Yes, it’s still happening. Now, I admit that I am a novice when it comes to technology, so I just let my index finger run free the other day, looking for Holocaust-related material. And, I am sorry to report, that at this very moment, anti-Semitism is alive and well in our great country. I won’t dignify the purveyors of these untruths by providing names, but there are still individuals who deny the Holocaust ever happened, or if it did, lay the blame on the Allies. Concurrently, this week, one deranged individual perpetuated vandalism against shops owned by Jews in a nearby community. Sound familiar? Well, I am here as living proof to say that, yes, it did happen. Grandparents? Never met them. Aunts, uncles? Mostly gone. A photo of my father’s family? Not a one. Multiply the losses by millions and you have some idea of the great devastation caused by ignorance. And it’s not just against one race of people, as we have seen all too often in places like Africa and Bosnia, even the U.S. But yet I have hope. Okay, laugh. But I see it in the eyes of my college students who, after reading my book, stand bewildered, some even shocked at a history which parallels fiction more than anything else. I hear it in their voices, full of outrage and indignation, with just the hint of a commitment to a better world. And most understand, I think, that this is not just my story, but theirs as well. Some may say that’s the optimist in me speaking. But I prefer to think it’s the realist.
My Mother’s Shoes is on the Recommended Reading List of The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.