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ADL Letter to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

April 13, 2017


ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt pens a letter to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer following his
comments on Hitler's actions during the Holocaust.

Dear Mr. Spicer:

This week Jews around the world have spent time with their families celebrating Passover, the feast of
freedom. In the Passover liturgy, we read that in each generation there will be those who rise up to harm
the Jewish people, much like Pharaoh in ancient times and Hitler in modern times. Understanding and
being keenly aware of our history to never forget is part of Passover and part of the Jewish

Unfortunately, when the first days of Passover ended and we turned on our phones and televisions
yesterday evening, we learned about your comment that Hitler did not gas his own people. Your
comparisons between Assad and Hitler were not only historically inaccurate but they also were
inappropriate and offensive.

While you have apologized, this weeks incident as well as others (notably, the International Holocaust
Remembrance Day statement omitting Jews and your vociferous defense of it), have exposed a serious
gap in your knowledge of the Holocaust, its impact, and the lessons we can learn from it.

For decades, ADL has been at the forefront of Holocaust education, providing trainings about the Nazi
atrocities to a wide range of groups. We have conducted trainings for more than 130,000 law enforcement
professionals and more than 35,447 educators, reaching more than 1,000,000 students. Our programs
provide historical context for how the Holocaust was able to occur; teach the Holocaust as a human story;
and create opportunities for critical thinking. Each of these educational programs focuses on the
consequences of unchecked bigotry and hate.

ADL would be happy to conduct one of these trainings at your convenience for you, your staff, and anyone
at the White House who may need to learn more about the Holocaust. We know you are very busy, but we
believe a few hours learning this history will help you understand where you went wrong and prevent you
from making these mistakes in the future.


Jonathan A. Greenblatt
Anti-Defamation League