Link here. The essay begins with something that is always in the back of the mind of every Jew since the day the Romans kicked our ancestors out of Israel:
There is something about most Jews that few non-Jews know: We Jews often ask ourselves if a non-Jew in our lives would hide us in the event of a Nazi-like outbreak.
I don’t know if young Jews think about this, but nearly all Jews who grew up in the decades following the Holocaust often wondered: Would this non-Jew hide me?
If you are Jewish and have been educated at all about your people’s history, you can’t help thinking about this. It is a variation of an essay I wrote back in January, when it was clear the intolerant and power-hungry Democratic Party was going to take power. At that time I said that America was becoming like Soviet Russia, where you chose your friends very carefully because if you didn’t, you might find yourself betrayed and reported to the secret police.
My example was generic, applying to everyone under the thumb of a dictatorship. Praeger gives a more nuanced example, from the Jewish perspective where repeatedly the larger society decided all Jews must be killed. In both cases, you no longer can be at ease with everyone you meet. You need to look at each new acquaintance in very stark and cold terms. And as Praeger notes, you need to ask: Would this person turn me over to the Gestapo to save their own lives, or would they do the righteous thing, no matter the risk, and protect me?
These are questions Americans now unfortunately have to think about. More significantly, we are at a moment where we can not only think them, but we can ask them aloud, to people’s faces. We can say to people we know: Would you save me from the Nazis? Or would you hide in fear, or turn me in? By asking that bluntly we might finally get some of the “go-along-to-get-along” types to finally wake up.
Read Praeger’s essay. He goes into great detail describing the kind of people who are more likely to protect the innocent from evil, no matter the risk. You might be surprised by what he says.
The question you next have to ask: Does this describe myself?
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