May 28, 2021- We are 50 Holocaust survivors who volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We are proud Americans, eternally grateful to this great nation that became our home after the war and enabled us to live in freedom and rebuild our lives and families. Yet today, our solemn obligation to the memory of those who were murdered in the most destructive eruption of antisemitism the world has ever experienced compels us to write this open letter to our leaders and fellow citizens.

We are seeing an alarming confluence of events that we never imagined we would witness in our adopted homeland. We cannot remain silent in the wake of the recent antisemitic attacks in cities and towns across the country. We know firsthand the danger of unchecked antisemitism. This targeted violence is happening as we also watch with great dismay a persistent and increasing tendency in American public life to invoke the Holocaust for the purpose of promoting another agenda.

It is deeply painful for us to see our personal history—the systematic destruction of our families and communities and murder of six million Jewish men, women, and children—exploited in this way. What we survived should be remembered, studied, and learned from, but never misused.

We thank those leaders in government and other sectors of American society, including business, academia, religious, and civic, who have forcefully rejected antisemitism and the misuse of the Holocaust in our national discourse. We call on all leaders and citizens to do the same.
Katie A., survivor from Austria
Ralph B., survivor from The Netherlands
Ruth C., survivor from Czechoslovakia
Frank C., survivor from Germany
Joan D., survivor from Poland
Ania D., survivor from Poland
Marcel D., survivor from Poland
Maria D., survivor from Poland
Ruth E., survivor from Poland
Arye E., survivor from Czechoslovakia
Peter F., survivor from Germany
Ninetta F., survivor from Greece
Steven F., survivor from Yugoslavia
Allan F., survivor from Poland
Gideon F., survivor from Czechoslovakia
Albert G., survivor from France
Agi G., survivor from Hungary
Rachel G., survivor from Poland
Peter G., survivor from Hungary
Tamar H., survivor from Yugoslavia
Julie K., survivor from Poland
Mark K., survivor from Ukraine
Theodora K., survivor from Yugoslavia
Maryla K., survivor from Poland
Lisa K., survivor from Italy
Peter L., survivor from Germany
Estelle L., survivor from Poland
Louse L., survivor from The Netherlands
Frank L., survivor from Germany
Emanuel M., survivor from Latvia
Alfred M., survivor from The Netherlands
Joel N., survivor from France
Jill P., survivor from Germany
Kurt P., survivor from Germany
Halina P., survivor from Poland
George P., survivor from Hungary
Samuel P., survivor from Poland
Sylvia R., survivor from Poland
Rita R., survivor from Romania
George S., survivor from Hungary
Nat S., survivor from Romania
Alex S., survivor from France
Rose-Helene S., survivor from France
Esther S., survivor from Germany
Peter S., survivor from Czechoslovakia
Josie T., survivor from Belgium
Susan W., survivor from Germany
Henry W., survivor from Austria
Irene W., survivor from Czechoslovakia
Martin W., survivor from Czechoslovakia

Last names omitted for personal privacy

Located among our national monuments to freedom on the National Mall, the Museum provides a powerful lesson in the fragility of freedom, the myth of progress, and the need for vigilance in preserving democratic values. With unique power and authenticity, the Museum teaches millions of people each year about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the need to prevent genocide. And we encourage them to act, cultivating a sense of moral responsibility among our citizens so that they will respond to the monumental challenges that confront our world.