Letter to the editor December 3
Shame on us
The anti-refugee fervor of today is haunting and tragic for those of us with connections to the Holocaust. My unfortunate link to it is the murder of my Austrian paternal grandparents, Gisela and Felix Spiegler, in a concentration camp in 1944.
The anti-Semitic State Department of the 1930s and 1940s helped influence President Franklin D. Roosevelt to avoid helping the Jews of Europe until it was almost too late. As we well know, approximately 6 million of our people were slaughtered, the Nazis coming close to being able to eradicate the Jewish people of Europe.
Today, we turn our backs on those whose refugee status we helped to create through our military misadventures in the region. Most of the relatively small number of 10,000, who President Obama hopes to integrate into our nation (a mere average influx of 200 per state), are made up of families, the elderly and children.
It is easier to understand some of the genesis of hatred for America and the West when one examines our arrogance on the issue of whether to welcome Syrian refugees who have overrun and overwhelmed bordering nations. We have forgotten that we are a nation of immigrants, one whose history is steeped in welcoming the downtrodden and those who seek safety and opportunity for a better life. Shame on us.
In an era in which know-nothing, bumbling, dangerous individuals such ss Donald Trump and Ben Carson are the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, I suppose no degree of dysfunction in national politics should surprise me.
Upper St. Clair