According to the Washington Post, “⅔ of millenials do not know what Auschwitz is.”

While many Americans choose to believe that we are not homophobic, racist or anti-semitic anymore, that is far from the case. Anti-semitism has seen a rise in the past few years globally, nationally, and locally.
Globally, the world has seen hundreds of jewish cemeteries vandalized with depictions of swastikas and phrases like “heil Hitler.” The most recent was in early February of this year with the defacement of around 80 headstones in eastern France before local marches against anti-semitism.
According to France 24, the top security official for the region, Jean-Luc Marx, condemned “in the strongest possible terms this awful anti-Semitic act and sends his complete support to the Jewish community which has been targeted again,” the statement added.
Some of the recent anti-semitic acts in the U.S. include the tragedy at Pittsburg, Pa.’s temple “Tree of Life” earlier this school year (that this newspaper refused to cover) and more recently the photo taken at a party in Calf. where a group of high school students thought it would be funny to take a picture of themselves with a swastika made out of solo cups doing the “heil hitler” salute (that was originated by Italy’s Mussolini).
“Swastikas & Nazi salutes are never funny,” ADL Orange County tweeted. “When such actions are considered jokes, hate and bigotry become normalized. And then we open the door for escalating acts of bias, bigotry & bullying. ADL takes this very seriously.”
One problem with our current society is that many of these teens probably are not anti-semitic, or even know what Auschwitz is, they have just seen their peers making fun of jewish people and thought it was funny or cool. The attitude surrounding jews and the holocaust must be changed from a not-so-funny joke to a serious and respected topic. This will only happen through education. The only way to truly rid America of anti-semitism is to add the Holocaust into the world history classes required nationwide. One effort to educate the U.S.’s children is in Mass.
“Respondents [to a national survey conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany] indicated much more awareness of modern-day bias against Jews, with 68 percent saying anti-Semitism is present in America today, and 51 percent saying there are “many” or “a great deal of” neo-Nazis in the United States today,” Julie Zauzmer, a harvard-educated writer for the Washington Post said in an article.
Even though Jupiter would like to believe that anti-semitism is not present in our small town, that is far from the case. Personally, I have had swastikas drawn on my papers and seen them drawn on desks and in the bathroom. The most haunting memory I have of anti-semitism on our campus was on Yom HaShoah, Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day, in 2017. A teacher raised her hand to get the class’s attention and many students stood up with their right hand extended above their head yelling “heil Hitler” and “kill the jews.” On the same day that the jewish state has off from work to be with their families and hear survivor’s stories, a group of ignorant high school students had the audacity to praise Adolf Hitler.
It is time that we as a society begin to take responsibility for failing to not let the Holocaust victims die in vain and educate our youth about the atrocities of Nazi Germany. Most of the swastikas drawn on high school desks around the country is not due to true anti-semitism, just ignorance and a failure of America’s public and private schooling.