|Zyklon B labels shown as evidence at the Nuremberg trials|
The first and third panels contain the German Pest Control Company
emblem and the brand name Zyklon. The center
panel reads "Poison Gas!" "Cyanide Preparation! [skull and crossbones]
to be opened and used only by trained personnel."
The labels were used as evidence at the
International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of
National Archives and Records Administration, College Park
Holocaust Remembrance Day, (Yom Hashoah), this year is April 24. It would be fitting to do something, say something, express something as an openly anti-Semitic Trump adminstration stains the world.Update: See (Fandos, Landler, NYT).
Each new utterance on the Holocaust by Trump administration officials should lead thinking people to question the very decency of the American presidency.
This week, the latest imbecilic Holocaust rant emitted during Passover by White House spokesperson, Sean Spicer, follows by weeks the series of prepared anti-Semitic histrionics by high-level administration staffers during International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, and subsequent Holocaust-related follow-up statements in January and February that shocked the world, (Mal Contends).
Trump had campaigned in the months leading to the November 2016 Election Day using anti-Semitic tropes, drawing a respectfully appalled response in the American political culture.
At a White House briefing this week, Spicer justified the missile strike in Syria by falsely claiming even Hitler didn't use chemical weapons.
From NYT: " ... misconstruing the facts of the Holocaust — Nazi Germany’s brutally efficient, carefully orchestrated extermination of six million Jews and others — Mr. Spicer instead drew a torrent of criticism and added to the perception that the Trump White House lacks sensitivity and has a tenuous grasp of history."
Madness. Calls for Spicer's resignation abound.
|White House spokesperson Sean Spicer raises |
outcry with talk of Hitler, Assad
and Poison Gas (Fandos, Landler, NYT)
Spcier's comments are not a communication problem, not a mistake, they evince an indecent administration.
Every member of Congress should refuse to enter their offices and the Capitol, and district offices. As well, the closing of all Congressional offices is warranted until a full accounting by the Trump adminstration is accomplished.
This won't happen of course, the rightwing crazies and white supremacists hold sway in the United States, and resistance is weakening.
Notes Alex Emmons in The Intercept, whose text is reproduced below:
While defending Donald Trump’s strike in Syria, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Tuesday that not even Adolf Hitler used chemical weapons during the World War II.
'You had a — someone as despicable as Hitler — who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons. So you have to, if you’re Russia, ask yourself is this is a country and a regime that you want to align yourself with?'
When asked for clarification, Spicer said that he meant dropping chemical weapons on unsuspecting towns of Germans.
'When it comes to Sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad [sic] was doing. … He brought them into the Holocaust center, I understand that.'
'In the way that Assad used them, where he went to towns, dropped them down to innocents — into the middle of towns — I appreciate the clarification there, that was not the intent.'
After the news conference, Spicer issued yet another statement, this one in writing:"In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust, however, I was trying to draw a contrast of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on innocent people."
[For the edification of the Trump administrator:] According to the American Chemical Society, Hitler stockpiled large amounts of Sarin gas during the Second World War, but never used them on a European battlefield.
But it is common knowledge that poison gas was his method of choice for the mass murder of Jews, LGBT people, and others during the Holocaust. More than a million people were killed by the poison gas Zyklon B — a derivative of cyanide — at the Auschwitz camp alone.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that Hitler’s overall death toll includes as many as 6 million Jews, over 7 million non-Jewish Soviet citizens, nearly 2 million non-Jewish Polish civilians, people with disabilities, Gypsies, and an undetermined number of political prisoners and LGBT people.
Artist and intellectuals risked their lives in NAZI-occupied territories in expressing opposition to fascists, militarism and genocide, (a word did not exist prior to 1944, during World War II). Their work lives today.
Today, the Trump adminstration is launching a war on art, Only fools laugh at the future:
|George Grosz, God of War, 1940 - Fear of the Other|
|George Grosz, God of War, 1940 - |
Fear of the Other
The explanation by Hicks pleads that so many millions were slaughtered in the Holocaust that mentioning the European Jews is not consonant with the stated White House commitment to inclusion.
That Hicks' remarks are nonsense threatens to blow into a controversy the likes of which not even Trump has yet seen.
Millions of Americans openly assert Trump is a fascist and white supremacist, abetted by white supremacist and chief White House political advisor, Stephen K. Bannon.
The mission of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is to bear witness today, and the suggestion that inclusion compels the White House to not mention Jews and anti-Semitism is scandalous.
Writes CNN's Jake Tapper:
The presidential reference to the 'innocent people' victimized by the Nazis without a mention of Jews or anti-Semitism by the White House on International Holocaust Remembrance Day was a stark contrast to statements by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Anti-Defamation League Director Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that the "@WhiteHouse statement on #HolocaustMemorialDay, misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just 'innocent people' and 'Puzzling and troubling @WhiteHouse #HolocaustMemorialDay stmt has no mention of Jews. GOP and Dem. presidents have done so in the past.'
Asked about the White House explanation that the President didn't want to exclude any of the other groups Nazis killed by specifically mentioning Jews, Greenblatt told CNN that the United Nations established International Holocaust Remembrance Day not only because of Holocaust denial but also because so many countries -- Iran, Russia, Poland, and Hungary, for example -- specifically refuse to acknowledge Hitler's attempt to exterminate Jews, 'opting instead to talk about generic suffering rather than recognizing this catastrophic incident for what is was: the intended genocide of the Jewish people.'
The latest [January 2016] outrage by the White House follows Trump's executive order banning Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States in an act that signals Trump's open commitment to racism and Islamophobia as official policy.