European Anti-Semitism 72 Years After D-Day

Europe’s Anti-Semitism 72 Years After D-Day

June 6, 2016

Seventy-two years ago - D-Day - a band of civilized men, farmhands, ordinary laborers, schoolteachers and students crossed an ocean to be part of a noble cause, to save the world from tyranny. It’s easy to forget those boys who died on the beaches of Normandy to save our freedom. Boys we never knew, just ordinary Joes who left behind families, who wanted to marry and have children, but who had their dreams cut off forever so that their countrymen could continue to live as free men and women. We cannot repay them for their deeds but we can keep alive their memory and the noble cause for which they gave their lives.

Isn’t it mind boggling that 72 years after the Nazi occupation of Europe, Jews in Belgium, Spain, Italy and Germany feel threatened and unwelcome? As a Belgian teacher recently told a Jewish student: “We should put all of you on freight wagons.”

Today, in Europe, rabbis and leaders are voicing concerns that there may not be a future for Jews there because of rising anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred. 

The work of the Wiesenthal Center has never been more critical:
  • Shortly, we will be releasing a new report on anti-Semitism in Europe highlighting six countries and showing how the situation in Europe is unprecedented in seriousness since World War II.

  • Our exhibition, People, Book, Land just opened in Albania, at the Prime Minister’s Centre for Open Dialogue, and it will soon be opening in Copenhagen and London’s Houses of Parliament.

  • Our documentary films Unlikely Heroes (Amazon, iTunes), Walking With Destiny (Netflix, Amazon, iTunes) and Against The Tide (Amazon, iTunes) are streaming live and give viewers insight into incredible stories from World War II.

  • Our newest exhibition in the Museum of Tolerance Los Angeles, Appeasement, has been seen by thousands of visitors, and highlights issues of appeasement during World War II and how it relates to what is happening in today’s world.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center continues to be a leading force in standing up for the Jewish people and combating anti-Semitism and hate. Help support our vital work – there has never been a more important time than now.

Rabbi Marvin Hier
Founder and Dean