Monday, January 27, 2020

75 Years and Now What?

Entrance to Sachsenhausen
Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest death camp run by the Sachsenhausen last spring.  I have been to numerous memorials and museums including Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. 
Nazis.  I have not yet visited it, but I have been to Dachau (33 years ago) and

On this particular day, I am feeling more outrage than sadness.  Why?  Because the lesson of Never Again is being eclipsed by the utility of hate.  The White House is chock full of white supremacists and, yes, anti-semites who have it quite useful to play up hatreds to gain and stay in office.  Trump started his campaign by calling all Mexican immigrants rapists and then promising a ban on Muslims.  Since then, the US has not only spent money on a farcical wall, but has set new lows in the number of refugees admitted.  So, instead of never again, it is more like Again, FFS?!
Yad Vashen, room that
identifies the victims

I still wonder whether Trump is genuinely a fascist, but I have no doubt that he and his administration are the greatest threat to large swaths of the American people (and to folks elsewhere).  Autocratic Trump does not see any limits on using the powers of the state against his enemies, and his enemies include people of color, women (at least those who don't go along with his crap), immigrants, and, yes, Jews.  Sure, he proclaims himself to be a philo-semite, but that is what modern anti-semites do--buy into stereotypes about Jews and suggest that these are positive things.

What is left of Sachsenhausen's crematoria
Of course, Trump is not alone in empowering anti-semites.  The aspiring autocrats of Europe are using the same playbook--all using George Soros as the modern day equivalent of the Rothschilds--a rich Jew portrayed as the evil force behind everything.  Even the Prime Minister of Israel is empowering these folks.  When in Israel, I asked folks why they put up with Netanyahu as the most anti-semitic leader of Israel, and they basically said that folks see Netanyahu siding with right-wing anti-semites against left-wing ones (anti-zionists).  Seems like a dumb way to go and one that betrays those lost in the Holocaust.

I happened to be reminded by a tweet about the Dutch museum of resistance, which made it more clear than most museums of this kind that there are three choices--resist, do nothing, or collaborate.  It can get complicated, but the right stance today is to resist the Trump Administration as much as possible.  Because Never Again requires work and effort, not sitting by and watching folks deploy hate against those who are different.

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