Have Americans learned anything from the Holocaust experience? We say “never again,” but do we really mean it?
That is the disturbing question raised by a new public opinion poll commissioned by the marketing team behind the digital release of “Return to the Hiding Place,” which retells the true story of Corrie ten Boom and her Dutch Christian family, who hid doomed Jews after the Nazis took over their country in World War II.
It turns out that nearly a third of Americans wouldn’t risk their own lives to save Jews under similar circumstances.
The film is told from a different point of view than ten Boom’s book and the 1975 movie “The Hiding Place,” this time from the perspective of a physics student who refuses to join the Nazi party and seeks refuge with the same family that famously rescued Jews.
“Return to the Hiding Place” was released theatrically last year and was released on Amazon.com and iTunes on Sept. 15, and there’s a two-disc DVD set with both “The Hiding Place” and “Return to the Hiding Place.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Peter Spencer, who directed and co-produced the movie, got the idea for the poll when star John Rhys-Davies — during a Hallmark Channel appearance to promote the movie — asked ‘Home & Family’ co-hosts Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines if they’d have risked the lives of their own families to hide a Jew from Nazis. Ferrare was adamant she would, while Steines said he wouldn’t have been able to put his family in such danger.”
“It’s a moral dilemma that we’ve never had to face, but you know those kids did, and their families did, and a lot of them lost their lives because of it,” Rhys-Davies said to the hosts, referencing the real-life characters in the film.
The Barna Group conducted the poll, asking the question: “Think back to World War II when Jews in Europe were forced into concentration camps and many were killed by the Nazis. If you were living in this time period, would you have risked the possible imprisonment and death of yourself and your family to hide Jews?”
Sixty-nine percent said they would have, while 31 percent said they would not have.
I saw a statistic recently that blew my mind: According to the latest FBI statistics on hate crimes, Jews are consistently targeted for their faith more often than members of any other religious group, with anti-Semitic crimes accounting for roughly 60 percent of religious hate crimes last year.
That’s in America — in 2014.
We hear so much about supposed “hate crimes” against Muslims in America since 9/11. Yet by contrast, just 13 percent of religious hate crimes are said to be perpetrated against Muslims — slightly ahead of those committed against Catholics.
Anti-Semitism is alive and well in the USA. It’s truly shocking — as is this poll.
Of course, worldwide there is, again, a movement fomented in nations such as Iran, in the Palestinian Authority and among terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. The tentacles of this movement are global.
“Our film raises uncomfortable questions such as, ‘If you are not saving your brothers now when you are not under threat, would you save them when your life was in danger?'” said Spencer. “ISIS is intent on liquidating Christians and Jews, just as Hitler was intent on liquidating the Jewish people. We often think of saving strangers as hypothetical, but we are at a moment in history where that call to action is not only literal; it is vital.”
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