|June 19, 2019 [St. Petersburg, FL] — Elizabeth Gelman, Executive Director of The Florida Holocaust Museum and Mike Igel, Board Chair of The Florida Holocaust Museum issued the following statement today. |
The Florida Holocaust Museum strongly condemns the tendency in public discourse to brand political opponents as “Nazis”, to compare various U.S. government policies to the Holocaust, or to accuse top government officials of putting immigrants from south of our border into “concentration camps.” As Ellie Wiesel said, “The issue here is not politics, but good and evil, and we must never confuse them.”
The Nazi regime brought about the Holocaust in which more than six million Jews and many millions of non-Jews were brutalized and exterminated in concentration camps or murdered in other heinous ways such as mass shootings. No policies of the U.S. government compare with the actions of the Nazi regime. None of our political leaders compare in any way with Hitler… no matter how much some of us may disagree with them or their policies. The ease with which our political leaders use these terms suggests a tragic mentality. It implies that the Holocaust and its horrors are part of the past, and the atrocities should be forgotten. Impossible.
The terms “Nazi”, “Holocaust” and “concentration camps” are terms that have very powerful meanings. They speak to an era of enormous suffering that must never be repeated. The phrase “Never Again” has been used by Jews since World War II to signify that the world must act together to ensure that never again will Jews be slaughtered. It has a very particular meaning. A member of Congress recently used that phrase inappropriately in attempting to advance political positions. Her usage of that phrase cheapens and demeans its real meaning. This is unacceptable.
The reflexive tendency of many in public life, in the media, on social media, and on college campuses to use such terms against those with whom they disagree politically degrades the significance and power of such terms and risks having them lose their meanings. The inappropriate usage of such terms also disrespects the millions of Jews and others who perished or suffered in the Holocaust.
The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. In honor and in memory of those murdered and those who survived, we will not forget.
The Museum is dedicated to teaching the members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. In furtherance of its mission, the Museum urges people to speak out forcefully against the outrageous and inappropriate use of terms such as “Nazi”, “Hitler”, “Holocaust”, “fascist”, “concentration camps” and “Never Again.” About The Florida Holocaust MuseumOne of the largest Holocaust museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The FHM honors the memory of millions of men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit www.TheFHM.org.