6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.
Jews make up 2 percent of the United States’ population and approximately .02 percent of the world’s population.
According to the FBI’s annual report in 2016, Jews are subject to 54.4 percent of religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States. Muslims follow with 24.5 percent.
According to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) poll conducted in 100 countries, 1.09 billion—approximately one in four—people hold anti-Semitic views. Additionally, only 54 percent of the world’s population has heard about the Holocaust, and 32 percent of those think it is a myth or greatly exaggerated.
According to NPR, 1 in every 113 people worldwide—24 people per minute—has fled their home country due to persecution, violence, or human rights violations, contributing to a global displaced person’s population of 65.3 million.
Community Ties to Genocide
“During the Armenian genocide my family was forced from their home and murdered. Those who weren’t were abducted, violated, and tortured. This genocide had a tremendous impact on my family and me personally because family heirlooms were lost as well as my ties to Armenia in general. It’s important to learn about genocide and mass murders of history because oftentimes those committing the genocide attempt to rewrite history for their own benefit and ignore the millions whom they impacted. My family and the other families who were uprooted by the Armenian genocide deserve to be recognized, respected, and learned about in school in order to teach the truth and the atrocities of genocide to youths across the world.”
—Kayla Kaloostian ’18
“Our family was so lucky to survive the Holocaust because of the bravery of my great-grandfather, Max Fish, who rescued 42 relatives from Poland and brought them to the United States before World War II. Nevertheless, we can never forget the evil of the Holocaust and of the world standing idly by during WWII. We can also treasure the goodness that came out of the Holocaust tragedy with so many inspiring stories of spiritual survival and the establishment of the State of Israel. Today we are so proud to freely celebrate our Judaism, and we will never forget our ancestors who weren’t able to do the same.”
—Andy Goldfarb P’18
“Ninety percent of my family was killed during the Holocaust. Luckily, my father, his parents, and my mother’s parents were able to escape Europe before it was too late. Once my maternal grandparents arrived in Argentina, they worked to help other people escape by sending ships to Europe and bringing them back to Argentina. I had the fortune to meet friends’ grandparents that have been saved by my grandfather’s efforts. Holocaust survivors and those who escaped from Europe can’t forget what happened, and, importantly, will always remember that Jews were once persecuted, many becoming refugees. There were many genocides in the past century, and some are still happening today. Jewish people have a moral responsibility to help, accept, and receive with open mind and heart those who are fleeing current genocides.”
—Director of Global Education Karina Baum
“My family and I have been affected a great deal [by the Rwandan genocide] because most of our relatives who lived in Rwanda were killed for the simple reason of being Tutsi. We [fled to] different countries of refuge in Central Africa in 1959. My paternal aunt and her children were buried in my father’s land [that] he had left about 30 years earlier, and [we] lived in exile when Tutsi were persecuted by the government for the same ethnic reasons. My family members are reminded of the genocide by many survivors who were neighbors of my aunt. Worse, some perpetrators still live in the same neighborhood, which is very, very hard to bear. The Rwandan genocide against Tutsi is relevant today mainly from the never-again and prevention points of view. Lessons learned from the Rwanda case study show how politicization of ethnic conflicts can lead to genocide and other mass atrocities. Genocide is a process, so it can be prevented by fighting against hate speech, demonization, and dehumanization in their earliest stages. Genocide influenced my identity ever since I was living and working in Cambodia. That’s when I decided to pursue genocide studies and research to understand the phenomenon of ‘why people kill’ their fellow citizens, which was the theme of my PhD dissertation: ‘The Social and Political Mechanisms of Mass Murder in the Rwandan Genocide.’ In this pursuit, I ended up in Darfur, Sudan, for several years [during the civil war] to study the same phenomenon.”
—Dr. Charles Mironko P’19, Non-Resident Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard and former Deputy Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale
“The Holocaust is just part of someone’s makeup. I think it’s like being tall or short. It’s just part of who you are. This is what one of my sisters said [about the Holocaust], and I thought she said it beautifully: ‘The Holocaust definitely affects my identity and sense of vulnerability in the world. I am very aware when I am the only Jew in the room, always on the verge of feeling we are vulnerable as a people, periodically receiving micro aggressions, and often not having the words to help me defend or teach. I just always feel like I’m representing my tribe and want to be a good example.’ I agree with all of that. I myself have experienced ‘little large’ anti-semitism in my life. When I went to college, my dad took me for a walk to say, ‘You know, you may run into this,’ and I thought ‘No, no, no, that’s your generation. That’s not my generation.’ It was surprising when I did run into it. As my sister said, you’re never quite as prepared as you want to be, but I think finding a voice to respond thoughtfully and somewhat instructively is the best defense.”
—Upper School Head Librarian Sandy Dow