Holocaust Survivor Evi Blaikie Denounces Trump
Photo by Jacob Kornbluh
Evi Blaikie, 78, does not use Twitter, but when she was made aware of President-elect Donald Trump’s tweet comparing U.S. intelligence officials to Nazi Germany she was astounded.
“I was angry, I was really angry,” Blaikie, the founder of Hungarian Hidden Children of the Holocaust, told Jewish Insider outside City Hall on Thursday. “I was astounded that he would make such a statement that is so ignorant of what Nazi Germany was about.”
Blaikie came to the United States in 1960 at the age of 21 after surviving the Holocaust and being transferred from one orphanage to another. Her father and grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz, and her mother passed away shortly after the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, following the publication of unverified documents containing allegations about his activities in Russia, Trump claimed himself a victim of U.S. intelligence officials, invoking Nazi Germany. “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public,” Trump tweeted. “One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
When she first saw Trump’s comments, Blaikie wasn’t just angry. “I’m afraid of Donald Trump,” she said, “but at the same time, I’m not going to let the fear paralyze me. I’m going to do my best and ask everyone else to fight him on everything. We can’t be kept silent. We have to speak up no matter what the ramifications.”
“I would like to ask everyone to use that anger to fuel energy to fight him at every turn because that is what Germany did not do,” she continued. “The Germans did not fight. They did not get angry. They let things happen.”
The 78-year-old Holocaust survivor was among several speakers at a press conference denouncing Trump’s reference to Nazi Germany, organized by the NYC Jewish Caucus and the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.
“I have a message for our President-elect: Mr. Trump when it comes to your prejudiced attacks, shut your tweeting face,” Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center, said as he was joined by members of the city’s three legislative branches. “Your words injure. Has our President-elect have no shame? He’s gone after Mexicans, he’s gone after Muslims, he’s gone after women, he’s gone after people of color, he’s gone after LGBT people, who would’ve thought he would go after Holocaust survivors. But he has, and our President-elect has reached a new low in American politics when it comes to the concept of mutual respect. Words injure. Words matter. It’s beneath the dignity of the office of President of the U.S., and it is an insult to Holocaust survivors and to our entire nation and its intelligence, for Donald Trump to equate the American patriots who fight for our nation with Nazi Germany. That is outrageous.”
Goldstein challenged Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who was just appointed as a senior advisor to the President in the new Administration, to reprimand his father-in-law for denigrating Holocaust survivors with his comments.