Categorized | Jewish History, USA

Never Again is now

By Jeanette Friedman

Jeanette Friedman

PARADISE VALLEY, Pennsylvania — I will never forget the first question I asked my father about the Holocaust. Believing Ben Gurion’s lie, and the Zionist party line about sheep going to the slaughter, I asked him why he didn’t fight back. He laughed and gave me the perfect example of something we now call a choiceless choice.

Even if the group he was taken with from Munkacs numbered in the hundreds, and the Nazis were few and far between, they had the automatic weapons and the dogs. If he and his friends would have taken out, at most, one Nazi, the others would have mowed down the crowd where they stood. How could he take the chance that the chance of someone surviving what was about to happen to them was greater than the chance of surviving if they fought back right then, they did nothing to rock the boat. A choiceless choice, indeed.

And that is also where I learned about the notion of collective responsibility. And the need to fight fascism, to recognize it when it BEGINS to rear its horrible head and to do something before the whole system breaks down and it becomes virtually impossible to stop it. No one seems to remember history. No one seems to remember the millions of reams of paper and trillions of words devoted to researching and understanding how 6,000,000 Jews came to be slaughtered. Because that same system, used to destroy my people, is being used right now. So I fight back the best way I can… by attempting to educate the very resistant and racist ignoramuses that populate this country and have taken such grave advantage of her, that she is falling apart. I resist by speaking out. By posting in social media, by calling my representatives, by getting involved in local politics. I don’t sit on my hands. I resist in my fashion. And yes, I am Antifa.

I am also left handed and I suck at Math, my words are my strength. I am also the daughter of people who were caught in the fascist trap called the Holocaust that decimated my people, who were betrayed by their own Jewish functionaries who became the Judenrat, and sold us out. And that did not, incidentally, save them Instead, they called the leader of a group of people who saved more than 20,000 Jews a Nazi collaborator, and had him shot in the back in front of his home in Tel Aviv. Jews can indeed be their own worst enemies and a shanda far de goyim. (The man they shot saved my mother’s life. His name was Rezso Kasztner, a Hungarian Zionist leader. He did not work alone. The Jewish Agency betrayed his group of Jewish rescuers during the war, and those 20,000 Jews would have been incinerated in Auschwitz if not for him. [Jews for Sale?, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Yale University Press, 1996.])

It is crystal clear that the conditions and conversations we are experiencing right this minute are precisely like the kinds of conversations that took place in pre-1933 Germany and all over Europe. While the world began to single us out as the other, we ignored the signs of the coming disaster. The handwriting was on the wall, and those with foresight fled early. In a matter of years, as we were disenfranchised, labeled the other, and looted because we were the middle class, we were suddenly it seemed, to too many Jews, being herded into ghettos. Rabbis of all denominations were going at each other, who the hell was a Jew according to Jewish law? Who were these upstart Zionists, these Bundists, these Litvaks, these misnagdim, these chassidim, and WHAT!!!? Women studying Torah in Beis Yakov!!! They brought this curse on the Jewish people.. All these sinners, they said, caused the Holocaust. Blaming the victim was everywhere, and the kapos and the Judenrat kept kissing Nazi rings as the noose tightened and our families ended up in the ghettos, camps, and gas chambers. The oppressor was excused. He was God’s tool to punish the Jews. Not in my book. People do these things to people when good people do nothing.

When it really began to hit them, the Jews did not even want to know what was going on. Not in the early days in places like Warsaw. and certainly not in Budapest, a city I believe, where the Jews suffered most from denial–even threatening refugees if they told what they had witnessed in Poland and other occupied lands.

There is a reason Germany went from a democracy into a totalitarian murderous, thieving state that began by killing its own imperfect children. Never forget that they used their democratic political system to do away with democracy and institute fascism, one baby step at a time. Never forget that the first thing this administration tried to do was defund our disabled students in the school system, and it began to remove the safety net from vulnerable Americans, the same kinds of vulnerable populations the Nazis used to call “food wasters.” All the while targeting, discriminating against, criminalizing and deporting “the other.” The bigger the lie, the faster it spreads, the more it is believed. America is watching this phenomenon in action. And it is being used cynically by mainstream media, politicians, and most fringe groups that are now coming into the mainstream. You saw them in Charlottesville. I live in a state that has the 5th largest number of hate groups in the nation.

I look around me, I see the legislation that is being proposed in Congress and in my local neighborhood, county and state. I see that the public school system has been destroyed and has destroyed the minds of our children, preventing them from learning things that matter, like history, civics, and skills for good, forward looking jobs, teaching them study skills so they could continue learning with life. The government has been paid by corporations to look at profit making charter schools that will produce human bots, bots like the Hitler Jugend. (Their old rules: “Obey orders. Do not think. Take what we give you and shut up…”) And that is clearly reflected in the behavior of the Alt-Right in recent decades and their tremendous growth in the United States under the umbrellas of Breitbart and the White House.

For almost 40 years I have attempted to educate people to act to resist fascism if and when we ever came to such a pass. As an advocate and enabler of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, I have spoken to others who are watching, aghast, at what is happening to our nation. We all agree. We failed. The only small comfort we have is that if we hadn’t tried as hard as we did, it might be even worse.

I am not a hypocrite. I taught students to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, even if it is hazardous to your health. We are in a battle, as our former VP Joe Biden said, for the soul of this nation.


Friedman is a freelance writer based in New Jersey.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 San Diego Jewish World

2 Responses to “Never Again is now”

  1. Judy Podwil' says:

    Thank you for this wonderful article..we must be aware we must be active we must resist.
    Please see cntnue by talking and teaching.
    We must do this his to save our country for our granddchildren
    Thank you thank you thank you

  2. Fred Zaidman says:

    A freshingly insightful, meaningful and honesty article.
    Thank you Jeanette for saying what many of us think
    and believe, but are unable to put it eloquent words.


Please help us defray the costs of providing this free service with your non-tax-deductible contribution in any amount

Most recent 100 posts


Follow this blog

Email address