I attended a training at our corporate office for my healthcare organization titled, “Inspiring Conversations,” led by the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusions Specialist/Employee Experience Coordinator.
Upon arrival we were asked to fill out a “get to know us” page which had a few questions listed on them such as favorite breakfast, best vacation, what you love most about your job, and who is one person living or dead you would want to meet. I wanted to list Israel as my favorite vacation spot but didn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers or make them feel uncomfortable so I made it vague and said, “An exciting city to explore.” For the person I wanted to meet the most I wanted to write Elie Wiesel but wrote Betty White instead because the Holocaust is a heavy topic to have at a morning work meeting.
The moderator asked who would like to go first and someone eagerly volunteers to go first. He says, “Adolf Hilter.” He goes on to say, “Hear me out, I’ve read all the books about him and find him an incredible and fascinating leader” and explains how he was a military man with excellent tactics, how he looks up to him, etc.
At that point I ran out of the room and cried in hysterics trying to process my emotions of anger, fear, sadness, and disappointment. I sat there trying to regain my composure and heard laughing on the other side of the door. Jokes were made after what was just said? I didn’t understand.
I am repulsed. I am scared. I am let down by my company. I feel threatened. I don’t feel safe with someone who can so freely admit that Hitler is the person he looks up to, that he admires a person that was responsible for the annihilation and torture of millions of people, some of them being relatives of mine. I’m not sure what my company is doing and they just want me to return to work like nothing happened, swept under the rug. But I’m not going to stay quiet.
*Name has been changed.