Every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter has visited the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial during visits to the Polish city, but not President Donald Trump, who was in Warsaw this week on his way to the G-20 summit in Germany, according to The Washington Post.
Leaders of the Jewish Community of Warsaw released a statement criticizing Trump’s decision to skip the visit to the memorial, calling the move to “break with that laudable tradition” a “slight.”
“Ever since the fall of Communism in 1989, all US presidents and vice-presidents visiting Warsaw had made a point of visiting the Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto. They did this in the name of the American people, who had played such a central role in bringing down Fascism, and in that of the universal commemoration of the victims of the Shoah, and condemnation of its perpetrators, that people of all nationalities and religions express. For the Jews of Poland, rebuilding in a democratic Poland their communal life, after the horror of the Shoah and the devastation of Communism, this gesture meant recognition, solidarity and hope. We deeply regret that President Donald Trump, though speaking in public barely a mile away from the Monument, chose to break with that laudable tradition. We trust that this slight does not reflect the attitudes and feelings of the American people.”
The statement was signed by the organization’s president Anna Chipczynska, President of the Union of the Jewish Communities in Poland, Lesław Piszewski and Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland.
While the President didn’t stop by the Warsaw Ghetto, his daughter Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish, paid a visit and posted about the “moving” experience on Twitter.
It was deeply moving to be able to visit The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and the POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews. pic.twitter.com/hmAGvnj4Ey
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 6, 2017
The memorial is the site of the former ghetto where Jews were trapped by Nazis starting in 1940 awaiting transportation to concentration camps. It was dedicated in 1948 to the 13,000 Jews who died in the 1943 uprising there.