In recognition of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 7-8, Mr. Downer’s class took part in an activity put on by Liberation75. The class got to hear the renowned Holocaust historian, Deborah Lipstadt, speak about antisemitism past and present during class on Wednesday morning. Dr. Lipstadt is a professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory College in Atlanta and well known for winning a libel case against Holocaust denier, David Irving, in 2000. She is also a historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
Dr. Lipstadt spoke about the importance of remembering the Holocaust today and emphasized that people must speak out about intolerance of any type. She quoted survivor, Eli Weisel, “In the face of evil, there are no bystanders,” and told students that “if you hear something, say something.” After Dr. Lipstadt, the students viewed a video: “Antisemitism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” The moving video focused on three generations: Holocaust survivors along with their children and grandchildren as they reflected on antisemitism and the need to remain vigilant in these challenging times. The key point was that the resistance to antisemitism and intolerance is a measurement of democracy.