Gov. John Kasich made his first official appearance since leaving the race for the Republican nomination for president at the state’s 36th annual commemoration of the Holocaust at the Statehouse. And there were echoes of his now-abandoned campaign in his remarks.
Kasich was among those who spoke at the ceremony at the structure for which he’d personally advocated, the two year old Holocaust & Liberators Memorial. And he said it’s important to note the memorial’s location on the lawn of the Statehouse, where lawmakers would be passing a flurry of bills before summer break – which many of them will spend campaigning. “And many times the stupidity of politics can get in the way of their doing their job, and they’re afraid of this or afraid of that or afraid that something might not happen,” Kasich said.
Kasich also brought back a theme from his presidential campaign, saying everyone needs to live a life a bit bigger than themselves.
Holocaust survivor Fran Greenberg spoke at the ceremony. She was four and living in Paris when the Nazis took her father Simon Silberstein away, and her mother Jeanne took Fran and her sister Gisele on the run throughout France. Fran’s mother passed away when she was nine, and she says she was then forced to practice Catholicism. But she says she eventually married, and now “we have four children, eight grandchildren. My sister has three children and four grandchildren, and they all follow Judaism. Now I know we lost a lot – we lost my parents, we lost our home, our childhood. But we finally found our faith again.”
Also speaking at the event: Col. Bill Miller of Akron, who enlisted in the Army in 1942 while attending the University of Akron. He says he saw terrible evidence of the Nazis crimes and brutality against Jews when his unit liberated a concentration camp in the Buchenwald prison system in April 1945. "I inadequately stress to you, I have seen these things, and I want you to keep in mind, when you hear somebody say, ‘this didn’t really happen’ – it did happen.”