The Jewish Report Editorial

No excuse for Nazi anti-Semitism

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Hearing the words “Heil Hitler” are enough to make any Jew go cold. But when Jewish children participate in a schools’ theatrical festival, it is totally unacceptable for them to be subjected to this kind of blatant anti-Semitism.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | May 25, 2017

King David Victory Park High School pupils gave their all in performing the most moving and heart-breaking play about a young Jewish boy in a concentration camp who befriends the camp commander’s son. It is a poignant and devastatingly sad story about our history.

It is a tough ask for any teenager to perform this, simply because it is hard to imagine the kind of hatred that would result in the killing of innocent people en masse.

That is what Nazis did. To them, we weren’t even human. Our lives were so irrelevant to them, they could simply destroy six million of us. They felt no guilt or remorse. 

So, presenting a performance like that and being faced with rabid anti-Semitism from fellow Johannesburg teenagers, was horrifying and downright frightening for these children.

It was blatant and so ugly in that they didn’t just chant it once, they kept on doing it. Worse still, nobody appeared to stop and censure them for their racism.

No, in fact, it seems nobody even tried to stop them chanting “Heil Hitler” before, during and after the performance. In fact, when a teacher was confronted over it, she didn’t take it very seriously.  

As I understand, the organisers also did not take responsibility for it, nor did they try and stop it.

What are we teaching our children?

I have no idea where these youngsters got their anti-Semitic views from, but surely we live in an era where racial hatred is not acceptable. Have we learnt nothing from the history of this country? Has the world learnt nothing from the Holocaust and other genocides on this continent?

I get that these are teenagers and they are impressionable. For that very reason, they have to be chastised and punished for doing something that burns at our very core as human beings.

Racism, anti-Semitism is not a joke. It is not something that can be fobbed off as teenage behaviour or kids having a little fun.

Anti-Semitism in just one instance - the very one the King David thespians were educating them about - caused the brutal annihilation of six million Jews.

Had the King David kids been performing something else, it is possible this behaviour may not have arisen. However, because the play was about the horror of what happened to six million Jews, it was far worse, because the Nazi brutality was laid out on the stage. The Nazi anti-Semitism was there for all to see. In spite of this, these youths chose to taunt the Jewish cast in the Nazi way.

I know that the Jewish Board of Deputies is taking this up and has a meeting on Monday to address this. I for one want to know what happens and will keep you posted.

I have colleagues who say that in inter-school sporting and other competitions, there is anti-Semitism. Does this mean we have turned a tide and this is on the increase in South Africa, or has it always been like this?

Is it because of the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) lobby in South Africa, which they swear is about anti-Zionism, rather than anti-Semitism? 

Whatever you believe about that, this school drama is unmistakeable. It was unquestionably and unapologetically anti-Semitism. As Jews, we have to make sure this is stopped and the people behind it learn that this cannot happen again. We cannot turn the other cheek or sweep this under the carpet.

It must be addressed and it must be done now.



1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 25 May
    Unfortunately, many non Jews are anti -Semitic.
    The mistake that many liberals make is that they believe that freedom of speech is universal and that immigration is a right that migrants have.
    More regrettable, is that there are many Jews among the liberals, such as JVJP, and others that support people like Linda Sarsour and that terrorist Obedh.
    Among one of the traits of this type of "liberal"individual, is that they fight for these causes and when "things go wrong ", they either walk away or are simply not to be found.
    Jews will always have "traitors"in their midst. It happened during the holocaust and it is with us today.
    In essence, there is no solution to the Palestinian problem other than for them to seek another of the 50 Islamic countries in which to live.
    The result is that there won't be BDS, or JVJP or any other motive for destroying Jews. 
    There will however, always be anti -Semitism from people that simply hate Jews .
    But Jews can deal with that.
    Harter, the principal of Edenvale High school, should be summoned to the Min of Educations office. His failure to react is complicity in the deed itself.


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