Holocaust survivor: Border separations are just 'as evil' as what happened to me

Holocaust survivor: Border separations are just 'as evil' as what happened to me
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A Holocaust survivor is saying that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE's "zero tolerance" policy that separates families at the border reminds her of the struggles she and her siblings endured because of the Nazis. 

Yoka Verdoner, a child survivor of the Holocaust, wrote in The Guardian on Monday that the idea of parents being separated from their children makes her "gnash my teeth with sadness and rage" and that she understands exactly their predicament. 


"I know what they are going through. When we were children, my two siblings and I were also taken from our parents," Verdoner wrote. "And the problems we’ve experienced since then portend the terrible things that many of these children are bound to suffer."

After the Nazis occupied her home country of the Netherlands in 1942, the children were sent into hiding and taken care of by foster families who risked death by taking them in. Verdoner recounted how being separated from her family decades ago had incredibly harmful effects on both her and her siblings.

"My younger sister was separated from our parents at five," Verdoner wrote. "She had no understanding of what was going on and why she suddenly had to live with a strange set of adults. She suffered thereafter from lifelong, profound depression. 

"In later life, I was never able to really settle down. I lived in different countries and was successful in work, but never able to form lasting relationships with partners. I never married. I almost forgot to mention my own anxiety and depression, and my many years in psychotherapy." 

Verdoner concluded her essay by writing that what is happening in the U.S. is just as "evil and criminal" as what happened to her in Nazi Europe, and that it needs to end immediately. 

Verdoner's comparison comes as many Democratic and Republican lawmakers voice outrage over Trump's policy that separates families at the border. Democrats note that the president can end the policy on his own, but Trump has defended it, saying he doesn't want the U.S. to turn into a migrant camp. 

The House is expected to vote Thursday on two broad immigration bills, each of which would address the issue.