Delta Airlines pilot Alexander Kahn said it was easy for him to relate to his Afghan passengers.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
As the U.S. hastily exited Afghanistan, planeloads of refugees have been flying to the United States — to freedom and safety from the vengeful Taliban.
For Delta Airlines pilot Alexander Kahn, a roughly nine-hour-flight ferrying hundreds of Afghans from the Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Washington’s Dulles Airport was a particularly meaningful experience he won’t forget.
That’s because his father was a survivor of the Nazi death camps who also made his way to the U.S. as a refugee.
“I’m the son of an immigrant in the United States, my father was a Holocaust survivor, he was liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp by Patton’s Third Army and came to the United States not much differently than the people that are coming to the United States now,” Kahn told anchor John Berman on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.
“He was coming with the clothes on his back, no family, no English skills, and had to start life over again. Luckily he was starting life over in the land of opportunity.”
Asked how he felt during the flight, Kahn said, it wasn’t hard “to put myself in their position.”
“This is going to be a frightening experience for them, but it has the potential to be an excellent experience for them. My father made it into the United States, learned English, put himself through school, became a doctor, and years later actually was back in West Germany as a physician for the U.S. army…at the tail end of the Cold War,” he said.
As the son of a Holocaust survivor, Delta Airlines pilot Alexander Kahn says helping Afghans evacuate was "special."
"I was able to put myself in their position," he said. "This is going to be a frightening experience … But it has the potential to be an excellent experience." pic.twitter.com/IXwJdqYYY5
— New Day (@NewDay) August 27, 2021
The Delta flight was one of several refugee flights organized in a partnership between the U.S. government and commercial airlines. Kahn said his Delta flight crew understood the stress of the Afghans and spent their own money on items for them, such as such as diapers, books, candy and other supplies.
“We knew these evacuees were coming with no opportunity to prepare,” Kahn said.
The exact number of refugees who made it out of Afghanistan isn’t clear. Media reports say more than 100,000 Afghans were evacuated within two weeks as the Taliban took control of the country.
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