In November, California welcomed Lillian Rosengarten, author of Survival and Conscience: From the Shadows of Nazi Germany to the Jewish Boat to Gaza, for her first tour of the state. All of her appearances were very well attended, and Rosengarten interacted with highly engaged audiences, making her tour a smashing success!
On November 13th, Lillian spoke in Berkeley at the Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area community meeting. The following day she was hosted at a private residence for a reception in Marin County.
Later in the week, she headed south to speak at California State University, San Bernardino, and then at Mount San Jacinto College at the invitation of the Amnesty International Club.
Lillian talked in detail about the legacy of Nazi brutality beginning in 1933, and of the great hardship and traumatic effects this experience had on her and her family’s mental health to this day. She spoke passionately about how she came to understand the dangers of extreme nationalism and white supremacy, and its rise to political power and expressed great concern at seeing the march towards reemerging fascism today.
She told the audiences how she became a strong advocate for Palestinian rights. In 2010, she and other survivors from Nazism and the Holocaust joined the “Jewish Boat to Gaza,” designed to break Israel’s punishing blockade of Gaza.
Rosengarten noted the parallels between Zionism and fascism and highlighted the importance of distinguishing between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, rather than allowing Israeli/Zionist propaganda to conflate the genuine article with “manufactured antisemitism.” She argued that fighting Zionism is one of the most important things Jewish Americans can do in the present moment.