Temple Jeremiah


Jeremiah Gems- Babette Sanders

It is the Monday morning after the sad events in Charlottesville. My perspective on the world is changing daily. Nazi flags make my blood boil.

I am the child of Holocaust survivors. I fit that profile in many ways. My parents were not in camps but fled because of it. I grew up in Washington Heights, an area of upper Manhattan that was predominantly German Jewish in the 50s-70s (nickname: “Frankfurt–on-the-Hudson”). Many residents came to the US as a result of the Holocaust. A few with intact families. Many not. My mother’s immediate family came to the US, all at different times. My paternal grandmother and one of my dad’s sisters perished in a camp. I don’t think I really understood all of that until I watched the role my children’s grandparents played in their lives and then I got angry. I visited Germany with my mother when the town where she grew up erected a monument in memory of the Jews. I saw the store my grandfather closed after it was firebombed and my great-grandfather’s tombstone, detached from its’ grave by the Nazis. It made me even angrier.  A monument was nice but didn’t change history.

Fast forward. Life goes on with its’ ups and downs: My own wonderful family, a terrific career, trips, illness, death of parents and as much activism as I could muster for causes that were important to me. I felt safe.

History always nagged me. The nagging has been getting louder this past year. Too many overt signs to ignore. This weekend it hit me over the head and punched me in the gut at the same time. For our present, for our future, for all the children and grandchildren to come, the time is now to unify our voices and say “Never again!”.

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