As a Holocaust survivor, I was very disturbed by the Nov. 16 story, Hundreds rally against hate, about the gathering at the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach on Sunday, which was extremely unfair to Sen. Bill Nelson.
The event was a commemoration of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the horrific Night of Broken Glass in Germany that some say was the beginning of the Holocaust.
The survivors were very grateful that there was significant community participation, and that both of our senators, Nelson and Marco Rubio, attended.
Sen. Nelson has been the foremost leader in the U.S. Senate advocating for survivors to have the right to recover the life insurance policies that global giants such as Allianz, Generali sold to our parents and other relatives, but refused to pay after the Holocaust.
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In addition, he has brought attention to the very serious problem, unknown to most, that at least half of all survivors, even in the United States, live in poverty. Nelson not only held a special hearing in Washington last year, he followed up with a letter co-signed by other senators to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, insisting that Germany, whose predecessor Nazi regime caused the extensive physical and mental health problems so many survivors must now endure, provide full funding to meet all survivors’ needs.
Finally, it was very unfair for anyone to jeer Nelson because of his vote on the Iran nuclear agreement. When the treaty was being argued, we survivors expressed our reasons why we thought he should vote no, and he explained why he believed that the agreement was the best alternative available to protect Israel and others from a nuclear Iran for the next 15 years. Though we disagreed, it is completely unfair to portray him the way he was in the article, especially in light of everything else he has done to support Israel and Holocaust survivors.
David Mermelstein, Miami