From the ages of 11 to 16 Jacob Bresler survived five years of ghettos and concentration camps during World War II. He credits his inventiveness, his stubbornness, his resilience, and his will to survive as the reasons he made it through the war and created a new life for himself in America. He is a humanist. He does not hate. He has no enemies. He remains optimistic about the future, and believes that communication is the only way to combat ignorance and pierce the ideological bubbles we’ve segregated ourselves into. He and Bridget cover a variety of topics including the many different paths he’s traveled in his life, how he feels about the phrase “Trump is Hitler,” when we should teach children about the Holocaust, how best to counter hate, and the idea that the potential for brutality lies within all of us. Don’t miss Jacob’s autobiography: You Shall Not Be Called Jacob Anymore.

Full transcript available here: WiW68-JacobBresler-Transcript

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  1. Bryan McAllister Lincoln

    What a marvelous conversation! Mr Bressler is well spoken, and Ms Phetsay engaged him deftly – her respect for him felt genuine. I am grateful that the production team opted to let the audience in on as much of the dialogue as they did – and hope that Ms Phetasy will invite us back for her future discussions with Mr Bressler. His admonition to the listener to look to love for both offense and defense when facing adversaries and adversity is especially compelling – his portfolio of life experience makes him uniquely credible.

    I will share this podcast with my kids. May we stand on the shoulders of these great people that we may advance their life work, and may we learn from their experiences that at least those horrors which they experienced may not be repeated.

    I do respectfully disagree with Mr Bressler’s view on Free Speech. Ms Phetsay parried his argument, appropriately. I believe that our efforts, with respect to deflecting the effects of hate speech, are better directed at building up the bulwark to withstand the speech – through education, through love, through persuasion of the audience, through example. No, these are not easy remedies, but that are long-lasting. Simply blocking words will not quash the sentiment. And, as Ms Phetasy notes, we place far too much trust in the arbiter of what inappropriate speech is, when we delegate that responsibility to some government bureaucrat.

    Great podcast!

    • #1
    • February 20, 2020, at 6:53 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Architectus Coolidge

    Thank you Bridget for introducing us to Jacob Bresler. What a wonderful conversation and another reminder of how good we have it in this place and in these times.

    • #2
    • February 22, 2020, at 2:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bryan McAllister (View Comment):

    What a marvelous conversation! Mr Bressler is well spoken, and Ms Phetsay engaged him deftly – her respect for him felt genuine. I am grateful that the production team opted to let the audience in on as much of the dialogue as they did – and hope that Ms Phetasy will invite us back for her future discussions with Mr Bressler. His admonition to the listener to look to love for both offense and defense when facing adversaries and adversity is especially compelling – his portfolio of life experience makes him uniquely credible.

    I will share this podcast with my kids. May we stand on the shoulders of these great people that we may advance their life work, and may we learn from their experiences that at least those horrors which they experienced may not be repeated.

    I do respectfully disagree with Mr Bressler’s view on Free Speech. Ms Phetsay parried his argument, appropriately. I believe that our efforts, with respect to deflecting the effects of hate speech, are better directed at building up the bulwark to withstand the speech – through education, through love, through persuasion of the audience, through example. No, these are not easy remedies, but that are long-lasting. Simply blocking words will not quash the sentiment. And, as Ms Phetasy notes, we place far too much trust in the arbiter of what inappropriate speech is, when we delegate that responsibility to some government bureaucrat.

    Great podcast!

    Agreed. It was the German government who perpetrated the holocaust. It was the masses of the German people who supported the government. It makes no sense to me to trust government – or the masses of “normal” people – with the authority to prohibit speech.

    Having said that, it’s a fine episode. Even when the guest is someone I’ve never heard of, this podcast is consistently interesting. Thank you, @blueyeti, for adding Walk-Ins Welcome to the Ricochet lineup.

    • #3
    • March 1, 2020, at 4:11 PM PST
    • Like