This week, Allianz Insurance is slated to sponsor the PGA pro golf tournament in Boca Raton. Allianz, a major German company, is charged with failure to pay billions of dollars in Holocaust-related life insurance claims. The company has enraged survivors by refusing to pay on policies while at the same time spending money to advertise their business in events like the PGA.
Allianz has admitted association with the Nazis. Published disclosures indicate that during World War II the company sold life policies to hundreds of thousand of Jews while at the same time insuring the German concentration camps. Later, money was kept from the beneficiaries and given to Nazis.
Miami congresswoman Ileana Ros-Leighten confronted tournament officials and accused them of compliance with Allianz. Ros-Leighten has initiated a letter-writing campaign to embarrass not only the insurance company but those who associate with it. However, the PGA has said it will keep Allianz as a sponsor and the tournament seems to be going along on schedule.
There are those who say the Holocaust ended 67 years ago and it’s time to forget. There are those who say almost all the people who took part in the unspeakable atrocities of the Shoah are gone and there is no point to hold those who came after them responsible. There are those who say it is better to just move on.
They are wrong.
Halacha admonishes against keeping a grudge and against taking revenge when dealing with personal affronts. However, when a person is attacked solely because he is Jewish the dynamics dramatically change. He is obligated to react. Failure to retaliate is a chillul Hashem. The idea that Jews are weak and defenseless creates an environment where more abuse is likely to follow. It emboldens the enemy. It leads to more bloodshed.
The survivors themselves are an aging and fragile population. Their time winds down. They have again been victimized.
Where is the moral outrage? Where is the collective outcry? Where is the “world” that for the most part still stands silently by? When will it finally be time to say, and mean, “never again”?Shelley Benveniste
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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