Washington, D.C. Council member Trayon White, who garnered attention last month for anti-Semitic comments linking an early spring snow to a Jewish conspiracy to manipulate the weather, visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum this week -- and it could have gone better.
White made an early exit, disappearing about halfway through the tour, and one of his aides asked if the Warsaw Ghetto was similar to a “gated community”.
The photo, taken in 1935, depicts a woman in a dark dress shuffling down a street in Norden, Germany. A large sign hangs from her neck: “I am a German girl and allowed myself to be defiled by a Jew.” She is surrounded by Nazi stormtroopers.
D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) studied the image. “Are they protecting her?”
Lynn Williams, an expert on educational programs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and White’s tour guide for the day, stared at the photo.
“No,” she said. “They’re marching her through.”
“Marching through is protecting,” White said.
“I think they’re humiliating her,” Williams replied.
After White disappeared part way through the tour, Rabbi Batya Glazer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, who had accompanied the council member, texted White as to his whereabouts; White said he had to leave early to attend an event.
But his aides stayed on to complete the tour.
Seven of White’s staff members stayed with the guide, who soon was showing them an exhibit on the Warsaw Ghetto. As she explained the walling in of Polish Jews, one aide asked whether it was similar to “a gated community.”
Glazer spoke up.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t call it a gated community,” she said. “More like a prison.”
When a reporter caught up with White outside the museum, he seemed hesitant to comment.
“I’ll be coming back to see more of the museum. I didn’t get a chance to see the whole thing,” he said. “But I think it’s a lot of education here, a lot of synergy here between what happened to the Jewish community and the African community.”
“This opportunity has given me the chance to meet a lot of great Jews, a lot of people. A lot of good Jews that I’ve never had the chance to meet before,” he said after a long silence. “It’s an awesome experience”