Trump Whitewashes the Holocaust—a Gauntlet Is Thrown Down for Humanity

January 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Donald Trump issued a statement on Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, that had no mention of Jewish people—the people who were overwhelmingly the victims of the Holocaust. Nor did he acknowledge the Nazis’ systematic and complete annihilation of other demonized and persecuted people—Roma people, handicapped people, LGBT people, radicals, dissidents and communists. Instead, Trump made vague references to “victims, survivors, heroes” and “innocent people,” specifically avoiding noting who the victims were.

The Holocaust was one of the great crimes in human history. Under Adolf Hitler, the Nazis gassed to death, buried alive, killed in mob pogroms, starved, and tortured to death six million Jews and others. And while their Jewish neighbors, colleagues, and friends were rounded up for extermination, the German people and others overwhelmingly stood by in passive complicity.

The omission of any mention of Jews or the other victims of Nazis genocide was no “slip-up.” At a moment when the parallels between Trump and the rise of Hitler are coming into sharper and sharper focus, Trump’s “Holocaust Remembrance” statement was so vague and meaningless that it essentially constituted Holocaust denial. And on the very same day Trump issued this statement, he singled out one religious group—Muslims—from entering the United States, while demonizing them and targeting them for surveillance and vastly intensified persecution.

The lesson of the Holocaust is that “never again” should humanity stand by while any group of people is singled out for demonization and persecution leading up to genocide. And that such moves must be opposed from the beginning, before it is too late, regardless of who is singled out first.

Trump has thrown down a gauntlet for humanity. The lesson of the actual Holocaust must be learned from and acted on right now.


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