Jewish Leaders Protest Trump Decision to Skip Warsaw Ghetto Memorial

US President Donald Trump is met by a guard of honor after he stepped off Air Force One upon arrival at Chopin Airport in Warsaw, Poland, July 5, 2017. (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)
Poland’s Jewish community leaders on Wednesday said they “deeply regret” that US President Donald Trump has no plans to see the Warsaw ghetto memorial during his visit to the capital this week.

We trust that this slight does not reflect the attitudes and feelings of the American people,” said the statement released by Poland’s chief rabbi Michael Schudrich, Jewish Community of Warsaw president Anna Chipczynska and Leslaw Piszewski, president of the Union of Jewish Communities of Poland.

They said the omission of a visit to the memorial — which is dedicated to the victims of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when Jewish partisans took up arms against Nazi German forces in a doomed revolt — on Trump’s official schedule marks a break in tradition.

“Ever since the fall of Communism in 1989, all US presidents and vice-presidents visiting Warsaw had made a point of visiting the Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto,” they said.

A memorial ceremony for the Warsaw Ghetto heroes in Warsaw, Poland. April 19, 2009. (Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)

“For the Jews of Poland, rebuilding in a democratic Poland their communal life, after the horror of the Shoah and the devastation of Communism, this gesture meant recognition, solidarity and hope. We deeply regret that President Donald Trump, though speaking in public barely a mile away from the Monument, chose to break with that laudable tradition, alongside so many other ones,” they added.

Trump, whose daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before marrying the grandson of Holocaust survivors, is in Poland for a day before continuing on to his first G20 summit in Hamburg.

The still-novice US president will deliver a speech at Warsaw’s historic Krasinski Square on Thursday and also meet with Baltic, Balkan and central European leaders while in the Polish capital.


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