Are Nazi Comparisons Fair?

The Holocaust was so horrific and unique, that comparisons belittle the meaning of that period of world history. So it is with comparing Donald Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy of family separation. We’re not talking about mass extermination and genocide. Just a policy built on lies, racism, xenophobia, intolerance and deceit.

So it is troubling that Attorney General Jeff Sessions cites the same biblical passage, Romans 13, to justify his Draconian immigration policy that was used in Nazi Germany to demand people “obey the laws of the government?” His words:

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government, because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

The same passage was used in Nazi Germany to justify demands for obedience to Hitler, writes Dina Kraft in an excellent historical perspective in Ha’aretz.

“In July 1933, during Hitler’s first summer in power, a young German pastor named Joachim Hossenfelder preached a sermon in the towering Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin’s most important church. He used the words of Romans 13 to remind worshippers of the importance of obedience to those in authority. The church was festooned with Nazi banners and Stormtrooper flags, its pews packed with the Nazi Party faithful.”

When the Nazi comparisons were brought to Sessions’ attention on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle Monday night, he had a unique and disturbing answer.

“In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country, but this is a serious matter.”

In other words, the Nazis were trying to keep the Jews from leaving their country while Sessions is trying to keep people from Latin America from entering his country.

Another disturbing comparison was reported by Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

“Reports surfaced last week that US border patrol officers told parents that they were taking their children away for a bath and then not bringing them back, which is similar to Jews being told in the Holocaust that they were going to shower but instead were taken to gas chambers and their death, lending itself to such comparisons.”

But that’s not all. Paul’s letter to the Romans was often cited by South Africa’s apartheid regime. But the reference former Alabama Senator Sessions may be familiar with was its use throughout his native South to justify slavery and segregation.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.
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