The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has issued a statement that is apparently in response to the White House's controversial Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, which made no mention of Jews or anti-semitism.
President Donald Trump's official statement, which was released Friday by the White House, broke with bipartisan tradition from both former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, in that it referred to the "victims" of the Holocaust, but did not specifically identify Jews.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to such criticisms Monday as "nitpicking," telling reporters that Trump "went out of his way to recognize the Holocaust" and pointing out that the White House's statement was written by someone "who is both Jewish and the descendent of Holocaust survivors."
"To suggest that remembering the Holocaust and acknowledging all of the people — Jewish, gypsies, priests, disabled, gays and lesbians — it is pathetic that people are picking on a statement," Spicer said, CNN reported. Spicer's defensive statement came on the same day the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum issued a statement, seemingly criticizing the administration's word choice — or lack thereof.
"The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. Nazi ideology cast the world as a racial struggle, and the singular focus on the total destruction of every Jewish person was at its racist core. Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy," the museum said, quoting the late Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, who once said, “Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.”
The last line of the museum's statement, however, seemed the most pointed toward the Trump administration's statement from Friday.
"The Holocaust teaches us profound truths about human societies and our capacity for evil. An accurate understanding of this history is critical if we are to learn its lessons and honor its victims," the Museum's statement concluded.