A guest post by Debbie Stueber, community and Generations member.
I was in first grade in Long Island NY when I first experienced antisemitism. My classmate Joan and I were talking about grandparents and I told her 3 out of 4 of mine were murdered in In Auschwitz.. her response was to call me a dirty Jew. We were 6 years old.
Eggs were the thrown at my house on a regular basis… we were one of two Jewish families on our block.
In junior high school John set firecrackers in the stairwell as I was preparing to walk the 1.5 miles home from school; he taunted me often.
When I was 16 and home alone one evening, someone put a firecracker in the mailbox affixed to our home and luckily I didn’t open the door when I heard noises. I found remnants of our mailbox across the street on our neighbor’s lawn.
Several years back I overheard one of my former bosses at my current job talking to a customer on the phone. He said why don’t you Jew him down?
In the last several years I’ve been part of conversations where people have used the term Jewish lightning.
My parents were fortunate enough to survive the Holocaust. Dad has said to my sister and me ever since I can remember that it can happen again. My sister would say “no Dad this is America, that would never happen here”. Here we are today, some 73 years later and they have to witness the sharp rise in antisemitic incidents. My fellow innocent Pittsburghers were murdered October 27 specifically because they were Jewish. #neveragain ? Actually #itshappeningagain. Albeit not nearly on the same scale but enough that I along with many people I know are uncomfortable and scared. Not a day goes by that I don’t read another news story that upsets me.
Imagine what people i.e. African Americans who WEAR their vulnerability, must go through, way more often than me.
I implore each of you reading my post to never be a bystander. Stand up for what is right & just in this world. Hatred, bigotry racism and homophobia are the enemy of us all. Consider donating to your local Holocaust Museum or the national one in Washington. In today’s climate, Holocaust education is paramount. We are #strongerthanhate .