Donald Trump Addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition

— by Richard Chaitt and Scott Schley

Real estate mogul Donald Trump was among the thirteen Republican candidates speaking at the RJC Presidential Presidential Forum.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

He was introduced as “a mensch with chutzpah.” Trump mentioned that his daughter and grandchildren are Jewish joking that the RJC only likes him because his daughter was Jewish and that made him mishpacha. He said having a Jewish daughter was great, except he can’t get her on the phone on Saturday.

While he asked for the Republican Jewish Council’s support, he did not ask for money as he is self-funding his campaign. The audience found Trump and the many jokes he told very humorous, but he did not say much of substance.

Trump said “Obama was the worst thing ever for Israel. Our negotiations with Iran was horrible and we did not bargain from strength.” He criticized Obama for being unwilling to use the term ‘radical Islam’. He argued that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should not be allowed to run, claiming that what she did with her emails was criminal.

Donald Trump has been a strong supporter of Israel. He told the story of how he was asked by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to do an election commercial for him. He said the commercial must have worked, since Bibi won. Trump called himself a great deal maker and thinks he can make a deal for peace. He would not commit to having a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This caused “boos” from the audience. However, Trump countered that “To do a deal, you do not reveal your cards up front.”

In conclusion, Trump was very charismatic, sharp and funny, but there was no there there. He only spoke in generalities without being specific.

Speeches by the other Republican presidential candidates is available in our full coverage of the RJC presidential forum.

Lindsey Graham Addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition

— by Richard Chaitt and Scott Schley

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was among the 13 Republican candidates speaking at the RJC Presidential Presidential Forum.

Senator Lindsay Graham

Senator Lindsay Graham

Senator Lindsey Graham

Senator Graham’s presentation was “folksy”. He took off against unserious candidates; zeroing in on those who never held office. Objected to what Cruz said. Graham believes that by emphasizing a nationalist, pro-life agenda Republicans are alienating Hispanic and young women voter; the party needs to be more inclusive if they are to prevail in the general election. If the Republican candidate takes the position that a woman who is raped or is a victim of incest can’t get an abortion or that all illegal immigrants must be deported, the Republicans will lose.

Graham was strong on foreign policy and against Iran. He promised to stop the Iranian nuclear program. He would defund the UN unless they stop taking discriminatory positions against Israel. He also said the Palestinians should lose US funding unless they get serious about peace.

Speeches by the other Republican presidential candidates is available in our full coverage of the RJC presidential forum.

Thirteen Candidates at Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum

ajcPollThe Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum was held on December 3, 2015 in Washington DC. Attended by over 700 members of the RJC from all over the country. Of the 14 Republican presidential candidates, 13 attended (Senator Rand Paul backed out due to Senate business). Each candidate had 30 minutes for a prepared speech and questions. A fundamental concern of the RJC is Israel. So it was not surprising that most of the comments related to foreign policy and the relationship between the United States and Israel.

Click on the links below for video of each speaker along with a brief review of their comments.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush
Johns Hopkins Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina
Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
Ohio Governor John Kasich
New York Governor George Pataki
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
Real estate mogul Donald Trump

According to Steve Sheffey despite their efforts at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s forum, the Republican presidential candidates continue to turn off Jewish voters:

All of the GOP candidates hold views that most Jewish voters strongly disagree with. The day after the mass shooting in California, the Republican presidential candidates were utterly unapologetic about their opposition to new gun control laws.

On Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) voted against an amendment that would have prevented people on the terrorism watch list from purchasing firearms. So did the other Republican senators running for president. We need to place the sanctity of life above the sanctity of misguided interpretations of the Second Amendment.

Photos courtesy of Richard Chaitt. Video courtesy of CSPAN.

Ted Cruz Addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition

— by Richard Chaitt and Scott Schley

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was among the 13 Republican candidates speaking at the RJC Presidential Presidential Forum.

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz mentioned his bi-partisan outreach to Democrats in foreign affairs. We urges us to speak the truth about Radical Islam, since “the truth has power.” To borrow a page from Ronald Reagan’s strategy in the cold war, he says “our strategy should be very simply: we win, they lose.” He emphasized we are at war with Islamic Terror and the United States has to stand with Israel. Accordingly, Cruz wants to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and take steps to combat the boycott Israel (BDS) movement.

Cruz made it clear that the United States must go after terrorists. He also wants to rip up the Iran nuclear deal and force an end to the Iranian nuclear program.

During the question and answer period, Cruz was asked about abortion. He replied that to win the Republicans must run as fiscal, foreign policy and social conservatives and that if Republicans nominate a moderate, the coalition necessary to win won’t exist.

Speeches by the other Republican presidential candidates is available in our full coverage of the RJC presidential forum.

Senators Menendez, Kirk Receive ZOA’s Defender of Zion Award


Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Photo: Richard Chaitt.

— by Richard Chaitt

About 100 congresspersons and legislative staffers participated in the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)’s Annual Advocacy Mission to Washington, D.C. last week.

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) received the ZOA’s Defender of Zion Award.

ZOA’s national president, Morton A. Klein, said that Menendez “has done tremendous work in the field of security since 9/11, has given extraordinary speeches about Israel and has been leading with the introduction of the Nuclear Free Iran Act of 2013.”

Menendez said that he was “honored to receive this award”:

I have had an unwavering view that it is in the national interest of the United States to have a strong relationship with the state of Israel, an island of democracy. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I reject any call for boycotts, divestment or any statement that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state.

More after the jump.
ZOA’s board member, Jim Pollack, said that “Senator Kirk doesn’t just co-sponsor pro-Israel legislation, he initiates and he authors it. There is no better friend in Washington, D.C. than this gentleman.”

Kirk said to the audience, “When you’re told to ‘temporize’ what you’re doing in support of Israel, or to ‘back off,’ don’t. Defend the State of Israel and do exactly what you believe in.”


Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL). Photo: Richard Chaitt.

Klein said that the delegates “were thrilled to spend a day in their lives to fight for Israel, for strong U.S.-Israel relations, and to educate Members of Congress about the truth about the on-going Arab war against Israel, which seeks Israel’s destruction, not any sort of negotiated settlement.”

Hundreds of activists from 23 states across the country urged the congresspersons to:

  • oppose further U.S. aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) (currently more than $600 million per annum) until it fulfills its signed agreements under Oslo to:
    • arrest and imprison terrorists; dismantle and outlaw terrorist groups;
    • end the incitement to hatred and murder within the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps;
    • end the PA alliance with Hamas; and
    • recognize Israel as a Jewish state;

  • impose new, tough sanctions on Iran in the event that it violates the Geneva Interim Agreement with the U.S. and Europe (P5+1) and fails to agree to ending its nuclear weapons program, given that the Iranian regime has called for the destruction of Israel, America and the defeat of the West; and
  • support and understand the legal, historical, religious and political right of Jews to live in Judea/Samaria and to oppose the canard, based on a willful and politicized distortion and intentional misinterpretation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, that Israel’s presence there is unlawful and a war crime.

Veterans Day: Honoring Red Ball Express Death Camp Liberators


Alexandra Bochova with Jewish War Veteran Paul Ouslander. Photo: Dan Benau.

Veterans Day Program Honoring African American Liberators of the Concentration Camps and the Special Unit Called “The Red Ball Express”

— by Lee Bender

It was an amazing contrast: a beautiful, mild Sunday afternoon outside on Veterans Day, November 11, 2012. But inside Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, Wynnewood, was honoring some special heroes of World War II who liberated concentration camps in Europe and witnessed some of the most heinous crimes in human history. In an incredibly moving program, before an audience of 225, including many students and scouts, tribute was paid to the African American soldiers of the U.S. Army who liberated the camps, many of whom were members of a segregated unit known as The Red Ball Express. This program, as in past years, was the brainchild of Ed “The Sage” Snyder of TBH-BE, and co-sponsored with the Israel Advocacy Committee and Mens Club. Special guests in attendance were from the neighboring Zion Baptist Church of Ardmore, and many survivors, liberators and prisoner of war, war veterans, Jewish war veterans and American Legion.

More after the jump.


Photo: Dan Benau.

The program began with Cantor Eugene Rosner leading the audience in the National Anthem. The Zion Baptist Church Choir then led a soulful rendering of the America The Beautiful.

Acting as M.C., Ed began by remarking how important it was that the students and youth, especially, learn and appreciate this important history- which is not being taught and has all but been forgotten. He also stated, almost incredibly, how much resistence he received from various groups and organizations in trying to put this program together.

Rabbi Neil Cooper next gave warm welcoming remarks to the veterans, liberators and the sizeable audience from the African American community, stressing the historic relationship and kinship with the Jewish community, both of whom emerged from slavery into freedom. Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El President Pam Feld Randel then thanked the community for coming together at the synagogue to celebrate this special occasion.

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Alexandra Bochova. Photo: Richard Chaitt.

The first guest speaker was Alexandra Bochova, who joined the Russian Army at age 15, fighting through Eastern Europe and eventually liberating concentration camps with the Red Army. Her story was fascinating, and she wished she had more time to tell it. She came dressed in her splendid army uniform chocked full of medals. She spoke in Russian, which was translated by Marina Furman, a former refusenik and the current director of the Jewish National Fund in Philadelphia.

The Reverend James Pollard of Zion Baptist Church then spoke grandly and eloquently about honor and duty, and that this history is not only not being forgotten, but in fact his church has established a library and resource center about it. He also praised the connection and shared history of the Jewish and African American communities.

A short section of the film, Red Ball Express was then shown and introduced by Dan Benau, the son of a survivor. Dan is a movie and history buff on the Holocaust.

Arthur Seltzer, a veteran with the U.S. Army, who received innumerable medals and awards, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was a liberator who spoke at last year’s program, introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Leon Bass, a robust man of 87. It was very clear when Dr. Bass spoke that the audience was enraptured, by his cadence, confidence, and message. He was a young man from West Philadelphia, enlisted in the army, went down south for training and was shocked at the segregation and disdain of the African American soldiers, but he stood tall. He came to realize that his superiors and the culture deemed that he, an African American, was “not good enough” but yet expendable to fight for America. He was sent to Europe and told his story of fighting his way in the segregated African American units, and surviving while seeing death and destruction all around him. One day while they were in Germany, he was suddenly told by a superior officer to come with him to a concentration camp. He had never heard of such a thing, and was wholly unprepared for what they were to all see when they arrived to open Buchenwald. The most horrendous scene he could ever have imagined, he was an eyewitness to it all: the decrepit camp, the stench, the “walking dead”- nothing but skin and bones in pajamas, people who were barely alive, the crematoriums and gas chambers. It occurred to him that these innocent people were considered by the Germans to also “not be good enough to live.” It haunts him to this very day. Ultimately, he came home, finished his education, became a principal of Benjamin Franklin High School. One day in the early 1970s, a woman survivor came to school, and he was encouraged and inspired from then on to speak, speak out, and tell his story, which he has been doing ever since and vows to continue until his last days. The audience was spellbound. He is a real treasure.

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Rabbi Neil Cooper. Photo: Richard Chaitt.

Ed then introduced the veterans and liberators in attendance, and paid respects to those from the community who had died in the past year. Unfortunately, too many of these heroes are dying with greater frequency, leaving fewer live eyewitnesses.

My son, Noah Bender, a high school student, then concluded the program at our synagogue by playing taps.

Many in the audience from the two communities stayed late afterwards to enjoy refreshments, meet and interact.

The program was videotaped for future preservation.

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Keynote speaker, Dr. Leon Bass. Photo: Richard Chaitt.

Joe “You Lie!” Wilson Imitator At Congregation Keneseth Israel

Area Jewish Dems Praise Obama’s Support  Of Israel & Jewish Values


Photo: Richard Chaitt / Jewish Exponent.

Last night the Jewish community came out in force to Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park for a serious discussion of politics sponsored by Jewish Americans for Obama.

As expected Pennsylvania State Representative (17th district) and former standup comic Daylin Leach had everyone’s attention with his unique blend of political analysis and satire. However, Daylin’s comedy was overshadowed by the spectacle afforded by a small group of tea party enthusiasts who were in attendance. These right-wing extremists stood up and interrupted speaker after speaker.

Representative Joe Wilson only interrupted President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union address with “You lie” only once, but these protesters were comfortable shouting “It is a lie” over a dozen times during the night.

Their random outbursts seemed like a crude caricature of a rabid Tea Party member. The continual refrain of “It is a lie” punctuated the most anodyne statement of fact.

Here is one example: Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro praised Obama’s record of vetoing every anti-Israel United Nations Security Council Resolution since he took office. And the protester was rose and cried out,

“It is a lie.”

Really?!

Tell us what UNSC resolution escaped the attention of this administration? Perhaps he was thinking about UNSC #1405 which required Israel to submit to UN inspections of the Jenin refugee camp as a result of libelous accusation against Israel during Operation Defensive Shield. Actually, this happened under President George W. Bush’s watch in April 2002. That was the last time the US failed to wield its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to protect Israel.

Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rod McCord quoted Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai who proudly took credit for our state’s new Voter ID law saying

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done.
First pro-life legislation — abortion facility regulations — in 22 years, done.
Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

To which our friendly protester provided comic relief by bellowing out “It is a lie” at the top of his lungs.


At the Keneseth Israel event, Rabbi Lance Sussman(second from right) addresses the crowd. Also at the podium are (from left) State Sen. Daylin Leach, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and county Democratic head Marcel Groen.
Photo: Richard Chaitt / Jewish Exponent

Spiritual leader Rabbi Lance J. Sussman welcomed the standing-room-only crowd of 1,200 members of community packing the sanctuary. He welcomed the community’s commitment to the political process and indicated that Keneseth Israel desired to hold a similar event on behalf of Governor Romney.

Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Marcel Groen served as master of ceremonies, he and all the members of the political panel started their remarks with their Jewish bona fides, detailing their history of commitment to Israel and the Jewish community (even if some of the panelists didn’t have very Jewish names).

Daylin Leach and Josh Shapiro echoed the sentiment that a candidates’ understanding of the unique relationship between Israel and United States was condition sine qua non to get their support. Neither had any doubt that Obama’s feels a love for the State of Israel “in his kishkes.”

Daylin Leach said he was just 20 feet away from Barack Obama at this year’s AIPAC Policy Conference when the President declared that “I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Rep. Leach also praised Obama for fighting anti-Semitism here and around the world.

Rep. Leach spoke about the importance of the separation of church and state. He warned that it was not so long ago that we had mandatory school prayer, and that if school prayer were to return, it would probably not be the shema. He emphasize the closely divided nature of Supreme Court on this issue. The next President will likely nominate one or more justices who will shape our understanding of law for decades to come. Romney used to hold Chief Justice John Roberts as an example of the type of judge he would nominate for the Supreme Court. Now that Roberts ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act, Romney has now chosen Associate Justice Antonin Scalia as his model for a Supreme Court nominee. To understand who Obama is likely to nominate, we can look at the two judges he has nominated so far: Associate Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

United States Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) was on hand. Rep. Schwartz is the only woman and the only Jew in Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation. Her Congressional District covers much of Eastern Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia. Thanks to the latest redistricting Congregation Keneseth Israel is now part of her district, and she welcomed her new constituents.


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz fields questions at K.I.
Photo: Richard Chaitt / Jewish Exponent.

The highlight of the evening was Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20). She addressed the many hoaxes being circulated attacking Obama’s stand on Israel. She recommended that everyone keep a copy of the campaign’s Myths vs. Facts document and their six-page fact sheet detailing the ironclad relation with Israel that the Obama campaign has nurtured.

The crowd also heard from Obama’s Pennsylvania Jewish Outreach Coordinator Alan Fuchs, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, as well as Obama for America Montgomery County Field Director Dan Siegal. The campaign opened their county headquarters at 115 Yorktown Plaza in Elkins Park, PA. The headquarters was conveniently located at the intersection of RT 611 and Church Rd just across the street from Keneseth Israel.

Why Does The United States Persist In Funding UNWRA?

The Israel Advocacy Committee of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El sponsored a program with Israeli investigative journalist and former Philadelphian David Bedein, who for the past nine years has been sounding the alarm that the US has been funding an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and anti-American educational curriculum in UN-run Palestinian refugee camps. Bedein and his colleague Dr. Arnon Groiss presented to an audience of 50 the same program they had presented to U.S. Congress staff and committee members earlier that week, including a film showing the horrendous pervasive misstatements in textbooks provided by $250 million of US yearly funding to 500,000 students. There is apparently no oversight regarding these funds to UNWRA. Thus, we are funding a curriculum of violence, terrorism, jihad, and war. This is directly counter to any possible, reasonable attempt at a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A generation of children are being brainwashed and poisoned. Bedein said however that his work is finally bearing fruit: Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) will be holding hearings. And he encouraged us all to contact Sen. Bob Casey especially, who is chairman of the senate subcommittee pertaining to the Middle East to hold similar hearings. Clearly, it is incumbent upon us to contact our legislators and get them on-board; it is hard to imagine that they want US taxpayers to be complicit in this sham.

More after the jump.
Dr. Arnon Groiss, David Bedein and Lee Bender. Photo: Richard Chaitt.

Israel Behind The News
Funds Needed to Continue Proactive News Investigations

  • Dangers of Further US Aid to the PLO Army
  • Threat of Planned PLO Army Deployment in Hebron and Jerusalem
  • UNRWA and PA for War Curriculum, financed by US and the West
  • Conflicts of Interests of Israeli businesses invested in the Palestinian Authority

Honoring Liberators


Veterans and former prisoners of war. Photo: Richard Chaitt.

A vanishing breed who refuse to allow their memories to die.

It is not often that one gets to see and honor a true hero in person let alone dozens of them.   But that is exactly what an audience of 325, including 75 students from the Hebrew High schools of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, Adath Israel and Har Zion, experienced firsthand on Sunday at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood in a moving program to honor Concentration Camp Liberators, POWs, and veterans from the U.S. Military, IDF and Russian Army.  The program was the brainchild of Ed “The Sage” Snyder of TBH-BE, and co-sponsored with the Israel Advocacy Committee and Men’s Club.   It was an incredible and moving program, that recognized the service and heroism of thirty men and women who have served defending liberty and freedom. But unfortunately, the liberators who are in the mid 80s-90s  are an all too-fast vanishing breed who will no longer be around to testify in person as to the atrocities they witnessed.

More after the jump.


Veterans: (left to right) Paul Seres (Ebensee; liberator of Mauthausen); Sidney Parmet (POW at Stalag 7B, from 45th Division); Arthur Seltzer; Frank Hartzell (11th Armored Div.; liberator of Mauthausen); Alexandra Bucharova (Russian Army, 16th Army, liberator of Majdanek). Photo: Richard Chaitt.

The program began with welcoming remarks and greetings from Lou Balcher of the Israel Consul General’s Office.   Ed Snyder then introduced the program, and deliberately and overtly focusing his attention on the student section of the audience, our future leaders, so they could see and connect for themselves with the Holocaust and its horrors — and the brave men and women who served to defeat them. Ed  then called the names of the veterans in attendance, starting with the liberators from the U.S,. Military: Arthur Seltzer, George Gunning, Arthur Goldstein, Frank Hartzell, Paul Seres, Morton Horrow, Marvin Davidow; Alexandra Bochova, a woman liberator from the Russian army; and POWs Stanley Malamut and Sydney Parmet. A member of the Catholic War Veterans was also in attendance to show solidarity. All other veterans in attendance from the various services were also recognized and all stood at their seats.  Some came in with walkers, but all stood up. The audience was clearly moved by their presence.

Ed then introduced the guest speaker, Arthur Seltzer of Cherry Hill, whose Jewish War Veterans post, he boasted, was the largest in the country.  Ed read a partial list of service medals Mr. Seltzer was awarded, which included the Bronze Star, and the list was astounding.  Mr. Seltzer then took to the podium, wearing his JWV cap and medals, and recounted how as an 18-year-old after graduating Olney High School, he was drafted as a communications specialist, and in 1943 transported to England via the ship Queen Elizabeth. He described in vivid detail training for D-Day landing, and showed a dollar bill that had the signatures of 36 members of his squadron before the landing. He was weighed down with 70 pounds of communications equipment on his back and was essentially dumped over the side of the transport boat at Omaha Beach, fighting his way up, thousands of men and bodies strewn everywhere, very much like it was depicted in the movie Saving Private Ryan. He was in the 3rd-4th wave; in the 1st-2nd wave there were 60-80% wounded/killed.  According to Mr. Seltzer, General Eisenhower had virtually no “Plan B” in case the invasion was thwarted.  He then described how they were successful in beating back the Germans who were shooting down at them from the bluffs.

Photograph taken May 6, 1945, the day after the official liberation of the Mauthausen main camp. Prisoners surround an M8 Greyhound armored car. Previous day’s liberation reenacted for photographers at the request of Gene. Eisenhower. The Nazi eagle over the gate had already been removed by the prisoners and the  banner put up by the Spanish political prisoners reads “The Spanish Anti-Fascists Salute the Liberating Forces.”

He operated communications equipment from a trailer with officers, and they fought their way through France, Ardennes Forrest and the Battle of the Bulge.  He was with the 7th Armored Division and they liberated the 101st.  They got marching orders that if they came to POW camp to get the US soldiers out, virtually at all costs.

On April 28, 1945, he arrived in Munich, and headed towards Dachau, a town eight miles outside the city.  The war was coming to an end. His division, 20th Armored, was to go to the Elbe River to meet up with the Russian Army.  The transport driver told them they were coming up to a POW camp, but then he was told to look more closely, and through binoculars he saw the inmates were not wearing army uniforms as POWs customarily did, but rather black and white pajama-like outfits. Up until that time, he said that the word “Concentration Camp” never came up, they did not hear of one, not know what one was.  They cut the chain link fence to the camp, and they saw “a sight you could not believe someone could do this to another person.”  There was a sign that said “work makes you free” in “German. He was only 20 years old and clearly not prepared for it. The smell, the stench: “can’t describe how bad the odor was.” Then he saw smoke coming out of a smoke- stack that was hidden by trees, and thought it was a factory. Instead, he learned later that it was the crematorium that was still burning and hot.  Mr. Seltzer then turned to the students and said that he hoped that when they graduated college that they vote to make sure that people in Washington make sure this never happens again, as it is now also happening in Africa.  

Nazi eagle being pulled down by Mauthausen survivors, May 6, 1945

He he never spoke about all this when he returned from the war, and never intended to. However, when his granddaughter was in 5th grade and had a homework assignment about the Holocaust, which is mandatory education in New Jersey- which he stated he hoped would be in the entire country- and volunteered him to speak to her class, he could not disappoint her, and has been now speaking ever since.  He lamented that all too many people say this never happened.

He continued with the story, about how they stopped the inmates from attacking the six Germans who were left to guard the camp.  They did kill the vicious, trained tokill German police dog, however.  Those six guards were taken captive and heavily interrogated.

His job in the signal corps was to take photos of the camp, which he did personally, and on orders from General Eisenhower who said to take as many photos to document it as he could because people will never believe it happened.  What he saw and witnessed firsthand was mind-numbing: ashes from the crematorium that were still warm, mass graves and pits with bodies and bulldozers, starving inmates, many like walking skeletons, in thin pajamas or naked.  Soldiers instinctively gave their K-rations to the prisoners, who could not handle it and got violently ill. They liberated 3700 prisoners.

He then showed some of the photos he took, warning in advance that they were graphic, and if the audience  wanted to turn away they could. No one did. The photos showed many of the scenes common to those seen in Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Museum and other museums and exhibits-only these were taken by him personally.  

One thing a liberator does, he said, was to try to find someone he liberated.  He then related how his niece found a survivor in Ohio who he had liberated, and it turned out to be a boy who was 14 at the time and was pictured in one of his photographs.  They had a very long, engaging talk.   He ended his presentation by saying that he hopes his story will never be forgotten.  

The Collaborative Hebrew High School of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El and Adath Israel then presented Mr. Seltzer with a special certificate for his service.

He took some questions from the audience.  He said that being a Jew in the units he served in was not an impediment, no one felt they could not take orders from him- he was in charge of 24 soldiers, and he told them if anyone felt so, they could take it up with his commanders; no one did.  He said he also felt that many of the non-Jewish soldiers took what they saw at Dachau very hard, could not believe that follow Christians could do such things.  Many in the audience stayed for a long time afterward speaking with the liberators and veterans.