Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister, wrote in an essay for Newsweek on Wednesday—International Holocaust Remembrance Day—that Trump was “acting like another Hitler by inciting racism.”
Schloss, 86, is the author of several books about her experiences during the Holocaust. In 1944, her family was captured by Nazis in Belgium and brought to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where an estimated 1.1 million people—mostly Jews—were worked to death or murdered en masse at the camp’s infamous gas chambers.
Others prisoners were subjected to horrifying medical experiments.
“If Donald Trump becomes the next president of the U.S., it would be a complete disaster,” she wrote.
Schloss is the posthumous stepsister of Anne Frank. Her mother, who also survived Auschwitz, met Anne’s father, Otto Frank, after the war. Her brother and biological father, however, died in the camp. Otto was the only member of the Frank family to survive Auschwitz. He went on to publish Anne’s writings, The Diary of a Young Girl, in 1947.
Schloss’ comparison of Trump to Hitler received mixed reactions online by white nationalists, many of whom didn’t automatically perceive it as an insult. “Hitler loved his people,” a user commented on Stormfront, the most popular white supremacist forum online. “Maybe that’s why they hate Trump.”
Another frequent poster argued that Hitler had turned a war-ravaged Germany “into a veritable paradise with near zero unemployment.”
Trump’s negative comments on the campaign trail about undocumented immigrants—not to mention his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the U.S.—has earned him the devotion of many white nationalists groups.
The American neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer has endorsed Trump for president, with its publisher, Andrew Anglin, casting the reality TV star and businessman as “the ultimate savior.”
“I remember just a mere few months ago, I was sitting around thinking ‘I hope Trump polls high enough to be in the debates, it will be hilarious,’” Anglin wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “My how times have changed.”
The Ku Klux Klan, while sporting historically thin ranks, regards Trump as a great tool for recruitment. “They like the overall momentum of his rallies and his campaign,” a spokesperson said of the KKK’s membership last month to the Washington Post. “They like that he’s not willing to back down. He says what he believes and he stands on that.”
Not all white supremacists, however, are eager to welcome Trump as candidate to lead the country. Stormfront users have denounced him on occasion for having “business and familial ties with Jews,” while urging other members to forgo voting altogether.
“Has he ever criticized the Jews?” a user wrote. “Not once. And he won’t. They’re practically family.”
Photo by Day Donaldson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)