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History Repeats Itself: Adam Milstein Explains The Danger

Anyone who visits the concentration camps of Europe can’t help but walk away with an overwhelming sense of sadness and overwhelm, as Adam Milstein explains in his piece “Our view from Auschwitz: How tragedies of the past become lessons for the future” where he talks about the emotional experience of visiting the last places where many people persecuted by Adolf Hitler were subjected to tremendous cruelty, torture and even death at the hands of the Nazis.

 

Adam Milstein explains that it is tempting to look at these places as spaces where horrible historical atrocities occurred. It can be a little easier to visit Auschwitz and see it as a museum, where the worst of humanity played out in a tragic way that almost wiped out an entire people. We can’t possibly be like that anymore, right? Adam Milstein says that it is dangerous to visit the camps and see them as merely historic. They are reminders that this must never happen again, but also that anti-Semitism can and does rise up right under our noses.

 

Adam Milstein explains that the same kind of anti-Semitism that fueled the Nazi movement can rise up, even in the United States, because the Holocaust did not just happen. It was the product of years of anti-Semitism that culminated in one of the world’s worst genocides.

We have seen a tremendous rise in nationalism over the past several decades. This is not unique to the United States. Europe has seen an increase as well. This pattern is disturbingly familiar, not only to Adam Milstein but to many scholars who study the Holocaust and try to find patterns in why and how it all started. An upshoot in anti-Semitism, racism, and intolerance has been cropping up all around the world. Before World War Two, many Jewish people saw the danger coming and called out for help but their calls fell on deaf ears. Adam Milstein warns us against allowing that to happen again and quashing the nationalism and anti-Semitism that is happening now. He cautions that another Holocaust could happen again. It is a sobering truth.

 

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