October 31, 2022
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM STRONGLY CONDEMNS RISING ANTISEMITISM IN THE UNITED STATES; CALLS ON LEADERS AND CITIZENS TO CONFRONT THIS DANGEROUS TREND
WASHINGTON, DC – Four years ago last week, the most deadly antisemitic attack in our country’s history was carried out by a lone gunman, radicalized by online hate speech. Eleven worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh were murdered in cold blood simply for being Jewish. This was shocking for our country and especially for Holocaust survivors, who could never have imagined such an event taking place in the United States. Those who hoped this horrific attack would serve as a wake-up call to the dangers of rising antisemitism amid a larger climate of hatred have sadly been proven wrong.
Instead, outrageously explicit expressions of antisemitism have become almost a daily occurrence. Whether from politicians, athletes, entertainers, the media or other people of influence—and whether it is online or in public spaces such as a bridge in Los Angeles or a college football game in Florida—antisemitic rhetoric is increasing in its frequency, visibility, and intensity.
Though condemnation for recent antisemitic acts has come from many quarters, episodic outrage is insufficient. Leaders and citizens must consistently condemn such sentiments and work toward addressing their root causes. The Holocaust teaches that hatred can easily infect a society—in Nazi Germany, it started with Jews but did not end with them. All Americans who value a free, just, and pluralistic society should see these alarming trends as a threat to each of us.
“The Holocaust has important lessons for us today, and one of them is that antisemitism cannot be allowed to flourish uncontested,” said Museum Chairman Stuart E. Eizenstat. “The Nazis carefully deployed escalating antisemitism to test what ordinary Germans would tolerate. The Nazis counted on indifference and silence as they ratcheted up their anti-Jewish rhetoric and actions. While the United States in 2022 is not Nazi Germany, and we live in a democratic society with many checks and balances, it remains imperative for each and every one of us to forcibly reject antisemitism and racism.”
A nonpartisan federal institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance. Through the power of Holocaust history, the Museum challenges leaders and individuals worldwide to think critically about their role in society and to confront antisemitism and other forms of hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit ushmm.org.
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