British-born Shoah charity chief ‘upset’ by US politician’s far-right interview
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British-born Shoah charity chief ‘upset’ by US politician’s far-right interview

From The Depths founder Jonny Daniels criticises representative for speaking with controversial magazine, weeks after the charity took him on an educational trip to Auschwitz

From the Depths Congressional delegation in Poland, including Steve King. Jonny Daniels stands first on the left, speaking to the group.
From the Depths Congressional delegation in Poland, including Steve King. Jonny Daniels stands first on the left, speaking to the group.

The British-born head of a Holocaust charity who sponsored a US politician’s educational trip to Auschwitz, has criticised him for giving an interview to a far-right publication.

US Congressman Steve King met with members of the controversial ‘Freedom Party’ in Austria, which was founded by a former Nazi SS officer and is known for its anti-immigrant views. He also have a sympathetic interview to Unzensuriert, a publication associated with the party.

During interview he complained about illegal immigration to the United States, said that Islam and Western liberalism “have teamed up against Western civilisation” and criticised George Soros, a Jewish Hungarian billionaire who is frequently the target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in his country of birth. King defended the meeting with members of the Freedom Party and said its leaders “completely reject any kind of Nazi ideology or philosophy.”

This comes after the Iowa politician took part in a trip to Poland sponsored by  From the Depths (FTD), a Holocaust education charity run by British-Israeli, Jonny Daniels.

The organisation has brought over 100 politicians from Europe, Israel and the United States to visit concentration camps located in Poland. Prior to visiting Austria, King participated in a four-day trip sponsored by FTD. Its founder Jonny Daniels told JTA that it was “upsetting” that King had met with members of the far-right party.

Daniels emphasised that while his group had paid for King’s trip to Poland, it had not funded his travel to Austria and was not aware of what he was doing there.

From the Depths Congressional delegation in Poland, including Steve King. Jonny Daniels stands first on the left, speaking to the group.

“It’s been quite shocking to me on a personal level,” he said, “because through all the congressmen in the past and members of parliament from all over, we’ve never had any issues. In fact quite the opposite — people leave with a very deep and intense understanding.”

Daniels first gained prominence in Poland in 2014, when he brought over half the Israeli Knesset to Auschwitz on a trip financed by private donors.

Daniels, who was present on the trip by King, said the lawmaker “was visibly moved” and “in tears” at Auschwitz.

He said that the reports showed why the foundations trips were necessary.

“This clearly proves that there’s a lot more for us to do,” Daniels said.

In the Unzensuriert article, King agrees with his interviewer that the United States is threatened by a “Great Replacement,” which white nationalists say is an attempt  to uproot “indigenous” populations in Europe and the United States and replace them with immigrants from Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

King also suggests that Austria and Germany have done enough to atone for the Holocaust and should take pride in their history.

“So I suggest: Bring pride back to Austria! And bring pride back in to Germany again,” King said. “I came to Germany about 15 years ago, and a lot of conversations started with the words ‘I am German, therefore I apologise.’ I took note the first time I heard this from an individual. But after I heard this 10, 12 times, then I knew: It’s the culture.

“When I interviewed Poles, especially the Jewish Poles that are left, and there are not very many of them, their level of resentment is so deep that they think any time a German opens his mouth he should apologize first. And I think you can’t pass the sins of the fathers on to the succeeding generations. They need to know their history, they need to be aware of it, but that’s not their sins. They were not yet born.”

 

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