Columbia’s morally bankrupt students don’t know history

By William MacKenzie,

“Go back to Poland,” protesters screamed at a group of Jewish students on Saturday night, April 20, 2024  inside the gates of Columbia University in New York City.

The cruelty and historical ignorance of Columbia’s privileged keffiyeh-masked student protesters in this time of turmoil in America is almost too much to bear.

When Poland was taken over by Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939, 3.3 million Jews lived in Poland – more than any other country in Europe. At the end of the war, only 380,000 Polish Jews were still alive.

Entrance to Birkenau-Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland

Most Americans think of the Holocaust as the murder of Jews in concentration camps in Germany, but on the eve of the WWII, the Jewish population of Germany and Austria combined was just 300,000.

In other words, the horror of the Nazi’s Jewish extermination campaign, the Final Solution, was not confined to Germany; nor was it confined to Germans.

Daniel Schatz, a visiting scholar at Georgetown University, wrote in Foreign policy of a massacre in the Polish Village of Jedwabne. “On a sweltering summer day, July 10, 1941, hundreds of Jews were murdered by their Polish neighbors in the village of Jedwabne, almost 100 miles northeast of Warsaw. Babies were killed. Men were tortured. Women were raped. .Villagers whose lives had not been extinguished with axes, clubs, and knives were rounded up and taken first to the market square and then to the outskirts of town, where they were herded into a barn. The wooden structure was doused with kerosene and set alight. Women, children, and men were burned alive as the jeering crowd watched.”

In the small Polish town of Ostrow Mazowiecka, the population of 20,500 included 7,600 Jews before the war, according to The Holocaust: An Unfinished History. At one point, Jewish inhabitants, including women, the elderly and children, were taken to pits outside town and shot by the Nazis. By the spring of 1940, every single Jew in the town was dead.

In 1942, systematic mass killing in stationary gas chambers  using carbon monoxide gas generated by diesel engines began at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka camps in Poland. “Use of gas vans began after Einsatzgruppe members complained of battle fatigue and mental anguish caused by shooting large numbers of women and children,” the United States Holocaust Museum says.

The bodies were taken to pits where they were burned. At the height of the deportations in 1943–44, an average of 6,000 Jews were gassed each day at the Auschwitz camps near Oswiecim, Poland.

As Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, has documented, most of the Jews in Polish areas occupied by Germany were imprisoned in Polish ghettos and then deported to concentration and slave labor camps.

How can Columbia’s protesters, attending one of America’s most selective and expensive universities, be so callous and vile as to call for their Jewish classmates to be subjected to the terror of the Holocaust in Poland? What has allowed the hallowed halls of this Ivy League school, and others across the country embroiled in similar student uprisings, to descend into such moral aimlessness?

Never again? Maybe not.

My heart breaks.