Center for American Progress Action

Capitol Attack on January 6 Caused Grandson of Holocaust Survivors To Fear for His Safety

Capitol Attack on January 6 Caused Grandson of Holocaust Survivors To Fear for His Safety

Americans everywhere were shocked to see the violent attack on our nation’s capital on January 6, 2021. But the white nationalist symbols adorning some rioters sent a chilling message to Nathan Wolfson and his wife.

Nathan Wolfson

Nathan Wolfson pictured in October 2018. (Photo credit: Nathan Wolfson)

On January 6, 2021, Nathan observed men in white nationalist gear walking through his neighborhood in Southeast Washington, D.C. Nathan and his wife, both the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, were shocked to see such blatant symbols of hate near their home. After seeing the news of the Capitol being stormed by right-wing extremist groups later that day, Nathan and his wife made a plan to flee D.C., fearing they could be the target of race-based violence. In the days since, they have attentively watched the hearings of the House January 6th Committee, hoping that the perpetrators of the Capitol attack will be held accountable so that future attacks on democracy can be prevented.

I was born and raised Jewish in a Jewish household. During the Holocaust, my grandmother fled her village in what is now Belarus, but her mother, grandmother, and little brother were murdered in the Treblinka death camp after her father was murdered by Nazis occupying their shtetl-turned-ghetto. Seeing men with subtle SS references on their clothing? It was something I never thought I’d see here in the 21st century. It reminded me that there is always the threat of right-wing hatred boiling to the surface. We witnessed that kind of hatred on January 6, and that is why the January 6th Committee is vital to preventing a day like January 6 from happening again. Nathan Wolfson

The January 6th Committee hearings have revealed the coordinated plan to overthrow the U.S. electoral system by any means necessary, culminating in the violent attack. The MAGA Republican plot to subvert the will of American voters undermines trust in our democracy and especially threatens the racial and religious minorities targeted by the extremist ideology. Without accountability under the law, American democracy may not survive another attack.

Read more about how MAGA extremism is harming Americans

This collection features stories from Americans threatened by the harmful rhetoric and legislative actions of MAGA Republicans.

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