Remembering the Holocaust, You Might Mention Jews

If you just read the administration’s statement recognizing International Holocaust Memorial Day, you would know that the Holocaust was one of “the darkest hours of humanity” and that people perished. You wouldn’t, however, know who perished. Of course, if you just read Talking Points Memo’s complaint about this, you wouldn’t know that Nazis killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, either.

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

I guess it’s easy to forget some victims and inadvertently offend people, although it’s curious to forget to mention that the Jews were the primary target of the Holocaust.

I don’t know if it’s fair to read anything into this, although mentioning the Jews is not something presidents Bush and Obama forgot to do. The omission was noticed by the director of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt who noted it on Twitter.

Trump would probably get more benefit of the doubt if one of his chief advisers hadn’t objected to sending his children to school with “whiny brat” Jews or if David Duke were a little less of a Trump enthusiast.

This is admittedly a bit of a nitpick and small potatoes compared to a lot of other outrages that are surfacing hourly at this point, but it’s something to keep an eye on. It could be meaningful and signal other changes in standard American practice, or it could just be nothing at all.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at