Welcome, Mr. President!

Welcome, Mr. President! President Trump will visit Poland

 

In a few days, the President of The United States, Donald Trump, will visit Poland.

And on this occasion, it's especially worth highlighting one aspect of his presidency, which is of particular importance here. Donald Trump is the first and only president of the United States to date whose relationship with the Jews is quite unique––in the most natural sense of the word––because it literally comes from his own family.

President Donald Trump is the father, father-in-law, and grandfather of Jews––his daughter, Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and their three children.

This personal relationship is also a connection with the history of the Jews, the history of Europe, the idea of history, itself.

Donald Trump's grandchildren are fourth-generation Holocaust survivors. Their great-grandmother, Rae Kushner, was born in Nowogrodek, Poland (Navahrudak, Belarus, presently) before the war and went through the ghetto there. Her loved ones were murdered. Her husband, Yossel Kushner, was a Jew from Hungary. And after their horrifying Holocaust experience, both of them desired only one thing: to emigrate together from Europe to America.

Most U.S. citizens are descendants of immigrants. But this time a descendant of German immigrants to the New World––Donald Trump––will visit the land where the ancestors of his grandsons––European Jews––were being killed by German hands.

There's a symbolism there that stimulates the imagination. It comes down to the hope that the existence of a better world, even against all odds, is somehow possible. And it reminds us of America's role in shaping and sustaining this hope.

In any case, taking the office of President of the United States by a new election winner always creates many unique opportunities for the world at large. And that's especially the case with Donald Trump.

We welcome the freely-elected leader of the United States, the country that saved Europe three times in the 20th century from its own murderous instincts during World War I, World War II, and The Cold War. But this time we welcome a man who has exceptionally strong personal reasons, especially in Poland, to feel great responsibility for the fate of the world.

Welcome, Mr. President!

Paweł Jędrzejewski
Olga Degani
Jakub Ciring
Mark Ebel

Polish Jews Forum

 

June 2017