July 31, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC— In the first half of the 20th century, the nations of Europe failed to protect their Jewish communities, leading to the murder of six million Jews. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is gravely concerned about the alarming escalation of antisemitism—perhaps the greatest since 1945—in the lands where the Holocaust happened and beyond.
These antisemitic actions have included physical attacks on Jews gathered to pray and celebrate, demonstrators on the streets of Berlin and other German cities calling for "Jews to the gas," and assaults in parts of Amsterdam on Jews wearing yarmulkes. The prime minister of Turkey outrageously stated that the actions of Israel have "surpassed Hitler." Swastikas and antisemitic imagery reminiscent of Nazism are often used to incite the public and terrorize Jews. A range of people from average citizens to national leaders are exploiting the war with Hamas—which pledges to “obliterate” Israel—for their own political, and often hateful, ends.
The Museum applauds public statements from the leaders of France, Germany, United Kingdom, and Italy condemning these actions and calls upon all government and societal leaders in the European Union and elsewhere to take the necessary steps to ensure that all their citizens can live in peace and that the deadly antisemitism that engulfed their countries in the 20th century is not allowed to reemerge. As the Holocaust teaches us, hate is a virus that can spread. The Nazis and their collaborators began by targeting Jews and ultimately killed millions of others as well.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit ushmm.org.View All Museum News Releases