MasterPo’s parents were second-generation American. When MasterPo was growing up MasterPo’s parents told stories that had been related from their parents about long lost (in many cases literally) family from “the old country” that didn’t come over to America.
Then as now (maybe more so then than now) it was common for one or two groups from an overall family to immigrate to America. Then, once established here, send money back home to pay for bringing other members of the extended family over to America. For most the plan as anticipated. But some family members back in “the old country” didn’t use the money sent to come to America. Instead they bought more land, opened or expanded businesses, retooled existing businesses and farms, etc. Not squandered or lost but just not used for the intended purpose of bringing the rest of the family over to America.
That alternate scenario worked – for awhile.
Then the Nazis came.
(And for those on the other side of the boarder, Stalin.)
The family tree lost many branches. Whole segments, whole ancestor communities were gone.
It’s understandable in a way. No one wants to leave what they know and are comfortable with for the unknown. And that was long before National Socialism grew, though anti-Semitism was always alive and well anyway. So when push came to shove they didn’t leave. And in the end lost everything, often including their lives.
Many probably fell victim to the “normalcy bias” that nothing bad can every fully happen. But it did.
Growing up, going to relative’s for Break The Fast or Passover eventually the topic of conversation would turn briefly to this or that act of anti-Semitism. MasterPo’s parents, aunts and uncles would say “Yes, it could happen again here too” (meaning in America).
MasterPo isn’t making any predictions about Nazi uprisings in America. And a level of anti-Semitism has always been a factor in American society since even colonial times.
However, today we live in a world that more and more seems to once again repeating history and blaming the Jews for the worlds’ ills. Right now most attention is being focused on Israel and the Middle East. MasterPo does not have a good feeling about that outcome. But when (not if!) the same problems and the violence come to Main Street, U.S.A. once again the Jews will be blamed. It would not take much for violent anti-Semitism to erupt in America. It has happened before (see Crown Heights, Brooklyn, August 1991 as one such example).
MasterPo’s father’s fears may yet come true in his son’s life time.
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