Jewish WWII vets reflect on Charlottesville rally

So when protestors showed up to Charlottesville in Nazi-inspired attire, it sent a shockwave amongst those who worked so hard to topple the regime.

More than 400,000 Americans died in World War II, as they fought to defeat Adolf Hitler and the Axis Powers.

That sacrifice made the presence of Nazi swastika's at Saturday's white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va. so troubling for many World War II veterans.

"I was disgusted with people who would think that way," said Daniel Samuelson, who joined the 95th Bomb Group stationed in England as an 18 year-old.

"I bombed 35 missions and they were all over Germany," Samuelson explained.

Growing up in New Orleans, Samuelson was he picked on and beat up for his Jewish roots.

"I wanted to get into the service, and get Hitler."

On Saturday, the regime Samuelson and so many others fought to defeat was idolized by many protestors, some of whom waved flags bearing the Nazi swastika and wore shirts in honor of its leader.

"I feel sorry for them. Because I feel that they've had their lives so blemished, that they flat cannot take advantage of what the United States is all about," explained Ray Maislin, a fellow Jewish World War II veteran.

Maislin said many family members on his father's side were killed during the Holocaust.

"I was appalled as to what happened after all these years since 1945," said Maislin.

Since moving to Texas, Maislin has been involved with the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights organization with a key focus on combating anti-Semitism and bigotry.

"That all starts with improving our public education system. And those things that go with it," said Maislin, whose efforts played a key role in the organization opening up an Austin chapter.

The focus on improving education is not only to dispel stereotypes, but to teach of the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Despite Saturday's rally, Maislin believed society has progressed since World War II; progress he hoped to see persist.

"I'm a great believer in the good of people, even though I've seen the bad as well."

© 2017 KVUE-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment