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April 26, 2015 2:32 pm

World Jewish Congress Head Lauder: 70 Years After Holocaust, We Are ‘Descending Into the Same, Dangerous Hell’

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Ronald S. Lauder speaking at the 70th anniversary ceremony for the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.

One of the world’s most prominent Jewish leaders warned on Sunday that just 70 years after the Holocaust, the world is “descending into the same, dangerous hell where we found ourselves before.”

Speaking at the 70th anniversary ceremony for the liberation of Bergen-Belsen at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial, Anne-Frank-Platz, Lohheide, Germany, World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder praised Jewish resilience following the slaughter of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.

“From the ashes of this terrible place, the Jewish people rose up and moved on,” he said. “But tragically,” he warned, “seventy years later, the world is not moving on; it is moving backward.”

“Today, seventy years after this camp was liberated, we hear the same antisemitic lies. Today, a Jewish boy wearing a yarmulke cannot walk down the street in Paris or London or Copenhagen without fearing for his life,” Lauder said further. “Right wing neo-Nazi groups are winning seats in Parliament in Hungary and Greece. Iranian leaders repeatedly promise to wipe Israel from the pages of time.”

More than 100 survivors of Bergen-Belsen, children born at the post-war displaced persons (DP) camp at Bergen-Belsen, and British liberators returned to Lower Saxony to participate in Sunday’s ceremony, according to the WJC.

The WJC chief said that there were few countries that didn’t bear some culpability for the crime of the Holocaust and even singled out the United States for shutting its doors “to Jews desperately trying to leave.”

“We know the perpetrators – but they were not just Germans and Austrians. There was complicity in practically every country in Europe,” he said.

Lauder also praised Jewish contributions to society and chided antisemites for their destructive impact.

“The fact is, wherever Jews are allowed to live freely, those countries prosper,” he said. “Jews win Nobel prizes. Jews cure diseases. Jews build. They don’t tear down! Anti-Semites tear down. Anti-Semites destroy. They create nothing. They save no one.”

During World War II, the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen became one of the most notorious Nazi camps where more than 50,000 people were murdered. The British 11th Armored Division liberated the camp in April 1945. A Displaced Persons camp – the largest in post-war Germany – was later established nearby. It was closed in September 1950. An estimated 2,000 children were born to Holocaust survivors at the Bergen-Belsen DP camp.

descending into the same, dangerous hell where we found ourselves before

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  • david freilich

    Mr. Lauder mentions right-wing politicians with neo-Nazi sympathies, but he should have also mentioned the far bigger problem of left wing kooks who are supporting the BDS movement and who are hostile to Israel, when they are not promoting their anti-Jewish, anti-Christian agenda.

    • Tom Paine

      Here’s a newsflash. The BDS movement transcends your label of “conservative” and “liberal”. It’s a movement that has been growing in leaps and bounds as Israel continues to step in it by its inhuman and despicable behavior towards the Palestinians and its general “give a care” attitude towards the rest of the world. BDS is anti-Christian. That’s a lie. If you want to know who’s “anti-Christian” do a web search for “Jews spitting on Christians”. I got about 580,238 results. YMMV. But remember, ssshhhh. The “goyim” aren’t supposed to know about this.

  • Vera Gara

    Dear Mr Lauder
    I thank you very much for your comment.It is indeed very scary and sad what is happening. I am a survivor of Bergen Belsen. My Father died there on the 18 of February l945 My Mother and I were taken to Theresienstadt . I live in Ottawa since 1970 with my family. I go to school for the last 367 years and talked to the students about my experience.I also wrote a book about the good people where we were before Bergen Belsen in the small village they were very good to us and we are still very close friends “Least Expected Heroes of the Holocaust”More than thousand copies were sold.Thank you again Sincerely Vera Gara

    • Vera Gara

      Thank you but I do not understand what you mean by moderation Sincerely Vera Gara

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Ronald Lauder and all the so-called “Jewish Leaders” are the ones responsible for a lot of the hatred of Jews in the world and especially the US and Europe

    Winston Churchill cited Hitler saying “That the Jews were pacifist and International”. The Jews were pacifists and look what happened to them and is still happening. Pacifism doesn’t prevent a coming disaster or another Holocaust. Strength and fighting does because our enemies are all cowards. Where else can you find a people so easy to hate and kill?

    Lauder, Foxman of the ADL who organizes seminars after Jews are kicked or hurt. What a sad joke.

    Jews who took care of the blacks in the 1900’s instead of taking care of themselves have created a monster where blacks hate Jews for no other reason than they’re wealthy and easy to take their money. Sounds familiar doesn’t it.

    Jews better arm themselves and know how to use them and to organize.

    Those who say that was in the past I say the past was in black and white and now its in color and digital but its all the same.


  • Bullfrog Europe

    Ronnie Lauder, an amazing man ! May he be blessed with many healthy & happy years.

  • David

    Mr. Lauder said it all! I wonder if the NY Times will accurately report his speech?

    I would like to speculate that the World is descending into Hell because the perpetrators and those who were complicit, which is practically every country in the world, with the principal exceptions of Bulgaria, Denmark, Japan and the Dominican Republic have failed to grasp the concept and reality of the necessity for doing true Teshuva. It is clear that much of Europe and the world has failed to learn anything from the Holocaust.

    There is an expression that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat history. The UN will likely go down to oblivion similar to its predecessor the League of Nations.


  • Julian Clovelley

    I do not think that dignity is served when the Holocaust is used for the purpose of political statement

    So separating that question out, and leaving it untouched, I would suggest that The Jewish community is making an error when it believes that a community that regards itself as separate from the host community, and operates so discriminatingly within itself, can ever avoid being the victim of attack, unless it places its entire behaviour in an ethos that is beyond reproach. It must extend its internal concepts of welfare to the general community. There is a dreadful gulf between the external behaviour of much Jewish Businesses and their internal philanthropy. The focus of all philanthropy in a society that often depends on it ,must be as wide as the general society itself. Get that solid! In America the most obvious fault line lies in health services.

    Apart from any other factor, the largely irrational connection between the State and Israel, with its de facto Apartheid policies in the land which is its own territory, and which it occupies, places the wider Jewish community in a position of being recipients of criticism really aimed at Israel alone.

    But there is more. At a time when nationalities are coming together at grass roots level – winding back many of the concepts and attitudes of nineteenth and twentieth century nationalisms, the “Jewish” community through Zionism is perceived to seek to perpetuate and re-invigorate theirs. Sorry but you can’t. “It doesn’t fly”

    The move towards demythologising in religion means that in Christian communities – themselves becoming increasingly secular – the Judaic core of much extremist Zionism has no credibility – This in turn means that, just as within parts of the Jewish community, in the post Christian and Christian community the whole concept of “Jewish” is losing meaning. No longer are Jews seen so much as a separate people – rather they are seen as adherents of an equally irrational religion, and followers of an equally deluded pseudo history with no core of fact, together with a ridiculous claim to a discreet Genealogy granting them a supposed special link with a historically questionable association of clans, whose descendants dispersed long ago throughout the general population..

    look guys – it’s a religion – it always was. even at the time the Bible was committed to writing the people about which it was written had long largely dispersed – over the course of a thousand or more years. It was always the artificial construction of a discreet people out of people who were no different from anyone else. The outrage of Nazi scapegoating and internal Russian and East European prejudice, together with Zionism, mutually created a separateness that should have long ago have dissipated as redundant superstition.

    What it comes down to is the simple question asked of so many people with problems “So you think you’re different?” – Time was when there would have been nazis to agree with the yes answer. But increasingly the response from the non Jewish community would be “well you’re not”

    If we are to eradicate antisemitism, and I really wish we could, it will take all of us walking away, first separately, and then together, walking away from the chains of religious and nationalist delusion. For once apply Shakespeare’s words to a “Gentile” talking to a “Jew” rather than it being the words of a “Jew” to a Gentile”

    “If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”.

    It’s time to walk away from the past and into a better future – taking as our starting point where we are, rather than myths, delusions – and even “history” – of how we believe we individually got here. There will be no peace until all nationalisms diminish and fade into nothing

    There is only one people – one Humanity – there always was. The rest is dangerous delusion – a Weltanschauung that killed over a hundred million people in the last century alone