Anti-Semetism in Europe: Back by Popular Demand

Alice Marcelle
2 min readMar 3, 2020

We all love carnivals, don’t we? So festive, bright, musical, and family oriented. Don’t you agree? Well, I surely used to think this; however, my mind has changed in recent days. On February 23rd, only 10 days ago, the yearly Aalst carnival in Belgium took place. Yet, contrary to the carnival I usually imagine, the Belgian city paraded around with completely blatant anti-Semitism. The parade included caricatures of Jews with hooked noses, obsessed with money, and dressed up as insects. This carnival attracts tens of thousands of people over the course of three days. How? That is the only word that comes to my mind right now. How is Europe demonstrating this type of behaviour again — 75 years later. It has been 75 years since the end of World War II and we see far too many horrors repeating themselves. I must not forget to mention that last year as well, the Aalst carnival demonstrated the exact same anti-Semitic rhetoric. Due to this, UNESCO stopped sponsoring the event. The scary part is that this year was not the first time. This goes to show how little outburst there must have been about the anti-Semitic carnival last year. Following this, came two other disgusting acts of anti-Semitism in Spain this week. First in the Spanish village of Campo de Criptana, and then in Badajos. Both of these cities had festive street parades. Seems like a nice event, doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you that at both of these parades the participants were dressed as Nazi’s and other participants dressed up as concentration camp prisoners. There were people parading the streets dressed up in Nazi uniforms followed by people dressed in striped pyjamas with numbers on them. I feel the utmost disgust that anything like this can possibly be done and paraded around. That something like this is not a crime is beyond me. Six million jews and a total of eleven million people died in the holocaust, yet a mockery is being made of it on the streets. Nazi’s are murderers, more than that, they are serial killers — and the worst ones to have ever existed. How is this acceptable? However, despite this, do you know what hurts me even more? I have a good friend whose grandfather is a holocaust survivor. When I brought up this horrific chain of events to him, he had not even heard about it in the slightest bit. The lack of outrage and news coverage is so slim, that even someone directly related to such horrors of the holocaust, had not heard of these events. I think one can say that this goes to show how terrible Europe has become once again for Jewish people in the 21st century.

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