Auschwitz Survivor – Why Jewish People Must Behave Ethically

Below is a transcript for video (above) with Holocaust survivor Dr. Hajo Meyer.

“I was nine when Hitler came to power. I was about 10 months in Auschwitz, and I learned a lot about the doctrines of a fascist state. The lessons I took from my stay in Auschwitz was anybody who belonged to the Jewish people was not allowed to behave, ever, like our perpetrators – the people who did the thing to us.

Look, I think, why I have a certain right to be proud of being of Jewish origin is because the Jews were the pioneers of inter-human ethics. And the Jewish idea of how to treat a foreigner, how to treat a servant, which is in the old testament, was taken up by nobody less than Jesus Christ, who was the last of the great Jewish prophets.

The prophets in the old tradition wanted to stress the ethical content of Judaism. And so that is reason enough to be proud. And what is happening now in Israel toward the Palestinians is exactly the opposite. Exactly the opposite.. They treat them like vermin…

The chief of staff of the Israeli army recently said the Palestinians are a cancerous growth. That type of talking is exactly the opposite and is actually like Nazi talking.. That’s what was said about me, when I was a boy, a Jewish boy in Germany.

You know, when the Nazis gassed the Jews, the world was silent. Now the world is silent while the Jews, or- the Israelis- harass, humiliate and steal away land from the Palestinians. And the world is silent, and I want to awake the world, because any criticism on the policies of Israel, is hampered and made impossible by a terrible trick and crime of Israeli propaganda, that any criticism on the politics of Israel comes out and is induced by anti-Semitic feelings.

And our main purpose is to show to the world, we are Jews and we are conscious Jews and we want to show that you must criticize Israel if you want anything good for the Jews in the world, because what Israel is doing is destroying the Jewish world and the Jewish heritage.”

~Dr Hajo Meyer, Holocaust Survivor~

Related: In “Love Thy Stranger” Rabbi Michael Lerner speaks about the challenge of “tikkun” in Judaism, the idea that the Jewish people have a role to play, to care for others, to help with the healing and transformation of our world.


About Christopher Chase

Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook pages "Tao & Zen" "Art of Learning" & "Creative Systems Thinking." Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta. Graduated in 1993 from the Child & Adolescent Development program at Stanford University's School of Education. Since 1994, have been teaching at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
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