Yehuda Bauer

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Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

Yehuda Bauer (Hebrew: יהודה באואר) (born April 6, 1926) is a Czech-born Israeli historian and scholar of the Holocaust. He is a professor of Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


  • The Holocaust was perpetrated by the Nazis for very specific reasons. They saw in the Jews the ultimate enemy, who was behind all the other enemies they had. And the Jews were in their eyes Satan; coming from a Christian background, although anti-Christian, if somebody was Satan you knew what to do with him. Murder him. Kill him. Annihilate him. Ultimately. Perhaps drive him out first. And then finally when this didn't work kill him. And it wasn't really directed against the Jews of country X but against the concept of the Jew. The Jew. Anywhere. Everywhere. At all times. Forever. And that is unique. That has never happened before but it can happen again. The idea of some powerful force that unless it is totally annihilated there's no chance for your survival. That was the Nazi ideology.
  • Thou shall not be a perpetrator, thou shall not be a victim, and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander.
    • As quoted in The Legacy of the Holocaust (2011) by Jason Skog, p. 57.
  • In the book of which I have spoken before, are the Ten Commandments. Maybe we should add three additional ones: "You, your children and your children's children shall never become perpetrators"; "You, your children and your children's children shall never never allow yourselves to become victims"; and "You, your children and your children's children shall never, but never, be passive onlookers to mass murder, genocide, or (let us hope it may never be repeated) to a Holocaust-like tragedy."
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