Ten Holocaust Survivors Condemn Israel’s Gaza Genocide

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 24 Jun 2024

Open Letter | Mondoweiss - TRANSCEND Media Service

Holocaust survivors say using the Holocaust to justify genocide in Gaza and repress student protest on college campuses is a complete insult to the Holocaust’s memory.

Holocaust survivors and their descendants at a protest in London opposing the Gaza genocide, May 2024. (Photo: X)

22 Jun 2024 – Below is a letter signed by ten Holocaust survivors condemning the genocide in Gaza and the misuse of antisemitism accusations by politicians.

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The co-founder of Human Rights Watch, Aryeh Neier, has recently said that Israel is engaged in genocide in Gaza. He’s also said that using accusations of antisemitism to attack Israel’s critics “debases the whole concept of antisemitism.” As Holocaust survivors, we are writing to agree wholeheartedly with Professor Neier — who himself only survived the Holocaust by escaping Nazi Germany as a child in 1939.

At a recent Holocaust memorial, Netanyahu declared: “We’ll defeat our genocidal enemies. Never again is now!”

Meanwhile, at another memorial, Biden warned of a “ferocious surge of antisemitism” on college campuses.

In our opinion, to use the memory of the Holocaust like this to justify either genocide in Gaza or repression on college campuses is a complete insult to the memory of the Holocaust.

The dehumanization of Palestinians, describing them as “human animals,” the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, indiscriminate bombing, the destruction of universities and hospitals, and the use of mass starvation — these are clearly stages of ethnic cleansing and genocide. They cannot be defended any more than sending weapons to commit this genocide or refusing funding to UNRWA. With no better arguments, our politicians have resorted to misusing the memory of the Holocaust while claiming that protesting against Israeli genocide is somehow antisemitic.

As Holocaust survivors, we have no special authority on the Middle East but we do know about antisemitism. It’s simply wrong to claim that it’s antisemitic to oppose Israeli genocide. It’s also wrong to claim that calling for equal rights for Jews and Arabs “from the river to the sea” is antisemitic.

As Holocaust survivors, we are just a few individuals but we want to add our voices to the growing global movement to demand a permanent ceasefire, an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and for the West to stop arming and supporting genocide.

Signatories:

Jacques Bude (Brussels Belgium), survived in hiding in Belgium, parents killed in Auschwitz.

Marione Ingram (Washington DC), survived in hiding in Nazi Germany. 

Stephen Kapos (London UK), survived the Budapest ghetto.

H. Richard Leuchtag (Houston TX), escaped Germany in 1938.

Rene Lichtman (Southfield MI), survived in hiding in France.

Adam Policzer (Vancouver BC), survived in hiding in Hungary.

Lillian Rosengarten (Cold Spring NY), escaped Germany in 1936.

Suzanne Ross (New York), escaped Nazi-occupied Belgium

Suzanne Berliner Weiss (Toronto Ont.), survived in hiding in France, mother killed in Auschwitz.

Ervin Somogyi (Oakland, CA), survivor from Hungary.

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