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The fight against anti-Semitism, the French women find the strength in diversity at Auschwitz: NPR


On February 20th, Nazi and Holocaust mocking words were painted on a tomb at Champagne-au-Mont-d Or, near Lyon, France.

Jeff Pachoud / AFP / Getty Images


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On February 20th, Nazi and Holocaust mocking words were painted on a tomb at Champagne-au-Mont-d Or, near Lyon, France.

Jeff Pachoud / AFP / Getty Images

France has been shocked by the incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism over the past few weeks, including 80 tombs in a Jewish cemetery painted with graffiti and swastian at the beginning of the month.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that France and other Western democracies are experiencing a "revival of anti-Semitism" that has not been seen since World War II.

One of the struggles against hatred was the creation of about 150 French women from different religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds to refer to the infamous war symbol and genocide from war: Auschwitz. Together they wanted to learn more about the Holocaust, hoping to bring a more meaningful message to France.

"Women can surrender and educate – their children to the rest of society," said Samia Essabbaa, a high school teacher who chairs the diverse group. Langage de Femmesor female talk.

The group started its tour of Judenrampeor the Jewish platform where nearly one million men, women, and children from Europe got out of the trains to go straight to the gas chamber.

Members of a group of French women with different religious and ethnic backgrounds placed wreaths at the beginning of the month near the Auschwitz gas chambers. After learning more about the horror of the Holocaust, they hoped that they would better understand their country with the new actions of anti-Semitism.

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Members of a group of French women with different religious and ethnic backgrounds placed wreaths at the beginning of the month near the Auschwitz gas chambers. After learning more about the horror of the Holocaust, they hoped that they would better understand their country with the new actions of anti-Semitism.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

A 94-year-old Holocaust survivor, Ginette Kolinka, called it what it was. Kolinka was deported from France in April 1944 to Auschwitz at the age of 19.

"After we got off the railroad cars and got on the platform, they said they were going left or right," he said. "It was the choice – whether to live or die. But then we didn't know."

THE Judenrampe he was the last place he saw his father and his younger brother.

Samia Essabaa is the president and co-founder of the group Langage de Femmesor a female conversation recently visited Auschwitz.

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Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

Samia Essabaa is the president and co-founder of the group Langage de Femmesor a female conversation recently visited Auschwitz.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

"The Nazis have lied to us and have lied to us that we believed them," he said. "They said – don't worry, you all meet in the camp." When we arrived at the camp and saw the chimneys and the smoke, and the terrible smell, and we soon discovered the terrible secret from the other prisoners.

Between 1940 and 1945, researchers estimated that at least 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, a Nazi occupied complex of forced labor and death camps in Poland. More than one million people were killed. Most victims were Jewish, but there were also Roma and other groups.

Langage de Femmes is one of the most famous interreligious groups that visit the Nazi site at a time when vandalism, harassment and attacks on minority groups are taking place in Europe. Jewish groups and researchers in France say that new anti-Semitism has occurred, especially in the Muslim communities of the country.

In recent months, many Jewish cemeteries and monuments in France have suffered anti-Semitic vandalism.

In February, two outstanding Holocaust survivors were depicted in Paris with a swastika. The images came from Simone Veil, who was deported to Auschwitz at the age of 16 and later became one of France's most popular politicians and public figures. The Auschwitz Visitors Group entrusted their tour guide with questions about the veils.

The rose was placed in the post office boxes, which covered the face of the late Holocaust survivor and the face of the famous French politician Simone Veil on February 12, Paris. According to the French authorities, the number of registered anti-Semitic acts rose to 541 in 2017 from 311 in 2017. t

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Michel Euler / AP

The rose was placed in the post office boxes, which covered the face of the late Holocaust survivor and the face of the famous French politician Simone Veil on February 12, Paris. According to the French authorities, the number of registered anti-Semitic acts rose to 541 in 2017 from 311 in 2017. t

Michel Euler / AP

Other minority groups in Europe are targeted. Researchers investigating discrimination, harassment and hate crime against Muslims have warned in recent years of the rise of Islamophobia.

Muslim Essabbaa explained how worthwhile to visit Auschwitz with women from different backgrounds who want to stop hate. "It is very important to create a wide range of women here, because when we are all here, there is no social level, no one with more work than the other, and no cultural or religious difference," he said. "We are all part of a women's community whose common goal is to combat racism and anti-Semitism."

Awa Mangara (right), who grew up in Mali, arrived in Auschwitz with her 18-year-old daughter, Ina, who was born in France. Both were speechless after listening to the Holocaust survivors.

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Awa Mangara (right), who grew up in Mali, arrived in Auschwitz with her 18-year-old daughter, Ina, who was born in France. Both were speechless after listening to the Holocaust survivors.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

Some women, like Awa Mangara, said they were first learning about the Holocaust. Mangara grew up in Mali and arrived with her 18-year-old daughter, Ina, who was born in France. Both women listened to Kolinka's testimony.

"He had to be so terrible to experience this," Mangara said. "We have solidarity with it."

Another woman on the Auschwitz excursion was Laetitia Avia, President of Congress for President Macron. As a black woman, she said in a residential suburb in Paris that she had differentiated her life.

Avia said that her efforts to halt anti-Semitism had resulted in a moniker called "the loss of the Jews". But it doesn't deprive him. The 34-year-old French parliamentary law, which introduces social media platforms, such as Twitter, is fined with millions of euros if it does not remove hate speech within 24 hours.

"[Auschwitz] shows where hate words and deeds can lead, said Avia.

Ibtihele Ben Amor, a high school teacher in a suburb of Paris, says many of the students were born of stereotypes about Jews at a young age.

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Ibtihele Ben Amor, a high school teacher in a suburb of Paris, says many of the students were born of stereotypes about Jews at a young age.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

Ibtihele Ben Amor is a high school teacher in the noisy-le-sec suburb of Paris. He is a Muslim, wearing a headscarf he teaches. France's secular law prohibits the wearing of remarkable religious symbols or clothing in public schools and institutions.

Ben Amor said it would be wonderful to bring his students to Auschwitz. He said that some of them are proliferating at a young age about Jewish stereotypes.

"We tell them to put aside everything they said and try to create reality," he said.

Suzanne Nakache (front) and Samia Essabaa at the candlelight celebration in Auschwitz. Nakache Jew and Essabbaa Muslim, and hope to have a strong friendship model for others.

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Suzanne Nakache (front) and Samia Essabaa at the candlelight celebration in Auschwitz. Nakache Jew and Essabbaa Muslim, and hope to have a strong friendship model for others.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

Langage de Femmes & # 39; Vice President Suzanne Nakache, a Jew, told the French Jews that it is important that the much larger Muslim population understand the trauma of the Holocaust. She believes that women are now doing and sharing what they have learned.

"It was very difficult for some black and Muslim women to think about what happened to the Jews here and I saw it," he said.

It was a shocked silence when the group showed ten thousand leather shoes and glasses in the rooms.

Nakache said during the tour, one woman squeezed her hand while the other had tears on her face.

"They understand why you can't use insults like" dirty Jews "because they might end up here," he said.

Nakache founded the group together with Essabaa and wants everyone to have a relationship like theirs.

"Samia is my best friend and she is a Muslim," he says. "We are very close. I trust I love it. And he loves me, I'm sure."

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