Holocaust Survivors and Descendants Slam Steve Bannon and ‘Alt-Right’ in Scathing Letter to Donald Trump

Dear President-elect Trump:

In your election night speech, you said, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people.” Instead, those divisions are escalating. When members of the alt-right meet in Washington, DC and question if Jews are really people, it is time for moral leadership to put a stop to hate speech, to anti-Semitism, to racism.

We ask you, Mr. Trump, to stand up and speak out forcefully, using all the channels available to you, against the bigotry that divides us. We and millions of other Americans look to you to help heal the divisions in our country.

Sadly, your appointment of Stephen Bannon as White House Chief Strategist sends a mixed message. As executive chairman, he proclaimed that Breitbart was “the platform for the alt-right,” a movement that strongly rejects diversity in any form and promotes white nationalism, racism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism. Bannon’s appointment telegraphs the message that hate groups’ activities will not only be tolerated but will be endorsed and promoted by your Administration.

Millions of Americans have expressed fear and concern about how they will be treated under your leadership. Advisors you appoint will either validate those fears or help unite the country.

As Holocaust survivors, children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, and as members of the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah International (GSI), the world’s largest Holocaust family organization, we know what our parents and grandparents lived through. It was a time when virulent anti-Semitism was accepted. That bigotry was allowed to spread, unchecked, and systematic genocide ensued.

We are vigilantly watching and ready to support actions that promote justice and respect for all Americans.

We strongly urge you to build a White House staff committed to core American values of inclusiveness and respect for diversity.

May your family, including your Jewish grandchildren who are descendants of Holocaust survivors, be able to look back at your presidential legacy with pride.

Sincerely,
The Undersigned Members of the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah International (GSI):

Esther Toporek Finder
President, Generations of the Shoah – Nevada
President, Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada
Past President, The Generation After, Washington, DC
Member of the US Delegation to the Holocaust Era Assets Conference, Prague, June 2009

Ken Engel
Chair, CHAIM (Children of Holocaust Survivors Association in Minnesota), Minneapolis, MN

Janice Friebaum Immediate Past Chair, Generations After - Descendants of Holocaust Survivors in Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
Board Member, Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association, Phoenix, AZ

Charles Silow
President, C.H.A.I.M. - Children of Holocaust-Survivors Association In Michigan (Detroit, MI)

Dina Cohen Coordinator, Generations of the Shoah-New Jersey
Member, New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education
Board Member, Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest, New Jersey

Anat Bar-Cohen
Co-President, The Generation After, Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia

Daniel Brooks
Coordinator, 3GNY (Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors in New York)

Doris Schwarz-Lisenbee
Chair, Second and Third Generation Programs of SiliconValley Holocaust Survivors Associations, San Jose, California

Raymonde (Ray) Fiol
Past President and Board Member, Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, NV

This story "Holocaust Survivors Slam Steve Bannon and “Alt-Right” in Scathing Letter to Donald Trump" was written by Generations of the Shoah International.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Holocaust Survivors and Descendants Slam Steve Bannon and ‘Alt-Right’ in Scathing Letter to Donald Trump

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close