocaust-then-and-now/2012/09/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: