Holocaust Survivor Leaders Statement On Passing Of Congressman John Lewis

MIAMI, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As leaders of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA, we extend our condolences to the…

MIAMI, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As leaders of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA, we extend our condolences to the family of Congressman John Lewis, and to the American family, on the passing of this American hero.  

Congressman Lewis helped pave the way for everyone who cared about justice and the fight for equality.  He was the most respected member of the United States Congress for a reason:  because of his courage, his honesty, and his integrity.  May his example inspire all of our citizens to strive for justice and equality, and to do so with urgency. 

We embrace Congressman Lewis’s recent statement in the House of Representatives:   “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. Our children and their children will ask us ‘what did you do? what did you say?’  We have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

We are awed by Congressman Lewis’s lifetime of courage in opposing racism and demanding equal rights for African Americans.   His commitment to fairness and truth was universal.   We are particularly grateful for his stand refusing to attend the “Million Man March” in Washington in 1995, writing:  “I cannot overlook past statements by Louis Farrakhan–and others associated with the Nation of Islam–which are divisive and bigoted.”  

We, who experienced the most extreme hate and bigotry in history, are dwindling in numbers.  Still, for the remnants of the surviving generation and our families, there are issues of justice and dignity that remain unresolved.  We are compelled to speak out about the need to cooperate in this world.  We’re all in this together, and need to take care of each other.   

We share the sense of urgency that Congressman Lewis, as one of the last living participants in the major events of the Civil Rights Movement, expressed in his words and deeds about the need for us all to work together for the freedom, equality, dignity, and rights of all people.     

Signed by: The Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA Executive Committee: 

Israel Arbeiter, Boston MA

Dena Axelrod, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Esther Finder, Las Vegas, NV

Renee Firestone, Los Angeles, CA

Ella Frumkin, Los Angeles, CA

Jay Ipson, Richmond, VA

Louise Lawrence-Israels, Washington D.C.

Herbert Karliner, Miami Beach, FL

Annette Lantos, Washington, D.C.

David Mermelstein, Miami FL

Leo Rechter, Queens, NY

Shirley Rubin, Boynton Beach, FL

David Schaecter, Miami, FL

Anita Schuster, Las Vegas NV

Charles Srebnick, NY

Agnes Vertes, Weston, CT

Esther Widman, Brooklyn NY

Statement Endorsed by the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah International (GSI)

For more information, see www.hsf-usa.org.



David Schaecter, President (305) 742-8501

Samuel J. Dubbin, Counsel (305) 815-8060


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SOURCE Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA