No, the White House Did Not Deny the Holocaust

 

At some point, the overwrought and ridiculous accusations against President Trump have to peak. I have a visceral dislike of him and yet those attacking him have gone so far round the bend that I am forced, over and over again, to defend him. No, the White House did not deny the Holocaust in the press release for Holocaust Remembrance Day. To think otherwise is crazy with a side of ridiculous and covered in stupid gravy. Harsh words? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

I would have never imagined such claim would exist had I not seen it with my own eyes. I would not have cared if such asinine claims were made by anyone other than Ricochet contributors I respect. Our very own @claireberlinski has bought into this, as has John Podhoretz. Here is the tweet that got me started on this rant today:

When I first saw it I thought “no way that’s true,” so I followed the links. Mark Hoofnagle published a blog post on ScienceBlogs that starts with this:

The White House in its statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day engaged in Holocaust denial. Then they doubled down on the action and via Reince Priebus on Meet the Press expressed no regret about the wording which had no mention of the Jews in their supposed “remembrance”.

It’s possible that Trump and company wrote a poorly-worded press release worthy of this accusation. Performing all due diligence, I went to the source and read the press release. Here is the offending press release in full:

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.

No, the president didn’t specifically say “Jews,” but exactly who the [expletive] else could he be referencing by “the victims…of the Holocaust”? If you read that and think of anyone other than the Jews, or read it to exclude the Jews, then it is an error of reading, not writing.

I understand Trump-Hate because I do a lot of it. I understand wanting to warn of his dangers because I fear them as well. This, however, is reaching way beyond honest criticism and into the realm of histrionics. There is plenty about which to criticize the new president, so there is zero need to invent or imagine things like Holocaust denial.

Stop making me defend the orange ass.

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  1. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    There’s been a couple of pundits and writers I’ve had to stop reading for things just like this. I expect over-the-top hysterics from the Progressives. Let’s not accept their narrative as necessarily factual.

    • #1
  2. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Very well said!

    • #2
  3. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Yeah interpreting that as holocaust denial is unhinged.

    • #3
  4. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    The King Prawn: No, the president didn’t specifically say “Jews,” but exactly who the [expletive] else could he be referencing by “the victims…of the Holocaust”? If you read that and think of anyone other than the Jews, or read it to exclude the Jews, then it is an error or reading, not writing.

    Well, and with all due respect to the loss of life by Europe’s Jews, they were only half the death toll of those camps. Poles, Gypsies, the mentally retarded, homosexuals, meddlesome priests … in our rightful horror over 6 million dead Jews, we don’t seem to have much room left for the horror of another 6 million dead just because they were considered enemies of the state.  I won’t presume that by not referencing Jews, Trump was deliberately trying to not exclude the Nazi-killed Goyim, but it’s at least a possibility.

    • #4
  5. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    The King Prawn: No, the president didn’t specifically say “Jews,” but exactly who the [expletive] else could he be referencing by “the victims…of the Holocaust”? If you read that and think of anyone other than the Jews, or read it to exclude the Jews, then it is an error or reading, not writing.

    Well, and with all due respect to the loss of life by Europe’s Jews, they were only half the death toll of those camps. Poles, Gypsies, the mentally retarded, homosexuals, meddlesome priests … in our rightful horror over 6 million dead Jews, we don’t seem to have much room left for the horror of another 6 million dead just because they were considered enemies of the state. I won’t presume that by not referencing Jews, Trump was deliberately trying to not exclude the Nazi-killed Goyim, but it’s at least a possibility.

    That was the point brought up by JPod and others. Being more inclusive of those who also suffered at the hands of the Nazis may be insensitive to the especially egregious suffering of the Jews and demonstrate a less fully developed understanding of the Holocaust, but it is not denial.

    • #5
  6. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Yeah, KP  this has left me regretting my subscription to Commentary almost. “Why, yes, John, he subtly, implicitly denied the Holocaust had anything to do with Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day and then went to Shabbos Dinner at his son-in-law’s house with his entire senior staff.” Good grief.

    • #6
  7. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    The King Prawn (View Comment):
    That was the point brought up by JPod and others. Being more inclusive of those who also suffered at the hands of the Nazis may be insensitive to the especially egregious suffering of the Jews and demonstrate a less fully developed understanding of the Holocaust, but it is not denial.

    Call me crazy, but in my admittedly non-specialist study of WWII, I don’t see much difference between the suffering of Jews and the Eastern European goyim. They were put into the same kinds of camps, treated with the same casual brutality, sent out as slave labor to the same factories, and gassed with the same Zyklon-B when they weren’t just shot and dumped in the same trenches. Eastern Europe wasn’t just to be made Judenfrei, it was to be made free of all possible competitors to German settlement in their new lebensraum.

    Maybe it’s just because the Eastern front atrocities didn’t get the same play in the Western press and histories; I don’t know. But the idea that Jewish suffering was unique in WWII, and that by allowing 6 million goyim to claim the title of Holocaust victim that Jewish suffering is somehow diminished, is just wrong.

    • #7
  8. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I think Trump’s meeting with Netanyahu and possibly moving the embassy says more about his thoughts than a day of remembrance. He has only been president a very short few weeks. Yes everyone is jumping at every word, nuance, eye-twitch. The last eight years have somehow stirred more racial tension, and anti-Semitism, as we see in social media and throughout “civilized Europe”. It’s not just the last administration who showed very little concern regarding this, but European leaders as well.  Things are complicated, but not because of a few weeks of a new president. I think it’s because this tension has been bubbling under the surface for some time, and it’s been ignored.

    • #8
  9. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    But the idea that Jewish suffering was unique in WWII, and that by allowing 6 million goyim to claim the title of Holocaust victim that Jewish suffering is somehow diminished, is just wrong.

    JPod’s answer:

    The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups—Gypsies, the mentally challenged, and open homosexuals, among others. But the Final Solution was aimed solely at the Jews. The Holocaust was about the Jews. There is no “proud” way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact. To universalize it to “all those who suffered” is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.

    This, at least, is an argument, though I don’t think it is a very strong one. He may be right, but I still don’t think it rises to the level of Holocaust denial. It’s still just insensitivity and/or idiocy.

    • #9
  10. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    I, too, am getting increasingly disturbed by unhinged reporting on President Trump.  I expect it from the left, most of who lack two braincells to rub together on the right sides of their brains.  When unhinged, false reporting comes from the right, it really rubs me wrong.  It is hard to tell if Claire’s tweet was assuming the accuracy of left-wing media without personal investigation.  If so, I question her judgment.  On the other hand, if she actually read the President’s statement on the Holocaust, I question her perceptive ability and judgment.

    Anyone can make a mistake, but I expect folks on the right to be courteous enough to admit mistakes and move on.  If she does not admit the mistake.  I question her judgment.

    • #10
  11. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    So the guy with Jewish grandchildren, who made his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law a top advisor, is now a Holocaust denying anti-Semite? Interesting.

    • #11
  12. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    So the guy with Jewish grandchildren, who made his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law a top advisor, is now a Holocaust denying anti-Semite? Interesting.

    This keeps coming in handy…

    • #12
  13. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    JPod’s answer:

    To universalize it to “all those who suffered” is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.

    This, at least, is an argument, though I don’t think it is a very strong one. He may be right, but I still don’t think it rises to the level of Holocaust denial. It’s still just insensitivity and/or idiocy.

    I read that as “We’re special! This is our day and we don’t want to share it!”

    Humans have been killing humans because they were a different kind of human throughout human history. In the 20th Century, humanity just gained the ability to do it faster and more efficiently. The Armenian genocide, the Holodomor, the Killing Fields … Are we never allowed to use the word Holocaust unless Germans are killing Jews?

    What made the Holocaust wrong was not that Germans were killing Jews; it’s that people were killing people to kill a culture. And that is what the Turks were trying to do to Armenians in 1915, and the Russians to Ukrainians in 1932, and the Russians to the ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe in 1947, and Cambodians to their Westernized citizens in 1975, and a hundred more times throughout the centuries before and after 1941-1945.

    • #13
  14. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    But the idea that Jewish suffering was unique in WWII, and that by allowing 6 million goyim to claim the title of Holocaust victim that Jewish suffering is somehow diminished, is just wrong.

    JPod’s answer:

    . But the Final Solution was aimed solely at the Jews. The Holocaust was about the Jews. There is no “proud” way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact. To universalize it to “all those who suffered” is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.

    This, at least, is an argument, though I don’t think it is a very strong one.

    No, it isn’t. The dictionaries and encyclopedias that I am familiar with all state the term refers exclusively to the Jews, ergo using the word already implies a unique attempt to exterminate Jews as a race and expressing sorrow on Holocaust remembrance day expressly acknowledges Jewish suffering at the hands of the Nazis.

    • #14
  15. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    There’s been a couple of pundits and writers I’ve had to stop reading for things just like this. I expect over-the-top hysterics from the Progressives. Let’s not accept their narrative as necessarily factual.

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen this in the other direction as well.

    Hysteria and misinformation on the Left has become so rampant that some hopeful supporters of President Trump — including people who voted against Trump in the primaries and don’t entirely trust him — doubt any criticism of Trump and are eager to dismiss criticisms as such misinformation without care to investigate. [I’ve had such conversations face-to-face, so I don’t refer to Ricochet specifically.] People like Claire aren’t helping.

    Whether or not each particular claim merits deep investigation is a judgment call. But we should keep a wary eye on any President, even when paranoia and liars’ games abound.

    • #15
  16. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Whether or not each particular claim merits deep investigation is a judgment call. But we should keep a wary eye on any President, even when paranoia and liars’ games abound.

    Indeed.

    • #16
  17. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Truth is there were 6 million Jews and 7 million others, total of 13 million. There were not 6 million gays, or 6 million Gypsies, or 6 million Polish, or 6 million old, 6 million handicapped, 6 million priests, etc. Having all those people slaughtered by whatever means is sickening. But their hair wasn’t cut for industrial use, gold teeth removed or their skins used to make lamps or their flesh rendered to make soap.

    However, they all died horrible deaths in the camps or just shot on the roads, or burned alive in synagogues or churches, 13 million innocent people, and they all should be remembered on Remembrance Day.

    • #17
  18. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Hysteria and misinformation … has become so rampant that some … people … doubt any criticism of Trump and … dismiss criticisms as … misinformation without care to investigate.

    That’s got to be the way to bet. Life is too short, etc.

    • #18
  19. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    There’s been a couple of pundits and writers I’ve had to stop reading for things just like this. I expect over-the-top hysterics from the Progressives. Let’s not accept their narrative as necessarily factual.

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen this in the other direction as well.

    Hysteria and misinformation on the Left has become so rampant that some hopeful supporters of President Trump — including people who voted against Trump in the primaries and don’t entirely trust him — doubt any criticism of Trump and are eager to dismiss criticisms as such misinformation without care to investigate. [I’ve had such conversations face-to-face, so I don’t refer to Ricochet specifically.] People like Claire aren’t helping.

    Whether or not each particular claim merits deep investigation is a judgment call. But we should keep a wary eye on any President, even when paranoia and liars’ games abound.

    Yes! That’s been one of my complaints. If we can’t get reasoned opposition, we go into defensive mode.

    Unfortunately I could almost predict this. While some friends were posting, “However you vote, I’ll still respect you,” memes over on social media, there was a sizable number posting how there’s no way they could respect anyone who doesn’t vote in a way they approve. We are getting more and more divisive and it’s not a good sign.

    • #19
  20. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    However, they all died horrible deaths in the camps or just shot on the roads, or burned alive in synagogues or churches, 13 million innocent people, and they all should be remembered on Remembrance Day.

    This was the basic point made by the administration when challenged on the language. I think Jews can take some umbrage, but it is not denial. To equate this with denial is simply too much.

    • #20
  21. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Trump just brings out the mental illness in some people.

    • #21
  22. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    What makes this different than the BLM people complaining about “all lives matter?”

    I am unimpressed by the special pleading.

     

    • #22
  23. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Trump just brings out the mental illness in some people.

    I would have argued against this a week ago, but now…

    • #23
  24. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    This is not specifically about the “denial” story but fits in with the Trump Derangement Syndrome. USA Today ran a piece this morning that Tom Brady must now explain his friendship with POTUS.

    This is spiraling into McCarthyism.

    By the time these people are done I’ll even like Bill Belichick!

    • #24
  25. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    As much as we may want to stick a finger in the eye of those who absurdly call this “denial,” let’s at least recognize that we have an unforced error here.  It should be fairly apparent that there is no more sensitive topic for the Jewish people than the Holocaust.  It would not have been difficult at all to draft the statement to convey its present tone and also mention the Jews.  I have no idea how this came about but it’s a rookie mistake and, like all rookie mistakes, one that could have been avoided.

    • #25
  26. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Not all people who believe the German genocide of Jews happened respect the right of Israel to exist as an explicitly Jewish state, nor pay attention to growing anti-Semitism in public spaces of Europe, nor trace that anti-Semitism to the welcoming of Islamic refugees and immigrants, nor pay any heed to the religious beliefs which make their own people (Jews) a distinct subculture and a regular target of hate, nor have many kids as they are outpopulated by their Muslim neighbors.

    Jews have more pressing problems than the nuances of this historical debate. Many are actively welcoming persecution or elimination of themselves in other ways.

    Christians too might soon find themselves in the lion’s den as most succumb to secularism or other leftist ideologies.

    • #26
  27. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    As much as we may want to stick a finger in the eye of those who absurdly call this “denial,” let’s at least recognize that we have an unforced error here. It should be fairly apparent that there is no more sensitive topic for the Jewish people than the Holocaust. It would not have been difficult at all to draft the statement to convey its present tone and also mention the Jews. I have no idea how this came about but it’s a rookie mistake and, like all rookie mistakes, one that could have been avoided.

    Agreed. This was poorly done and a missed opportunity, but that should not engender the kind of accusations being created because of it.

    • #27
  28. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    EJHill (View Comment):
    This is not specifically about the “denial” story but fits in with the Trump Derangement Syndrome. USA Today ran a piece this morning that Tom Brady must now explain his friendship with POTUS.

    This is spiraling into McCarthyism.

    By the time these people are done I’ll even like Bill Belichick!

    I wonder if I came across as this unhinged during the election (rhetorical question…)

    • #28
  29. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Trump just brings out the mental illness in some people.

    I would have argued against this a week ago, but now…

    On a positive note this issue is bringing out the Jewish pride in large numbers of Obama loving Israel hating Jews.   I’m not referring to the conservative ones in this article.

    Its nice to see liberal people uniting against anti-Semitism since the biggest purveyors of that disgusting thought process are also the enemies of the US.

    • #29
  30. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Hysteria and misinformation on the Left has become so rampant that some hopeful supporters of President Trump — including people who voted against Trump in the primaries and don’t entirely trust him — doubt any criticism of Trump and are eager to dismiss criticisms as such misinformation without care to investigate. [I’ve had such conversations face-to-face, so I don’t refer to Ricochet specifically.] People like Claire aren’t helping.

    It is getting hard to believe anything said at all. As @jameslileks said, “Everything seems plausible and nothing seems real”.

     

    • #30
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