Trudeau government acknowledges Nazi genocide against Roma

by Suzanne Berliner Weiss

More then 50 people of all ages joined in Toronto August 2, 2018, in an international day of remembrance and recognition of the Romani Holocaust (Porajmos) in Europe. They heard Arif Virani, federal member of parliament for Toronto High Park-Parkdale, read a statement issued that day by Justin Trudeau’s government which said, in part:

On Romani Genocide Remembrance Day, we honour the memory of over 500,000 Romani who were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators in Europe. This genocide and the unspeakable violence inflicted on the Romani people are not widely known by the public, making them the ignored victims of WWII.

Roma flag
Romani flag

Continue reading Trudeau government acknowledges Nazi genocide against Roma

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For the Palestinian right of return

I was honoured to speak at a rally on May 12, 2018, for the right of return of Palestinians to their homeland, and in recognition of the Nakba. This is what I said:

Last week a bold Palestinian in Israel, Jamal Zahalka, reported that Israeli schoolchildren are being trained in school to fire paintball guns at cutout figures in Palestinian dress. “Psychological preparation to kill Arabs,” he said.

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Children – who are naturally warm and loving – are taught to hate, and trained to kill Palestinians. This is Israel’s new low. Killing Arabs as a national sport! Killing for the game!

Israeli’s young men are sent to Gaza to fire real guns at unarmed Palestinians — including children — who rallied peacefully to celebrate their culture and affirm their right to their homeland. For THAT they are targeted and gunned down.

Such murderous, heartless, senseless killing! The world looks on in horror.

I am a survivor of Hitler’s holocaust. As a Jew, I was marked down for death. I was saved by solidarity – of individuals and an entire community.

Now I look at Israel’s brutal crimes and I ask: IS IT FOR THIS THAT WE SURVIVED?

When Nazism was smashed in 1945, we as Jews cried out: Never again! Never again for all humanity!

Yet now, as Israel carries out yet another murder campaign, Canada, the U.S., and their allies are silent. We tell Justin Trudeau: speak out for all humanity! End the killing!

Elizabeth May of the Greens calls this “a systematic plan to murder unarmed civilians.” Jagmeet Singh of the NDP says “the killing and blockade must end.” They speak for all Canada.

People in bondage have the right to defend themselves every which way and as best they can. They actions seek freedom! Freedom or death, they say.

But we, WE must speak out too! Boycott Israeli apartheid!
Today we pledge to redouble our campaign until Palestine is free! Our only course of action: Boycott divestment sanctions!

Jerusalem: Canada’s silence means consent

davMore than a thousand protesters gathered at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto December 9 in response to a call Al-Quds. We stood in solidarity with Palestine in protest against Trump’s unilateral and illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem. I was among the speakers. Here is what I said as a Holocaust survivor:

The whole world has condemned Trump’s blow against Palestine. But Canada’s government is silent. And silence means consent!

Why? Because Canada’s business and government elite look favorably at Israeli apartheid.

  • Its repressive laws.
  • Its subjugation of Indigenous people.
  • Its aggressive militarism.

Well, Mr. Trudeau, the people of Canada think differently. Continue reading Jerusalem: Canada’s silence means consent

Down with white supremacy!

Suzanne at mic 2 15-10-17There was a wonderful rally of several thousands in Toronto on Sun., Oct. 15, 2017 at which many leaders of the community called for unity against white supremacists and racism.

Below is the speech I gave.

Down with white supremacy!

The Nazis killed my mother, Fajga Berliner, in Auschwitz because she was Jewish and therefore subhuman. That’s Nazi white supremacy in action. My mother was among its tens of millions of victims.

We join today against this poisonous doctrine. White supremacy was expressed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in a violent racist rally two months ago. Imagine! That rally got encouragement from the U.S. presidency. Shame!

The racists in Charlottesville brandished the symbols of Nazism: swastikas and  hatred of Jews. What does this mean? Continue reading Down with white supremacy!

Resisting Fascism: A lesson from Auvergne

 A talk to Ideas Left Outside, August 5, 2017

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Suzanne and her mother, Fajga Berliner (1943)

In the winter of 2017, I received an invitation to spend a week giving media interviews and talks to high-school students in Clermont-Ferrand, the main city in Auvergne, a rural area in Central France. My topic was how I had been hidden in Auvergne during the Nazi occupation almost 75 years ago. The initiative came from the main Jewish organization there. They had heard of me during a previous visit to Auvergne, when reporters tracked me down for interviews. Continue reading Resisting Fascism: A lesson from Auvergne

Hassan Diab: France’s new Dreyfus Affair*

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Dr. Hassan Diab

  Introduction: 

On Oct. 3 1980 at 6:38 p.m. a Paris synagogue on Copernic Street in Paris was bombed during prayer services which resulted in four dead and 46 injured. It was reported as the first deadly attack against Jewish people in France since the end of the Second World War. It wasn’t until 2011 that France requested the extradition of Prof. Hassan Diab for his alleged involvement in the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing.

Sign letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for justice! 

On April 4, 2012, the Canadian Conservative Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson, ordered Diab extradited to France. On November 14, 2014, Hassan was extradited from Canada to France where he is languishing in prison while the investigation into the 36-year old crime continues. Continue reading Hassan Diab: France’s new Dreyfus Affair*

Six three-minute speeches …

I’ve learned to make concise and cogent speeches in the three minutes appropriate for rallies and meetings. Of the several dozen “three-minute” talks I have on file, here are six examples.

Against Islamophobia and white supremacy

The video version of this speech made a  rally against Islamophobia and white supremacy went viral and received over 26,000 views as of this posting.

I speak today as a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust. Nazism took the lives of most of my family and six million my Jewish community. I and so many other Holocaust survivors are here only because of people united to protect us.

What is anti Semitism? It is simply the hatred of Jewish people. Amazingly, Donald Trump honoured the Holocaust by omitting, and in essence denying history. He forgot to mention that that six million Jews were murdered in the attempt to eliminate the whole Jewish people. It’s amazing that we heard no one object to this omission, and we especially did not hear a peep from Israel who prides itself on building a Jewish state. Continue reading Six three-minute speeches …