On Friday, in an official statement released each year for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, president Donald Trump failed to mention anything about the anti-Semitic ideas which were the cause of the Holocaust. Moreover, he did not say anything regarding the 6 million Jews who died during that horrible time and the other millions of victims. This day marks the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
No mention of Jewish people
Donald Trump mentioned in the statement the “victims, survivors and heroes” of the Holocaust. However, he did not say a word about the Jewish people who were at the center of it all and who died massively because of anti-Semitic views. The statement did not say anything about the gypsies, the gay people and the disabled who were also killed. Many people quickly harshly criticized the statement. What is more disturbing is the fact that, even if some saw this as a maybe unintentional error, White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed that the statement was intentionally constructed that way. So, we are led to believe that they actually made this omission on purpose, failing to honor the Jews.
Senator Tim Kaine was one of the people who sharply criticized the president’s statement. He called the situation “Holocaust denial” and said that Trump is not the first one to do this. According to him, many think that even if Jews died, they were not the main target and that many other people lost their lives too. Sadly, this is beginning to be a wildly shared view of the Holocaust and it should not be this way. Commentator John Podhoretz shared Kaine’s opinion and stated that even if many do not want to admit it, the Holocaust was about Jewish people and their extermination.
White House defends the statement
On Sunday, Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, defended the statement during an interview. He said that he does not regret the words. However, he mentioned the fact that many people died during the Holocaust and that we should all indeed remember them. Moreover, he added that, if they could, they would rip that page from the history books. Sadly, this is impossible. Priebus also mentioned the fact that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is Jewish. He is also a very important person in the administration, being a senior adviser to the president. Trump’s own daughter, Ivanka, became Jewish before she married Kushner. So, the president has nothing against Jewish people.
The United Nations actually created the International Holocaust Remembrance Day back in 2005 to fight against anti-Semitic views and Holocaust denial, all over the world. Israeli ambassador to the United States held a speech on Friday. In it, he said that the history should not try and separate what happened during the Holocaust from the fate of the Jewish people. However, Donald Trump is not the only one who is trying to minimize the impact of the Holocaust on Jews. Countries like Russia and Poland often fail to mention the Jewish issue when they talk about this tragic event.
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