Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., vying with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nod, gave one of his most expansive answers so far during the presidential campaign on his Jewish identity, in a Chicago town hall.
Sanders, at a University of Chicago town hall on Thursday broadcast by MSNBC, was asked by a Jewish student to speak about his faith. The student noted that Sanders had been reticent about discussing his Judaism.
“Obviously, being Jewish is very, very important to me,” Sanders said. “I am very proud of my heritage. And what comes to my mind so strongly as a kid growing up in Brooklyn and seeing people with numbers on their wrists — you probably have not seen that — but those were the people who came out of the concentration camps. And knowing that, my — a good part of my father’s family was killed by the Nazis. And that lesson that I learned as a very young person is politics is a serious business. And when you have a lunatic like Hitler gaining power — 50 million people died in World War 2. So I am very, very proud to be Jewish and I’m proud of my heritage.”