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Letter from Holocaust Survivors to Pittsburgh Jewish Community

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To the Members of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community,

As survivors of the Holocaust, we were heartbroken to see the tragic events at the Tree of Life Synagogue—deadly consequences of unchecked antisemitism. Although no one can truly understand another person’s pain, we know firsthand what it feels like to be targeted simply for being who you are. And for this murderous rampage to take place in a synagogue during Shabbat services, here in the United States, was nearly inconceivable, but not to us. Our life experiences imbedded in us that what was once unthinkable is always possible.

When we came to America after the war, we found a very special country that valued freedom, justice, and rights for all people. We admire this great nation that is so unique in standing for these values. That's why the polarization and hateful rhetoric that have become all too common frighten us since we know better than most what people are capable of and where this can lead.

America served as a place of refuge to us after we survived the unimaginable. We found the opportunity to rebuild our lives. Like us, you will survive and rebuild and remember. We will never forget what happened to us and our loved ones, but we learned to live with the pain. Now, as volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, we have dedicated ourselves to sharing our life experiences and educating new generations about what happened when hate was allowed to flourish. We seek to remind people, especially young people—our country’s future leaders—that hate can never be ignored. Complacency is dangerous. Standing up and pushing back is the only way we can make a better future.

Please know that we stand with you in solidarity and friendship as you face the challenging days ahead. We hold you in our hearts today and always.


Holocaust Survivors who volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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