As The Daily Wire noted, yesterday marked the annual March of the Living at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland:
In Europe, 10,000 marched today at Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of the annual “International March of the Living,” which describes itself as “an annual educational program, bringing individuals from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hatred.” The March of the Living, which started in 1988, has had 260,000 unique individuals participate to-date — with those participants hailing from 52 distinct countries. The marchers always tread the same three-kilometer path at the concentration camp.
Harrowingly, as The Daily Wire also noted, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel — which is the largest Jewish nonprofit organization in the world, and which is the group primarily responsible for fostering Aliyah to Israel from Diaspora Jewry — sounded a clarion alarm on the future (or lack thereof) for Jewish life in Europe. Per The Times of Israel:
As over 10,000 people joined in the 2019 International March of the Living on Thursday afternoon in the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog warned that “Jews are once again unsafe on the streets of Europe.” …
“From this place, I call on world leaders to fight rampant anti-Semitism erupting around the world, especially the shocking and dramatic rise of hate crimes in Europe, Latin America, the United States and around the world,” Herzog, one of the few Israeli officials to attend this year, said at the gathering’s main ceremony.
“It is inconceivable that 74 years after that wretched war, Jews are once again unsafe on the streets of Europe. Jews cannot be murdered in Pittsburgh and San Diego or anywhere[.]”
Now, Fox News reports how, on the eve of Yom HaShoah (Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day) and the March of the Living this week, German Jews were alarmed at a highly visible neo-Nazi march that was allowed to peacefully proceed in eastern Germany:
Germany’s leading Jewish organization is expressing alarm over footage of flag-waving neo-Nazis in self-styled uniforms marching through a town in eastern Germany on May Day, unhindered by police.
The Central Council of Jews said Thursday the march in Plauen by members of The Third Way party “brings back memories of the darkest chapter in German history.”
Footage of the march Wednesday prompted widespread outrage in Germany and calls for authorities in the state of Saxony, where far-right sentiment is particularly strong, to step in.
The situation in eastern Germany — and the general balancing of overt, even genocidal animus with free speech protections — may bring to mind for some Americans the famous 1977 U.S. Supreme Court case of National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, Illinois, in which the Court’s majority effectively permitted the American Nazi party to freely march in the largely Jewish Chicago suburb. As the Court’s per curiam majority held, “as we read the controlling Supreme Court opinions, use of the swastika is a symbolic form of free speech entitled to first amendment protections. Its display on uniforms or banners by those engaged in peaceful demonstrations cannot be totally precluded solely because that display may provoke a violent reaction by those who view it.”