Below is an open letter sent to President-elect Donald Trump by Generations of the Shoah International.
November 30, 2016
Donald J. Trump
President-elect of the United States
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
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.
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, and
Member of the US Delegation of 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
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, Coordinator, The Generation After, Washington, DC, Mayland and Virginia
Daniel Brooks, Coordinator, 3GNY (Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors in New York)
Doris Schwarz-Lisenbee, Chair, Second and Third Generation Programs of Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivor Associations, San Jose, CA
Raymonde (Ray) Fiol, Past President and Board Member, Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
American Civil Liberties Union
Association of Holocaust Organizations
Jewish Telegraph Agency
The Jewish Week
Los Angeles Times
The New York Review of Books
New York Times
Southern Poverty Law Center
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Wall Street Journal
World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants