You see, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out how America is running concentration camps at the southern border. And then Liz Cheney tried to school AOC on concentration camps, but clearly she needs to go back to school herself.
This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis ⬇️https://t.co/2dWHxb7UuL
Well, Congresswoman Liz Cheney couldn't let that stand. Because if ANYONE knows about torture and how to be shitty to their fellow human beings it's a Cheney.
Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this. https://t.co/NX5KPPb2Hl— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) June 18, 2019
Almost all of twitter clapped back, including myself. As you know, I absolutely hate it when people compare things that are not the Holocaust to the Holocaust. And when people equate others with whom they simply don't agree with Hitler. Case in point... However, that shouldn't prevent us from recognizing the repetition of the pattern of the *actual* Hitler Nazis and trying to stop it.
Howsomever, in this case, AOC is absolutely right. What the US is doing meets the definition of concentration camps, provided below by some little known place called... *checks notes*... The Auschwitz Museum. You see, everyone equates the Holocaust only with death camps. But we know, because we STUDIED HISTORY, that this isn't the case.
So, once more for the people in the back.
The Holocaust didn't start with death camps and gas chambers and ovens and firing squads. It began with a concentrated campaign to identify Jews as "others", as animals, as not human. (I seem to recall a certain president using these terms for brown people.)
Then, Hitler tried to make life so unpleasant through laws and regulations that Jews would emigrate out of Germany voluntarily. When that didn't work, he rounded us up and put us in camps, where living conditions were terrible. Hmmm... that kind of sounds like "self-deportation, doesn't it?
Too many people were crammed into living space that was unsanitary, medical treatment was denied, education was denied, food was insufficient and contaminated. Sound familiar?
Then, when we pesky Jews were concentrated in large groups, separated from humanity, scratching and scraping for our existence, then and only then did he move past concentration camps into the extermination phase - the "final solution".
THIS is what we are trying to avoid here and now. This is what we mean when we say Never Forget and Never Again. Yes, in general it's in the context of not letting this happen to us Jews ever again. But in the larger context, it's meant that we can never allow this to happen to another group of people ever again.
Also, Liz Cheney forced me to type out the words "final solution" twice, and for that I will never forgive her. It physically hurt me to type those words. I have a visceral reaction to them. Even at work, when we talk about the thing that will fix something forever, I can't bring myself to use those words, even though they are likely the most germaine.
People like Liz Cheney do us no favors by their blind allegiance to their party (which coincidentally was also a Nazi trait) and their unwillingness to acknowledge American inhumanity. History will not look kindly upon those who did nothing, especially those that aided and abetted.
Although Jews were by far the most affected and murdered group, the Nazi campaign also affected Blacks, LGBT, Roma, and other populations not deemed to be the "master race". I've been hearing a lot of talk of "othering" and talk that sounds an awful lot like "master race" talk. And Nazi concentration camps look an awful lot like the camps that we are setting up in border towns. Additionally, now that we've transferred control of these camps over to DoD, they aren't necessarily open to observation. Which also sounds an awful lot like Nazi concentration camps. And is likely a complete violation of the Geneva convention.
So, back to Liz Cheney. There is a difference between concentration camps and death camps. Please educate yourself and learn some actual history. Don't assume you know everything about my history. Per the Auschwitz Museum, the difference begins here (emphasis mine):
The main difference between concentration camps, where prisoners of various nationalities were incarcerated, and extermination centers (Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Kulmhof, Majdanek), where nearly all the victims were Jewish, was in the first place the annihilation method, while the final goal – the physical elimination of the victims – remained the same (both Auschwitz and Majdanek were "atypical" extermination centers since they were organizationally and spatially combined with concentration camps under the same names). Concentration camps used as the main annihilation method hunger combined with physical exhaustion. The death of prisoners was also accelerated by other conditions of existence in the camps: the lack of proper clothes, rest and medical care, poor sanitary conditions, as well as insufficient living conditions. Unlike the victims of the extermination centers killed immediately upon their arrival in the gas chambers, the prisoners of concentration camps stayed there for shorter or longer periods (some of them managed to survive the war).In fact, even the Auschwitz Museum had to pipe in, and they got some clapback as well because all of humanity is terrible. Because like I said, they are just some little known place in a far away country. They retweeted this from Jan 1:
Concentration camps, being an alternative to mass executions, were a tool for the physical elimination and served at the same time the cause of disguising the crimes committed there. Since they formally, by name and organizational structure, referred to pre-war camps, where Hitler’s opponents were isolated, their denomination related, as it were, to a concept to some extent familiar to the public in Germany and other countries.
This is what is happening right now in the USA. I'm a Jew. I don't demean my history or my family's history if I say that we have moved into the concentration camp phase of Trump's plan. And yes, like Hitler, I'm positive there's a plan. The time for benefit of the doubt has passed. Concentration camps evolve into death camps. Twitterererer @JRehling put together a handy-dandy timeline comparison just for Liz:If you see human suffering & you think this is not so important because "it's not yet Auschwitz"… ⁰⁰Then, think again.⁰— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) January 1, 2019
We commemorate and educate about the tragic history of Auschwitz as we believe it should inspire people today to build a better & a more responsible world.
Hey, Liz - I'm glad you want to learn history. Let's start.— JRehling (@JRehling) June 18, 2019
The Holocaust began in Hitler's ninth year in power, after years of Hitler saying the things Trump is saying now.
Kristallnacht would be in 2022 if we keep on the same pace, which we have so far.
Thanks for listening. pic.twitter.com/K9sMMkOavm
If you aren't sure how to *do* the twitter, here it is (click to embiggen):
The one thing left off of this image is a notation for 1933, right after Hitler became Chancellor. That is the year that Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, opened. On the timeline, that equates to around the time we started incarcerating brown people and refugees in camps at the border. Hmmm...
So. Yes. Don't wildly equate people or situations you don't like as Hitler or Nazi. But do call a concentration camp a concentration camp. A concentration camp is not equivalent to the Holocaust. But if we don't allow ourselves to use the correct terminology, then how will we ever prevent another Holocaust? Because Mr Fine People on Both Sides is getting ready to become even more authoritarian (oh, hey! a majority of his "fans" want him to have more than 2 terms. Oh, ok then).
I fear every day for the lives of these poor people who came here seeking asylum and are now stuck in a concentration camp. I fear for those poor people who just came here wanting a better life for themselves and their children. In addition to the terrible conditions in these camps - the freezer, cramming folks into spaces meant for far fewer people, poor sanitation, lack of medical care, insufficient and contaminated food. In addition to that, we are separating 4 month old babies from their parents and keeping little tiny innocent children in cages like animals. WHO DOES THAT?
The outcry is that "we are better than this". America, I hate to tell you this, but clearly we are not better than this. We ARE this.
America, get your shit together. Vote him and his enablers out. History will not look kindly upon you for your silence. Silence = complicity.
And now, if you need a palate cleanser, may I direct you to this twitter account of a wonderful, funny, brave woman. It's filled with good doggos and wonderful stories of adventure in the wild tundra.