Beverly’s Blog

Responding to Candidate Richard Cordray’s Nazi Slur

I am Dr. Beverly Goldstein, candidate for Congress in Ohio District 11.  In Congress I will represent the inner cities of Cleveland and Akron, as well as 30 other municipalities.

I am also the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

As a candidate, it is my duty to tell the truth to my constituents. I must not lie to them. I must not ever exaggerate my perception of the faults of my opponent or of other political parties. My success, and my value as a human being, must be dependent on my honesty in campaigning.

Not all candidates live up to this standard.

Richard Cordray is the Democrat candidate for Governor of the State of Ohio. On June 25, 2018 the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that during a campaign speech Cordray compared locally-elected Republicans statewide to WWII French collaborators with the Nazis, for not standing up to Republican Governor John Kasich and the members of the Ohio General Assembly for making cuts to local government funds in 2011.  Cordray stated, “Somebody said to me last month that they’re ‘Vichy Republicans,’ which I didn’t fully understand. I guess that’s ‘Vichy France’ during World War II, the ones who went over and collaborated with the Nazis.”

Responding to criticism, Cordray’s campaign spokesman said, “He regrets repeating someone else’s inappropriate comparison in making that point.”

That tepid response is not nearly good enough. American politicians, especially those running for office, should never invoke the mantra of Nazis and their collaborators when they do not “fully understand” what they are saying. They should inform themselves. They should study. They should learn, which clearly Cordray disdained to do.  He displayed incredible ignorance about the history of WWII, about the political makeup of France after the Nazi conquest in 1940, and above all, about the evil of Nazis and their regime which created the Holocaust.

This proved to be not an inadvertent remark. We know that because Cordray did it again, this time during a recent campaign stop on June 15 with the Licking County Democrats in Newark, Ohio.  As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Cordray doubled down, stating, “I will say, that as I said, the tone that you set in government and leadership matters. I mean, right now we have a tone being set by the White House, which is absolutely against everything I’ve understood for America. You know, trying to find people to scapegoat and blame? That’s like Nazi Germany.” [Emphasis added]

He then said that he doesn’t want to “compare it to the Holocaust,” but this backtracking is not credible. Cordray’s message is that Republicans are like Nazis. That is what he wants Ohioans to think and to believe.

I am a very proud Republican running for Congress. When President Trump blamed others for creating many of America’s present difficulties at a time when he was not yet even a candidate, he was not scapegoating. He was truth-telling.

Scapegoating by Republicans is like the Nazis? Hardly. The Nazis blamed all of Germany’s problems on the Jews, and then murdered six million of us to “solve” the problem. The Nazis also murdered another six million Europeans in the death camps. That’s just their civilian victims; it does not include the tens of millions of soldiers killed in fighting and defeating the Nazis.

I recommend that all Ohioans, including Mr. Cordray, go to the Statehouse grounds in Columbus and view and contemplate the beautiful Holocaust Survivors and Liberators Memorial. It was created by a Republican governor and a Republican majority Ohio General Assembly as a continuous reminder of the true evil of our enemy and the sacrifices of our Ohio troops in defeating Nazism and liberating its victims.

Any comparison of Republicans with Nazis is odious and false and displays a breathtaking level of ignorance and evil intent. I know what the Nazis were.

My mother and my aunt were slave laborers under the Nazis, in Auschwitz and in three other camps. Most of my maternal relatives were murdered by the Nazis.

In the 1930s, as a boy of 12, my Dad was sent by his parents in Czechoslovakia to live with an aunt in Detroit. Alone, he traveled by train across Europe to France and by ship to the United States.

During World War II, after graduating from high school he returned to Europe as an American soldier, and was in Germany when the Germans surrendered. He took leave and went to Czechoslovakia to look for his family, only to learn that they had all been murdered by the Nazis. Every last one of them.

But luckily during his search he met and married my mother, who came to America on board a war brides ship.

I was born in Detroit after the war. I grew up with no grandparents on either side. All my aunts and uncles, except for a few who had come here before the war, were gone. I did not know any of them, or have had the chance to love them. All murdered by the Nazis, a specter oh-so-easily invoked by Mr. Cordray, wrongly and viciously.

I take this personally as an Ohioan, as a politically active Republican, as the daughter of Holocaust survivors, as the daughter of an American soldier, as the wife of a 30-year US Navy veteran intelligence officer, and as a target of Mr. Cordray’s inept and ignorant cheap shots.

Nazis loaded up Final Solution jam-packed cattle cars with suffocating and starving Jews and transported us to gas chambers. In all my years as a Republican, I have not come across any Republican replicating these deeds or advocating such horrific actions against anyone. Actually, Mr. Cordray, neither have you. If you despise Republican political positions, tell Ohioans with what you disagree, but keep it civil. And truthful.

A candidate to be governor of Ohio who can so easily and glibly invoke such an evil comparison between Nazis and any Americans, whether intentionally or through ignorance, has no place in public office in this State.

Paid for by Beverly4Congress



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