Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A History of Pogroms and the Holocaust - Part One

I have been asked to write more on the Holocaust, so here it is. First, my earlier discussion of it:
 
In my old blog, I wrote of how Israel has affected my life. In one post, I commented more extensively:
 
That post generated some irate backlash. People thought I was blaming Jews for the Holocaust. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was simply aghast that people would just lie down and die without a fight. I did not understand the psychology. But, that was before I learned about Jewish history, and specifically the history of pogroms. At some point, it became passe to blame Jews for everything under the Sun, and at some point Jews became resigned to their "fate".
Most people have read about Israel's enslavement by Egypt, and their fights with the Babylonians, the Philistines, etc. But, those were "Old Testament" days, and there is no real emotional impact from reading those stories. Pogroms are different. Let me list just a few of the more than 1,000 pogroms that have occurred since 38 C.E.:
 
Alexandria, 38:
 
France and Germany, 1096:
 
Spain, 1391:
 
Astorga, 1491:
 
Lisbon, 1506:
 
Seville, 1660:
 
Kiev, 1768:
 
Russia, 1919:
 
Remember, the atrocities above are but a small fraction of everything the Jewish people have suffered. A very small fraction. When one realizes just how frequent these attacks were, and how brutal, it is easy to see how this people, this great people, were so beaten down mentally and emotionally that they had come to expect to be slaughtered. What an atrocious thing to consider, but it is true. This paved the way for what was to come during World War II.
 
PART TWO TOMORROW
 
For a longer list of pogroms, see: