Emhoff to visit Poland and Germany amid rising anti-Semitism

Emhoff to visit Poland and Germany amid rising anti-Semitism

Emhoff to visit Poland and Germany amid rising anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, is scheduled to travel to Poland and Germany later this month to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and hold meetings aimed at fighting against the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world.

Emhoff, the first Jewish person to be married to one of America’s two highest nationally elected officials, will travel to Krakow, Poland, with a stopover at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. He will then travel to Berlin to take part in a meeting of special envoys and European coordinators working to combat anti-Semitism.

The Jan. 26-31 trip comes as Emhoff takes on an increasingly vocal role to counter anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence around the world. It will be one of his most high-profile solo engagements since the election of Harris and President Joe Biden.

At Auschwitz-Birkenau, Emhoff will participate in a wreath laying ceremony during the commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He will be joined on parts of the trip by Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the United States’ special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. He should also meet with local Jewish communities and civil society leaders and visit local historical and cultural sites.

Ahead of the trip, Emhoff will meet Thursday with the Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the bipartisan House Task Force to Combat Anti-Semitism.

Emhoff’s focus on global anti-Semitism comes a month after he addressed the rise of domestic extremism during a roundtable with Jewish leaders at the White House.

“I understand the weight of that responsibility – I do it,” he said. “And as the second gentleman, let me repeat, I will not remain silent. I’m proud to be Jewish and I’m proud to live openly as a Jew. I am not afraid. We cannot live in fear. We refuse to be afraid.

In recent months, former President Donald Trump hosted Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust-denying white supremacist, at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida. Rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, expressed his love for Adolf Hitler in an interview. Basketball star Kyrie Irving appeared to be promoting an anti-Semitic film on social media. Neo-Nazi trolls clamor to return to Twitter as new CEO Elon Musk grants ‘amnesty’ to suspended accounts.

Emhoff, a successful entertainment lawyer in California when his wife was elected vice president, also spoke publicly about his great-grandparents fleeing persecution in what is now Poland for the United States.

“As long as I have this microphone, I will speak out against hate, bigotry and lies,” he said. “I will denounce those who praise fascist murderers and idealize extremists. I will denounce Holocaust deniers. I will call those who will not.

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Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

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