On January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Obama issued a “written statement” which was reported by the press. You can be sure that he didn’t write this statement himself. Not after he goofed when he said this in a speech in May 2008:
“I had a uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps,” Obama said, slowly and methodically. “And the story in my family is that when he came home, he just went into the attic, and he didn’t leave the house for six months. Alright? Now, obviously something had affected him deeply, but at the time, there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain.”
Did whoever wrote Obama’s Remembrance Day statement get it right this time? This is a quote from Obama’s statement on January 27, 2012:
“We commit ourselves to keeping their memories alive not only in our thoughts, but through our actions,” Obama said in a written statement.
“As we remember all those who perished in camps from Auschwitz to Treblinka, Dachau to Sobibor, we pledge to speak truth to those who deny the Holocaust.”
I would not have put Dachau in the same sentence as Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor. Dachau was not a death camp, although thousands “perished” there from typhus. The other three were death camps where Jews were gassed.
Even Auschwitz doesn’t belong in the same list as Treblinka and Sobibor. Auschwitz was a large complex consisting of three separate camps; it was a transit camp and a labor camp, as well as a death camp. Since this sentence seems to be directed at “those who deny the Holocaust,” the author should have named Belzec instead of Dachau. Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec were strictly extermination camps where Jews were gassed immediately upon arrival, while Dachau was mainly a camp for political prisoners.
Charles T. Payne, who helped to liberate Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, was Barak Obama’s great uncle, the brother of his maternal grandmother. Charles T. Payne was a member of Company K, 355th Infantry Regiment, 89th Infantry Division. According to an Associated Press story, published on June 4, 2009, Charles T. Payne’s unit arrived at the Ohrdruf camp on April 6, 1945. Ohrdruf was discovered by American soldiers on April 4, 1945. The camp had been abandoned on April 2nd.
Why is all this important? In his written statement, Obama said “we pledge to speak truth to those who deny the Holocaust.” In speaking the truth to Holocaust deniers, one must pay attention to details. Holocaustians regard any tiny detail that deviates from their official story as “Holocaust denial.” When someone lumps together Dachau, Treblinka and Sobibor, this borders on “Holocaust denial.”
Dr. Deborah Lipstadt famously wrote in Denying the Holocaust that there is no “other side” when discussing the Holocaust. There is the official version, which is protected by law in at least 16 countries, and that’s it. Anyone who tries to present the “other side” is a criminal, as far as the Holocaustians are concerned. In view of this, President Obama should not have mentioned “those who deny the Holocaust.” It was a big mistake for him to acknowledge that there are people who believe in the “other side” of Holocaust history.
Yesterday, Hillary Rodham Clinton issued her statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day. This quote is from her statement:
This past year, we have seen Holocaust denial increasing throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. There has been an upsurge in anti-Semitic acts, including hateful graffiti, cemetery desecrations, verbal and physical assaults on Jews, incitement to anti-Semitic violence, and cartoons demonizing Jews.
Denying the truth of the Holocaust is an insult to history. We urge governments, civil society leaders, clerics, human rights groups, and all people of conscience in all nations to speak out against this kind of hatred. The United States will work with all of those who are committed to a world free of anti-Semitism and all other forms of ethnic or religious intolerance.
Her statement puts heavy emphasis on Holocaust denial. Big mistake — in my humble opinion. She should have accentuated the positive, instead of bringing up the negative. Maybe a reference to the Nuremberg IMT, which provides irrefutable proof of the Holocaust, or some mention of the new discovery of mass graves at Treblinka, would have been better.