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Until the end of the Second World War, Jews had historically endured countless pogroms, acts of gross injustice, and a lesser number of expulsions throughout Europe. Persecution and isolation were commonly the norm; the Jews were Europe's punching bag (Historical Anti-Semitism). Superstition, ignorance, and outright hatred were powerful forces that led to horrible atrocities against defenseless targets, culminating in the Jewish Holocaust. Although the danger to Europe's Jewish population appears to have decreased insurmountably since the Second World War, anti-Semitism still exists; the situation can change in a blink of an eye.