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White House Cites Nazi Supporter In Jewish Heritage Month Proclamation (UPDATE)

May 2, 2012 5:39 pm 11 comments

White House. Photo: wiki commons.

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.

A screenshot of the proclamation's opening. Photo: Whitehouse.gov.

11 Comments

    • With a memory like elizabeth warren they don’t need to do the research their word is good enough.

  • Yes, it was fairly stupid of them to honor Gertrude Stein. She was, after all, a Republican who criticized FDR and hated the New Deal. In other words, she was the perfect modern Republican, right down to her core.

  • It now says…
    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 a product of heritage and faith, they have helped open our eyes to injustice, to people in need, and to the simple idea that we might recognize ourselves in the struggles of our fellow men and women. These principles led Jewish advocates to fight for women’s equality and workers’ rights, and to preach against racism from the bimah; they inspired many to lead congregants on marches to stop segregation, help forge unbreakable bonds with the State of Israel, and uphold the ideal of “tikkun olam” — our obligation to repair the world. Jewish Americans have served heroically in battle and inspired us to pursue peace, and today, they stand as leaders in communities across our Nation.

  • Jeffery Clark

    Can you imagine if this had been George W. Bush’s proclamation?

    Liberals would be ripping their shirts on the floor of Congress demanding he be impeached and removed from office. Protestors would be filling the streets and marching on Washington, DC.

    Yet, if Obama the Messiah does it, it only gets covered in the conservative blogs.

  • WHY BE OVERLY CONCERNED WITH AN INCONSEQUENTIAL ERROR LIKE THIS ONE ,
    WHEN THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT AN ANTI-SEMITIC, ANTI-ISRAEL PERSON IS
    SITTING IN THE OVAL OFFICE ?? A DISCIPLE OF JEREMIAH WRIGHT WHO LISTENED
    TO ALL OF WRIGHT’S POISONOUS DIATRIBES FOR 20 YEARS. IF OBAMA TRULY HAS
    60% OF THE JEWISH VOTE, IT JUST PROVES HOW IGNORANT JEWISH VOTERS ARE.

  • It is stunning that American Jews would support Obama especially since he listened to anti-Semetic rants from “Rev.” Wright for 20+ years. If he had any trouble with the “Reverand’s” rantings, he would have spoken up at the time. That did not happen. The inclusion of Gertrude Stein was not a mistake; fortunately, someone was alert enough to spot it.

    I am not Jewish, I am a Roman Catholic, but my father was one of the troops that liberated one of the big camps. He didn’t want to speak about it but he said the vision was just too horrible.

  • Steve Blakely

    Is it true that the majority of Jews in the US support and voted for Obama ? If so, why ??

  • PROCLAMATION CORRECTION IS TOO LITTLE TOO LATE.

    LACKED SPECIFICITY.

    THE JEWS OF RECIFE WERE SEPHARDIC. THERE WAS NO MENTION THEREOF. THERE WAS NO MENTION OF ASHKENAZIC JEWS.

    DIDN’T EXPECT ANYTHING ELSE FROM THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE.

    THE ONLY CORRECT DEPICTION IN THE PROCLAMATION WAS THE REFERENCE TO “JEWISH AMERICANS” RATHER THAN “AMERICAN JEWS”.

  • Why would anyone be surprised that Pres Obama after listening to and supporting Rev Wright ‘s antisemetic rants for twenty years would consider Gertrude Stein a great Jew? She ardently supported Vichy as its police rounded up 73000 French Jews., put them on Vichy trains and sent them to their death at Auschwitz. Stein is obviously the kind of Jew Obama admires.

  • Judith Goldman

    Nothing surprises me by the current administration.
    It was no “mistake” that Gertrude Stein was included in the proclamation. It SHOULD be offensive to all American, to have a Nazi collaberator like Gertrude Stein so honored. Friends are in Europe now, visiting the crematoria and Nazi horrors that was perpetrated on millions by this vile, black period of our history. This tells us volumes about the bent of the current administration.

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