Progressives now trivializing Hitler, Nazism, Auschwitz

February 8, 2017
The main entrance to Auschwitz Birkenau

Those who wish to perpetuate the sacred memory of the Holocaust have long guarded against the misuse of the terms “Nazi,” “Hitler,” “Fascist,” “Goebbels,” “Auschwitz” and the like.

Jews and Jewish defense agencies have understood that the cheapening of these terms cheapened the suffering of those who endured the true horrors of the Nazi era.

Not anymore.

It is so common to call President Donald Trump and conservatives Nazi, Hitler and fascist that Jews have not only stopped condemning the practice, they have led it. And Jewish defense agencies have largely remained silent.

I could fill this whole issue of the Jewish Journal with examples. But I will suffice with only a handful.

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviewed in The Hill:

Maddow: “I’m studying Hitler to prep for Trump.”

The Hill: “How?”

Maddow: “By studying the first few months of Adolf Hitler’s tenure as German chancellor, beginning in 1934.”

Richard Cohen, Washington Post: Trump “is Hitlerian in his thinking.”

Henry S. Rosen, Daily Kos: “Any student of history can compare current times to the rise of fascism in the 1930s — when an electorate reeling from The Great Depression brought to power Hitler and emboldened Mussolini.”

Richard Cohen, Washington Post: “The differences between Weimar Germany and contemporary America are significant but so, increasingly, are the similarities.”

Natasha Lennard, The Nation: “To call Trumpism fascist is to suggest that it demands from us a unique response. … It is constitutive of its fascism that it demands a different sort of opposition.”

Neal Gabler, BillMoyers.com: “Like Goebbels before them, conservatives understood that they had to create their own facts, their own truths, their own reality.”

Dana Milbank, Washington Post: “Anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone of Trump’s campaign. It’s the melody. … When the election returns come in Tuesday night, it will be Nov. 9 in Germany — the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the ‘Night of Broken Glass’ at the start of the Holocaust when Nazis vandalized synagogues and businesses.”

The Hill: “MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said Friday that President Trump’s inaugural address was both ‘Hitlerian’ and meant to mimic Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

New York Daily News: “A group of Cypress Hills High School (Texas) students gave the Nazi salute and shouted ‘Heil Hitler’ and ‘Heil Trump’ while their class photo was being taken.”

University of Wisconsin Education Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab: “My grandfather, a psychologist, just walked me through similarities between [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker and Hitler. There are so many — it’s terrifying.”

Charles Blow, New York Times: “[Trump is] the demi-fascist of Fifth Avenue … an arguably fascist and racist demagogue.”

Paul Krugman, New York Times: “It takes willful blindness not to see the parallels between the rise of fascism and our current political nightmare.”

Germany’s leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, headlined: “How Much Mussolini Is There in Donald Trump?”

To be fair, Donald Trump, too, recently tweeted about “leaked” fake news depicting him cavorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel: “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. … Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

Then Jewish spokesmen raised their voices in protest.

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, intoned: “It is a despicable insult to Holocaust survivors around the world, and to the nation he is about to lead, that Donald Trump compares America to Nazi Germany.”

And Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, also weighed in: “No one should cavalierly draw analogies to Nazi Germany, especially the next leader of the free world. It is not only a ridiculous comparison on the merits, but it also coarsens our discourse and diminishes the horror of the Holocaust.”

What we have here is a cheapening of the unique evils of Hitler, Nazism and fascism. If Donald Trump is a Hitler, a Nazi or a fascist, then Hitler, Nazis and fascists were nothing special.

Even Auschwitz.

The most recent issue of the Forward, the oldest Jewish progressive newspaper, presented the nadir of the left wing draining Holocaust terms of their meaning in an article by a writer named Sophia Marie Unterman, titled “Is This Sugarcane Plantation ‘America’s Auschwitz’?”

After a visit to a Louisiana plantation serving as a museum of slavery, Unterman wrote:

“The phrase ‘America’s Auschwitz’ was used by now-mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu in 2008, when he visited the site and spoke to the museum’s creators. … Landrieu used the term ‘Auschwitz’ to encapsulate the darkest part of a country’s history; in that, he was correct to call slavery our Auschwitz.”

“… Landrieu’s description was apt: Slavery is our country’s darkest chapter; and 150 years after Emancipation, we still don’t know how to talk about it.”

That Jews, the people who endured the unique evil of Nazi genocide, would align themselves with those who cheapen that evil, is just one more tragic testament to the poisonous effect of the left on Jewish life.

Dennis Prager’s nationally syndicated radio talk show is heard in Los Angeles on KRLA (AM 870) 9 a.m. to noon. His latest project is the internet-based Prager University (prageru.com).

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