Donald Trump hosts Holocaust survivors at White House Hanukkah reception

December 6, 2018 GMT

President Trump marked Hanukkah Thursday evening at a White House reception that included eight survivors of the Holocaust.

In an East Room event, Mr. Trump recalled the fatal mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October, calling it a “sinister anti-Semitic attack.”

“In the aftermath of that wicked assault, we reaffirmed our solemn duty to confront anti-Semitism everywhere it occurs,” the president said. “We must stamp out this vile hatred from the world.”

The president then introduced eight Holocaust survivors, calling the era “history’s darkest hour.” He told the survivors that they inspire the world with their courage, and that they had seen “evil beyond description.”


The White House identified the survivors as Sara Censor, Bertha Einhorn, David Einhorn, Ethel Flam, Gita Landau, Dolly Rabinowitz, Ruth Salamon and Zahava Ungar.

Mr. Trump was criticized last year for issuing a Holocaust remembrance statement that neglected to mention Jews or anti-Semitism.

On Thursday, he quoted author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel: “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”

He followed that quote with this pledge of his own: “Today and everyday we renew our solemn pledge: Never again.”

The president also discussed his support for Israel, and his withdrawal from the “horrible” Iran nuclear deal.

“We must never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb,” he said. “We cannot let the world’s leading sponsor of terror, a country that chants ‘death to America’ and threatens Israel all of the time with annihilation and constantly screams out ‘death to Israel’ to possess the deadliest weapon on Earth. We will not allow that to happen.”

Some in the crowd responded with a chant of “four more years!”

“I’ve actually never heard ‘four more years,’” Mr. Trump said with a grin. “That’s an interesting one. ... We’ll go for six, and then we’ll all be in very good shape.”