Survivors of Nazi occupation host discussion at SMU about anti-Semitic violence

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October’s massacre at a Pittsburg synagogue has focused new attention on the rise of anti-Semitic violence.

This week, a couple who lived through Nazi occupation during World War II encouraged some SMU students to speak out against that kind of hatred in the world.

Beate and Serge Klarsfeld are trying to teach a new generation about the evil of anti-Semitism.

"It is important to give them the experience of our actions,” said Serge Klarsfeld.

Klarsfeld witnessed his father being taken from their home in France after Nazis invaded. He and his wife have since spent the past five decades seeking justice for victims and survivors of Nazi war crimes.

"When we began it was not the same world it is today. Our cause was not the same as young people have to confront today, so we can tell what we've done but we can also help young people as individuals," said Beate Klarsfeld.

During an intimate chat, the Klarsfelds referenced what they call a new world of anti-Semitic crime, noting the synagogue murders that left 11 worshipers dead.

"Violence is without limits. They kill even in a synagogue in the United States," said Serge.

Senior Neha Husein says the discussion had a strong impact on her and her peers.

“That has relit all of our fires to continue this journey in this experience we're all living. We can put it into perspective even more because we can imagine what they were thinking about and fighting for at that time."