Tw: antisemitism, Shoah mention
I’m an EMT in America, and today I had a really easy shift (just a standby for an event) with one of the supervisors who also picks up shifts as a paramedic. So he’s my boss, but in this context, he’s my partner for the day. The event is an hour’s drive away. I’m driving, we’re talking about my program (I’m in grad school for emergency management) and he’s interested, asking relevant questions, laughing at the funny bits — he’s previously written me up for something I didn’t do, but it was a while ago and I’m willing to let it be water under the bridge. We’re talking about my research into some terrorist attacks in Europe (I’m a German American dual citizen so I’m adding in personal experience of how various countries were impacted) and I mention, in the vein of talking about impacts of atrocities, the Shoah (I actually say the Holocaust). He snorts and says “oh, plenty of countries have done worse.”
I kind of paused and tried to act like it didn’t send a chill down my spine. It’s far from the worst example of antisemitism I’ve ever heard, but it was the only time I’ve been alone in the ambulance with a supervisor saying that. I think I handled it okay, sort of guided him to looking up the death tolls of the other things he thought were so much worse… but I can’t sleep even after taking sleep meds and my mom noticed I seemed kind of subdued when she saw me tonight. The way I got my German citizenship is because my father’s side had both Shoah survivors and victims, and Germany repatriated us under their law for former citizens who lost citizenship due to being Jews. So I’m maybe a little extra touchy about it, but maybe it’s also the sense that with the I/P conflict where it is, things are going to get worse for us before they get better, and incidents like this might lead to something more. I feel like Holocaust minimization is almost worse than Holocaust denial — they know it happened and they don’t care. He’s always been chill about me being a lesbian so I guess I let my guard down a little when it comes to the Jewish stuff. Obviously accepting of one doesn’t mean accepting of the other but… I don’t know. Thanks for reading and sorry if I broke any etiquette — it’s my first time posting.