The most important thing any Jew can learn from the lessons of the past is to recognize those who wish to duplicate it. This past month has seen my blog become my mechanism for discussing current issues that have serious consequences and are far more important than the sale of a book. In speaking of my book I discuss a time when the Jewish people faced an enemy unlike any other they had ever faced in their history. This enemy’s goal was to annihilate the Jewish people entirely. It is with great sadness and extreme concern that with my posts these days I recognize that current events have become increasingly more connected to the origins of my book and blog.
I live in New York City. Missiles are not being fired upon Jewish neighborhoods anywhere near where I live. Thousands of miles away, in the State of Israel, Jews are under attack. What I urge all Jews to recognize is that these attacks are indeed an attack on all of us. Do not rest on the concept of it being a political attack on a government that happens to be Jewish and far away. What this enemy has in common with Hitler’s Germany is that its ultimate goal is the same. The annihilation of the Jewish people.
I am not a sensationalist. I try to not see similarities. I try to see a situation where compromise leads to peace. But when hope takes the place of realism, good people die, innocent people die, and throughout history, Jews get murdered. I hope all good and decent people out there realize how their world is in danger as well, and I urge all Jews to recognize the danger we are all in and to not only show solidarity and support for Israel and its Defense Forces, but to realize that they are not only fighting for the residents of Israel, they are fighting for you as well.
I admit I am trying to sell a book on this website, but in doing so I’ve become very aware of the need to make sure people never forget what the Jewish people went through under Nazi occupation. Today’s terror attack is a powerful and sad reminder of how important this mission has become. An attack most likely orchestrated by Iran, a nation whose president leads the world in Holocaust denial, today’s bus explosion in Bulgaria shows what people who have no value for human life, specifically Jewish life, are capable of doing. The same mentality that existed during Hitler’s Germany today exists in the radical Muslim world. Make no mistake. Today’s attack was not merely and anti-Zionist activity. It was an attack on Jews by people who want the same thing the Nazis wanted, the annihilation of the Jewish people worldwide. We must never forget, because in remembering we can clearly identify when we see it again, as we did today.
All human beings are flawed. The average normal human being will have flaws ranging from minimal to unbearable. However, most of them will be decent people. Even with their flaws. This is a philosophy I used as a guideline in the writing of my book, “Jew Face: A story of love and heroism in Nazi occupied Holland”. Not only did I not focus on the flaws of the average person, I hardly ever came close to describing them. For in this book there is one clear evil, and that is anyone who supported or participated in the Nazi effort to systematically eliminate the Jewish people. Everyone else, for lack of a better word, was good. When evil is so distinctive, what is left can easily be classified as good. And in reality, failed marriages, family arguments, lost friendships, are all results of decent people doing or being the recipient of, mistakes or misunderstandings. But the evil perpetuated by the Nazis and their sympathizers during the reign of Hitler’s Germany has no justification. And in the book I make that distinction clear. Not only do I hope to increase awareness of what took place, maybe I can also help people keep things in perspective by revealing these evils from a different angle.