‘Spread the love not the hate.’ What I learned from Zigi Shipper, a Holocaust survivor.

When I was at uni, I did a module called Holocaust literature. One of the weeks the lecturer had a Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper come in and talk to us about his experience in Auschwitz and during the Nazi occuptation. You can read the outline of his experience on the Holocaust Educational Trust website. Link below:

http://www.het.org.uk/survivors-zigi-shipper

He spoke to us for over an hour. His experience was heartbreaking and shocking to hear but it conveyed so many important messages. The biggest of which is ‘do not hate’. Hate will do nothing but spread negativity and lead to destruction. Hate is what caused the Holocaust. He spoke about how people asked him if he hated Germans because of what happened to him. He said of course not. The Germans that he meets have absolutely nothing to do with what happened to him in the past. It would be completely counterproductive and ridiculous to hate them now. He asked us what would be gained from hating these people. Absolutely nothing. He has seen firsthand how all that this hate would create was more negativity, more hate, and if that escalated, even more death.

This brave, old man, who has seen so much more hate, death and destruction than many of us could ever imagine, stood in front of a room of the younger generation, as he had done probably for the eighth time that week and begged us; he pleaded, spread forgiveness, spread the love, not the hate. Do not hate, he kept repeating. Do not hate.

 

Below is a link to a transcript of one of the talks that he gave. Not the specific one that I attended but the main story is the same. I do have a recording of the talk I attended, which shall hopefully be uploaded soon, when I work out how to do it.

https://www.atl.org.uk/Images/Zigi%20Shipper’s%20story.pdf

 

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