"FROM COMPASSION TO ACTION" 2016: In Berlin & Nuremberg

November 11, 2016

eNewsletter


"Don't buy from the Jews." Sound familiar?

This week our 'Compassion to Action' mission to Europe and Israel visited the  Topography of Terror museum in Berlin, where we were reminded that one of  Adolf Hitler's first acts of business in 1933 was to call for a boycott of  Jews and Jewish businesses. Situated on the original grounds of the  former Gestapo (Nazi police), this is a riveting exhibition which documents  the rise of the Nazi party and its atrocities.

 From Berlin we flew into Nuremberg. This was the bastion of Nazi ideology and  the birthplace of the Nuremberg racial laws which motivated the Nazi death  machine and set the Holocaust in motion. Most thought provoking was our  visit to the courthouse where the infamous Nuremberg trials were held in  1945-1946 in courtroom 600; 12 Nazi leaders were ultimately sentenced to  hang.

 A persistent question emerged as our group tried to comprehend the  incomprehensible:  How could so many criminals have gotten away? Did  they simply melt into society? Hundreds of thousands of people were  "Hitler's willing executioners." What happened to them?

 Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal's dedicated his life to locating over  1000 Nazis and bringing many of them to justice through the courts. Yet the  lessons the Holocaust presents for all of humanity are profound, as we watch  the global re-emergence of intolerance and antisemitism in utter horror.

We are certainly looking forward the next leg of our journey:  Shabbat in Jerusalem.   

Boycott  poster, 1933
Nuremberg Trial Courthouse
Entrance to Courtroom 600

 

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