The Jewish people have faced the lethal threat of Anti-Semitism for thousands of years — from the ancient struggle in Egypt to the Islamic conquest in the early middle ages to the Inquisition in Spain and the pogroms in Central Europe to the Holocaust.
We live with the ever-present fear that there are many people who want to eradicate Jews.
I saw this powerfully earlier this year, when I traveled to six European countries — the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Germany – with 100 leading American philanthropists and scholars, and together, we tried to wrap our heads around the scope of the genocide carried out by Nazi Germany and its European collaborators.
We saw the horrific conditions suffered by the Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau, which were built with a single purpose: to eradicate the Jewish and Roma peoples. We saw mass graves in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, where hundreds of thousands of Jewish families perished by firing squads because their gentile neighbors collaborated with or joined in when the German Killing Machine arrived.