, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
The man in the glasses was my great uncle Jacques. This was taken in Pithiviers, a French concentration camp, and was staged by the French police as propaganda to show the inmates’ families everything was fine. Jacques was sent to Auschwitz a few months later and was killed.
I found that photo, and some more, in a shoebox at the back of my grandmother’s closet after she died. She never told anyone she had them.
And this was my great uncle Alex. He was arrested the year after his brother but he managed to escape from the train to the camp. He hid in the Auvergne and was a resistance hero. He died when I was 21.
I've seen some rather opportunistic tweets on here - in response to people criticising certain politicians' hypocrisy in enabling anti-Semitism and then making pious pronouncements about Holocaust Memorial Day - that today "shouldn't; be politicised."
Today should absolutely be politicised. It was a political event. Certainly Alex politicised what he and his brother went through, such as returning his war medals to France after de Gaulle described Jews as "elite, domineering and sure of themselves" thejc.com/culture/books/…
Anyone on here arguing that Jews are being "disrespectful" by calling out anti-Jewish attitudes among today's politicians, you are no different than Republicans who tell victims of gun violence they're being disrespectful by calling for more gun safety
And fyi: those of us who grew up with the Holocaust as part of our story, who as children saw photos of its victims in our homes every day because they were our family, maybe we understand what this day means better than most. So don't tell us how to observe it "respectfully"
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