Here is the statement that U.S. President Trump made on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
The date was designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the United Nations in 2005.
It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.
Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.
In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.
People have been arguing about whether there was something sinister in the omission of the word Jews from the statement.
The White House said in response to that accusation that they intended to be inclusive and to recognise all the people who died.
I have thought about this and turned it over this way and that. I do not want to jump in and criticise the White House without thinking about it.
And then it struck me that perhaps there was something in the word holocaust itself that would guide me on how to think about this.
This is the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the Holocaust.
1. Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war:
‘a nuclear holocaust’
1.1 the Holocaust The mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime during the period 1941–5. More than 6 million European Jews, as well as members of other persecuted groups, were murdered at concentration camps such as Auschwitz.
2. historical A Jewish sacrificial offering which was burnt completely on an altar.
The holocaust is precisely and exactly about the intended eradication of the Jewish people. To omit mention of them is to tread on their memory.