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  • Writer's pictureJewish Examiner

The Concentration Camp Analogy

Please don’t use it.

You might be surprised at what people want to read into that simply worded request. I made it in response to hearing how easily people compared the tragic child detention centers of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, to actual concentration camps.

The first reaction I got was to be blocked by someone on FB who I guess disagreed. I can only guess because she unwittingly typed her response and then immediately blocked me, making her comment impossible to see. If it ended there I probably wouldn’t be writing this.

That’s like she’s saying a woman beaten and bruised could not have been raped because she still has her dress on.

Yeah, I know, but it is what someone wrote about my simple request.

I might be a “holocaust idolator.” Apparently you could be one if you see the holocaust as pertaining to Jews and you just can’t let go. “It’s why people hate us.” That was a lot to unpack. Yes, other people like the Roma, homosexuals, and the mentally ill were also murdered by the Nazi killing machine. That doesn’t change the fact that the Holocaust was Jew specific from its beginning to its final solution. I don’t know any Jew who wouldn’t rather have not had the pleasure of the holocaust.

Not everyone lost their minds over it. Some where quite understanding. They all started by telling me they understood what I was saying. Except their understanding came with a “but.” Actually a “but” and a little holocaust wisdom. No, I’m not being snarky. In a nutshell, I’ve heard about the parallels with the rise of Nazism and about the lessons we can learn or teach the world. So here’s my re”but”al. Yeah but that wasn’t my point.

In concentration camps people were gassed, starved and experimented on. The Germans tried other methods first. Locking the village Jews in the synagogue and setting it ablaze. Lining Jews up by a pit and shooting them until they all fell into the pit. Gassing them in the back of a closed truck was innovative. None of that was as efficient as how fast they could do it in the camps and Germans are known for efficiency.

Nothing about an actual concentration camp’s horrors comes close to the tragic detention centers recently used by the Trump administration to hold these innocent children. Thank God. So please don’t call them concentration camps. It’s done too casually. Do better.

If you want people to learn from the holocaust, then the first thing to do is not diminish it.

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