To the Editor:
I attended the Moral Minyan protest at the ICE Detention Center in Aurora last Sunday. Calling anything other than the concentration camps used by the Nazis “concentration” camps cheapens and sanitizes the term.
There have been other detention centers that were called “concentration camps.” None were used for the express purpose of murdering its prisoners.
Everyone knows, or should know, what the term “concentration camp” really means. Using that word is like using the word “Holocaust,” which means a big fire. But none think that having a Holocaust means bringing your hot-dogs and marshmallows. The use of Holocaust terminology to describe Detention Camps diminishes the evil intent of the Nazis to eradicate the Jewish People.
The term concentration camp has been widely used since WW II in references to the temporary incarceration of Jews on their way to the gas chambers. To use this same term to describe anything else is like spitting in the face of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis. Or the survivors. One whom was my mother.
As horrendous as things are under Trump, who I despise, we are NOT on our way to concentration camps… not the real ones. No one is committing genocide here. Trump is not Hitler. ICE is not the Gestapo. America is not Nazi Germany. Those saying otherwise are paranoid, delusional, and cheapening the Holocaust.
Any comparisons of detention centers and concentration camps is simply wrong. Jews were driven like cattle, forced onto box cars, treated worse than cattle, and either driven to their deaths or to slavery, starvation and labs to be science experiments!
Who forced the immigrants to swarm our borders? They were told they would not be welcomed without proper authorization . Many determined they would come anyway. How does that compare? Why would anyone enter the US, risking their lives, knowing that they would be put into a concentration camp?
Concentration camps are the result of state sponsored persecution of a government’s law-abiding citizens. Immigration detention centers are the result of non-citizens breaking the law by entering the country illegally. These migrants have full control of their fate and choices while being temporarily inconvenienced because of their choices. Law-abiding victims in concentration camps have zero control of their fate and choices and face imminent ethnic cleansing.
Calling detention centers concentration camps is cheap, brazen sensationalism and is used to alarm. It is counterproductive because its use makes us look like the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
If, God forbid, real concentration camps were established in America no one would listen to us. It would be too late.
— Paul Korda, Boulder