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Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Canton, Ohio, on September 14, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Segar

A FāVS exclusive: early draft of President Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement

By Neal Schindler

In a tremendous coup — no pun intended — SpokaneFāVS has acquired an early draft of the statement issued by the Trump administration to mark the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The finished product, though considerably more polished than this draft version, still failed to mention the Jewish people as the primary target of the Nazis’ genocidal efforts.

“It is with an as yet undetermined degree of consternation — possibly mild, possibly somewhat more serious — that we remember, more or less, and honor, to some extent, the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror. It is also impossible for us to list comprehensively the people groups affected by the Nazis’ evil plan. Thus, and I think we can all agree this will make life simpler for all of us, we will simply avoid mentioning any of those ill-fated groups. Fair, right? That seems fair.

“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ Much like the lights that illuminated the eager faces of contestants on ‘The Celebrity Apprentice,’ back when it was still raking in mondo ratings. Now? Not so much. Anyway, as we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent. Frederick Douglass, for example — terrific guy. Hardworking, crime-fighting guy. Really cleaned up the ghettos, the inner cities. Especially Warsaw. One of the worst ghettos, we are told. We hope to use future presidential statements to give Mr. Douglass the credit he so richly deserves for his brave work saving Jews in Europe and South Asia during World War II, because honestly, that was no easy task. Not just anyone could have done that. Ben Carson could have, sure. Unfortunately, at that time, he had not yet been born.

“In the name of the perished, none of whom we will identify by ethnic or religious background — I think we all know who was and who was not systematically murdered during the Holocaust, am I right?  I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil — but really, mostly the radical Islamic ones, less so the Richard Spencer-y ones — never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance (but not necessarily toward refugees or other immigrants) prevalent throughout the world.”

Neal Schindler

About Neal Schindler

A native of Detroit, Neal Schindler has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 14 years. He has held staff positions at Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times and was a freelance writer for Jew-ish.com from 2007 to 2011. Schindler was raised in a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation and is now a member of Spokane's Reform congregation, Emanu-El. He is the director of Spokane Area Jewish Family Services and also works as a copy editor at the Spokesman-Review. His interests include movies, Scrabble, and indie rock. He lives with his wife, baby son, and two cats in West Central Spokane.

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