Days after President Donald Trump issued a statement commemorating the Holocaust that did not mention the murder of Jews, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has clarified how it defines the Holocaust.
The museum issued a statement Monday that says:
“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. As Elie Wiesel said, “Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.”
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.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevention genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching education programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors.”
The statement from Trump was issued Friday, which is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday that there were no regrets about the statement, arguing that the White House was “not whitewashing anything.”
The statement was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League, among others.