No Mention Of Jews In Trump Holocaust Statement Breaks With Tradition

AP

President Donald Trump did not explicitly mention Jews in his Friday statement commemorating the millions exterminated by the Nazis, an omission that the Anti-Defamation League called “troubling” and out of step with past presidential statements.

“It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror,” read the Friday statement, which also mentioned the “victims, survivors, heroes” of the Holocaust and “the innocent.”

The failure to mention the 6 million Jews killed in concentration camps and cities throughout Europe was flagged on Twitter by Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League, a non-profit that combats anti-Semitism and bigotry.

Greenblatt called the omission “puzzling and troubling,” noting that “GOP and Dem. Presidents have done so in the past.”

Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, chastised the President for his “vague” language in a statement.

“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, you forget the Jews, and later today you plan to issue new executive orders persecuting refugees and immigrants. Have you no decency?” Goldstein said.

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment on Trump’s statement.

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly commemorated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by designating Jan. 27, the day the Red Army entered Auschwitz-Birkenau, as International Holocaust Memorial Day.

Though former President George W. Bush’s White House archives show no 2006 statement on the day, his 2007 and 2008 statements specifically condemned anti-Semitism.

No 2009 statement could be immediately located for former President Barack Obama either, but his statements from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 referred specifically to “Jews.” They also went further, referring by name to the camps where Jews were murdered, condemning Holocaust deniers, and often calling the Holocaust by its Hebrew name, the Shoah.

Millions of non-Jews, including Soviet civilians, Roma, homosexuals, disabled people, and resistance activists, were also killed by Nazi soldiers.

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK