Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Culture

What Is It With The Government And The Holocaust?

Ever since its first days, the Trump Administration has had an issue with its Holocaust history. First there was Trump’s ridiculously short, vapid Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, in which he insinuated that Jews should be grateful that Trump took the time to make any kind of statement at all.

And now, in a very slightly related note, theJewish News Service (JNS) reports that a historian employed by the U.S. State Department (she has, been at the State Department in this capacity for over ten years – so while she currently operates as a part of the Trump government, she has held her post since Bush) has drawn ire from Holocaust scholars for a paper published in the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In the JNS report, scholars like Dr. Rafael Medoff (of the David S Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies) and Professor Bat-Ami Zucker (of Bar-Ilan University), criticize the journal article for “for trying to minimize the accomplishments of Hiram Bingham IV, a dissident consular official who helped Jews escape France and was punished by the State Department” as well as for glossing over the anti-Semitism of William Peck, a U.S. official in Vichy France (I must note, the article is not accessible to those not affiliated with an academic institution, so I am taking the JNS report on good faith – do with this what you will).

In a vacuum, this is a non-event – a dispute over an esoteric journal article between scholars and a fairly obscure government employee. If the article is indeed as damning as the JNS reports, then, in the context of Holocaust denial or minimization from governments both here in the United States and abroad in places like Poland and Hungary, it becomes rather more troubling

Jake Romm is a Contributing Editor for The Forward. Contact him at [email protected]

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.