In reading the White House statement quoted below my comments, no specific reference is made to Jews that perished in the World War II Holocaust. Explanatory statements coming out of the White House thereafter acknowledged no error in the statement. That is true. No error was made in the composition.
The statement, however, deliberately omits the primary object of the Holocaust: the Jew. The statement is non-Semitic and erases the primary composition of those that perished. It is anti-Semitic in denying the Wannasee Conference’s final solution decision that resulted in directing the power of the German-Nazi State to liquidate the Jew from territories under its control, yet, saving some for slave labor, many of whom perished.
In teaching U.S. history and world history on the college and university level for 50 years, I instructed my students in facts and interpretations of facts. The Holocaust came to be named after World War II (there may have been references from the beginning in the late 1930s or early 1940s), but it was the Final Solution writ large, writ small, written in the obliteration of the Jew from the soil controlled by Nazi Germany. Those are facts.
Omitting the primary object of the Holocaust–the Jew–in an essay or term paper would have resulted in the critique of “serious omission, distortion” and an “F” on the essay or term paper. President Trump and his administration fail to remember the day correctly. They deserve an “F” and must retake the course. I wish it was so simple to correct them.
(The above featured image is of two Jewish women who resisted Nazi oppression in Krakow. I shall write more of these two women in a future post, Minka Liebeskind and Gusta Dawidson-Draenger, members of the Akiva movement and the Jewish underground in the Krakow ghetto.)
January 27, 2017
Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.
“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.
“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”