Holocaust Survivors' Foundation (HSF) President David Schaecter published an open letter in response to "The Zone of Interest" director Jonathan Glazer's speech at the Academy Awards on March 10.

Upon receiving the gold statuette, Glazer said he "rejects the use of Jewry and the Holocaust to justify an occupation that resulted in innocent victims on both sides."

Glazer's speech drew applause from the audience and mixed reactions from public figures and spectators.

David Schaecter, who spent three years in the Auschwitz extermination camp (the subject of Glazer's film) and another year in Buchenwald, told Glazer that it was "painful to watch as he used the Oscars podium to equate manic cruelty from Hamas against innocent Israelis and Israel's difficult but necessary self-defense in the face of Hamas's continued barbarity."

Schaecter noted that Glazer's comments "were factually inaccurate and without moral justification" because the "occupation" has nothing to do with the Holocaust."

Miraculously surviving the Holocaust, 94-year-old Schaecter explained that the right of the Jewish people to live on their land belonged to them hundreds of years before the Holocaust, and today’s situation is a consequence of the actions of the leaders of Arab countries who “refused to recognize the right of the Jews to be their neighbors on their land.”

“The most terrible thing is that you chose to use the Holocaust to justify your opinion,” Schaecter continues, turning to Glazer.

“You made a film about the Holocaust and won an Oscar. And you are Jewish. You did well. But it was dishonest of you to speak on behalf of six million Jews, including one and a half million children, who were killed simply because they were born Jews. And it is dishonorable of you to speak on behalf of those of us who have personally seen the world watch silently as our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters , grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins ​​were killed. We had nowhere to go - there was no refuge for us. No country would accept us, although world leaders knew full well that thousands of Jews were being killed every day. There was no Jewish country, where we could run. You should be ashamed of yourself for using Auschwitz to criticize Israel."

Glazer's speech provoked reactions from other representatives of American Jewish organizations. The general director of the Movement to Combat Antisemitism, Sasha Roitman, said that Glazer used his position “to attack the homeland of the Jewish people, which is waging a war on seven fronts against those who openly call for the genocide of the Jews.”

“Today, Jews are once again being dehumanized to justify their mass extermination, as was the case during the Holocaust,” Roitman said. “Instead of rejecting the Holocaust, most Jews have learned the lesson that if someone says they want to destroy us, we should not question it.”

Allison Josephs, founder and executive director of the Jew in the City Initiative, which founded the first Jewish Bureau in Hollywood, said that instead of noting how the dehumanization of Jews led to October 7 and people around the world denying what happened, Glazer repeated a common refrain among Jew-haters that Jews are to blame for the Hamas massacre.

“Cillian Murphy accepted his award proud of his Irish heritage,” Josephs quoted Oppenheimer star as saying. “I wish there was one Jew in Hollywood who would receive his award as a proud Jew.”