Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk have reportedly been told to register themselves, their families and their property by pro-Russian separatists under the threat of expulsion from the country and confiscation of their property. This cries out for universal condemnation. Even if these reports turn out to be disinformation or fallacious, the fact that they are published is enough.
We have seen how this movie ends, and no voice should be silent in demanding that these Nazi beliefs be squashed now before they take root.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where Iranian officials regularly spew hate-filled Holocaust denials, call for Israel's annihilation and put a nuclear weapons program in place to accomplish this very purpose, yet are permitted at the United Nations.
Now, we see the same elements arising among supporters of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, a cold slap in the face to anyone who believes we are now in a new world dialogue.
At some level, Eastern European anti-Semitism is even more chilling than the regular hate spewed by many Muslim leaders around the world. Perhaps it is the 6 million reminders of where rising Nazism leads that compel action to stop it.
Reading about a 21st century repeat of the rise of Nazism amongst Russian sympathizers in Ukraine, 80 years after Hitler took power in Germany, reminds us that we do not live in a post-modern world in which ethnic annihilation is unthinkable.
President Clinton went to war against Serbia because the Bosnian Muslims were the victims of ethnic cleansing. Now, we face another danger as Putin's agitators use the same tricks that the German brown shirts employed, in an attempt to produce a Ukrainian Kristalnacht.
Responding to Putin's aggression in Ukraine is not easy. To come to a coherent strategy with broad bipartisan support, President Obama and his team should immediately sit down with conservative U.S. defense and foreign policy leaders and develop a united American strategy for moving forward.
A return of a nationalist Russia with imperialist designs, engulfing its neighbors and threatening the rest of the world, puts our nation's commitment to freedom and self-determination to the ultimate test — a test which was met once before when the Berlin Wall finally came down, and one whose dangers the right steps taken today can avoid. Ultimately, for all of our differences, opposition to a return of an imperial, nationalist Russia supporting a revisionist National Socialism is one thing upon which those on both of the aisle should agree.
Many post-World War II Americans, shocked by the pictures taken at Auschwitz by U.S. troops, wondered how that genocide was not prevented. Our current American leaders can answer that question now, before history repeats itself.