Holocaust Remembrance Day Begins At Sundown


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — As many around the world pause to mourn those lost in the Holocaust, Israeli researchers found anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise.

Jewish communities around the world faced an “explosion of hatred” last year, with the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks rising by 38 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by researchers at Tel Aviv University.

The report recorded 766 incidents — ranging from armed assaults to vandalism against synagogues, schools and cemeteries — compared to 554 in 2013.

Bruce Ratner, chairman of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park, said the numbers are concerning.

WEB EXTRA: 1010 WINS Interviews Bruce Ratner | Part 2

“It is like a disease, it just doesn’t seem to go away,” he told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “There was a period, I would say, in the ’70s, ’80s where I thought pretty much it had been put to bed but it’s pretty clear now that it’s not put to bed.”

As in past years, the highest number of attacks was reported in France, which saw 164 incidents compared to 141 in 2013. In Britain there were 141 attacks, up from 95, and in the United States there were 80 incidents versus 55, including a shooting at Jewish sites in Overland Park, Kansas, that killed three people.

“If you lived in England or France today and you had children, it is a major challenge to make a decision to stay in those countries,” Ratner said. “You pretty much have to send your children to private schools, you cannot wear a Star of David around your neck, you probably can’t wear a yarmulke some places in these countries.”

Some western European countries saw even greater increases, with the number of incidents more than doubling in Germany, Belgium, Austria and Sweden. The attacks also target individuals more frequently, with 306 cases involving people as victims, a 66 percent increase.

The center releases the report every year on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), which begins Wednesday at sundown.

“[It’s] the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust so it’s a very momentous and important day,” said Ratner, who just recently learned that his family lost over 120 members in eastern Europe.

Admission to the museum is free Wednesday. Ratner is encouraging all New Yorkers to come.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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