A Holocaust survivor who lived through the Tree of Life shooting has received a standing ovation from the US Congress yesterday after members sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
Judah Samet was invited as a special guest to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in the House of Representatives and received a special recognition from the president.
The president said: “Tonight, we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet. He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began.
“But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall, more than seven decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps.”
The chamber broke into song after President Trump announced it was Samet’s 81st birthday, who appeared overcome with emotion and shouted back “thank you”.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 6, 2019
The president smiled and mock-conducted, adding: “They wouldn’t do that for me, Judah”.
Judah Samet was several minutes late to services at the Tree of Life synagogue on October 27, which meant he was able to escape the shooting which killed 11 worshippers.
He sat in his car in the synagogue car park after he heard the shooting and was warned by another man, Samet told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Samet served in the Israeli army before moving to the United States in the 1960s, according to a statement by the White House.