June 25, 2024

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
June 25, 2024

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It’s Time To Ask Ourselves… What Kind Of German Would You Have Been in The 30s And 40s?

Olivier Melnick Author

It was only 85 years ago when Jews were being identified, located, separated from the community, and relocated “for their own safety.” Freedoms were slowly taken away, one step at a time. First, their bicycles were confiscated so mobility would become limited to a pedestrian level. Then, radios were taken away so that outside communications became limited if at all possible. Finally, it was just a matter of time before the Nazis rounded up the Jews that they had gathered in contained communities (read ghettos) and put them on trains on their way to disappear through the smokestacks of Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka, or any of the numerous death camps.

I really wish I could say that we have learned from history, but everything seems to indicate just the opposite. We should be concerned about an upcoming rounding up of the Jews. They are somewhat similar to what took place during the thirties and forties. Unfortunately, the Jewish response was very slow. Most Jewish people couldn’t believe that men could treat other men so horribly. When the Jewish community realized that the horror stories they had heard and suppressed were all true, it was too late. Everything has been moving much faster than I ever imagined, showing no signs of slowing down. I see several reasons why the past is here to haunt us again:

• Identification—It was actually a couple of days before the October 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas that hackers got into the 23andMe ancestry website database. We will never really know the extent of their breach, but it was more than a million. As if this wasn’t bad enough, one of the hackers decided that he would sell the names of people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry for anywhere from $1 to $10 per name. 23andMe claimed they had no solid proof that the breach occurred but encouraged their users to use secure passwords and two-factor authentication. Real or not, the breach was at least an idea that had germinated inside the head of an antisemite, and it would be easy to duplicate or put in motion for the first time.

Additionally, Australia experienced doxing (publishing of personal and private information without the person’s consent.) The names of Jewish people were exposed to the public and, in the current highly antisemitic atmosphere, put them at risk. Australia quickly moved to ban doxing, but the damage was done.
What about the list recently posted on X describing authors as either pro-Zionists or pro-Palestinians and how to boycott the pro-Israel ones? Are Jews being identified?

• Location—Not long after the terrorist attack, a series of overnight graffiti was painted on the walls of buildings in Paris and some of its suburbs. The graffiti was 12-inch-wide blue stars of David stenciled in a long string on the walls of Jewish homes and businesses. While nobody is absolutely certain of their origins and purpose, French authorities have not ruled out antisemitism. Very similar methods were used in November 1938 when Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) took place in Berlin. Only 200 people were killed, but thousands of stores, homes, and synagogues were destroyed and burned to the ground. They had been identified by the painting of large white stars of David on windows and walls. Are Jews being located?

• Separation—At first, this might not look like much, but Jewish students have been asked to return home and finish the school year online “for their own safety.” A few rabbis and Jewish leaders originally asked them to do so, but the situation is getting so volatile that school staff is also asking them to stay home. People are divided on this topic, and many believe that Jewish students should stand their ground and not go home. By caving in, they might embolden the antisemitic actors to do more. It is a tough decision to make. It would be easier if the Jewish community knew for sure that school staff and the authorities have their backs, but recent events have shown the police to cave under the pressure of the pro-Hamas factions.

When considering these various developments in a vacuum, nothing might appear very dangerous, but compounded, it is starting to look like Jewish people are being identified, located, and prepared for a more involved move. If everything goes in the same direction as it did in the thirties and forties, we know what could be next. The big difference is that there is a precedent that should be enough of an incentive to be proactive and not reactive. When the enemies of the Jewish people are clearly saying that they want a “Final Solution,” we are not conspiracy theorists if we believe them.

If you have Jewish friends or loved ones, it is time to let them know that they can count on your support if and when they need it. It is time that we ask ourselves the question: “If I had been a German during the thirties and forties, what kind of German would I have been?”


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Olivier Melnick Author

It was only 85 years ago when Jews were being identified, located, separated from the community, and relocated “for their own safety.” Freedoms were slowly taken away, one step at a time. First, their bicycles were confiscated so mobility would become limited to a pedestrian level. Then, radios were taken away so that outside communications became limited if at all possible. Finally, it was just a matter of time before the Nazis rounded up the Jews that they had gathered in contained communities (read ghettos) and put them on trains on their way to disappear through the smokestacks of Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka, or any of the numerous death camps.

I really wish I could say that we have learned from history, but everything seems to indicate just the opposite. We should be concerned about an upcoming rounding up of the Jews. They are somewhat similar to what took place during the thirties and forties. Unfortunately, the Jewish response was very slow. Most Jewish people couldn’t believe that men could treat other men so horribly. When the Jewish community realized that the horror stories they had heard and suppressed were all true, it was too late. Everything has been moving much faster than I ever imagined, showing no signs of slowing down. I see several reasons why the past is here to haunt us again:

• Identification—It was actually a couple of days before the October 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas that hackers got into the 23andMe ancestry website database. We will never really know the extent of their breach, but it was more than a million. As if this wasn’t bad enough, one of the hackers decided that he would sell the names of people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry for anywhere from $1 to $10 per name. 23andMe claimed they had no solid proof that the breach occurred but encouraged their users to use secure passwords and two-factor authentication. Real or not, the breach was at least an idea that had germinated inside the head of an antisemite, and it would be easy to duplicate or put in motion for the first time.

Additionally, Australia experienced doxing (publishing of personal and private information without the person’s consent.) The names of Jewish people were exposed to the public and, in the current highly antisemitic atmosphere, put them at risk. Australia quickly moved to ban doxing, but the damage was done.
What about the list recently posted on X describing authors as either pro-Zionists or pro-Palestinians and how to boycott the pro-Israel ones? Are Jews being identified?

• Location—Not long after the terrorist attack, a series of overnight graffiti was painted on the walls of buildings in Paris and some of its suburbs. The graffiti was 12-inch-wide blue stars of David stenciled in a long string on the walls of Jewish homes and businesses. While nobody is absolutely certain of their origins and purpose, French authorities have not ruled out antisemitism. Very similar methods were used in November 1938 when Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) took place in Berlin. Only 200 people were killed, but thousands of stores, homes, and synagogues were destroyed and burned to the ground. They had been identified by the painting of large white stars of David on windows and walls. Are Jews being located?

• Separation—At first, this might not look like much, but Jewish students have been asked to return home and finish the school year online “for their own safety.” A few rabbis and Jewish leaders originally asked them to do so, but the situation is getting so volatile that school staff is also asking them to stay home. People are divided on this topic, and many believe that Jewish students should stand their ground and not go home. By caving in, they might embolden the antisemitic actors to do more. It is a tough decision to make. It would be easier if the Jewish community knew for sure that school staff and the authorities have their backs, but recent events have shown the police to cave under the pressure of the pro-Hamas factions.

When considering these various developments in a vacuum, nothing might appear very dangerous, but compounded, it is starting to look like Jewish people are being identified, located, and prepared for a more involved move. If everything goes in the same direction as it did in the thirties and forties, we know what could be next. The big difference is that there is a precedent that should be enough of an incentive to be proactive and not reactive. When the enemies of the Jewish people are clearly saying that they want a “Final Solution,” we are not conspiracy theorists if we believe them.

If you have Jewish friends or loved ones, it is time to let them know that they can count on your support if and when they need it. It is time that we ask ourselves the question: “If I had been a German during the thirties and forties, what kind of German would I have been?”