Holocaust Educational Trust Blog

A space for featured guest bloggers and members of the Holocaust Educational Trust team to comment and reflect on timely issues.

Has anyone else seen a rise in antisemitism on social media recently?

My name is Abbie and I currently study History at Newcastle University, which is my native city. I had the privilege of taking part in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project in 2018. I am now an Ambassador for the Trust and as such I have a responsibility to continue to remember the testimonies of survivors in order to create an understanding in all, that discrimination is not tolerated.

Recently I took part in the ‘Understanding Antisemitism’ course offered to me through the Trust. Throughout my studies, I never stopped researching into the injustices the Jewish community had suffered. I remember reading my eldest sisters history dissertation about the Jewish identity, or lack thereof, because of their history. For me, to understand Jewish history was a necessity, as it would help me empathise with the community and acknowledge better when antisemitism occurred as it is not always overt.

The course has allowed me to become more aware of online sources, as a historian I question everything, but this has become needed these past couple of weeks. Online recently much misinformation was spread about the Jewish community regarding the Israel and Palestinian war. As a direct result of this antisemitism increased majorly. In London, Canada the United States and more, people used this war as an excuse to assault innocent people and spread hate regarding the Jewish community. Jewish people I communicate with feared leaving home, something I will never have to fear.

I thought back to the course and started to ask my followers to fact check sources online, to research about the war, to ask me for information and references if they needed to. I took part in discussions on forums, contacted Jews and Palestinians alike, and educated people the best I could.

It is this easy for me, this is my role as a human, not as an ambassador. We should all do what’s right, to raise awareness and most importantly to provide support for those that are so often marginalised in society.

It is our job to be empathetic, the world is always in short supply of it, especially in the digital world.

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My Family, the Resistance and the Holocaust

By Vesna Domany-Hardy

I come from a progressive Jewish family who at the time of my birth in 1941 lived in Croatia. My mother and her parents had moved to Zagreb from Sarajevo in 1938. My family had to move due to my mother’s anti-fascist activities which she undertook whilst still being at secondary school. She also had a boyfriend who had volunteered to fight for the Spanish Republic and who had joined the International Brigades.

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Jewish hero of Holocaust rescue – Ottó Komoly

By Tomi Komoly

Ottó Komoly (Kohn) was my father’s older brother. He played a remarkable role in Hungarian Jewry before and during the Holocaust, but never received the international recognition his activities deserved. I would like to fill the gap with this testimony. 

He was born in Budapest in 1892.  His father David Kohn attended the first Zionist conference and founded the movement’s Hungarian branch.

Ottó fought in the Austro-Hungarian army reaching the rank of captain, wounded in action, and awarded military honours. He subsequently graduated at the Technical University of Budapest, while active in the youth Zionist movement. 

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Why is the struggle against antisemitism no different four years on?

Just over a year ago I stood in Parliament Square with thousands of others from the Jewish community and all decent people and we said “enough is enough”. We were challenging what felt like a relentless tide of incidents where Jew hatred was not being taken seriously by a mainstream political party. One year on and what has changed? Nothing. If anything, it’s worse.

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Fighting Holocaust distortion on our Hungary visit

Regional Ambassadors from the Holocaust Educational Trust travelled to Budapest from the 27th to the 31st of March to analyse the Holocaust in Hungary. During our time in the country we visited multiple Holocaust remembrance sites, spoke to a Hungarian-Jewish survivor and engaged with the Jewish and non-Jewish community in Budapest to understand contemporary remembrance of the Holocaust.

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Discovering acts of resistance, rescue and relief in Budapest

Last week, I joined fellow Regional Ambassadors for the Holocaust Educational Trust on an educational visit to Budapest, Hungary. Our time in the city provided a unique opportunity to learn about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust, to engage with diverse local communities’ remembrance of the past, and to understand Hungary’s distinctive and complex relationship with the Holocaust.

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Harnessing the Heritage of a Hidden Holocaust Hero

 

What to do when you discover your grandfather saved nearly 700 Jewish refugees from the Holocaust?

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My dear friend Harry was an unstoppable combination of a tzaddik and rockstar

Harry Bibring

To the Holocaust Educational Trust, Harry Bibring BEM was an unstoppable combination of a tzaddik and a rockstar, by Karen Pollock MBE

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Memories of Kristallnacht

In this special blog to mark the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, we are privileged to be able to share the memories of Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller, who was a 17-year-old living with his family in Vienna at the time of the pogrom. The following extract, taken from Freddie's memoir Living with the Enemy, vividly highlights the terror of the night and the contrasting roles of ordinary people in the violence.

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Social media platforms must combat hatred, by Karen Pollock MBE

This article by Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, first appeared in The Jewish Chronicle on Friday 2nd March. 

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