Visalia Times

Cynthia Fischer: Holocaust denial equals more persecution of Jews

I was born after WWII. Therefore I was not in Korea, and didn't go to Vietnam. I grew up in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles among religious Jews. The neighborhood was filled with zaidees and saftas (grandfathers and grandmothers), most of whom lived in their extended families with children and grandchildren.

Many of my friends' grandparents had numbers tattooed on their arms. Some talked to me about their escape from the concentration camps and their captors. Others never said a word, and just went to work with intense and pained eyes.

I attended college, and realized what a rare time it was, within which I grew up. No war, no draft, opportunity for education, marriage, family, and meaningful work. It dawned on me how fortunate I was. I didn't serve in the military or go to war like my peers. Being first-generation American was and is an ongoing gift.

So what can I do for my country? I fulfill my responsibility to vote, support the ideals of democracy, and visit Israel. As a child, I was taught, "If Jewish persecution should break out in the United States, I would be accepted in Israel under the Israeli Law of Return and given citizenship."

Six of my grandmothers' siblings didn't have the option to come to the United States or flee to Israel. They died in Auschwitz.

As a Jewish woman living in America, I feel a connection to the determined democracy of the Jewish people — Israel. But what can I do? I'm not going to be accepted in the military at 60 years old. My teacher, Yos Friedman, wanted me to teach. He wanted me to "never stop learning and teaching." He made me promise him. Over and over.

The forces against freedom won't stop. It may hide when it's message is unpopular. Or it may disguise itself as a pseudo intellectualism, seeking to fool the unaware. This is one of the incarnations of anti-Semitism, the world's longest hatred.

Beware, those of you who hear phrases such "Holocaust denial" or "Revisionism." What are these? They are a propaganda movement that is active in the United States, Canada and Western Europe that works to deny the reality of the Nazi regime's systematic mass murder of 6 million Jews in Europe during World War II. And by the way, Hitler murdered 40 million others across Europe. Monster.

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