Proposed number for national suicide prevention hotline glorifies Hitler, US Army veteran says


(JTA) — A Jewish Army veteran man says the FCC’s proposed three-digit number to reach the national suicide prevention hotline glorifies Hitler and he wants it changed.

The proposed number is 988. The digits 88 are often used by neo-Nazis to refer to the phrase “Heil Hitler.” H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Charles Greinsky, 68, of Staten Island, New York, is lobbying his congressman, Rep. Max Rose, and Sen. Chuck Schumer to come up with and push through a different number, the New York Post reported.

“You’d have Holocaust survivors and children of Holocaust survivors that are in need of mental health services dialing a number that causes extreme stress and makes people relive some of the worst experiences the world has ever seen,” Kreinsky, the commander of the Staten Island post of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, told the Post.

He said his synagogue was hit with graffiti with the number 88 in 2008.

The Federal Communications Commission recommended simplifying the hotline’s current 10-digit number in a report released last week. The suggestion comes in the wake of federal legislation passed last year that called for improvements to the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system.

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