A Delta pilot who flew an evacuation plane ferrying Afghan refugees out of Germany is the son of a Holocaust survivor: 'I was able to put myself in their position'

·2 min read
Afghans arrive at Dulles International Airport.
Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press
  • A Delta pilot says he was able to relate to the Afghan evacuees he ferried from Germany to the United States.

  • He was able to put himself in their position because his father was a Holocaust survivor and an immigrant in the US.

  • He said his father "came to the United States not much different than the people that are coming to the United States now."

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Delta pilot Alexander Kahn - who flew an evacuation flight carrying Afghans out of Ramstein Air Base in Germany - said he was "able to put himself in their position" because of experiences his father faced decades ago.

"I am a son of an immigrant in the United States," he told "CNN New Day" on Friday. "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 different than the people that are coming to the United States now."

Kahn said that his father arrived in the US with only 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," Kahn added.

Because of his father's experience, Kahn was able to realize that this would be a "frightening" experience for the Afghans he was taking to America, "but it has the potential to be an excellent experience," he said.

This mission was also exceptionally special for Kahn because he first learned how to fly an airplane at Ramstein Air Base, and it's where he got his private pilot license.

He said "this was quite the thrill" for him.

"We are a generous country because we are a generous people, and the future is theirs," the pilot said.

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