Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

‘My Parents Fled The Holocaust’: Sondland Cites Family In Impeachment Inquiry

United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland cited his family’s history fleeing the Nazis before World War II during his opening statement to the House of Representatives’s impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

Sondland explained that being the child of German-Jewish refugees was formative for him. “Like so many immigrants, my family was eager for freedom and hungry for opportunity,” he said. “They raised my sister and me to be humble, hardworking and patriotic, and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices they made on our behalf.”

Sondland, a hotelier who was named ambassador after donating $1 million to President Trump’s inauguration committee, told Congress there was a quid pro quo between Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky achieving a White House meeting with President Trump and the Ukrainian government proceeding on investigations that could damage former vice president Joe Biden.

Sondland’s testimony came a day after the appearance of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who like Sondland was the son of European Jewish refugees, in his case from the former Soviet Union.

Vindman said that he joined the military because he “wanted to spend my life serving the nation that gave my family refuge from authoritarian oppression,” and reassured his father that he would not face negative consequences for testifying because “this is America.”

The Army has since given his family 24-hour police protection after Trump accused him of being politically biased against him.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

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.