Holocaust Survivor and Immigration Proponent, Gerda Weissmann Klein
September 10, 2019
by Patrick Zachmann
At a time in the United States when the debate over immigration policy burns hot, Gerda Weissmann Klein’s story serves as a reaffirmation of the importance of refugee resettlement in America.
Weissmann Klein, born in Poland, survived six years of Nazi brutality until being liberated by American troops, among whom was her future husband, Kurt Klein. Naturalized as a US citizen in 1948, she released her personal account of the Holocaust, “All But My Life”, in 1957. Weissmann Klein went on to found the Citizenship Counts organization and has been a board member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. For her years of service, in 2011 she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Weissmann Klein has long dedicated herself to reminding Americans of the importance of supporting immigration, welcoming newcomers, and promoting pride in citizenship all with the hope of suppressing xenophobia:
“America is a unique, diverse and wondrous country, comprised both of those who know its magnificence as their birthright, and others, like me, who are privileged to call our adopted country ‘our own.’ What we all share is a desire for our families to enjoy America’s boundless opportunities while extending to all our fellow citizens justice and the blessings and freedoms upon which the nation was founded."
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