View All News

NOV 6, 2017

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer honored by Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

By BRENDA GAZZAR | Daily News

CNN’s lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer was honored Sunday night by the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust at its annual gala dinner.

Blitzer, the son of Holocaust survivors, lost his father in 2002 and his 95-year-old mother this past summer.

“I do like to think that she’s with my dad right now and she’s up there and she’s watching all of us here tonight and remembering what’s going on,” Blitzer told hundreds of attendees at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. “She would be very very proud not just of me, but of all of you for what you’re doing because this is really a significant, significant moment.”

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer is interviewed by emcee and entertainment journalist Melissa Rivers Sunday night, Nov. 6, 2017, at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust's annual gala in Beverly Hills. (Photo courtesy of Gina Cholick)

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer is interviewed by emcee and entertainment journalist Melissa Rivers on Sunday night at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust’s annual gala in Beverly Hills. (Photo courtesy of Gina Cholick)

Blitzer, who was born in Germany and raised in Buffalo, New York, said he was thrilled that scores of Holocaust survivors were present at Sunday’s fundraising gala.

“Their mere presence speaks volumes especially when Holocaust deniers seem to be actually increasing in numbers and speaking more vocally, speaking more powerfully,”  Blitzer said.

The 69-year-old journalist said he was “truly shocked” to see images of white-supremacists, racists, anti-Semites and neo-Nazis who showed up in large numbers in Charlottesville, Virginia in August chanting slogans such as “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil” – a key slogan of Nazi ideology that referred to Aryan blood.

As he recorded the news on CNN, he thought of his parents, who would have been “so stunned” to hear those words in the United States in this day and age, he said.

His dad, he recalled, was a proud American. Blitzer said his family almost always had an American flag flying outside their home – not just on Memorial Day or on July Fourth.

“But always because he saw this country that gave him an opportunity to re-establish his life after the war, and he was always so grateful of that,” Blitzer said.

Before he spoke, attendees were shown a CNN short “roots” film made in 2014 in which Blitzer traveled to Israel, Poland and Buffalo to learn more about his family’s journey. He then participated in a question and answer session with emcee and entertainment journalist Melissa Rivers.

Paul S. Nussbaum, president and chief executive officer of the museum, said the Holocaust survivors who speak at their museum every day teach the importance of treating others with dignity and respect.

“We cannot stand idly by as other people are othered and communities are ostracized,” he said. “We must speak up, “ even when some of “our country’s leaders are silent.”

Among the Holocaust survivors who attended Sunday’s gala was Eva Wartnik, 87, of Beverly Hills. Wartnik, who was a girl when she lost her entire immediate family during World War II, said the event made her feel empowered knowing that people are ready to battle anti-Semitism.

“That’s what I’m trying to do is spread love, “ said Wartnik, who speaks to students at schools and docents at the museum. “The kids love me.”

http://www.dailynews.com/2017/11/06/cnn-anchor-wolf-blitzer-honored-by-los-angeles-museum-of-the-holocaust/