AHEC amplifies U.S. Holocaust Museum’s statement decrying antisemitism on campus

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) walk through the Columbia University campus on April 22, 2024. Credit: Courtesy of the office of Rep. Josh Gottheimer.

The Alabama Holocaust Education Center issued a statement supporting a call by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum urging colleges and universities to address growing antisemitism on campuses nationwide.

The museum in Washington issued the below statement, to which the AHEC said it “stands with our colleagues.

The AHEC statement noted the national statement’s reference to “Go back to Poland” chants aimed at Jewish students, and how protestors hold signs with Hamas symbols and block access to buildings. “AHEC has been watching the blatant acts of antisemitism unfold at American College and University campuses with great disgust and disappointment,” they wrote.

The USHMM’s statement read:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The shocking eruption of antisemitism on many American college and university campuses is unacceptable and university and all other appropriate authorities must take greater action to protect Jewish students. Demonstrators at Columbia University calling for Jews to return to Poland — where three million Jewish men, women, and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators — is an outrageous insult to Holocaust memory, a failure to appreciate its lessons, and an act of dangerous antisemitism.

America is hardly the Third Reich, but the Holocaust teaches the dangers of pervasive societal antisemitism, and awareness of this history must guide our actions in the present. Nazi ideology was official state policy, but it found a receptive audience on university campuses based on well established contempt towards Jews.

“America is the home of many Holocaust survivors who rebuilt their lives here seeking to leave behind the longstanding, unchecked antisemitism that fueled the systematic murder of their families and the destruction of their communities across Europe,” said Museum Chairman Stuart E. Eizenstat. “They could never have imagined that eight decades after the Holocaust, Jewish students would face blatant antisemitism, including intimidation and violence, on college campuses across the U.S. Universities are shaping our leaders of the future. They need to be embracing the lessons of the past. It is time for forceful action on all levels to ensure that all students are able to study and engage in campus life without intimidation.”

A nonpartisan federal, educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance. Through the power of Holocaust history, the Museum challenges leaders and individuals worldwide to think critically about their role in society and to confront antisemitism and other forms of hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.