1. Why is anti-Semitism an essential component to teaching the Holocaust?
It is at the heart of the Nazi movement. Anti-Semitism made Jews the target of the hate and brutal torture and killing that coincided the Holocaust. Teaching it is fundamental to understanding how this hate perpetuated through an entire region of the world. Additionally, anti-Semitism still exists today, which means students need to have a firm understanding of what it is in order to prevent something as devastating as a Holocaust from ever happening again.
2. Why does teaching anti-Semitism “get people on all sides riled up”?
Because it can't be taught in a vacuum. Anti-Semitism inherently brings in Christianity and subsequently makes folks feel as though they are being accused of something. Omitting this element of the Holocaust allows stereotypes and preconceived notions to continue and flourish. This is why even though it may be incredibly uncomfortable, it is pertinent for all students to hear about.
3. Give historical examples of anti-Semitism (see the middle of p.53)?
The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Jewish "whiteness" and success in America, Holocaust jokes, etc.
These are just a few photos showcasing my time at MSU. Lots of memories and even more smiles.