By: Arielle Segal-Gould
It’s a lot to live up to… I expect more from myself, and I am my harshest critique. Jewish women are quite the critiques. How could we not be, our ancestors were persecuted in war and over 11 million of our people were executed. Such a gross injustice, we feel responsible for making sure that acts like these never occur again. I feel responsible. It’s why I speak up when I witness any injustice.
I wonder why it took a world war and 11 million dead Jews, for someone to speak up. I wonder how 11 million jews were rounded up, put on busses and trains, brought to death camps, and murdered either from exposure to illness or starvation or at the mercy of Nazis, gassed in death chambers. How could this be our history? How could such horrendous acts ever take place?
Obedience to authority. After a depression in Germany, people were looking for guidance, and they found it in Hitler. He had answers for why their country was failing; Jews. A superior race that needed to be wiped out for the greater good. When a man of authority gives answers to people looking for guidance, they will do almost anything to prove their devotion. His power grew greater and greater along with his indoctrination. He’d gained the support of not only Germany, but Italy and Japan, too.
My family came to America to escape persecution by the Nazis, our name had to be changed from Goldstein to Gould, out of fear of being identified as Jews and killed. How did we come to a world where we had to change our names because they sounded Jewish and we did not want to die?
Religion was a key factor of World War 2. Through religious beliefs, hate and murder was spewed. It is to blame for the persecution and murder of 11 million Jews. If world war 2 doesn’t prove that religion causes more harm than good, then I don’t know what will.
This is why I chose not to practice religion.
Jewish women embody the courage, perseverance, insight, purity, and wholesomeness that all women should. We’ve overcome so much, and we are who we are because of it. Though I do not practice Judaism, I am Jewish and I’m proud to say it. We shall never again have to hide who we are to escape persecution and murder.
I am forever grateful to the 11 million Jews who lost their lives in World War 2. They made the ultimate sacrifice… they gave their lives so that I could live mine freely today. These 11 million Jews should be remembered as heroes, not martyrs.