Letters to the Editor: A Holocaust survivor’s invitation to Nazi-saluting students

Pacifica High
Students from Pacifica High in Garden Grove were filmed last school year giving the Nazi salute and singing a Nazi anthem.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I would like to issue a personal invitation to the group of high school students in I read about in the Los Angeles Times. They were caught on video at a gathering giving the “heil Hitler” salute while singing a Nazi marching song. The kids in the video were smiling and having a great time.

But for me, those sounds and images bring back painful memories of death and destruction. I’m a Holocaust survivor.

I was a few years younger than the students when my life was turned upside down, when I was robbed of everything dear to me, just because I was born a Jew.


I’m inviting these students to come to the Museum of Tolerance, to come and listen to survivors tell their stories. Only then will they begin to understand how much pain they have caused those of us who lived through those dark times. Only then will they begin to understand that hate speech can never be tolerated -- not even in jest.

I hope they take me up on my invitation and bring their parents too.

Ella Mandel, West Los Angeles