EJA chairman of the Committee for combatting antisemitism on Croatian tv

November 5, 2021

EJA chairman of the Committee for combatting antisemitism Chief Rabbi Jacobs was on Croatian prime time tv setting out the state of antisemitism in europe today .

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COVID Diary- Reflections from Our Advisory Board Member Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Every Day during the Corona crisis our Advisory Board Member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (NL) writes a diary, on request of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, which is published on the website of the NIW, the only Jewish Dutch Magazine. Rabbi Jacobs is the head of Inter Governmental Relationships at the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. We will be regularly publishing a selection of his informative, sometimes light hearted, but always wise pieces.
For our Dutch readers you can follow the diary every day at NIW home page: https://niw.nl
Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom Hashoah. I didn’t intend to pay attention to it, I didn’t even really want to think about it, but I was suddenly, as it were, overpowered by recognition, anger and great concern. I am often accused of paying too much attention to the war and to anti-Semitism. Catherine Keyl has recently written a book entitled “War Father”. Her father, a Jewish resistance fighter, had and at the same time had not survived Sacksenhausen.
And then, at the end of his life, when his leg needs to be amputated and Catherine asks a psychiatrist to tell her father that his leg is going to be taken off, the young psychiatrist shows no empathy whatsoever in the world of a man who is in hell. Who had to carry the concentration camps with him all his life and now, demented, thinks that ‘they will still get him’ because his leg has to be taken off and he will therefore not be able to flee. And at the same time, I get a wonderful email from Holocaust survivor Nechamah Mayer after reading my diary. I quote her:
“Dear Binyomin. I read your diary in one go during the Passover season. I noticed that in the last chapters you talked more and more about anti-Semitism. As if it keeps getting worse. Or did you simply get more courage to point out to the reader how bad it has become? I thought the black pages with quotes were a nice layout. I am going to pass on the book, because it must be widely read. Wishing you many readers. Nechamah.”
By her encouraging words and having seen a video about the position of the HH doctors in Nazi Germany, I feel obliged to completely ignore the criticism of a younger colleague. He is of the opinion that I should not talk about anti-Semitism. He probably does not realize that much too much was kept silent before the war. It would be okay, the Allies were coming, a bit of work in the East… But it didn’t work out!
Fifty percent of the doctors in Germany cooperated in the destruction. Psychiatrists judged who could and could not live and convinced the large crowd that the Final Solution was ethically wholly justified! Germans, non-Jews, with a physical defect and a psychiatric disorder were eliminated for causing damage to the beautiful Aryan race and an economic burden. Last night I was on a zoom run by a pastor in Dokkum.
I was interviewed for ten minutes. I was not informed about what, but the subject became anti-Semitism and Yom Hashoah. I was asked at the end of the interview whether I had a message for all participants. My message became a request. An urgent request: I ask all participants to become my ambassadors and to announce to everyone they see or speak what happened then.
In fact, I don’t see any evidence that anti-Semitism has been eradicated. Light shines at the end of the corona tunnel. But the virus called anti-Semitism has an endless tunnel. Is there no light then? Yes, the coming of the Moshiach. We long for that, we have been eagerly looking forward to it for centuries. But in the meantime we need to realize the current reality. Beppie Caneel lived not far from us. Beppie had survived the Auschwitz experiment barracks. She was always cheerful. Couldn’t have any more children, of course, but she really survived with her sister. My wife took her to the hospital for some examinations. She had to roll up her sleeve. The doctor then asked her in surprise what those numbers were on her arm. Thank God Beppie was hard of hearing… A doctor who I assume not only studied medicine but also had general training. “What are those numbers on your arm?”
And that younger colleague of mine complains that I should especially not talk about the war and anti-Semitism. No, above all we must remain silent about the then, about the now and of course about tomorrow. I receive a video, you have to click it because “Am Yisrael Chai – the Jewish People are alive!” in spite of everything, but alertness is required. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOWCgKVQE5M
Yes, today I also taught Jewish (zoom) to a regular weekly group. And yes, I also placed my signature on a rabbinical statement. And yes, I held a pastoral conversation and listened to someone for almost two hours about his difficult engagement with the topic. But Holocaust Memorial Day – Yom Hashoah reigns. I thought of all those family members of mine that I have not known at all and of which I know nothing because my parents wanted to spare me grief. I look at those two silver cups in our glass case. It has the names: Bernhard and Siegmund engraved on them. They were my father’s cousins.
Only those two cups are left of themselves, their wives. their children … And anti-Semitism is on the rise again.

Last survivor of massacre reveals the horror of Babyn Yar

The massacre at Babyn Yar was remembered by community leaders on Tuesday at the site near Kiev where more than 33,000 Jews were murdered in 1941.
The chief rabbi of the Netherlands, Binyomin Jacobs spoke, reading the kaddish.
The assembled dignitaries bowed and clasped their hands in otherwise silent mourning, standing entirely still despite the minus-eight cold.
Earlier, an Israeli man who is thought to be the last survivor of Babyn Yar, Michael Sidko, spoke by video link to delegates of the European Jewish Association symposium in Kiev’s Hilton.
Mr Sidko was six years old when a neighbour reported his family to the Gestapo three times as being Jewish, and they were arrested and brought to Babyn Yar.
The family were directed to “the pit” where Nazi officers supervised the killings.
As his mother held her baby son Volodya in her arms, his three-year-old sister Clara walked beside tugging at her skirt, and he and his older brother Grisha brought up the rear.
Clara ran up to Mr Sidko, he said, and asked to be carried in his arms. A policeman hit the girl in the head, knocking her to the ground.
He stamped on her chest until she stopped breathing. Mr Sidko’s mother saw this and fainted, dropping Volodya.
The policeman stamped on Volodya until he was dead.
Mr Sidko’s mother came round and screamed. She was shot, and all three bodes were hauled by the legs thrown into the pit.
The two brothers were selected for medical testing or forced labour and so permitted to live, Mr Sidko said, before a Russian or Ukrainian guard allowed them to run away.
“Hitler’s greatest mistake was making Auschwitz,” said Father Patrick of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, because the camp became evidence of Nazi crimes against humanity.
But at Babyn Yar there was “no train, no railway, just a mass grave”.
Mr Sidko long refused to talk about the massacre or even mention his Jewish identity to even his own children.
It was only in 2000 that he told his children they were Jewish and the family made aliyah.
“People should study history,” he added.“Students should be taught to love not hate.”
https://www.thejc.com/news/world/last-survivor-of-massacre-reveals-the-horror-of-babyn-yar-rHBFu0qobRGTTFoyk3GRm

Mogherini in a letter to EJA Chairman: "I have a personal obligation to fight anti-Semitism"

European Union Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini To the Chairman of the Union of Jewish Organizations in Europe (EJA), Rabbi Menachem Margolin:
“I have a personal obligation to fight anti-Semitism. We must fight every day against those who harm or show contempt for the memory of the Holocaust ”
In light of the growing controversy with the Polish government with regards to the Holocaust Bill, EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini wrote to Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the Union of Jewish Organizations in Europe (EJA), stating her personal commitment to target and combat anti-Semitism.
In a personal letter sent by Mogherini to Rabbi Margolin, she said: “The struggle against anti-Semitism is a personal goal for me. It is 70 Years sonce the Holocaust and manifestations of anti-Semitism and hate crimes are on the rise again in Europe. The European Union cannot exist without the memory of the Holocaust and certainly cannot exist without the Jews of the continent. ” “It is important that our children learn about the Holocaust in schools and visit the camps in order to understand the enormity of the atrocities and to ensure that they never return,” she said.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the Union of Jewish Organizations in Europe (EJA), expressed great appreciation for Mrs Mogherini’s continuing personal commitment to the struggle against anti-Semitism and to preserve Holocaust memory, but warned that “the struggle against anti-Semitism and the memory of the Holocaust cannot be detached from the current political climate in the continent . Only in recent weeks have we been witness not only to attempts to damage the memory of the Holocaust from the ruling party in Poland, but also to attempts to enact laws banning circumcision (Iceland) or imposing scandalous restrictions on kosher slaughter (Poland), severely harming freedom of religion and the very fabric of Jewish life throughout the continent – Principles that are the guiding principles of the European Union, but which the EU is still not doing enough to safeguard and to prevent such legislation. ”

#NeverMeansNever campaign for Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah is when Israel and many diaspora Jews honour the memory of those who lost lost their lives in the Holocaust.
This year, given the extraordinary circumstances that we find ourselves in with the coronavirus outbreak, we are proud to help our partners at the European March of the Living in promoting their powerful and important plaque campaign.
Each of you can create your own plaque by clicking on the link here below that will be printed and placed on the railway tracks at the entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau. You can do so here: https://nevermeansnever.motl.org/

or on the special mini-site in collaboration with the Jerusalem Post: http://marchoftheliving.jpost.com
And please join all the “virtual”marchers of the March of the Living in honoring those lost in the Holocaust and in committing yourselves to the fight against antisemitism and racism by declaring on your plaques: #NeverMeansNever or by posting your personal message.
You will also find the link to this campaign on the European March of the Living website: www.emot.eu
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