Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Suicide Prevention Hotline’s Phone Number Is A Pro-Hitler Code, War Vet Claims

(JTA) — A New York man wants the Federal Communications Commission to choose a different three-digit number to reach the national suicide prevention hotline because the proposed number glorifies Hitler.

The proposed number is 988. The digits 88 are often used by neo-Nazis to refer to the phrase “Heil Hitler.” H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Charles Greinsky, a Jewish war veteran who lives in Staten Island, New York, is lobbying his congressman, Democratic Rep. Max Rose, and New York Sen. Charles Schumer to come up with and push through a different number, the New York Post reported.

“You’d have Holocaust survivors and children of Holocaust survivors that are in need of mental health services dialing a number that causes extreme stress and makes people relive some of the worst experiences the world has ever seen,” he told the Post.

He said his synagogue was graffitied with the number 88 in 2008.

The Federal Communications Commission recommended simplifying the hotline’s current 10-digit number in a report it released last week in the wake of federal legislation passed last year that called for improvements to the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.