Deutsche Welle reports: After the fall of Germany’s “Third Reich,” the full extent of Nazi atrocities came to light. Today, after the incomprehensible crimes of Auschwitz and the Shoah, how can antisemitism still exist?
In 1945, as Nazi Germany fell, the concentration camps were liberated, one by one. With this liberation, the murder of millions of Jews came to light. These murders came to be known as the Holocaust: a word that means “burned whole” in Greek. Another term, “Shoah,” is the Hebrew word for what was the genocide of some 6.3 million European Jews. Shoah translates to “the great calamity.”
Even after the Holocaust, antisemitism has persisted in Europe. On July 4, 1946, 40 people of Jewish faith, survivors of the Shoah, were murdered In the Kielce pogrom in southeastern Poland. The pogrom was triggered by the alleged kidnapping of a nine-year-old boy, Henryk Blaszczyk. In the aftermath of the pogrom, there was a wave of emigration from Poland to Germany and France.
After the founding of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948, many Jewish people in Arab countries were uprooted and forced to emigrate – despite the fact that their Jewish ancestors had often lived in those countries for more than a thousand years.
While the Vatican officially put an end to 2,000 years of anti-Judaism, antisemitism found new forms of expression through anti-Zionism and the denial of the Holocaust.
The 21st century has marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of discrimination against people of Jewish faith. Never before has hostility to Jews been so strongly denounced, prosecuted, and condemned.
And yet, hostility towards Jews still exists: Today, antisemitism is often very visible. It is sometimes overt, sometimes covert, often loud, and appears in various new manifestations.