The stepsister of Holocaust teen diarist Anne Frank compared Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump to Hitler.
In an essay in Newsweek magazine published on Wednesday in honour of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Eva Schloss, 86, also accused Trump of inciting racism.
“The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘Don’t stand by.’ This is particularly important now with the refugee crisis going on as more people than ever are being bystanders. We haven’t really learnt anything—I’m depressed by the current situation. The experience of the Syrian refugees is similar to what we went through,” Schloss said.
Schloss, who survived Auschwitz, was eleven years old when her family left Nazi-annexed Austria in 1938 for Belgium.
“We were treated as if we had come from the moon. I felt as if I wasn’t wanted and that I was different to everybody. It is even harder for today’s Syrian refugees who have a very different culture. We were Europeans as well as Jews—we were assimilated. I was shocked that I wasn’t accepted like an ordinary person. I am very upset that today again so many countries are closing their borders. Fewer people would have died in the Holocaust if the world had accepted more Jewish refugees,” she asserted.
She praised Germany for accepting more than one million refugees, noting that “the country has not gone under.” She also said that the refugee problem is not Europe’s alone, suggesting that if the United States and Canada took more refugees it would mitigate the problem.
“If Donald Trump become(s) the next president of the U.S. it would be a complete disaster,” Schloss said. “I think he is acting like another Hitler byinciting racism.”
Schloss’ mother married Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, after World War II. The families were friends in Amsterdam and the two girls played together before the Franks went into hiding. She is the co-founder of the Anne Frank Trust UK.