In First Speech as US Secretary of State Nominee, Blinken Recalls Story of Late Holocaust-Surviving Stepfather
In his first speech since being named as US President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to be the next secretary of state, Antony Blinken — who is Jewish — recalled the Holocaust experiences of his late stepfather, Samuel Pisar.
Pisar, Blinken said at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden officially introduced his national security team, was “one of 900 children in his school in Bialystok, Poland, but the only one to survive the Holocaust after four years in concentration camps.”
“At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria,” Blinken continued. “From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank. But instead of the Iron Cross, he saw painted on its side a five-pointed white star.”
Blinken said, “He ran to the tank. The hatch opened. An African American GI looked down at him. He got down on his knees and said the only three words he knew in English that his mother had taught him before the war. God bless America. The GI lifted him into the tank, into America, into freedom.”
“That’s who we are,” Blinken emphasized. “That’s what America represents to the world, however imperfectly.”
“My late stepfather, Samuel, he was 1 of 900 children in his school in Białystok, Poland, but the only one to survive the Holocaust after four years in concentration camps … that is what America represents to the world.” — Blinken pic.twitter.com/AYSjQwFGSF
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 24, 2020