The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is shocked by the alarming antisemitism erupting worldwide, but sadly, not surprised. Antisemitism is often referred to as the world’s oldest hatred. The history of anti-Jewish prejudice runs deep and extends back for millennia.
As a museum devoted to the study of history, we understand the devastating consequences of unchecked antisemitism. We know it led to the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis as the world largely stood by and watched, or worse still, was complicit. We know it did not vanish in 1945 with the defeat of the Nazis, and we know that no corner of our world is immune to it.
On October 7, Hamas launched a vicious attack against the people of Israel, the world’s only Jewish country. In answer to Israel’s military response to defend itself, Jews around the world have faced antisemitic harassment, threats, and violence. Our Jewish friends, neighbors, and families are terrified, and we need to stand with them.
The Anti-Defamation League reports that there has been an almost 400% increase in antisemitic incidents in our country since October 7, and other countries are experiencing similar upsurges. These include vile threats of violence against Jewish students and faculty on many college campuses, harassment of Jews in their homes, and the horrible trolling of Jews on social media. To name just a few incidents outside the U.S., a mob stormed a Russian airport and hunted for Jewish passengers on a flight from Tel Aviv, while in Paris, Jewish homes were marked with painted Stars of David in an echo of the Holocaust.
Such events can lead to uncertainty within the community and in the classroom, so the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum has worked to create fact-based educational resources to provide historical context for the Israel-Hamas War and strategies for addressing antisemitism. These resources are available at no cost for teachers through our Upstander Education Database. We have also compiled a version of these materials for the public that can be accessed here.
As the late Max Glauben, beloved Holocaust survivor and co-founder of our Museum, often said, “Hate grows in the hater like yeast in a dough. You put a little bit in there … and then it overflows.” Max understood firsthand how destructive hatred is. He lost his family to it and dedicated his life to encouraging others to stand against it.
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is committed to teaching the history of the Holocaust and advancing human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference. We must stand up against the scourge of antisemitism and redouble our efforts to confront it and hatred in all its forms. Our work has never been more important than it is today.
– Mary Pat Higgins, President and CEO
– Lee Michaels, Board Chair