89-year-old woman who survived WWII takes a stand against Charlottesville racism
In the wake of the reprehensible displays of racism and intolerance in Charlottesville, passions have been running high.
President Trump, initially appearing reluctant to condemn members of the "alt-right" in the aftermath of the violence, had ostensibly taken steps to mollify those who had been left outraged by his insipid, vague soundbites on Monday when he issued a sterner rebuke to the racist groups involved. Perhaps inevitably, though, it wasn't long before the President had swerved down another abrupt u-turn, when, during an ill-tempered press conference in Trump Tower, Manhattan, he reserved criticism for what he referred to as the "alt-left". He said;
“I think there is blame on both sides.
“You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
President Trump has faced almost universal condemnation for his words, from members of his own party and other world leaders.
Social media and newspaper column inches have been ablaze with strong condemnation of the President - and anyone else who attempts to find a moral equivalency between white supremacists and those who protest against it - and now, one 89-year-old woman has had enough.
Marianne Rubin fled pre-war Germany to escape the Nazis, and took to the streets of New York City in the wake of Charlottesville to denounce the very same views that forced her to flee Germany. She carried a sign that read "I escaped the Nazis once. You will not defeat me now", and a photograph of her carrying the powerfully-worded message was shared by CNN anchor Seth Lemon, in a Twitter post that has captured the imaginations of thousands.
89-year-old Rubin described the catalyst for her decision to leave Germany to Seth Lemon thus; "My father was pushed down and I helped him get up and then we went to France... and then we came here," as she continued, "It's sad. It's terrible. All I can say is it's so bad that... they voted for him".
Rubin's granddaughter, meanwhile, shared a similar photograph of the inspirational activist, writing, "90-years-old and my beautiful grandmother is still out here fighting & inspiring (and reminding the world what happens when we're silent)".
The images have been shared thousands of times and appear to have given heart to many in the midst of an entirely regrettable period of time; comments have ranged from branding Rubin as a "hero" to admiring observations about her strength of character, "Now, that's a face of resilience & resolve. I wouldn't want to mess with her, that's for sure", wrote one user.
Though Marianne Rubin's image is undoubtedly an iconic and heartening one, it also serves as a poignant reminder; hate has been allowed to fester in society before, and we should all be mindful of its ability to percolate once more if it is not peacefully challenged. Another unsung hero who made a stand against the Nazis during the war is Nicholas Winton, the "British Schindler" who amazingly saved 669 young children from Hitler's clutches.