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Surge of Anti-Semitism Reflects Ingrained Pattern, Historian Says

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(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
This Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, file photo, shows a painted rock found as part of a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, in honor of the people killed during worship services several days earlier.

Anti-Semitic attacks have risen sharply in the last few years as younger generations report dwindling knowledge about the Holocaust — a disturbing trend that has repeated itself throughout history and could lead to more violence in the post-pandemic world, according to historian David Nirenberg.

Nirenberg, the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta distinguished service professor of social thought at the University of Chicago, spoke Wednesday night as part of Northeastern’s Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week, noting that anti-Judaism has been ingrained in cultures across the globe since Christians and Muslims originally defined their new religions by comparing themselves to Judaism. The potential for future atrocities grows when society fails to connect present-day anti-Semitism to longstanding prejudices that have reoccurred throughout history, said Nirenberg.

“Consider the many people today who see much anti-Jewish violence or sentiment in the present as in no way due to the anti-Semitism of old, that rather it’s due only to the actions of Israel,” said Nirenberg during the April 7 event.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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