option 2) Anti- Semitism, a timeless historical feature, unfortunately.

By Rivka Bondar|April 1, 2015|Reflection|0 comments

What is Anti- Semitism? Anti- Semitism is a discrimination, prejudice or hostility against Jews. Anti- Semitism is a timeless historical feature, it has been going on for many generations and will continue to go on. We see it happen twice in the book “Under the Cruel Star” by Heda Margolius Kovaly. We first see Anti- Semitism when random party members were arrested. Heda tells Rudolph “Doesn`t it seem strange to you that so many of the people who are being arrested our Jews?”(Margolius Kovaly, 103). In which Rudolph got defensive and said “For God`s sake! Don`t tell me you believe that the communists are anti- Semites! How can you still not understand? You really should drop everything else you`re doing and do some reading for a change!” (Margolius Kovaly, 103). I think it was a fair observation on Heda`s part.

Anti- Semitism reappears towards the end of the book. Heda overheard a conversation at the clinic:
“I tell you, I was so sick,” said one of them, “and they sent me from one doctor to another and none of them helped me a bit until that one. He fixed me up in no time. He took such good care of me that if it hadn`t been for him I`d be six feet under by now!” “Really? What kind of doctor was he?” asked her listener. “Oh, you know, one of those dirty Jews” (Margolius Kovaly, 150)
This really hit home for me, being a fellow Jew myself. This reminded me of the Holocaust, in where Jews were dehumanized. During that time, the Jews had to wear yellow stars, shave their heads and wear thin striped clothing. They were thrown into gas chambers, raped, used for experiments or had to work long grueling hours with minimal food. Over six million Jews died and with God`s help we still continue to exist today.

We still have anti- Semitism nowadays. I know that there was an incident in Kingsborough, where someone painted swastikas in the bathrooms and they had someone paint over it. My friend, who is in Brooklyn College, just had an incident today. She heard a girl sitting next to her saying “Driving on Avenue J is so annoying that it made me wonder what if the Germans won World War 2?” When my friend told me that I could feel my blood boiling. My religion is a huge part of me and it therefore is a very sensitive subject. There`s no solution for ant- Semitism because it will always be there, we just have to coexist. I can definitely relate to this book because I have family members that died in the war and I know Holocaust survivors personally, so I understand this book on a deeper level.

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