6 Million Follower Man

In the age of Trump, grim warnings from Holocaust survivors

U.S. marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

 

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Germany’s ambassador to the U.S. talks about the “unspeakable horror” of the Holocaust during ceremonies to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Reuters)
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is always a somber time for Auschwitz survivor Irene Weiss. But this year’s observance had an additional layer of grief: For the first time, Weiss is worried about her adopted homeland.“I am exceptionally concerned about demagogues,” the 85-year-old Weiss told me at Wednesday’s commemoration at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. “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.”

Dana Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital. He joined the Post as a political reporter in 2000. View Archive

She knows better than just about any person alive. The Czech-born Jew lost her parents and most of her siblings in Hitler’s death camps. Now, when she hears about plans to register Muslims and to ban Muslims from entering the United States, “I’m worried about the tone of this country,” she said.

To Weiss, the ugly political environment in 2016 has an ominous precedent in Weimar Germany. “It has echoes, and maybe more so to me than to native-born Americans,” she said after lighting a candle for Hitler’s victims. “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.”

This year’s Holocaust remembrance comes at a time when Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, retweets 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. There has never been a more important time for Americans to heed the moral authority of the Holocaust survivors still among us.

“It’s really frightening,” said Al Munzer, hidden as an infant in the Netherlands with 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?

Munzer, who lost two sisters and his father to the Nazis, said he never thought such things could happen in America, but now he’s not so sure. “Thinking that Germany was somehow unique is wrong,” he said.

Wednesday’s ceremony was in a hexagonal atrium with the names of death camps on the walls. The participants recited Kaddish, the Jewish mourning prayer, and listened to the Hymn of the Partisans, the Yiddish ballad of resistance: Never say you are walking your final road.

At this time of open hostility to Muslims in America, museum staff arranged for Johanna Gerechter Neumann, who fled with her family to Albania after Kristallnacht, to talk about how Muslims protected them from Hitler. Her father, a patriotic German and World War I veteran, “certainly thought that it could never happen in Germany,” she said. “It did happen. Slowly, but it did happen.”

And now the aging survivors worry it is beginning, slowly, to happen again. “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, who fled on foot through the Pyrenees from occupied France.

“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.”

In Wednesday’s ceremony, German Ambassador Peter Wittig gave a moving tribute to Martin Weiss, 87 this week, who survived Auschwitz as a 15-year-old but lost most of his family. Wittig read aloud Weiss’s recollections: “We could also smell flesh burning, and then we saw the chimneys, the big five chimneys with black smoke coming out.”

Now an American presidential candidate has made scapegoats of immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, the disabled, women. And for the first time, Martin Weiss hears echoes of his youth. “The guy scares me,” he said after listening to the ambassador’s tribute. “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.”

We are still far from that in America. But if anybody has the right to make the comparison, it is a man who saw the ovens of Auschwitz.

Twitter: @Milbank

I hope I was wrong about Trump, but if Jews don’t like him I have to like him because it is a natural reaction for me. Whether it’s true or not still remains to be seen. If anything at all it may shut Glenn Beck up. I never liked Megyn Kelly (the typical sold out fool) either even when Texe Marrs was groveling over her and still don’t. If Trump is the real deal be prepared for war! I don’t mean “spiritual” either.

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6 Responses to 6 Million Follower Man

  1. Ray Zerwitt says:

    There has never been a more important time for Americans to heed the moral authority of the Holocaust survivors still among us.

    Bingo! The big lie Adolph warned us about. Nobody would ever suspect a 85 old person to be so completely sociopathic. Who could be so crazy?

  2. ninjajohn13 says:

    Unfortunately, Mel, I think you were right about Trump. He’s just another Jew puppet. His daughter married a Jew, and he approved. And the guy just flip-flops so much, it’s ridiculous. Just more Kabuki Theater for the gullible masses. He is not going to get rid of the Jew owned Federal Reserve and he is not going stop supporting “Israel.”

    • melgibstein says:

      Yeah John maybe I got caught up in a lot of emails how great Trump is and wanted to wishful think too. Again I hope I was wrong, but when you back off and look at it again you do see the same Jew BS.
      What I’d like to know does the son in law Jew call Trump his father in law and does Trump call the guy that married his daughter his son in law? One of the laws was to remain a separate people. The Jew is either not a very sincere Jew or Trumps daughter is a Jew. Or maybe the Jew is a Jew marrying into money and knowing he was never given a law to remain separate and that he is mixed already. By Vegas rules there is still a 2 to 1 chance Trumps daughter is a Jew and when you have a Jew daughter it doesnt matter if you are a non Jew or not they own you unless he has written her off and he hasnt. I will say if he turned it all around he would have the perfect avenue to do so. If he dead dogs on us I think the country will have had enough and either rise up or just whither away so there is a slight chance. Maybe Im being like that coon in Shawshank saying “I hope”.

      • DC says:

        I hear that a lot of Jews have been complaining about Donald Trump. Does that mean he’ll change anything? Hardly likely I think, but what is happening I think is the establishment is losing control of their ability to control politicians which has stirred up some panic in the current election.

        Trump may turn out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing however.

        Some of the sources I follow have linked his business deals to Russian gangster thugs who are believed to be connected to Vladimir Putin.

        Trump has also, openly made glowing endorsements of Putin while downplaying criticisms made against him such as the killing of journalists etc. This may simply be about money as Trump has in the past, indicated he wishes to do business with Russia, but it has alarmed many who understand the nature of the Russian threat.

        I, for one believe that a Russia/China Eastern bloc is being built up to destroy America and the Western world to be replaced with a Global Edomite government. I also don’t rule out that present day Russia will lead the Zog/Magog war, which many believe is yet to come at the end of the age.

        Another indicator of Trump’s alliances on my radar is that Mark Glenn, an alleged champion of Muslim rights has done a complete about-face and is now endorsing Trump after Trump’s Putin “bromance” episode, even despite Trump’s anti-immigration and anti-Muslim statements.

        It seems that if you love Putin, being anti-Muslims is perfectly fine with Mr Glenn.

        Trump has taken the populist, pro-white route which is refreshing, but lacks the political finesse to turn anything around. Best case he is too clueless to understand how the real world works and those who do end up controlling him. Worst case, he’s just in it for the money and will woo US enemies like Russia to turn a profit. Even worst case still, he turns out to be a Trojan horse even more dangerous than previous Presidents in opening the gates our enemies.

  3. melgibstein says:

    Mark Glenn has uncovered Nazi “Beastiality” in Germany (oy vey). Only the true beastiality involves Jews. Im sure we have Dr Mengele’s all over Germany. This is a guy who used to claim there was an evil German Shepherd in his neighborhood.

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