Anne Frank's stepsister Eva Schloss has criticised the Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump for "acting like another Hitler." The 86-year-old Holocaust survivor made the comments in an essay to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day for Newsweek.
"If Donald Trump becomes the next president of the US it would be a complete disaster," Schloss said. "I think he is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism." Trump's campaign has not responded to the criticisms. It should be noted, however, that it is not the first time he has been compared to the Nazi leader.
Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman compared Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the US to those of Hitler leading up to World War II. "If you go and look at your history and you read your history in the lead-up to the Second World War this is the kind of rhetoric that allowed Hitler to move forward," Whitman told CNN. "Because you have people who were scared the economy was bad, they want someone to blame."
Schloss also criticised Western countries for their response to the Syrian refugee crisis. "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," she said.
The Holocaust survivor singled out Britain, which she calls home, for criticism for not taking in enough refugees. She noted that Prime Minister David Cameron has said they might take in thousands of unaccompanied children, which she likened to the Kindertransport [when thousands of refugee Jewish children were sent to Britain from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940].
"This is not just a European problem, it's a global problem. If countries as big as the US and Canada would take in more people, then we would get much closer to a solution," she added.
"The situation today is worse than it was under Hitler because at that time all the Allies—the US, Russia and Britain—worked together to combat the terrible threat of Nazism. If we don't work together, the world will never be able to resolve the threats it faces today."
Schloss, a friend of Anne Frank's in Amsterdam, survived Auschwitz, while Anne, her mother and her sister died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Schloss's mother, Fritzi, married Anne Frank's father, Otto, after World War II.