The ongoing protests ignited by the death of George Floyd on May 25 have gained support from a number of celebrities, politicians and activists. Over the weekend, protesters also got some solidarity from a holocaust survivor.
On Saturday, author Noah Toly posted a photo of an elderly woman, identified as Joyce Wagner, in a car who wanted to show her support for the protesters. While the car was stopped she showed off the tattoo on her arm she'd received when being held in Auschwitz during WWII. "They're all sons of bitches," she told the crowd, adding that those gathered "should see what they did to my brother." Toly's post has been retweeted more than 200,000 times since then.
Standing for the protest at the corner of Roosevelt and Washington, and this Auschwitz survivor drove by to show her support for Black Lives. She wanted me to see the number tattooed on her arm. “There all sons of bitches”, she said. “You should see what they did to my brother.” pic.twitter.com/fvGD430a4Y— Noah Toly (@noahtoly) June 6, 2020
While largely sparked by the death of Floyd, the protests have been calling for widespread police reform in response to the ongoing issue of minorities who die while in custody. Given that the Holocaust saw the extermination of millions of Jewish people, as well as scores of other minorities, Wagner's solidarity was met with resounding praise online.
People like this woman fight for the persecuted even in the twilight of her generation; refusing history to repeat itself.
There aren't many Holocaust survivors left.— Nico Sph㋐liro (@SphaliroNico) June 6, 2020
I hope the crowds gave her hope our generation won't lie down&accept institutionalized bigotry after she's gone.
The more I grow up, the more I understand what a privilege it was to grow up hearing stories of holocaust survivors - by holocaust survivors. These stories are forever a part of my DNA, and they’re a powerful lesson we should never, ever forget.— macy 🌹 (@alphamacys) June 6, 2020
As long as we’re clear that Jews were and remain the targets of this same white supremacy amongside our black and brown siblings. Many of us look white, but the “passing privilege” we experience is both historically recent, and often vanishes once our Jewishness becomes evident.— Hannah Simpson חנה הייה-לב סימפסון (@hannsimp) June 8, 2020
My 96 year old friend who is a survivor has been sounding the alarms since Trump's election! Thank her for me for being there to show her support!— Eileen Stern (@estern839) June 6, 2020
"YOU should see what they did to my brother." If we could see we would puke. The nazis did such horrible things it is too much to see.— Rick (@axman643) June 6, 2020
The cops are out there (illegally) hiding their badge numbers while this woman is responding with hers.
Don't let history repeat itself. Be heard. Win this fight so our children won't have to when we are that age.— Strife Delivery (@Stryfe_Ryder) June 7, 2020
Thank you for sharing this. Seeing something like this at the start of the day reminds one that we can’t back down and cannot give an inch. None of us can! It also makes it clear that those who deny that institutionalized racism are the same as holocaust deniers.— Daniel Nates (@DanielNates3) June 7, 2020
It's very emotional to see the strong impetus this woman has to share the horror of what can happen when society allows it's members to dehumanize their brothers and sisters.
She is warning us.
It has happened throughout history but ALWAYS starts with vilifying the 'other.'— D (@DivineCede) June 7, 2020
Listen to her she has seen this before. We have to stop police brutality and hold the cops that use excessive force responsible. And we have to stop Trump and the GOP and White supremacists from leading this country into Fascism.— Jeff 🌊 🌲🐝🌍🌞📷 (@jtdartnat86) June 7, 2020
Dear god, to have to live through this twice. We failed her— Theodore (@bigdaddy93123) June 6, 2020
This makes me even more sad she’s been thru enough and to still be alive and see this kind of behavior forming into the same thing again— samantha padilla (@mamasjames) June 8, 2020
Imagine having to go through everything all the hardships she has gone through only to have it still happening to people many decades after it should've ended.— Nephilim (@Salemblack341) June 8, 2020