American Jewish artist and Nazi supporter Gertrude Stein was cited yesterday in a White House proclamation in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month 2012
The official release which praises Jewish contributions to American society includes the following statement, “Their history of unbroken perseverance and their belief in tomorrow’s promise offers a lesson not only to Jewish Americans, but to all Americans. From Aaron Copland to Albert Einstein, Gertrude Stein to Justice Louis Brandeis.”
Stein, who’s exhibition currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was strongly criticized by Harvard Law Professor in an Algemeiner column yesterday, where he wrote, “Gertrude Stein was herself a major collaborator with the Vichy regime and a supporter of its pro-Nazi leadership.”
Dershowitz adds further, “Stein’s closest friend, and a man who greatly influenced her turn toward fascism was Bernard Fay, who the Vichy government put in charge of hunting down Masons, Jews and other perceived enemies of the State. Fay was more than a mere collaborator as suggested by the Met exhibit. He was a full blown Nazi operative, responsible for the deaths of many people. After the war, when the horrendous results were known to all, Gertrude wrote in support of Fay when he was placed on trial for his Nazi war crimes.”
A screenshot of the proclamation taken from the White House website is posted below.
UPDATE: In an email to the Algemeiner, Matt Lehrich, a White House spokesman claimed that the inclusion of Gertrude Stein in the proclamation was a mistake. He wrote, “A version of this proclamation was sent out in error. The corrected final version has now been issued.”
The new release, dated May 2nd, omits the reference to Stein and the other Jewish Americans originally mentioned. The corrected paragraph reads, “Their history of unbroken perseverance and their belief in tomorrow’s promise offers a lesson not only to Jewish Americans, but to all Americans. Generations of Jewish Americans have brought to bear some of our country’s greatest achievements and forever enriched our national life.”
As of the publication of this update, the White House website, whitehouse.gov still carries the original version of the proclamation that includes the mention of Stein.