Donald Trump’s cheering crowds stoke fear of a witch hunt

DECEMBER 10, 2015

AS THE daughter of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, I shudder at Donald Trump’s remarks about Muslims (“Raising rhetoric, Trump calls for ban on Muslim travel to the US,” Page A1, Dec. 8). His latest call to deny entry to the United States for all Muslims and to require Muslims here, even US citizens, to be on a national registry is over the top. What is even more distressing is the applause he gets at rallies for these proposals.

My parents, who escaped from Germany just in time, urged me to always keep my passport current. “You never know when things turn against Jews and you’ll have to leave this country,” they stressed. “A witch hunt, like happened to us in Germany, can erupt at any time, against any group.”

I thought they were paranoid. But I don’t think this anymore. Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and the cheers he gets for it eerily sound like the kind of 21st-century demagogue my parents warned me about. I am frightened even though I am not Muslim.

I just checked that my passport is up to date, and my husband’s too. I hope we won’t have to use them. My children probably think I am paranoid. I know otherwise.

Miriam Stein, Arlington

(published as a letter to the Boston Globe)

Miriam Stein, MSW, is an advocacy trainer, consultant and speaker. She is also the author of Make Your Voice Matter With Lawmakers: No Experience Necessary. For more than 10 years, she was co-chair of the Vision 2020 Diversity Task Group.

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