On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust survivors warned about the demagoguery and rhetoric espoused by Donald Trump that they say echoes back to Nazi Germany -- the same rhetoric which has been sanctioned by right-wing media and praised by white nationalist media as “wonderful.”
Holocaust Survivors Warn About The Dangers Of Trump's Rhetoric
The Washington Post's Milbank Highlights Holocaust Survivors' Concerns About Trump's Demagoguery And Rhetoric. In a January 27 opinion piece, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank highlighted warnings voiced by Holocaust survivors about Donald Trump's dangerous rhetoric. As one survivor noted of 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”:
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.”
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.
Now an American presidential candidate has made scapegoats of immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, the disabled, women. And for the first time,Auschwitz survivorMartin 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.” [The Washington Post, 1/27/16]
Anne Frank's Stepsister Compares Trump To Hitler, Urges Others, “Don't Stand By.” While speaking to Newsweek, Eva Schloss, Anne Frank's stepsister, said “it would be a complete disaster” if Trump were to become the next president of the United States, adding that Trump “is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism.” Schloss focused her criticism on Trump's suggested temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States as well as his pledge to build a wall on the country's southern border:
The theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is “Don't stand by”. This is particularly important now with the refugee crisis going on as more people than ever are being bystanders. We haven't really learnt anything--I'm depressed by the current situation. The experience of the Syrian refugees is similar to what we went through.
This is not just a European problem, it's a global problem. If countries as big as the U.S. and Canada would take in more people, then we would get much closer to a solution. If Donald Trump become the next president of the U.S. it would be a complete disaster. I think he is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism. 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.
The situation today is worse than it was under Hitler because at that time all the Allies--the U.S., Russia and Britain--worked together to combat the terrible threat of Nazisim. If we don't work together, the world will never be able to resolve the threats it faces today. I don't think getting rid of the Schengen Agreement is the correct response. I remember how upset the world was when the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 and now everybody is building walls again to keep people out. It's absurd. [Newsweek, 1/27/16]
Trump's Disparaging Rhetoric Has Been Sanctioned And Defended By Right-Wing Media
Right-Wing Media Figures Sanctioned Trump's Disparaging Comments About Mexican Immigrants. Trump's claim that “the Mexican government ... they send the bad ones over” was widely defended by right-wing media figures. Fox's Bill O'Reilly said that Trump was “highlighting a problem ... that is harming the nation,” while Fox contributor Monica Crowley instructed other candidates to echo Trump's sentiments, arguing he was “saying things that need to be said.” [Media Matters, 12/22/15]
Fox's Bill O'Reilly Defended Trump From A Group Criticizing His “Hate Speech.” During the January 21 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly defended Trump's bigoted rhetoric from a group critical of his “hate speech, misogyny, Islamophobia and racism.” O'Reilly claimed the group -- which was encouraging media to report on Trump's rhetoric -- was trying to “intimidate the media” and characterized members of the group as “rabid feminist[s],” “nutty,” and “radical totalitarian loons.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/21/16]
Trump's Plan To Ban Muslim Immigration Followed Right-Wing Media Calls To Stop Muslim Resettlement In The United States. Trump's call for a moratorium on Muslims entering the United States followed widespread calls from conservative media not to allow Muslim refugees from Syria to resettle in the United States. Prior to Trump's proposal, Washington Times' Frank Gaffney had called for “a moratorium on Muslim migration” following the Paris terror attacks. Laura Ingraham stated on her radio show that Muslim refugees should “stay in the Middle East,” while Fox's Andrea Tantaros fearmongered that “taking Islamic refugees would be suicide.” [Media Matters, 12/8/15]
Trump's Rhetoric Has Garnered Support From White Nationalist Media Figures
Their “Last Hope”: White Nationalist Media Praised Trump's Candidacy. Several prominent white nationals media members have showered Trump with praise. White supremacist radio host David Duke proclaimed that Trump is “certainly the best of the lot.” In August, white nationalist radio host James Edwards claimed that Trump's candidacy showed “people agree with us on the issues,” adding, “I'm in with Trump for right now.” And white nationalist writer John Derbyshire stated that “Trump is doing the Lord's work.” [Media Matters, 8/27/15]
White Nationalist Media Backed Trump's Anti-Muslim Immigration Plan. Several white nationalist pundits praised Donald Trump's plan that called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what's going on” as “wonderful,” and “reasonable,” adding that Trump is “indispensable” and the “ultimate savior.” [Media Matters, 12/8/15]
Trump Has Been A Fundraising Engine For White Nationalist Media. Two of the leading white nationalist media websites, VDARE.com and American Renaissance, used Trump during fundraising drives, hailing the candidate for spurring “unprecedented interest in” white nationalism and for putting their ideas “firmly in the mainstream.” The American National Super PAC, founded by white nationalist William Daniel Johnson, went so far as to robocall Republican primary voters in support of Trump. [Media Matters, 1/12/16]