By: Daniel Otero
Nanjing, Jiangsu Province – Speaking with many people, students and colleagues alike about history; the conversation will usually turn for one reason or another to, “we are a 5,000 year old culture” or 1937 (Rape of Nanking) and the bitterness against Japan.
Chinese can be justifiably angered and only to a point. Sometimes I also feel that Chinese victimize themselves once too often or forget important points about their history.
We should be angry, but what we cannot forget is how others have suffered. When we live resentfully against a nation, all we do is affect ourselves and nobody else.
Today, if a person identifies themselves as Jewish, they could be easily killed in any part of the planet.
Did Chinese know how Jews were persecuted? Jews were chased out of Russia during the Tsar pogroms of 1898. Some of the Diaspora went to Europe and the Americas, while others ended up in China. Jews were running to the latter places till 1945. A group of 40,000 made it into China as a matter of fact.
Yes, Chinese are deeply hurt and have suffered different degrees of discrimination and genocide in their history. And by no way would I compare or say that the Jews have gone through more than the Chinese. Our two peoples have greatly suffered!
Chinese did lose four percent of their population during the War; however, Chinese did not lose their country, thank goodness!
Jews were nearly wiped-off the face of the earth. By the time World War II ended, 90% of the European Jewry had been killed in the Holocaust!
After the Holocaust, neighborhoods in Johannesburg, Antwerp, Buenos Aires and New York City have flourished.
They developed their enterprises, industries, culture, schools and religious life. After all, they did establish synagogues and businesses across Eastern China: from Harbin, Tianjin, Shanghai all the way down to Hong Kong. These cities today have their respective historical areas, honoring the Jewish neighborhoods with synagogues, community centers and museums.
Presently, Jewish life has continued to prosper in China, America and in large European communities.
But still Jews have had to learn to protect themselves and fight back against Muslim extremist and terrorist whom want to presently kill them!
We should learn from each other and keep in mind to fight discrimination and hatred! Never forget our respective histories and offer empathy for those whom have suffered.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing!” – Edmund Burke.