Poland Is Taking Steps Toward Holocaust Denial, And As A Jewish Person, That Terrifies Me

Poland Is Taking Steps Toward Holocaust Denial, And As A Jewish Person, That Terrifies Me

Why am I not surprised at how few people care?
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Every time I write an article about the Jewish experience or Jewish issues, I can almost see the eyes rolling from behind a dozen computer screens. Not this again, you all must be thinking. Doesn’t this girl think about anything else? Does she just crouch over her keyboard, waiting for someone to say something politically incorrect? Is her writing life a succession of one hit piece after another? To answer those questions in order: yes, no, and no. But I write about Jewish issues for one reason and one reason only — to remind the larger world that not only do Jews still exist, but we’re still targets for the most insidious, virulent, and longest-lived campaign of prejudice in the world. I’ve said it a million times in a million different ways. Anti-Semitism didn’t end with the Holocaust. It still exists.

Take Poland, for example. At the start of the Holocaust, Poland had almost three million Jewish citizens. By the end of the Holocaust, 88% of those Jewish citizens were murdered. Need a comparison? The only country that lost a higher percentage of its Jewish citizens was Lithuania, and Lithuania had only 220,000 Jewish citizens. Poland had 131 times more Jews than Lithuania did, and almost all of them died. So why are we talking about Poland and not Lithuania? Because Lithuania isn’t actively trying to erase its complicity in the deaths of a good half of the Holocaust’s Jewish victims.

On February 1st, Poland passed a bill that would make it illegal to state that Poland or Polish people were at all responsible for the Holocaust. If Poland wanted to, it could fine me for writing this article, or put me in prison for up to three years. Poland would like us to forget that its citizens sold their Jewish neighbors out to get their hands on their property, that they killed their Jewish neighbors before the Nazis could get the chance to, that they murdered Holocaust survivors attempting to return to their homes.

Poland would like you to forget about all that, please. Dead Jews don’t matter to Poland. Not then, and definitely not now.

This is just the latest in a long list of offenses that Poland has committed against Jewish people, and Holocaust survivors, the people in the world who most deserve to catch a break from this shithole of a country, have gotten the worst of it. Last year, Poland took steps to make it impossible for the majority of Holocaust survivors and their descendants to claim restitution from the Polish government for nearly a billion dollars worth of possessions and property stolen from them by Poland and its citizens. And last week, Poland’s Prime Minister went public with Holocaust denial when he stated that Jews were also responsible for the mass genocide committed during the Holocaust.

The world should be furious about this blatant rewrite of the worst genocide in history. The United States, a country that’s constantly grappling with its checkered past, should hold Poland accountable for their part in the Holocaust. And yet the only people I see and hear talking about it are, once again, other Jewish people. Holocaust denial terrifies me. If all of you are willing to let Poland get away with pretending they had nothing to do with it, you are endorsing giving the perpetrators of anti-Jewish violence a free pass.

Oh, wait. You already do. You always have.

Cover Image Credit: Zachi Evenor / Wikimedia Commons

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?

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A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.

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ddrodzx

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