WASHINGTON (AP) — Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, is scheduled to visit Poland and Germany later this month to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and hold meetings to combat rising anti-Semitism in the U.S. and around the world.
Emhoff, the first Jewish woman to marry one of the two highest elected officials in the United States, will visit Krakow, Poland, including staying at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. He will then travel to Berlin, where he will attend a meeting of European special envoys and coordinators dealing with combating anti-Semitism.
The tour on January 26-31 takes place as Emhoff plays an increasingly high-profile role in efforts to combat anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence around the world. It will be one of his most famous solo engagements since the election of Harris and President Joe Biden.
In Auschwitz-Birkenau, Emhoff will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony during the celebration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. During part of the trip, he will be accompanied by Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the US special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. He is also expected to meet local Jewish communities and civil society leaders and visit local historical and cultural sites.
Prior to the trip, Emhoff will meet on Thursday with the Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the House of Representatives’ bipartisan task force to combat anti-Semitism.
Emhoff focused on global anti-Semitism a month after addressing rising domestic extremism at a roundtable with Jewish leaders at the White House.
“I understand the weight of this responsibility – I understand,” he said. “And as the second gentleman, let me repeat that I will not be silent. I am proud to be Jewish and I am proud to live openly as a Jew. I’m not afraid. We cannot live in fear. We don’t want to be afraid.”
In recent months, former President Donald Trump has hosted Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust denier and white supremacist, at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida. Rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, expressed his love for Adolf Hitler in an interview. basketball star Kyrie Irving appeared to promote an anti-Semitic video on social media. Neo-Nazi trolls demand return to Twitter as new CEO Elon Musk grants ‘amnesty’ to suspended accounts.
Emhoff, a successful entertainment lawyer in California, when his wife was elected vice president, also spoke publicly about his great-grandparents fleeing persecution in today’s Poland for the U.S.
“As long as I have this microphone, I will speak out against hate, bigotry and lies,” he said. “I am going to speak out against those who glorify fascist murderers and idealize extremists. I will speak out against Holocaust deniers. I will call those who will not.”
Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.