German mom tells Israeli HS students at Auschwitz “You are not alone”

German mom hands out heart stickersA German mom says to Israeli HS students visiting Auschwitz “I want you to know you are not alone,” & hands out to each of them, heart stickers to symbolically replace the yellow stars that Nazis used to identify Jews for restricting their movements in Europe and to tag them for murder.

Auschwitz was one of the detention camps where Jews were made to live in isolation from the rest of European society during the Nazi Holocaust without adequate food, shelter, clothing or healthcare. Jews not able to serve Hitler as laborers – women, children, the elderly and infirm – were immediately put to death. At least 6 million Jews and as many as 20 million civilians overall were killed by Hitler during the Holocaust. read more

This cartoon shows us where we DON’T want to be – in a place of hate

Nazi education for death

Nazi education for deathMy friend David Meza sent me this anti-Nazi propaganda cartoon created by Disney during WWII to stimulate United States citizen’s hatred for Germans. I’m a Jew who lost family in Hitler’s holocaust, so I’m far from being a Nazi sympathizer. But, I like to remember that not everything that reinforces my experiential and cultural judgments is factual or true. And I am a lover of truth. So, please, when watching this disturbing 10 minute cartoon portraying how Nazis killed love and hope in their young men to make them into the optimal fighting machines they wanted them to be, keep in mind that this is the American propaganda version of Germany. What really went on there may have been quite different from what this film portrays.

The cartoon disturbed me for another reason. In the militaristic, unfeeling youth mindlessly pledging obedience to the heartless Nazi philosophy, I see too many parallels with American society today. Which makes sense, right …. as this film is an American brainchild. Today in America, there are too many parents and children taking an approach to education and career preparation that embraces arrogance, elitism and a willingness to hurt anyone who blocks a student’s path to academic success, job security and the acquisition of material goods. In today’s education system, financially stable parents want their children to be separate from those who are not; standardized tests which are culturally skewed to favor middle class children over others and are used as leverage for separating students by economic class or ethnicity. And Blacks, Latinos and other students who struggle with the challenges poverty exerts on their school performance – and their lives overall – are ruthlessly deemed by financially secure student families to be worthy only of condemnation, and neither of inclusion nor assistance. read more