It’s a simple question. But the one thought that’s been on my mind since the weekend. It is the one question that I’ve been asking since the murderous act of anti-Semitism and hate occurred this past Saturday in Pittsburgh at The Tree of Life Synagogue. 11 innocent Jews were murdered as they prayed.
What the hell has a Jew ever done to anyone to inflict such hatred from others.
I realize that Leo Tolstoy was controversial in his writings but this quote is beautiful. And true.
I’ll tell you what they’ve done. Nothing. Absolutely nothing to warrant any hatred—from anyone.
I’ve been trying so hard to come up with an eloquent post on this subject, but I can’t.
I can’t because I’m so angry and ashamed and disillusioned.
Angry because we have a president who’s only condolence were his ignorant words of “…. if they had security guards…” Really? Has our country come to this—where violence and hate crimes are the normal so that a place of worship needs a security guard?
I’m ashamed that in this day and age—especially after the horrors of The Holocaust, that people are still anti-Semites and still hate Jews.
I’m disillusioned because I don’t see any hope for our future. As Americans we were supposed to progress as a people and not regress.
Last month my husband and I spent the weekend in DC and I had been meaning to write about our visit to The Holocaust Museum but due to work and other things, I never got around to writing it.
But tonight—as a reminder of hatred that is real, I’m posting photographs of the people who’s lives were lost during the Nazi occupation. It’s the same hatred that murdered those eleven innocents Jews in The Tree of Life Synagogue.
It’s very hard to find the words but I’ll let these photographs of Jews and, lastly, a Roma woman do the talking because the same thing happened in these United States this Saturday. In Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh. In a Synagogue. In a House of Worship.
The hatred is the same. What’s the difference between this Nazi shooting this Jewish man in the head and the shooter in Pittsburgh? The shots all come from the same hate.
The story behind this photo was the priest who was helping Jews. All the men in this photo were murdered as was the priest who tired to help them. All 11 of the Pittsburgh worshipers were killed by the same Nazi hatred.
Take a good look at the hatred in the Nazi soldier’s face–it’s the same hatred that runs rampant in our country–the hatred of Anti-Semitism that murdered eleven jews in Pittsburgh.
What has a Jew ever done to you? This Jew was an educator–teaching children to broaden their minds. And because he was a Jew–he was killed. Just as the Jews in The Tree of Life Synagogue were killed–they never hurt a soul.
Killed for being a Jew. Just as the eleven innocents in The Tree of Life Synagogue were killed–for being Jewish.
The faces of Jews. Photographed by Roman Vishniac. Hanging on the walls within the confines of The Holocaust Museum are photographs–eerily and sadly beautiful. The photos capture faces of those who have done nothing except to live decent lives. What has a Jew ever done to you?
The face of the elderly jew
The intense stare of a Jewish child–who wonders why. That’s all. Why?
The sad beauty of young Jewish boys. What have they done to make others hate them?
An elderly Jewish scholar and his books. Is he hated because of his wisdom and intelligence?
A Jew–weathered because of his hard work. Is that why he was hated?
Father and son–was the father hated because he was a craftsman? And the child hated just because he was a child?
Other photographs from the haunting walls–majestically high and every inch filled with photographs of innocent Jews who were killed because they were Jews. Is this what it’s come to in America?
Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, lovers, helpers, children, families,—photos of people having a great time–and they were all murdered for absolutely no reason other than their Jewishness. Just like the 11 who were gunned down worshiping in their synagogue.
There is a sadness in her eyes–did she forsee what her future held?
Sisters–did they die together too? Just as the husband and wife did in the Synagogue on Saturday?
The face of a Roma woman–who was also hated for no reason.
We are in need of something that is stronger than hate. We need to stop the violence and anti-semitism that has taken America by storm.
And that is it. That is all I can say. We have to stop this. The Holocaust can never come back but the hatred of Jews and other groups seems to be going strong and we need to stop it.
Shalom. Paix. Paz. Wa-ʻalaykum as-salām. Síochaín. Peace.