Yesterday in History - September 19, 1941
Part of an event that lives with me everyday less I forget occurred. Germany orders all Jews six and older to wear the Star of David. Slavery is the greatest teacher of oppression, how it is implemented, allowed to continue and never really ends. The Holocaust is another teacher of workings of oppression. It is an event taught to me in the 1950’s. It’s lessons along with those of being a descendant of slaves stays with me everyday.
I live/lived in the Northeastern Untied States. During my elementary, high school and college education, I had only three Black educators of the fifty plus or so in total. Fortunately I was to have several Jewish educators. As my family, extended and immediate, along with my community, they too were astute when it came to the workings of oppression.
Why would a people agree to something that was to lead to their demise? Understanding of oppression, the German plan, and oppression provides the answer.
One of the main tools of any oppression is its propaganda. A justification is the first element that is created. That is done through propaganda. Thus the extermination of the Jews was planned before its implementation and the use of its tools. In order for the extermination to be successful, the target had to be identified. Then how do you identify them and get them to display the identification?
The star of David represents the connection between God and humans. The triangle that points up represents God, and the triangle pointing down represents humans and earth. The Star of David, which is actually called ‘The Shield of David’ in Hebrew, is a national non-religious symbol for Jews. It’s true origin is unknown but Jewish tradition says that King David’s shield had this shape. Why wouldn’t the Jewish people be proud and feel safe not to wear this shield? What a powerful oppressive act to tie this symbol of pride and safety, the Star of David to their massacre.
Yesterday in history, the Germans presented a lesson in oppression, its propaganda, its implementation and how it works by making one of the members in of our family of humans to wear the Star of David. It only served to make the Star of David a more powerful shield.
Additional history for the day, September 19, 1941
Nazi decree forbids gentile woman to work in Jewish homes.