Donald Trump reminds Holocaust survivors of Adolf Hitler
Niall O'Dowd @niallodowd
Donald Trump as Adolf Hitler -- absurd, over the top right?
That is unless you are a Holocaust survivor, those brave souls who are still alive having somehow survived the most dreadful genocide on earth. International Holocaust Day was remembered this week and many survivor’s revealed they were scared stiff of Trump.
Eva Schloss, 86-year-old stepsister of Anne Frank, stated "I think [Trump] is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism." Schloss, an Auschwitz survivor was writing in Newsweek.
"During his U.S. presidential campaign he has suggested the 'total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,' as well as pledging to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out,"she said.
Schloss added, "If Donald Trump became the next president of the U.S. it would be a complete disaster."
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is always a somber time for Auschwitz survivor Irene Weiss but this year even more so she told Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.
“I am exceptionally concerned about demagogues,” the 85-year-old Weiss said. “They touch me in a place that I remember. I know their influence and, unfortunately, I know how receptive audiences are to demagogues and what it leads to.”
She lost her parents and brothers and sisters in the death camps. She worries deeply when she hears about Trump plans to register Muslims. “I’m worried about the tone of this country,” she said.. “It has echoes, and maybe more so to me than to native-born Americans I’m scared. I don’t like the trend. I don’t like how many people are applauding when they hear these demagogues. It can turn.”
There are clearly racist overtones. As Milbank pointed out “Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, retweeted to his nearly 6 million followers a message from @WhiteGenocideTM based in “Jewmerica,” and a time when his nearest challenger, Ted Cruz, brandishes the endorsement of a minister who says Hitler was a “hunter” sent after the Jews by God.
“It’s really frightening,” said Al Munzer, who escaped as a baby hidden by a Dutch family and their Muslim nanny. “When you see these mass rallies that Trump is able to attract, you really wonder: How are they buying into this message of hate. Thinking that Germany was somehow unique is wrong,” he said.
Johanna Gerechter Neumann, fled with her family to Albania after Kristallnacht, and told how Muslims protected them from Hitler. Her father, a proud German and World War I soldier, “certainly thought that it could never happen in Germany,” she said. “It did happen. Slowly, but it did happen.”
“It is repeating itself, and it is again the inattention that people pay to real cues that one should understand,” said Margit Meissner, almost 94.
“It’s not Weimar,” she said, “but it could become Weimar Germany if you have Mr. Trump here and people keep believing what he says… I think one has to speak up. And that’s the one lesson from the Holocaust: Do not be a bystander.”
Trump’s attacks on “different” people such as immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, the disabled, women seen through the eyes of Holocaust victims look very sinister. Holocaust survivor Martin Weiss who was only 15 when sent to a death camp hears echoes of his youth. “The guy scares me,” he said about Trump.
“I don’t want to make any comparison to Hitler, but believe it or not his delivery and the way he conducts himself is very similar to Hitler’s way of doing things. He discredits everybody who disagrees with him. He’s insulting. He discriminates against everybody.”
Weiss continued: “Sooner or later, you know what happens in a case like this? That’s how Weimar Germany went to hell, because when Hitler came in, if somebody disagreed with him — guess what — he put them in prison or he had them shot or he opened the concentration camp.”