Auschwitz survivor to attend State of the Union as guest of the White House

Ruth Cohen, who survived Auschwitz, has been invited to the US Congress by the first Jewish second gentleman, Doug Emhoff


A 92-year-old Auschwitz survivor will attend the State of the Union address at the US Congress tonight as a guest of Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, the White House has announced.

Continuing his focus on Holocaust remembrance and eduction, the Jewish husband of Vice President Kamala Harris has invited Ruth Cohen, who survived the Auschwitz death camp, but lost most of her family.

Cohen will join the Second Gentleman at the annual event in Washington D.C. where President Joe Biden will examine the "state of the union" and lay out his policy proposals for the year ahead.

Cohen was born in 1930 in what was then Czechoslovakia, and she was nearly 14 when her family was deported to Auschwitz. Her mother, brother and cousins were murdered by the Nazis, but she and her father and sister survived, according to a biography on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website.

She is a volunteer at the museum and last week she travelled to Egypt to speak at the country's second-ever Holocaust Memorial Day event.

Cohen first met Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Emhoff in 2022 ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day to raise awareness about the history and dangers of antisemitism.

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day last month, Mr Emhoff travelled to Auschwitz with Deborah Lipstadt, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism as part of six-day trip focused on Jewish life in Europe and antisemitism.

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