Wednesday, February 02, 2005

60 Years After Auschwitz

There is no doubt that there has been a steady increase in the expression of anti-Semitism in Europe. However, among talks such as those in the European Commission where Germany is pushing towards the prohibition of the Nazi swastika, a serious issue arises as to how the Holocaust should be remembered, partly in order to respond to the new racist currents of today. Although Germany's reasoning may seem appropriate for their country, in no way do I believe that this is a suitable way to deal with the current "Jewish Question." Skeletons have been shoved into the closet for far too long. Embarrassment and denial have sunk deeper than is considered comfortable for many European countries (WT strikes again).

However, when I was reading the most recent Economist, I was struck by a comment made by Charles Krauthammer that was simple, yet surprisingly striking in its ability to explain this European phenomena. In 2002, Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post, "in Europe, it is not very safe to be a Jew... what is odd is not the anti-Semitism of today but its relative absence during the past half-century. That was the historical anomaly."

I agree with Krauthammer, except for the fact that I don't believe that anti-Semitism somehow was "absent." Anti-Semitism has existed for 2,000 years and will continue to exist for another 2,000 years. The problem is that anti-Semitism was simply not expressed externally. For this is the underlying problem, how do you deal with something that is suppressed, invisible, and exists as a truly taboo subject? Undoubtedly, as the caged anti-Semitism of the past 60 years begins to let out its steam, the European community will be faced with many decisive decisions. Hopefully, this time these issues will be dealt with head-on in a timely fashion as to avoid any further embarrasing periods.


Blogger Aleksu said...

Well, you're in the right neighborhood if you really want to find out, it was not too long ago when the founder of the PP, Mr. Fraga, prefaced a book for a friend of his in which the Holocaust is denied.

And let us not forget that the beloved Aznar was a Falangist in his youth.

So, a short trip to Madrid may answer your question about how alive Anti-Semitism is.

8:07 PM  

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