4 Jul 2016 by CST
CST is deeply saddened by the news that Holocaust survivor, professor, political activist and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel has died.
“If I survived, it must be for some reason. I must do something with my life. It is too serious to play games with anymore, because in my place, someone else could have been saved. And so I speak for that person. On the other hand, I know I cannot.”
Wiesel was born in Transylvania, now part of Romania, and at the age of 15 the Nazis occupied the country, casting a dark shadow on the large Jewish population residing there. Elie was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, where 90% of the Romanian Jewish population was murdered upon arrival. Wiesel’s younger sister and mother were both killed at the camp, and Wiesel and his father were further deported to Buchenwald in Germany, where his father was murdered just weeks before the camp was liberated by the US Third Army in April 1945.
After liberation, Elie Wiesel went onto study in Paris and became a journalist, although he refused to write about his own personal experience of the Holocaust. However, close friend and French journalist François Mauriac persuaded Wiesel to write about his experiences during the War, and La Nuit, ‘Night’, was published in 1955. The famous work, part of trilogy including Dawn and Day, chronicles Wiesel’s and his father’s time at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and is notable for depicting the death of G-d and his personal fury with humanity. Wiesel subsequently moved to New York and went onto author 57 books, making him one of the key survivors to testify to the atrocities of the Holocaust.
“The only role I sought was that of witness. I believed that having survived by chance, I was duty-bound to give meaning to my survival, to justify each moment of my life.”
Wiesel, along with his wife Marion, a Holocaust survivor from Austria, established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity in 1986, and directed the formation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Centre in Washington D.C. Wiesel also won many awards for his work speaking out against racism and violence and his work in promoting human dignity, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1985.
Elie Wiesel taught us about the Holocaust and about facing injustice. Wiesel dedicated his life to humanity and voiced support for those facing genocide across the globe, including those persecuted in Cambodia and Rwanda. Elie Wiesel remains a light among the nations. We pray his memory, and the important lessons he left us with, are not forgotten.
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my G-d and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live
as long as G-d Himself.
Elie Wiesel, Never Shall I Forget
1 Jul 2016 by Mark Gardner
The launch event for Shami Chakrabarti’s Inquiry report into antisemitism (and racism) in the Labour Party could, and should, have given a much needed morale boost for those wanting assurance that the Labour Party understands the fears and experiences of Jews in and around Labour. Instead, thanks to the Jeremy Corbyn circus, the exact opposite happened. Read more…
Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party: response to launch event and CST - JLC submission
30 Jun 2016 by CST
Today saw the launch of the much anticipated report of Shami Chakrabarti’s Inquiry into antisemitism and racism within the Labour Party. This report followed two previous inquiries into Labour Party antisemitism, by Labour Students and Baroness Jan Royall. Many of the complaints that led to each of the inquiries remain unresolved. CST and our colleagues at the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) made a detailed submission to this latest Inquiry. Many of our recommendations are echoed in the final report’s language concerning Zionism, the term 'Zio' and Holocaust analogies. Read more…
1 Jun 2016 by Dave Rich
What have Jackie Walker, John Terry and Mario Balotelli got in common? Not much, you might think. Put them together, though, and you start to see why the Labour Party is in such a muddle over antisemitism. Read more…
20 May 2016 by Mark Gardner
Ken Livingstone is a left-wing anti-Nazi anti-racist former Mayor of London. David Irving is not, but was briefly famous for having lost a Holocaust Denial trial. Livingstone and Irving could never be accused of being natural bedfellows. There are, however, similarities. Read more…
12 May 2016 by Mark Gardner
When I meet people who need antisemitism explained, I usually begin by showing them three items from the old Jewish defence archives. The first is a National Socialist Movement flyer from 1962. Entitled "Free Britain From Jewish Control", it shows a fat hook-nosed Jew in banker's clothing, wielding a whip, its end shaped like a pound sterling sign. In the grotesque Jew's other hand is a sack of coins. Across his stomach is a watch chain, bearing a Star of David. Licking his feet, begging like dogs, are politicians marked "Labour", "Conservative" and "Lib". Read more…
8 May 2016 by CST
Yom Hashoah is upon us. As it is no doubt for many of you, it is a deeply personal day for me. My four grandparents survived the Holocaust. My paternal grandparents, Abe and Miriam, survived Auschwitz-Birkenau. My maternal grandmother, Helen, was hidden and saved by her Christian neighbours, who rightfully were later declared חסידי אומות העולם - Righteous Among the Nations. Finally, my maternal grandfather, Morris, survived the Warsaw Ghetto, as well as 9 concentration and death camps including Majdanek, Plaszow and Theresienstadt. Read more…