Their families survived the Holocaust and World War II. For them, Charlottesville touches a raw nerve – Los Angeles Times

Since groups of white supremacists and neo-Nazis began marching in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 11, sparking deadly violence and further protests there and demonstrations throughout the nation, more than 400 readers have sent us letters passionately condemning the racism on display in Virginia and President Trumps responses to it.

What stands out from the letters weve received is the handful of submissions by readers who say they are the family members of Holocaust survivors or World War II veterans and are troubled by what they see now given their relatives experiences. Some take comfort knowing their deceased family members were spared witnessing the weeks events. Here are their letters.

Marc Greenberg of Long Beach speaks for his late father:

Very recently my father passed away. It has been a difficult loss to accept. However, this week was the first time I felt some sense of peace in that he did not have to witness whats going on.

My mother is a Holocaust survivor, which means I am a Holocaust survivor along with my own children. In my family we do not forget history.

On Tuesday our president made a heart-felt statement effectively supporting neo-Nazis. The fact that a young woman lost her life in Charlottesville last Saturday standing against these people apparently mattered little to our president. My father would have been heartbroken to listen to our president speak about neo-Nazis as if there were no historical context.

During the last 10 years of my fathers life, he traveled with my mother, who talked to schoolchildren about what happened to her as a child and how she lost her parents to the Nazis. Children would embrace her and hug her with tears in their eyes. They understood what our president does not.

As much as I miss my father, I take some comfort knowing he did not have to see what we have apparently become.

Sherman Oaks resident Joselle Celine Gilvezan says her relatives fought to rid the world of the ideology President Trump half-heartedly condemned:

My father fought in World War II, the Korean War and in a formerly classified covert mission in Vietnam. My mother and her siblings were part of the French resistance during World War II.

My mothers family went from being rather affluent to being forced to surrender their house to the Nazis, taking with them only that which they could carry on their backs. Two of my uncles were captured and taken to the Dachau concentration camp, where one perished and the other came out forever changed.

My mother took us to Dachau so we might see the horrors and know that they must not happen again. I remember her searching for her brothers in the photographs displayed at the museum on site.

Of course I wish my parents were still alive, but I take some comfort in knowing they did not have to witness our president condoning that which they fought so hard to rid the world of.

Janet Sobel of Woodland Hills worries for her granddaughter:

Please fill in your full name, mailing address, city of residence, phone number and e-mail address below. Submissions that do not include this information cannot be published. This information is seen only by the letters editors and is not used for any commercial purpose. We generally do not publish…

Please fill in your full name, mailing address, city of residence, phone number and e-mail address below. Submissions that do not include this information cannot be published. This information is seen only by the letters editors and is not used for any commercial purpose. We generally do not publish…

Earlier this year, my granddaughter became a bat mitzvah. She learned the Hebrew prayers and her Torah portion in the tradition of the Jewish faith. She has such a strong interest in Jewish history, so recently I took her to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

While wandering through the displays and watching clips of Jews being herded into ghettos and then onto trains, she asked me why Germans would turn on their countrymen just because they were Jewish. She also asked me if this could happen in America; I said it could not.

After watching the march on Friday night in Charlottesville with men carrying torches, Nazi flags and shouting, Jews will not replace us, Im not so sure.

My granddaughter is frightened, and I am too. We would be wise to remember George Santayanas expression, Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Our president should remember it too.

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Their families survived the Holocaust and World War II. For them, Charlottesville touches a raw nerve – Los Angeles Times

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: World War II |

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