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The term déjà vu brings to mind the English expression, been there, done that. The odd sensation of reliving something for the second time unnerves us precisely because it's so convincingly familiar.
Over the course of 2 months, I visited Jewish communities in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium and the UK and interviewed dozens of Jewish leaders as well as "laymen" – both Jews and non-Jews. While attempting to determine the seriousness of contemporary European Anti-Semitism, I experienced what I would term "déjà Jew" - the peculiar sense that we, the members of Jewish people, are reliving an experience from the past; that we have somehow time-traveled and are now re-experiencing occurrences that are all too familiar.
From the mid-1930s to early 1940s, Jews who recognized that they were no longer safe in Europe anxiously sought refuge abroad. Sylvain Zenouda, the co-founder and current vice president of the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l"Antisèmitism—an organization which monitors and documents anti-Semitism in France—told me that educated young Jews in France with the financial means to do so have either fled the country or are making plans to flee. Again?
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